Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The cost of being a Bible teacher in Aotearoa

It is hard to know whether to laugh or cry about our politicians here in Aotearoa NZ.

They are trying so hard to do the right thing environmentally while jetting around the world to preach peace and make trade deals. Those trade deals essentially mean we value all that our farms produce and recognise their value to us as we import cars, cellphones and other First World necessities.

Of course it is not right that farmers have herds and flocks that fart and belch so we are setting up ways and means to tax them for their lack of gaseous discipline.

But the nadir for a person of the Word this week has been discovering that NZ First politicians are promoting a bill which will see each of us fined $2000 for describing ourselves as "Bible teachers." (Unless, perchance, we actually have a formal teaching qualification.)

Apparently "Bible mentors" or "Bible educators" or "Bible tutors" will be fine. But the gift of teaching from the Spirit, leading to appointment as pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11), which has been around just a little longer than teachers colleges, is now to be renamed.

Unless the congregations can up their giving to cover the fines their desire to have a Bible teacher address them will incur.

And church musicians will no longer be taught their trade by music teachers.

Mad, I tell you. Mad!


Andrei said...

The Western world fell down the rabbit hole a long time ago.

Why the flatulent herbivores of the Waikato should suddenly present an existential threat to the planet now is one of life's great mysteries considering herbivores have been farting for millions of years.

Why didn't the great herds of bison that roamed the North American prairies in great herds bring the planet to armageddon millenia before we were born if this theory holds any water

Never mind now the scatty schoolgirl who has somehow found herself our Prime minister is going to save the planet from cow farts.

Meanwhile the real world children of Yemen are dying in a war we are ignoring while the West in an orgy of self righteousnous lobs missiles into Syria to "punish" Bashir al Assad for a gas attack that didn't happen.

Not to mention washed up pornstars and lurid tales of prostitutes urinating on presidents to be in Moscow hotel rooms dominating American political discourse

And there are rugby players who said the unsayable because apparently they didn't get the memo that the Pope does not believe in Hell anymore. Well he doesn't if you read the papers and believe what they say which is dubious proposition in itself.

Never mind if you have the money and the inclination (I have neither) you can spend an evening with Hillawry Clinton in Auckland next month being regailed with all the reasons why she didn't win the election

Jean said...

Ha, ha... commonsense is so lacking these days!

Aside from escaping because I have a teaching diploma 🙃 I am unsure what NZ First’s motivation is with this move. The number of people operating as teachers but not trained as such per se is such a small group anyway, and they usually teach in contexts that are different from structured academic institutional environments - except for tertiary level, however, tertiary level teaching has always been based on subject expertise. In summary as my Grandfather used to say, “If it aint broke don’t fix it!’

As for ‘fart’ taxes I am hoping humans aren’t going to be included. Humour aside, well breifly anyway, I am more pro good management techniques. For example; trees off-set the carbon dioxide by absorbing it, and trees have been cut down in recent years to create more pasture space or crop space etc. I would rather support the increase of trees on farms as a measure to cut green house gases than penalise farmers for the good they do in providing our food.

Better take onions and artichokes off the menu for this week .....

David Wilson said...

Hi Andrei,

as for herbivores, perhaps the reason that they are having a greater effect is actually that there are more of them than in the past. Add to this the way that rain forest is being destroyed to create grazing for cattle to meet the demand for beef.

This is a sobering diagram about the effect of human kind on the planet:


Andrei said...

David most of the photosynthesis that takes place and powers life on this planet occurs in the ocean and is performed by phytoplankton, organsms to small for the human eye to see but in terms of biomass exceed the biomass of mammals by many orders of magnitude...

North Western Europe was deforested more than a millenium ago and that process did not lead to global warming, rather at the end of that process the Earth actually cooled, whether those to facts are highly correlated or not who knows

But what is clear that thanks to intensive agricultural practices more of North Western Europe today is forested than at any time in the past thousand years

And more of North America is forested than was in 1900 for the same reason

Deforestation is a symptom of subsistance agriculture not intensive agriculture

The Western world circa 2018 Anno Domini is intellectually, morally, financially and spiritually bankrupt as this fretting over atmospheric CO₂ amply demonstrates

The very things that feed us and provide us the luxury of this navel gazing, like efficient farming practices that produce more food on less land with less labour and cheap energy to transport the food thus produced far and wide without it spoiling are the very things under attack by people who have never gone to bed with an empty belly in their lives

And what you fail to grasp is the whole edifice that sustains us with a standard of living unsurpassed in human history is propped up by a house of cards

We are far, far "richer" than the peoples of Russia and China, let alone those of most of South America, South East Asia and Africa but we are sustaining this by borrowing and most of this debt is held by China and a not insignificant amount by Russia

So tell me if we stop milking cows and searching for new energy resources how are we not going to end up living like the poor of Burkina Faso?

You want to know why we are not talking about dead babies in Yemen burned to a crisp in their own homes?

The answer is the West is supplying the weapons to do this - Theresa May just signed off on a 150 billion dollar weapons deal cash in advance with the Saudis - and even worse her husband, Philip is an employee of a company ( Capital Group) that will profit handsomely from this deal

Indeed Capital Group is the largest shareholder of BAE systems and the second largest shareholder of Lockheed Martin whose shreprice soared on the newsof the Syria strikes last week.

Who do you think presents the biggest threat to your childrens future, Taranaki sharemilkers or the people who make the weapons that destroy nations from afar

You know why this belicosty towards Russia is reaching a crescendo at this time? One reason is they are dumping their US Treasury bonds

Father Ron Smith said...

'Navel gazing', I like that, Andrei. It seems that some people are still engaged in that fruitless pursuit of human perfection. We just don't get that here. It is what the Scriptures promise is our inheritance - but not yet. Not here anyway

Cameron said...

I think the Education Council of NZ's submission to the Select Committee is a useful crtique. The difference being set forth between Registered Teacher and Teacher.

What might be the criteria for a registered bible teacher?

A link to their submission can be found here.

Peter Carrell said...

The Education Council is right, Cameron, though whether that will be noticed by our political masters is another thing.

On registered Bible teachers: I can provide certificates :)