Monday, May 6, 2013

ZenTiger The new 'public interest'

Un-charities Commission
Bob McCoskrie Blogs: “The [Charities] Commission argues that Family First’s efforts to represent the voice of 80%-plus of families on the anti-smacking law or half of New Zealanders on attempts to redefine marriage, for example, have no ‘public benefit’, and that it is in the ‘public interest’ for Family First to be deregistered.”

The work of Family First is to act as a highly important critique to government policy, advocating on family issues and providing a voice for families that have had injustice inflicted by the government. They are as much a charity as Barnardos [registration CC21844] whose website has a "Speaking Out" section and home page currently pushes for legislative changes to turn schools into restaurants.

It seems the Charities Commission is one of the new weapons to determine what the government deems to have public benefit, and what it doesn't. When the government starts making selective judgements like this, it is no longer "for the people, by the people". The public cannot determine what is in their interest says the government.

Welcome to the Nanny State.

Article: Family First Muzzled ~ McBlog

Related (Leading Edge Blog): Family First not the first, probably not the last ~ The Leading Edge

17 comment(s):

leftrightout said...

The work of Family First is to act as a highly important critique to government policy,... is not a charitable purpose under the Charities Act.

Advocacy is not a charitable purpose.

McCroskie can bleat all he likes, but he is not being victimised, he is being made to adhere to the law and stop claiming to be that which he is not.

This is no different to the stance they took over Mcvicar's Idiots who think they know the law trust.

It seems the Charities Commission is one of the new weapons to determine what the government deems to have public benefit, and what it doesn't.

No, not a new weapon at all. The Charities Act has long deemed what does and does not have a public benefit in a charitable sense. It does not deem that McCroskie's work is of no public benefit, simply it is not of the type of public benefit that is the hallmarks of a charity.

http://www.charities.govt.nz/setting-up-a-charity/charitable-purpose/examples/

ZenTiger said...

Their advocacy is not the sum of their activity, which is why I pointed out that Barnardos (for example) is also a charity and does a lot of advocacy. More importantly, Barnardos gets a pile of government funding, and Family First does not.

When the law is applied equally to all, then it has legitimacy.

When the law is selectively applied, then we have persecution.

I am very interested to see evidence of impartiality by examining other charities that don't get the same scrutiny.




bamac said...

Zen,

I agree 100% with your comments ... Nanny state indeed.
There will be more attacks on Christian groups and churches for sure all strengthened by the passing of this bill ... eg. this article in this morning's paper:-

Homosexual rejected, heads to tribunal

By Vaimoana Tapaleao
5:30 AM Monday May 6, 2013
Bishop Ross Bay says he is following the Anglican Church's doctrine. Photo / Steven McNicoll
A homosexual man is taking the Anglican Bishop of Auckland to the Human Rights Tribunal after being rejected for training as a priest.

A hearing begins today following a complaint from the man, who says he feels discriminated against because of his sexuality.

It is understood the man - who is in a sexual relationship with his partner - has wanted to enter the church's training programme for priests for years.

But after applying to enter after years of study, he was rejected by the Bishop Ross Bay, who approves entrants.

Bishop Bay told One News last night that he was simply following the church's doctrines.

The man was rejected "by reason of the defendant not being chaste in terms of canons of the Anglican Church," the bishop said.

That means that anyone wanting to become ordained needs to be in what the Anglican Church deems to be a chaste relationship - a marriage between a man and a woman or committed to a life of celibacy.

In a statement to the tribunal, the complainant says he "felt totally humiliated that I had spent six years of my life in study, for a process that I was not permitted to enter because I was a gay man and in a relationship".

"My humiliation and disappointment continue to this day."

He also claims that had he been unmarried but in a heterosexual relationship, he would have been allowed to train as a priest.

However, it is understood that is not the case and that Bishop Bay has rejected people in such relationships in the past.

A spokesman for the Anglican diocese of Auckland, Jayson Rhodes, said he could not get into details of the case.

"The best way for both sides of this to be heard is before the tribunal, rather than through the media."

By Vaimoana Tapaleao

The priesthood is just a proffession and not a God given calling !!! hmmmm
Shalom,

Mrs Mac

leftrightout said...

Their advocacy is not the sum of their activity...

So just what DO they do that is a charitable act for the purposes of The Charities Act?

leftrightout said...

The priesthood is just a proffession and not a God given calling !!! hmmmm

And who is to say that the complainant in this case has not been called? You? Yeah. Right.

Lucia Maria said...

