Scott & Sarah Kennedy

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Another Step Towards Tyranny

If this actually happens, we might just move out of New Zealand.

The Children's Commissioner is proposing mandatory screening of every baby's home life in a bid to halve New Zealand's high child murder rate.

Those who refused to take part would be referred to welfare authorities.

Wow. We can only hope that this supremely daft proposal is ignored by parliament. But one thing I know is this: No one is going to enter my house to check on how I raise my children without a big fight being put up on my part.

Now why is this being proposed? Well apparently this could save five children a year. Ha! That should be on the next Tui billboard. What a load of codswallop. I suppose it will be just as effective as banning smacking. Because that has been a roaring succes hasn't it? What it will do is increase a nosey government's reach into my homelife. Back off.

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  • The system is dependent on the establishment of a database tracking the devil-opment of every New Zealand child - a move which has been resisted by civil liberties groups.

    I'm not surprised it's unpopular. This is the kind of bill that could only be proposed by someone who clearly didn't understand or want to understand what family valuses actually are.

    'Let us in your homes to change your rules (and religious indoctrination) or we'll arrest you for not caring for your children'
    That's where it's going if this piece of trash makes ot to law.

    All I can say is I'm glad Comrade Helen is not likely to get back into our Kremlin. Based on current ratings at least.

    What has gotten into this government we have imposed on us? What a bunch of twits.

    By Anonymous Allan, at 12:23 PM, September 11, 2007  

  • Interestingly you might have read that every women going into a public hospital is now screened for family violence.

    This included me on Friday when Aria was admitted on our ward where both Hamish and I have spend weeks at a time. We are known to the nurses and doctors very well.

    I was offended that I was asked if I felt safe in my home meaning 'is your husband hitting you or your child'. But the poor nurse who had to ask me said that a number of women have answered 'no I dont' and have been helped So I thought maybe it is worth it? They can't pick and choose who they screen- what if they picked the wrong person to not ask?

    looking from a glass half full point of view- it would be great to have people come into your home so you could show them a different way of parenting- perhaps a real witness?

    Still it is extreme and sad that we have got to this point. Umm I am not sure what to think to be honest.....

    Allan- the govt is given to us by God. Romans 13

    By Anonymous Anita, at 12:48 PM, September 11, 2007  

  • I wondered at the time of that law why it is ok to sexually discriminate against men by not asking them if their wives are beating them. The statistics show it does happen. So it's one law for some, and ignore the other half.

    Re God given government. I fully agree. However, God also gave them responsibilities they are failing to live up to.

    I'm not actually sure if Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro actually counts as a government leader... it's the first and only time I've heard of such a job title.

    By Anonymous Allan, at 2:22 PM, September 11, 2007  

  • I think regarding not asking men is that it is a funding/time factor. It costs to have nurses asking questions and not doing 'nursy' stuff. Therefore put $ where the biggest problem is- that is men beating women. Sorry but it is true I think that more women are beaten by their partners than guys.

    If God put the govt there then surely there is an element of respect that must be given?

    By Anonymous Anita, at 9:53 PM, September 13, 2007  

  • Respect does not require the organisation to be morally correct. We can respect them for the position God has put them in but that does not require us to agree with their errors.

    We can point out their failure towards their God given responsibility without disrespecting their office. To fail to see their failure would, to me, be disrespecting the office God has put them in.

    By Anonymous Allan, at 1:52 PM, September 14, 2007  

  • Yup I totally agree, of course, respectfully pull them up on the bad calls! I was more referring to the name calling.

    By Anonymous anita, at 4:33 AM, September 16, 2007  

  • I guess this might help some kids who would otherwise be abused/killed - why should it be opposed? If you have nothing to hide nothing will happen to you.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:57 PM, September 17, 2007  

  • and if parents refused to breath then they'd not be able to harm their children either.

    Logic is all very well but reality must be consulted also.

    By Anonymous Allan, at 10:34 PM, September 17, 2007  

  • found the last remark to be a bit cryptic...what was that about breath?
    Anyways, if you want to appeal to reality, I guess there is a lot of reality to abuse/neglect. And that could be actively fought by people checking on how kids are being treated at home.

    By Anonymous luggage79, at 2:17 AM, September 26, 2007  

  • I see home monitoring as a bit of a lame, half-assed measure, as it does nothing to address the attitude or problem with parents/caregivers that causes them to abuse their kids.

