The BBC reports:
Rugby player Israel Folau has drawn anger for linking Australia’s bushfire crisis to the nation’s same-sex marriage and abortion laws. Folau, who was sacked by Australia in May for making anti-gay remarks on social media, described the fires as a “little taste of God’s judgement”.
Six people have died since last month in blazes raging in eastern Australia. Prime Minister Scott Morrison condemned Folau’s remarks as “appallingly insensitive”.
“He is a free citizen, he can say whatever he likes but that doesn’t mean he can’t have regard to the grievance [and] offence this would have caused to the people whose homes have burnt down,” Mr Morrison told reporters on Monday.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports:
During the 10-minute recording, the 30-year-old says the timing of the bushfire crisis is no coincidence but only a taste of God’s judgment should nothing change. “I’ve been looking around at the events that’s been happening in Australia, this past couple of weeks, with all the natural disasters, the bushfires and the droughts,” he says.
He then reads from the Book of Isaiah in the Bible: “The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earth’s inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left.”
Folau links the passage to the twin disasters of bushfire and drought and, in turn, the legalising of same-sex marriage and abortion. “God is speaking to you guys. Australia you need to repent and take these laws and turn it back to what is right.”