Here’s the latest episode of Dual Citizens!

I talk about the attempts to de-platform Joe Rogan from Spotify, noting the overlap of issues with the Citipointe College furoré. We close with some thoughts on why it’s taken so long for Brian Houston to step down from all his Hillsong roles.

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Let me know what you think and feel free to suggest topics for future episodes!

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19 comments on “Dual Citizens 3 – Joe Rogan & Spotify, Citipointe College and Brian Houston stepping down

  1. I’m not sure that Rogan would describe himself as a very clear conservative. E.g. Wikipedia: Political Views “In 2020, CNN described Rogan as “libertarian-leaning”. Rogan has said that he holds a wide variety of political views and does not easily fall on any particular side of the political spectrum. He has described himself as socially liberal, saying that he supports same-sex marriage, gay rights, women’s rights, recreational drug use, universal health care, and universal basic income, but also supports gun rights and the Second Amendment.” The public discussion of the Spotify controversy is part of an interesting theme regarding the way some people treat even those who share their own political views.

  2. Re Citipointe there is a number of issues & the question is ought they be conflated (& maybe who is / is not conflating them & why?).

    Anybody is free to think or even believe whatever they want. And to associate with others of like mind, & to privately choose who those others might be – & exclude anyone from that choice. It’s a nonsense to expect or agitate for otherwise.

    However, once a service is offered to the public (to increase one’s own influence and/or income) then that’s a different issue, which rightly invokes the law of the land. Recall the cake decorators turning away customers celebrating SSM. This applies to Citipointe.

    Further, if public funding is accepted in offering that service then even more stringent obligations for civic compliance are & ought to be applied – most definitely strings attached. Citipointe again.

    Then there is silly notion of Citipointe attempting to go down the contractual path of applying their ill-fated policy. Always beware about going legal!

    Being apart from the world yet not of it – often parroted but rarely followed through consistently. Except in this case maybe for the Citipointe staff member who resigned over the issue AND withdrew her child from the school. Why did the now stood-aside Principal do so? And what accountability has the school Council/Board and Chairperson shouldered. I wonder if light will be shed on that? I would be unsurprised if $$ are involved. Maybe like so many people Citipointe wanted to eat their cake & have it (decorated of course).

  3. Geoff raises some issues which I am sure that Christians and Christian organisations will need to deal with in the future. Maybe that will result in organisations steering clear of government funding. However, at least Citipointe expressed its position, albeit in a manner people found insensitive. However, if I am a passionate follower of Rugby League and join the Collingwood Football club it would be unrealistic for me to expect the Club Executive to support my efforts to have the players play rugby league on the field. Nobody is compelled to send their children to independent schools, or to an independent school that does not support their values

    • Thankyou John. Both you & David have tried the footy analogy, and the caveat is that analogies tend to fail at some point. I wonder if this one really gets off the ground to start with? Would you advocate to prevent an LGBetc person (or even a soccer fan) from becoming a member or a player for a footy club in the first place?

      • Would you advocate to prevent an LGBetc person (or even a soccer fan) from becoming a member or a player for a footy club in the first place?

        I can’t imagine any situation where that would ever remotely be something contemplated. Unless, for some reason, the football club was seeking to be distinctively Christian and the individual held a position of responsibility there yet lived in a manner inconsistent with that ethos. But I’d need a lot of persuading that there was a need for a “Christian” football club in the first place.

        • And all that same LGBetc person (that child) seeks to do is to become a participating community member in a caring school, a consumer of that school’s (State regulated) services, as they might also seek from a footy club. Not seeking to be a teacher, or a principal, or a policy-setting Board member.
          I say “Shame on Citipointe”.

          • And all that same LGBetc person (that child) seeks to do is to become a participating community member in a caring school, a consumer of that school’s (State regulated) services, as they might also seek from a footy club. Not seeking to be a teacher, or a principal, or a policy-setting Board member.

            And yet that’s not actually all that’s going on, is it? Because the school as a Christian school has been formed in order to uphold a particular ethos on the understanding that it will promulgate that ethos in its common life. So while someone may seek to be a consumer of the school’s services, nobody is making them go to that particular school with its particular ethos. They choose to enter into that community of their own volition. It is unreasonable for them to then insist that the school not uphold its distinctive ethos. It would be more reasonable to simply recognise that there is a clash of values and to go somewhere else where the values more closely align.
            Again, NOBODY forces people to join Christian schools.

  4. And I daresay many of the students & parents now at Citipointe might be asking where indeed they can find a suitable Christian school to join, whilst trying to tidy up Citipointe in the meantime starting with removal of the Principal & that botched contract. The school Board’s next agenda might be to ask just what their “distinctive ethos” ought to be. All can see now what it currently is & how it played out in action. The State would appear to be asking the same also, and will force this school to join in civic compliance with the wider society it would claim to be serving. Nobody forces this school to set up under Australian law & take public money.

