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Apoplexy amongst the evangelicals

Tue 30 Nov 2004 In: Comment

Apoplexy amongst the evangelicals - Nemesis approaches! As the time draws near for the second (and third?) readings of the Civil Union and Relationship (Statutory Reference) Bills, opponents are panicking. This has led to some strange scenes. Paul Adams (United Future) is fasting so that God might heed him and cause defeat of the aforementioned legislation. (Has God been ignoring him untill now? -Ed.) I can think of better reasons to abstain from food, such as the desperate plight of Darfur's wretched, starving refugees in the Sudan. In the latter case, I'd gladly join in any fund-raising effort to provide food and shelter for those people. Why is denial of our spousal rights more important to Adams than the needs of those desperate souls? Stephens Franks has given up all semblance of rational and civil standards of debate over this issue, and has started rabbitting on and on and on about 'hate speech' over and over again. Despite the fact that the latter issue is altogether distinct, Franks is whingeing about the forthcoming parliamentary inquiry into the latter, and attempting to foreclose public debate through presenting a wholly unrelated private member's supplementary order paper to amend the Human Rights Bill. If Mr Franks is so anti-censorship, why did he attend the AGM of the Society for Promotion of Community Standards in March 2003? SPCS isn't exactly known for its encouragement of free speech- just ask any Wellington-based film festival organiser and watch the air turn blue. Thirdly, we have Sandra Patterson, in the Herald on Sunday. Was it really neccessary to give space to this annoying fake fundamentalist 'independent freelancer' from Tauranga? Patterson (A self-professed solo mother, so presumably not committed to either enduring relatonships or the nurturing value of traditional families - Ed.) is actually affiliated to WHY Ministries, whose organiser is one Julian Batchelor. Batchelor has a murky track-record insofar as we are concerned. He opposed Auckland's Hero Parade (1994), acted as Christian Coalition youth organiser (1996) and used two imported US antigay 'hate videos' for rabble-rousing purposes in the late nineties. Patterson is listed as attending a fundamentalist church in Tauranga. Independent? Freelance? Yeah, right. Why did she find it neccessary to parrot the Maxim Institute about hospital visitations and next of kin, yet again? On Sunday night, I spotted a familiar face on TVNZ's Frontseat arts programme. It was John Stringer, the former fundamentalist failed National candidate for Christchurch Central (c1999) who alienated so many former liberal Nat voters that he turned it back into one of the safest Labour seats in the country. After that, he led Christian Voice, a fundamentalist special needs- oops, special rights -oops, special interest group within the Nats. Now, he's associated with the "Chrysalis Seed Trust" which consists of fundamentalist artists. Predictably, he was parroting the Maxim Institute line. Incidentally, full marks to Jonathan Milne (Herald) and Oliver Driver (Frontseat) for puncturing their pretensions. Milne mischievously commented that God did support the CUB, and she'd be voting for its parliamentary passage on Thursday. Naughty boy. Driver commented that the passage of the bills in question would mean picturesque autumn civil unions. Heh heh heh. Finally, keep those phonecalls, emails and letters rolling into our elected representatives and media outlet. Thursday is the big day, so let's not let up. Craig Young - 30th November 2004    

Credit: Craig Young

First published: Tuesday, 30th November 2004 - 12:00pm

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