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Thursday 09 October 2008

Destiny: AIDS sent by God to punish gays

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By News Staff - 16th February 2005

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The AIDS Foundation has dismissed comments from a Destiny Church "foot soldier" that AIDS was sent by God to punish homosexuals as "absolute rubbish".

Russell Bond was one of a series of Destiny members interviewed by the New Zealand Herald in a feature entitled "Destiny's children on a mission”. Reporter Chris Barton noticed an eerie similarity in the testimonies of Bond and all the different church members he spoke to:

“There is unity in what they say, of religious dogma passed down and parroted. These are people following a simple path,” Barton wrote. “We are Pastor Brian's loyal foot soldiers. Talk to any Destiny member and they'll soon be speaking in adoring tones about their beloved pastor [Brian Tamaki].”

According to Destiny member Bond, people choose a lifestyle contrary to the word of God at their peril - not necessarily in this life, but in eternity to come. "Having said that, AIDS has clearly proven that it comes from such activities as homosexuality, so maybe in the body they're getting penalised now...we do not have to tolerate what is not good because God has laid the rules down."

AIDS Foundation executive director Rachael LeMesurier says that's "absolute rubbish". "We are all aware that Destiny Church and other fundamentalist churches say a great deal of things that are not founded on any evidence or any research," she told "They've obviously not woken up and realised that the whole of Africa, large parts of India, large parts of China are affected by HIV, and in those countries its heterosexual as well. It's very very clear that rational thinking intelligent New Zealanders are well past the types of myths that Destiny Church are forwarding at this moment in time."