    It just looks for signs that abuse may already be happening, by which stage it's almost, if not completely, too late.

    By Anonymous Dan, at 10:00 PM, September 27, 2007  

  • "It just looks for signs that abuse may already be happening, by which stage it's almost, if not completely, too late."
    Too late for what? It's of course too late to prevent abuse, but it's never too late to get a kid out of an abusive situation. Plus, it might just be the one thing that gets parents thinking about how they treat their kids.

    By Anonymous luggage79, at 3:27 AM, September 30, 2007  

  • Yes, I agree.

    However there is a deeper attitude of violence that is taking root in our culture. Violent crime and crime against property are up 4% and 8% percent respectively in the 12 months to June.

    It seems that all/any measures being discussed and/or implemented are reactive. They're the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

    Why are there little-to-no proactive measures? Is it because no-one knows why this change is happening? Or are people too scared to address it?

    By Anonymous Dan, at 1:23 PM, October 01, 2007  

  • Going to people's homes is pretty pro-active in my opinion. It is better than taking care of the kids only when they have been hospitalized or worse. If you go to people's homes you go to WHERE the crimes are perpetrated and prevent them there. Fixing WHY they are perpetrated might prove a bit too difficult...reasons are different for every case.
    Maybe a mandatory parenting class for parents-to-be would be a good idea too.

    By Anonymous luggage79, at 11:37 PM, October 01, 2007  

  • The Bible is supposed to be the manditory teaching class for parents.

    How many use it for that? How many christians even use it that way?

    Man's opinion of what the truth (in this case the best way to raise children) matters nothing at all if it isn't actually in agreement with what the truth really is. Law changes and home visitations won't do a thing in the long term unless they are based on reality. And the reality is, God's way is the best way, and it's the way we were designed to function by.

    By Anonymous Allan, at 2:18 AM, October 02, 2007  

  • so, what are you gonna do? Go around Gideon style and hand out bibles to parents who are abusing their kids? Sorry mam, could you stop smacking your child for a sec and have a look at this book? Doesn't sound very practical to me.

    By Anonymous luggage79, at 7:28 PM, October 02, 2007  

  • Handing out Bibles doesn't work if the people receiving them don't want anything to do with the morals inside.

    What we need is a government with people who do actually care about them, and a public that do want them there.

    What am 'I' going to do? Pray for revival.
    I'd say that I'd run for government, but frankly I don't see that going well. Definitely not my area of expertise.

    As has been pointed out time and time again, abusing children is already illegal and those parents doing so are criminals. The addition of the smacking law simply makes more people fit the category of criminals.
    Absolutely nothing has changed in the way the law is actually executed... abusive parents still abuse. The cops do just what they've always done. Except now they have to deal with a new law and a new definition fo abuse and I expect will spend most of their time on the minor events now and ignore more of the serious one.

    Adding manditory screening of households will add another task to their list and even more time, energy and other police/welfare resources will get wasted than before. And it won't change a thing about abuse, I expect.

    It might get them votes tho which after all is all this is about.

    By Anonymous Allan, at 2:37 AM, October 03, 2007  

  • "The Bible is supposed to be the manditory[sic] teaching class for parents."

    A question for the Bible scholars: what is the Bible's (a) position; and (b) solution to the problem of child abuse?

    Bonus challenge: apply (b) to contemporary New Zealand society via the legislative mechanism (i.e., if you were in government, what would you do?).

    You have 30 minutes.

    By Anonymous David, at 3:55 PM, October 04, 2007  

  • heh, good point David.
    "What we need is a government with people who do actually care about them, and a public that do want them there".
    Allan, that is just awfully general. How is that supposed to help kids who are being abused? Plus, who is the public? Somehow they voted in a fashion that brought the present government into place.

    By Anonymous luggage79, at 4:35 AM, October 06, 2007  

  • I'm tempted to answer those but frankly if you're not able to answer them yourself, or at least try, there's little point.

    God didn't give us His Word for a bunch of nice Bible stories. It's meant to be applied in real life too.

    Granted, in our case there is a lot to counteract what with the legal system set up the way it currently is. Half surprised it's not illegal to be a Christian. It already is to express some Christian beliefs (Romans 1 declaring homosexuality an abomination for example).

    But that's not to say we can't at least start applying some Biblical principles to it. Recall how there were many Godly Kings and Judges in scripture who did just that. Not always to the best application of course (david and his adultery).

