Dawn karakia, not Christmas, the problem

The Auckland Regional Migrant Services (ARMS) Trust is not doing away with Christmas, says its chief executive Dr Mary Dawson.

“To those who celebrate Christmas, we wish you a very happy Christmas. To those who do not, “season’s greetings”.

The Anglican Bishop of Auckland, Ross Bay, says “All very laudable in a way, though an interesting thing is that non-Christians are some of the biggest celebrators of Christmas and have already reinterpreted it to suit a secular society.”

But the word Christmas is not the real problem says New Zealand Herald columnist Brian Rudman.

According to him the real problem is what he calls “karakia at dawn”.

Rudman says that as one of the 41.9 per cent of New Zealanders who ticked the “no religion” box in the 2013 census, he has never felt excluded or ostracised by the use of Christian-based words like Christmas or Easter.

But he does take exception to what he calls the “weird Christian custom of “karakia at dawn”,” which he says the Auckland Council and government departments have adopted.

“Instead of standing up for our secularism, government officials are busy thrusting religion down our throats,” says Rudman.

“They wrap it in a Maori cloak, and if anyone complains, they mutter biculturalism and Treaty of Waitangi.”

He says “‘karakia at dawn’ precede the opening or launch of just about anything. Books, art galleries, wharf extensions, nothing is safe.”

“Yet in reality, they’re just imposing one religion on the rest of us by stealth.”

“We live in a secular society, proudly supporting the right for everyone to follow their own religion – or have none.”


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News category: New Zealand.

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