Brian protests against religious tolerance

See, I find this all, well, a little mortifying.

Frog though it was weird when people marched for their right to hit children, but this (far larger) march to protest against freedom of religion is just surreal isn’t it? Isn’t it?

Pope B is accusing the government of religious treason. Good to see other Churches are speaking out.

If you can face it, there’s extended footage (including a wee snippet of the protests against Arroyo’s visit, which in the typical way of the fickle left I think is a fine manifestation of passion and principle – yes, yes, I can see the faux outrage now…).

What seems particuarly ironic in the footage of the rather sterling haka in the Destiny protest is the loud applause from the crowd. Kinda reminds me of their adulation of Lindsay Perigo during the s59 stuff. Would’ve loved to know how many of the fundamentalist Christians in the crowd would have had Lindsay round for dinner?

79 thoughts on “Brian protests against religious tolerance

  1. I found it ironic how he claimed his to be “the established church of New Zealand”.

    Tamaki is a Protestant Nonconformist. Several hundred years ago, when they *had* established churches in European countries (Catholic/Anglican) Tamaki would have been burnt at the stake. Especially for usurping the title of Bishop.

    It’s only the religious tolerance that he protests about that allows his church to exist.

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  2. Yep, we’ve got our very own homegrown version of Osama here. If only he could grow a beard…

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  3. Yeah it is a little ironic isn’t it. Quite funny in a sad kinda way. Maybe he was just peeved that he wasn’t invited. lol.

    I think it wasn’t a religious protest per se. I think his agenda with that was more political. I believe he’s seen a potential gap in the political spectrum left for his party to fill due to the recent implosion of the United Future party and hopes to capitalize on the furore over the so-called “Anti-smacking” law. I had to laugh at his response to a reporter on 3 News. “Wha..Wha…What does this have to do with politics?” Ha ha.

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  4. The amount of coverage Destiny gets says more about the intelligence of the news media than it does about the intelligence of Destiny.

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  5. ‘Bishop’ Brian expresses such extreme views that I consider he is lucky to live in such a tolerant inter-faith society.

    IMO Brian Tamaki is using his ‘faith’ as a political platform and his public protests are attention seeking. Joy.

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  6. The official PC position is that all religions are benign; none is better or worse than another.
    jh

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  7. # jh Says:

    > The official PC position is that all religions are benign; none is better or worse than another.

    Who defines the ‘official’ PC position, as opposed to unofficial PC positions?

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  8. He’s not the Messiah – he’s just a naughty boy.

    Gee thanks Toad, I needed cola on my keyboard :-)

    Seriously though – while I’m 100% in agreement with you guys about the dangers posed to secular liberalism in NZ by Tamaki and his band of nutters, I’m concerned that you don’t seem to dish out the criticism evenhandedly.

    That is, you spend a lot of time complaining about Christian fundies … and yet remain almost totally silent about Islamic fundies. Is it that I’m simply not noticing those posts, or am I right in assuming that you’re a lot more comfortable attacking some religions than others?

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  9. In fact, the Greens have been utterly hypocritical on this issue. Back when Muslims were protesting in the streets over the Danish cartoons, Locke said:

    Rather than blame Muslims for their reaction, we should strive to make our community more tolerant of Islam, and see it as a peaceful religion.

    Why the kid-glove treatment for Muslims, and the all-out attack on Christians? Is it that you’re simply scared of the former? Or is there some deeper motivation at work?

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  10. DB

    Right. They’re all equally bonkers.

    More cartoons and Python, please…

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  11. Political Greens have probably read Karl Marx’ pamphlet in which he introduces his concept of ideaology. Marx argued generally that an idealogy was little more than godless religion and would be used and abused in exactly the same way, especially by the ruling class within whatever political system exists.

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  12. Duncan – You did see my earlier post on this thread: “Yep, we’ve got our very own homegrown version of Osama here. If only he could grow a beard…”?

    As a Green I do lump the fundamentalists all in together, and have on several other occasions on this blog been critical of both Christian and Muslim fundamentalism. I’m all for “live and let live” as far as religion is concerned – until they start trying to dictate how people who don’t adhere to their faith should behave.

    I agree with Keith’s comments re the Mohammed cartoons though, and feel the same about the menstruating Virgin Mary. These were designed to be offensive, and were offensive, not just to fundamentalists but to a lot of moderate Muslims and Christians too. There is a difference between criticism of the excesses of fundamentalist religious beliefs and practices, which I accept and engage in myself, and deliberately setting out to offend people of a particular religion.

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  13. I think that fundamentalists of any stripe are a danger to us all, be they religious, political or any other kind. I see the fundamentalist Christian Right in the USA as just as bad as the Taliban. All that really differs between them is their religion and their methods of achieving their aims, which is basically a world-wide theocratic empire.

