Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Lucia Do you value diversity of thought and tolerance of dissent?

If you do value diversity of thought and tolerance of dissent, then you too, like Brendan O'Neill writer for Spiked, must be finding the sweeping consensus on gay marriage terrifying.

Amazingly enough, the Greens in NZ must be worried as well, having come out in support of Family First, who are being struck off as a charity for donation rebate purposes by the NZ Government.

John Stringer thinks the timing of Family First's deregistration is probably a coincidence.  Some how I doubt that it is, and in general I don't believe in coincidences.  The recent marriage debates have made Family First a target for people who vehemently disagree with them.  People must have complained about to Internal Affairs who then agreed with the complainant(s).   Had the marriage debates and subsequent escalation of profile of Family First not occurred, then I doubt they would have been noticed and complained about and deregistered at all.  Individuals in Internal Affairs have just decided in the same direction that Parliament voted.  Parliament really lead the way and the rest of Government will just continue to follow through.

To think that NZ is somehow immune from the same problems that other nations who have re(un)defined marriage have faced is to ascribe a moral superiority to us that I don't believe is justified.  Warnings made now about what is happening and what will continue to happen are better made in advance than in hindsight when more damage will have been done.  At least the Government can scramble to keep the semblance of non-discrimination and think about where this might all lead rather than pretending that everything's ok and that's not an ice berg on the horizon, which is a very human thing to do. 

Essential Reading : Gay marriage: a case study in conformism ~ Brendan O'Neill
Anyone who values diversity of thought and tolerance of dissent should find the sweeping consensus on gay marriage terrifying.

12 comment(s):

Anonymous said...

Great post Lucia. I'll certainly read O'Neill's piece. As already quoted by you, I don't buy the governmental conspiracy, but its obvious a gay advocate probably 'dobbed' Bob in, but again, I don't see anything sinister in that (just partisan politics).

"it is likely a detractor (perhaps even a contrary advocate) prompted the review by writing to the Commission. As soon as the announcement was made, I noted celebrations on several gay sites. That’s how democracy works; it’s a bit partisan, but nothing sinister. Likewise, FF has since cited several other organisations too, that sit askance to FF’s worldview..."

Psycho Milt said...

Yes, I do. Family First has no less a right to charitable status than various political lobby groups favoured by wet liberals. Revocation of FF's charitable status is just bullshit from the kind of dim bulbs who think calling them "Family Fist" constitutes wit.

It would be nice if no political activists at all got to claim charitable status, and if churches got to make rules that apply only to themselves without reference to some little Hitler with a clipboard, but it looks like no MPs of any political stripe share that opinion (publicly, at least).

ZenTiger said...

Yes, I'm not too fussed about Charity Status, it is more that the law is very clear, and applied consistently.

Family First are an advocacy group, and their charter is to promote research around families and they cover a long list of topics, from Child Prostitution to HPV vaccines, to providing advice to people affected my the incorrect application of the anti-smacking laws.

Such activities around research, education and services are within the rules of the Charity Commission (or whatever they are now called) definitions of charitable purposes.

The fact that they can then single out one or two particular activity to deregister them, whilst providing government funding to Barnardos which then spends that money lobbying the other way (for example) is what concerns me.

By having an inconsistent approach, certain institutions will have donors who can claim a rebate, and others will effectively have a 33% penalty for being supported.

Time to look into this deeper and review the last 12 months of decisions by the CC.

Chris Sullivan said...

Thanks for posting this fascinating analysis Lucia.

Although the impact of social support for gay marriage is nothing like fascism, I was struck by the parallels of the change in social attitudes in Europe during the 1930's to support fascism - the support from the elite and the pressures to conform and not rock the boat and look out for ones career path etc that swung many behind fascism who did not have a firm rock to stand on.

Can I suggest you forward this article to the NZ Catholic newspaper who may wish to publish it, probably edited down a bit.

The last point about the collapse of modern support for marriage commitment and family is, I think, key.

Colleen Bayer of Family Life International said yesterday that the recent speaking tour of the the LifeSiteNews editor, who spoke at 6 Catholic schools, revealed that most Catholic school students are firm supporters of Gay marriage. The Bishops' appeal to young Catholics on this issue appears to have been most ineffectual.

