Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has called God “stupid”, sparking anger in the largely Catholic country.
In a televised speech, he slammed the story of Adam and Eve’s fall from grace in the Bible and the logic behind the Christian concept of original sin.
Mr Duterte is well known known for his outrageous statements and unfiltered attacks on his rivals.
While the church and many citizens condemned his remarks, his office said he was expressing personal beliefs.
The president has in the past also criticised the Pope in crude language and has racked up a string of other statements widely deemed as highly offensive, cruel or misogynist.
His latest comments came at a speech in Davao, the city he governed as a mayor before running as president.
Asking “Who is this stupid God?”, Mr Duterte criticised the Biblical story of creation and Adam and Eve being thrown out of the Garden of Eden after they ate the “forbidden fruit”.
“You created something perfect and then you think of an event that would tempt and destroy the quality of your work,” he said.
The president also slammed the concept of original sin – whereby all humans are tainted by Adam and Eve’s wrongdoing – saying: “You weren’t born yet, but now you have original sin.”
“What kind of religion is that? I can’t accept it.”
Local Catholic bishop Arturo Bastes responded by calling the president a “madman” and urging people to pray for his “blasphemous utterances and dictatorial tendencies” to end.
Mr Duterte is a known and open critic of the Catholic Church in a country where more than 90% of the population are Christian and the vast majority of those are Catholics.
His outbursts therefore triggered a predictable backlash and debate online.
The president’s spokesman Harry Roque defended Mr Duterte’s comments as merely being his personal convictions. He also explained the outburst by referring to the president’s claim that he was abused by a priest at a Catholic school during his childhood.
Rodrigo Duterte took office in July 2016 on a hardline platform against crime and corruption. The brutal campaign of extrajudicial killings against drug dealers and users has since though sparked mounting criticism against the strongman.
Earlier this year, the International Criminal Court opened a preliminary inquiry into crimes committed during the drugs purge.
In 2017, Mr Duterte admitted to stabbing someone to death as a teenager.
His frequent rhetorical outbursts are often far beyond what’s considered acceptable by his critics.
He said he would be “happy” to slaughter millions of drug addicts in the country and has responded to international criticism of his policies by calling former US President Barack Obama a “son of a whore” and slamming the EU as hypocrites.
In April 2016, he spoke to an election campaign rally about the 1989 murder and rape of a female Australian missionary in Davao, where he was mayor at the time.
“I was angry because she was raped,” he said. “That’s one thing. But she was so beautiful, the mayor should have been first, what a waste.”
His office later apologised for the comments.
Earlier this year Mr Duterte told Filipino soldiers they should shoot female communist rebels in the vagina.
A few weeks ago he made headlines by making an overseas Filipina worker kiss him on stage during a live event.
Donald J. TrumpVerified account @realDonaldTrump 6 hours ago
The Fake News is working overtime. Just reported that, despite the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else, 91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake). Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?
Any negative news is fake news to the Donald. This guy is like a little baby that wants everything to go his way or he has a fit. Spoiled brat! “Take away their credentials!”
Kelly listening to Trump speak at the U.N.
Melania looks distressed as well.
High profile meeting today
Kelly at the far end.
WASHINGTON — Frustrated by Congress’ refusal to provide funds for more than a modest length of border wall, President Donald Trump declared Tuesday that he will deploy U.S. troops to the frontier with Mexico.
He also dramatically scaled back his demand for a barrier along the border, saying he wants a wall along just “700 to 800 miles” — a far cry from what he led supporters to expect.
Militarizing the border would likely escalate tensions with Mexico, which is in the midst of a presidential campaign in which a leading candidate has vowed to ensure that his country is no longer a “piñata” for foreign powers. Trump has been threatening to scrap NAFTA — both to secure more favorable trade terms, and to pressure Mexico to curb the flow of its own citizens and migrants from Central and South America.
But Trump’s inability to deliver on his signature campaign promise has left backers deflated and the president himself openly flustered. He briefly threatened to veto the $1.3 trillion budget deal over the shortage of wall funds.
Trump vowed throughout the 2016 campaign to build a “big, beautiful wall” along the 1,954-mile U.S.-Mexico border, and his rhetoric was widely regarded as a call for a full-length barrier.
About 654 miles of the border is already fenced, so Trump’s new goal represents only a modest expansion. Congress provided $1.6 billion in the recent $1.3 trillion omnibus budget, enough to add 33 miles and for replacement barrier along twice that length.
“We have $1.6 billion, and we’re starting brand-new sections of walls. But we need to have a wall that’s about 800 miles — 700 to 800 miles of the 2,000-mile stretch. We have a lot of natural boundaries,” Trump said at a White House meeting, with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at his side.
Trump has generally been vague about many miles of barrier he envisions. Last July, he told reporters aboard Air Force One as he flew to Paris that he wants “anywhere from 700 to 900 miles of see-through wall.” The remarks were initially off the record but the White House later agreed to release them.