    Regarding the Mohammed cartoons/Southpark episode, I like the idea of “the freedom to choose goes hand in hand with the freedom to take the consequences”. If you want the freedom to pour oil on a flame then you must also accept the freedom to get burned by it.

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  14. Regarding the Mohammed cartoons/Southpark episode, I like the idea of “the freedom to choose goes hand in hand with the freedom to take the consequences?.

    Are you arging that provocation should be a defense for criminal activity?

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  15. There is a difference between criticism of the excesses of fundamentalist religious beliefs and practices, which I accept and engage in myself, and deliberately setting out to offend people of a particular religion.

    True – but should the law treat the two types of expression differently?

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  16. No, I am not, nor do i condone it. What I am saying is that if you deliberately set out to offend people, you can’t feign ignorence or innocence if said people decide to retaliate. However, I do think that the provocation should be taken into account when punishment is being dished out, for example if someone is repeatedly insulted someone else, it’s perfectly understandable for the person being insulted, or those close to them, to attack the insulter. One real-life example could be a man in a pub punching someone who kept insulting his girlfriend.

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  17. However, I do think that the provocation should be taken into account when punishment is being dished out

    Really? What of skinheads who beat up gay protesters because of their sexual orientation? The protesters were deliberately provoking the skinheads, so shouldn’t the skinheads’ have their sentences reduced?

    I think you are (perhaps unintentionally) applying a double standard here.

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  18. No religion is good religion and fundamentalists are people who keep their mentalities in their fundaments. Yeah, I am one of those nasty atheistic types.

    There is no official Green policy on religion that I am aware of except that we are supposed to be tolerant.

    I don’t think you can count the expressions of an individual member of the party as representative… that’s why we are working towards a more complete set of policies.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  19. BJ

    Is there any difference between ideaologies and religion other than the God aspect? Is organised religion any worse than organised ideology? Did Stalin do anything different from Ivan the Terrible or Peter the Great, other than doing it in the name of “the people” rather than “God”?

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  20. There is no official Green policy on religion that I am aware of except that we are supposed to be tolerant.

    That’s reasonable up to the point where members of a religion start trying to foist their beliefs onto the rest of society.

    I mean, I have no problem with Krishna worshippers handing out leaflets against meat-eating on the side of the road, nor with them choosing to be vegetarians, or raising their children that way. But the moment they start lobbying for the Govt. to ban hunting, that’s when I see red.

    Likewise, if Muslims think it’s appropriate for women to be wrapped up like mummies, that’s their call. But the second they start calling for non-Muslims to dress likewise – or forcing adult women to remain in the religion against their will – that’s something we shouldn’t tolerate for a nanosecond.

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  21. Toad

    I agree with you re the Muslim cartoon and the Virgin Mary, where I think we may disagree is that even though I find them to be in bad taste I will always support the rights of those who wish to publish such material.

    Any moves to outlaw the freedom of expression or free speech cannot be tolerated, for this reason I am totally against any hate speech legislation.

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  22. BB – wonders never cease! I think this is the third thing we have managed to agree on in the last month.

    There is nothing in Green Party policy promoting legislation against “hate speech”, and I certainly don’t condone making a criminal offence of it.

    It is certainly arguable legally that there may be a case for action in tort already, under the common law (although I am not aware of it being tested in Court), and I wouldn’t oppose legislating to formalise such an action in statute – that people aggrieved can sue for damages under if they have genuinely suffered harm as a consequence. But I wouldn’t want to see this addressed in criminal law.

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  23. Toad

    There is always room for a good man/woman on the right, come and join us, i will even pick you up in the Hummer.

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  24. davey said: … if someone is repeatedly insulted someone else, it’s perfectly understandable for the person being insulted, or those close to them, to attack the insulter. One real-life example could be a man in a pub punching someone who kept insulting his girlfriend.

    Yep, I agree entirely, Davey. I was in a Chertered Club about ten years ago, when this circumstances you describe occurred. One of the members repeatedly referred to another member’s partner (in her presence) as a “whore” and a “scrubber”. The aggrieved member eventually got so wound up that he clocked the insulter over the head with an ashtray.

    Result – both were barred from the establishment for two years. A fair result from my point of view. While I advocate non-violence, I acknowledge that provocation needs to be taken into account.

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  25. Toad

    I would wager that the chap who clocked the other man over the head with an ashtray (oh for the good old days when you could smoke in a pub) might have done a little more damage if he had any idea he was going to receive a two year ban.

    Given those circumstances I might have thought a one year ban for the bloke who did the “clocking” and a two year ban for the “clockee” might have been more appropriate.

