Riley Speaks

"all i have is a voice" ~ w.h. auden


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The Elephant in the Womb: Keep abortion legal…

I was watching an episode of Law and Order where they discuss abortion. The guy on trial says abortion is disobeying God. There are people that oppose with abortion simply on their own moral grounds. It’s a touchy subject, but it’s a subject that is important to talk about – it’s important to talk about because it’s important to keep it legal.

Firstly, not everyone believes in God. Religion cannot be the example for which you base your protest on. Not everyone is religious, let alone believes in the same God. You cannot shove religion down someone’s throat nor change a law because not everyone is religious. The bible is outdated. You say God opposes murder, but no where does it say “abortion is wrong”. There is speak of a womb, and creating the child in the womb, but no where does it say those exact words.

Another argument is that the cure to cancer could have been in that child – that cluster of cells could have become something great. I believe in God, I also believe – as He has told us – that we will be placed in this earth for a purpose. If we are needed to find a cure, God will find a way to make it happen. We are souls, and we can become in any one person. The soul is the one to cure cancer, the soul is the one you fight for – and God will bring that soul to earth no matter what.

You only care about the fetus when you want. Once the child has been born, you couldn’t care less. You are not pro-life. You are pro-taking-away-women’s-control. If you were as pro life as you claim, why don’t I see you on the streets protesting another black life lost to the police? Why don’t I see you protesting for the entrance of refugee’s into the country? If you truly cared about life, you would care about every life. “Oh well the child can just be adopted out” – tell that to the hundreds and thousands and possibly millions of children awaiting a home. It’s just not your decision to make. If you chose not to have an abortion, what gives you the right to take away my choice? No one is ever “pro-abortion” – you want an abortion like you want a root canal. It’s a “have to” and a decision made for the life of that potential child too. Everyone is allowed to make their own decisions, but why can you make a choice about not having an abortion and then someone else’s choice to have one is denied? What makes you so special?

I believe in the choice to safe and legal procedures. Children deserve to live in homes that will love them and make them feel wanted. I want women to be able to choose to have an abortion like you can choose not too. I want choice. Not control.

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Maori Language: “But the debate it’s over. We already had it.”

I am white. I grew, and will continue to grow, up with the privilege of being white. People will learn my name no matter how I write it or how many unnecessary vowels I add, simply because my skin tone is a few shades lighter and my family came from Europe. I grew up learning simple te reo in class as a means of communication. Around year 4/5 it stopped. And now I struggle with something that I wish I knew so easily, a language that belongs in the tongues of those that live here. If you move to France you are expected to learn French, if you move to Spain you are expected to learn Spanish. Why is it different for New Zealand? Canada does it so easily, no second guessing no questions. French and English. Simple. It would be so easy to have followed in Canada’s footsteps, but no, we had to remove Maori from every day life.

One debate is that “it’s an outdated language” and I have two counterpoints. 1) so is latin but schools continue to quote that sh*t relentlessly. 2) there’s a reason it’s outdated and it’s you. Funny how Spanish isn’t outdated in Spain, and French is still in effect in France. Why aren’t they outdated languages? We know that answer – because they’re still “european” languages….

If white people can name their child “T9c” and “KVIIIlyn”, then you can damn well learn someone’s name. It’s not even a race thing, it’s a respect thing. You know who’s names I don’t learn? The people I don’t care for. If you care enough and respect them enough you will learn their name. But we know that’s the issue. You don’t respect them or care for them – that’s when it becomes a race issue.

I want my kids to learn Maori. I want them to be more fluent than I ever was. I want them to be able to say the colours in both English and Maori, then I want them to be able to hold a simple conversation in Maori. As an ‘NZ/European’ I want these things for my children because I owe it to them. If I’m going to raise them in New Zealand, it is my duty to teach them about the land they live on and among. It’s my job as their mother to teach them about how language is a beautiful thing. Because it’s so much more than just a language. It’s another reason to shun someone from the prestigious seats we claim are hard earned but are really just pure luck for being born the ‘right’ colour. We say it’s New Zealand so they should speak English, but that’s not true. It’s New Zealand/Aotearoa so we should learn to speak foundation Maori. It’s our duty to preserve the culture we so rudely stole and exploited. That was our promise and we have severely broken it.

