Did God cause the bushfires? For some Christians it is not a stupid question.

if you’re a scientist and an atheist, then it is a stupid question. But, Christians have struggled with the question of the existence of evil for a long time.

There is also a long tradition of fire and brimstone preachers using natural disasters, particularly plagues, as examples of God’s displeasure with humanity for it’s sinful ways.

Israel has unfortunately taken what has always been a serious theological debate to the point of absurdity and exposed himself to ridicule.

The nation’s most powerful Christian group, the Australian Christian Lobby, has refused to condemn Israel Folau for his claim over comments he made linking bushfires to same-sex marriage and abortion thereby exposing themselves to ridicule as well.

Australian Christian Lobby managing director Martyn Iles with Israel Folau in 2012.

The Prime MinisterHas seen fit to weigh into the debate saying that Folau has overstepped the mark. But going no further than that. He didn’t say, “No, God does not cause bushfires. That Is stupid, Israel.” which would have been really helpful.

Folau is a preacher in a tradition that uses natural disaster as a sign of God’s displeasure to call people back to True Religion. Usually, it was the black plague that God sent to punish people. It was widespread, rather than specific like bushfires, so everybody felt threatened. So everybody had to repent.

The difficulty with Israel’s approach is that he attributes God’s wrath to his favourite causes of same-sex marriage and homosexuality.

And this is where the problems begin. Israel must have a direct link to God and to know that this is what God is really pissed off about. So why have the poor folk of Queensland and New South Wales been singled out?

And God must have known that same-sex marriage and homosexuality are disproportionately represented in the areas of the bushfires where his wrath has descended.

Because this is the logical conclusion from Israel’s rantings during his sermon.

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