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Rugby Australia sacks Israel Falau over homophobic religious posts

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https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-11/peter-fitzsimons-responds-to-israel-folaus/10995330

Peter FitzSimons responds to Israel Folau's controversial social media post

Former Wallaby Peter FitzSimons says Israel Folau has to accept the consequences of his actions, after a highly controversial social media post by Folau condemned gays, atheists and drunks to hell.

 

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Once upon a time sporting heroes were mainly judged by their heroics on the field but not in today's era of social media.

Rugby Australia has today sacked Wallabies star Israel Folau over this Instagram post declaring that gay people and a long list of other "sinners" would burn in hell.

It's not the first time the devout Christian has sparked offence by publicly sharing his religious beliefs but this time he put Rugby Australia's major sponsor, Qantas, offside - right in the middle of negotiations for a new sponsorship deal.

A short time ago I spoke with former Wallaby, columnist and author, Peter FitzSimons.

Peter FitzSimons, the views that Mr Folau is espousing are consistent with the beliefs of evangelical Christians, conservative Catholics, of whom there are many in Australia.

Their perspective would be that he has a free speech right to proclaim his views. What do you say to that?

PETER FITZSIMONS, FORMER WALLABIES PLAYER: Of course, he has freedom of speech but there's also freedom of reaction and there's no freedom from consequences and the sober reality is that last year, when this exact same issue came up, Australian Rugby Union was overwhelmed for three weeks of people cancelling memberships, people not turning up to games, sponsors getting edgy to leave the building.

Folau was sat down, counselled, I believe it was put in his contract saying "Look, rugby is an inclusive game, we want all people to play. We can't have somebody like you saying that one section of the community is going to burn in hell."

So when he did it, when it happened last year, it was, I mean rugby in this country is on its knees. It's in bad shape and so when your most high-profile, highly paid player does something like that, there was hell to pay in Australian Rugby.

But Folau last year could have said, "Look, I wasn't aware of you know, what the policy or what the consequences were."

This year, when he wrote that thing and put it on yesterday, that was a resignation letter.

You should see the emails, the tweets and phone calls, the texts and people writing to the ARU saying, "You hear me and you hear me well. If you don't take action against this guy I won't take my children to the games, I'll burn up my membership card."

It is just overwhelming and there's just about nobody supporting him.

Of course, freedom of speech but not freedom from consequences.

LEIGH SALES: What impact would a team missing Israel Folau have on Australia's hopes in the World Cup?

PETER FITZSIMONS: Devastating, no doubt about it. He's a fantastic player.

I mean not just a good player, in fact he is not just a fantastic player. He's one out of the box.

When Folau hit rugby I think, 2013, 2014, when he first hit the line, it was like a man among boys. He was that good, that fast, that strong.

But there are more important things than winning the World Cup.

When you put that kind of stuff in the public domain, when you've got teen suicide rates of troubled teens troubled about their sexuality, there is a case to answer to say you can do that but not be a part of rugby.

We're not going to put you in a jersey, we're not going to put you on the posters, we're not going to pay you a million or $2 when you're trashing everything we stand for.

From the moment he put that up, it was the end.

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Well done. These people are (we like it or not), examples for younger kids and their words mold conciences. Sad, but true. So it's great he no longer can play there. 

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23 hours ago, karbatal said:

Well done. These people are (we like it or not), examples for younger kids and their words mold conciences. Sad, but true. So it's great he no longer can play there. 

I like the phrase that many have used.  Of course we should have freedom of speech, but with that comes freedom of consequence.  Others have the freedom to also react to hate speech with the disdain it deserves.   If famous people want to post things that discriminates and spreads hate - they have to understand that others are going to react to their bigoted, hateful comments.  How would young boys who love rugby feel reading that they will burn in hell if they are homosexual.  Inexcusable comments.  Tired of people defending bigots who should keep their hateful views to themselves. 

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I have mixed feelings about this type of arguments that I havent fully resolved.

Of course what Falau said (and thinks) is abhorrent, and he should be sacked. Even better if social media platforms ban him and the media stops reporting anything he has to say.

I support the right to free speech, which of course must come with the right of anyone else to disagree with you, or take any other action they like (such as sack you if they can).