It’s not that hard to get your head out of your ass and learn. I’m not even going to lie, it makes me mad. It makes me so upset to think these people believe that this is their land. But as Kanoa Lloyd said “I know this is not gonna be some big wake up call moment for people that think this way. The Brash’s and Witherow’s and Gallagher’s of the world are not gonna wake up tomorrow and go “Oh I’ve been a bit bigoty” and then go and sign up for a te reo Maori class next week.” – They’re not. But what she does mention is that we don’t need to create a movement because there already is one. And it’s true. I see it in the early childcare centres, the curriculum incorporates te reo. You have these young children ready to take on the world and they have no internalised thoughts and prejudices to the language. And these are the kids that are going to lead us into the next generation. These kids will fight for te reo in primary schools, and in high schools – these kids will move mountains and remind us that it’s okay to celebrate that land on which we live. They will prove that there is nothing wrong with learning a language that belongs to this nation and it’s people.

In all honesty, I’m vowing that if I ever hear someone tell me they aren’t going to pronounce someone’s name correctly because it’s Maori, I’ll butcher their name in the most ridiculous way and refuse to stop until they realise how idiotic their understanding is. Some final words from Kanoa, “I actually felt a bit sorry for these guys. Like sorry the world is moving too fast for you my bros.”


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Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder: The basics…

“People with BPD are like third degree burns over 90% of their bodies. Lacking emotional skin, they feel agony at the slightest touch or movement.” – Marsha M. Linehan

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a personality disorder diagnosed in around 2% of adults – making up 20% of those using mental health services. BPD is diagnosed by noticable symptoms. Symptoms are, as listed by MayoClinic;

  • An intense fear of abandonment, even going to extreme measures to avoid real or imagined separation or rejection
  • A pattern of unstable intense relationships, such as idealizing someone one moment and then suddenly believing the person doesn’t care enough or is cruel
  • Rapid changes in self-identity and self-image that include shifting goals and values, and seeing yourself as bad or as if you don’t exist at all
  • Periods of stress-related paranoia and loss of contact with reality, lasting from a few minutes to a few hours
  • Impulsive and risky behavior, such as gambling, reckless driving, unsafe sex, spending sprees, binge eating or drug abuse, or sabotaging success by suddenly quitting a good job or ending a positive relationship
  • Suicidal threats or behavior or self-injury, often in response to fear of separation or rejection
  • Wide mood swings lasting from a few hours to a few days, which can include intense happiness, irritability, shame or anxiety
  • Ongoing feelings of emptiness
  • Inappropriate, intense anger, such as frequently losing your temper, being sarcastic or bitter, or having physical fights

 

Abandonment. Don’t we all fear that though? Yes. But not as drastically as those with BPD. People with BPD will go to extremes to ensure they are not abandoned or feeling abandoned, even if the threat is non-existent to others. This results in behaviours that are less than ideal. Suicide attempts are often a means of this fear and an attempt to keep the person around. Fighting can be a result of this fear too. A negative reaction is still a reaction and at times people with BPD will start fights to ensure they still are in the persons attention.

No sense of self image or identity. There is no real understanding of what they enjoy and what they dislike. People with BPD tend to not be able to list favourite things or list too many. Sometimes they look to those around them for an identity ie: “I like Italian food.” “Oh me too!” – even if they may not have ever had it. It may sound fine and harmless, but it can lead to a very destructive behaviours to fill the void. Things such as drug use, continuously quitting jobs, putting themselves in harms way. Many people with BPD are diagnosed with an eating disorder as they have taken the label to gain some form of identity. This is not to say an eating disorder is a compulsory symptom of BPD.