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  26. Unless of course if they were both duck hunters, then they should have both been banned for life!

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  27. are you a vegan..big bro..?

    or does your care/love for sentient beings not stretch that far..?

    (foregoing eating them..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  28. Toad said: Duncan – You did see my earlier post on this thread: “Yep, we’ve got our very own homegrown version of Osama here. If only he could grow a beard…??

    The reaction to the virgin mary episode was to call for it to be cut – not Southpark banned, not the writers killed. The reaction on the Danish Cartoons was much stronger – with threats of violence and even death because of it.

    And Osama, as far as I can tell is committed to the destruction of the West.

    And Toad, you want to lump them all in the same bucket. Do you really think Tamaki wants to kill people, let alone to the same extent as Osama?

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  29. Kevyn

    The “God” aspect may be broadly or narrowly interpreted, so I find it difficult to answer. In my opinion any ideology is narrower than religion. It can address many aspects of life but cannot answer all questions. Religion and its gods claim to be all-knowing.

    The difference is significant but I think both Stalin and Hitler aspired to similar “godhood” using ideology (as well as artillery) to promote their status. I don’t know that such a perversion of ideology really qualifies as such.

    Perhaps a more detailed question would get a better answer from me, I don’t think I’ve done that well this time round. :-)

    respectfully
    BJ

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  30. Duncan

    Like I said. There’s not much of a policy and the quandary of how a tolerant society deals with its intolerant minorities remains unsatisfactorily resolved to my knowledge, in every nation to which the word “tolerant” can fairly be applied.

    I don’t think there’s a “Green” answer for it. I don’t think there’s a Libertarian answer either.

    Is there now,,,

    respectfully
    BJ

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  31. Duncan-I don’t see how exercising one’s rights can be called provocation, anyway the skinhead would be attacking because his victim was gay, then thats not provocation from that specific person, its an attack on gays in general. If said gay however repeatedly and intentionally hit on the skinhead, when he knew it would provoke him, that would be a different story.

    ZenTiger-I though Osama wanted everyone to be just like him and his Taliban buddies? Methinks that he wouldn’t kill them if they converted to his brand of Islam, however as there is no chance of that happening then (from his point of view) his only option is to destroy them. Tamaki also wants everyone to be like him and convert to his brand of Christianity, I don’t think he would have any problems killing those who oppose him if he thought he could get away with it.

    Regarding the free speech/hate speech debate, I stand by my earlier comment, say whatever you like but keep in mind that people will react to what you say. No doubt some fundamentalist Jews would be happy to see those who deny the Holocaust be killed.

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  32. BJ, They are very good answers to rather broad questions.

    Since the questions were somewhat rhetorical, I better give my basic views.

    Most religions have a god or gods, most of these gods are omniscient.

    Some religious leaders claim to have a direct connection to this omniscience.

    Many idealogues venerate the founders of their ideologies with a high degree of infalibility.

    It is these religious or ideological followers who exhibit similar behaviour and who create or empower organisations that likewise exhibit similar behaviours.

    Democracy does seem to weed out the worst zealots, although Hitler provides an alarming case study of how a little luck and a lot of ruthless manipulation can subvert democracy.

    Stalin’s “The Great Father to the People” image promotion does seem to have been modelled on Peter the Great’s similar approach centuries earlier. Not a difficult thing to do in such an enormous, sparsely populated country.

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  33. From the Destiny website – (they are using Javascript for their links, so I don’t know how to copy the frame link to here – but the link is named “Gladiators of Reform”:

    Destiny’s Ministry for Men
    Gladiators of Reform’ is a covenant community of Destinys’ men committed to the visionary and vision of Destiny Churches.

    The fourfold purpose of the Gladiators of Reform Ministry is to:

    • Develop men into peak condition spiritually, emotionally and physically, for the next level of what God has in store for His church
    • Develop transparency, openness and accountability among our men
    • To call the ‘man’, the ‘husband’ and the ‘father’ out of the male
    • To raise men, fit for war

    ZenTiger – what is the war that you think he want’s men fit for? My guess is that is exactly the same sort as Osama wants to wage – the war against the infidel. Brian believes in the Christian Crusade, which is effectively the same as the Islamic Jihad, religious beliefs aside. They both want to kill the infidel.

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  34. Destiny Church has taken itself out of the “religious fanatics” basket and into the “violent threat” category.

    If Destiny Church wants to speak of Christian values then they would be advised to ditch aggression and arrogance for love and humility.

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  35. BJ,

    They are good answers to rather broad questions.

    Since the questions were somewhat rhetorical maybe I’d better narrow them somewhat.

    Agreed, most religions claim full or partial omniscience for their god(s).

    Many religions also claim to have divinely inspired inspired leaders.

