'The earth convulses under the weight of human sin': Controversial church leader blames gay people for New Zealand earthquakes

Daily Mail, UK/November 16, 2016

By Leith Huffadine

A controversial church leader has blamed New Zealand's earthquakes on homosexuals.

Destiny Church leader Bishop Brian Tamaki believes the massive earthquakes in New Zealand in 2011 that killed 185 were caused by gay people - including a gay priest.

He made the remarks during a sermon on Sunday, when he also said another earthquake caused by 'certain human sin' would occur, before a 7.8-magnitude rocked the country.

At one point, he said 'the earth [convulsed] under the weight of certain human sin'.

'It spews itself up after a while. That's natural disasters. Because nature was never created to carry the bondage of our iniquity,' Mr Tamaki said.

Later he referenced churches and priests in Christchurch and their 'engagement in homosexual activities'. 

New Zealand's human rights commissioner Richard Tankersley told the New Zealand Herald his words were disgusting and reprehensible. 

'Tamaki's words are a lesson to us all that intolerance and prejudice is very real. At this time when families are mourning loved ones and many more are scared and wondering how to face the next day, this kind of message is frankly, disgusting.'

He added the comments were ignorant and advised people listen to scientists and civil defence experts for information on earthquakes.

The country's Prime Minister John Key called Tamaki's words 'ridiculous' and the mayor of the town worst affected called the, 'pathetic'. 

'The facts of life are New Zealand is a seismically prone country, with a number of very well identified fault lines... It's nothing to do with people's sexuality. I mean, it's just madness,' Mr Key said.

Leaders from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) and Christian communities joined in condemning Tamaki.

Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit  Lexie Matheson - who received the honour for her contribution to the LGBTQI community - told The New Zealand Herald she was 'gobsmacked' he had made the 'loopy' comments while people were suffering.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Mr Tamaki and Destiny Church for comment.

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