Thursday, March 17, 2011

Otautahi Rising

No Right Turn points to the fine print behind the Government's Christchurch Relief Fund:
Its trust deed (offline, as far as I can tell) lists its purposes as:
The specific objects of the Trust are: (a) the relief of poverty; and
(b) the advancement of education; and
(c) the advancement of religion; and
(d) the advancement of any other purposes beneficial to the community; and
(e) the advancement of any other purposes that are charitable under the law of New Zealand.
Accordingly, I have removed the government appeal widget off my blog's sidebar. I was naively working on the assumption that the government fund would be some secular humanitarian aid, and not be sponsoring Christian dogmas. It is bad enough that the earthquake has left the conundrum of whether the state will help pay for church repairs, but damned if the government should be picking religious winners on the back of the devastation of Christchurch with people's charity without telling them.

But that's this National government's modus operandi, isn't it, sucking up to the churches? Wasn't it faith-based PEDA who almost snuck off with uncontested budget funds last year? Wasn't it the City on a Hill Christian Church charitable trust in Kawerau that received 334 thousand dollars to do, among a few things, knit and repair second hand clothes? I've also heard rumours that if any state sell-off in state housing were to occur, the Salvation Army wouldn't mind taking them off their hands.

Until this government and organised religion part ways and there's a return to comparatively independent state secularism, I'll also be boycotting the name Christchurch. From now on, it's Otautahi.