Children’s Commissioner promoting ideology not well-being

According to Children’s Commissioner, one of the keys for the Government’s proposed new strategy on child well-being is ensuring its serves all children – including those of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity. Having a stable family life with a mum and dad doesn’t rate a mention

Such is the tenor of their new report “Building Blocks” which outlines our progress in implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Not surprisingly the report also references “rights” 150 times in its 32 pages. Apparently a “rights based approach” is critical to ensuring the future well-being of our children. As well as affirming their sexual orientation and gender identity,  this includes consulting with them on how policy should be developed.

This nonsense would be laughable if it wasn’t so seriously and earnestly pursued by the liberal political/bureaucratic establishment in our country. It abandons our children to a sea of ideological confusion about who they are and what they really need, and then asks them to please advise how we should proceed! It is a complete abdication of the responsibility we have as adults to provide guidance and protection for our children.

There is no excuse for this. We know the key determinants in producing good and bad outcomes for our children. It is all well researched and documented – including in previous reports by the Children’s Commissioner. For instance at the 1997 Symposium on Family Violence the then Commissioner Laurie O’Reilly stated,

“As society I suggest we need to urgently re-assess our attitude to marriage. For some time, social scientists have promoted the concept that divorce and fatherlessness are the better and more feasible options for children when there is serious disharmony in their families. It seems to me that research now points quite strongly to the view that the average child does worse not better after separation…. We continue to legitimate family break-up at our peril.”

For the sake of our children Laurie O’Reilly had the courage to say some things that weren’t fashionable. The current Commissioner should do likewise, rather than simply being a mouthpiece for an ideology than has not been a blessing to our children, and never will be.

Ewen McQueen
April 2018

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The maunga and the Cross

So the Easter cross and Christmas star have gone from Auckland’s Mt Roskill. For nearly 60 years Aucklanders have enjoyed the beauty of these wonderful symbols of our Judeo-Christian heritage calling from the summit of one of the maunga in the heart of our city…. No more shall it be.

To continue reading the full article published this week in Stuff Nation click here.

Ewen McQueen
April 2018

Posted in Cultural Renewal, Spiritual Renewal | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Glad tidings of great joy for all people

This week at work I received a Happy Holidays card from a supplier. The sentiment was appreciated and I replied thanking them for their work during the year and wishing them a Merry Christmas. It was a large New Zealand company so I asked that they also pass on a brief message to their marketing and communications department.

Our Judeo-Christian cultural and spiritual heritage is precious. It is the foundation on which so much of what we enjoy today has been established. Freedom, democracy, respect for human rights and toleration of other faiths are not natural features of human society. However they have all arisen in countries where the Judeo-Christian faith, its worldview and its values have infused and moulded the culture for centuries.

In light of this why would you denigrate that heritage by actions which undermine the social significance of Christmas? Why would you join the efforts to make Christmas invisible?  The usual justification offered is that we must be cognisant of those of other faiths more recently arrived in New Zealand. Apparently celebrating our own heritage risks offending them and so we must be more inclusive – hence Happy Holidays.

However this rationale ignores the reality of the changes in our country. Many of those migrants who would purportedly be offended and feel excluded are themselves Christians. Our nation is now abounding with Christian Koreans, Filipinos, Chinese, Africans and Indians. Go to any New Zealand church on Sunday and you will meet them.

And migrants who are of other faiths are well aware they came to a country with a Judeo-Christian heritage. They are certainly aware of the all the benefits which that offers. That is no doubt why they came here. Most are probably perplexed, if not bemused, at the efforts of some Kiwis to “include” them by denying who we are.

Perhaps there is an even greater irony to the efforts to exclude Jesus Christ from this season. Christmas is inherently inclusive. As the angels declared to the shepherds in the fields that wonderful evening – Behold we bring you glad tidings of great joy which shall be for all people!

Ewen McQueen
December 2017

Posted in Cultural Renewal, Spiritual Renewal | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Te reo Maori no cloak for secularism Mr Speaker

For nearly 170 years our Parliament has opened each session with a Christian prayer. Last week the new Speaker of the House, Trevor Mallard, unilaterally ditched it. Gone were references to both the Queen and Jesus Christ….

To continue reading the full article published this week in the NZ Herald click here.

Ewen McQueen
November 2017

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94 Child deaths – “diversity” isn’t working

Eight years – 94 child abuse deaths.  These were the numbers reported this week at the inquest into the violent death of three year old Moko in 2015. Family “diversity” isn’t working.

