Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Contains strong language

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  • Emma Hart,

    Just as a matter of interest, could you please tell me what the frig anyone's religion - or lack thereof - has to do with public policy?

    Well, you might argue, for instance, that next census, when Christianity of any ilk falls below 50%, having prayer in parliament is no longer representative of the majority of NZers. It's not an argument I'm totally convinced by, but I love stats and I don't find the question offensive.

    What I would like to see, though, is the religion question moved to the 15+ side of the census form. According to that fabulous graph round here somewhere, about half of under four year olds were recorded as having a religion, and that I do find a bit dodgy.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    I recognise that I'm outnumbered here on Public Address, but lets put that into perspective. I/S' Bill of Rights argument has more than just s.4 and s.5 to overcome.

    http://www.ipsos-mori.com/polls/2005/asbo.shtml

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Just as a matter of interest, could you please tell me what the frig anyone's religion - or lack thereof - has to do with public policy? Serious question, serious answers appreciated because I'm open to being convinced not to object to state next time around.

    Public policy is only one use of the census.

    A hundred years from now people are going to want to know a lot of things about now, and the census is an important way of doing that.

    If the current forms had been universally filled in in the nineteenth century, we'd know a lot more about religious conversion of Maori, we'd probably have an answer everyone would be happy with about Io. We'd know a lot more about the settlers that came here, how being in NZ changed them, and be able to look at their conversion from British settlers to NZers much more closely.

    I suspect in the future one of the things we'll be interested in is whether or not the perceived decline in Christianity is backed up by the data, the increase in people professing to follow Islamic faith, and (I'm not sure if it gets this specific), the rise of 'cults' such as Destiny Church.

    And if you talk to a political scientist rather than a historian, there's interesting questions to be asked about the failure of explicit Christian political parties to capture widespread support in NZ, when half of New Zealanders claim to be Christian. This at a time where if you look at America for example, religion plays a massive role in national political discussions.

    The people who write census forms aren't just writing them for people in government now. They're trying to guess what people will want to know about people in New Zealand, fifty or a hundred years from now. Not an easy task, but certainly a lot of current historians would argue that religion is something that we should have asked a lot more questions about a hundred years ago.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Anne M,

    could you please tell me what the frig anyone's religion - or lack thereof - has to do with public policy? Serious question

    Another possibility is using it to predict things like requirements for STD clinics and young parent help - given that many Evangelical Christians are less likely to use birth control, especially when first having sex, there may be a correlation between number of Evangelicals and the number of young parents.

    Since Nov 2006 • 104 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Craig it's so they know who all the EB are so they can be rounded up and tickled to death.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Mahal,

    This may have been an urban legend I picked up at high school, but doesn't a religion above $certain_number_of_members become entitled to Governmental tax breaks/church-building-allowed or similar?

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 31 posts Report Reply

  • nz native,

    I suppose because of my political beliefs ( Labor are bad and rotten while the nats are just plain evil ) that I am naturally inclined to disbelieve and distrust anything from the government or people who are attracted to power ( politicians ).

    If you also have one of my other beliefs that most problems the govt is claiming to try and fix usually get worse then their use of census information to plan and alleviate future problems will probably end up being an expensive mess.

    Compulsion to fill in a census seems to me like a marker on the road to compulsion to carry identity papers etc.

    Since May 2007 • 60 posts Report Reply

  • Anne M,

    Compulsion to fill in a census seems to me like a marker on the road to compulsion to carry identity papers etc.

    Well, it's a heckuva long road, they've been compulsory in Britain for the last 160 plus years and even longer in the US.

    Since Nov 2006 • 104 posts Report Reply

  • nz native,

    yes well I'm glad I dont live in either of those two countrys.

    It seems their govts are shedding and shredding human rights and freedoms at a rate not seen since the last world war.

    ........... if you dont mind I'll just keep skipping my census

    Since May 2007 • 60 posts Report Reply

  • Anne M,

    ? We've had 'em here too for 150 + years. Again I say, it's a heckuva long road.

    Since Nov 2006 • 104 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Craig,
    Chritchurch City Council CEO of the time updated all the public pools for mass baptisims for the 2nd coming of Christ in 2000, Serious!

    And now as the fundy excesses are being realised my old pool,& waterpolo team at Sockburn are gone and the under utilised one in St Albans has been axed. The Sockburn one has been left to rot like a whale on the beach & they're trying to locate the family of the guy who donated the land at St Albans to give it back.

    Census may well want to know what religion one has & I'm a little interested in your particular religious tastes Craig.

    Radiation has you sayin "foreplay, fan-wank, fanboy, and pull out".
    Most Christian denominations aren't so accepting of difference, not to mention anonymous and random sexual encounters?

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

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