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Stuff National

Donations pour in to Rainbow Youth – care of Brian Tamaki video

He’s done it again: Controversial ‘Bishop’ Brian Tamaki says ‘the weight of human sin’ caused earthquakes.

LAWRENCE SMITH / FAIRFAX NZ

He’s done it again: Controversial ‘Bishop’ Brian Tamaki says ‘the weight of human sin’ caused earthquakes.

A charity for gay and transgender youth has Brian Tamaki to thank for a spike in donations that’s seen more than $3000 raised in four days.

The Destiny Church founder’s controversial sermon linking gay people to earthquakes prompted dozens of donations to RainbowYouth, with many humorously listed under Tamaki’s name.

One donation came courtesy of “Brian ‘tanning booth’ Tamaki” and others purported to be from Destiny Church email addresses.

RainbowYouth executive director Duncan Matthews said it was the highest number of donations the organisation had ever had on the back of a spontaneous campaign.

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He said one person wrote on Twitter they were donating in response to Tamaki’s comments, and from there it had snowballed.

“It’s great to see the response, there has been that positive to come out of it,” he said.

“We’ll look at putting that money toward supporting those who are from religious families who might need support, or who may need some sort of help.”

Tamaki’s wife and church co-leader Hannah Tamaki suggested in a tweet that her husband may be able to claim tax deductions on money that was donated under his name.

It was unclear whether her post was tongue in cheek, but it was swiftly mocked by other Twitter users who pointed out that it could amount to fraud if he was to attempt to claim that money.
Matthews said there was no danger of any donations being claimed back by Brian Tamaki.

“I’m not 100 per cent sure how it works in a legal sense but people have pointed out that if he did try to claim it back he would be committing fraud.

“The other point is we would need a signed receipt saying that it was in Brian’s name and we wouldn’t do that because we know that they weren’t genuinely from him.”

Tamaki’s sermon came on Sunday, hours before the 7.8 magnitude earthquake near Hanmer Springs.

Destiny Church posted the video on Facebook on the Monday.

It features Tamaki saying: “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.”

Prime Minister John Key called Tamaki’s comments “ridiculous” and said the earthquake had “nothing to do with people’s sexuality. I mean, it’s just madness”.

Speaking on RadioLive on Thursday, Tamaki did not apologise for causing offence and said he was giving a “biblical perspective” as he referred to natural disasters being linked to the “degradation of sexual sin” and “iniquities of mankind destroying our earth”.

He argued he wasn’t singling out homosexuality: “It’s about child abuse, adultery, immorality, any type of extra-sexual behaviour that’s outside of the marriage”.