But I get worried if the severity of those consequences means people with those views just keep them secret. I think free speech should be the basis of engaging in debate and discussion, to be able to persuade people to think about things in different ways and change their minds. I like to know what people think, especially if I disagree with them, so that I can try to change their mind. If people with extreme or stupid views just keep quiet, we will just keep getting surprised with the success of people like Pauline Hanson or (worse) Donald Trump. Or other extremists that "showed no signs of discontentment".

But then maybe thats just old fashioned of me to think that people are open to discussion. I guess more and more some people these days are just so closed minded that they wont listen to reason. But I want to be optimistic.....

And yet again, sometimes I just want to know who my enemies are...

Sadly I think this all starts with how we raise children. I was once chatting to a guy at work (over 20 years ago), who was arch-typical white middle class from Queensland. He said "It's not personal, I was just brought up to think that homosexuality is wrong". I didn't argue with his conclusion, people like this just think in a completely different frame of reference. I just said "Oh really, I was brought up to think for myself". I never spoke to him again.

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12 hours ago, Paul said:

I have mixed feelings about this type of arguments that I havent fully resolved.

Of course what Falau said (and thinks) is abhorrent, and he should be sacked. Even better if social media platforms ban him and the media stops reporting anything he has to say.

I support the right to free speech, which of course must come with the right of anyone else to disagree with you, or take any other action they like (such as sack you if they can).

But I get worried if the severity of those consequences means people with those views just keep them secret. I think free speech should be the basis of engaging in debate and discussion, to be able to persuade people to think about things in different ways and change their minds. I like to know what people think, especially if I disagree with them, so that I can try to change their mind. If people with extreme or stupid views just keep quiet, we will just keep getting surprised with the success of people like Pauline Hanson or (worse) Donald Trump. Or other extremists that "showed no signs of discontentment".

But then maybe thats just old fashioned of me to think that people are open to discussion. I guess more and more some people these days are just so closed minded that they wont listen to reason. But I want to be optimistic.....

And yet again, sometimes I just want to know who my enemies are...

Sadly I think this all starts with how we raise children. I was once chatting to a guy at work (over 20 years ago), who was arch-typical white middle class from Queensland. He said "It's not personal, I was just brought up to think that homosexuality is wrong". I didn't argue with his conclusion, people like this just think in a completely different frame of reference. I just said "Oh really, I was brought up to think for myself". I never spoke to him again.

Great points you make Paul. 

I agree that it is important to know what people are thinking as ways to discuss and debate with them.  Unfortunately though,  there seems to be a lot of people now somewhat applauding ultra extreme right wings views which includes homophobia, racism, sexism etc and seems to have make it more acceptable for these people.  Fraser Anning  for example - have read too many articles saying he has the right to free speech and supporting him and he mentioned the Final Solution. It is pretty chilling that they can still support a man that utters those words and see him as being correct.  He is also openly anti-gay and wants to overturn the yes to gay marriage vote as well.     I have noticed more and more people saying incredibly bigoted things now than say 4 years ago.   Not sure exactly but almost as if their extreme and hateful views have become more " acceptable"  now.   Probably coincides with also how many with those views are in political parties now.  

A lot of people have changed their views over the years for the better too of course.  

Agree too on the way children are raised.  If they are told and taught from a young age to be be homophobic, racist, have no respect for women etc,  they often just carry that through their life as that are the opinions they have heard since childhood.   Many do change their views but many don't.   

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Israel Folau is such a bigoted hypocrite.   He has again been preaching that homosexuals will burn in hell in ministries -  and despite being one of the highest paid sportsmen in Australia with an estimated fortune of well over 10 million dollars,   citing free speech and religious discrimination, wanted the public to pay for his legal costs against Rugby Australia.   Equally as frightening is how the rampant right wing movement,  especially Mark Latham ( who has demonised Rosie Batty for years ) has championed his cause and how people put in so much money for him until Go Fund me shut him down as they don't want to fund people spreading hate speech.   Wonderful too how many Australians have expressed their disgust in a multi millionaire using crowdfunding for his defence of discriminating against gay people.   We live in 2019, not the dark ages.  Was embarrassing and sad the other night to see Hamish McDonald of the Project interviewing the leader of a  a Christian group supporting Israel Folau,  asking him if he agreed that homosexuals should burn in hell -  with the Christian spokesman saying that all sinners were judged by God.  Hamish has just officially revealed he is gay and how awful for him to have to listen to some bigot judging him like that.  