The biggest part of BPD, for me, is the emotional roller coaster it creates for you. You aren’t just upset, you are devastated. You aren’t just happy, you are elated. But isn’t that like normal human emotions? It may sound like it, but the reality is there is no words to explain just HOW intense the emotions are. The best way is to use images.

01

First we look at the “average” human emotion. While it can spread away from neutral, the span is very small. You can experience a jump in the emotions from neutral to sadness etc, but the span is, say, 2 metres.

03

Then we look at borderline personality disorder. This is intense. The whole span is, say, 10 metres.  The whole span of the average human emotion fits within the BPD span, with plenty of  room to spare. It is severely intense.

So isn’t it just like Bipolar? No. Bipolar is from manic to depressed (in it’s most basic sense). Some say that those with BPD experience the same 07emotional length when at those stages, i.e; when someone with BPD is sad, they are at the same level of someone diagnosed 02with depression, and when someone with BPD is happy/excited, they can become manic at the level of someone with bipolar. But this is simply a way for people to understand the severity of the emotions of those with BPD and is not a clinical diagnosis.

There is no real knowledge about what causes BPD but it is thought to be environmental – childhood abuse/neglect, genetics, and/or brain abnormalities. There are beleived to be risk factors that can include hereditary predisposition, a stressful childhood – this doesn’t necessarily stem down to childhood abuse/neglect but any kind of stress including the loss of a parent(s), or hostility such as family fighting.

BPD is an annoying son of a bitch and it sucks. There are good things about it, like if you love someone you love them with everything you have (because you only know go big or go home), people with BPD are passionate. About loving, about art, about anything. Although frequently called manipulative and harmful, people with BPD are actually very sensitive. They know how hard it is to feel sad, because to them sadness is not just being sad, and they want to prevent other people from feeling that way or to give them answers to help.

If someone comes to you and tells you they have borderline personality disorder, do not run to google the ins and outs – because all you will find is negativity. Ask the person themselves; ask them what you can do to help – maybe sending them a text every so often to remind them you have forgotten about them, ask them what it feels like for them – every person with BPD experiences it differently. Lastly, do not treat them as the monster under your bed, they are human and they have feelings. They don’t mean to be manipulative or impulsive or irrational, it’s a fight or flight mechanism. Work with them to create a way to ensure you are going to be able to give them the best chance at your relationship.

 

BPD Quotes:

“She feels more than you, you have to understand that about her. She feels the edge end the details of things and when she gets close to someone, she feels their happiness and pain.” – Jim Storm

“She is strong but not in the way people think. She loves more than she will ever get back & she knows it… Yet she loves anyway”

“I feel everything, all the time. It’s exhausting. But it also makes me passionate, which is beautiful.” – Alicia Sarah Raimundo

“Sensitive people suffer more but they love more and dream more.” Augusto Cury

“I don’t know what living a balanced life feels like. When I am sad I don’t cry, I pour. When I am happy I don’t smile, I glow. When I am angry I don’t yell, I burn. The good thing about feeling in extremes is when I love I give them wings but perhaps that isn’t such a good thing, cause they always tend to leave and you should see me when my heart is broken I don’t grieve, I shatter.” – Rupi Kaur

“You are so good. So good, you’re always feeling so much. And sometimes it feels like you’re gonna bust wide open from all the feeling, doesn’t it? People like you are the best in the world, but you sure do suffer for it.” – Silas House

“My skin is so thin that the innocent words of others burn holes right through me.” – BPD Pieces of Me Community


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Dear Laura L. – Why Islam is not ISIS and you’re an ass…

First of all, how can you live in New York City and be as racist and as horrible as you are? That’s like an oxymoron. Now if you’re reading this and you’re thinking “thank god my name isn’t Laura Loomer” – well this is an open letter to anyone that believes Muslim’s are responsible for terrorist attacks.

