Peter Costello slams cult's Victorian bushfire retribution claims

The Australian/February 11, 2009

A furious Peter Costello has rounded on a Christian cult for suggesting the Victorian bush fires were divine retribution for the state's abortion laws, describing it as "beyond the bounds of decency".

Just three weeks ago, the former federal treasurer sent a video message to a special Australia Day prayer meeting organised by Catch the Fire Ministries leader Danny Nalliah.

But he reacted angrily to a statement by Mr Nalliah yesterday recalling a dream concerning the consequences of Victorian abortion legislation that became law last year.

"In my dream I saw fire everywhere with flames burning very high and uncontrollably," Mr Nalliah said.

The preacher claimed God's "conditional protection" had been "removed from the nation of Australia, particular Victoria, for approving theslaughter of innocent children in the womb".

Mr Costello rejected the claims.

"To link the death and the suffering of bushfire victims to other political events is appalling, heartless and wrong," he said. "Those who have suffered deserve every support and sympathy. It is beyond the bounds of decency to try to make moral or political points out of such a tragedy."

Catch the Fire Ministries have given their blessing to Mr Costello's leadership ambitions on several occasions.

Mr Nalliah met Mr Costello ahead of the 2007 election to "prepare" him for the prime ministership. A church member publicly recounted an episode where "the spirit of God suddenly moved me to cry out in the loud Aboriginal-like tongue followed by the shouting out several times of 'the honourable Peter Costello, prime minister-elect of Australia'."

And just ahead of an Australia Day prayer meeting, Mr Nalliah announced: "Our silent prayer is that Peter ... will be here to take the leadership of the party and lead the nation into victory as prime minister."

Mr Nalliah has attributed both the drought and the global financial crisis in part to human sin.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.