Thursday, December 17, 2009

Alpha Course is anti-gay

Pink News: More schools running 'anti-gay' Christian crash-courses

There should be no place in schools for proselytising for religion. A person's choice of religion or philosophy should be freely made as an adult, not forced on unsuspecting children. And there should be no place for homophobia in schools either.

Christianity is not inherently homophobic; same-sex marriage was once a Christian rite, and the "clobber verses" in the Bible have been deconstructed numerous times. So there's no excuse for including this poisonous homophobic nonsense in the Alpha Course. I am not particularly surprised that it's there, though, given that the Alpha Course also teaches young-earth creationism. It's all of a piece, really.

One good point about this: being taught this nonsense in school will make kids rebel against it. I recall when I was a teacher, the headmistress invited an evangelical band in to do an assembly, and the kids were rightly completely up in arms about it. I told them I completely agreed with them that it was wrong for them to have religion forced on them in this way.


The Church Mouse said...

Neither homosexuality nor creationism are topics on the Alpha course, and it certainly does not 'teach' on these subjects. The trouble is that Alpha relies heavily on discussion groups, and these topics are always raised by participants. That means the discussion group leaders give their own views - which may or may not be anti-gay or young earth creationist.

Shwatsonlock said...

Actually this morning in my youth Alpha course we were discussing Creationism as this week's (week 7 of 10) topic, the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve etc. And our leaders are CONSTANTLY trying to get us to read bibles and believe in god, and if someone disagrees they tell them that their life will be unguided without God. I'm considering leaving.

Shwatsonlock said...

Actually, this week's topic for my Youth Alpha (week 7 of 10) was indeed Creationism; Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, the Serpent, etc. And I don't know if it's anti-gay or not. I hope not because it would be highly offensive to me and one other in the group. Another point is that although our leaders don't explicitly tell us to believe in god, they are always implying that if you don't have 'god' in your life, then you won't be guided in the right direction. Which is very untrue for a lot of people.

Yewtree said...

Hi Shwatsonlock

Depending on why you chose the Alpha Course, I'd recommend a number of different options.

If you want to find out more about life and meaningful answers to it, go along to your local Unitarian church, where you will be encouraged to explore your own spirituality and come up with your own answers, e.g. in the "Build your own theology" course. Or maybe go to a philosophy course, or something from Alain de Botton's school of life thing.

If you want to find out more about Christianity, go along to a "Living the Questions" course - there's an example of one here, but your local liberal Anglican church is likely to be running one.

Oh, and don't go to the Holy Spirit weekend for the Alpha course. And keep asking those awkward questions!