    Many ideologists assign their ideology’s founder a similar degree of infalibilty.

    Religions tend to regard group ethics as an extension of personal morality whereas ideologies generally regard the two as being independent.

    Religions and ideologies can both have “true believers”, doctrines and formal organisations. These organisations tend to be rather harmless when they function as voluntary grass-roots or community groups.

    When organisations grow in size they also tend to grow less transparent and more rigid and tend to develop internal politics and this opens them to corruption. Thus organised religions and ideologies often become tools for corrupt politicians, such as Hitler and Stalin and entire monarchys.

    So I think that at the personal level religions and ideologies are quite different but at the organisational level there is little difference. Hence, in a democracy both should be treated with equal care and scepticism.

    Regards Kevyn

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  36. I’m all for “live and let live? as far as religion is concerned – until they start trying to dictate how people who don’t adhere to their faith should behave.

    I’m all for “live and let live? as far as politicians are concerned – until they start trying to dictate how people who don’t adhere to their beliefs should behave.

    The war could be a spiritual one, I don’t think he is off to join those fabled armed rastas in the bush.

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  37. Thanks for answering Toad – I take it you see Tamaki as a killer then.

    You asked me what war is he preparing for. I don’t know. Some people prepare for war because they think their enemies might attack them. They would rather not die without a struggle, or by showing strength, may avert a war, as most wars are started by people who think they will win.

    So you see him preparing to attack, he sees himself preparing to defend, and we all wonder about the doctrine of pre-emptive strike.

    Time will tell.

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  38. toad Says:
    May 31st, 2007 at 10:45 pm
    ZenTiger – what is the war that you think he want’s men fit for? My guess is that is exactly the same sort as Osama wants to wage – the war against the infidel. Brian believes in the Christian Crusade, which is effectively the same as the Islamic Jihad, religious beliefs aside. They both want to kill the infidel.
    ===
    Jeez Toad haven’t you ever heard of “Onward Christian soldiers, marching us to war… etc
    jh

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  39. jh

    The correct words are “Onward Christian soldiers, marching AS to war…” which changes the meaning somewhat.

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  40. If said gay however repeatedly and intentionally hit on the skinhead, when he knew it would provoke him, that would be a different story.

    Okay, so it’s partially the victim’s fault if he’s camping it up in front of skinheads? Nice. How about a female rape victim who flirts with a rapist?

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  41. Duncan
    Camping it up? No. Im talking about stuff like persistently and deliberately making unwanted advances toward someone who has made it clear that said advances are unwanted. If it’s seen as ok for a woman to slap a guy who does that, why is a guy not afforded the same right? Equality for all, I say. For example, I’ve seen cases where a person has made many advances to the point where the target has got so fed up that they yelled “just #$%* off, I’m not #$%*ing interested, ok?!” and yet the person kept hitting on them.
    And flirting can’t be taken as consent, many people see flirting just as a game, some fun between two people. How about coming up with an opposing theory instead of just putting up particular cases?

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  42. Davey,

    I was trying to illustrate my point – that provocation should not be considered a mitigating factor in cases of assault (of various forms from common assault to rape to murder) – by bringing up particular cases where that point is obviously true.

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  43. Duncan

    Then you think that people should be allowed to insult others at will, with no form of disincentive? Would you be happy with someone slandering, maligning and insulting those who you most hold dear? Also, you seem to be suggesting that there is no difference between a person hitting another person after repeated provocation, and someone throwing a punch just because they feel like it. Seems like a clear enough difference to me…

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  44. Then you think that people should be allowed to insult others at will, with no form of disincentive?

    I support freedom of expression. That means the freedom to insult – and an insult is no excuse for meeting out violence. Furthermore, to claim otherwise is to lend tacit support to the wife-beaters, gay-bashers, Islamists and rapists who use that very defense themselves.

    Would you be happy with someone slandering, maligning and insulting those who you most hold dear?

    You’ve raised two different issues here.

    Slander is a legal matter, and should be taken up in court, which is how I’d deal with it.

    If someone was insulting my loved ones, I’d leave. Or, if I was on my property, I’d tell the jerk to leave. If I was on someone else’s property like a restaurant, I’d ask the owner to tell the jerk to leave.

    I wouldn’t assault them for it though, because I’m not five years old. I go everywhere armed & acting like an adult is generally a good practice while exercising that right.

    (On a related note, I’d be willing to bet you support weapon-control laws. With an attitude like yours – that provocation excuses the initiation of violence – it wouldn’t surprise me if you want everyone disarmed).

    Also, you seem to be suggesting that there is no difference between a person hitting another person after repeated provocation, and someone throwing a punch just because they feel like it. Seems like a clear enough difference to me…

    There is a difference. All I’m saying is that that difference shouldn’t be taken into account when trying or sentencing the person who initiated the violence.

