Tag Archive: New Zealand

Census 2013 – religious diversity

New Zealand: Census 2013 – religious diversity – a post by Open Parachute

The short? Less than 50% of my country identify as Christian and nearly 40% identify with ‘no religion’.

By the next census, it seems the non-religious will outnumber the Christians and by the following one, probably all religions.

Tick tock religion. Tick tock.

On the harm caused by religion.

Religion. It’s a curious thing. I look at religion and religious people from time to time and wonder how anybody could be so stupid. Other times I look at religion and religious people and the depth and power of the stupidity is so appalling that I feel obligated to write about it. Or slap some fool till they snap out of it. Or at least fantasise about slapping some fool out of their religion induced reason-coma. This won’t be the first post I’ve written on the subject and god knows it won’t be the last. Which is really sad and mostly depressing considering the subject.

Religion claims the moral high ground. Religion claims knowledge where none exists. Religion lies to children. Religion tortures and kills babies.

Too far? Not quite. You see, in New Zealand we have secular laws based on reason – perhaps not always flawless but certainly better than the alternative – and we have religion, information apparently directly from the almighty creator of the universe. We have people in New Zealand. Judges who manage the application of secular laws through the legal system and we have other people who claim to follow the instructions of the loving almighty creator of the universe.

And we have stories like this one: http://health.msn.co.nz/healthnews/8719800/nz-baby-to-get-life-saving-treatment

If you read that story I think you will find that a good Kiwi Judge is using secular law to try to save the life of a 10 month old baby whose parents have decided – based on instruction from their god himself – to let it die of cancer. That is correct. The secular legal system of New Zealand has to save little babies from their criminally delusional, religious parents.

The parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses. Jehovah’s Witnesses, an especially delusional sect of Christianity, have at some point in their organisation’s past, pulled the profoundly idiotic notion out of their collective asses that blood transfusions are an abomination because… well god said so. Maybe. In a verse in the Bible that doesn’t actually say that.

In August, doctors found a large cancerous tumour in the right side of the 10-month-old’s chest and she was diagnosed with stage four cancer in her bones. She has been given a 90 per cent survival rate with treatment, but is likely to need a blood transfusion and her parents will not consent because they are Jehovah’s Witnesses. There is a high risk she would develop life-threatening complications if she was unable to have a transfusion. In a recent decision, the High Court granted the Auckland District Health Board’s application to place her in the guardianship of the court for nine months to allow her to receive transfusions.

The baby has an exceedingly good – 90% – chance of survival and a normal life with treatment but will need a blood transfusion. What do the parents do? The most detestable thing. They say no, let the child die. Horribly.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are unfit parents due to their religious beliefs. There no other way to put it. Their profoundly stupid and harmful belief, based on no evidence what so ever, is a danger to their children. They fail in the single most important duty of a parent: keep your child alive.

Religion is dangerous. It’s dangerous to the children of religious parents. It’s dangerous to the rest of us. To quote a great man: “religion poisons everything”. Between anti-vaccination crazies who are undermining societal herd immunity – hard-won at a terrible cost against disease over generations – with their anti-science idiocy to religion inspired wars to charter schools who insist on teaching creationism as factual science in science class, the rest of us reasonable people are under an assault with weapons grade idiocy.

The great irony is that, while the rest of us have to cope with the horrendous stupid of the religionuts, it’s their own children that suffer the most. And that from a group of people who claim to worship a deity who allegedly has a soft spot for children.

How can people be so goddamned stupid?

Clive Solomon

Clive Solomon: Your magic spells. They are powerless against me.

So, the Wanganui District Council has finally seen the light. And, like every other societal advance, the Christians fought it kicking and screaming right to the end. Thankfully Dr. Clive Solomon persevered and the council has eventually seen the light. Of reason. Finally.

Here’s the press release by the NZARH:

The New Zealand Association of Rationalists and Humanists (NZARH) welcomes todays decision by the Wanganui District Council to remove prayer from the formal proceedings of all Council meetings. We believe that this is a victory for all the residents of Wanganui and for the wider New Zealand community representing, as it does, the first step towards a true separation between church and state. The signal that this sends to the entire community of Wanganui is that the Council is not prepared to tolerate discrimination on the grounds of their religious beliefs or lack thereof.

Following the decision Peter Harrison, spokesperson for the NZARH said “We are very pleased to hear that the Wanganui District Council has decided to conduct prayer outside official Council business. This approach is in accordance with the Bill of Rights, and recognises the importance of a tolerant multicultural society.”

Annette Main, Major of Wanganui commented on the decision, saying “I believe that the decisions we have made today are pragmatic and provide a reasonable compromise. It will allow those who wish to participate in a prayer or reflection to do so immediately before our Council meetings start. Those with an alternative view will also be provided for by removing the prayer from the meeting agenda.”

The NZARH recognises the instrumental work of Clive Solomon in standing up for religious equality in the face of sometimes emotional resistance. We also applaud the Councilors of Wanganui for coming to a resolution that is a credit to their city.

The NZARH sincerely hopes that the divisions caused by this issue will be quickly healed so that the Wanguanui District Council can continue it’s good work.


There is an article in Stuff about the result of Clive Solomon’s battle against bronze age magic and superstition:

The change of heart was prompted by a judgment from the High Court of Justice in Britain last month, which ruled that reciting prayers as part of a formal council meeting was not lawful under its Local Government Act.

However, the court did not believe reciting a prayer discriminated against councillors with no religious beliefs.

Councillor Clive Solomon, who first raised an objection to the prayer back in April, tabled the new information.

Dr Solomon indicated he would mount a legal challenge if his request to remove the prayer was defeated yesterday.


Well done Clive, your tenacity in fighting this idiocy is an inspiration to all of us.

The only down side to this debacle is that the Wanganui District Council wasted $24,000 of tax payer money on legal fees trying to keep their magic spell as part of a secular government organisation agenda. That’s a bit tragic but it’s also par for the course when it comes to the religious. Thankfully, they do seem to eventually see reason.

I think this quote by the most brilliant Mr. Robert G. Ingersoll is most apt:

“I know of no crime that has not been defended by the church, in one form or other. The church is not a pioneer; it accepts a new truth, last of all, and only when denial has become useless.”
– Robert G. Ingersoll

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