Afghanistan, NZ Cycling and Children Vaccination

Monday, August 23, 2021

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Good Morning and Welcome to this week’s Gospel and Culture update, by Alan Vink
Afghanistan, NZ Cycling and Children’s Vaccination

Monday 23rd August 2021

The War in Afghanistan is Lost

Here is another tragedy unfolding before our eyes. The Taliban have won. And here are the numbers. Twenty years of Civil War, over US$2 trillion spent and at least 170,000 deaths. Approximately 3500 New Zealanders have been deployed to Afghanistan over this time and ever so sadly ten New Zealand soldiers died in action. The country spent at least NZ$300 million on its contribution to the occupation.
An estimated 53 New Zealanders and 37 Afghan nationals who had worked alongside the NZDF are still in Afghanistan and up to 200 members of immediate families. Our PM has said a week ago that NZ’s immediate task is get these folk out of harms way as soon as possible.

POV. War of whatever kind is a horrible thing. It always hurts, destroys and kills. It leaves people wounded both physically and emotionally. When children grow up in a war zone they are forever impacted by the gruesomeness of war. It’s a sad reality of the fallenness of humankind. “What leads to [the unending] quarrels and conflicts among you? Do they not come from your [hedonistic] desires that wage war in your [bodily] members [fighting for control over you]? James 4:1 (AMP).

When a country gets involved in another countries conflicts and fighting for what may be very noble reasons at the time, like NZ has (along with 60 other nations) then I believe we all have a moral and ethical responsibility to provide ongoing assistance to those local people who supported the allied troops, surely? I for one believe we should act fast and swiftly to get all New Zealanders out. We should do the same for all Afghans who assisted NZ and their families. And then we need to increase our quota for Afghan refugees. And by-the-way Afghanistan is yet again about to see a surge in people fleeing persecution, adding to the 2.6 million already displaced before the Taliban returned.

A new ministry opportunity is about to open up especially for churches who are located close to a migrant centre.

NZ Cycling

POV. It is so overdue - an independent enquiry/investigation into NZ Cycling and hopefully High Performance Sport. I’m incredulous that it’s taken Oliver Podmore’s unbelievably tragic death to get this commitment. We’ve known for a very long time that unrelenting pressure in high performance sport is hurting too many very talented young people. It appears that this pressure is largely brought about by the thirst for money and medals and it has gone too far……far too far. I didn’t know Olivia but I feel so sad about her untimely death.

Here is last night’s Sunday Programme segment into High Performance Sport

And here is a powerful story that gives you a window into this scene. “Former elite New Zealand cyclist Cassie Cameron: My daughter will never be a cyclist”.

Vaccinations for 12-15 Year olds

POV. I am supportive of the Government’s Vaccination roll out. However it has come to my attention that the Ministry of Health’s advise to 12 to 15 year old children is a bit worrying. They are clearly saying that parental consent is recommended but NOT necessary.

I understand that a small percentage of parents in NZ are anti-vaxxer’s or vaccine hesitant or perhaps simply don’t care and therefore could put their children at risk especially in a Delta Variant environment. On that basis I agree that the Government may need to step in for the sake of Public Health and for the health of the child in question especially if they have an underlying health condition. That said, I think that should be the rare exception. Perhaps the MOH could explain more carefully how and when parental consent may be by-passed.

This issue of course throws up the tension between the Nanny State that many of us are concerned about and Public Health. As Christians we hold strongly to the rights and role of parents over their children at all times. So this issue needs us to think carefully about another unexpected ‘turn of events’.

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