    To out rightly dismiss the relevance and application of that stuff is a large part of the problem. People's refusal to allow God's Word and will to lead their decisions results in a man made system that ignores the designer's explanation of what works. God created the way we operate after all... surely he has some clue as to what works best for us?

    By Anonymous Allan, at 11:10 PM, October 06, 2007  

  • Allan: “I'm tempted to answer those but frankly if you're not able to answer them yourself, or at least try, there's little point.”

    You are the one advancing the claim that the Bible should be the mandatory teaching class, etc. I asked you to put your Bible where your mouth is, and this is your response? I’m offended that you don’t consider my question worthy of any answer.

    The Bible says nothing specific about child abuse, and consequently offers no specific solutions. You’re welcome to infer some sort of moral argument from more general passages (Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21; Mark 10:14); but at the same time those less bound by the strictures of civilised discussion might advance a number of Old Testament passages reflecting the nature of God’s relationship to humanity (particularly children) at that time (Deuteronomy 21:18-21; Proverbs 30:17; 2 Kings 2:23-24; Leviticus 26:16 & 29; Jeremiah 19:9; Psalm 137:9). The example of Lot’s appalling treatment of his daughters (Genesis 19) and its sordid aftermath occurred despite Lot being considered a ‘righteous man’ (2 Peter 2:7).

    My point is that that advancing a moral argument on this issue derived purely from scripture on this issue is problematic (to put it mildly). You may wish to see the world in absolute black and white terms, but a consultation with reality will show many different shades of grey.

    Returning to the original issue, I think the government’s initiative is a step in the right direction. Such questioning about your home life reflects an unfortunate societal situation, but if you haven’t done anything wrong, then there’s no problem (Romans 13:2-3).

    By Anonymous David, at 6:59 PM, October 07, 2007  

  • This is another of those times where it'd be nice to have memorised the Bible in it's entirety.

    I have not.

    However, if I planned on raising a family or running for government, then obviously I'd look for all the verses on the topic. I'm not even looking for marriage yet so I haven't done any such research.

    As to your quotes, I've quickly run through them. (running out of time today real fast so I've quoted concordances)

    Deu21: "he is a glutton, and a drunkard."
    An elderly son obviously if he's to get drunk and make himself fat. Late teens or twenties, and capable of earning his own way and being accountable for his own actions.

    Pro30 Again a person capable of paying for his own actions.

    2Kin2 there came forth little children out of the city; the word for "children" is used of persons of thirty or forty years of age; and though these are said to be "little", they were so well grown as to be able to go forth out of the city of themselves - Gill.

    Lev26 If they should still persist in their opposition, God would chastise them with wrathful meeting, yea, punish them so severely in His wrath, that they would be compelled to eat the flesh of their sons and daughters, i.e., to slay their own children and eat them in the extremity of their hunger, - a fact which literally occurred in Samaria in the period of the Syrians (2Ki_6:28-29) This will be your lot, for “My soul rejects you.” - punishment for sin given by God.

    Jer19 - the same as above.
    Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon this city and upon all her towns all the evil that I have pronounced against it, because they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear my words. Given by God as punishment.

    Psa 137:9 - Happy shall he be that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. That takes the infants from their mothers' breasts, or out of their arms, and dashes out their brains against a "rock", as the word (k) signifies; which, though it may seem a piece of cruelty, was but a just retaliation; the Babylonians having done the same to the Jewish children, and is foretold elsewhere should be done to theirs, Isa_13:16. Nor is this desired from a spirit of revenge, but for the glory of divine justice, and that such a generation of cruel creatures might be rooted out of the earth; see Rev_2:2. Some allegorically understand this of crushing and mortifying the first motions of sin in the heart; but such a sense seems to have no place here. - Gill

    Which of those were undeserved? According to God, none.

    As for Lot's daughters, they were not being punished at all. Rather they were being used as a sacrifice to protect the angels of God as Lot saw it.
    The angel's response was to fry the lot of them. (If they are the exact same as visited Abraham (memory's fuzzy on this exact detail) one of them must have been the preincarnate Jesus Christ who accepted offering to God)

    While it's easy to refute passages, it's another kettle of fish to find them to quote. I am by no means an expert in Old Testament scriptures in as much as being able to quote anything at will.

    I shall attempt to set time aside to do so, however I'm helping people pack to move houses this week so may not have the time or memory to complete that.

