Extremism, Inflation and A Beautiful Story

Monday, June 13, 2022

Categories: Gospel and Culture

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Good Morning and Welcome to this week’s Gospel and Culture update, by Alan Vink
Extremism, Inflation and A Beautiful Story

Monday 13th June 2022

Countering Violent Extremism(CVE)

CVE is controversial. CVE policies have led to discrimination against minorities, particularly Muslims, and have used debunked theories and methods of identifying radicalisation. Some CVE policies have been criticised as focusing too much attention on surveillance of Muslim communities and ignoring the threat of far-right extremists.

On the 3rd June, the Prime Minister announced the Directors for her new Centre of Research Excellence for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism, a Government entity reporting to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet that will "focus on understanding diversity and promoting social cohesion".

POV. In a civil society there must be some controls on hate speech and other forms of talk that incites violence as we saw, for example, from Trump on January 6th 2020. But there is a fine line between disallowing hate speech and curbing free speech especially if that free speech is contrary to the popular views on controversial subjects. Already The Free Speech Union said last week, “This hand-picked appointment for a nebulous research centre is just the start of a propaganda arm that will select Government-backed “experts” to stand on the news telling us why it’s “safer” to restrict speech, all in the name of "social cohesion". This is straight out of Orwell’s Ministry of Truth”.

One thing we can say with some certainty is that the Free Speech debate and it’s close cousin - Religious Freedom - isn’t going away any time soon. And that’s why we as Christians should be conversant with the issues and weigh in with well-considered arguments so that conservative and Christian viewpoints are given as much oxygen as all others. That’s only fair and that’s democracy at work.


At quarter end March 2022, the annual inflation of 6.9% is the highest rate in 30 years in NZ. Building materials, rents and petrol prices are the major contributors to this increase. Simply put $100 of groceries last year would cost $107 now. If your household income has had no change then your yearly household expenses of say $40,000 will now cost you $42,800 (7% increase) and therefore putting pressure and quite possibly stress on your entire household. And this is before any consideration about mortgage interest rates which have also risen to between 5.5-6.0%. Though inflation rates and interest rates are connected they are two additional cost increases on all households that have a mortgage. Here is a useful article to help pastors understand inflation.

Pastors please remember that the average household in your church will be feeling the pinch. Some may be under considerable financial stress as indeed you may be. What can you do to respond to the current situation? Can some high income earners in your congregation help you create a fund – a pastoral/emergency fund – to assist families in your church that may need a helping hand? What about running a budgeting workshop? What about bulk buying of some staples, re-packaging and selling at cost price?

A Beautiful Story

One Teacher’s Brilliant Strategy to Stop Bullying and quite possibility Future School Shootings
Here's how one schoolteacher takes time each week to identify and look out for the lonely kids. It’s a completely new take on Maths. Have a read. 5mins.


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