St. Matthew-in-the-City has been up to its usual tricks. The billboard pictured above appeared a week before Christmas last year and, as anticipated, a complaint was laid with the Advertising Standards Authority Society. But ASS deemed the billboard not offensive, said TVNZ today.
The complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority said the representation of Jesus was “akin to hate speech”.
However, a decision released yesterday found the billboard’s speculation about Jesus’ sexual orientation did not breach advertising codes.
It was “prepared by a Christian church to promote debate within the Christian faith, as opposed to a deliberately offensive advertisement by an outside party for commercial gain, had been prepared with a due sense of social responsibility”, the decision reads.
Is it within ASS’s remit to deem the billboad in exceptionally poor taste? Because it is. That sort of thing should be reserved for this blog!
Here’s an idea for St. Matthew-in-the-City’s upcoming Easter billboard.
That’ll promote debate within the Christian faith, for sure.
Is there a hyphen in the term ‘gay marriage’? No. ‘Gay’ and ‘marriage’ are two separate words.
But the English language is a dynamic, evolving entity. The general pattern is this. New terms formed from two words become hyphenated as the term comes into common use. When the term becomes established, the hyphen is dropped, and the new term becomes a new word in its own right.
A familiar example is the word ’email’. This word started out as the two-word phrase ‘electronic mail’.
As soon as “electronic mail” came into common use with the advent of the Internet, the term ‘electronic mail’ became hyphenated (and simultaneously the word ‘electronic’ was abbreviated to ‘e’) and ‘electronic mail’ morphed into ‘e-mail’.
Today, a Google search for “e-mail” yields
About 4,450,000,000 results.
It’s an impressive result. But a Google search for “email” (no hyphen) yields more than twice that number! Clearly, the hyphenated term ‘e-mail’ is now somewhat archaic. Today, the correct term is ’email’. One word, no hyphen.
As more and more governmental jurisdictions around the world recognise “gay marriage”, we will see the same, familiar pattern instantiated again.
‘Gay marriage’ will very soon become ‘gay-marriage’ (hyphenated) or, more likely, ‘g-marriage’ (hyphenated and abbreviated).
By the time the children of these g-marriages are themselves old enough to g-marry, the hyphen itself will have fallen into disuse.
‘Gay marriage’ will morph into ‘g-marriage’ which will morph into ‘gmarriage’. It’s a linguistic inevitability.
Rugby is a game played by most boys in New Zealand in their childhood, though some don’t want to play it at all. A significant section of the community have always preferred to play a different sport, like soccer.
But Rugby gets all the status in New Zealand, commanding all the respect. So much so that those who play soccer are often made to feel like second-class citizens. They lack the mana of those who play the nation’s revered game.
To end this discrimination we have decided to redefine Rugby to include any sport involving two teams with a ball. As long as you love your team-ball sport you are a rugby player and should be recognised as such in law. Some of our opponents try scare mongering by saying: “well then hockey will end up being called rugby” – but that is not what we are saying at all. This bill is only about soccer players having the right to be considered rugby players like all other rugby players. Hockey uses a stick and no one is saying that should be called rugby.
This isn’t about whether you prefer soccer or rugby. It is a fundamental matter of justice and equality. Why should those soccer players who play every week with a ball against another team not have the equal opportunity and right to be recognised in the street as rugby players? Why are they denied the title and privileges on the grounds that they play differently? Shouldn’t all boys in New Zealand have the same rights regardless of their sporting preference? Why discriminate against boys for the way they choose to play their ball-sport? Aren’t we a country that prizes freedom of choice? In New Zealand you can be a rugby player if you are a boy or a girl, an Asian, Indian, Maori or European…. but apparently not if you are a soccer player.
We should remember that rugby itself has historically undergone many changes. Once upon a time, there were only four points for a try and now there are five. There are eight in the scrum today instead of six in earlier times. Before you had to jump by yourself in the lineout and now you can be lifted. So the Rugby Union is happy to adjust and refine the definition of rugby throughout the ages– but for some reason they stop at soccer. That old boys’ club want to control the definition themselves because underneath, they really regard soccer players as wusses. But look at how they handled their own finances in Otago. And let’s never forget that once upon a time there were white Rugby Union teams in South Africa who refused to let black people be rugby players alongside them. Do we want to perpetuate the same kind of discrimination by denying that soccer is an equally legitimate form of rugby?
New Zealand has always prided itself on a clear separation between sport and politics, and in the 21st century our political system needs to be free from all forms of discrimination. We led the world in giving women the vote. Yet there are still those who are happy to bar the door to those who play sport differently. There is no point in having a referendum on the issue because of course most rugby-playing New Zealanders will want to defend their privileges and guard the status quo.
Some say that we have already achieved equality, when the national soccer team finally got called the “All Whites”. That was a step in the right direction, but it didn’t go far enough. Soccer players need the same access to the “All Black” name and jersey. It’s not good enough to call them “All Whites” when overseas everyone’s heard of the All Blacks. No one talks about the All Whites. It is time to embrace the right of all ball-playing New Zealanders to be regarded as rugby players, regardless of the shape of the ball they use and how they choose to handle it.
“Legalising” gay “marriage” is not the solution to the problem of “marriage inequality”.
The solution to the problem is for the government to get out of the business of issuing “marriage licences” to opposite-sex couples, not for it to get into the business of issuing “marriage licences” to same-sex couples.
Why should anyone require a licence from the government to get married, anyway? Libertarians should be concerned with abolishing such governmental intrusions, not clamouring for “intrusion equality”, or insisting that the State “should recognise everybody’s right to be equally miserable.”
