Bishop Brian Tamaki, head of the New Zealand
Fascist Party Destiny Church has now come out swinging, saying that New Zealand is a Christian country and as such immigrants of other faiths should not be permitted to practice their faith in schools or perform certain actions that they are permitted to perform in their homelands.
As a (very much lapsed but still somewhat identifying) Jew, it disturbs me to hear these comments. Similarly however it should disturb all rational New Zealanders.
New Zealand is a secular, egalitarian society that embraces (or should) diversity in all its forms – be they religious, cultural or yes, even the diversity to show a propensity for wearing black T-shirts and marching en-masse waving your fist in the air. Tamaki’s comments, while designed to shock and polarise, are in a similar vein to Robert Mugabe’s and not entirely dissimilar from those of the KKK.
Given the results of the last census when almost a majority of New Zealanders described themselves as secular, and Christianity was in no way a majority faith, Bishop Tamaki’s claims that New Zealand was, is and always will be a Christian nation are somewhat confusing.