You ask her why she’s wearing her hijab “right after a terror attack” as if she takes it off for certain events. Did Christian’s take off their crosses when Las Vegas was under attack? No? Is that because the christian faith does not condone
those views? Interesting…

Are muslim and Islam races? No. But in the 21st century – especially after September 11th, cultural racism has become common. People are discriminated against because of their culture and even a culture they look to conform too. So no, it’s not a race, but it is racist. For more reading on this matter see [here]

You say Islam calls for the death of all non-believers, but so does the bible.

Deuteronomy 13:6-09 – If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people.

If you look hard enough you’re going to find a verse for anything – in any book; the Qur’an, the Hebrew bible, the Christian bible, the Talmud. Especially killing non believers. Yes the Qur’an is out dated; so is the bible and many educational textbooks. My understanding of that verse you just put (and the Christian one) is that it was made in a time when there was no communal law. This was when this area was for this religion, and that area was for that area. Luckily, we aren’t so segregated and are able to experience different cultures and upbringings. In all honesty I believe it’s fair to shun a non believer of that faith from the grounds that worship it. In means of a chapel or a mosque, these are places of worship and sacred to those who believe. It’s unfair, especially for Muslim believers, to have to put up with non believers (who are typically against their religion) invading their place of safety and sanctuary. Chapels and mosques are places where those within them are vulnerable. They hold no emotional armour. When you walk into a chapel, you can feel many emotions. There’s hope and fear and worry and despair and grief and happiness and faith and basically any emotion you can think of – I imagine it to be the same in other places of worship. It’s where you are your most vulnerable, so why would you want someone who makes a mockery of your faith to be among it? To update that verse I would say it means to dismiss non believers from the grounds of worship. Because in today’s society faith and religion is no longer as bordered as it was back in the day. It is not “here are the Christians, here are the Muslims.” We also have laws that bar religions and are laws of the land you are upon. It. Is. No. Longer. 3000BC.

How many Christians have committed acts of terror? How many Christians have committed acts of terror in the name of their god?

Funny how when a christian, white man kills a bunch of people he’s “mentally ill” and it’s a lone incident unrelated to any other Christians or white men. But when a terrorist – from a terrorist group, not a religion – kills people it’s suddenly the religion he’s supposedly killed in’s fault. The majority of people hold a Christian faith, so any other faith is deemed different and “wrong”. But these faiths – Muslims and other – are not violent and do not want to bomb and kill people. It’s just like how not all white people are killers and mass murderers but the majority of the mass murderers are white. This is not an act of Muslim faith, this is an act of terrorism and the two are not interchangeable. Just as Catholics believe differently to Mormons, Muslim’s believe differently to Christians. It’s not hate, it’s not an act of terror, it’s simply a belief. Islam is not a synonym for ISIS – I know, they have the same two letters but c’mon, you have to be smarter than that don’t you? Between 1.5 and 1.8 billion people identify as Muslim and their religion as Islam. If terrorism was a part of Islam faith then “you wouldn’t stand a chance, good thing it’s not”.  Muslims are as connected – if not less – to Isis as Christians are to the KKK. Every religion – even those deemed “terrorist religions” – hold the golden rule of doing to others what you want them to do to you. Every religion. That is the rule above all rules. When you are at a loss for what to do, you refer to the golden rule.

My favourite quote is about 9/11 and it appeared on Bones. It talks about how it was not the act of Islam and it was not the work of the God Muslim’s worship.

“Those horrible men who hijacked those planes hijacked my religion that day, too. They insulted my God.”

Terrorists who use the Muslim faith to justify their actions are not templates for the Muslim faith. Muslim faith is shown through love and kindness and community. It is shown through mosques welcoming hurricane victims silently, without thought, while churches deny those seeking shelter. It is them loving one another as every human being should do. They don’t have to donate organs and save animals, and find cures to cancer to be good people. They just don’t have to shout at other people on the street in New York amid a tragedy…

And it shouldn’t be the job of the Muslim people to have to explain these simple truths. They should not have to have their faith questioned because you’re too ignorant to learn. They are not responsible for our racism, they are not to be held accountable for our inability to know what is their religion and what is a terrorist attack – two unrelated issues. And it is not a Muslim’s job to prove they aren’t a terrorist. They do not have to have a rally condemning a terrorist attack – they condemn it just like anyone does. If you actually gave half of your time spent being ignorant, to learn about the Islam faith and to hear Muslim’s talk about their God in an environment they feel safe in, you might actually learn this. If you go in with the notion that their entire religion is terrorism then why should they show you what they believe? You obviously don’t care for it.

