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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 14, No. 13. October 4, 1951

A Christian Country

A Christian Country

We blame no one party for this. We blame no one person. We blame the people of New Zealand. It takes two to tell a story, one to speak and one to listen. And it takes more, to spread it. It won't be only the politicians who stand indicted in a hundred years' time.

Perhaps there are abuses of Social Security by Maoris. Perhaps there are drunken binges. Perhaps there is a higher crime rate. But name any vice the Maori is prone to that the pakeha hasn't had a prior emption on, and for some centuries. Name any vice that the white man doesn't indulge in more often, more promiscuously, more viciously, and with less moral justification. What number of ten-shilling notes can compare with the innumerable methods of dodging taxation the honest business man has at his accountant's finger-tips? What tribal hooley can compare with the countless Saturday night drunken brawls in every pakeha hamlet in this godless country? We take a Stone Age people and we teach them all our vices before our virtues, then we use them as shocking examples of the things we would never do. We would do well to consider the mote in our own eyes first.

The Maori tribal elders are attempting to do something about the acquired vices of the Maori. The only moral decision the pakeha elders seem to be able to make is the one about showing pictures on Sundays. Does it never occur to them that there are other spheres of immorality besides the passing of sliver over a ticket seller's palm on a Sunday evening?

I quote South African author Oliver Walker on the South African negroes. "The whites will make of them a hard, cruel people in the end." Perhaps that's not beyond our capabilities either. Look at it from the cold point of view of the statistician, without regard to the Christian command about loving one's neighbours, and consider the fact that the Maori birthrate greatly exceeds that of the white. Consider the fact that, all things being equal, they will eventually outnumber the white. And, if you can lift your eyes above the level of the things of this world consider this:

"Two men went up into the temple to pray; one was a Pharisee, the other a Publican. The Pharisee stood upright, and made this prayer in his heart, I thank thee, God, that I am not like the rest of men, who steal and cheat and commit adultery, or like this Publican here..."

And consider who went down from the temple justified.