In the early hours of Monday morning, New Zealand experienced a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Two people were killed and there has been extensive damage. The lives of thousands were thrown into turmoil. Any earthquake that big is naturally reported all over the world. Naturally, international media were keeping an eye on what our major news outlets were reporting.
As a result, when a New Zealand bishop said that gay people are one of the causes of earthquakes, it’s only natural that that the story was picked up worldwide. The story was shared to my Facebook page by people from all over the planet before I even knew about it.
Bishop Brian Tamaki of Destiny Church is fairly well known in New Zealand for his anti-LGBT attitudes. He’s won the “Least Trusted New Zealander” award three times (2006, 2007, and 2012). This self-appointed bishop of his own church has come back into the public consciousness in the last few days with a crash though.
It happened by accident. The day before the latest earthquake he happened to mention in his weekly sermon his well-known belief that homosexuality causes earthquakes. He thinks there has been an increase in natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions in the last 25 years. To him this proves an “obvious correlation” between that and making same-sex marriage legal.
As usual, part of his sermon was posted on the church’s Facebook page. The coincidence of the sermon being the day before the latest major quake, known in New Zealand as the Kaikoura earthquake, meant it received a bit of added attention. This is what he said last Sunday:
As I’ll show later, Tamaki has disassociated himself from any connection to the latest quake saying he couldn’t have known it would happen. But the Facebook post above clearly calls it a prediction. However, predicting that New Zealand will have an earthquake is not exactly rocket science. We have literally thousands a year though most, of course, are too small to be felt. Our country is on the boundary of the Australian and Pacific plates and therefore constant movement is to be expected.
Tamaki himself is not happy about how people are reacting to him, especially here in New Zealand. He tweeted this in criticism of how, in his opinion, our media were treating him:
How's this for so called Media Fairness..not once did TV 1 & TV 3 nd Close Up at 7 contact me for response or comment..they hd an agenda
— Bishop Brian Tamaki (@BishopTamaki) November 16, 2016
As is typical of both the far right and the far left, criticism is seen as a form of victimization. We know via the Pew Research Center that 81% of evangelical Christians voted for Donald Trump, and it seems Tamaki would have as well given the chance:
Even if he didnt mean it..this statement is 100% true..the upheaval toward Trump is deeper..its his stand for Christ pic.twitter.com/Yblx2qTar2
— Bishop Brian Tamaki (@BishopTamaki) November 12, 2016
In reaction to Tamaki feeling that he didn’t get the chance to have his say, Willie Jackson of Radiolive had him on his show for an hour on Wednesday (17 November). The videos of the show are broken into three parts to to cut out the breaks. Part One is mostly Jackson trying to pin Tamaki down on his position. In Part Two and Part Three, Tamaki responds to questions from listeners. (There may be a fourth part that hadn’t been put up when I did this post.)
Tamaki is completely unapologetic for his stance and says he has a right to say what he does in the privacy of his church. That is completely true, but I heard no one disputing it. He put the sermon on his public Facebook page, so it wasn’t strictly in the privacy of his church, but that doesn’t negate his right to freedom of speech and opinion.
The problem is that he is denying any responsibility for what he’s saying. His constant stance is that it is not him that’s saying this, he’s just repeating God’s word as written in the Bible. In New Zealand, as Jackson pointed out to Tamaki, most churches have a major problem with Tamaki’s interpretation of the Bible. Jackson himself hosted a debate between Tamaki and Archdeacon Hone Kaa, in which Kaa’s antipathy towards Tamaki’s version of Christianity was extreme.
Tamaki does not accept that there could be an interpretation of the Bible other than his, and keeps returning to his safe place – that he’s just saying what God wants him to say. He says he was inspired to talk about earthquakes as part of his sermon on Sunday morning and hadn’t planned it. His belief is the inspiration for that came from his god. He continues to repeat that God is not about judging, but repeatedly blames those who don’t meet the criteria in Leviticus 18:5-29 for things like floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. His victim mentality about the way people react to his pronouncements is clear in the videos.
