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Title: Dog bites Maxim Credit: Craig Young Comment Sunday 5th February 2006 - 12:00pm1139094000 Article: 1103 Rights
 
Ex-ACT Leader Richard Prebble thinks that the centre-right needs a new think-tank... but not the Maxim Institute. Why not? Well, according to Prebble: "The Maxim Institute...does seek to influence the development of social policy. The organisation is conservative and Christian. As a result, most of its effort is devoted to issues like marriage, prostitution, homosexuality etc. The Maxim Institute is not capable of being able to provide intellectual leadership outside a narrow range of issues." Ouch. However, well said, Richard. About time someone on the centre-right realised that. Now, could you please try to get the message through to Don Brash, still unapologetic for the Brethrengate debacle that probably cost his party the last general election? As if in eerie response, I happened upon Rod Thompson's "A Biblical Introduction to Worldview". It will be remembered that this is the study guide for the Maxim Institute's summer "Compass" youth indoctrination camp at Snells Beach. According to this study guide, younger fundamentalist political activists should concentrate their efforts on communicating the fundamentalist worldview in areas like abortion, euthanasia and intelligent design creationism, and beware secularist and consequence-oriented ethical theories. Charles Darwin, Peter Singer (parent of animal rights) and Paul Kurtz (American Humanist Association) are the targets de jour. As I suspected, nothing about their other traditional obsession, homosexuality. Moreover, echoing Prebble's concerns above, there was nothing about centre-right positions on welfare, tax policy and other issues of fiscal responsibility. It all looked a little retro. One of the sources that they used was Francis Schaeffer (1912-1982), who urged fundamentalist political activism against abortion and euthanasia in the early eighties. I remember his hectorings from back then as well. If the Christian Right focuses on its obsessions, how exactly does it intend to influence National, ACT or any latter successor if it doesn't package itself as a team player, committed to goals outside social conservative ideological purity ones? Recommended: Richard Prebble: "Centre-Right Think Tank: Some Draft Thinking" http://www.act.org.nz/news-article.aspx?id=27501 Nancy Pearcey: Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity: Wheaton: Crossway: 2004. Francis Schaeffer: A Christian Manifesto: Wheaton: Crossway: 1982. Rod Thompson: A Biblical Introduction to Worldview: Auckland: Maxim Institute/Masters Institute: 2005. Craig Young - 5th February 2006    
 
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