INDEPENDENT NEWS

Locke Foundation Commends ACT Christian Pamphlet

Published: Wed 24 Aug 2005 05:20 PM
Locke Foundation Commends ACT Party Christian Pamphlet
The Locke Foundation commends the ACT Party for its willingness to address the erosion of civil liberties of Christians. ACT's "Vote ACT because you are a Christian" pamphlet demonstrates an awareness of the connection between religious convictions and civil rights and liberties, a connection often not even acknowledged, let alone understood.
Since Labour has come to power we have seen the fostering of a climate where any questioning of the secular left orthodoxy on sexuality, family issues and issues surrounding freedom of expression has not been tolerated. Any person who raises genuine theological objections to these things has been marginalised, ostracised, character assassinated, threatened with the deprivation of their property through legal mechanisms such as the Human Rights Act, ridiculed through state television, diagnosed with a psychological illness, etc. Some have been threatened with violence, been assaulted and had their property vandalised.
No one dares use derogatory terminology of the gay rights movement today, being accused of homophobia has become worse that being accused of racism, but our politicians and media call Christian criticism of the gay rights movement, "fundamentalist extremism," "intolerant," "bigoted" without any thought for the hypocrisy or any consideration that disagreement and criticism are a valid and important part of a free society.
The fostering of New Zealand's culture of religious intolerance has not come about by accident. It has been deliberately created as you can see by Labour's record on passing social engineering legislation, proposed hate speech laws and Helen Clark's comments on Christian opposition to the Civil Unions Bill in Express last year:
"It is a very small minority point of view and I think, through continuing to set the tone of tolerance, acceptance and diversity, you just have to further marginalise such people. Hopefully one day nobody will think that way."
Make no mistake our government wants the freedoms and civil liberties of religious minorities silenced. The irony and hypocrisy are plain. For most Christians, the basic rights and liberties that human beings have are theologically grounded. In fact, the Western political tradition itself draws on religious traditions to provide a foundation for claims of equality and liberty. What ACT has done is to recognise that for many if not most Christians, an attack on those things is an attack on their very worldview.
Let us not be naive. ACT is a political party and wants to gain political support wherever it can, be it in the churches or elsewhere. However, for a secular political party to have noticed what is happening to Christians, for them to risk the fallout of breaking politically correct taboos and speaking up for us this close to the election demonstrates principles. It demonstrates the ability to recognise the rights of all people to think for themselves, to adhere to whatever non-violent religion they choose and to hold and express their views freely - not just the politically correct ones.
ACT are not a Christian party, yet they have the ability to see what has happened to the religious community and, more concerning, what will happen to us if Labour are re-elected. They are willing to speak against it and stand with us. At the very least they deserve our consideration this election as a party that will not coalesce with Labour and whose principles allow Christians to have religious freedom whether their MP's agree with their religious convictions or not. Other parties could learn something here.
ENDS

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