The following exchange that occurred following a question from a caller in part three is an example of the above:
Tamaki: It just seems to me that whenever we speak something that’s contrary to how middle New Zealand and your particular group [caller identified himself as “part of LGBT community”] thinks, there’s such a adverse reaction to me and Destiny Church, so … [Jackson interrupts]
Jackson: I suppose … you know, you can understand, surely you can understand, because you said that stuff Sunday, and … [Tamaki interrupts]
Tamaki: The earthquake happened.
Jackson: … so people will look at you.
Tamaki: Well. maybe. Maybe it was a God/divine moment, because I had no idea personally that [the earthquake] was going to take place … [Jackson interrupts]
Jackson: So you understand human reaction?
Tamaki: Well maybe people should take a consideration in New Zealand. Ask themselves where are they with God.
As can be seen, Tamaki keeps insisting that he’s not blaming gays, but steps on that message every time he tries to explain it. It happened in this exchange too, which also comes from the third video:
Paul Ellis (caller and well-known gay NZer): … the correlation between gays and earthquakes is quite appalling in fact… [Tamaki interrupts]
Tamaki: No, no, I never said that thing. The media did. TV1 and the [New Zealand] Herald started it from somebody who was ... [Ellis interrupts]
Ellis: But I saw you with my own eyes on a video on Facebook you were [unintelligible] and pacing the stage and you said it yourself. So … [Tamaki interrupts]
Tamaki: I made that reference to Christchurch, not to Kaikoura, because I, because that earthquake hadn’t happened so I couldn’t have. I made a reference after these years that there’s definitely some correlation between what was happening there. Particularly Leviticus says in the Bible about the sexual perversions [Ellis laughs] and the land doing something. But if you don’t believe that’s your choice. [Tamaki and Ellis speaking over one another.]
Jackson:Well, well, well, can I just say, Paul is gay, you’ve gotta understand that he’s laughing but he must be bloody upset. Right Paul?
Ellis: No, I, look I think the whole thing is a joke personally.
Jackson:Well, good on ya Paul.
Tamaki: That’s your opinion … [Ellis interrupts]
Ellis: And by the way, you have the space to be a good role model for people … [Tamaki interrupts]
Tamaki: And we are.
Ellis: But you’re not. You’re not, because you’re inciting a conversation which is dividing people in this country as much as Donald Trump is.
Tamaki talks about some of the good work his church has done for people as an example of how he is a good role model and finishes with,
Tamaki: So, you’ve gotta be joking mister.
Now in his stride, Tamaki turns the conversation back onto Ellis and accuses him of judging. Ellis manages to get in some final words about what he called “hate conversation” before the end, but Tamaki had forced him onto the back foot.
It is true that Destiny Church does a lot of good work in the community in south Auckland. The problem is that the vulnerable people they do literally rescue from physical and sexual violence, drugs, and take in after prison sentences then become part of their Church. From that time they are part of what The Rev Dr Philip Culbertson of the University of Auckland has called “a cult.” As part of that cult they are required, no matter how poor, to tithe 10% of their income to the church. Some of that money does go back to helping people, but the bulk goes to financing the Tamakis’ luxury lifestyle and more.
Radiolive interviewed prime minister John Key about Tamaki’s comments. Key’s response was reported thus in the New Zealand Herald:
Prime Minister Key said this afternoon that Tamaki’s comments were “ridiculous”.
“I mean, give me a break,” Key told Radiolive.
“Look, you always get people coming out with these stupid statements.
“The facts of life are New Zealand is a seismically prone country, with a number of very well identified fault lines.
“We’ve been a bit unlucky I think, clearly those plates are moving around a bit.
“It’s nothing to do with people’s sexuality. I mean, it’s just madness.”
The mayor of Kaikoura, Winston Grey, apparently added a succinct, “What pathetic comments.”
