• Wayne Perkins

New Zealand. Let's all take a deep breath!

Right now, perhaps more than any time in the last week is a time for cool heads.

Emotions are running high, gun laws being changed, bookstores are banning books, prayers are being suggested upon our general populace and the division that I have feared would inevitably come since the cowardly attack on my Muslim brothers and sisters, has started to rear its ugly head.

There is a time to grieve in life, and there is a time to ask questions and make changes, and I’m unconvinced that the times should be mixed together.

My own life shows me that I don’t make my best decisions when I am under considerable stress or my world has turned upside down, and I think our politicians and indeed our entire nation would do well to take a deep breath, calm down, go about our day by day lives and allow a little time to pass.

While all the issues above are no doubt motivated by good intentions, they have started to cause division and unless logic, patience, reason, compassion and intelligence remain our guides, these issues threaten to rip us apart as a country.

I wonder if the issue that threatens to cause the most division is the proposed nationwide Islamic call to prayer and personally I feel it Is an unwise suggestion, not because I have any issues with free people in a free country being able to worship and pray how they see fit, nor because I have any issues with the actual prayer itself, but because it will divide rather than unite.

I am a Christian and as such I attempt to follow the sayings and teachings of Jesus. Most of my friends are either atheist or agnostic and very definitely secular. I am sure they would want to be subjected to my Christian beliefs about as much as I would want to be subjected to their secular beliefs.

I genuinely believe (and I speak here as a Christian) we need less religion imposed upon us, not more.

It is simple. My faith is my faith, your faith is your faith and faith should remain, above all else, a choice.

It has always amazed me that the rallying call from Jesus was a simple “follow me”, possibly the least persuasive call to action ever. His followers have seldom followed his example and would do well to replicate his humility, especially at the moment.

Let’s all just take a deep breath. There will be a time for questions, discussions, arguments, and changes but I’m not sure now is the time.

Let our nation grieve first and allow time to deliver some healing to all involved!

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