The Press 12 September 2008
Churches are challenging New Zealand politicians to take a stand in this year’s election on moral issues such as abortion, adoption by same-sex couples and gambling.
Catholic bishops and the Salvation Army have issued pre-election guides and this week a number of church leaders have supported a call for politicians to “front up to the issue of reducing persistent levels of poverty” in New Zealand. The bishops have highlighted issues such as abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, euthanasia and same-sex adoptions, all of which the Catholic Church opposes. “When parents are forced to work long hours at the expense of time spent with each other and with their children, we see children and young people who are left without the comfort and security of traditional family interaction,” their statement said.
…The Salvation Army’s election guide, A New Journey, calls for tighter control of liquor and poker-machine licences, and says tougher jail sentences do not work.
…This week, church leaders from several Christian denominations gave their support to an open letter issued by the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS). The council calls for policies to eliminate poverty, support families and protect children, provide for the elderly and enable access to affordable housing.