Israel Folau's campaign shut down by GoFundMe, donors to be refunded

Israel Folau looking straight ahead during the -rematch ceremony ahead of a Australia vs Ireland Test.

Sacked Wallaby Israel Folau's attempt to crowdfund for his legal action against Rugby Australia has been shut down by GoFundMe, which will refund all money raised to donors.

 

Folau started a GoFundMe campaign last week, asking people to donate $3 million to fight Rugby Australia, which last month terminated his contract over a series of homophobic social media posts.

A spokesperson for GoFundMe said after a "period of evaluation", the site had ruled Folau's campaign violated its terms of service.

 

The company said it would not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion.

"We are absolutely committed to the fight for equality for LGBTIQ+ people and fostering an environment of inclusivity," GoFundMe's Australian regional director Nicola Britton said.

Folau's $4 million contract was terminated by Rugby Australia last month after he made a post on his Instagram page which claimed homosexuals, among other people, would burn in hell.  He had been warned previously and had agreed to stop targeting homosexuals on his social media accounts while he was representing Rugby Australia. 

Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle condemned Folau's public appeal for money.

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so glad gofundme shut this asshole down, and with rainbow flags to boot!!!

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20 hours ago, swimtoshore said:

so glad gofundme shut this asshole down, and with rainbow flags to boot!!!

See where the Australian Christian Lobby has taken over the fundraising and now have over a million dollars.  😞

Sad where SOME Christians would rather give money to a millionaire sportsman who uses religion to excuse his intense bigotry and homophobic views than to sick children who desperately need funds   It is tearing many Christian groups apart too with many horrified that they are being represented by extreme groups.  Also startling is how wealthy so many ultra conservative right wingers are.  

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I wouldn't be shocked if the whole thing was planned and orchestrated by the 'Christian lobby' to be a legal test case so that they can argue religious discrimination. They knew he had already been warned about this before so i wouldnt be shocked if they told him to do it again and they will support him and ensure if he was fired they would help him take legal action against the firing. 

Its obvious that the motivation is so that the christian lobby can try and win the right to be allowed to legally descriminate against the LGBT community! What a farce..arguing that they are being descriminated against so they can then be allowed to in their eyes legally  descriminate against a group of people you condemn!

I am just worried that if they win this test case it may allow the extreme religious groups out there to be able to fire and exclude LGBT people from their schools etc and then it could become worse it may open up doors to allow religious fundamentalists to be able to refuse service to LGBT people as it is against their religion (whether it be in shops, or their hospitals etc it could open up a whole can of worms). This is why they want this case to go to court. I could be wrong and it may just be all about him getting his $5m back as this is the amount the new fund campaign is requesting and i thought that was the exact amount that he lost when his contract was terminated.

If you read any news site or Facebook post there are so many comments supporting him and religious freedom plus claiming descrimination and how they are sick of the snowflakes and  madness and lefties ruining the country and the minorities dictating how everyone else has to live...no we aren't trying to ruin the country we just want everyone to be treated equally like everybody else without being persecuted.

They are just sad they cant be bigotts anymore. This world is going into such a bad place people are trying to take away euqal rights for minorities and it makes me sick that these people can't see that and that minorities are not trying to change the world for the worse we just want everyone to be respected and treated equally no matter who they are.

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it is really maddening

the same thing is happening in the US - and it is such a slippery slope. Where do you draw the line? it is impossible. “it is against my beliefs” will be able to be use as an excuse to discriminate in so many ways

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53 minutes ago, Leebf said:

I wouldn't be shocked if the whole thing was planned and orchestrated by the 'Christian lobby' to be a legal test case so that they can argue religious discrimination. They knew he had already been warned about this before so i wouldnt be shocked if they told him to do it again and they will support him and ensure if he was fired they would help him take legal action against the firing. 

