The New Zealand Labour leader, David Shearer has been getting a lot of schtick. He has confirmed his belief that New Zealand needs to take taniwha seriously. For our non-Kiwi readers, taniwha are, according to Maori, mythical spirit monster which dwell in the lands, seas, and rivers. They need to be placated at appropriate times and places, lest they become angry and do damage.
This from Patrick Gower at TV3 News:
Our interest is not so much on what Shearer believes--if he is someone who holds to superstitious animist nonsense, so what. That's par for the course for a modern, rationalist politician who is both a socialist and an egalitarian. As such, idiocy doth become him. Rather, our interest has been piqued by those superstitious rationalists who are rejecting Shearer's position.Labour Party leader David Shearer has long-held beliefs that taniwha must be respected when it comes to Maori and their interests in water. His views can be traced back to his master's thesis, and he stands by them today. Water has been the big political issue of the year, but when Mr Shearer was first asked who owned it he didn't know.But it turns out Mr Shearer has a degree of expertise on the issue - a master's thesis in fact. It was called Between Two Worlds, Maori Values and Environmental Decision-Making. In his thesis he advocated that "the belief in taniwha or spiritual pollution…while they may appear irrational to many…cannot simply be dismissed as irrelevant”. It’s a belief he still holds today.“I absolutely stick by that,” says the Labour Party leader. He says we should acknowledge taniwha. “We have been doing that for the last 20-something years when we have made decisions around water.”
Take, for example, David Farrar, who opines sarcastically:
Well I don’t think we should acknowledge or give any credence to taniwha. Such spiritual nonsense should play no part in our laws or decisions.This from a chap who has gone on record supporting homosexual "marriage" on the grounds that homosexual desires are a combination of genes and conditioning. Since homosexuals are what they are, they need to be allowed to be what they are: ergo, homosexual "marriage" must be respected and accommodated in law. One wonders why Mr Farrar takes a different view when it comes to Maori who believe in taniwha.
Since Maori belief in taniwha has to be a combination of genes and nurture on what basis does Mr Farrar reject such beliefs as "spiritual nonsense". If enlightened social policy according to Mr Farrar requires recognition of homosexual "marriage", why not taniwha?
This is the same Mr Farrar who imperiously tells us that abortion is not murder because, because . . . . he said so. Yes, we inquire, but why? Because the "thing" inside the mother's womb depends upon the mother and has no independent existence. And this is important because? "Because I said so--so there!"
The supercilious arrogance of Unbelief is a fearsome sight to behold. Rational argument and principles come down to nothing more than bias, cant, and superstition. As any good post-modernist will tell you, Maori perspectives are just as valid as white, middle class, liberal, male perspectives. Mr Farrar's attempt to use law to ram his particular narratives down the throats of those he disagrees with--whose views he happens to consider "superstitious nonsense", denying them the right to be reflected in law or decisions--is nothing more than arrogant, intellectual hegemonic imperialism.
When Unbelief magically conjures up sky hooks on which to hang its prejudices, disguised as ethical or rational precepts, the only sound worthy of attention is the laughter of Christians mocking those who profess to be wise, but cannot help playing the fool every time they get on the field.