Who wrote the book of love? Apparently, not whoever wrote the Bible; at least according to one New Zealand Baptist pastor who recently echoed the sentiments of a certain Arizona preacher earlier this week. In fact, it almost sounds as though he’s reading equally from the books of Leviticus and the Book of Arizona’s Steven Anderson.
This particular incident centers around a different book, though; one written by an openly gay New Zealand man named Jim Marjoram. Marjoram’s book, titled “It’s Life, Jim” discusses his experiences as a gay Christian. After publication, he sent emails out to all of the island’s Christian leaders, along with many others who’d at some point found themselves in the missionary position.
One such man was Auckland’s Logan Robertson, Pastor of the Westcity Baptist Church. (Fun Fact: “City” is one synonym for “borough,” from which the suffix “-boro” is derived.) Robertson, outside of his capacity as 19th century beard enthusiast, responded…well, about as you’d expect from a leader of Westboro Baptist’s New Zealand division who also happens to share a last name with Pat Robertson:
“We are not interested in your filthy lifestyle or book. The Bible says you are vile, strange (queer), reprobate, filth, sodomite, natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed. I pray that you will commit suicide, you filthy child molesting fag.”
In a later interview (coincidentally, on Fox News’ international sister station, Sky News), he was asked to justify his email response. And just as you’d expect, doubled down on it with some of that good old time religion. Eerily, almost quoting Anderson word-for-word:
“I think every single one of them should be put to death. Christians shouldn’t be doing it, I’m not going to do it, it’s the Government’s job to be doing it.”
OK, to be fair…maybe it’s not that eerie. New Zealand and Australia are kind of like Canada South Pacific; they do tend to follow America’s lead on certain things. So, this might be less a case of coincidence than of two like-minded souls meeting on the internet. A quantum entanglement of emotions, irrespective of distance, culminating in the sweet release of precious declaration.
Or…maybe they’re just a*sholes.
Marjoram weighs in:
“I guess he just sort of epitomizes what a lot of fundamentalists and that type of really heavy religious people [have as] attitudes,” he said. “I realized it’s exactly the sort of reason why I created my support group, because of people like him and those attitudes that…creep through the church.”
He also wishes to thank Westboro’s — sorry, Westcity’s — pastor for the publicity, without which a bunch of people in America wouldn’t be reading about his book right now.
For their part, the other Christian leaders of New Zealand have denounced Logan Robertson and Westcity, much as everyone but Pat Robertson denounced Westboro. They say he doesn’t represent the views of Christianity; though their own book would beg to differ. They ask gays to support the church, in about the same way Colonel Sanders asks chickens to support KFC.