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  45. The treaty of Waitangi says nothing about religion. It does provide equality before the law to Maori. Given most Maori were not Christian – this is suggestive of citizenship equality regardless of race, religion, creed etc.

    Thus New Zealand did not have any religion established in 1840. Nor has any church been established since – the Crown of the UK is head of the church of England, the Crown of New Zealand is not head of the Anglican Church in New Zealand.

    Our tradition is similar to the USA.

    They adopted the line that all men were “created” equal as their premise for the equality of Americans. This to show how all mortal men were equal before any greater being (God), which indicated rebellion against the Crown sovereign of the British empire and all forms of royal supremacy amongst mankind.

    Here we simply take the “Crown” we inherited from days of empire and make it the symbolic head of our own empowered sovereignty and deny it the heir’s and graces of a sovereign over a “subject people” (which the British still continue with).

    The real issue is over what is called “culture” wars in the USA.

    Can a Christian faith majority amongst the people define a nation or a state? In the USA the answer to the former is inconclusive and no to the second.

    Here in New Zealand we are trending towards a census in 2011 (certainly by 2016) ending our nominal Christian majority. This is not the case in the USA. The more realistic churches are adapting to this reality and would accept a multi-faith framework, however others would seek to maintain traditions such as the “Christian” prayer in parliament and use such a continuance as proof of a Christian nation heritage.

    Issues

    Should a prayer continue?

    Given the symbolism of a modernised prayer to reflect the diversity of a multi-faith society (freedom of religion on one hand and freedom from Christian nation heritage religion on the other, surely the deist, agnostic and atheist can be tolerant and allow this mercy to the believers?).

    Inclusiveness by using the God word and leaving out the end salutation “our Lord Jesus Christ”.

    However one could allow members of the House time to say this for themselves, if they feel so inclined (and others to say something they would prefer, if they feel so inclined) before the speaker says amen.

    The reference to the Queen.

    While a Crown republican regarding the people as sovereign, I agree that while the status quo continues the reference to the Queen should continue.

    The secondary reference to God within the prayer and the mention of “true religion”.

    I favour replacing the word religion with values.

    So propose

    Almighty God, humbly acknowledging our need for Thy guidance in all things, and laying aside all private and personal interests, we beseech Thee to grant that we may conduct the affairs this House and of our country to the glory of Thy holy name, the maintenance of true values and justice, the honour of the Queen, and the public welfare, peace and tranquillity of New Zealand.

    The idea that politicians are answerable to a higher power “God” (and also some collective called the electorate in the everyday world) is the basis of “good” government.

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  46. Duncan Bayne, you write:

    “I go everywhere armed & acting like an adult is generally a good practice while exercising that right …
    (On a related note, I’d be willing to bet you support weapon-control laws. With an attitude like yours – that provocation excuses the initiation of violence – it wouldn’t surprise me if you want everyone disarmed).”

    Duncan, who do you think you are writing to here?

    In Aotearoa New Zealand “we” (adult or minor alike) do NOT “go everywhere armed”.

    The vast majority of us (including most of our Police Force) do not own any firearms at all. Those of us who do, have them for purposes like hunting (and these weapons are not hand guns, and their owners are strictly licenced and must obey strict laws about storage etc.)

    Therefore your “bet” is right:
    Killing or maiming human beings is NOT part of our culture.

    However your astounding ignorance about Aotearoa NZ rather clouds any “superiority” you may wish to claim from that fact … for yourself or for your country!

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  47. We, Parliament, humbly acknowledging our need for guidance in all things, and laying aside all private and personal interests, will conduct the affairs of this House and of our country to the maintenance of worthy values and justice, the honour of the Sovereign, the public welfare, and the peace and tranquility of New Zealand.

    Yea right.

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  48. eredwen,

    Duncan, who do you think you are writing to here? … However your astounding ignorance about Aotearoa NZ rather clouds any “superiority”? you may wish to claim from that fact … for yourself or for your country!

    I am 28; I recently emigrated to Australia but spent most of my life (from the age of around 2 to 28) in New Zealand – first in Palmerston North where I was raised, and later in Auckland.

    I am a New Zealand citizen, and spent a number of years in Maori immersion classes in Intermediate and High School. In fact, I graduated top of my school (Freyberg High School) in 5th Form Te Reo Maori.

    Satisfied with my credentials?

    In Aotearoa New Zealand “we”? (adult or minor alike) do NOT “go everywhere armed”.

    Now that we’ve my history out of the way, perhaps you could take a deep, calming breath and re-read my post. I went out of my way to avoid writing gun control, for a reason.

