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Australian rugby star Israel Folau has blamed the legalization of gay marriages and abortions for the devastating bush-fires raging in Australia. The shocking comment was made on Sunday, in a sermon at Truth of Jesus Christ Church, Sydney.

In the 10-minutes sermon streamed online, Folau said that the timing of the bush-fires and droughts is not a co-incidence, but rather a taste of God's judgement. "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 bush-fires and the droughts," he said.

Israel Folau
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By referring to a passage in the Bible, he goes on to link the twin disasters with the legalization of same-sex marriage and abortion in the country. "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," he said. "Abortion, it's okay now to murder, kill infants, unborn children." "God is speaking to you guys. Australia you need to repent and take these laws and turn it back to what is right", he said.

Folau's insensitive comments brought him bipartisan condemnation, Sydney Morning Herald reported. Talking to reporters on Monday, Australian PM Scott Morrison said: "I thought these were appalling insensitive comments. If people don't have something helpful and sensible to say, can you just keep it to yourself".

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese, said: "His comments are in line with some of his other comments which are pretty reprehensible. It would be good if people thought before they spoke. These comments certainly won't bring anything positive or constructive to the debate".

Senate member and former Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce said on Monday: "He throws rocks at us so he feels good, we throw rocks back at him so we feel good ... but not one of those actions is making a sandwich for a person fighting the fires". "Not one of those actions is actually in a fire truck trying to stop these fires. Israel can concentrate on what he wants to say and I don't really care and we'll concentrate on the fire."

In April, Israel's contract with Rugby Australia was cancelled due to his anti-gay comments on social media. In an Instagram post, he commented that god's plan for gay people was "HELL...Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God".

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Amid his supporters then was Alan Jones, the Australian radio broadcaster and former coach of the Australia national rugby union team. Jones said in his is radio show on Sunday: "Israel is a lovely human being. I know him well ... Israel Button up. Button up. These comments don't help". Later, responding to a listener, he said: "Someone's got to say hang on, look, these are difficult times for people in bushfires and drought and so on and we're not going to be in the business of making those sorts of comments which really are quite simply silly"

In the massive bush-fires in Australia, more than a million hectares of land has been burnt, entire towns and communities have been decimated and about 6 lives have been lost.