Its obvious that the motivation is so that the christian lobby can try and win the right to be allowed to legally descriminate against the LGBT community! What a farce..arguing that they are being descriminated against so they can then be allowed to in their eyes legally  descriminate against a group of people you condemn!

I am just worried that if they win this test case it may allow the extreme religious groups out there to be able to fire and exclude LGBT people from their schools etc and then it could become worse it may open up doors to allow religious fundamentalists to be able to refuse service to LGBT people as it is against their religion (whether it be in shops, or their hospitals etc it could open up a whole can of worms). This is why they want this case to go to court. I could be wrong and it may just be all about him getting his $5m back as this is the amount the new fund campaign is requesting and i thought that was the exact amount that he lost when his contract was terminated.

If you read any news site or Facebook post there are so many comments supporting him and religious freedom plus claiming descrimination and how they are sick of the snowflakes and  madness and lefties ruining the country and the minorities dictating how everyone else has to live...no we aren't trying to ruin the country we just want everyone to be treated equally like everybody else without being persecuted.

They are just sad they cant be bigotts anymore. This world is going into such a bad place people are trying to take away euqal rights for minorities and it makes me sick that these people can't see that and that minorities are not trying to change the world for the worse we just want everyone to be respected and treated equally no matter who they are.

Agree 100 per cent with everything you said Leebf. There is definitely a planned movement going on and people are confusing free speech with deliberate baiting without consequences. 

@swimtoshore  agree as well. Human rights and equal rights should always prevail over " freedom of religion". It is opening up all kinds of scary scenarios. 

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@Leebf @swimtoshore @Paul

Great article from David Marr 

With Israel Folau the church demands a kind of free speech that keeps gays in the firing line

As the archbishop of Sydney decries the rugby player’s sacking for his words, his church insists on sacking teachers for their sexuality

 

Pity these Christians. They’re lashing out, angry and terrified. Miranda Devine is warning them via the pages of the Sydney Daily Telegraph Australia faces a revolution of “coercion and bloodshed” à la Mexico in the 1920s unless we rally to the cause of Christianity and Israel Folau.

The madness is dialled up to the max. But I’ve been reporting faith and politics in Australia for nearly 40 years and I’ve seen all this before: militant Christians all over the shop, blind to their arrogance and contradictions.

Rigid ideologues, they sing great anthems to free speech. Warriors of discrimination, they condemn discrimination against Folau. No matter how cruel the doctrines they are pushing they see them washed clean as articles of faith.

 

The fact is, condemning gays to hell is vilification. Yes, St Paul was on the case way back at the start but that only makes it vilification with a pedigree.

While Folau isn’t calling for men like me to be stoned, whipped or pushed off high buildings, I reckon he is free to preach his horrible beliefs. But his freedom shouldn’t trample my freedom or the freedom of anyone else.

We are free to say he’s a dork to carry on like this about gays and drunks and idolaters. (That means Catholics, by the way.) And Land Rover is free to stop him promoting their luxury cars. And GoFundMe is free not to be the platform where he raises millions to fight Rugby Australia.

 

But to Folau’s Christian backers this notion of freedoms we all share doesn’t make sense. Why? Because for them putting the boot into gays is basic Christianity. This is hard for the rest of us to credit in 21st century Australia, but to make sense of the current uproar it needs to be faced.

These Christians – by no means all Christians – are willing to burn up huge amounts of political capital to keep and, if possible extend, their power to punish homosexuals. It’s a weird pivot of their faith.

This is not all they want the Morrison government to shore up with legislation, but it’s at the core of their demands. They are shy of saying it in so many words, of course, hence all the malarkey we’ve been hearing from them for the last couple of years about freedom.

Here’s a simple principle: being decent and kind requires no legislation. You only need a religious freedom act to shelter behind when you plan to be nasty – say to age-old targets of your wrath like gays.

So where does that leave Rugby Australia?

 

One of those attacking the code this week was Sydney’s Anglican archbishop, Glenn Davies, who eloquently defended Folau’s “right as a citizen to speak of what he believes without threat to his employment”.

