De-Christianising NZ’s national anthem

James Nikose writes in the The Dominion Post on 30 April 2021 – “These are the real Kiwi anthems that unite us”:

https://www.stuff.co.nz/opinion/124982414/what-are-our-real-kiwi-anthems

My letter to the Editor, which may or may not be published, reads as follows:

Deriding New Zealand’s anthem, James Nokise says “we’re all imperially required to sing God Defend New Zealand”.  He ignores how many Māori warmly embrace the Christian faith, and also that Christianity is not foreign, but global (cosmic, even): Christians came here from the Northern Hemisphere, but Christ came to the whole world from Elsewhere.

Nokise makes traditional Kiwi gatherings (“BBQs, garage parties, pubs”) sound profoundly important by borrowing from Christianity: these are “holy areas” where “sacred songs” are sung, one of the greatest being Slice of Heaven.

If you need Christian language to write profoundly, that’s a reminder that Christianity is profoundly important in New Zealand, despite all the populist derision.