Attorney-General Chris Finlayson said, “I think he needs a bit of counselling, frankly. He’s a sick puppy.”
Suffice to say, Tamaki is getting short shrift.
The response of New Zealanders in general has been pretty similar. An Auckland man, Aaron Smithson, set up a Change.org petition a couple of days ago. His comment there:
With the recent news from the self-appointed “Bishop” Brian Tamaki that gays were to blame for the earthquake in Kaikoura, I call upon John Key and the New Zealand Government to classify Destiny Church as a hate group and strip them of their tax free status.
The petition already has almost 113,000 signatures at time of posting.
According to a church spokesperson, Tamaki isn’t worried about the petition because it would create a precedent, though I’m not sure he should rely on an atheist prime minister and a gay attorney-general being too worried about the tax status of churches.
New Zealand prides itself on being a gay-friendly country. We’re known as a good tourist destination for gay people – somewhere same-sex couples can be open about their relationship everywhere they go. When our prime minister was asked what he thought of Tamaki’s comments, there was no equivocation – his immediate response was “ridiculous” and he didn’t stop there.
We’re a tolerant bunch, and actually have no problem with Tamaki holding his bigoted views. When he hurts others with them though, especially those who are already vulnerable, he’s crossed a line. There’s nothing we can actually do except speak out, because nice as it feels to do something like sign a petition, it won’t work. However, the public argument might make someone else think twice before they go down the Tamaki road.
There was one caller on Jackson’s Radiolive show who was hilarious! He asked Tamaki about all the earthquakes that were occurring millions of years before there were any humans; he pondered that perhaps the dinosaurs were engaging in some sort of sexual perversion. Tamaki didn’t answer that one.
Addendum 19 November 2016
Veteran journalist Brian Edwards added this to his Facebook page today:
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Thought you might write about this! What a piece of work Tamaki is. As I said to my brother-in-law in the States, see, NZ has flaming religious assholes too. I don’t think for a minute he believes this. He’s just another lying shyster living off the poor folk who come under his spell. His fleeced flock, on the other hand, are being poisoned and no good can come of it for them or NZ society.
Tragically, two people died in this recent earthquake. Does this make them gay in Tamaki’s eye. What an insult to their bereaved relatives, as he is implying that these poor people are responsible for the earthquake. Or is it just that god, in all his omnipotence, missed his target, and they are just collateral damage?
As Ken says, just another lying shyster. What is it with these guys and shiny suits?
Yes, that was my first reaction too: were these 2 victims gay?
– If not, God has a terrible aim, to put it mildly. Worse than many a cricket player.
– If they were, what a show, earthquake-like, for killing off just two gays. Highly inefficient meseems.
Maybe He should device an incurable disease that pertcularly targets …oops?
Well, my hope that there really were places of rational thought and beauty has been dashed. I guess it was too much to hope for
Yep, as Ken says, unfortunately we have them too. Of course, they’re treated with disdain here by almost everybody and they aren’t automatically respected just because they lead a church. I can’t see Pat Robertson being openly dismissed by a president any time soon.
When it’s NZers who are the problem, I find the posts really hard to write. They don’t flow naturally. There was a lot more I could have written about this git, including stuff that’s never made it into the media – he spent a short time living in my wee town many years ago, and there’s a good reason he left it out of his autobiography. However, I’m still trying to get the info confirmed.
Then there’s the time he ran for parliament (2006) confident that within ten years he would have taken over the country. That all fizzled out when he got less than 1% of the vote and was rejected by every single electorate.
Or the time his wife Hannah tried to take over the Maori Women’s Welfare League by creating chapters that then voted for her. The League soon worked out what she was trying to do and stymied her.
We also have a cult in NZ called Gloriavale. It’s bought isolated property on the West Coast and is run by a convicted sex offender. The women are completely under submission to the men, and are not even allowed to choose who they marry. I’ve had a half completed post about that for weeks. I find that one really hard to write as well. Almost every NZer is disgusted the place even exists, but there’s very little we can do about it. The third generation of kids born into the place is currently growing up there and knows no other life. They’re also taught to fear the outside world.
