American evangelist Phillip Blair’s tour of Australia is currently making headlines for all the wrong reasons, and many Australians are not taking kindly to the young American’s abrasive techniques.
Blair has been filmed in multiple confrontations as he takes to the street to confront Australian’s about their religion, politics and lifestyle choices. In one video, Blair addresses a woman in a wheelchair and calls her “too bitter to ask” for help. Multiple people asked Blair to stop yelling and told him his behavior was out of line.
The preacher was also embroiled in other controversies of his own making when he preached at train passengers and a man asked him to stop to applause from his fellow passengers.
Perhaps most controversially, Blair released a video on YouTube after attending church services in Sydney. In the video, Blair criticizes women for the clothing choices they are making.
During a 30-minute video, Blair commented, “I saw girls with t-shirts that had their belly button and a lot of their, I guess you could call it midriff or something, showing and then you had a lot of really tight jeans and figures showing.”
He also expressed concern about how the pastor was dressed and other female ministers in the church services they attended.
Blair is a part of Torch of Christ Ministries and posts constant updates to his 36,000 YouTube subscribers. But, there is little indication from his ranting and raving that Australians are signing on to Blair’s confrontational style.
Multiple videos of Blair being asked to shut up have received much more positive attention than the videos Blair posts himself. Blair has also shared a variety of opinions on Twitter, and Australians have taken to the social media platform to express their distaste of Blair.
Adriana Smith from aboutwomen.com.au voiced his concern about the message spread by Blair, “women in Australia should feel comfortable, especially in a house of worship. This American style of preaching is not as popular in Australia, and as I think you see from people’s reaction, there is a good reason for that.”
Many are comparing a man who shut down Blair on the train to a boy who smacked an Australian politician with an egg. ‘Book man’ was reading a book when he confronted Blair on the train and told him to stop pushing his agenda and opinion onto all the other passengers.
The news comes in the wake of growing debate as to how social media platforms spread hateful and controversial messages after the terrorist attack in neighboring Christchurch, New Zealand.
Blair’s videos are more focused on religion than politics, however, there is more pressure than ever on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to deal with the spread of hateful content, and it will be interesting to see what gets thrown into this storm.
But for now, Australians will have to put up with Blair’s ranting and raving until he returns to America. However, it is unlikely that he will receive many converts after the intense media backlash to his presence in the country.