All in all, religion is good, racism is bad, and Muslim/Islam /= terrorism. Ka pai, thank you for your attention.


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If I Were Prime Minister…

A look into what life would be like if I were to ever become prime minister of New Zealand. I’m going to tell you now – there will be no building of god damned roads because there are far bigger things that need tending to…

I would have medicinal cannabis available without scrutiny – people would not be looked down upon for treating their illness with medicine. Recreational use would be available to people with a limit on how much can be carried on a person. Only certified vendors can sell the cannabis and each store would be equipped with state of the art security to ensure no one is injured. Those in jail for cannabis related charges would be released on their own recognisance – depending on the type of charge. Those that are jailed for other charges such as violence would still keep those charges, but those jailed for carrying weed or selling weed would be released with the notion they will comply with the new laws.

It would be illegal to sell caged eggs. Only free range eggs will be able to be sold. And I would ensure free range is where the chickens are able to roam and they lay their eggs and they are treated with respect, dignity, and care. They aren’t given additional hormones to up their output, they are feed properly, and are not clipped. Those selling caged eggs would recieve a $750,000 fine for a first offence, a second offence would result in the persons being imprisoned.

Out of country buyers would need to provide proof they are going to be moving to New Zealand in three months before they are able to buy a home. This will weed out those buying houses to rent from overseas. Rentals will undergo new rules where they must receive an official “stamp” that certifies it is rental ready. This will mean there is no mould or mildew, no cracks in the seals of windows and doors, and that all promised amenities are working. Rentals would undergo these examinations annually to keep renters held accountable. I would build 300 new three bedroom houses spread across the major cities and 150 new three bedroom houses in non-major cities. These houses would be sold for no more than 400,000 dollars but the aim would be for them to sell at 350,000$.

Child poverty would undergo a huge investigation. Main factors would be found and fixed. Those living in poverty would be given highest priority for jobs and receive free childcare hours for under 5’s. This ensures they can attend their job and earn money that doesn’t go straight to childcare. Rentals/state housing would be supplied for free or at a low cost with subsidies to gas and electricity bills. Schools with lower deciles – which are typically known to have children from low income families – would receive free morning teas and lunches. These schools would have their own gardens with fruit and veges and chickens on site supplying eggs. This would lower the cost of providing lunches but also teaches children about the food process and involves them in the process too.

Mental health professionals would be trained efficiently and the rules for inpatient facilities would be looked at for change. Schools would have trained mental health professionals on site to help those with worries and stresses. Schools with higher mental health issues would have blocks of “calming time” with activities like yoga, outside reading, naps, or group talks to help with the stress of school. Local GP practices would have mental health professionals on site and working within the building. Small towns would have greater access to mental health facilities and people. Online services will be available too as some people may find it easier to talk not face to face. Online services would begin with an initial face to face interview, then continue online with face to face meetings when desired by the client. Mental Health programmes would be set up in schools to allow students to understand what depression is, what anxiety is, what bipolar, schizophrenia, and personality disorders are. In the likeness of Harold the Giraffe, it would be taught at every school and students will be reminded that it is okay to ask for help.

