Article Title:Enough! deconstructing Destiny's propaganda
Author or Credit:Craig Young
Published on:15th July 2004 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:334
Text:On 23 August, Destiny Church/New Zealand will try to get an alleged thirty thousand people into Parliament's grounds. Courtesy of the Enough is Enough rally website, we can now have a sneak preview of their arguments, such as they are. Pastor Brian Tamaki and his puppets argue that they are there for 'values'- like opposing abortion, the Civil Union Bill, lowering the drinking age and genetic modification, while Maori antagonism against the seabed and foreshore legislation and the abandoned government methane emission ("fart") tax also appear later in the text. It looks rather anti-Labour, although Don Brash is slagged off for being an agnostic, and even Peter Dunne is criticised for voting for homosexual law reform in the mid-eighties. From that point onward, things get rather odd rather quickly. We should "acknowledge God." Predictably, there's the obligatory reproduction of the New Zealand national anthem, and the fact that "nearly three-quarters of New Zealanders have a religious affiliation." Yes, but the census also shows a nosedive in most Christian denominational membership, a rise in other great faith affiliations, as well as Wicca and nontheistic categories that outnumber the proliferation of obscure quarrelling Pentecostal sectlets. Helen Clark and Don Brash are handbagged for being agnostic, but they're representative of a sizable constituency of New Zealanders. Ont he website parental rights and responsibilities are emphasised next. I agree with their opposition to the current low drinking age, but then they go on and on about their pet obsessions- adolescent abortion access, decriminalisation of sex work, proposals to outlaw belting children and other heinous elements within the Care of Children Bill (although not specifically lesbian and gay guardianship rights and responsibilities). We are then told that "New Zealand was founded" on “traditional beliefs and values” - although it doesn't say whose, and Maori beliefs and values related to land and spirituality haven't been respected all that much. "Relativism" is attacked, and marriage is elevated to a ridiculous level of veneration that is at odds with recorded New Zealand social history during the nineteenth century. Conscience votes are 'meaningless' now (because Parliament places other things above uninformed social conservative and religious dogma without verification from social science and medical evidence-based studies. ) Finally, we are exposed to nonsense about families and marriage, and the alleged sources are the US Christian Right 'marriage movement' and its skewed, idiosyncratic and ideologically biased version of 'social science' as well as non-contextual statistics and other things. Throughout the preceding sections, most of the 'evidence' consists of newspaper articles- secondary sources, not statistical ones, or primary scientific or social scientific studies. Hello? Derivative, this. At the end of this long and disjointed rant, we are asked to stop, talk and listen to the Christian Right and others over issues like the Prostitution Law Reform Act, seabed and foreshore legislation and the abandoned methane emission tax. For starters, the Prostitution Law Reform Act was debated for three years before its eventual passage, so no-one can say there wasn't ample public consultation on that front. Moreover, the Clark administration abandoned the methane emission tax eventually, so isn't that an example of representative and accountable central government? As for the seabed and foreshore legislation, that argument may have some merit. However, Destiny Church/Destiny New Zealand are a self-declared 'centre-right' party. If we're going to talk about public accountability, exactly how many New Zealanders support Newman/Brash/Rich-style radical welfare privatisation? And won't that harm Maori particularly? Enough is enough, all right. I don't know about's other readers, but I've had quite enough of Christian Right arguments that are sloppy, rambling and impressionistic, masquerading as public opinion when it's nothing but unsubstantiated social conservative dogma in drag. And must they steal our culture? Did Babs Streisand give permission for the use of that esteemed disco anthem? Sources: Destiny Church and Destiny New Zealand websites Enough is Enough: Destiny Church/NZ Rally, Parliament, 23rd August 2004. Craig Young - 15th July 2004    
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