Nearly three years ago, I wrote the post Charity status is not being used as a weapon in New Zealand. I said at the time:

"The Charities Commission in NZ is now using charitable status as a weapon against those charities it doesn't agree with. First it was Greenpeace which was deemed to be too political, a decision I admit I wasn't too disturbed about at the time. Then it was the Sensible Sentencing Trust, a decision that did worry me. But now the commission has ruled against an international organisation that helps those who struggle with same-sex attraction leave the homosexual lifestyle".

That international organisation was Exodus Ministries. The Charities Commission did not think that Exodus was performing any public benefit since homosexuality is no longer listed as a disorder by the American Psychological Association. Never mind that there may be individuals who would like their help.

Who is the Charities Commission to decide what has and has not public benefit? They need to actually explain their reasoning, because a heck of a lot of very educated people consider that advocacy for marriage and the family has huge public benefit. The CC seems to be the Government's instrument to attempt to shutdown organised dissent.

Chris Sullivan said...

I see this as a very serious infringement of democratic freedoms. Charity includes advocacy for the interests of those one is being charitable towards. Very many charities do some advocacy such as Caritas and most Churches, who not only help the poor but speak out for their interests.

Advocacy is an important part of those organisation which make up Civil Society. To squash it for political reasons can only weaken Civil Society.

Brendan Malone has a good post here pointing out that the National regime has gone much further than the widely citicised "social re-engineering" and "nanny state" Labour Government ever did.

http://theleadingedgeblog.com/family-first-is-not-the-first-nz-charity-to-be-targeted-by-the-state-for-its-views-on-marriage/

God Bless

leftrightout said...

Pity the Christians who dare to speak out—
Who defer to the bible’s authority—
Three-fourths of the nation, we've lost all our clout,
And become the most hated minority

In our great country’s past—in our halcyon days—
When our Christian beliefs were shown deference,
Why, we Christians could say what we like about gays,
And condemn them for sexual preference

We could subjugate women, deny them the vote,
But no longer do Christians hold sway
And the nation has suffered, I think you will note,
In not asking what Jesus would say.

We used to be mighty! We used to be feared!
Our endorsement could sway an election!
But now… we’re ignored, and occasionally jeered—
We’re endangered; in need of protection!


Thanks to The Digital Cuttlefish

read the rest at http://freethoughtblogs.com/cuttlefish/2013/05/05/christian-bigots-claim-oppressed-minority-status/

leftrightout said...

Who is the Charities Commission to decide what has and has not public benefit?

The body that parliament has charged with administering the Charities Act.

They need to actually explain their reasoning, because a heck of a lot of very educated people consider that advocacy for marriage and the family has huge public benefit.

No, they don't, because what "a heck of a lot (...) of people consider" is irrelevant. The Charities Commission simply has to follow the law; they don't make the law, they cannot bend the law.

The CC seems to be the Government's instrument to attempt to shutdown organised dissent.

Total and utter rubbish. McCroskie can dissent as much as he likes, he just can't get a free ride at taxpayers' expense.

The law applies equally to all.

ZenTiger said...

The law applies equally to all.

Aha, you've finally got to the point of my post. I'm interested to test this to see if it is being applied equally to all types of registered charities, because most of them perform some kind of advocacy, and support or oppose legislation, and even get government funding to do this.

So, how equally is the law being applied?

JJ said...

Liberalism is the new fascism. All must bow to the state religion of secularism.

Lucia Maria said...

"The Charities Commission simply has to follow the law; they don't make the law, they cannot bend the law."

Ha ha.

NZ governmental bodies are very selective with what laws of the land they choose to follow and what laws they ignore. In this case, they've looked at Family First with a magnifying glass, while as other apparently charitable organisations (thinking what many are thinking - Forest and Bird anyone?) are ignored completely.

You only have to look at the difference between our abortion laws and the actual abortion practice to recognise that a blind eye is given to those that meet the prevailing liberal opinion.

leftrightout said...

So, how equally is the law being applied?

I have seen nothing to convince me the law is not being applied equally. If you have evidence to the contrary, I am sure we'd all like to see it.

And Bob McCroskie saying it is so and Brendan Malone claiming a grand conspiracy with out any shred of proof, does not qualify as evidence.

leftrightout said...

You only have to look at the difference between our abortion laws and the actual abortion practice to recognise that a blind eye is given to those that meet the prevailing liberal opinion.

The Charities Commission is not responsible for abortion law; please stick to the topic at hand.

leftrightout said...

while as other apparently charitable organisations (thinking what many are thinking - Forest and Bird anyone?) are ignored completely.

What's the issue with F&B? Other than the usual right wing xtian paranoia about anything to do with environment protection, that is.

David Winter said...

What charitable purposes does Family First pursue?

ds said...

David wouldnt "education" be a charitible purpose. Just like say the Humanist trust educates people in humanism and so is a charity. FF compiles resources and conferences to educate people about family issues. Thats how I understand it.

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