    I was referring to weapons in general, and there are many ways of being armed, legally, in New Zealand. You might choose not to be, and that’s your choice.

    Speaking for myself, I used to carry a kubotan keychain baton with me everywhere I went (I even checked it with Air New Zealand; the spokescritter I spoke to said that if air security let it through, they didn’t mind me carrying it on their planes). I bought the thing from Auckland Martial Arts Supplies for slightly under $10.

    I also usually carried around a pocket knife (a perfectly legal Benchmade Pika folding knife, bought for $80), and at night carried a little mini-maglite knockoff that I picked up from for around $20.

    The point I was trying to make to our friend Davey was that it’s people like him who tend to oppose the idea of citizens being armed. He’s the the kind of person who thinks that provocation is an excuse for violence – and projects that kind of five-year-old mentality onto the rest of the population.

    People like me – you know, adults – realise that most other people can be trusted not to respond to taunts or insults with violence, and so in turn can be trusted to be armed for their own protection against the violent minority of society.

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  49. Duncan

    I’m not saying that provocation is an excuse for violence, in fact i think that the only excuse for any violence is an attack on yourself or those close to you. What I AM saying is that provocation is a factor in some violence and should be taken into consideration. Note that when I say “provocation” I am talking about someone making a conscious choice to repeatedly insult someone, deliberately winding them up until they lash out.

    “If someone was insulting my loved ones, I’d leave. Or, if I was on my property, I’d tell the jerk to leave. If I was on someone else’s property like a restaurant, I’d ask the owner to tell the jerk to leave.”
    So if you were somewhere in the public domain, say a park, you and your family were enjoying yourselves but some random guy, for reasons unknown, decides to insult your family. Would you just up sticks and leave, give up your enjoyable afternoon?

    “I go everywhere armed”
    Just wondering, why do you feel the need to go everywhere armed?

    (On a related note, I’d be willing to bet you support weapon-control laws. With an attitude like yours – that provocation excuses the initiation of violence – it wouldn’t surprise me if you want everyone disarmed).
    Again, my attitude is not that provocation excuses the initiation of violence, merely that it should be considered when punishment is being meted out. And you’re right, I do support weapon-control laws, if no civilians were allowed to own guns then it owuld be easier to confiscate them from criminals. Hunters have the option of using alternative weaponry, bows and arrows have seemed to work fine for thousands of years. However I also support learning self-defense, so if you are attacked then you can defend yourself.

    “There is a difference. All I’m saying is that that difference shouldn’t be taken into account when trying or sentencing the person who initiated the violence.”
    Just as an aside, have you considered that perhaps the provoker can be seen to have initiated the violence, through his/her use of mental, emotional or verbal violence?

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  50. eredwen,

    Oh and while I’m at it … “Killing or maiming human beings is NOT part of our culture.”

    One of the haka we learned in High School involved an action that represented a warrior beating his opponent to death with his gigantic penis, after finding himself disarmed on a battlefield.

    The senior members of our kapa haka group learned the basics of mau taiaha – killing and maiming at its finest, just ask the British Army redcoats.

    When we were taught marae protocol, we learned that many of the seating arrangements etc. were to allow the warriors to protect the women in case of violence.

    The warrior ethic is still a strong component of Maori culture.

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  51. “The point I was trying to make to our friend Davey was that it’s people like him who tend to oppose the idea of citizens being armed. He’s the the kind of person who thinks that provocation is an excuse for violence – and projects that kind of five-year-old mentality onto the rest of the population.

    People like me – you know, adults – realise that most other people can be trusted not to respond to taunts or insults with violence, and so in turn can be trusted to be armed for their own protection against the violent minority of society.”

    You seem to have a bit of a “Them and Us” mentality there. While we may disagree on this particular issue that doesn’t mean we cannot agree on others. We’re all people, and no two people have absolutely identical views on everything. And as I said, by learning the arts of self-defense, say karate, tae kwon do or judo, you have no need to carry around implements designed specifically for violence (pocket knife excluded, of course)

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  52. Would you just up sticks and leave, give up your enjoyable afternoon?

    Depends. I might call the cops (I generally go everywhere with a cellphone, too) instead of leave; that’d depend on the situation. But I certainly wouldn’t assault the guy for insulting me & my family.

    Just wondering, why do you feel the need to go everywhere armed?

    In case someone attacks me because he thinks I’ve insulted him :-P

    Seriously, so that if I’m ever the victim of violence, I have a better chance of protecting myself & my loved ones from it.

    if no civilians were allowed to own guns then it owuld be easier to confiscate them from criminals.

    Care to cite some examples where that has actually been the case?

    However I also support learning self-defense, so if you are attacked then you can defend yourself.

