Heather du Plessis-Allan: Christopher Luxon needs to avoid being 'the Christian guy'

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Thu, 25 Mar 2021, 5:19PM

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Christopher Luxon needs to avoid being 'the Christian guy'

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Thu, 25 Mar 2021, 5:19PM

I’m surprised that anyone cares so much about Christopher Luxon Christianity that he had to address it in his maiden speech last night 

But clearly there are people who do care, so smart move getting it out of the way and dealing with it before having what seems like an inevitable run for the leadership of the Nationals. 

The reason I’m surprised is because we have been electing Christian prime ministers for the longest time 

Bill English, who won most of the votes in 2017, is Catholic. Jim Bolger is Catholic. David Lange was a Methodist lay preacher, and probably most of them before that regularly went to church.

Yes, you could argue we’re a more secular society now, but we’re surely not that much more secular than we were four years ago when English took 44 percent of the vote.  

But clearly there is a need to placate voters. Bill English did this too when he took over from John Key – he said that he was proud of being an active catholic but wouldn’t drag New Zealand off into social conservatism.

It’s a bit of a risky move for Luxon.  This could work well in terms of attracting the Christian vote, because we know there is a sizeable vote out there and the Christian aspect is important.

Nearly four percent of voters held their nose and voted for the New Conservatives even though Colin Craig had been saying the weirdest things that election like suggesting he believed in chem trails.

But it could also backfire. Luxon now needs to back up his promise that Christianity isn’t a political agenda.

A lot of the talk today has pointed that he voted against safe spaces outside abortion clinics to keep protesters away.

He needs to move on fast so he doesn’t become just the Christian guy, which is the very thing he’s trying to avoid.