Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Religious Diversity Statement Sparks Debate

National Religious Diversity Statement Sparks Debate

Public consultation on a draft national statement on religious diversity has attracted strong views from both religious and non-religious groups, says Victoria University Religious Studies Professor Paul Morris.

Professor Morris, who is the author of the draft statement, will present an analysis of the submissions and an amended statement to a national interfaith forum in Hamilton on Monday. 

The public consultation process has been conducted by the Race Relations Commissioner and the Human Rights Commission, and has involved city councils, interfaith councils and individual faith and community groups across New Zealand.

Professor Morris said the response had been excellent, with a high level of debate about some of the issues raised by the statement. “The process has been a great success, and has been as important as the statement itself.  It has got people talking and brought a wide array of views out into the open.”

There have been submissions from interfaith meetings and groups, from the Exclusive Brethren, the Destiny Church, Catholic Bishops, the evangelical Vision Network, Rationalists, Humanists, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Baha’is, Jews, Sikhs, Quakers and many others, both collectively and individually, he said. 

“The range of views on issues is very broad, and many are held passionately. There are both stridently religious and anti-religious views, but there is also widespread support for the principles of tolerance and recognition and that there are many New Zealanders who profess a faith and many who do not.”

Key issues included the separation of church and state, the particular place of Christianity in New Zealand history and contemporary society, proselytisation, education about religions in schools, accommodation of religious belief and practices in workplaces, and freedom of the media.  Rationalists and humanists have raised the issue of the more than one million New Zealanders who profess no religion. 

Professor Morris said that the statement was important because of the new context for religions in New Zealand, including the increased religious diversity revealed by the 2006 census, cases of religious harassment, the reality of belief and non-belief and the global context of religious and political conflict.

Race Relations Commissioner, Joris de Bres said the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Human Rights Act and the Bill of Rights Act all recognise  freedom of religion and belief as well as the other rights affirmed in the statement, and it was interesting therefore that some of the statements were so strongly contested.

“A human rights framework can help to mediate such differences because it simply asks people to accord to others the same rights as they themselves seek and enjoy”,  Mr de Bres said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Team Behind Trump's Throne

Forget the Putin factor. Daily, the team of charlatans, bigots and stunningly ignorant crackpots that Trump is appointing to head key federal agencies is just as alarming. These are positions with vast power and budgetary discretion over policies that stand to affect tens of millions of vulnerable Americans. Sad! More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English, Abroad

If David Cameron was the closest thing John Key had to a political mentor, their successors also share a whole lot in common. Theresa May and Bill English were both propelled into the top jobs as the result of unexpected resignations, and without much in the way of credible competition from their colleagues... More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Labour Bill To Override Safety Act For Mine Entry

“Bill English has been hiding behind the legal excuse that any attempt to re-enter the mine to recover the bodies might place the mine’s owner, Solid Energy Limited, and its directors in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Populism And Labour 2017

For many people on the centre-left, populism is a dirty word, and a shorthand for the politics of bigotry. In this country, it has tended to be equated with the angry legions of New Zealand First. Who knew they were not just a reactionary spasm, but the wave of the future? More>>

Oxfam: 30% Of NZ Owns Less Wealth Than Our Two Richest Men

The research also reveals that the richest one per cent have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth. The research forms part of a global report released to coincide with this week’s annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More>>

ALSO:

Hospitals: Resident Doctors Set To Strike Again

Despite discussions between the DHBs and NZRDA over safer hours for resident doctors progressing during the last week, the strike planned for next week appears set to proceed. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Super Fund: More Burning Ethical Questions For Steven Joyce

Greens: Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted. More>>

Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Why Tax Cuts In 2017 Would Be A (Proven) Bad Idea

Ever since the world fell prey to the mullahs of the free market in the 1980s, no amount of real world evidence has managed dispel one key tenet of their economic faith. Namely, the idea that if you cut income taxes and taxes on small business, a wave of individual enterprise and entrepreneurial energy will thus be unleashed, profits will rise and – hey bingo! – the tax cuts will soon be paying for themselves ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news