Title: Still as little Vision... Credit: Craig Young Comment Tuesday 11th October 2005 - 12:00pm1128985200 Article: 946 Rights
Remember Vision New Zealand, the national fundamentalist church network? Well, they didn't go away during the election, and I thought I'd drop in to see what was happening. Happily, I found out that their website contained the biannual Vision New Zealand conference proceedings, and had a look at what they had to say about homosexuality. Why did I bother? To quote the New Zealand Association of Rationalists and Humanists, I read this crap so you don't have to. One pdf was entitled "Faith, Hope and Homosexuality," and dealt largely with evangelical/fundamentalist attitudes toward LGBT rights - which involved rejection of lesbian/gay relationship equality and proposed heterosexuality as the 'normative' sexual 'solution', or otherwise celibacy. As the United Kingdom has already passed the Civil Partnerships Act, I was startled to discover no expanded commentary on political facts of life from this quarter. And so, to the Vision Congress proper. From the Australian Christian Lobby (sic), Jim Wallace waxed about what collaboration with the Howard administration has achieved for his lot. He gushed that banning same sex marriage has put LGBT rights back a decade within Australia at the federal level. Oh? Is that why Tasmania has civil unions, and Western Australia has LGBT adoption rights and responsibilities? Methinks the gentlemen didst powertrip overmuch. Added to which, I noticed South Asian fundamentalist minister Rasik Ranchord was doing the honours as compere during this "Christians and Politics" presentation. Ranchord used to be involved with the pre-FNZ Christian Democrats, and the Coalition of Concerned Citizens before that. All in all, though, it validated what Marion Maddox had to say about the prominence of the Australian federal Christian Right under John Howard. What can we learn from this? Networking hath its privileges. It says something that the local Christian Right couldn't field one of its own this time, and that it had to turn to Australia for help this time. I'm not sure why, particularly as it's hard to believe that same-sex marriage bans are going to be anywhere near the political agenda this term. And with time, relationship equality is going to become ingrained into the political fabric, with predictable results. However, Vision New Zealand is too blatant about its actual agenda. While its honesty and civility is refreshing, it needs to communicate in other than godtalk within a post-Christian society. Added to which, it'd be nice to see a broader British Anglican evangelical style concern for social justice, rather than merely cloning the US Christian Right. However, I'm afraid that would be expecting a miracle... Recommended Reading: Vision New Zealand: Marian Maddox: God Under Howard: Sydney: Allen and Unwin: 2005. Craig Young - 11th October 2005    
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