It’s sadly comical. The attempts to make rational sense dealing with someone who is professionally irrational is tragically funny.
One thing that could be done by the media, as in one quote above, is never refer to Tamaki as “bishop” without preceding it with “self proclaimed”. I’d prefer always to use “Mr.”. Those who admire him are unable to identify the fraud, so others can help them see who he really is by refusing to grant him his self proclaimed authority.
Also, I wish someone would confront him with the facts he conveniently omits when using Leviticus as his authority: namely all the other commandments he violates all the time – such as failing to stone people who collect firewood on Sunday, failing to avoid wearing blend fabrics, to avoid shrimp. Most of these religious nuts are involved with an extramarital affair or two but would hesitate over “If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.” And on it goes, one hypocrisy after the other.
The people who support such a person, let’s face it, are often not able to critically evaluate someone like this. They are being taken for a ride. I would like to see Tamaki lose his tax exemption. Maybe there’s a way.
One of the callers into the radio show mentioned some of the stuff in Leviticus Tamaki conveniently ignores. He pretty much ignored that question too.
Tamaki and his wife Hannah got together as teenagers and had their first child at 19 before they married iirc.
Tamaki left school as soon as he turned 15, as was possible then, when he was still in the fourth form. That’s about tenth grade. He’s not intelligent and often has an air which his supporters consider his religiosity, but most think shows he doesn’t entirely understand what’s going on. His wife Hannah, otoh, is clearly both intelligent and cunning. She is the power behind the throne. She isn’t much better educated than her husband though. She stayed at high school longer, but only by a couple of years.
I’m just guessing here, but maybe the vast majority of their congregation are similarly deficient in the advantages of education. These are the people who give them oxygen and who suffer the most harm. It advocates for the stimulating slogan – “stay in school”.
They could be. One of his top surrogates is a former police officer which in NZ requires that he has at least passed the University Entrance qualification, so not all are stupid. Though I’ve got to say even he comes across to me as a bit thick. He’s also one of the handsomest men I’ve ever seen in my life, though he has a hard look on his face that would certainly stop me ever being attracted to him.
Here is another opinion piece about Tamaki from an atheist on one of our most read news sites: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/86551648/opinion-brian-tamaki-can-go-to-hell-but-his-followers-can-still-be-saved
The question becomes, are we stuck forever with a subset of our human populace who are always susceptible to the demented leader? Or can education enlighten those lowly masses to become immune to the siren sound of a charismatic leader without morals?
I have often felt that there aught to be laws to protect the populace from misleading persuasion. But, of course, that seems to contradict our notion of freedom.
I think the key is education. Anyone can be taught how to evaluate information properly.
Also, if there was less poverty, society was more egalitarian, and there were less organisations that promote an “us vs them” mentality things would be better.
Basically we need to be more inclusive, more accepting, more understanding of difference etc. Then people who rise by promoting division can’t succeed.
Well, I was going to collect some kindling in the woods today. But, I think I’ll wait till Sunday now. Just to piss off any religious a-holes around here. I didn’t know about that rule. Excellent.
Saturday, the Sabbath is Saturday.
Well, when you have no evidence you have to make do with whatever you can get and do whatever it takes to keep the money coming in.
Well, it’s long been suspected that the more vociferous people who concern themselves with the activities of other people and their mucous membranes are very frequently deeply personally conflicted on the subject. If I were a sleaze-digging, trouble-stirring low-life journalist, I’d be straight down to the local BDSM parlour with photos of this guy to get the real story.
I’ve noticed the same thing Aidan. It’s always the ones who are most obsessed that you have to watch.