Really? Is this the same archbishop who compelled 34 Anglican headmasters and headmistresses last year to sign an open letter demanding the law continue to allow them to sack gay teachers and expel gay students?

I asked His Grace if this same citizens’ right extended to teachers in Anglican schools? No was the answer that came back from his spokesman, Russell Powell. “This case of non faith-related employment should not be conflated with others.”

How silly of me! There’s one rule for them and another for the rest of us. Folau is free as a footballer to vilify homosexuals without losing his job but were he coaching rugby at a Sydney Anglican school and tweeting approval of gays it might well see him shown the door.

Here’s another simple principle: if you are demanding rights for yourself which you won’t extend to others, that’s not freedom. It’s privilege.

We’re in the midst of this pandemonium because Folau changed his mind. For a million bucks a year, he agreed to go easy on denouncing, among other vices, the evils of homosexuality. He traded his freedom of speech.

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So why say yes in the first place if that’s such a profound violation of his rights and his faith? And why does he expect more millions from Rugby Australia because he’s copped the ordinary consequences of going back on his word?

 

Beneath this is the deeper question on which the debate is now focusing, the question Folau plans to pursue through the courts: whether Rugby Australia had the right (that word again) to ask him in the first place to tone his preaching down.

Rugby Australia reckons hounding fags is not a good look in this day and age. Hence the deal they struck with their star. Many Australians – including airlines, fundraising websites and luxury car dealers – agree wholeheartedly. But not a formidable number of angry Christian dissenters.

So what are they fighting for? Free speech, but free speech of a particular kind that keeps gays in the firing line. As Australia succumbs to secular values on marriage and sex and family, that’s getting harder and the Christian mission more urgent.

So his target is everything. If Folau were insisting on vilifying, say, Jews and the disabled, would anyone object to Rugby Australia insisting he shut up about it?

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this is exactly right - thanks for posting @Jazzy Jan

this whole situation is so upsetting, and i hope to hell he loses in court.

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Jesus I hate religion. ☹️ 

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@Jazzy Jan amazing article. It soeaks the truth. But im so worried our cause is lost...everyone is on the religious persecution train and lets get rid of the pc brigade that i fear pro religious freedom laws will get introduced to allow my community to be persecuted and hated but those that persecute us are protected by law. Where is the fairness & equality in that. I fear that since we won the marriage equality vote i fear the religious nuts are out for revenge 

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Arbitration failed today - so this is headed to Federal Court now. I guess that was inevitable based on what Folau is saying and demanding....

We'll have to hear speculation about this for months to come. UGGHHH

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On 4/13/2019 at 4:19 PM, Jazzy Jan said:

Great points you make Paul. 

I agree that it is important to know what people are thinking as ways to discuss and debate with them.  Unfortunately though,  there seems to be a lot of people now somewhat applauding ultra extreme right wings views which includes homophobia, racism, sexism etc and seems to have make it more acceptable for these people.  Fraser Anning  for example - have read too many articles saying he has the right to free speech and supporting him and he mentioned the Final Solution. It is pretty chilling that they can still support a man that utters those words and see him as being correct.  He is also openly anti-gay and wants to overturn the yes to gay marriage vote as well.     I have noticed more and more people saying incredibly bigoted things now than say 4 years ago.   Not sure exactly but almost as if their extreme and hateful views have become more " acceptable"  now.   Probably coincides with also how many with those views are in political parties now.  

A lot of people have changed their views over the years for the better too of course.  

Agree too on the way children are raised.  If they are told and taught from a young age to be be homophobic, racist, have no respect for women etc,  they often just carry that through their life as that are the opinions they have heard since childhood.   Many do change their views but many don't.   

I don't think it's any coincidence that a lot of countries showing a rise in extreme far-right/neo-fascist views are those with major media networks run by Rupert Murdoch (or those that function like his).  A slow and steady diet of right-wing propaganda sold as "news" has warped far too many minds. Legitimately frightening.

 

 

On 6/25/2019 at 1:11 AM, Jazzy Jan said:

See where the Australian Christian Lobby has taken over the fundraising and now have over a million dollars.  😞

Sad where SOME Christians would rather give money to a millionaire sportsman who uses religion to excuse his intense bigotry and homophobic views than to sick children who desperately need funds   It is tearing many Christian groups apart too with many horrified that they are being represented by extreme groups.  Also startling is how wealthy so many ultra conservative right wingers are.  

