Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Rejoice New Zealand: Clark & Key are both Atheists!

As you’ll no doubt be aware, there are two major Election Campaigns dominating the World Press [makes sound, as if clearing his throat]

New Zealand and that other place (you know, the non-descript one, that spawned WWF and ‘Game Shows’ as their sole contributions towards the advancement of culture on the planet)

The ‘tectonic’ differences between electioneering in N.Z versus that in the U.S.A, is best exemplified by the impact religion has in political campaigning, or the lack of it.

By in large, New Zealanders don’t want a bar of openly religious candidates, of any political persuasion.

A good case in point is the position taken by the leaders of the two major political parties.

That is – neither, confirm nor deny.

Compare this to the U.S where the rabid Press will hound an ‘old Sunday School teacher’ if there’s some controversy to dredge-up. Obama’s ex Preacher, anyone?

Its God bless America, from all sides of the political spectrum, no room for an unbeliever.

But, back ‘down-under’ and that November 8th Election.

From what little is available in the public arena about this part of Helen Clark (Labour Party) & John Key’s (National Party) personal life, it’s clear neither of them, could be remotely considered ‘religious’ in the theist sense of the term.

Neither of them attends Church, at least not of their own volition.

Historically when the contentious question of ‘personal beliefs’ has arisen, Clark & Key have been managed to side-step the question by ‘fence sitting’. Both are noticeably uncomfortable at this line of questioning.

When Clark was once asked by a religious commentator "Do you believe Jesus Christ is the son of God?" she was quoted as saying "I have no religious convictions. I respect those that do. I have no opinion to offer. I'm an agnostic."

Contrastingly, Clark is happy to lay claim to her political party’s historic religious ties, when political expediency was required, having once told reporters: Labour was based on a tradition of Methodism and Christian Socialism.

This agenda of flakiness is the much the same story with Key.

Here’s a transcript of his 2004 interview with Lisa Owen on TVNZ’s ‘Agenda’ program:

Q.) Do you believe in God, John?
A.) That’s an interesting question do I believe in God. I don’t believe in life after death.

Q.) Do you believe in God? (Lisa, repeating question)
A.) Well I don’t believe in life after death, I don’t know how you'd define it really.

Q.) Are you agnostic, are you atheist?
A.) Well if your asking me if I'm religious it depends how you define religion, I look at religion as doing the right thing, I don’t define that as someone that goes to church necessarily on a Sunday, I mean I go to church a lot with the kids but I wouldn’t describe it as something that I – I'm not a heavy believer, my mother was Jewish which technically makes me Jewish, yeah I probably see it in a slightly more relaxed way.

Then a year later he’s quoted in the pro-creationist magazine ‘Investigate’ as “having lived my life by Christian principals”.

See what I mean about side-stepping?

Having, the proverbial ‘dollar each way’.

Picture this line of questioning of our two leading politicians:

Q 1.) John/Helen, do you believe in Ghosts?
A.) No, I’m not really superstitious (x 2)

Q 2.) John/Helen, do you believe in Holy Ghosts?
A.) Depends on how you define Holy Ghosts. I’m really not sure, and not that superstitious normally, but I respect others who do believe in Holy Ghosts.

Virtually the same question would solicit, different answers.

That’s because both prospective Prime-Ministers, wish to hide their ghastly little secret, from the New Zealand public.

“I’m an Atheist”.

Yikes, run for the crucifix and clove of garlic.

One, could perhaps read into this, that both Labour & National parties are privy to a studies which show that it’s politically untenable for a politician in this country, to state their deep seated beliefs, or total lack of them, without suffering an electoral back-lash?

It seems perhaps there is a perception within a sector of the voter block, that an ‘atheist’ politician is by definition untrustworthy, not capable of compassion, can’t empathise, with Kiwi’s etc?

Christian politicians are not afraid in coming forward in with their convictions, and by and large scare off the middle ground, with their extremist views.

So, why not an openly Atheist politician, or heaven forbid an openly Atheist Prime Minister?

On current evidence, the answer to this proposition - is an emphatic ‘no way’.

The back-room political spin-doctors ‘pulling the strings’, have schooled their charges-up to keep their gob’s shut when ever a Kiwi journalist fires forth a question relating to personal beliefs.

If you are cornered Helen & John, give the media a wishy-washy answer and move quickly on.

So no matter what you hear coming out of either politicians mouth in the run-up to the election, the truth is both Helen Clark & John Key are both closet atheists, and come the evening of November 8th , one of them will be in charge of our country.


1 comment:

Iain said...

That's an interesting analysis of our political system.

I wouldn't see it quite like that. Sure, our politicians are vacillating douche-bags (as most are) but when I compare the U.S. with NZ I thank god (uh, so to speak) for our secular country.

I take pride in the fact that total Dominionist retards like Brian Tamaki and his "Density" church can't make it anywhere in our political system. Contrast this to the U.S. where, AFAIK, only *ONE* Senator has had the guts to admit atheism and risks being less acceptable for public office than women, blacks, and gays (not that I take issue with any of those groups, those are just the stats).

On the other hand, I do take your point. I would like to see a proud atheist politician who can stand with conviction and principles and demonstrate publically that such people can demonstrate a coherent philosophy and worldview (as, of course, I think they can).
One take home lesson that I get from this is not that we have to worry about NZ as it is, but that we have to ensure it doesn't become any more like the U.S.

Bob help us if it does.