Cultural Context

The new head of the Anglican Church in NZ, Bishop Whakahuihui Vercoe, is quoted in the NZ Herald as saying “One day society would find homosexuality unacceptable”.

The Herald has slightly beaten this up as saying he has a vision of a world without homosexuality, but the issue is pertinent. Considering that almost everyone accepts the majority of gay and lesbian people do not choose their sexuality, what sort of society does the Bishop advocate when he wants them to be deemed unacceptable.

What really annoyed me is the comments by Bishop Richard Randerson who said Bishop Vercoe’s views on homosexuality and women in the church arose out of a cultural context” and “There are areas within Maoridom today where leadership by women is not accepted as well as it is in other parts of Maoridom. Likewise with issues of homosexuality, I think probably most Maori would find that culturally very difficult.”

Quite frankly being Maori is no defence to bigotry. This is in fact the sort of political corectness which drives most NZers mad – that prejudice is okay in a certain cultural context. Should one justify female circumcision as being okay in a cultural context?

What I would like to see is a Government Minister condemn Bishop Vercoe with the same fervour that they would anyone else in a senior leadership position, with the same views.

Note I am not advocating that the Church should or should not ordain gays – that is an internal decision for the Church. My objection is the view that he wants a world where 5% – 10% of the population are deemed unacceptable.

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