However, in Tamaki’s case I think he really believes this crap. To put it bluntly, he’s stupid and he’s been raised in evangelical Christianity since early childhood. His father was a violent drunk, and his mother took him to a literalist church. I suspect it was one of the few good things in his life. He wasn’t able to hold down a job before he started his church mainly because he just isn’t very bright.
He believes we’re in the End Times, and he sees signs of it everywhere. There’s no convincing him otherwise – this is no great thinker we’re talking about.
He also believes that God made him wealthy as a reward for his work on God’s behalf. I suspect his wife has a more pragmatic view, and she knows their wealth depends on Tamaki’s ability to inspire people.
Yes, Gravelia, I think it was the Hitch that pointed this out, or rather elaborated it, for anti-gay activists.
In my -hands on- experience the same goes for the anti-abortion crew.
But maybe Tamaki *is* that white elephant (an anti-gay activist without ‘in the closet’ gay tendencies), however, he does not appear to have been scrutinised very thoroughly yet.
As someone who believes that we all have an obligation to work to improve the human condition and make the world a better place for having lived, I was struck by an ethical question the other day that I think is apropos. Your post, Heather, mentioned that this idiot’s church is know for doing some good things. But if at the same time, they also do things that are harmful or detrimental to others, can they be considered to be “good” people? I first thought of this vis-a-vis Der Gropenfuhrer such as him providing employment for, say 10,000 people, but then cheating them out of a portion of their earned pay (as he is wont to do). But it seems to fit here, as well.
Btw, I saw a meme yesterday that also fits – “If part of your reasoning is “the bible says”, then calling you an idiot is not an accusation – merely an observation.”
I’m not sure it really counts as doing a good thing by employing people when you rip them off. Or you help someone and in the process suck them into handing over 10% of their income for life. Tamaki preaches the prosperity gospel, which to me creates the superstition that if you stop giving the money all that bad stuff will come back. It’s cruel and invidious – God’s protection racket.
Also, because of the us vs them mentality churches like Destiny encourage these vulnerable people often have no support system outside the church. This makes the likelihood they’ll get dragged back into their old lives if they’re forced out of the church for non-payment of tithes high.
Btw, Heather, I’ve been meaning to send along my best wishes that you and yours were unscathed by the quake. My procrastination was strong, though.
Thanks. Everyone I know seems to be safe, including those who live pretty close to the Big One.
I didn’t even know about the quake. Glad you’re ok Heather. I’ve been avoiding the news as it is sickening me. Especially the way much of the media is “normalizing” Trump and his incoming cabinet. People, there is nothing normal about what is happening in our capital! There was even a puff piece in People magazine FFS. This is a popular gossip/celebrity mag that is on all the magazine racks. At the grocer when I see it, I flip it around. This act strangely makes me feel relieved; like when I put one of those FFRF warning stickers in bibles I find in hotels or doctor offices.
This Tamaki is just another reminder of what we as rational thinkers are up against. Ridicule is really the only way to fight these people in a civilized society. Though I am starting to wonder if I consider the US a civilized society anymore. Trump is certainly doing his damnedest to turn that around. It’s just amazing that he hasn’t said anything but “stop it” when asked the question about the wave of hate crimes sweeping the nation in his name. “Interesting times” just doesn’t cut it anymore. “Dangerous times” is our new normal.
The thing that gets me is that most of those who are normalizing Trump’s election aren’t the ones who are or will suffer the consequences. Imagine, for example, being a person of colour living in a town that has one of the KKK parades to celebrate Trump’s victory. A helluva lot if people are genuinely scared about what’s going to happen, and they have good reason to be.
So far there have been numerous sore loser riots, and zero KKK parades. Statistically speaking, the risk from the former is infinitely higher than from the latter.
The KKK parades are planned for December. They have to get permission, so it’s up to local areas whether they go ahead.
There have been numerous protests to Trumps election, but there have not been numerous riots. Most protests have been peaceful.