    Really. Against multiple assailants? Against assailants armed with baseball bats, or knives? Against assailants armed with guns? If you’re 50 years older and 30kg lighter?

    That must be one damned fine martial art you’re talking about.

    Just as an aside, have you considered that perhaps the provoker can be seen to have initiated the violence, through his/her use of mental, emotional or verbal violence?

    No. Humans aren’t animals – we have conscious control over our actions. If someone chooses to employ violence against another person because that person said hurtful words to him, then he is a criminal, and deserves to be jailed.

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  53. You seem to have a bit of a “Them and Us? mentality there. While we may disagree on this particular issue that doesn’t mean we cannot agree on others. We’re all people, and no two people have absolutely identical views on everything.

    Sorry, that was actually pretty rude of me. <winds head in>

    And as I said, by learning the arts of self-defense, say karate, tae kwon do or judo, you have no need to carry around implements designed specifically for violence (pocket knife excluded, of course)

    We disagree on this particular issue then :-)

    Sure, learning a good martial art will help you a lot, but I don’t think you realise just how much of an edge (no pun intended) a weapon will give its wielder in a fight.

    Not to mention that tae kwon do may be an option for a fit, strong, healthy person … but not such a good option for a pensioner with a dodgy knee.

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  54. “Against multiple assailants? Against assailants armed with baseball bats, or knives? Against assailants armed with guns? If you’re 50 years older and 30kg lighter?”

    True, while a martial art may help you in some circumstances, it’s not going to guaruntee your safety on every occasion. But, neither will a baton and a pocketknife. If you arm un-armed, and seen to be un-armed, then that can give you a better chance to survive. In many situations, the assault is the prelude to the robbery, and if someone comes and threatens to stab, beat or shoot you unless you give up your wallet, then if you are carrying a weapon then they are much more likely to attack first rather than run the risk of you successfully fighting back.

    “No. Humans aren’t animals – we have conscious control over our actions. If someone chooses to employ violence against another person because that person said hurtful words to him, then he is a criminal, and deserves to be jailed.”

    You seem to have missed my point, which was that physical violence is not the only kind. If mental, emotional and verbal violence were not harmful, then the whole debate about hate speech etc wouldn’t be needed, and we wouldn’t care whether the schoolyard bullies were teasing our children. Just because they haven’t thrown a punch, doesn’t mean they aren’t being violent.

    Interesting how a post about religious intolerance has morphed into a completely different topic :)

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  55. It’s fascinating that htis thread has gone from “why gay-bashing might be ok” to “are we good to go for defending ourselves against armed assault?”

    This week, I attended a campaign launch, see http://www.allourrights.co.nz/index.html, in central Wellington, for the removal of “homosexual panic defense”, an anomaly in law that has seen gays murdered brutally by (generally) men who claim to have been panicked by a homosexual advance.
    I can hand-on-heart state that I have on many occasions, as a woman whose whole life has been spent in NZ, been approached on social occasions by persons with whom I do not wish to spend any time whatsoever. I’ve never rejected an advance by beating the crap out of any of them, however. But since this seems to be an option that men think is valid when persistent flirts won’t go away, I’ll be practicing this in a bar near you, the next time you annoy me!!!
    See how much you like it if it’s used against heterosexual, white, middle-class males, then… >:-(

    Then at the end of the week, I collected for Rape Crisis in central Wellington. Once again, heterosexual white middle-class males spurned myself and fellow collectors, couldn’t even look us in the eye as they passed on their way to a lunch meeting in a Courtney Place bar. Amazing how many working-class blokes gave money, tho’. Much more likely to have supported a sister, mother, daughter or friend after rape? You bet.

    These are both instances of violence being predominant and accepted in our society – and fundamentalist churches on the rise will only accentuate the current power imbalances, which see “minorities” such as women persecuted and bullied in social/employment situations.

    And yes, I’m a born-again atheist these days! :-D

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  56. The only thing ever wrong with any religion is when people try to force that religion on other people (like fundamentalists). Any religion is ok up to the point where you start using it to hurt other people.

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  57. I always find it funny when women are referred to as a “minority”. Aren’t there more women than men in this country?

    I’m a heterosexual, white male and I’m proud of that fact. Not too sure what class I am though lol. And I did donate to the rape crisis centre. And I have seen women lash out at guys who won’t leave them alone, and no-one told them off for it. So why not have a little equality?

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  58. Everything is your fault (and mine as it happens), so called poverty, Maori crime and under achievement, the underclass,..the list goes on.

    It is all the fault of white heterosexual middle class males.

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  59. BB,

    I refuse to feel guilty about it. White, male, middle aged, reasonably wealthy and proud.

    We are not responsible for all the problems that the Katies of this world believe should be heaped at out door.

