A Pastor in New Zealand is now facing significant backlash after striking out at Black and Brown individuals, as well as the LGBTQ+ community.
The Pastor is said to be controversial and outspoken, but his latest rants have encouraged many to walk away from Christchurch's Celebration Centre.
Pastor Murray Watkinson of Christchurch's Celebration Centre in New Zealand wasted no time on compassion or love during his June 9 service. Instead, he called George Floyd "a villain," said bisexual individuals are "gutless" and argued that being White and traditional is now "uncool."
In the original 50-minute video, Watkinson spoke disjointedly about marriage, race and racial identity.
Early in the sermon, Watkinson noted that more than 50 percent of marriages fail.
"If you can actually stand in covenant, in relationship, in commitment for a lifetime, you're becoming a minority. So if you're a minority then you might also be a victim."
"I feel I might be a victim. I've been married too long, I'm also a victim because I'm White and old and have some financial substance."
Watkinson's sermon, at its core, was largely about being an "uncool" and victimized "minority" when leading a more traditionally White lifestyle of marriage, children, a big house and financial security.
He also used this to mock actual minorities, calling George Floyd a "villain" and the bisexual community "gutless."
"[George Floyd has been] lifted up as a hero, [but he has also been in jail]."
"This ain't no saint, he's a villain."
Watkinson suggested Floyd's "heroism" was a symptom of Black appropriation.
"[We have all these] Whites that pretend to be Black or brown. You've got half of the young people in society that they want to be Black."
To a laughing congregation, Watkinson jabbed:
"Yo man, their pants are down here. Not because they're well endowed, their pants are just down there. They've got the Black clothes, the Black hair, the Black attitude going on bro."
"They've got it all going on and you look at them and you think, 'oh my goodness'. Talk about an identity crisis."
Watkinson returned to his victim standpoint, stating:
"It's so uncool to be heterosexual."
Watkinson compared this "uncool" label with the bisexual community, stating "they don't know who they are."
"I reckon they're gutless, they don't want to offend anybody, so they're going to go every which way."
"We're neither Black, we're not White. We're neither righteous or ungodly, we're not this we're not that. We don't know who we are."
"Whites are the villains in the world. The rich are villains, the employed are villains, the educated."
The full video of the sermon has been deleted from the church's Facebook page, but shorter clips are still available online.
Lucas Fahey, known more popularly as Big Sima, shared one such clip on his Facebook profile, calling for all Pacific Islanders and Maori to find a new church home.
Fahey stated in his post:
"This is your moment to truly show your solidarity in the face of White pride and privilege."
Nearly 1,000 commented on Fahey's post, shocked at the content
The news was also shared on Twitter, where people were appalled and angry over the sermon.
Being bisexual is about the least gutless thing you can do. Being bi means accepting either community either straight or gay will reject you. You'll constantly be told you're going through a phase. The idea the bisexual people have it easy is pretty laughable.
— Rory (@roryreckons) June 15, 2020
I'm so sorry about this. This is truly awful. I couldn't even engage with it, given that it's based on nothing more than a strawman and a desire to play up to a crowd by punching down and falsely claiming victimhood. Everyone deserves better than this.
— Apoptosis is dying out 🇳🇿 (@SouthernMike3) June 15, 2020
This is me not being surprised...
— Colin Hart (@ColinHartUK) June 16, 2020
Canterbury's Celebration Centre sparks outrage after pastor claims being bisexual the same as 'whites pretending to be black' | Newshub #bisexualnews https://t.co/RbPB1CaeMP
— BisexualNews 💖💜💙 (@BisexualNews) June 16, 2020
It takes as much courage to be openly bisexual and face criticism from straight and gay biphobic bullies as it did for Christ's followers to own their faith @Celebrationchch Is pastor's name Peter?@NewshubNZ 💗💜💙 https://t.co/Ox5dkJ1eU5
— Armchair views 💗💜💙 (@JennyKayNZ) June 16, 2020
One former church leader, Trina Watkin, spoke of her sadness at the delivery of the sermon.
"I was so sad when I heard what he said and sad when I heard people laughing."
"This is the bigoted Murray. The difference is people have different ears on now. People are saying 'oh no, that's not OK'."
"It was a deep sadness that everything that we enjoy as Pacific Islanders and Maori you would then choose to be in a space that abuses you. It's like a form of self-hatred, why would you go somewhere that doesn't honour who you are?"
Multiple churchgoers also spoke of their discomfort at the content.
One who wished to remain anonymous said they would not be going back.
"He was racially inappropriate and portrayed non-Whites as lesser humans and joked and ridiculed people of colour ... his rant went on to include gays and bisexuals as well as transexual."
"I have lots of really good friends in that church but it won't be enough for me to attend again."
The Celebration Centre at large has not spoken out on the issue at hand, and according to their Facebook page, it's business as usual at Christchurch.
Given the wide variety of comments made by Watkinson, the church will hopefully make at least a statement on behalf of the diverse community they're said to support.
It will be rather telling if the church makes no statement, as well as whether local individuals choose to wait the situation out or move on to a new church home.
While they decide, perhaps they can listen to Indigenous New Zealander, Taika Waititi.