NCEA would drastically change. Schools would be encouraged to teach the children about things, not how to pass tests. They would be scored on their passion and understanding not their memory and ability to write fast in 30seconds. External testing would be brought down to a few exceptions as internal testing is much better for students’ stress levels. All/most testing would be open book – a pamphlet may be given out containing basic information that would then be used to test their understanding and knowledge. In the case of mathematics it may be the equation/how to work it out, but they must be able to apply it to different equations. In today’s society, calculators are there, phones are connected to the internet, and knowledge is abundant. Making students have to memorise information rather than interpret it hinders their ability to process information and interpret it in the greater world. Memorising information is no longer a test to knowledge and ability.

I would also make te reo a compulsory lesson in school. In primary and intermediates it will be a lesson that is compulsory. In secondary school; year 9 would have it compulsory, and the following years will have the option of taking it up. It is our duty as New Zealand citizens to keep the language of this land alive. We owe it to the Maori that we hurt when Europeans came to New Zealand. If we have it as a second language, why is it not compulsory? In Canada packaging has both english and french – here I would make it that New Zealand grown and made products have both english and te reo. Eventually pushing for total duo-lingual packaging.

WINZ services would pay livable wages not minimum wages. Mothers will not have to disclose the fathers name if he is not living on site with them/not sharing custody. If sharing custody, a name will not have to be given so long as the days of custody are given. Those working in WINZ will be given a zero tolerance of discrimination and if any case of discrimination is sought upon, action will be taken. They will be inclusive and welcoming to everyone regardless of what the situation is. No one WANTS to depend on the government, but sometimes it’s the only option.

I would make abortion an medical procedure and not a criminal act. Moving it from criminal acts into a medical procedure will mean those considering and having abortions will not face the inner turmoil of performing a “criminal act” in an already had time. This isn’t to promote abortions as many believe. If Christians (and other) have the right to choose NOT to have an abortion, then why don’t other woman get the right to choose what happens to their body? I would take away the signing by two doctors and would make it available to anyone seeking it. I would have caring people in the procedure room who are non-judgmental and understand what a hard decision it is. No one wants an abortion. It’s not a want like you want ice cream for dinner, it’s a want like you want to rip out the tooth that’s decaying in your mouth.

This is my “100 day plan” if I were to ever be prime minister for NZ. As a prime minister I would be as hands on as possible. Helping out in the community and in times of need. I would also ensure that when debating laws that involve other parties (Maori, trans, etc) I would have their opinion heard and work alongside them to create the best plan for them. Being prime minister is not about being in control, and proving powerful among the masses. It is about working alongside the nation to create a world and community we are proud of. To do that, you have to involve the community.


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Faith. Hope. And love – What is religion if not providing a shelter in a storm

Seeing a man, who runs a church, deny entry to those seeking shelter is the most sacrilegious thing I can think of. A church is a place of refuge, of shelter. It’s a place to go when no where else is open or welcoming. Any excuse is not valid. “Oh we don’t have facilities capable” – you don’t have to have the necessary things, you make it work. A church is a place of God and prayers, but it is also a home for those of his children without one. You are not a true voice of God when you deny his basic principle – love thy neighbour.

It brings up the debate that is on a continuous loop in my head – what does God truly want anyway? Who is God? What about the bible?

I’ve been around, I’ve seen some things. I would tell you that 98% of the churches today (not to point fingers but a majority of the catholic churches) are created to put forth false prophets and untrue words. You can read the bible all you like, that doesn’t make you a believer. In fact, following the bible word for word would make you as unchristian as it comes. The bible is essentially a book, just like the encyclopedia it becomes outdated as time goes on. It holds no meaning for how we are to act today aside from that that is the history from which our faith came from. It is the telling of the times back many years ago. It is not comparable to today.

Why are there more gay people? Aside from the fact that it’s not as horrible to be out in today’s society – I bet God wanted more of them. He saw that they weren’t from the devil but that they were just like anyone else. They loved with all they had. They loved better than some straight people. I don’t believe he holds the same principle as written in the bible, because just as society has – God has grown. If two people get to heaven and one is a gay man who spent his life loving and caring for his partner, and the other is a preacher from a church that shunned one of God’s children for being gay, then the gay man would get into heaven and I doubt that the preacher would.

