Donate Now

Donate Now to support our campaigns and community support projects.


Powered by

Poll Today

Religious Instruction in State Schools.

Should religious instruction be permitted in New Zealand State Schools?

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

jVS by

The Methodist Church in the Pennsylvania has defrocked Frank Schaefer for conducting the marriage of his son, saying that it was "incompatible with Christian teaching". The Methodist Church does not permit its Pastors to officiate marriages between homosexuals. Somewhat hypocritically the Methodist Church does permit homosexuals to be members, but considers their life choice to be immoral. Many Methodist Pastors openly disagree with this doctrine, but this has not resulted in a change to the Book of Discipline.


Stuff is reporting that a Judge has been critical of the pressure churches place on Pacific Islanders to donate. In one case a middle aged woman stole $27,000 in order to donate to the church and send back to her family.

The Latter Day Saints require that their members give 10% of their gross income to the church. If these donations expectations are not met they are not given the right to enter the LDS temple, which is where members are 'sealed' in marriage. The LDS are far from the only religious organisation to require donations. The church involved in the Stuff story was not identified.

Money donated to churches is usually tax deductible as a religious organisation can be a registered charity even if they do no other charitable activity besides promoting their religion. The religious organisations themselves are also not required to pay tax and have many other benefits such as rates relief.

Statistics New Zealand recently released the first summary figures around religious belief. The decline of religion was even more marked than that projected. John Murphy, President of the NZARH, was quoted in the New Zealand Herald talking about the census results and what it will mean in terms of the point of view of the non religious being accounted for in policy and legislation. Peter Harrison talked on Radio New Zealand about how a influx of immigrants have changed the landscape of religion, and that Christians are now not in the majority.

The official results; 1,635,348 people said they had no religion, 1,879,671 people said they were Christian of various denominations. while a total of 3,901,164 people responded to the question on religion. The outcome: Christians are now just over 48% of the population. The information released to date is only summary. It does not break down the data by region. The detailed information will be released next year. The NZARH conducted a nation wide radio campaign earlier this year when the census was in progress. The message was to those who had no faith but identified with a religion for social reasons. The campaign asked them to truthfully tick the 'no religion' box.

Over the last few days there have been some major setbacks for Gay rights around the world. In Australia the High court decided that the Australian Capital Territory's new law permitting Gay Marriage could  not operate concurrently with the federal Marriage Act, which was amended in 2004 to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

Meanwhile, in India The Supreme Court has reversed a decision in 2009 making gay sex legal. The result has been a firestorm of critique, with popular author Vikram Seth quoted by the media as saying, "it was a great day for prejudice and inhumanity and a bad day for law and love."

Joomla Templates - by