People have a right to protest and I personally think it’s a pretty good way for people to get things out of their system. Republicans tend not to protest, which they tout as a positive. However, those who get really obsessed like Timothy McVeigh tend to come from the right (KKK, Phineas Priesthood, The Order, Aryan Nation, AOG etc.). I sometimes wonder if they’d let off a bit of steam in a protest whether it might not be a better thing.
Of course, I’m not denying there are domestic terrorists from all parts of the political spectrum in the US.
Immo USians *should* protest these stolen elections. They *should* protest voter ‘suppression’ (when your phone is stolen, do you speak about phone ‘suppression’?), Crosscheck, ‘provisional’ votes, mailed votes and the complete lack of serious (ie. bipartisan) oversight of the counting process.
It is telling that the only ‘swing’-state where Clinton won concurring with the exit polls, Virginia, was the very ‘swing’-state where a Democrat was in charge of the counting process.
Jill Stein has managed to get a recount ordered for Wisconsin, and is trying to get one for Pennsylvania and Michigan as well. If the results of all three are changed, Clinton will win.
Did she? If so, kudos to her, I’m willing to forgive her her wobbly stance on vaccination (as said, anti-vax is a pet peeve of mine).
But there should also be re-assessment of the counts in North Carolina (btw, the state of the Wright brothers, not some rural backwater), Florida, Ohio and Arizona. In fact all states where the raw exit polls diverge more than 1-2 % from the official count. (And, as noted, in all cases, systematically, to the detriment of Clinton and the advantage of Trump.)
I agree, but to get a recount in the US apparently costs a fortune. She’s had to raise millions to do it – more than 4 million so far.
And it’s worth adding that in those three states Clinton lost by less than the number of votes that Stein received. So maybe she’s thinking of all those people who told her that she should tell her voters to vote for Clinton in swing states or is feeling a bit guilty. Or maybe she’s just trying to prove it wasn’t her fault Clinton lost?
There’s absolutely no reason to think she feels guilty about her campaign or doubt the reason she’s given, that the public deserves some confidence in the integrity of the election results. If I wanted to add to that, I’d say the additional media exposure is a plus.
I wasn’t trying to bad mouth Stein. Although I have had a lot of negative stuff to say about her, I have absolutely no reason to doubt her integrity and I was only throwing out possibilities.
It’s a bit rich for an Anglican to claim Tamaki’s group is a cult. They both believe in a supernatural Christian god. They both tithe their members. They are both tax-exempt. The Anglican Church is also a cult, just less extreme in the way they present themselves.
I think all contributions in the Anglican Church are voluntary – there’s no compulsion in their tithing. And it could be argued that a lot of them no longer believe all the supernatural stuff either.
Of course, the whole tax exempt thing is effing disgusting, and all religions are cults imo, so I don’t disagree with you on the whole.
My grandmother was an elder in the Anglican Church and she gave them a huge amount over the years and in her will. When she was dying and unable to go to church anymore she sent them a(nother) cheque for $10,000. They didn’t even thank her. Eventually, four months later, after my aunt gave the vicar a bit of a rark up, she (the vicar) went to see grandma and thanked her. Grandma was suitably mollified and thought it was lovely and accepted all the excuses for not coming earlier. She didn’t know my aunt had intervened.
On the other hand, that vicar had welcomed several gay Catholics into the congregation that the priest at the local Catholic Church treated very badly. (My grandmother was privately unhappy about that, but put on a friendly face at least – doing her “Christian duty.”)
I have been considering the question of who NZ’s Trump would be. There is of course no perfect candidate. Some have suggested Bob Jones. I heard Gareth Morgan tried to compare himself to Trump, which seemed neither accurate nor wise to me. But just before this kerfuffle began, I settled on Brian Tamaki as NZ’s nearest thing to Trump. Narcissistic? Check! Personality cult? Check! Lives inside his own self-delusions? Check! Denies saying things he just said? Check! Wants to run the country but has no idea how our democracy works? Check! There are still many differences but he’s my candidate for NZ’s Trump.
