Zahra Shahtahmasebi

8 December, 2016

(THE TV’s LEAKING) Brian Tamaki – everyone’s favourite bishop and leader of the Destiny Church – has made quite a name for himself in the headlines lately, ever since his infamous sermon on November 13th that apparently heralded the Kaikoura earthquake. In this Sunday session he finally revealed to us the unrivalled wisdom that homosexual activity, along with murderers, child abusers and other such sinners are the trigger that causes earthquakes and other natural disasters. Supposedly, the weight of all this sin is what causes the tectonic plates in the earth’s crust to move.

In lieu of this bout of genius, his latest insights turn away from earthquakes, and he has instead lashed out at the much beloved book series Harry Potter. The warning describes that the boy-wizard turned hero which is renowned for getting thousands of children and adults alike into reading, is actually a tool that lures people (particularly young adults) towards the occult and the demonic people.

If I remember correctly, there was a noticeable uprising of demonic activity since the Philosopher’s Stone was published in 1997. In the same statement, Tamaki continues to make further inspired comments about sexually transmitted infections (STIs), claiming that they would no longer be a problem in our society if people merely did not have sex until marriage and remained faithful to their spouse. This is despite the fact that STIs are not just transmitted via sexual intercourse but also via blood, mucous and contact with infected skin.

The backlash that has amounted against Tamaki and the Destiny Church since the “degradation of sexual sin being the cause for earthquakes” comments made the national news on the NZ Herald has been massive and profound. Tamaki has received several death threats, as well as threats to burn down the Church. He claims that he himself has homosexual friends yet fails to see how his comments could have offended people, particularly the LGBTQ community, and has emphatically refused to apologise. He is in fact, not spreading ‘Brian Tamaki’s word’ but instead, ‘God’s message’.

Protesters have since gathered at the Destiny Church to voice their anger; at least 54,000 people have called for the Church to be stripped of their tax-free status and several Kiwis have donated money to Rainbow Youth in Tamaki’s name. It seems that we’re all in agreement that these ideas of Tamaki’s are beyond absurd. So this begs the question, why is this controversial preacher and his ludicrous notions still getting air time? Why does the NZ Herald see fit to publish and give this man relevance that he in no way deserves?

A simple search of Tamaki’s name on the NZ Herald Facebook page yields at least sixteen separate articles relating to Tamaki that have been published in the last 2 weeks alone. Essentially, the NZ Herald is giving Tamaki a free platform to broadcast his “wisdom”.

Despite the fact that his comments and opinions have angered and enraged the New Zealand community, he is revelling in the publicity that it is bringing him and his church. An hour long radio interview with RadioLive allowed him to defend his views and promote his church. He welcomed many to attend, stating that one week’s attendance at the church is enough for to succumb and follow his ‘messages from God’. While a generous offer, interestingly enough I might be busy that day, doing anything else.

Would it not be a better idea to just ignore the bishop and his fantastical delusions, to not give him any credence, to let his ideas and his church to fade into nothingness – where they can no longer hurt and damage people with their spite? This is not to mention that what he is preaching can hardly be differentiated between the various religious advocates across the globe, also raising the question of why the media decides to single him out as if to be a somewhat lone wolf of religious extremism. How many churches do you know that strongly praise gay relationships?

Yes, what he is preaching is shocking and ridiculous, but we are allowing him to gather strength, power and the satisfaction of having a public medium publish his views for free.

This article (Dear NZ Herald: Stop Giving Brian Tamaki Free Air Time) was written exclusively for The TV’s Leaking and may not be reproduced in any way, shape or form without permission from the author.

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