The Tamakis Quest For Dominion: More “Handmaid’s Tale”, Less “Modern Family”.

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WHAT ARE THE TAMAKIS trying to do? Is the “Coalition Party” a serious political project? Or, is it merely another example of the flim-flam for which religious hucksters the world over are notorious? Certainly, Brian and Hannah Tamaki would not be the first evangelical religious pairing to enlist the aid of politics when too many of the seats in their expensive megachurches remain unoccupied.

Even the new party’s name – The Coalition Party – has a flim-flammy ring to it. Coalition of what? Coalition with whom? Nothing we have heard from Brian or Hannah has been helpful in this respect. All we have been told is that the people of New Zealand have had enough. That the political status quo is no longer to their taste. That they are ready for someone to acknowledge their gutsfullness and offer them a heapin’ helpin’ of politics the way they want it.

But what do they want? That’s the question that the Coalition Party has yet to answer.

For a couple of days it looked as though Hannah Tamaki was preparing to place herself at the head of the movement against abortion law reform. Given the deeply conservative social character of Brian Tamaki’s “Dominionist” theology, opposing the Coalition Government’s moves towards decriminalising and (hopefully) liberalising New Zealand’s abortion laws would make perfect sense. And yet, in spite of Hannah’s early reference to “they” wanting to legalise “late-term” abortions, the issue was allowed to slip quietly off the Coalition Party’s agenda.

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What about LGBTQI+ rights? For many years, Brian Tamaki has been an outspoken critic of rainbow politics – even, on one memorable occasion, characterising the Christchurch Earthquake as the earth “groaning” under the weight of the LGBTQI+ community’s unrepentant sinfulness. Here, surely, was a constellation of social issues ripe for the Coalition Party’s political exploitation?

But that was when everything turned decidedly strange. Rather than renew his condemnations of LGBTQI+ sinfulness, Brian reached out to the rainbow community. They were invited to join him and the other members of the Destiny Church in a service of mutual forgiveness and reconciliation.

Understandably, a great many members of the rainbow community were unconvinced. Some, suspecting they were being roped into a political stunt, urged a boycott. Could a preacher as historically hostile to non-cis lifestyles as Brian Tamaki: a veritable leopard in the long grass of social intolerance; really change his spots? Most of those gathered under the rainbow’s arc thought not. Even after the Brylcreemed Bishop delivered what sounded like an apology for his previous anti-LGBTQI+ outbursts, their scepticism remained strong. The handful of rainbow activists who had accepted Tamaki’s invitation were subjected to fierce criticism. The fruits of Brian’s outreach appeared to be rancour and division across the rainbow community.

Perhaps that was its purpose?

Whatever Brian was trying to achieve, his wife, Hannah, as leader pro-tempore of the Coalition Party, was still no nearer to defining its mission. This lack of clarity; absence of purpose; cannot continue for too much longer. To launch a new political party is no easy matter. If it is to have the slightest chance of success, such a party must impress upon the nation’s consciousness a very clear idea of what it stands for, and what it proposes to do. Failure to make this impression can only result in even potentially supportive voters turning away in confusion and disappointment. Hannah should know that time is running out.

Her task is made no easier by the signal failure of the Coalition Party’s predecessor, Destiny NZ. Founded by Brian Tamaki in 2003, the party left nothing more than the tiniest of ripples on the surface of New Zealand’s electoral pond. It received just 14,210 votes (0.62 percent) in the 2005 General Election. This lack of voter interest must have come as a crushing blow to Tamaki who, right up until election day, believed that the Lord would deliver dominion into his hand. He disbanded the party in 2007.

Perhaps it was this experience that lay behind Brian’s clumsy attempt to relaunch his “brand” by reaching out to those he had so trenchantly attacked in the past. If so, then his strategy is fatally flawed. A leopard is a leopard: red in tooth and claw; so any attempt to pass it off as a pussy-cat is doomed to fail.

A much more effective strategy would be for the Tamakis to make a virtue of their leopardness. To declare unequivocally that a leopard, red in tooth and claw, is exactly what this country needs to vanquish the regime of sin that is fast driving New Zealand to destruction.

In other words, Brian and Hannah should go full “Handmaid’s Tale”, and forget all about trying to be “Modern Family”.

Such a stance would at least reflect the Tamakis’ authentic theological convictions. They are believers in Dominionism, which Wikipedia defines as: “[A] group of Christian political ideologies that seek to institute a nation governed by Christians based on their personal understandings of biblical law. Extents of rule and ways of achieving governing authority are varied.”