Little official attention will be paid to the the family background of these 94 child victims. However it is highly likely that most came from family situations which our socially liberal establishment likes to describe as “diverse” or “fluid”.  The Government’s 2011 Green Paper on Vulnerable Children took this approach. Its primary outcome has been a new Ministry tasked with better co-ordination of social workers and agencies responsible for intervening to protect “at-risk” children.

The Ministry may well be necessary to deal with existing problems. However to reduce the number of “at risk” children in future generations we need to find the moral courage and intellectual honesty to face the truth about what is driving this crisis.

As I noted at the time in my Green Paper submission the research is very clear that the move away from married two parent families is one of the the primary causes of increased child abuse and neglect. The evidence from New Zealand was also clear. Of the 23 child deaths in the three years before that submission, 17 involved an adult who was not biologically related to the child – primarily mum’s boyfriend. That’s nearly 75%.

No doubt the same would be found for the 94 child deaths reported this week. It is now five years since the Green Paper discussions. We have a new Ministry but we still have an establishment in denial. Diversity isn’t working.

Ewen McQueen
October 2017

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The real election “hole” – family values

During the election campaign much was made of the apparent “hole” in one party’s fiscal plan. However the real hole was elsewhere – the total lack of attention given to the values that build strong families. Any discussion of this critical issue for our nation was completely missing from debate.

Of course there was plenty of discussion on the problems that have arisen from our broken families – mental health issues, poverty, vulnerable children. However none of it addressed the underlying driver. Instead the debate focused on how much money each party would spend picking up the pieces. Apparently if we just spend more money all will be well. Labour promised a lot more money spent in general on mental health services. National promised more targeted “social investment”.

To deal with immediate problems both may be right. However ultimately a social worker can never replace a father, and a mental health worker can never replace a mother. The most important thing we can do for future generations of New Zealanders is to rebuild strong family life. And that requires being willing to deal with hard issues around which values make for strong families – and which do not.

Sadly none of our current political parties are willing to do that. So the issue remains steadfastly avoided. It is ironic that for a campaign widely considered to be the most interesting and exciting for a long time – the most important issue for our nation never appeared.

Ewen McQueen
September 2017

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The Abortion Funding Conscience Act

It’s not law yet. But it should be. It’s the Abortion Funding Conscience Act. Any MP in our Parliament could submit it as a members bill. Indeed any political party that values freedom of conscience could introduce such a bill. The question is – will they?

As noted in my last blog, our current system means MPs who affirm the sanctity of human life are forced to support abortion funding because it is packaged within vote Health in the budget. Tax payers are likewise forced to fund via their taxes the “choices” of others that they may wish to have no part in. However it doesn’t have to be this way. And it won’t be when we have the Abortion Funding Conscience Act.

This legislation would do two things. Firstly it would require public funding for terminating the lives of unborn children to be separately identified in each year’s annual budget appropriations. That funding would be ring-fenced and required to be voted on separately from the rest of the budget. MPs would thus have the freedom to express their conscience on the matter – either way. In particular Government MPs would not be forced to vote through abortion funding simply because it is part of their party’s Health budget.

This is not about the legality (or otherwise) of the vast majority of abortions being undertaken in our country. That is a separate issue. This is about how it is all funded. If Parliament decides not to provide public funding for abortion then those who wish to make that “choice” would simply have to pay for it themselves. There are plenty of other health services which are not publicly funded in New Zealand – all of them far less controversial than abortion. Think of dental work, drugs not funded by Pharmac, or long term dementia care for those with assets.

The second key feature of the Abortion Funding Conscience Act would allow all New Zealanders, not just MPs, to express their conscience on the issue. Because even if Parliament decides to publicly fund abortion, there will remain a large proportion of of tax payers who hold profound ethical objections to having their taxes used for this purpose.

In recognition of this the Act would establish an on-line register held by IRD where such tax payers could record their conscientious objection. There would be no cash or financial implications, just a simple registering of opposition. This would not be mere token symbolism . It would be a legally recognised declaration of deeply held conviction.

Of course there are many publicly funded activities which individual MPs and tax payers may find objectionable. It would be inappropriate and impractical to make conscientious allowances for them all. In most cases it is simply a matter of accepting the outcome of the democratic process. However when it comes to the sanctity of human life there is a line which no-one should be forced to cross against their conscience. This is a matter of honouring and respecting the values and beliefs of many New Zealanders on a foundational ethical question.

Will we ever see the Abortion Funding Conscience Act in our nation? We will if our Parliamentarians put into practice what it truly means to be an “Honourable Member”.

Ewen McQueen
June 2017

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