So far a lot of the opposition to Sue Bradford's bill has come from groups claiming to represent "Christian values". Well, violence towards children is not one of my Christian values.
I believe Jesus calls us to protect the vulnerable in our society. I believe he taught that children are human beings, created in God’s image. And so I believe that children are entitled to the same protection from assault that we give to adults.
We need to show MPs that there is an alternative Christian viewpoint. I am involved in planning an ecumenical service on Wednesday at the Anglican Cathedral, followed by a procession to Parliament to present a letter from Christian leaders who support the repeal of Section 59.
This is an invitation for you to come and join us. The service will be very Churchy, because this seems to be a Christian problem – the Family First/Family Integrity/Family Values brigade is very Christian. Hence an alternative Christian response is needed. But even if you don’t usually go to Church, you are welcome to come along. If you had a church upbringing, if you believe Jesus was a decent bloke and want to affirm the stuff he said about non-violence, or if you just want to support this bill in any way you can, please come along.
Some of these people are saying sickening things, like that Children are less than human (“human becomings”) that they have evil in them that needs to be beaten out, and that Maori, Pacific Island and special needs kids need more "correction" than other kids, and their familes will suffer most because of this bill.
Destiny seem to have learned something since the Civil Union debate though, and we are not expecting black shirts and fist waving. Plus we have more Bishops than they do :) We are not planning a confrontation: it will be a peaceful, dignified procession and we will disperse after the letter has been handed over.
Hope to see you there.
“There is much misinformation around about what full repeal would mean. Repeal would simply mean that children and adults would be the same in the eyes of the law in regard to assault. If section 59 is eventually fully repealed children will no longer be the only group in society who can be legally assaulted. Mild assaults (so-called little smacks) will not result in complaints to the police or to prosecutions. However serious assaults, things like beatings with implements and objects causing injuries, would no longer be excused as discipline”
- Beth Woods, UNICEF
Then little children were being brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them; but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’