FLI Spray

September 29, 2016 in General

The tiny conservative Catholic New Zealand pressure group Family Life International invited one Gabrielle Kuby to make dreary remarks about marriage equality, three years or so after civil marriage equality became a reality in New Zealand. Why?!

Kuby is a German conservative Catholic, antigay and anti-abortion activist. Her book, The Global Sexual Revolution: The Destruction of Freedom in the Name of Freedom,
argues that there are supposedly “intrinsic differences” between women and men that “means” that heterosexual desire is “natural”, as is pregnancy without contraception, and abortion rights are verboten because of the ‘personhood’ of blastocysts, zygotes, embryos and fetuses (as opposed to women). This “natural” “sexual difference” means that women are locked into their reproductive and spousal roles and feminism is “wrong” because it seeks to provide reproductive, sexual and economic autonomy for women instead of their “anatomical destiny” according to “natural law.” Yes, it’s ‘natural law’ again, that twelfth century premodern, prescientific confection of surface appearances without reference to evidence-based scientific and medical verification or disproof. In the case of conservative Catholicism, happily, it’s disproof.

As for the delayed visit of Ms Kuby to New Zealand, three years after the main event that she disparages has taken place, one can only treat her presence with considerable puzzlement. FLI is dependent on overseas conservative Catholic propaganda, tactics and strategy and Kuby is a fixture on the circuit of subcultural luminaries with little relevance to the outside world. True, its fellow conservative Catholic New Zealand organisation Right to Life New Zealand pontificated about the recent Kuby visit, and its diatribe deserves some critical dissection and rebuttal. Civil marriage equality is about “desensitisation”, “jamming” conservative Christian antigay, anti-feminist and anti-transgender propaganda and conversion. How utterly ridiculous and conspiratorial. Is that really the best that the New Zealand Christian Right can come up with? And how do they intend to “repeal” marriage equality, given the absence of even any conservative Christian interest in doing so, as well as the miniature scale of New Zealand conservative Catholicism?

The problem with this conspiratorial account is its poor grasp of pragmatic political processes. These consist of the establishment of an organisational basis for specific legislative reform, harvesting amenable evidence to substantiate one’s case, media monitoring and management, the introduction of suitable statutory avenues for the specified reform, mass mobilisation of supporters, competitor monitoring, comprehensive and detailed strategy, and willingness to defend one’s gains. And as for ‘desensitisation,’ that should be revised to ‘secularisation’, while ‘jamming’ is the consequence of effective competitor monitoring and conversion is the desired public opinion outcome. In other words, there are several detailed steps missing in their view of contemporary New Zealand society.

Meanwhile, FLI isn’t the only conservative Catholic pressure group engaged in mischief making. Right to Life New Zealand, the prohibitionist anti-abortion and anti-euthanasia group, swerved off course due to the Kuby visit and is busy targeting New Zealand LGBT organisations as a result. Right to Life is targeting the LGBT youth programme “Inside Out” and has sent off an Official Information Act request to Education Minister Hekia Parata, asking about total funding from Rainbow Youth and Family Planning for “Inside Out,” numbers of schools that have rejected the programme, whether or not the Ministry of Education has funded other anti-bullying resources, and whether or not there was any PTA consultation. In response, the Minister’s office sent them correspondence from Greens rainbow spokeperson Jan Logie, but not much else in the way of documentation. Two can play at this game, Right to Life. Cease this campaign now or you will find another Official Information Act asking another Cabinet Minister about their interactions with you.

As for Kuby, she may be about to find herself stranded by the high tide of history, as the Christian Democrats of Chancellor Angela Merkel falter, under attack from the Alternative for Germany far rightists across that nation. Ironically, this might have the effect of installing a Social Democrat-Green coalition in the Bundestag, leading at long last to German marriage equality, given that Merkel has ruled out working alongside AfD in a centre-right coalition.

As for FLI and Right to Life, why aren’t they prioritising the euthanasia debate? Arguably, its current prominence should require such emphasis amongst the New Zealand Christian Right, particularly (one would have thought) amongst conservative Catholics. Why the distraction? This may be attributable to the ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ between conservative Catholics and fundamentalist Protestants not to let sectarianism get in the way of co-belligerency. Given that Family First is concentrating much of its effort on the Health select committee and euthanasia hearings, it may be that FLI and RLTNZ decided to take up the anti-LGBT cudgels on their behalf, albeit in terms of distant and declarative positions that have no practical significance. But then again, it may be attributable to the lack of professional expertise available to FLI and RTLNZ, compared to the strategic professional relationships that anti-euthanasia groups have with their medical allies. On one side is the old New Zealand Christian Right (Right to Life, FLI and the Society for Promotion of Community Standards), in the middle there is Family First, and on the far side, the new, predominantly single issue anti-euthanasia Christian Right- the Nathaniel Centre, Maxim Institute and Euthanasia Free New Zealand. Of these, only the third is guaranteed long-term survival.

Not Recommended:

Gabriele Kuby: http://www.gabriele-kuby.de/

FLI: http://www.fli.org.nz

“The Gender War is Here” Right to Life New Zealand: 18.09.2016: http://righttolife.org.nz/2016/09/18/the-gender-war-is-here-and-you-are-not-immune/

“Inside and Out: The International Homosexual Agenda” Right to Life New Zealand: 23.09.2016: http://righttolife.org.nz/2016/09/23/inside-out-and-the-international-homosexual-agenda-oi a-minister/

Gabriele Kuby: The Global Sexual Revolution: The Destruction of Freedom in the Name of Freedom: Kettering: Lifesite: 2015.

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