The solution has a precedent in the abolition of titular Knighthood and Damehood honours by Helen Clark. (They were restored by John Key in 2009.) Wikipedia says
In April 2000 the new Labour Prime Minister Helen Clark announced that knighthoods and damehoods were abolished, and the order’s statutes were amended accordingly. Between 2000 and 2009, the two highest awards were called Principal Companion (PCNZM) and Distinguished Companion (DCNZM), and recipients did not receive the title “Sir” or “Dame”. Their award was recognised solely by the use of post-nominal letters, as for the lower levels of the order.
The government simply needs to set a date after which marriage licences will no longer be issued. Civil unions will be the only option available for gay and non-gay couples wanting governmental endorsement of their love lives and living arrangements. Existing marriage licences issued by the government, and those issued by other governments, would continue to be recognised, but the government would cease to issue new marriage licences after the set date.
After much time spent considering my co-bloggers’ excellent arguments both for (Tim) and against (Reed) Louisa Wall’s “marriage equality” bill, I’m off the fence now and picking the splinters out of my scrotum. I’m for marriage equality and against Wall’s bill.
Christian Philosopher and Blogger Matthew Flannagan.
I am not Homophobic yet I must say my skin crawled watching the Affirmitive ‘Liberals’ in action .
University is truly a heinous place… full of lefty-ness!
I shudder to think these people will one day be in Parliament as Labour/ Green MPs.
The Opposition clearly won the debate… but…
I do have a few issues with what Dr Matthew Flannagan said.
1. You played the paranoia card… raising the specter that the bill may be used to compel people/ ministers/ churches to perform or make their facilities available for Gay Weddings against their will, even though you know The NZ Human Rights Commission has issued a statement which refutes this possibility.
The Affirmative team clearly stated the bill could not be used in such a way.
I say that an amendment could easily be added to clarify this point.
If this was done it would nullify this portion of your argument.
2. Though it was a clever argument to show that the proposed bill was ‘anti-equality’ in itself, you rely upon ‘populist opinion’ which riles against incest, and Polygamy to carry your point.
That is a very flimsy arguement!
The reality is if we separate your personal religious beliefs, and those of your two team mates whom share the same religion as you… and definition of marriage, then the principle of equality still holds good as an argument not only in favor of the bill, but also in favour of legalizing Incestuous and Polygamous marriages… which incidentally both have historical and cultural histories.
That the bill only seeks to legalise Gay Marriage, and not the others is not a valid reason to reject it, *and you know this*… and I argue that this understanding is why you are so desperate to insist the Law upholds *your narrow religious definitions* of marriage (and what constitutes a Family), because if these are overturned by the Gays, then you realise this opens the door for further challenge to legalize polygamy, etc.
The reality is any reform bill which introduces more justice/equality before the Law is worth supporting even if it does not go the whole hog. (eg a bill to legalise Pot still ought to be supported even if it leaves Ecstasy Illegal)
In relation to this, I think your teams argument regarding Civil unions was clever too… only because civil unions do ‘seem’ to cover the same legal/ contractual aspects as marriage and appears to negate the claims by gays that they have less legal rights.
Yet again I see through this as nothing more than a ruse to protect your religious restrictions upon the definition of marriage.
If we are to accept the line of reasoning of the opposition then of course any future activism for legal recognition by the polygamists, etc could also be directed down the same path … Legal polygamous civil unions.
Is all this merely semantics?
Is that all that is at stake here?
Are the Gays being ‘gay’ about this?
Ought they to be satisfied with ‘Civil Unions?
Ought we to put much weight on international conventions and rulings… UN declarations etc????
I think not!
If this issue was merely semantic there would be no opposition to the bill!
This Opposition is a struggle by a particular religious sector of the community… conservative Christians… to maintain a religious law.
That some gays may oppose the bill may indeed logically remove the legitimacy of calling opposition to the bill ‘homophobic’, yet this does little more than that.
This ‘convenience’ in reality cannot negate the truth that Homophobia and religious bigotry does indeed have a lot to do with opposition to the Bill.
I say the Opposition won because they were more sophisticated debaters and managed to deflect the focus away from their personal religious definition of marriage and family…. Yet pure Religious bias it remains.
And it is upon this basis that I… though I am a Christian, cast my vote *for the Bill*, and am happy for the term ‘Marriage’ to be legally broadened.
Because how the State defines the legal contract of marriage to include homosexuals, does not in any way affect my personal religious belief about ‘marriage.’
Allowing Gay people to legally call themselves ‘married’ does not impinge upon my rights in any way, nor does it mean I must teach my kids that Gays are ‘really married’ in the eyes of God.
I see no valid reason why the Bill ought to be opposed.
Passing the Bill will improve equality before the Law *by removing a religious prejudice.*
This is about principles! And principles Matter! Even of the Opposition thinks it’s trivial.
I despise any Law which imposes the religious values of others upon me, and so to avoid hypocrisy I must defend the Liberty of others to live free of religious values they reject… even if those values are dear to me. By protecting the Liberty of others from State oppression and favouritism, I am protecting my own religious liberty, and defending my values from being devalued and corrupted via compusion.
Real Christianity is not about forcing others to conform.
I find the latest billboard from Auckland Anglican church St. Matthew-in-the-City offensive.
I’m not someone who usually gets offended. My motto is, “Take drugs, not umbrage.” But I’m starting to feel like I’m missing out. So, just for once, I thought I’d give it a go. I don’t have any feathers, so I’ve ruffled what little hair I have left instead. I’m offended. Deeply so. And if you find *that* offensive, well … let’s be offended together!