A New Zealand Politician's One-Line Response To A Homophobic Rant Is Getting The Recognition It Deserves

The painful(ly funny) truth.

A New Zealand Politician's One-Line Response To A Homophobic Rant Is Getting The Recognition It Deserves

Religious zealots aren't restricted to one particular faith, and extremists have pushed their hateful agendas as "God's word" throughout human history. But modern-day religions have a particularly woeful record when it comes to LGBT acceptance, and despite progress in the past decades on this issue, homophobia in the name of faith still runs deep in societies across the world. 

In New Zealand, Brian Tamaki, the pastor of Destiny Church, came under intense scrutiny last month after he declared in a sermon that natural disasters were a result of homosexuality. But one local Minister of Parliament's response to his rant was so deliciously on point that it was voted "Quote of the year" by Massey University

In his sermon, Tamaki referenced the series of earthquakes in Christchurch in recent years. "Leviticus says that the earth convulses under the weight of certain human sin. It says it spews itself up after a while — that's natural disasters. Because nature was never created to carry the bondage of our iniquity," he said, apparently blaming the earthquakes on homosexuality. "The churches there allowed all sorts of activity you wouldn't dare to imagine. If I'm bulldozing your ignorance, good. Because there were churches there that weren't churches. They were actively involved in homosexual practice, homosexual priests."

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The video of Tamaki's sermon, posted on Facebook, quickly spread across New Zealand and infuriated many. A Change.org petition demanding that Destiny Church be stripped of its tax-exempt status and declared a hate group has garnered more than 124,000 signatures. 

But the Green Party's Denise Roche took a different tack, one that dismantled Tamaki's claim with humorous rationality. When a journalist asked Roche to comment on the sermon, she said simply: "Sex just can't be that good." 

Massey University's speech writing lecturer Dr. Heather Kavan, who created the "Quote of the year" competition, told the New Zealand Herald that Roche's response was quick-witted. "he conveyed her point without denigrating Tamaki, in a situation that left others struggling for words," Kavan said. "The irony is that in 2003 Tamaki prophesied that Destiny Church would be ruling New Zealand in five years. Here we are 13 years later, and, far from leading Parliament, the church is a catalyst for MP's best one-liners."

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