Newly elected and openly gay Auckland Councillor Richard Hills has spoken out against recent comments made by Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki.
"I think we need to treat these comments as nothing more than a joke, in fact we should really be ignoring them, but if we have to speak about them we shouldn't take them seriously and tell every person in the LGBTI community that they're awesome and to ignore this,” he told Villainesse.
“I've also seen many friends who are religious condemning these comments too. It's sad that [Tamaki] has a large following though and there will be many vulnerable people in his community confused about those damaging comments. I hope they feel able to speak out to someone."
Tamaki made comments in a sermon on Sunday apparently attributing one of the causes of the Christchurch earthquake to “sexual sin”. He took particular aim an openly gay Christchurch priest, appearing to suggest that his homosexuality may have played a role in the deadly Christchurch earthquake of 2011.
Tamaki said during the sermon: "The land actually speaks to God. Out of the soil ... Abel's blood spoke to God from a murder. The earth can speak. Leviticus says that the earth convulses 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."
When contacted by Villainesse on Thursday, a Destiny Church media liaison declined to comment or respond to Hills.
She referred queries to an interview Tamaki did earlier in the day with RadioLive's Willie Jackson.
"He did a very adequate job explaining himself," the liaison said.
Tamaki appeared unrepentant in the RadioLive interview, stating that he was simply conveying “God’s message”. Tamaki told Jackson that he felt it was “proper and right” for him to give a “biblical perspective” of natural disasters and went on to attribute such natural phenomena to the “rise and degradation of sexual sin on the earth.”
During the interview, Tamaki doubled down his earlier comments and claimed that it was “no coincidence” that a Christchurch church with a gay pastor was “razed to the ground.”
Tamaki went on to confirm that child abuse, adultery and any other “extra-sexual behaviour” were also responsible for natural disasters, clarifying his view that gay sex is “only one of many sexual deviations”.
Tamaki refused to apologise to the people of Christchurch and reaffirmed his earlier comments that Christchurch was a “hotbed of sin”. Late in the interview he claimed that the bible is “more accurate than anybody else’s word; the media, words from our Government or any human.”