I doubt this current petition would go far, even though I see Peter Dunne supports a Destiny-specific removal of tax exempt status. Personally, I’d welcome a reexamining of NZ’s tax exemption status for religious organisations. If there was to be legal consequence of the current controversy, I’d rather see the removal of NZ’s outdated blasphemy laws.
Yeah, Tamaki ticks a lot of the boxes. My pick for our Trump though would be Winston Peters. He’s a very smart politician and able to read the electorate in the way Trump can, and has no scruples about appealing to the worst instincts in people. He’s already succeeded in several campaigns by creating the playing on fear of immigration. One thing he doesn’t do which you point out that Tamaki does, is live in his own self-delusions. He know exactly what he’s doing. And New Zealand First is a personality cult. I’m not sure it’ll survive once he gets too old to run.
I didn’t know Peter Dunne supported the Destiny-specific removal of tax-exempt status. It’s a pity he lost the job of Minister of Revenue.
I agree with you about the legal stuff. I want churches to lose their tax-exempt status and I think it’s something that would have widespread support here though I’m not sure any political party is brave enough to run on it. However, like you, if I had to choose one law related to religion to change it would be the blasphemy law. It’s a complete embarrassment that it even exists.
This Tamaki is nuts. Everybody knows it was global warming.
Anyway, glad to hear you are well.
Ha ha! and thanks. 🙂
I’ve added some more to the bottom of this post. Veteran journalist Brian Edwards put a statement on his Facebook page today about Brian Tamaki, which I added to the post. It says:
“How else could he face his own reflection in the mirror?”
That’s what I used to wonder about Trump.
Some time around 570 BC, Thales said that the earth is floating on water, and that earthquakes are caused by waves. That is a far more sensible answer than Bishop Brian [insert sheep joke here] Tamaki’s theory.
(Still, given that modern theology hasn’t much progressed past Plato, I guess that only makes about 250 years off the pace of his colleagues.)
It is a more sensible answer – it has the benefit of showing direct cause and effect.
Theologically, Tamaki’s idea is heresy. He’s suggesting that nature is conscious and knows when people are behaving in a way that God disapproves of. Though to be fair, that’s pretty much what the Bible says too. Of course, the Bible ‘s Old Testament is plagiarized from earlier sources, some of which are pagan, so that’s to be expected.
Is it just me or has anyone else noticed the deafening silence from NZ churches in the chorus of people denouncing Tamaki’s comments. Oh there are a smattering of Christian responses, but they *all* talk about how God doesn’t cause earthquakes and the poor earthquake victims don’t need this, while they *all* fail to acknowledge the real intended victims – the LGBT community.
That is because abhorrent as Brian’s views on gay people are, most NZ Christians agree with him. Maybe not specifically that gays cause earthquakes, but certainly that God will judge nations for immorality, and gays are immoral, so… at this point they get very vague about what that judgement entails.
I imagine Brian must be feeling a little let down by his fellow Christians right now. He stands up and proclaims the hard truth of what the bible says about gays, and no other churches stand with him. Instead they hide quietly waiting for it to blow over while hoping no-one asks what they think of homosexuality. Or they could go the other way and stand with the weak, in case the LGBT community, and defend the LGBTs in that “hate the sin, love the sinner” way they go on about.
But no. Not a peep from them. So in a way Brian is NZs greatest living Christian. Prepared to stand up and preach the hard truths of Biblical Christianity, even if that means he will get crucified in the media. It’s what Jesus would have done. Its what all the other Christians are too scared to do.
What’s that saying of theirs? – “if you stand for nothing you will fall for anything”
You make a lot of good points. All those religions which oppose marriage equality fall into this basket. In NZ they shut up about it because public opinion is against them and when they originally opposed the legislation to legalize it most of them were losing even their congregations over it, but the institutions themselves still often oppose it. And opposing same sex marriage means you don’t see gay people as equals however much you protest otherwise.