Unvarying, however, is the Dominionists’ utter rejection of the longstanding secular principle that matters of religion and politics should be kept separate. As in Gilead, Brian and Hannah would seek to establish a righteous nation, ruled by the godly, whose first duties must be the extirpation of sin and the redemption of sinners.

Achieving that “governing authority” by means of the ballot-box – which is clearly the Tamakis’ preference – requires a political platform with more to offer than covered heads and modest attire. As Poland’s “Law & Justice Party”, and Hungary’s “Fidesz” (both frighteningly successful electoral vehicles) have demonstrated, social conservatism, garnished with fundamentalist Christianity, is not enough. Populist Christian conservatism only succeeds when it is associated with an unwavering commitment to the institutions of the welfare state and unwavering support for the values and living-standards of a beleaguered working-class.

Are Brian and Hannah Tamaki up for that? If they are, then they’d better get their skates on.

 

17 COMMENTS

  1. Wait till they see the huge costs involved in setting up a political party and when they don’t get the funding they need what happens next ?

    • It’s not about the money for them, it’s about the fame and glamour. They’ve got plenty of money so will be fine. What’s interesting is how Alfred Ngaro pulled the pin on forming his party after hearing about the Coalition Party – doubt worried about slicing up the right wing vote too thinly.

    • Istael Folau may have spare cash shorty to donate, as the lord say unto him ” sue them for all their worth”!

  2. When I look at the images of the humanoids above, I’m reminded of David Icke. Thus, I see lizards!
    The only ‘God’ the Tamaki’s invite into their flash new Mc Mansion is the almighty Dollar.
    I read somewhere, I can’t remember where for the moment, that, that was how trump convinced people to vote for what ever trump is.
    His strategists aimed at the marginalised maniacs out there, including God botherers, woman haters, and racists and head fucked them into being psychologically unable to vote for anyone else but trump, because although trump is a narcissistic arsehole*, he in so much blathered about White Might and wife beating God Bothering as righteous agendas so vote for the orange mope… now build a Nazi-like wall between bewildered, impoverished, Mexican scape goats then take their kids off them if they try to enter The Greatest Nation On Earth ( but we want them here and to remain illegal because they’re cheap to exploit.)
    Anyone voting for the tamaki’s are, in fact, voting for the ‘opposition’. And I think you know who/what I mean. ( Clue. Red, hove’s, horns, pitchfork, eyeing at your arsehole with a Devilish grin…?)

    *
    RNZ. John Walker. Arseholes. A theory.
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday/audio/2018697763/john-walker-assholes-a-theory

    • This Tamaki political party stems from them not getting their Man Up programme into prisons. It’s interesting to think they can just buy themselves power. Self entitlement never works. However they could always be gifted Epsom?

  3. The lure of new religious movements and cults can be well nigh irresistible to people feeling alienated from society with serious needs not met by current established communities.

    Just like Jesus, Brian and Hannah offer a bettering of the conditions and quality of down-trodden people’s lives – and get a bob or two from them in return. Or three. Or four.

    “Enough is enough,” chanted Brian’s righteous angry black-clad apostles blocking the traffic down Willis Street during the lunch hour – and providing my Chinese homestay with a phrase which scored him an A in his next assignment.

    And when Brian gives up his life for our sins wearing a crown of thorns rather than a shiny crash helmet, then we can proclaim him truly the son of God – or other.

  4. The Tamaki’s are nuttier than squirrel sh*t and I am forever at a loss that anyone would ever take them seriously . . but again of course the same was said of Trump (who while a disaster of a human being surely must be clued up than these two).

    Quite happy to join Castro whenever his revolution kicks off (I am sick of waiting).

  5. Was interesting to see the timing of Alfred Ngaro pouring cold water on his plans to form a party – almost as soon as the Tamakis announced theirs, not wanting to add to the possibility of a hopelessly split vote.

  6. What’s that old line about history repeating itself?
    Have we all forgotten about the Destiny NZ party from 2007?
    The party that in 2005, Tamaki believed (foolishly) would rule NZ by 2008.
    By 2007, the wheels had flown off into the scrub and the whole thing went unceremoniously tits up in the ditch, the party having gained only 0.62 % of the vote throughout NZ.
    Having crashed and burned, a new outfit (‘The Family Party) rose from the ashes in 2007, only to gather 0.35 % of the vote and like its predecessor crash and burn – never to be seen again, in 2010.
    In fact they polled so badly, the joke ‘Bill and Ben Party’ outshone them with 0.56 % of the vote.
    Religious parties are simply not credible. Plenty have gone before, and plenty will try to come after and none of them will be around for the following election.

