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Maxim Institute real issues

Maxim Institute real issues.

this week: No. Ninety-One

Contents: --------- * Care of Children Bill and 'legislative creep' This Bill is part of a wider social agenda creeping up on us to promote a diversity of family types

* Is sex 'a human right'? A brothel owner thinks so but what are the implications?

* Calling young leaders An exciting training opportunity for future leaders

Care of Children Bill and 'legislative creep' - The Government is using the pretext of helping children who are victims of family breakdown as a lever for continued social engineering.

Along with other legislation, e.g. the Families Commission, the forthcoming Civil Union Bill and the Care of Children Bill seek to replace the primacy of married parents with other types. It's doing this piece by piece in a process we call 'legislative creep'. All three Bills promote diversity from different angles and through incremental change.

As a result, the two-parent married family has no preferred status, ignoring clear evidence that this arrangement provides stability and better outcomes for children. For example, the rate of child abuse fatalities is conservatively six times higher when a mother lives with her boyfriend. It is irresponsible then, to devalue an institution which has proved itself foundational in every civil society.

The erosion of the married, intergenerational family is the principal cause of declining child well-being in New Zealand. It's true that many single parents (against the odds) are raising their children well and deserve support; and, of course, some married couples fail in this duty. Even so, the ideal should be upheld and promoted by the Government.

Family breakdown comes at a huge cost: CYF's budget is $435.3 million, with 2,149 staff, and the all-up cost of the DPB amounts to around $2.3 billion. These figures have contributed to the rise in the ratio of our tax take to GDP over the last 30 years - from 23 percent in 1970 to 35 percent in 2002. In refusing to acknowledge marriage as the preferred context for raising children, the Government is helping to entrench our problems.

'Creep' will ensure continued change masquerading as 'reform'. The social fabric is being re-defined through a few key pieces of legislation. Instead of encouraging diversity of family types, it is better to assist those having difficulties, while advocating and supporting marriage as the best environment for nurturing children.

'Where is Government taking the family?' Find out by reading the article by Maxim writer John McNeil, click on: www.maxim.org.nz/ri/govt&family.html

Is sex 'a human right'?

- In her submission to the Auckland City Council on prostitution bylaws, brothel owner Holly Ryan said: "Sex is a human right and a human need. Humans have three needs - food, sex and shelter. We have a huge range of food so why do we limit sex?"

Is 'sex is a human right'? Rights are an abstract and problematic legal concept and where do they come from in the first place? Whatever our answer, let's be clear on this: 'dignity' exists simply because we are human, not because the State gives us 'rights'.

Supposing, as Ms Ryan claims, sex is a 'right', then for someone to deprive a person of that right would be discriminatory; and that's effectively, what she's saying. Sexual intimacy is primarily about human relationship before it has anything to do with rights. We lose sight of this if we tie it to legal determinations and wait for the State to grant it to us through more human rights' law, or if we simply see sex as a commodity or recreational activity.

If sex was a right, could anyone, anywhere be deprived of their preferences? Would there be, for example, any basis to object, morally, to paedophilia? Most people still have an aversion to this practice (the 'yuk!' factor), but in a society where consent is paramount, yesterday's 'unacceptables' (divorce, premarital sex, abortion, homosexuality, group sex, and soon same-sex marriage) readily become today's 'acceptables'. It's simply a matter of time, advocacy and social conditioning. In this instance, groups such as the 'Man-Boy Love Association' already exist to promote child-adult sex.

Sexually transmitted diseases are rampant in New Zealand and we have the third highest teenage pregnancy rate in the world. Among our young people (16-20) 42 percent of the males and 44 percent of the females admitted to having sex unprotected in the last 12 months (more than 5,000 people in New Zealand were surveyed). In view of these statistics and an increasingly liberal society demanding 'more human rights', sex, it seems, is becoming the means by which many people believe we can liberate ourselves.

To view an article in today's New Zealand Herald by Maxim's Amanda McGrail on the issue of state-funded training for prostitutes to service disabled clients visit: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3536266

Calling young leaders - Want to invest in New Zealand's future? Then you need to know about Compass.

University, the media and the workplace present a baffling array of causes and worldviews commanding our attention and loyalty. Compass is a 10 day summer retreat aimed at providing the intellectual skills and confidence needed to not just survive, but respond meaningfully and make a real difference in our nation. We'll focus on what's real, what's relevant, and how to become a leader to a generation desperately looking for authentic leadership. Highlights will be the international and local speakers, plenty of brain food, and enjoying the nearby beaches.

Compass runs from 10 - 20 January 2004, at Snell's Beach north of Auckland. Applications for this life-changing event close on Friday December 12th.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK - Charles Dickens (1812 - 1870) - In the little world in which children have their existence...there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt, as injustice.

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