Pastor condemned for comparing bisexuality to white people ‘pretending to be Black’ in ‘deeply disturbing’ rant

Josh Milton June 16, 2020
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Murray Watkinson, the founder of Christchurch’s Celebration Centre church. (Screen capture via Stuff)

Murray Watkinson, the founder of Christchurch’s Celebration Centre church. (Screen capture via Stuff)

A millionaire pastor in New Zealand has sparked outrage after comparing bisexuality to white people “pretending to be Black” in a sermon dubbed “deeply disturbing” by critics.

Murray Watkinson, the founder of Christchurch’s Celebration Centre church based in the Wainoni neighbourhood, preached a 50-minute-long sermon on June 9 that touched off the death of George Floyd.

Watkinson said Floyd has been “lifted up as a hero” before noting his rap sheet, calling him a “villain” and breaking off into a bizarrely biphobic and racist tangent, Stuff reported.

Church pastor preaches that bisexuals ‘choose a side’ before saying they are ‘gutless’.

In the inflammatory sermon, which drew laughs from some attendees, Watkinson said: “What if you are brown and you’re internally divided?

“What you’ll do is you’ll choose a side, and then there are the ones who want to be bisexual – it’s like the whites that pretend to be Black or brown.

He added: “They’ve got the Black clothes, the Black hair, the Black attitude going on, bro.”

Watkinson, brittle with straight white rage, then launched into an attack against bi folk, saying they “don’t know who they are”.

“I reckon they’re gutless,” he spouted. “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.”

He then said that, at present, “whites are the villains in the world”.

“The rich are villains, the employed are villains, the educated.”

Murray Watkinson portrayed Black and brown people as ‘lesser humans’, says one service goer. 

Former church leaders skewered Watkinson’s words, calling them a “complete misrepresentation” of the message he should be delivered in the throes of a three-fold crisis: the coronavirus pandemic, a cratered economy and the Black Lives Matter protests.

Trina Watkin told the outlet: “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 chose 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?”

One of those at the service, who declined to be named, said the scathing sermon left many in attendance rattled.

“He was racially inappropriate and portrayed non-whites as lesser humans and joked and ridiculed people of colour,” the anonymous churchgoer said.

“I have lots of really good friends in that church but it won’t be enough for me to attend again.”

According to Newshub, one Facebook user, simmering with rage, shared footage of the sermon which drew condemnation from online critics.

“I’m deeply disturbed that this whakaaro [opinion] is being shared in our community,” the Facebook user said.

More: bisexual. biphobia, black lives matter, Church, New Zealand, Religion

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