The sacked Australia full-back Israel Folau has reignited controversy over his evangelical Christian faith after linking the legalisation of same-sex marriage and abortion in Australia with the deadly bushfires ravaging the country at the moment.
“They’ve legalised same-sex marriage... going against the laws that God says,” he said in a Sunday sermon in his Sydney church.
“You have changed the law and changed the ordinance of these things. Look how rapid these bushfires, these droughts, all these things have come in a short period of time. You think it is a coincidence or not?”
Folau then claimed that same-sex marriage and abortion are “evil in the eyes of God” but viewed as “good” by society.
He told worshippers: “Abortion – it is okay now to murder and kill infants, unborn children, and they think that to be okay.”
The former Wallabies star called on Australia to “repent” and overrule those laws to abide by “what is right by God".
Folau was swift to face yet another barrage of criticism from fellow Australians.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, himself an evangelical Christian, called the speech “appallingly insensitive” while opposition leader Anthony Albanese described them as being “in line with some of his other comments which are pretty reprehensible.”
Front page of tomorrow’s @australian reveals Israel Folau preaching that the fires and the drought are because Australia legalised SSM...what a lovely Christian he is.— Peter van Onselen (@vanOnselenP) November 17, 2019
Folau thinks the Australian bush fires.— Paul Williams (@thepaulwilliams) November 17, 2019
Which killed six.
Are the result of Australian abortion and gay rights laws.
Israel Folau is our punishment for ignoring climate change.— Patrick Avenelllllllllll (@Patrickavenell) November 17, 2019
Israel Folau is just a “God hates Fags” protester without the placard... Take his money and sporting prowess away and he’s just another weirdo #fakechristian— Tony Lomas (@TonyLomas) November 17, 2019
The 30-year-old rugby star saw Rugby Australia terminate his 3-year, $4 million contract in May this year over two social media posts saying that “hell awaits” homosexuals and that there is a connection between “evil” and trans-gender issues.
Folau has also filed a lawsuit at Australia’s Federal Circuit Court against his former employees Rugby Australia and the NSW Waratahs, claiming that he was unlawfully dismissed for his religious views and is being restrained from playing professional rugby. He is seeking $10 million in damages and is expected to head to trial in February next year if he fails to reach a settlement.