Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Worrying II

The other day I blogged about the Samoan government's plans to review freedom of religion. Today, Radio New Zealand confirms that the review is explicitly aimed at limiting the access of non-Christian religions into Samoa. Faced with potential competition and decline, Samoa's Christians have decided, like a monopoly company, to try and restrict access to the marketplace of ideas and so force people to buy their product.

This is simply monstrous. Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right. Just as the government has no business in our bedrooms, it has no business in our heads. A government which tries to force us to believe or not believe particular things, or circumscribe our thoughts, is the worst sort of tyranny.

As a voice for human rights in the region, New Zealand should be speaking up about this. Samoa is its own country, run by and for Samoans, but we can and should at least try and persuade them not to take this backwards step, and remind them of their obligation to protect the rights of all, not just the majority.

(More on Talamua)