    By Anonymous Allan, at 2:05 AM, October 08, 2007  

  • ...but if you haven’t done anything wrong, then there’s no problem

    Did that work for someone like Martain Luther who stood by scripture against the papal ruler?

    Was that ruler in that case justified by Romans 13 to kill him for standing by scripture?

    I think not.

    By Anonymous Allan, at 2:08 AM, October 08, 2007  

  • Wow! Heaps of comments!!

    David - Do you think that there is at least a small possibility that the government will abuse a situation where they can enter into the home to investigate home life? That is my fear.

    For instance, I believe that I may at times smack my children (if and when I ever have children). While I would not consider myself as a violent or abusive person, this could be deemed to be abusive by those who enter my home to ask questions.

    I'm sure you could probably think of many other instances where this kind of power could be abused by the government.

    By Anonymous Scotty, at 8:20 AM, October 08, 2007  

  • Scott: Yes, of course. However, I think it is reasonable for those in government to propose to use the means at their disposal to reduce New Zealand’s infant maltreatment rate (NZ has the third highest death rate relating to maltreatment in the developed world – as I’m sure you know). The government is (unsurprisingly) in a powerful position to undertake some initiatives to reduce this problem. It is logical, then, that civil liberties are likely to take a bit of a back seat in the process, in much the same way that a potential criminal experiences some reduction in civil liberties via the handcuffing mechanism… Realistically, the possibility of social workers bashing down the door and ‘rescuing’ legitimately disciplined children is pretty remote.

    My challenge (to you (plural)) is to move beyond righteous outrage and come up with a better solution. From what I’ve read in your blog you seem to favour a government based on right wing Christian fundamentalist principles, what exactly does this entail for this issue? Just over half of New Zealand is nominally Christian. But, Hindu and Muslim minorities are on the rise, as is rationalism, and atheism. Allan seems to think that Biblical principles can be applied to all. Well, what is the solution?

    Allan: Martin Luther! Now there’s an interesting character. There’s quite an astonishing wikipedia article dedicated to him: [Luther] “advocated setting synagogues on fire, destroying Jewish prayerbooks, forbidding rabbis from preaching, seizing Jews' property and money, smashing up their homes, and ensuring that these "poisonous envenomed worms" be forced into labour or expelled "for all time." He also seemed to sanction their murder, writing "We are at fault in not slaying them.”” Indeed Luther’s writings found their way into Nazi party ideology. We didn’t hear that in St Andrews/ Tyndale history class! I’m outraged, this was an egregious omission.

    The position advocated by Romans 13 would seem not to apply in this case, nor in many others of legitimate rebellion. So, who defines what is legitimate if the Biblical position is imprecise? Clearly thoughtful human interpretation is required, and the circle back to cultural and situational relativism is complete.

    Thank-you both for your comments.

    By Anonymous David, at 6:30 PM, October 08, 2007  

  • David: I'm not sure whether you got me in a nutshell with "favour a government based on right wing Christian fundamentalist principles". What did you actually mean by that?

    I do favour a government that allows me to practise my religious beliefs without interference. Is that what you meant?

    Solving child abuse. I think it would be arrogance to presume there is a quick, easy black and white answer. My intention is to voice my objection to what I see is a dangerous road and one which I believe will do absolutely nothing to help solve child abuse.

    Martin Luther: Recently I was looking at him in my Church History paper and was similarly surprised to find out some of these things. However I suggest that these intentional/unintentional coverups are not endemic to Christian schools.

    Allan: You said "The Bible is supposed to be the manditory teaching class for parents." This seems to indicate that you view the Bible as a manual/textbook. Is this how the Bible intends us to interpret it?

    Please excuse me in advance if I do not reply to any comments for the next few days, as I am unsure how much time I will have to do so. I will comment as soon as I am able!

    By Anonymous Scotty, at 9:50 PM, October 08, 2007  

  • Oh, you're welcome to amend my presumptuous characterisation of your political views :) What do I mean? Well, I'm sure you're familiar with the right/left political divide; by fundamentalism I mean "fundamentalism is a usually religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism" (as per dictionary). From what I've observed you seem to favour personal responsibility over the imposition of state fiat, support family values, oppose gay marriage, oppose abortion, oppose stem cell research, oppose aspects of socialism (and -ists), and support the Maxim Institute, and the Sensible Sentencing Trust.