God Bless

Anonymous said...

If you do value diversity of thought and tolerance of dissent, then you too, like Brendan O'Neill writer for Spiked, must be finding the sweeping consensus on gay marriage terrifying.

Not all.

I am grown up enough to know that diversity of thought will lead to dissent. And dissent is good. It gives us the opportunity to evaluate our thoughts and positions against those of others.

Once, I was like you. I was opposed to marriage equality. But when I tried to make sense of my opposition, it simply came down to concepts like "tradition", there was no logical basis for my opposition.

Perhaps if you applied logic to your position, instead of seeing dissent as a threat, you may see it as an opportunity to evaluate your own position, rather than taking anything "The Magisterium" has to say as the last word.

ZenTiger said...

You have it arse about face LRO.

Why do you think Lucia or Brendan see dissent as a threat?

They are making the point that their dissent over the redefinition of marriage is seen as dissent by the government and gay activists that seek to squash that dissent.

Earlier you argued the Church had no right to meddle - another way of saying the Church has no right to dissent. I argued then, as Lucia and Brendan have just pointed out - dissent is healthy and appropriate in a democratic society and any and all groups have a right to dissent when it comes to the government exercising its monopoly on violence and monopoly on making laws.

The jack boots are on the other foot, I suggest you look to them to make your point.

mzala said...

I lived under inequality for a greater part of my life, so in practical terms, I had to ride on a particular bus, live in a designated area, could not court nor marry a person of a certain race group etc. Aside from having a govt issued document which reinforced my inequality to those who were 'above' me, it was also 'normal' to ride in designated "3rd class" train carriages. Oh and of course, my job options were limited based on my skin colour. I'm pretty sure that you would see this as discrimination and logically an overt inequality.
Pardon my ignorance but could you kindly explain where was/is the inequality with regard to homosexual marriage? I fail to see how homosexual couples are/were discriminated against.
Also, you refer to "concepts like tradition" Considering the plural, could you possibly furnish a few other concepts that were part of your earlier opposition?

Lucia Maria said...

Hi John,


"I don't buy the governmental conspiracy, but its obvious a gay advocate probably 'dobbed' Bob in, but again, I don't see anything sinister in that (just partisan politics)."

I don't see it as a conspiracy as such either - what is going on is far more in the open than that - it's just hard for people to believe. Advocating for marriage (between one man and one woman) is not the trend at the moment, so it's considered political to be advocating for it, therefore it's supposedly not in the public interest, but really not in the Government's interest. It does show a certain level of arrogance, though, from the Government in deciding as to what is and isn't public interest. Arrogance, which is becoming a trend, a very worrying trend.

I say that because in the-home schooling sphere, there is now a massive tightening up of what is considered acceptable teaching. I have a friend whose application (and preferring teaching technique) was rejected. As someone who home-schooled for five years myself I thought the application was totally fine, and yet what would have been accepted during the Labour years is now being rejected during the National years. I'll have to find out what their current rejection rate is.

Personally, I think it should be mandatory for everyone to understand the political situations that occurred in countries before things got really, really bad - there is a massive scary similarity here, I think. It's just that it's so human to deny the obvious.

Lucia Maria said...

Psycho Milt,

I always enjoy it tremendously when we agree on something. Now, if only I could convert you to Conservatism! :)

Lucia Maria said...


Thanks! I'm guessing you are talking about the Spiked article - it is good. You can pass that on to NZ Catholic, if you like.

Interesting that you bring up fascism ... have a read of this article from a few years back: The Strange, Strange Story of the Gay Fascists.

ZenTiger said...

"I always enjoy it tremendously when we agree on something"


I second that PM.

Although I wont try to convert you :)

I'll just reflect that there is an increasingly wider divergence between liberals, and classic liberals (whose values you seem to be adept at arguing) are unfortunately a somewhat rare breed nowadays.

Psycho Milt said...

Thanks - the feeling's mutual.

Re the increasing divergence, yes - there's less and less for me to agree with on The Standard or the Daily Blog.

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