So yes, I agree a lot of churches are keeping out of this lest the hypocrisy of their own stance is exposed.
I realize that this is only tangentially germane, but I came across this link yesterday and rereading your comments about Tamaki being raised in the delusional bubble fits in nicely with this. I think you will thoroughly enjoy it. It is an analysis of the US election debacle and why the delusionals of middle america consistently vote against their own best interests and voted Trump in droves. http://forsetti.tumblr.com/post/153181757500/on-rural-america-understanding-isnt-the-problem
Forsetti makes a lot of sense. It’s clear that for White Christian America, “Gays being allowed to marry are a threat. Blacks protesting the killing of their unarmed friends and family are a threat. Hispanics doing the cheap labor on their farms are somehow viewed a threat. The black President is a threat. Two billion Muslims are a threat. The Chinese are a threat. Women wanting to be autonomous are a threat. The college educated are a threat. Godless scientists are a threat.”
Good article. I’ve never repeated the trope that the Democratic party doesn’t understand this part of the US because it didn’t make sense to me. This article has helped my understanding.
My mother and brother went on a camping road trip around this part of the country in the late 90s. Mum often describes the intense unfriendliness towards outsiders she felt, especially in the smaller towns. They wanted you to spend money in their businesses, but they didn’t want to put up with you while you did it. Anyone who wasn’t local was looked upon with deep suspicion, and there was a horrible feeling just being in many of these towns.
For an infinitely more astute take:
So what if Democrats don’t understand these morons? They’re never going to change their views as the writer says, and they shouldn’t be corrupting policies to get their votes. These are not the people Dems have to understand. They are the write offs. But it doesn’t matter, because they are a minority and not the people Dems need to win. The people Dems have to understand are those that are open to voting for them who either stayed home or voted for Trump out of sheer, if misguided, frustration at how corrupt the Dems have become. jam’s article is definitely closer to the truth and certainly more relevant for what the Dems need to do next. My only quibble is that it wasn’t so much a cult of Hillary, as a cult of their neo-liberal world view. It just happened to be Hillary’s turn to carry the flag.
The Kaa of the Junglebooks had this ability to hypnotize his prey, particularly monkeys (Bandar Log(?)), very much like Tamaki, and much less like the eponymous archdeacon.
Brian Tamaki has got some support for his views. A couple of USian guys, who are known on YouTube as the Two Preachers, have posted a video entitled, “Warning to New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key, This is No Joke !!! End Times Bible Prophecy 2016”
It tool me several goes to get through it all. It’s pretty painful. They’ve obviously never come across our Brian before as they pronounce his name Tim-mee-kee, and call John Key, John Kay, but you can’t have everything I suppose.
These guys are, I think from the Seventh Day Adventist church. They say to our PM, among other things, “I say this with the greatest respect: Do not mock the Word of God, do not mock Those Who Warn You. In fact, I’l go as far as saying, and I’m very serious when I say this: You’re actually putting the lives of the people of New Zealand at great risk with your comments. Because just as the nations in scripture who mock God and who do not listen, they were punished. And you know, you are failing to see God’s Word. You are failing to see the warning signs. And if God is warning you, you need to seek God with all of your heart and repent for your nation’s sin. We’ll leave it there.”
I’m sure that’ll make all the difference at the next cabinet meeting.
And for an extra laugh, have a read of the comments after the video. SMH!!!
At least Tamaki has been good for a laugh.
Ha ha. Good one Denise Roche. And I remember the other quotes in the article too – all goodies, and all sort if sex related.
Am I being mean in saying – we laugh at this stuff in NZ, but in the US the quotes would have caused outrage, especially the ones from politicians?
Perhaps if they’d come from politicians, but pols in the States seem too serious for that. This sort of comment generally comes from comedians. I can see John Oliver saying Denise’s quote easily and it wouldn’t cause outrage coming from him as he’s said far worse!
Joe Biden could get away with it! Can’t see Nancy Pelosi going there!