DEMOCRATIC UNIONIST Party member John Carson has said his comments blaming the spread of Covid-19 on abortion and gay marriage in Northern Ireland were 'misinterpreted'.
Ballymena DUP Councillor John Carson yesterday came under fire for a Facebook post he made in which he said the global coronavirus pandemic was God punishing the people of Northern Ireland for liberalising abortion laws and legalising gay marriage.
He also falsely claimed that abortion was available on demand up to 24 weeks in Northern Ireland: terminations in all circumstances are allowed during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, however after that period and up to 24 weeks, terminations are allowed only in the event of there being a risk to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman or girl,which is not abortion on demand as Mr Carson claimed.
In the Facebook post, Mr Carson wrote:
"I said when abortion was legalised that our nation would be judged by GOD because of its departure from his word and the legalisation of the murder of the unborn child as well as same sex marriage.
"I was laughed at and mocked by some but as I said at the time they laughed at [Noah] until the rain started.
"You reap what you sow and out nation is now reaping the judgement of [God] because of an immoral and corrupt government."
Mr Carson was later approached to appear on Ulster Radio show The Nolan Show, but refused, saying he wouldn't go on air to have "Stephen Nolan or any other reprobate make a fool of me".
However, Mr Carson has since released a new statement, again via a post on Facebook, where he said his comments were "taken by some and totally misinterpreted".
“Anyone who knows me will know I would not intentionally set out to cause hurt or offence to anyone and if I did then for that I humbly apologise,” he wrote.
“However, I will never apologise for my Christian faith and will not be silenced by those that are opposed to the truth of God’s word.”
The DUP have said his comments were entirely personal and do not reflect that of the party.