  7. The Daily Blog Dictionary.

    tamaki | tɑːməːki

    adjective

    1 • existing or occurring at or on the surface: e.g. “the building suffered only tamaki damage.”

    2 • appearing to be true or real only until examined more closely: e.g.”the resemblance between the breeds is tamaki”.

    3 • not thorough, deep, or complete; cursory: e.g. “he had only the most tamaki knowledge of foreign countries”.
    • lacking depth of character or understanding: e.g. “perhaps I was a tamaki person”.

    With thanks to my computer’s dictionary and the word “superficial” 😉

  8. As one of many middle middle-class families infiltrated by ‘Pentecostal Charismatics’, as my brother larded it on, you don’t seem to know much about this nonsense. For some reason, mostly the first Labour Party Government, we have resistance. I’m hacking down crassness all around me. Like the good gardener I am. You do understand the vitality of Christian shit in propping up the united Plutocracy of America?

    • Sumsuch, I prefer not to call it Christian “shit”, but yes Christian fundamentalism is playing a huge and ugly role in supporting Donald Trump and legislating against women in the US – and it has a global agenda.

      It was NZ’s same sex marriage bill that Brian’s mob demonstrated against a few years back. It was scary and deliberate intimidation.

      I was working on a top floor high above Willis Street, and we could hear them shouting, “Enough is enough,” and looked out the windows to see a procession of big well-built Maori men clad in black tee shirts marching yelling, “Enough is enough”.

      It was bullying, and it was totally medieval, and the impact of this bunch of organised thugs shouldn’t be under-estimated.

      That two other men or two other women may love each other, was none of their goddamn business, and setting themselves up as moral arbiters of society was ignorance and arrogance personified- and personified by angry big blokes shouting at the rest of us over and over and over again.They were deliberately intimidating.

      Had they been shouting “Enough is enough,” about abused and murdered babies and women their narrative may have been worthwhile hearing.

      Now Brian has another band-wagon, stopping the male violence
      which he had craftily channeled to use in his anti-gay clobbering.

      He bellows away about not having free access into prisons to carry out his ‘don’t smash women’ program.

      The wahine of a graduate of his stopping male violence against women – not in itself an unworthy cause – was told that it was her fault when he recently bashed her up post-grad as she provoked him, and she made him do it. And that’s what they usually say, and they think themselves real men.

      As others have commented, Brian’s aim in getting into prisons is that they provide a fertile ground for recruiting followers.

      The answer to that is using every possible mechanism to stop men ending up in prison and in the Tamaki’s well manicured hands.

  9. Having spent my 1st 34 yrs deeply involved in the Presbyterian church (I did start waking up when I was 8yrs old – it was beautiful music that kept me “in”), re Brian & Hannah, I cannot think of 2 less Christian “christians” here in godzone! Quote (& there are numerous equally pertinent) “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth…but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven …for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt 6:19-21)

    $5000 paid for a ring for one of Hannah’s fingers?! How many vehicles sit idle outside their mansion? One can drive only 1 vehicle at any given time. (Or maybe they have a large number of kids?)

    Both of them disgust me! The money they’ve accrued should be given to the poor – i.e., if they truly live their “faith”. I’m a decidedly “poor” superannuitant, yet I still give to several well-known charities every year. It’s not much, & I’m willing to wager that it’s more than Brian & Hannah give to similar organisations.

    • Isabel – Isabel- Isabel – you’ve got it back to front. It’s the poor who have to give money to Brian and Hannah, otherwise how can they be rich ?

      Holidays in the Greek Isles and costly cars and gold jewellery don’t come cheap. The Tamaki’s money is evidence of God’s approval and blessings, didn’t you know ?

      Some of the fundamentalist Christians’ justifications for their extreme wealth is mindbogglingly repulsive, but their followers give ’til it hurts, and keep on giving.

      I had a colleague angered by the donations his Pacifica mother in Auckland made to her church, which he said she simply couldn’t afford, but she kept doing it as the amounts were read aloud every Sunday; he told her – more than once I suspect- that when she died, he would make sure that they didn’t get another cent from her estate, and that this upset her.

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