    Just because we are the focus of their misguided attention and blame culture, I dont buy into it.

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  60. I refuse to buy into the whole “Them and Us” mentality, the white middle class males and the “Katies”. We’re all people, and whenever someone targets one specific group as the cause of a problem then everyone else who is contributing to that problem either gets away with it or just keeps on doing it. Yes, some of the worlds problems probably are fault of people who have been middle class, heterosexual white males. But thats no excuse to blame every single one of them. But the same goes for people who blame all Maori for some of the problems in this country. So why not blame whoever is directly responsible instead of whatever “group” they belong to?

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  61. Davey & Gerrit

    You miss the point, it is a lot easier to attack those who are not able to defend themselves.

    We have to justify and defend on a daily basis the fact that we are white (oppressors and sexist) heterosexual (therefore we are anti gay and homophobic) proud (how can a while man be proud when he is not Maori)

    The left are well used to dealing with the likes of us, as soon as we present a reasonable argument that they cannot deal with they simply accuse us of being racist or sexist, we are then forced to defend those accusations rather than deal with the issue being debated.

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  62. Again with the “Them and Us mentality”. I’m left as well as being a proud white heterosexual male, so I’m well used to dealing with…myself? :D
    I have never had to justify being any of those things, and personally I try not to accuse anyone of racism, sexism or any other ism unless I can rationally prove it.

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  63. Perhaps, perhaps not. You claim that “as soon as we present a reasonable argument that they cannot deal with they simply accuse us of being racist or sexist, we are then forced to defend those accusations rather than deal with the issue being debated.” You seem to be tarring the entire left with the same brush, condemning the many for the actions of a few. Wasn’t that what you were opposing a few posts ago?

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  64. A recent study of travel to school by the US Transportation Research Board provides good evidence of just how endemic gender bias is in a western society.

    http://gulliver.trb.org/publications/sr/sr269.pdf

    The study took into account distance travelled by age and gender.

    School bus travel had no gender difference for deaths or injuries.
    Car travel (adult driver) had no gender difference for deaths but 30% more reported injuries for girls.
    Car travel (teen driver) had no gender difference for deaths but 60% more reported injuries for girls.
    Walking had had 25% more injuries for boys and twice as many deaths.
    Cycling had twice as many injuries and three times more deaths for boys.

    The lack of gender difference for deaths in cars and school buses is most likely because the risk is determined by the driver not the child. The difference for injuries is that the risk of being sued removes any reporting discretion from school bus drivers whereas car drivers appear to be 30% more like to report an injury crash if a girl child is involved. This suggests a more protective attitude to girls from both parents and older siblings. Assuming a similar bias for walking and cycling injuries brings the gender difference into line with those for walking and cycling deaths.

    It seems that parental gender bias in relation to risk taking/risk management is either causing or reinforcing risk taking behavioural differences in childhood. When attitudes are endemic they are absorbed by children almost subconsciously and are likely to be manifested in equally subconscious ways in adulthood.

    Ie, BB and katie are probably both partly right.

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  65. # kahikatea Says:
    May 31st, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    # jh Says:

    > The official PC position is that all religions are benign; none is better or worse than another.

    Who defines the ‘official’ PC position, as opposed to unofficial PC positions?
    —————————————
    I think you could do an analysis of variuos religions and count and catagourise the number of statements, that taken at face value are advocating behaviour that more enlightend societies don’t condone. I think it would show Islam to be one above the Inca religion.
    jh

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  66. Horrible generalization coming up, but what is it with christians? Just a complete inability to see blatant, obvious contradiction. Tamaki and his established church claim is simply one to add to the shambles that is christian doctrine.

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  67. mattb02, What it is with Christians is they have the same foibles as all other humans. The inability to see blatant, obvious contradiction is shared by marxists, socialists, pacifists and pretty much every other ist and ism you can think of. Believing what someone else says saves time and energy. And in our hectic modern lives those are very important things to do. After all if we can’t find the time to do really important things like watching TV and videos we risk a lifetime of psycholgical trauma due to living in perpetual uncertainty because we might have missed the episode of Sex and the City where everyone else learnt the proper attitude to take towards some particular sexual proclivity. The angst of not knowing what everybody else knows doesn’t bare thinking about.
    Why get a life when you can get a TV?

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  68. > Horrible generalization coming up, but what is it with christians?
    > Just a complete inability to see blatant, obvious contradiction.

    Same problem as with any faith – faith itself. Faith, the belief in something without or contrary to any evidence, is irrational, and immoral to the extent that it is irrational.

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  69. duncan

    Irrational doesn’t equal immoral. We make irrational choices all the time, picking things on a whim. Love, to pick one example, makes you do many irrational things, does that make love immoral?

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