That describes the US in a nutshell. Sad to see Australia going down this road.

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On 6/25/2019 at 4:37 AM, Leebf said:

I wouldn't be shocked if the whole thing was planned and orchestrated by the 'Christian lobby' to be a legal test case so that they can argue religious discrimination. They knew he had already been warned about this before so i wouldnt be shocked if they told him to do it again and they will support him and ensure if he was fired they would help him take legal action against the firing. 

Its obvious that the motivation is so that the christian lobby can try and win the right to be allowed to legally descriminate against the LGBT community! What a farce..arguing that they are being descriminated against so they can then be allowed to in their eyes legally  descriminate against a group of people you condemn!

I am just worried that if they win this test case it may allow the extreme religious groups out there to be able to fire and exclude LGBT people from their schools etc and then it could become worse it may open up doors to allow religious fundamentalists to be able to refuse service to LGBT people as it is against their religion (whether it be in shops, or their hospitals etc it could open up a whole can of worms). This is why they want this case to go to court. I could be wrong and it may just be all about him getting his $5m back as this is the amount the new fund campaign is requesting and i thought that was the exact amount that he lost when his contract was terminated.

If you read any news site or Facebook post there are so many comments supporting him and religious freedom plus claiming descrimination and how they are sick of the snowflakes and  madness and lefties ruining the country and the minorities dictating how everyone else has to live...no we aren't trying to ruin the country we just want everyone to be treated equally like everybody else without being persecuted.

They are just sad they cant be bigotts anymore. This world is going into such a bad place people are trying to take away euqal rights for minorities and it makes me sick that these people can't see that and that minorities are not trying to change the world for the worse we just want everyone to be respected and treated equally no matter who they are.

THIS.

There absolutely is an agenda behind it. The progress that has taken place in the last couple decades has terrified them, I think. Here in the US, marriage equality passing was the kicker (not to mention a black man in the White House for 8 years), I think, that sent their side panicking, hence the "Religious Liberty" battles that started up. The 'powers that be' on the right know how profitable and valuable that religous/conservative vote is. It's their bread and butter so much that the most un-Christian thing - Trump himself - buttered up to those folks, and they ate it right up. US, Australia, etc...they want ultimate power. Period. Western liberal democracy be-damned. It's clear to me, within my lifetime, that they don't simply want a seat at the table...they want to dominate it. That's the literal ideology - Christian Dominionism. Never underestimate how low they will sink for power. The Handmaids Tale (even in a watered-down sense) isn't an impossibility if these types gain too much power. (Look at what they're already trying to do with abortion laws in the US).

 

On 6/27/2019 at 3:46 AM, Leebf said:

@Jazzy Jan amazing article. It soeaks the truth. But im so worried our cause is lost...everyone is on the religious persecution train and lets get rid of the pc brigade that i fear pro religious freedom laws will get introduced to allow my community to be persecuted and hated but those that persecute us are protected by law. Where is the fairness & equality in that. I fear that since we won the marriage equality vote i fear the religious nuts are out for revenge 

Spot on. Painting themselves as the new persecuted minority is a major tactic...and it's effective. It's how Trump rose to power - treating a certain portion of America like they were the minority, and the liberals were the new bullies. And sadly, thats become far too easy to do now that they have used the far-left to paint all liberals/liberalism/democrats as being this PC boogie man. That's why as much as I am no fan of political correctness/cancel culture/purity culture/etc...I've become more careful of getting sucked down that rabbit hole of only focusing on the far-left like too many do, even using the "SJW" moniker (as it was essentially coined by the right-wing). It's actually not even close to being the majority of liberal/independent views... but they paint it that way. It's all tactics. Anyways, I'm rambling...

