Sunday, June 22, 2008

Rosemary McLeod: A dangerous drift away from reality

Rosemary McLeod's column today in the Sunday Star Times expresses her frustration and anger at where NZ is heading.

She has a go at a range of groups, including the churches, whilst also mourning the loss of the influence the church used to have on society.

Some salient quotes:
Three senseless killings in as many weeks is a lot for one Auckland community to bear, but it's a load we all carry. We may have no choice about that, but we do over the direction we take with it.

I blame: THE CHURCHES. Where is any confident outspoken leadership on right and wrong? Are they sidelined into fretting about gay marriage to the exclusion of matters that affect everyone, or quibbling over points of doctrine (virgin birth, resurrection) while society's glue comes unstuck? How is it that our most energetic church leaders of recent times have been the disgraced Graham Capill, and the alarming Brian Tamaki, with his legions of dark-suited clones? But if we (the middle class, who mock most things) mock Tamaki, what can we offer in his place? And if we never forgive the churches' sexual abuse scandals, do we hold out hope that what replaces them will prove to be any better?

I blame: THE MIDDLE CLASS. We pay most of the taxes and have benevolent ideas we're not prepared to pay for. We make sure we live in parts of town where bad things don't happen, and that our kids go to schools well away from the poor and other stigmatised minorities. Our heart goes out to such people in the novels we read, though. We don't go to church, and we don't know what to tell our kids about most things. Drugs? Surely not all that harmful. Sex? Well, don't underage kids have rights? Alcohol? We drink. Morality? Don't get caught, times 10 is probably our 10 Commandments.

I blame: WOMEN. Women have become the success story of the education system. So is the rise of a caste of female criminals as vicious as their male counterparts. Young women go out to get raucously drunk and get laid, as males traditionally did, and we have 18,000 abortions a year, although contraception is freely available. If we give up nurturing, who will take our place? If we don't act responsibly, looking after bodies and our own safety, who do we think will? And what is our role, actually?

I blame: MEN. Where are they? Fathers' rights campaigners are visible. Destiny Church men are visible. Much more visible are absconding fathers, and the male criminals who stuff our jails. Do the majority of men, fathers and husbands and workers, get any credit or respect in our society? What role do we think men should play in life, and how are we communicating that to our sons? Do we seriously wonder why they become confused, suicidal, or at the very least, irresponsible?
Cross-posted to my own blog. Gavin.

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