But then what God do you listen to? – which God is yours; the Catholic, the Anglican, the Lutheran? Maybe another religions God? That’s the thing – it doesn’t matter. The God you listen to and the God that is yours is the God within your soul. The God that tells you how to love his children and how to forgive them and how to lead them to him – that’s the God you listen to. That’s the God that’s real. He would not force you to hurt another or treat them with ill hands. He is not the God you have been told he is.

Yes, God used Jesus and other people to share his message, but in today’s society these people are the Average Joe. They are the milk worker on the farm, the homeless man on the street – they are not the preacher in the church. Too often now people use God for their own agenda. They preach about this and that and say the scriptures prove it to be so. It’s just not that way. The bible was a telling of those days. The God I know would be embarrassed to know this is the world he created. He would be disgusted to see people killing their own neighbours for skin colour or sexuality.

And what about the devil? Is he this big demon with red horns? No, he just doesn’t want the best for you. He wants to see you kill your neighbours and hurt those around you. The devil wants you to be so full of hate that you cannot love anymore. The devil is that part of you that holds a grudge, the part that wants to see another person fail. But everyone has a little bit of that in them, following in God’s light is to not be overpowered by hatred.

And science? That surely holds no place in religion! But it does. Jesus was sent to earth to show the way to God, but before that no one believed in him. Even as Jesus was born, people still didn’t believe. But that didn’t mean God didn’t exist. It just meant no one had “proven” it. It’s the same with science. It still exists even if we don’t have the answers yet. The two are reliant on one another. Just as we are reliant on science today, God was when creating this world and his children. God has since provided us with people who have been beyond inquisitive and smart to give us these answers – answers God may not have even held.

Jesus was sent to save those from all they were doing wrong. Who’s to say another Jesus’s hasn’t been sent to earth to make changes? Who’s to say that the storms and global warming isn’t God’s way of telling us to sort our shit out? The destruction we are seeing today is something six-year-old-me could not have ever imagined. The hatred of white people wanting to ban black people, or jews, or anyone from existing; the hatred of anyone who thinks it’s okay to beat up someone because of who they are – none of this is God’s plan. I believe God had already created another world, before this one, and it got too horrible to exist anymore and so the big bang became. He said “stuff it” and threw his work into the trash can to start again. With us. And now he’s saying the same thing. But he’s trying to tell us. What about Noah’s ark? He told the floods were coming to wipe out everything, and now the floods are coming again. Now the screwing up of the paper is happening and eventually we too will be in the trash can if we can’t sort it out.

None of this probably makes any sense to anyone else. All I know is that the God I know, the God that speaks to me, does not want me to judge. He wants me to love, He wants me to be kind, He wants me to be as welcoming to his children – all of them – as I can be. It was and is never our job to judge. We do not get to say who gets into heaven and who doesn’t – we cannot make that call. We are not the judge of God’s decision. All we have been put on earth to do is to love one another and somehow keep this world moving forward and progressing towards peace.


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Poverty in New Zealand – It exists and it’s bigger than you think (aka, screw you damien grant)

You want to talk poverty? Don’t compare a first world country – one with numerous cities and on par to huge countries like Australia and United States of America – to a small village in the pacific nations…You don’t compare an apple to orange do you? (I bet you do – then complain that they taste different…) If both Amnesty International, AND Unicef are making reports and condemning New Zealand’s child poverty, you know it not only exists, but that it’s exceptionally bad.

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Courtesy of: http://www.childpoverty.co.nz/

You say there’s no poverty in New Zealand – how can there be? We have free education, it’s the families and children that don’t care to turn up. But free as it may be, free isn’t always so. Sure, the education is free – but things add up. The price of petrol or a bus fare each day – twice a day – is something that you probably didn’t think about. And what about a child in primary school and a child in high school? More petrol, more money. The price of school supplies and even a school uniform doesn’t come free. The education is free, but what good is that education if you don’t a have a book to write it down in? Compulsory camps and excursions aren’t free either…you see, free is never truly free.

