Democracy in action

Today I participated in a protest march against the New Zealand government’s “anti-smacking” legislation. Reports on numbers range from 1000 to 2000 people marching on a rainy Christchurch day. I enjoyed it despite getting a little wet. Gary McCormick, who spoke against the legislation, is a favourite of mine for his great humor. It would be truly a tragedy if he doesn’t make it to heaven.

This legislation will basically make any use of force by parents to correct a child into an assault on that child in the eyes of the law. The most stupid piece of legislation I have ever had the misfortune to come across. I seriously consider that any member of parliament who votes for this legislation is defacto unfit for public service. Notwithstanding that around 80% of New Zealand (according to all polls ever publicized on the issue) do not want this legislation, the New Zealand Labour party, the Green party and the Maori party are set to push this through. Even Peter Dunn, the united future leader who warned Labour before the 2005 election he would not tolerate any further “social engineering in private members bills” is slated to vote for the bill. This is despite his own party’s statement that “united future will not be supporting the bill”. The Labour party are refusing to make this a conscience issue despite the obvious clear divide within the country, and are forcing a number of their MPs who would oppose the legislation to vote for it. I hope for the sake of democracy in New Zealand that the politicians will heed the voice of the people.

The christian position should always be defined by the bible. Here are the most pertinent scriptures.

Proverbs 23:13-14

Do not withhold correction from a child,
For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
14 You shall beat him with a rod,
And deliver his soul from hell.

Hebrews 12:7-11

If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

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