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9 hours ago, VogueMusic said:

 

Spot on. Painting themselves as the new persecuted minority is a major tactic...and it's effective. It's how Trump rose to power - treating a certain portion of America like they were the minority, and the liberals were the new bullies. And sadly, thats become far too easy to do now that they have used the far-left to paint all liberals/liberalism/democrats as being this PC boogie man. That's why as much as I am no fan of political correctness/cancel culture/purity culture/etc...I've become more careful of getting sucked down that rabbit hole of only focusing on the far-left like too many do, even using the "SJW" moniker (as it was essentially coined by the right-wing). It's actually not even close to being the majority of liberal/independent views... but they paint it that way. It's all tactics. Anyways, I'm rambling...

For sure. 

Something that the ghastly Murdoch has fully exploited non stop.   They make sure they give as much attention and exposure to the ultra ultra far left ( who are in the minority ) and then make people think everyone is heading down that path.  Seen it done so often in the press in the last 4 years and it is frightening.  For example,  front page news about wanting fairy-tales banned in schools and then article after article saying that teachers are pushing an agenda of non gender association and encouraging young children to be gay.  When in fact,  the so called ban on fairytales was a suggestion by one person who held no power and was never listened to or remotely taken seriously.  The Murdoch papers though got what they wanted - an outcry and hysterical reactions. 

Also, tired of the whole "freedom of speech"  being used for everything.  We now have to put up with people citing that the Earth is flat because well, it is free speech.  They are supposed to be listened to over scientists and are demanding to be heard. 

This Israel Falou case is really opening up a horrible can of worms and giving voice to a lot of anti gay people.   Many religious groups are hating it too as say they are getting lumped into the fundamental movement of the Christian movement and instead want to promote love and acceptance.  Funny too that the Murdoch press is fully supporting Isreal Falau and fully supported Margaret Court.  

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@VogueMusic @Leebf @Paul @swimtoshore @karbatal   Another great article exposing the hypocrisy of all of this.  From Gregory Callaghan from the Sydney Morning Herald. 

The unholy Folau quagmire and the living hell for gay people

Conservative Christians may not be very good at describing the place they call hell but gays are already in it in Chechnya, most parts of the Middle East, and some countries in Africa, where homosexuals are imprisoned or sent to the firing squad. Homosexuality is a capital offence in 12 countries and criminalised in 72. ISIS lynched gay men and threw them off high buildings; Boko Haram and militias in Yemen continue to target and murder gay men.

 

In Australia, we have the first world problem of having one in four youth suicides being an LGBTQI kid. And we have open season on LGBTQI people on social media as a result of the toxic Rugby Australia v Israel Folau debate: we’re “snowflakes” who demand “special treatment” to protect our “homosexual lifestyle” (whatever that is). Even Magda Szubanski, twice polled Australia’s most trusted media personality, has copped her share of online abuse – to his credit, Folau called off his more rabid followers.

There are many questions. Who do you think was lying: Folau, when he claimed Rugby Australia offered him money to remove his hell-awaits-homosexuals Instagram post, or Rugby Australia, which emphatically denies ever making such an offer? Is the Australian Christian Lobby within its rights to deposit $100,000 from its tax-exempt coffers in Folau’s war chest? Do you reckon it’s morally on the nose for the multi-millionaire Folau, who stands to make at least $10 million if he wins his case, holding out both palms for donations to cover his legal costs?

And now the hotly debated question of the week: will the landmark judgment in Britain's Court of Appeal, which upheld the rights of a former student social worker, Felix Ngole, to post Old Testament quotes damning “wicked” homosexuals to “eternal fire” on a public Facebook page, bolster Folau’s case, now headed for an epic battle in the Federal Court after his sacking by Rugby Australia? Was the University of Sheffield right in expelling Ngole from its postgraduate course in 2015 for breach of its professional guidelines, given that as a social worker he’d be working directly with LGBTQI clients?

It’s tempting to think that had Rugby Australia ignored Folau’s fire-and-brimstone posts in the first place, this unholy quagmire could have been avoided. After all, far, far worse things have been spewed forth in the past about gay men by the likes of Anthony Mundine.

Make no mistake: Rugby Australia had no choice but to take the action it did because a) despite repeated warnings, it believed Folau breached the terms of his contract and b) it had no way of predicting this would be conflated into a hostile debate about religious freedom, political correctness and corporate virtue signalling. Nor could it have known that the belligerently anti-gay Australian Christian Lobby, a sore loser over Australia’s verdict on marriage equality, would seize its militant moment.

