Luxon’s Christian values challenged

Luxon's Christian values challenged

Asked what drives his values, when pressed the National Party’s new leader, Christopher Luxon (pictured) identifies the Christian religion.

The apparent media anxiety over Luxon’s Christianity is incoherent; his four immediate predecessors Judith Collins, Todd Muller, Simon Bridges and Bill English all professed a form of Christian faith.

Then adding to the incoherence is that no point has the new deputy leader, Nicola Willis been challenged about her faith or lack of it, her values and what underpins them.

Luxon, whose political career is just a year old, is surprised people are interested in his religious views.

He says for him, his practice of the Christian religion is “a personal thing but it’s got nothing to do with my politics.”

After his leadership promotion earlier this week, Luxon said his faith was “often misrepresented and portrayed very negatively”.

“My faith is actually something that has grounded me. It has given me context and put into context something bigger than myself.

“But I want to be very clear. We have a separation between politics and faith…

“People shouldn’t be selecting a MP because of their faith.

“I am here to represent all New Zealanders, not just people of one faith or one interest.”

He made a similar statement to the Herald last year when he said he wasn’t “an ideologue who is trying to jam a view of Christianity out on my workforce as a CEO, or as a politician.”

“I haven’t led Air NZ or Unilever as a Christian CEO. I’ve led it as a CEO who just happens to be a Christian.”

He reiterated that perspective in his maiden speech, saying “I believe no religion should dictate to the State, and no politician should use the political platform they have to force their beliefs on others.”

Luxon describes himself as “pro-life”; he is anti-abortion and anti-euthanasia, however has ruled out changing abortion laws in New Zealand if he becomes Prime Minister.

His pro-life view are balanced out by his deputy, Nicola Willis, a Wellington liberal, Luxon says.

“I think the reality is there are New Zealanders who have those views, pro-life or pro-choice. We can hold different views and be respectful of each other as a consequence.”

Abortion was removed from the Crimes Act in Parliament last year after a conscience vote found a majority of MPs was in favour of it.

The change means abortion services are now available to individuals not more than 20 weeks pregnant without a test.

Health practitioners can provide abortion services to someone over that threshold if they believe it is clinically appropriate and have consulted with another professional.

Luxon was one of 15 MPs to vote against the first reading of the bill prohibiting protesting in “safe areas” outside abortion clinics.

He was also against legalising cannabis.


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News category: New Zealand, Palmerston.

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