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3 Sep 2013

Watch Australian PM Kevin Rudd's fiery response to anti-gay-marriage pastor on TV talkshow

Just days from the federal elections on September 7, PM Kevin Rudd faced down a Christian pastor, who challenged him on his support for same-sex marriage on a TV talkshow, and argued that a literal interpretation of the Bible would also dictate support for slavery.

In what has been described as an "extraordinary moment on TV" and "the answer of the century" in the media, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's strong response to an audience member – identified in the media as New Hope Church pastor Matt Prater – who challenged Rudd on his support of same-sex marriage, went viral overnight.

New Hope Church pastor Matt Prater (left) and
Australian PM Kevin Rudd on the ABC's Q & A show

Prater asked on the ABC's Q & A show which was televised on Monday night: "If you call yourself a Christian why don't you believe the words of Jesus in the Bible?" He also quoted from the Bible a definition of marriage as a man leaving his father and mother to be united to his wife.

The PM and Labor Party leader responded by suggesting that line of thinking would also make slavery an acceptable proposition. "Well mate, if I was going to have that view, the Bible also says that slavery is a natural condition," Rudd replied, to extended cheers and applause.

"St Paul said in the New Testament, 'Slaves be obedient to your masters'. "Therefore we should have all fought for the Confederacy in the US civil war? I mean for goodness sake, the human condition and social conditions change."

"What is the fundamental principle of the New Testament? It is one of universal love. Loving your fellow man.

"If we get obsessed of the definition of that through a form of sexuality, then I think we are missing the centrality of what the gospel – whether you call it a personal gospel, a social gospel or a spiritual gospel – is all about."

He said his decision to back gay marriage was made after "years of reflection in good Christian conscience".

"I do not believe people when they are born choose their sexuality. They are gay if they are born gay," he said.

"You don't decide at some later stage in life to be one thing or the other. It is how people are built. Therefore, the idea this is somehow an abnormal condition is just wrong. I don't get that. I think it is a completely ill-founded view."

Rudd said in May that he had reconsidered his opposition to same-sex marriage, and published an essay to explain his views. He had also promised to hold a Parliamentary vote on allowing gay couples to marry within 100 days if his center-left Labor Party wins the election.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says marriage is between a man and a woman and it would be up to his Liberal party to decide whether, unlike the last vote on the issue, Liberal MPs would allowed a conscience vote on the issue.

Reader's Comments

Comment #1 was deleted by its author on 2013-09-03 17:04
2. 2013-09-03 17:04  
Good on you Kevin! I believe you're a man with substance on this issue, homosexuality.
Take that Pastor!
3. 2013-09-03 17:08  
Well Said Mr Rudd... The look on the pastor's face at Mr Rudd's response...PRICELESS
4. 2013-09-03 18:47  
5. 2013-09-03 18:53  
That was so beautifully eloquent! How can anyone dispute his answer?! And for the record, the pastor was attempting to state that "every pastor...........that marriage is between a husband and a wife". This is blatantly false because there are many pastors who have willingly and eagerly performed same-sex marriage ceremonies.
Thank you, Mr. Rudd.
6. 2013-09-03 19:46  
It's about time! Thanks Kevin for your keen focus on the inconsistencies found in the Bible which people seem to skip over in order to justify their inhumane actions towards their fellow man...

Being raised a Christian, and being gay... I have struggled with the many complex viewpoints in the Bible which seem to contradict each other in the various chapters of the book... And some people find it easier than others to follow without questioning the things written therein.

Triggers have been pulled... bombs have fallen with the thought that God is on "Our" side, based on the beliefs taken from one chapter or another...

After reading the Bible at least five times from cover to cover to determine just what I was proclaiming to believe, I was forced to come to the conclusion that although there are some wonderful "moral" messages in the Bible, it really seems to be a means for controlling people as a whole... and so I am now I am a believer in the "Universe", "Source Energy" not a concept created by man which is called "God."

I hope more people can begin to thoughtfully question what they profess to believe in, and think for themselves, not blindly swallow what they hear in church...

Good going Kevin!
7. 2013-09-03 23:31  
Look at history. Galileo was being prison due to the Church believed the earth according to 'Bible' is flat. And how many people just being killed and subpressed by religious just based on those out-of-time or even illogical 'doctrines'?

Have those people ever learned any lesson there and really understand the spiritual side of the religion rather than just the old rules. If sticking to the rules of Bible without understanding the spiritual goal, i.e. universal love, here is the list of items / rules that you can found in 'Bible'.

1. Brother is mandated to take over and marry his older brother's wife if the older brother pass away. Otherwise, he would be prosecuted.
2. A field should only sow one kind of seed, cannot have crop rotation.
3. Our clothes can only have one kind of material. We cannot mix different material to make a cloth.

