The Christchurch Gay Quake Hoax

A website has appeared that has sent portions of the media (and for that matter the blog-sphere) into a feeding frenzy. It claims that Christchurch’s devastating earthquake was an act of God triggered by the tolerance of homosexual behaviour in the city. Sound familiar? perhaps so, because it has a sort of “westboro baptist church” feel to it.

<Now this is the part where usually you can insert you favorite “What a bunch of clueless bastards these believers are” rant>

Ah but hang on a moment, is it them, or is something else going on,  lets take a closer look. The Web address is,  and it was registered on September 20 to an address in Utah in the USA (No, forget it, I’m not  linking to it, but if curious, cut and paste it into your browsers address bar).

Now, looking at it, I’m beginning to detect the aroma of deep fried rodent here:

  • Its anonymous – The westboro folks never are, they always tell you who they are, what they believe and why they believe it, I’ve never come across a Christian group who wishes to remain anonymous, have you? The one thing you can guarantee is that being anonymous is not their thing.
  • It has pictures of naked folks – In my experience, Theist websites might denounce it, but there never show graphic images.
  • The language is also not the normal thestic language – terms such as “bastards” appears.
  • They not only condemn being gay, but they also claim the earthquake is due to baby seals being clubbed to death and also general cruelty to animals – WTF!, since when has that ever been part of the anti-gay lobby mindset
  • There is a distinct lack of bible quotes to justify a belief … none, nada, zero … and thats very odd, just vague references to Gods judgement.

Nope, I’m convinced this is not real, its just got to be a hoax. For some reason somebody has cobbled this up to simply stir up the media into a frenzy. I must admit, its often dam hard to tell, because some thestic beliefs are indeed so insane it can often be quite challenging to work out what is parody and what is real.

So has the media been suckered? Yes indeed, hook, line and sinker …

  • Despicable’: website blames Christchurch quake on gay community – yells the headline in the “The Age” – Click Here – they have radio interviews you can click on and listen to, and also quotes from outraged members of the gay community.
  • Christian website blames Christchurch Quake on gay – announces pink news – click here.

Well OK, clearly some folks take it at face value and believe it to be real … as for me, I don’t, the evidence just does not point in that direction.



10 thoughts on “The Christchurch Gay Quake Hoax”

  1. This particular site may not be real, however, this is often the attitude of radical evangelical groups. The radicals are all alike, insane, be they muslim or christian.
    The wonders of the internet, anyone can post anything and have it go viral. Even if its all lies, it gets picked up by the ignorant as the truth, “I saw it on the net”

  2. No. The message isn’t clear if it’s a twenty-something hacker having fun. The media in Oz would prefer that it is US based (actually, it has a US IP address, which is something very different) because it suits the typical sneering agenda. Skeptics might not have any more information than the media, but we also don’t have the responsibility that the media is supposed to have. I say poor job once again, small media!

    Nobody is going to follow it to the source because it doesn’t suit any objectives.

  3. It depends what part you think is the hoax. The anti-gay message is pretty crystal clear, whether your speculation about some kind of hidden anti-US message is true or not.
    I also haven’t seen the media “shooting” anyone.. no “enemy” has actually been mentioned. They are small-news media sites and they have raised questions, reported on the speculations of the gay organization mentioned, and given what information they have…and left it at that. It’s not the media’s fault the website is US-based.
    The point is, skeptics don’t have any more info than the media right now, and it seems it’s the skeptics who are making the more outlandish unsupported claims here, while simultaneously asking us to ignore such socially unacceptable hate speech. For once, I say good job, small-news media!
    Now I just hope someone with resources can follow this up to its source and shame whoever is responsible, whatever their motivation.

  4. If it’s a hoax, them the message isn’t really a message. You can’t make gains against an imaginary enemy. No doubt that there are a lot of people who bash gays. There isn’t yet any hard evidence of it happening here. THe papers are doing a bit of “shoot first and ask questions later”. That’s not their job. Who’s going to look into this if they don’t?

  5. OK, but I think American stereotyping (IF that is what is behind it, which I’m not sure there is evidence for) is the least of our worries with this hate speech. There are plenty of battles to be fought against American stereotyping, but I can’t remember seeing anything about the US on this site?? It seemed clear it was God against the gays carry-on, which is an international problem.

    Yes, the media seem to think the site is located in Utah. Meh. Maybe it’s Americans, or maybe it really IS some antipodean trying to make all Americans look bad by association, and/or maybe these news sites DO have an anti-American agenda– it’s possible — but this all seems like convoluted speculation. With all due respect, I’m going to remain skeptical until I see evidence to back this anti-US theory up.

    Anyways, I still think this all misses the point. It’s not a “What a bunch of clueless bastards these believers [or Americans] are” issue.. It is a “Look at this message; we wouldn’t accept someone saying this about a race or a gender, and therefore we should shame anyone who says it about gay people”. Even if it some kiwi jerk, the media are rightfully shaming the message, and that’s great.

    In the meantime, at least we skeptics know to take our news with a pinch of salt and come to skeptical sites to filter our info (which is exactly how I arrived here). And most of us would agree that either way, the website’s message deserves not only our attention but our utter contempt.

  6. It makes a great deal of difference whether it was intended as a hoax or not. Right now the Fairfax Press have printed without any verification that a hate site located in the USA says that gays are responsible for the Christchurch earthquake. I believe that the perpetrators are from Aus or NZ and they are feeding a hateful stereotype.

    I’m American and I don’t want to be painted with that brush. In my opinion is was made to make Americans look like hateful religious freaks when in fact it has hallmarks of its genesis right here in the antipodes. Utah is full of Mormons, not Pentecostal types – and it isn’t in the midwest. As the saying goes – “A little knowledge is dangerous.”

    The media is fanning this without any research. That’s not journalism. It’s an agenda.

  7. I don’t get your point. Does anyone (media? public?) care whether it was intended as a hoax or not? It’s just a chance for us to acknowledge these views (which do exist) and join in a public show of contempt for them.
    No church/cult/person has taken credit yet so its not like the media is pointing the finger at the wrong people. The reason people like me (a kiwi skeptic) find it newsworthy is because its socially unacceptable and it gives us a chance to talk about these backwards views, whether the person who made the site really beleives them or not…
    I think the motivation behind it (hoax, joke, serious or not) and the people responsible (teenager, cult group or organization) don’t matter at all. It’s worth our attention either way. Historically, ignoring hatred has not worked out well for humans. Who cares who in particular put up the anti-semitic posters in Nazi-Germany and what their motivation was? The real value would have been in the public coming together to show disgust in them.

    I’m just happy that this website has actually made some news. It’s important we recognize people this sick in the head exist and that we as the general public join together in calling them on it. I’m celebrating the attention its getting. It’s about time we stopped pretending all views are equally OK; they’re not.


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