MR Evans-McLeod need not worry. The Church of England has been "ruled" by many monarchs whose morals were less than perfect by Christian standards — Henry VIII, Charles II and George I to name just three.

Luckily, the C of E is a very forgiving institution and that, of course, is what your correspondent forgot — the forgiveness of sins. Nor is it clear that "ruled" is the right word, since the monarch has no role in defining dogma.

He/she reigns over the church as he/she reigns over the country — all the glitz but no power.

And the man in the sky? I expect he will survive whatever Charles does, more's the pity!


Montsenelle, France

Out of sight and mind

Oooh, Steve Baron, I found your proposal to move the homeless and beggars out of sight extremely distasteful. So that the smug and well-off feel uncomfortable at having to pass the nasty reality of our country.

Then get off your backside and work towards solutions to improve the lot of the suffering peoples of Aotearoa.

Leave this open sore right where it is to remind each and every one of us how we have all contributed towards this very sad state our country is in.

We have contributed by turning a blind eye.

We have contributed by sitting on our jacksies and not speaking out much earlier against the several governments that have worked hard to heap up the tables of the rich while stealing from the poor.

We have allowed the bludgers in Parliament to improve their lot, pass laws allowing themselves more entitlements whilst stamping on the people they swore to serve.
Solve the problem, Steve. Don't push it into some dark alley out of sight.



Deliberate killing

Dave Partner completely misses the point of the bill and why so many "do-gooders" oppose it. (By the way, when did doing good become a reason for derision?).

As he so astutely points out, doctors do already medicate dying patients in ways that could hasten their deaths in order to ease discomfort. This is not now, nor has it ever been, illegal.

This bill is about deliberately ending the life of someone who requests it, even though their reasoning may be impaired by life events, their family, or others may have applied pressure, or they may see it as financially necessary, rather than because they are suffering extreme or unremitting pain.

The natural result of legalising this deliberate killing, is that it devalues human life in general and the sick, elderly and disabled in particular.

My own father (who was eager to live even when many of his faculties were gone) had food (which he very much wanted) withheld from him because of a DNR. Although we were able to intervene and see this rectified, I wonder how many others are in similar situations with no one to advocate for them.

Mr Partner may not care about that or about the vulnerable who may be coerced into acquiescing to pressure to die sooner rather than later, but I and many others do."


Tragedy of child deaths

In New Zealand we are proud of our children and protective of them. Generally. We celebrate a new member of our family, our neighbourhood, our nation, whether it is little Jane down the street or the Prime Minister's daughter, Neve. And we are upset and horrified when a child is injured or killed, whether by accident or deliberate act.

Recently a 16-month-old child with "serious head injuries" died in hospital, and a police detective spoke for all of us when he said, "The death of any child is an absolute tragedy ..." Or, at least, he should have spoken for all of us with that statement.

Consider any child you know. How would you react if that child was violently assaulted and killed? Would their age at the time make a difference to your reactions?

Would you be more upset if they were assaulted and killed at 16 months than at two months? What about if the assault was one hour before they were born? Or a week before that?

At what point do we say, "The death of this child is not an absolute tragedy ..."?

At what point did we stop caring for the most vulnerable members of our society? (Abridged)


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