This strange or out-of-date rules goes on and on.

Those rules are just like the law at the time (hundred years or even thousand year ago) for people to follow, but not universal truth.

People progress and society evolved based on various factors and expansion of our knowledge that understand the universe and human ourselves.

Bravo to the Australian PM Kevin Rudd :D

8. 2013-09-04 06:48  
Very well said PM. Too bad some other heads of state do not share you enlightened conviction. Bravo!!
9. 2013-09-04 11:23  
For all those who are not living in Australia - this is nothing but publicity stunt, desperate attempt to get votes in this week election .. 3 months ago he was against gay marriages. Now he is ready to turn gay and even put the wedding dress on. Clear hypocrisy. Majority of the nation trusted him back in 2007 .. they not going to make same mistake again. Nevertheless riposte to the pastor idiotic question was excellent. He can certainly talk ... so can majority of politicians ...
10. 2013-09-04 12:19  
Long publicity stunt then...he was attending same sex marriage rallies in Brisbane back when Julia was still PM...most people learn new things and grow as people in the course or their lives...including Kevin Rudd...;-)
Comment #11 was deleted by its author on 2013-09-04 12:20
12. 2013-09-04 14:28  
Mr Rudd, what a great answer to the so called pastors claim, great TV and a great way to silence the ignorance in the church which has a bad habit of being two faced at the best of times.
13. 2013-09-04 15:08  
I was lucky enough to see this broadcast live, and cheered Kev's eloquent answer to the pastor- who had oviously thought he had laid a crafty trap. Great to see him shot down so well and so dismissively.
14. 2013-09-04 20:34  
Politicians are famous for using Gay issues to get elected in America (or try to get more votes anyways...), they can talk the talk... but seldom walk the walk... But it was a great answer and one I will remember when I run up against the overly zealous religious friends and neighbors in the future...
15. 2013-09-04 22:13  
Firstly Krakguy.....I couldnt disagree with you more, Kevin Rudd stood to actually lose out on his stand given the ability of the right wing Christian groups to mobile effectively, so I believe that Kevin Rudd has had a change of heart on this issue, and its pretty evident when one listens to his logic and reasons for changing.
Secondly - democratic government is for the people, and for many many years now more than 50% of the Australian public has been in favour of marriage equality, so it stands to reason that politicians should be listening to the public and accepting that opinions have changed and write marriage equality into law.
Thirdly - He demonstrates more leadership on this issue than anyone in parliament - he states his position strongly, with logic and passion.
This is not someone pandering for votes by changing his mind on this issue, this is someone who has given it thought, analysis and has changed his mind based on what he believes is right and proper to build a society based on equity and equality for all
16. 2013-09-04 22:38  
This world is rapidly changed everyday from technology to human living conditions and so forth .. Needless to say that freedom of sexual identities is not only come from ones mind choices but also the way he was born as the PM Kevin Rudd stated.. All men under any religious aspect are equally and therefore gay marriage have to be acknowledge as part of any society structure in this planet.....
17. 2013-09-05 04:33  
Reminds me of The West Wing...
18. 2013-09-05 05:47  
Thank you for putting that "pastor" and his ilk in their place regarding gay marriage, Mr. Rudd! Couldn't have said it better myself!
19. 2013-09-05 21:05  
Not really a "fiery response" by the PM, just calm, cool, and civilized. Debate should be this way.I enjoyed it!
20. 2013-09-07 01:14  
It's impressive how PM Rudd calmly defended the rights of the gay minority and totally demolished the pastor's view point.

I look forward to the day when my PM puts up such defence of the gay minority and does the humane thing to abolish section 377A.
21. 2013-09-07 05:26  
Mr Rudd, you have finally seen "the light". Good on ya, mate!
22. 2013-09-07 11:17  
How refreshing. A PM actually being that brave and forthright. As an atheist I just wish all these religious fanatics would stop indoctrinating others in to believing that the bible or Koran was the 'hand of god' when any sane person would realize they were written by men hundreds of years ago who had no knowledge of modern science or understanding of how we as human beings evolved. It was simply their way of explaining the then human condition. Anyone living today with just a smattering of science should understand this to be so.
23. 2013-09-07 11:17  
How refreshing. A PM actually being that brave and forthright. As an atheist I just wish all these religious fanatics would stop indoctrinating others in to believing that the bible or Koran was the 'hand of god' when any sane person would realize they were written by men hundreds of years ago who had no knowledge of modern science or understanding of how we as human beings evolved. It was simply their way of explaining the then human condition. Anyone living today with just a smattering of science should understand this to be so.
24. 2013-09-16 10:28  
it didn't come across as fiery.. it was more calm and rational. after all is said and done, it's a question of human rights not being equal.

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