Title: Maxim: At cross purposes? Credit: Craig Young Comment Friday 15th July 2005 - 12:00pm1121385600 Article: 820 Rights
While the Maxim Institute wants to stop Sue Bradford's anti-belting bill, Brian Tamaki goosesteps the country, on a fool's crusade for his puppet political party. Spot the contradictions. At the moment, one might be forgiven for being confused about the overall direction of the New Zealand Christian Right. According to the Maxim Institute's Evidence journal (Issue 14, Winter 2005), all good Christian Right activists should make their opposition to Sue Bradford's anti-abuse bill clear. Indeed, Maxim's Bruce Logan and conservative Christian legal scholar Rex Ahdar have penned two articles on the subject for the magazine. However, Destiny Church doesn't agree. At the moment, Brian Tamaki is stumping across the country, declaring New Zealand A Nation Under Siege! He makes breathless remarks about the mass media ("a type of witchcraft"), us ("a radical homosexual agenda") and the Prime Minister ("a government gone evil"). At the moment, the rest of the media is determined to ignore his shenanigans. They appear to have concluded that Tamaki is the Patricia Bartlett of the early twenty-first century, and treat him as seriously. Be that as it may, what explains these two very different approaches? Tamaki and Destiny are doing it regardless of strategy, striking a pose for conservative Christian visibility as pakeha fundamentalists become increasingly more decrepit and/or die off. Unfortunately, they end up diverting time, attention and resources that might be expended on legislative hard yakka, like stopping the Bradford Bill. The Maxim Institute prides itself on better presentation, academic respectability and greater subtlety. It is probably also getting desperate, given that it failed to assert leadership over opponents of the Civil Union Act, with predictable results. No doubt it hopes that it can repeat its role against prostitution law reform, and defeat the Bradford Bill on its first or second reading. Unfortunately for the Institute, even the National Party seems to have realised that it needs to be seen to doing something against child battery, and isn't pandering to social conservatives in the pews or galleries for once. If Destiny Church continues its grandstanding, then the Institute will face an even more uphill battle, given that the weight of New Zealand child welfare and health professional groups are ranged against it on this issue. It is only a matter of time before that impressive latent coalition will be able to change the focus of the anti-belting debate to our country's shameful neglect of child protection laws. I'm reminded of the Christian Heritage Party's similar cluelessness in the mid-nineties, and the subsequent collapse of the Strategic Leadership Network, New Zealand's first fundamentalist national lobby group. It would be nice if history could repeat itself, albeit with slight changes in the cast. Coming soon- Brian versus Bruce? Recommended: Destiny Church websites Green Party of New Zealand Maxim Institute Evidence: Don't bother buying it. Any major metropolitan library should have a copy. Craig Young - 15th July 2005    
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