    Given what you say, I'd be interested to hear your views on religious tolerance and inter-faith dialogue - and perhaps I'd be interested to hear Allan's too!

    Anyway, I have 110 essays to mark, and a PhD to write, so I'll check back at the end of the week. Maybe you'll hit 30 comments?

    By Anonymous David, at 11:36 PM, October 08, 2007  

  • This seems to indicate that you view the Bible as a manual/textbook. Is this how the Bible intends us to interpret it?

    That's one application of it yes. One of several ;)

    30 comments is a pittance compared to some past discussions here lol... admittedly it was me and Anita debating mostly... :p We were in the 150s if my memory serves.

    Re Luther... yep he was messed up on some issues throughout his life. However, the point I brought up was that at the very end of his life, when asked to recant from what he considered Biblical truth, he stated "Here I stand. I can do no other. So help me God". And was executed for refusing to bow to the church of Rome's heresys.

    My stand on interfaith stuff:
    God's way of saving sinners was never all inclusive. It was always exclusive in that only by certain parameters could a man be saved. Scripture is very clear that any other means of salvation other than that in the Gospel leads a person straight to hell as it is not of God.

    Billy Graham might be ok with stating that 'it doesn't matter what religion or faith you follow, just that you believe it sincerely enough and it will get you to heaven' but when brought up against what Scripture says on the matter there's no way that such a system could ever be correct.

    Yes we should have interfaith dialogue. Go ye therefore and teach requires discussion and understanding of each other's positions.
    But NEVER will God condone the compromising of His word for any means. And never will any compromise on a salvation critical issue come of a person who is saved, and therefore indwelt with the Spirit of God.
    is a good summary of where I fit.

    Note number 7 which addresses this topic:
    we reject the unscriptural attempts at church union by such organizations as...

    By Anonymous Allan, at 9:46 AM, October 09, 2007  

  • Allan: Regarding your statement on Luther. Luther was not at the end of his life when he made that "Here I stand" statement. He was not executed although I'm sure many wished it. He escaped and lived for over 20 years. And it is in his later years that these terrible statements about Jews were made.

    Regarding interpreting the Bible as a textbook. I'm not sure I'd agree with you there. I don't even think we're intended to interpret it like one. It is certainly not written as one. Perhaps we can have a discussion on this in another thread however....

    David: I suppose you could call me a fundamentalist in some respects. I do hold to those principles which I believe (from my understanding of the Bible) to be fundamental. However in other ways I don't think I would fit that description. I don't think I am intolerant of other people's religions. I do not want to see Christian principles foisted on an unwilling population. At the same time I do not want to see principles that make it difficult for me to practise my faith in its application to life.

    As an aside, what I link to I do not always agree with. For instance I link to Maxim. At times I have been very impressed with stuff they have other times not impressed.

    Religious Tolerance: People should be allowed to worship freely. (There should obviously be certain restrictions on this. For instance baby sacrifices are not going to be acceptable). Religious tolerance however does not mean that all religions have to agree with each other. This is I suppose obvious but important. For instance I believe that Jesus Christ is the only way that people can be reconciled to God. Other religions would not agree with this. In my opinion they are misguided. (In their opinion I am misguided). This leads me to interfaith dialogue.

    Interfaith: There is nothing wrong with robust discussion. It is healthy for all sides of a debate to understand each other. As this debate is allowed all sides should learn to appreciate the other sides. At the same time however, ultimately for me there can be no giving way on issues such as the salvation of man through Jesus Christ, which I believe God has revealed to be exclusively so in his word.

    Wow. This was longer than I intended. Sorry. Feel free to ask me to clarify if I haven't answered what you were actually asking.

    By Anonymous Scotty, at 7:05 AM, October 10, 2007  

  • k. My bad. Luther SHOULD have done it my way tho and given his life for the authority of the Word of God (many have in the past). But as I'm told he wasn't killed for that - all the better for him I guess. My point remains valid even if my history is wrong.

    Clearly I'm not meaning to use the whole Bible as a straight out and out textbook. But where instruction is given to the people, for example church leadership, then I see no reason why it should not be applied in that manner. Unless of course it's temporal context demands it be invalid (changing circumcision for baptism for example).

    Genesis for example is quite adiment about the fact the earth was created in 6 literal days. From a textbook point of view that's perfectly valid. Even as a history book.

    By Anonymous Allan, at 7:06 AM, October 10, 2007  

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