    • There’s not much to explain since it has been the position that Christians have been consistently holding out. We simply want the same rights of freedom of association that other organisations have- the right to order our communities in accordance with our beliefs. Nobody denies political parties this right, yet some in those same political parties want to deny that right to us.
      Nobody forces someone to join a political party and yet, once they’ve joined, they don’t get to complain if their actions contrary to that party’s ethos lead to them being excluded from the party. Nobody forces anyone to join a Christian school either.

      • Thankyou, and that’s better than making a characterisation that I do not accept (to paraphrase a tired cliche from the PM).
        I struggle to see that analogy sticking. Membership of a political party is entirely voluntary, is for adults (we live in hope), and can involve the most minimal & mindless involvement of just paying some money. Schooling is compulsory, is for formative children (in the shared care with their families) whose most basic action, if one must call it that, is just to be who they are. There is choice in schools of course & with various cost / benefits decided by each family. But, notwithstanding any specific exclusions in the various discrimination Acts (& I don’t pretend to know all the details), political parties and schools alike cannot unlawfully turf out members of the public or turn them away. Am happy to be corrected on that?
        Yes again, nobody forces any child to join a Christian school so do schools act from fear or out of love? Christian schools for Christians or conditional non-Christians sounds like a limited mission field.
        But maybe you’ve addressed all this in Ep #4 so I’d better get onto it.

        • Schooling is compulsory, is for formative children (in the shared care with their families) whose most basic action, if one must call it that, is just to be who they are. There is choice in schools of course & with various cost / benefits decided by each family.

          And, again, that there is choice and ZERO compulsion to join a religious school (or other non-public school founded on another basis) is key to the issue. NOBODY compels anyone to enrol in a private school. There are ample public options available for every parent. So we’re back in the situation where it is entirely voluntary – just as joining a political party is.
          And it is entirely undeniable that if someone wants to join a political party and yet advocates or enacts positions contrary to that political party’s stated position then the party is entitled to remove that individual from their membership. That’s inherent in freedom of association. All religious schools ask for is that same right.
          The motivation for those schools is quite irrelevant. People do things for all manner of reasons but in a liberal democracy we protect their rights.

          • OK thankyou. If we must extend this ongoing analogy to a political party (but I expect it is about the typical rules of incorporated associations) perhaps this inclusion / exclusion question is about rights of access to exercise control – such as voting at meetings & eligibility for elected office? I can’t see a parallel there with a student’s enrolment? Perhaps the concerned parent of a child who is “different” (and many children are) thinks, or wishes, their local Christian school offers a better chance of pastoral care, acceptance & a bully-free environment for their vulnerable child? Should they be entitled to expect that? NOBODY, party or school, can or should be able to discriminate on unlawful grounds against any member of the public (a club to which we all belong). Do you object to that?

            I recall that it was only the difference in response to those in need – even to the prisoner who was judged to be guilty of something – that determined who was a sheep & who was a goat.

            • perhaps this inclusion / exclusion question is about rights of access to exercise control

              No, it’s about the common life of all those who agree to be part of a particular association.
              But the reality is that Christian schools are an excellent place for those who are “different. We will love them and do that, not least, by lovingly speaking the truth about God and the world that he has created.
              You confuse legitimate discrimination (which happens every day in many many different places) with bullying.

              • Sorry David, I am struggling to see how I’ve confused anything but your previous prompts more questions that it answers.

                So, we’ve dropped the political party analogy? Where is the line to be drawn on this “common life” – just how common is it to be? Should a Christian school (even an Anglican one) make it a condition of enrolment for the student and their family to be active signed up members of the church that sponsors said school? Good luck with that – although that could allow a clumsy contract to be avoided? A bit like teacher registration – without it one has no hope of being or staying employed so the school has a simple, unquestioned & lawful job of doing the non-hiring or firing.

                And re “the reality is that Christian schools are an excellent place for those who are different”. Have you heard of that Citipointe Christian College in the News lately? Perhaps shades of Animal Farm & some are more different – too different – than others?

                Tim Tunbridge’s last sentence raises what does seem to be serious issues re acceptability to parents and provision of adequate school facilities. Certainly no quick fix there.

                Your last sentence however confuses me to be honest! Perhaps take note of the legal definitions around both (unlawful) discrimination and bullying?

                You have ventured into comments about the inter-operation of liberal democracies & faith in the public square previously and I refer readers to a recent article that is well referenced, well analysed & well put.
                https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-02-13/religious-discrimination-australia-politics-questions-of-god/100824000

                  • As invited I let you know what I think. But yes, if no progress then wrap it up now. It was a most interesting post, thankyou.

  5. The point being overlooked is one of competing rights. Parental choice in education is recognised by Article 18(4) of ICCPR to which Australia is a signatory. Parental choice is equal to other rights and should be respected. After all parents pay for education through their taxes as well as an additional amount in fees to the religious school of their choice. Their rights are certainly not subservient or secondary to the demands of the LGBT lobby. It is surely quite reasonable for parents to expect that the religious school of their choice will apply rules of behaviour and discipline to students consistent with their religious and moral values. This may be the case particularly in an all girls school where parents would object (quite legitimately) to their daughters being confronted by a trans male in contact sports, accommodation, bathroom facilities and so on.

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