Should Rugby Australia have rethought its policies on social media posts? No again, not unless it wanted to trash the spirit of inclusiveness that has become the hallmark of Australian sport over the past decade or so. To quote the mission statement of Australian Sport, the operating brand name of the Australian Sports Commission: "Sport Australia believes that every Australian (at all stages of their life regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ability, cultural background or ethnicity and no matter where they live) should be able to participate in sport and physical activity in a welcoming and inclusive way."

If Rugby Australia loses its case in the Federal Court, this spirit of inclusiveness will be seriously compromised. The fires of religious discrimination would be burning bright for years to come, sending Australia backwards in terms of tolerance and social maturity.

The hypocrisy and hysterics raised by this issue are eye-watering. Religious leaders vigorously defend Folau’s right as a Christian to speak his mind without having to worry about his job security, while demanding laws to enshrine anti-discrimination exemptions for faith-based schools – in effect enabling them to sack gay teachers or expel gay students if they admit their sexuality. Alan Jones, who has spent decades not answering questions about whether he is a homosexual, eagerly backs up Folau’s position in an obsequious interview on Sky News. Miranda Devine describes Folau as “persecuted” by the “tolerance zealots” who want to “destroy his wife, his parents, their church and everyone else associated with him”. Who’s playing the victim now?

Of course, conservative Christians inevitably go back to the *, arguing that any church that doesn’t damn gays to hell is betraying theological doctrine and giving in to liberal political correctness. The gaping fault with this line of thinking is it ignores 2000 odd years of evolving interpretation of scripture. If we continued to take every biblical injunction seriously, slavery, the subjugation of women, stoning, cutting off hands, and being barred from wearing clothes woven of two kinds of fabric would be still in force.

But back to our nation’s other major religion: sport. I was heartened when my local rugby league team, the beloved Newtown Jets, recently organised Australia’s first Pride and Diversity Day at Sydney’s Henson Park in support of the local LGBTQI community. All the players wore rainbow socks as they charged on to the field.This to me is the heart and soul of Australia, the real face of the country I grew up in and love. 

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6 minutes ago, Jazzy Jan said:

Alan Jones, who has spent decades not answering questions about whether he is a homosexual, eagerly backs up Folau’s position in an obsequious interview on Sky News.

 

That was certainly one of the more ridiculous moments of the week...

 

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Thanks @Jazzy Jan

Regarding homosexuals in Arabic countries it pops to mind my most bizarre day at work a couple of years ago. I published a long spread on homophobia focused on bullying at school. To make the page a bit more appealing I included an Amnesty International map showing which countries still prosecuted homosexuality. 

Next day West Sahara lawyers menaced to  bring a judicial process if we didn't retract on one fact: their territory, recognised by the UNO but not by Morocco, was not marked on the map. West Sahara imprisons gays, and yet they wanted the country to be included because, if not, it was against international law. 

The director of the newspaper made me contact West Sahara authorities, apologize profusely. Kiss their ass and convince them how much we love them and respect their fight. Me, a homosexual denouncing prosecution, had to kiss their bigot asses because of a fucking map. 

That day I learned a very important thing: to never speak about a country without thinking of their population. We speak of Russia this and that or Muslims this and that. But inside those countries are people suffering in the first place bigotry. And if they flee we should always embrace them with open arms.

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On 7/6/2019 at 1:24 PM, karbatal said:

Thanks @Jazzy Jan

RWe speak of Russia this and that or Muslims this and that. But inside those countries are people suffering in the first place bigotry. 

Yet the vast majority are totally against gays and most justify even killings...

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54 minutes ago, elijah said:

Yet the vast majority are totally against gays and most justify even killings...

And yet if those running away from those countries come to our country we refuse them because they're Muslim.

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3 hours ago, karbatal said:

And yet if those running away from those countries come to our country we refuse them because they're Muslim.

Gay Muslim should definitely be embraced and welcomed in any democratic country. Its only fair, because their life is in huge danger in almost any muslim majority country.

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