Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Compromise

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  • Nobody Important,

    Confusingly, "Bishop" Brian Tamaki was ...

    You're not alone in mocking BT but would you also blog about "ArchBishop" Desmond Tutu, as if he doesn't deserve the title? Just because BT founded his own church and his flock have annointed him a Bishop doesn't mean we should question his title as Bishop. Imagine if the media referred to NZ's first transexual MP as "Ms" Georgina Beyer? The possibilities are endless: Jesus Christ, the "son" __of God ... or should that be 'the "son"__ of "God"'?

    I also think this deserves further coverage: (from Sideswipe in the NZ Herald, quoting Kiwiblog)(which I don't read, maybe I should)

    The media are being blamed for using the emotive and biased-sounding "anti-smacking" bill and thereby misinterpreting its meaning. But a reader of David Farrar's blog (and keen press release hoarder) points out that Sue Bradford's press release (pictured) in October 2003 started it all. Yet in March this year the Green MP said in another press statement: "I have never called it an anti-smacking bill. My opponents did, and the media adopted the phrase." (Source: Kiwiblog.co.nz)

    Oh, and BTW - I'm an atheist, lest anyone think I'm a Destiny Church member!

    expat • Since Mar 2007 • 319 posts Report Reply

  • Gregor Ronald,

    While it's good to see some compromise and an end to this interminable debate, I'm extremely unhappy that judgments about what is/isn't legal are now in the hands of the Police. In any constitutional democracy, that's the job of the legislature - the Police enforce the law, they don't make it.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Sarah Flynn,

    I'm bloody delighted at yesterday's outcome, myself, and sorely tempted to describe it in such terms as "sensible" and common-sense" - but I won't, for fear of sounding like a United Future voter (:P)...

    I sigh when I see all this dicussion, straw-polling and the like around the employment of light smacks versus riding crops, as I think these examples avoid the heart of the difficulty with defining an appropriate level of force to use on a child. I mean, what about one or more heavy smacks? Or very frequent use of light-to-medium smacking whenever a child comes within arm's reach, just because they're an annoyance? There's a lot more to consider than how and where each individual smack is administered.

    In own my childhood I recall going to friends' houses and witnessing awful parental behaviour that really amounted to systematic bullying - a smack for some minor, unintentional affront, followed by several more for crying about it, then perhaps a few more again for not fixing up the original problem properly etcetc. I also think that it's this 'normalising' use of smacking/ hitting/ pushing around that ultimately leads to worse violence, as the lesser punishments lose their effectiveness.

    I don't buy the argument that parents can discipline their kids just as they like unless violence is at a level that threatens life or limb. Reminds me of the bad old days when domestic violence was none of our business either.

    I recognise there are a lot of other ways to be mean to kids than hitting, but I'm happy to see this one go the way of the 'rule of thumb'.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Nobody Important,

    In own my childhood I recall going to friends' houses and witnessing awful parental behaviour that really amounted to systematic bullying - a smack for some minor, unintentional affront, followed by several more for crying about it,

    Forget childhood, I just witnessed the same during the New Year break. My British friend (visiting) slapped her son clear across the face (hard) for making a mess with his spaghetti. All I could do was take my 5 y.o. daughter out of the room to play on the deck (we had joined them at the Waiheke bach they had rented).

    To my shame/regret I never challenged her on her 'discipline'. Maybe now I'll be able to say "that's against the law here". Lame I know, but at least its a way to introduce the subject to people who think a good thrashing* never did anyone any harm.

    (*they of course see it as "a light smack")

    expat • Since Mar 2007 • 319 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    awful parental behaviour that really amounted to systematic bullying - a smack for some minor, unintentional affront, followed by several more for crying about it, then perhaps a few more again for not fixing up the original problem properly etc etc. I also think that it's this 'normalising' use of smacking/ hitting/ pushing around that ultimately leads to worse violence, as the lesser punishments lose their effectiveness

    yep, you sure said a lot there Sarah. the best thing to have come from this shit-fight is that more and more people are starting to seriously question both the morality and efficacy of that kind of so-called parenting.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The people who accused Simon Barnett of being a child molester and rapist?

    Fair enough, I'd forgotten them. But then, I didn't get to hear or read what they said: just Barnett's account of it. Not that I am accusing him of making it up, but how many such emails did he get? I rather suspect that Sue Bradford copped 10 times the slime that he did.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Great post Sarah.

    a smack for some minor, unintentional affront, followed by several more for crying about it, then perhaps a few more again for not fixing up the original problem properly etc etc

    Good god, that does sound eerily familiar.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Oh, and I'd like to see a five year old do something other than make a mess of a plate of spaghetti. I do the same thing myself about every 5th plate. All over face/shirt./table/floor.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    spaghetti is supposed to be messy. to sane people it's fun.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Forgive me if this has been raised already, I'm coming into this thread a bit late, but for me the most telling thing about Simon Barnett's outing on the telly last night is this:

    When giving an example of how he disciplines his daughter he apparently says "Look darling, if you do that again daddy is going to give you a smack." He doesn't mention the possibility of time outs or other forms of discipline, it's straight to the smack (or at least threats thereof. Why is he so keen to hit his kids?

    Most of the other spokespeople against the bill seem concerned primarily concerned about the "well-meaning parents" out there who still believe it's okay to smack, or occasionally resort to it in frustration. Not Barnett, he's in this for himself.

