Tag Archives: National Statment on Religious Diversity

Freedom of expression and offence – religious or otherwise

In New Zealand we seem to have few overt problems with offence to religious sensitivities. There have been issues like the “Virgin in a condom” and the South Park Episode. Brian Tamaki’s Destiny Church occasionally bursts into activity on issues like their demand that New Zealand be recognised as a Christian Nation. I can still remember the protests against screening of that classic film “The Life of Brian.” However, there have not been the big, and sometimes violent, demonstrations observed overseas (as for example around the Danish cartoons, or Salmon Rushdie’s Satanic Verses).

New Zealand’s National Statement on Religious Diversity is non-dogmatic on the issues of freedom of expression and religious sensitivity. The relevant clauses are:

4. THE RIGHT OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION. The right to freedom of expression and freedom of the media are vital for democracy but should be exercised with responsibility.


7. RELIGIOUS DIFFERENCES. Debate and disagreement about religious beliefs will occur but must be exercised within the rule of law and without resort to violence.

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Religious diversity and human rights

Over the Solstice/New Year holiday, and while blogging activity is low, I am reposting some of my previous articles. Comments are still welcome.

The United Nations Organisation can do it. The Norwegians can do it. But the USA can’t. Neither can we in New Zealand. I refer to the ability to recognise the common values of humanity, irrespective of religious belief, and therefore the possibilities of common action to overcome social and political problems.

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