And then to further the education scheme – tertiary education. National wants to make student loans have an interest rate. If you start doing that, you will see less youth seeking out tertiary study options therefore raising the risk of unemployment sufficiently – when it’s already at an alarming high. This begins the cycle again.

You sing his praises, and maybe John Key did increased the welfare amount but that doesn’t mean it’s still a livable amount. Say living costs were at 100$ per week (I know, in what world!) and welfare was 100$ a week – that means that those on the welfare can get by, without being able to save for any future costs that may come up (a car breaking down, urgent home repairs etc), but they can survive. Then living costs increase to 200$ per week – because the economy is like that – but the government goes “Oh, if the living cost has increased, we need to increase the amount we give too!” And so welfare amount goes to 150$. It has increased, sure. But it doesn’t mean it’s livable and morally right.

“The poorest kiwi child enjoys access to an unrivaled bounty of inexpensive food” – before I even start, enjoys??? I don’t know about you but I don’t think I would enjoy being in poverty. Inexpensive food is correct, New Zealand does have some great and cheap options for food. But you see the problem with cheap food is that it’s not all that nutritionally valuable. It holds barely (if any) vitamins, minerals, or good fats. There aren’t copious amounts of protein like in your delicious quinoa you probably have twice a week there Mr Grant. This then causes children to fall sick. The Nelson Hospital Emergency Department is likely to see a child every day with a preventable condition. Why wasn’t it prevented? Because of things like diet. But it’s okay because they have meat on their bones, you can’t see their skeleton, so all must be well. At least they have access to that free healthcare right?!

Wrong. While it is free, kudos to that, it doesn’t mean it’s up to the standard it should be if we claim we truly are an amazing country. My brother was sent home numerous amounts of times when he had appendix issues because he wasn’t dying, and there weren’t enough beds. He spend years in and out of hospital because of this – and we weren’t even poor. Can you imagine how it would have been for someone who didn’t have money? You say it doesn’t matter, it’s free! But it does. If you look poor, they treat you as poor. “Oh it’s just a cold” and send you home. Low and behold we have need of a heart transplant because that cold was actually strep throat that became rheumatic fever and destroyed the child’s heart. “Oh but hospital staff wouldn’t discriminate!” But they do. They’re human. If you can tell me that poverty doesn’t exist while you sip your imported tea and a child somewhere else misses a meal, then I’m pretty sure hospital staff can discriminate.

A roof over your head doesn’t mean you are protected from the outside elements. State housing is free, cool! But is it safe? Children may have a roof over there heads, but the mould growing on those roofs and the walls they live in doesn’t do them any wonders. Respiratory issues, skin infections, and other illnesses can all be caused by an unsafe house. DR Nick Baker of Nelson Hospital told stuff this: “We have a number of babies we’ve looked after in the newborn unit, babies that have been born prematurely, and it’s really hard to send them home because there isn’t a home for them to go to.” – This was written in July, of 2017. A month ago…But it’s okay because poverty doesn’t exist.

It’s really easy for someone who hasn’t been poor to assume that these are the only issues someone faces or requires when living and being in poverty. The fact that you don’t have to think about spending additional money on petrol or buses, or on nutritional food – the fact that you think your wealth doesn’t impact your access and treatment in free settings such as hospitals is proof of your lack of understanding of what it means to be poor and to be able to afford basic necessities.

People don’t want Jacinda because shes “”dramatic and exciting”, or because she has “rock-star appeal”. People want Jacinda because she’s young, she’s not rich, and she knows how it is to be young and living in New Zealand facing the troubles we see today. You say we don’t have child poverty? I say, take a look down the streets in the neighbourhoods you’re too scared to go to. The ones you avoid because you think you’re going to have something stolen. Take a look at the mould in their homes, take a look at the children struggling to have a childhood similar to the one you had, take a look at the kids that are in poverty, and are being told it doesn’t exist.