    And good to see the quotes around "Bishop" Russell. I think we should all agree never to use the term again unless it's bookended thus.

    By the by, it was funny to hear the "Bish" cosying up to Philip Field the other day, and continually referring to him as "Taito" like it was his first name. Funny but not surprising...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Nobody Important,

    And good to see the quotes around "Bishop" Russell. I think we should all agree never to use the term again unless it's bookended thus.

    You've sided with RB, fine, but care to comment on my other points above re "titles" ??

    expat • Since Mar 2007 • 319 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    I don't believe that it was his followers who called him Bishop, I think it was him self-naming. I'm gonna throw that up as conjecture and run off to look for evidence, back soon.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Sorry NI, I hadn't actually read your post until just now - like I said, late in the thread and all that...

    Titles, schmitles I say. Yes, why should we distinguish merely on the size of the cult, whether it's Destiny or the Catholic church? I suppose though if a line has to be drawn somewhere, I'd rather it only included churches that have, I don't know, been around longer than MC Hammer?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    I have to agree there have been a lot of transparent bollock from the pro-bill can one what would illegal or currently is. I have to add if find it piquant that the Nats are now defending the bill in exactly the same terms.

    While it's difficult to have faith in the police's ability to exercise discretion on anything - especially when someone like Greg O'Connor weirdly insists the previous version somehow forbade them from doing so - it is what the do (in I think the exact terms of the new clause) every time they investigate any complaint of anything or see something happen in the street.

    What I'm getting at is that, for example, the general assault law relies on police discretion not to prosecute stupid things - things that may be technically criminal but practically unprosecutable and widely regareded as not bad. (I remember hearing of when they would prosecute for touching a cop)

    That said, smacking is a bit of a special case in that some want to protect it but it is the deliberate infliction of pain.

    Actually, I'd be interested to see the draft prosecution guidelines as they were the day before yesterday and compare them with the final result. I concievable they may have become tighter.

    If the clause does nothing but reassure Key and restrain O'Connor (which I think is true) it's fine by me.

    This is of course someone who thinks the whole thing is practically equivalent to a repeal, and is happy with that.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    i think Brian's a bit of a bishop, but not in the ecumenical sense.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Crud! I used to have a link to the story when he originally became (evolved into?) the Bishop, but Stuff has removed it (given it was back in June 2005).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Damian Christie wrote:

    ... good to see the quotes around "Bishop"...

    Ironic quotation marks are nice, Damian, but I also think there's a place for the semi-archaic 'self-styled'.

    Actually, you could use both -- it rather rolls off the tongue, now that I think of it:

    Self-styled 'Bishop' of Destiny Church, Brian Tamaki...

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Yes, David although that reminds me a lot of the perennial letter-to-the-editor-of-the-Listener-writer's favourite: "So-called". As in:

    Dear Sir,

    Your "so-called" book reviewer claims that...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    It's like people who give themselves nick-names.
    "Hey guys from now on call me T-Bone..."

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    especially when someone like Greg O'Connor weirdly insists the previous version somehow forbade them from doing so

    My understanding is that the police have an internal policy to bascially always charge in domestic violence situations - that the discretion was misused in the past when DV wasn't taken seriously (and even when it started to be taken seriously prosecutions still often weren't happening).

    Greg O'Connor's view would seem to be that adding a subsection incorporating the police discretion will return the discretion that was taken from police in situations involving assaults in the home in the where the assault involves parental correction.

    That is, the procedures in place to deal with assaults in the home that exist pre-amendment would have required charges and wouldn't have allowed discretion. The police could have amended their own guidelines to allow discretion again for assaults in the home (and probably would have done so), but this requires it. And that pleases Greg.

    Hadyn - on the 10th (?) anniversary of the founding of Destiny, and it's expansion into a nationwide movement, Church leaders (excluding Pastor Brian, as he then was) decided they could use a Bishop. At least, that's how it was portrayed.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    I recall the so-called self-styled "Bishop"'s story at the time was that he assumed the title at the insistence of his convened pastors.

    Uninformative press release: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0502/S00176.htm

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    Self-styled 'Bishop' of Destiny Church

    heavily self-styled. you'd imagine him leaning strongly to his left.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Nobody Important,

    Crud! I used to have a link to the story when he originally became (evolved into?) the Bishop, but Stuff has removed it (given it was back in June 2005).

    Sorry to disappoint you, but I think you'll find that it was his flock who voted to ordain him a Bishop. At least that's what BT said on a TV interview. He seemed genuinely humbled, did not seek such a title, yet was loathe to deny his parishoners their wishes. (The same is often said by political leaders when they've ousted the old leader! )

    It was also his flock that bought him and his wife two Harley Davidson's a few year back too.

    "It's good to be the King!"

    expat • Since Mar 2007 • 319 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Greg O'Connor's view would seem to be that adding a subsection incorporating the police discretion will return the discretion that was taken from police in situations involving assaults in the home in the where the assault involves parental correction.

    Good lord. I didn't expect a coherent explaination.

    Thanks.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    According to Lyndon's link above:

    A recent summit of Destiny Church leaders established that it was timely and appropriate to formally recognise the distinction between Bishop Tamaki's position and that of the numerous senior pastors within the movement

    That's not Tamaki's flock, that's Tamaki's mates.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

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