}

Monday, June 13, 2011

The (self) righteous onslaught

You can just tell it’s an election year: Hard on the heals of the controversial conference by ultra-fundamentalist Destiny “church”, comes word of another conference among the anti-gay religious hard right. Sadly, politicians will debase themselves there, too.

The annual Forum on the “Family” will be held on July 8, and according to their promotional flier*, Bob McCoskrie, of the rabidly anti-gay group “Family” First, will “interview” Prime Minister John Key and Leader of the Opposition Phil Goff to:
“…find out their views on a number of family [sic] policies as well as their personal principles and values which drive their desire to lead the country…
[snip]
“And where do they stand personally on the difficult issues of abortion, child abuse, euthanasia, marriage, the role of parents, media standards, the role of welfare, parental choice in education, and many others.”
McCoskrie’s group is far right “Christian” political group, probably most famous for pushing the pro-smacking vanity referendum a couple years back. His group opposes legal recognition of any kind for same sex couples, opposed the Civil Unions Act and occasionally still mocks it, especially by laughing about how few couples take advantage of the law in any given year, as if the numbers had anything whatsoever to do with anything.


He’s lined up an assortment of rightwingers to talk to his group: Self-appointed parenting guru Ian Grant will speak, among other rightwing things, on “why marriage matters for adults and kids” and “why kids need both a mum & a dad”. Ian and his wife Mary were notorious for opposing Auckland’s GLBT HERO Parade back in the 1990s.

Lindsay Mitchell will speak on “How Welfare Harms Children” (because, of course, poverty, hunger and homelessness are always better options…). Albert Makary will speak on “Declaring War On Our Binge Drinking Culture,” whatever that means; I don’t know his politics, but if McCoskrie includes him there must be a rightwing angle. As far as I know, McCoskrie’s not pushing alcohol prohibition.

Finally, they also have Jim Wallace, part of the notorious hard-right Australian “Christian” Lobby, which was recently revealed to have secretly orchestrated a pressure campaign that temporarily convinced a company to remove bus shelter ads promoting condom use, after they mistakenly believed the complaints were from real people, and not an orchestrated campaign. Wallace is infamous for using Anzac Day to attack same-sex marriage and Australians who are Muslim, even though the day is not politicised by anyone else.

McCoskrie holds his rightwing gabfest every year (this is his sixth), so there’s nothing special about it. Getting rightwing religious groups together in one place to talk about how they can more effectively try to force their narrow-minded, absolutist ideology on mainstream New Zealand is what it’s all about. The concern is the participation of Key and Goff.

John Key, of course, voted against the Civil Union Act, and apparently would again, if given the chance. He leads the largest conservative party. Goff supported the Civil Union Act, and leads a more or less centrist party. Between the two, it’s not hard to work out who McCoskrie and his group would back, assuming there are no rightwing “Christians” to support, instead.

However, there’s one possible way to salvage this: That is if Phil Goff uses the opportunity to challenge McCoskrie’s homophobia and bigotry, rather than pandering to it. I’m not optimistic, given the party playing footsy with the vile Destiny “Church”.

Key, who wants to solidify every conservative vote behind a National/Act government, will probably say all the right things to McCoskrie. So much for being a “centrist” as he pretended.

My challenge to both Goff and Key is the same: Prove me wrong and challenge McCoskrie’s bigotry, and stand-up for mainstream, fair-minded New Zealanders.

*Because I never link directly to wingnut websites, if you want to see the flier, you’ll need to copy the following link and paste it into your browser: http://tinyurl.com/3p2f9eq

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hee hee. Well said, mate.

Craig Y

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

Thanks! :-)

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