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Religious Instruction in State Schools.

Should religious instruction be permitted in New Zealand State Schools?

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The vote is already over! It ended on Wednesday, 30.April 2014 (00:00).

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A complaint against the Human Rights Commission has been laid by the New Zealand Association of Rationalists and Humanists, citing the HRC’s failure to address state sanctioned religious discrimination in primary schools.

Peter Harrison, President of the Rationalists said “It is about time that the Human Rights Commission take a long hard look at how it is dealing with complaints about the indoctrination occurring in state schools.”



Jeff McClintock (left) Peter Harrison (right)

Read more: Rationalists lay complaint against Human Rights Commission

The NZARH has an interest in representing the rights of those without religious beliefs. We wish to ensure that the religious beliefs of others do not impact our own human rights. As an association which places compassion and humanity at the forefront we wish to ensure that Government policy is humane. While laws around prohibition of ending people lives are consistent with a humanist view, we believe there needs to be an exception for end of life choice for the terminally and chronically ill.

The reason killing people is illegal is because it is almost exclusively against the will of the victim. However, in the case of the terminally and chronically ill we have people who are expressing their express consent to being euthanized. Thus the term 'voluntary euthanasia'.

Those who do not believe people should have a right to end their life condemn others to suffering and pain on the basis of their own beliefs rather than respecting the rights of those who are directly affected. We speak for those who want the choice.

Read more: End of Life Choices Submission

The New Zealand Humanists have launched a web site opposing Blasphemy in New Zealand. The New Zealand Association of Rationalists and Humanists fully support this campaign to eliminate Blasphemy legislation. It is important to repeal blasphemy laws in western countries to show countries with very severe penalties such as flogging and death that blasphemy is not a crime and should not be punished. Countries with severe penalties have cited western countries with blasphemy laws as a justification for their own punitive laws that include torture and execution. There has also been a move by some Islamic countries to impose their blasphemy laws on western countries to prevent valid discussion and criticism of religion. Should this be implemented it would have an adverse impact on freedom of expression and may also prevent some scientific discussion.

Read more: Blasphemy Web Site Launched

The New Zealand Association of Rationalists and Humanists have at their core a commitment to human rights, and that we should all be treated equally under the law. We stand behind Susan Devoy in her support of Chinese New Zealanders. Singling out one ethnicity or nationality will only serve to alienate them. This is reprehensible from a moral perspective and is damaging to the image of New Zealand as a progressive open society.

Read more: Abhorring Racism

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