Chilean Pastor Blames Inferno on Civil Unions Bill
According to a Chilean pastor, God's objection to the country's civil union bill was to blame for a massive forest fire that devastated parts of the coastal city of Valparaíso on April 12, the Washington Blade reports.
According to NPR, a fast moving fire driven by strong winds broke out in the hills above Valparaíso, the third largest metropolitan area in the country. Efforts by firefighters to contain the blaze have been complicated by the area's steep terrain and lack of infrastructure. So far the blaze has consumed over 2,000 home, killed 15 people and forced some 10,000 people to evacuate parts of the city.
Pastor Javier Soto took to his Facebook page to post two photos of the inferno, labeling it a "punishment" from God for a civil unions bill progressing in the Chilean Senate that has support of President Michelle Bachelet.
Soto wrote in a message with the photos: "The order is: Put an end to the civil unions bill. This will continue if the opposite is done."
"It is evident that the forest fires in the Valparaíso Region of Chile, as with any other natural catastrophe, have nothing to do with the legalization of marriage between people of the same sex," Juan Pablo Fuentealba Álvarez of the Chlean It Gets Better Foundation told The Washington Blade.
"Evangelical pastor Javier Soto confuses religious issues with civil and social matters, which we understand can exist in perfect harmony, provided they respect each other."