Sacked Wallabies star Israel Folau has yet again caused controversy with comments about homosexuality, this time linking the bushfire crisis and drought in NSW and Queensland to same-sex marriage.
In a sermon posted to the Facebook page of the Truth of Jesus Christ Church Sydney, Folau said the fires were related to passing of marriage equality in Australia, and the recent legalisation of abortion in NSW.
“I’ve been looking around at the events … happening in Australia, this past couple of weeks, with all the natural disasters, the bushfires and the droughts,” he said in the ten minute recording.
He then read a passage from the Book of Isaiah in the Bible, stating: “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.”
Continuing the theme, Folau said: “The events that have happened here in Australia, in the last couple of years – God’s word says for a man and a woman to be together … they’ve come and changed this law.
“Abortion, it’s OK now to murder, kill infants, unborn children.”
The comments have sparked widespread outrage, with even staunch allies such as radio shock jock Alan Jones criticising Folau for his latest comments.
“Israel is a lovely human being, I know him well. But, Israel, button up. Button up,” said the radio commentator on this morning’s Alan Jones Breakfast Show.
“These comments don’t help,” said the 2GB host.
Folau’s religious views first became a subject of controversy in April 2018, when a follower of his Instagram account asked him about God’s “plan for homosexuals”. Folau replied: “Hell … unless they repent of their sins and turn to God.”
He subsequently claimed: “It has been suggested that I am homophobic and bigoted and that I have a problem with gay people. This could not be further from the truth. I fronted the cover of the Star Observer magazine to show my support for the Bingham Cup, which is an international gay rugby competition.”
In May this year, Rugby Australia terminated Folau’s contract for his comments about homosexuality. Folau commenced proceedings with the Fair Work Commission but was unable to reach a settlement with Rugby Australia, He has since commenced proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.
The bushfire crisis in NSW and Queensland, which is ongoing, has so far killed four people and has destroyed over 400 homes.