Fundamentalist Christian right choose pro-gay candidate in NZ

Philip Ferguson plf13 at it.canterbury.ac.nz
Thu Feb 14 15:26:03 MST 2002


An indication of how liberalism and political correctness are the dominant
ideology of the ruling class in NZ and are indeed so dominant that even our
most right-wing elements adapt to this is pointed up yet again in a
decision made yesterday by of our version of 'Moral Majority', the tiny
Christian Heritage Party.

The CHP, headed by Christian fundamentalist preacher Rev Graeme Capill,
received just over 2 percent of the vote in the 1999 elections.

Yesterday they announded their candidate for the Wairarapa seat in this
November's general election.  The Wairarapa  is an area of farming and
rural service towns in the lower North Island, currently held for Labour by
transsexual Maori MP Georgina Beyer.  (You get the drift of how things are
different in NZ, by the fact that a rural heartland seat has a Maori
transsexual as its MP - this would be roughly the equivalent of Montana
electing Ru Paul to a senate seat.)

Anyway, the Christian Heritage Party have chosen as their candidate,
Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, who is the head of the national federation of
Women's Refuges and a supporter of gay rights.  Ms Raukawa-Tait is also
known to enjoy the occasional night out at strip clubs with her husband.

When asked about the divergence between Ms Raukawa-Tait and Christian
fundamentalism, Rev Capill was quite philosophical.  Well, Jesus hung out
with the poor and the prostitutes, and Christians didn't try to force their
morality on others, so he had no big problem with the fact that once in a
while she went to strip clubs.  What about the fact that she was pro-gay
rights?  Well, Rev Capill said, that was no big deal either.  Christians
weren't opposed to gays as people, and weren't trying to recriminalise
homosexuality, they just didn't want further liberalisation like gay
marriage.  And even if Ms Raukawa-Tait supported gay marriage, well she was
entitled to her opinion.

The CHP has also tried to make a bit of a running  by supporting the rights
of parents to smack naughty children (something I actually agree with them
on).  Ms Raukawa-Tait even disagrees with smacking children, but again
Capill was philosophical and said well, she was entitled to her view.

Now, remember, Rev Capill, his fundamentalist church and his political
party are the NZ version of the Christain fundies in the States, and you'll
see how different things are down here.

Philip Ferguson

PS: Raukawa-tait doesn't belong to capill's church, she's a practising
Catholic.  She said she was happy to stand for CHP because she likes their
'family values' politics.









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