The outrage mob is out to get Folau

“The outrage mob is out in force following rugby star Israel Folau’s latest social media comments.

The mob wants to more than disagree with Folau’s opinion, as is our right in a free society. It wants to ban him from expressing it, which is totalitarian. …”

– Morgan Begg,a research fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs, writes in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Related:

Israel Folau to be sacked by Rugby Australia over homophobic comments – ABC News.

What the hell, Australia? – David Ould.

See also earlier posts – mainly from April 2018, including a media statement, at the time, from Archbishop Glenn Davies:

“The way Israel Folau is treated will be a test of Australian Rugby’s ‘inclusion’ policy.

Israel Folau should be free to hold and express traditional, Biblical views on marriage and sexuality without being penalized – just as other players have spoken out with their differing views. …”

The Folau case is a public relations disaster for Qantas and Rugby Australia

“What has happened to Israel Folau indicates that the inclusion and diversity programs run by Qantas and Rugby Australia seem to be, to coin a Trumpsim, ‘fake’ initiatives.

Moreover, the exposure of the attempts to gag Israel Folau has created a public relations disaster for Qantas and Rugby Australia. …”

– Commentary by Spiro Zavos at The Roar. (Link via SydneyAnglicans.net.)

Related: Israel Folau – Heretic or Hero? – David Robertson.

Archbishop Davies interviewed on 2GB about Israel Folau and freedom of speech

Archbishop Glenn Davies spoke with Ben Fordham on 2GB about Israel Folau and freedom of speech today.

Worth hearing – Listen at the link.

Statement on Israel Folau — Archbishop Glenn Davies — 9 April 2018

Here is a Media Statement from Archbishop Glenn Davies

“The way Israel Folau is treated will be a test of Australian Rugby’s ‘inclusion’ policy.

Israel Folau should be free to hold and express traditional, Biblical views on marriage and sexuality without being penalized – just as other players have spoken out with their differing views.

Rugby Australia has said ‘rugby is a game for all, regardless of sexuality, race, religion or gender’ and it would be hypocritical for administrators to censure a player for expressing views which spring from his own faith and conscience.

Dr Glenn Davies
Archbishop of Sydney
9 April 2018.”

– Background, from MailOnline:

Israel Folau defiant ahead of D-day meeting with Rugby bosses

“Wallabies star Israel Folau has received the support of some of Australia’s top religious figures for his outspoken views on homosexuality.

Folau, a devout Christian, has been under fire for social media comments saying gay people would go to ‘hell unless they repent of their sins and turn to God’.

The comments have left Rugby Australia in a tough situation as major sponsors prepare to walk away if he continues to post in such a matter.

But the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, told The Australian it was a matter of free speech, and Folau should be allowed to have an individual view…”

Workplace Laws “a Test of Faith”

“Christian leaders have warned that workplace codes of conduct could force Australians to leave their faith ‘at home’, after Bill Shorten and Scott Morrison hid behind employment law in their comments on rugby union star ­Israel Folau.

Michael Stead, chair of the religious freedom reference group for the Anglican Diocese of Sydney, said he was frustrated that Mr Morrison and Mr Shorten characterised the dispute between Folau and Rugby Australia during Wednesday’s leaders debate in Canberra as a matter of workplace law. …”

– Story from The Australian. (Subscription)

Related:

Israel Folau’s case prompts Australian religious leaders to pen letters to Scott Morrison, Bill Shorten – ABC News.

A dangerous precedent for religious freedom in Australia

Here’s a media release from the Australian Christian Lobby:

Israel Folau Has Done Nothing Wrong 

The Australian Christian Lobby continues to stand with Israel Folau and maintains that he has a right to express his beliefs.  

“The decision by Rugby Australia means that quoting a bible verse is now considered a high-level breach against their code of conduct,” said ACL managing director Martyn Iles.

“This is a dangerous precedent for religious freedom in Australia.”

“According to RA, the very act of quoting a bible verse, which is believed by millions of Australians who profess a Christian faith and attend church regularly, is incompatible with being a rugby player.”

“This marginalises and silences a large portion of Australians who believe that sin is real, hell is real, and salvation in Jesus Christ is the equal answer for all, regardless of our identity or background.”

“All Australians should know that they are free to express their beliefs which form part of their identity without fear of being unfairly censored or discriminated against.”

Mr Iles said Israel Folau’s case clearly highlights the importance of religious freedom in Australia.

“We have been seeing the creep of compelled speech and slow removal of freedom for people of faith for some time now. It will fall to the next government to make sure that millions of Australians are allowed to continue to live out their beliefs without fear of discrimination.”

The Australian Christian Lobby will shortly launch a campaign to ensure the rights of millions of Australians for whom religious conviction is fundamental to their identity are protected.

Source. Photo: Players Voice.

In support of Billy Vunipola

“Dear Sir,

I am not a Rugby fan, but I wish to protest at your treatment of Billy Vunipola. Mr Vunipola has done nothing wrong, other than express his Christian beliefs in support of another Christian believer. …”

– Anglican Mainstream has published this Letter from a South Yorkshire Rector to the Rugby Football Union and the Saracens Rugby Club.

Background:

Billy Vunipola: England number eight given formal warning by RFU – BBC News.

“The 26-year-old number eight liked the post by Folau and called for people to ‘live their lives how God intended’. Vunipola, who has also been warned by his club Saracens, has been ‘reminded of his responsibilities’ by the RFU. …”

See also:

Israel Folau to challenge Rugby Australia’s breach notice over social media post – ABC News.

When talking about hell… – Murray Campbell.

Scotland’s Little Pink Guards

“If the Israel Folau incident gives us an insight into how our ‘liberal’ elites seek to bully Christians into accepting their doctrines, then what has been happening back home in Scotland to the Church of Scotland minister Mike Goss gives another. …

When SSM was passed (in the name of tolerance) we warned that one of the consequences would be the marginalisation and demonisation of those who upheld the traditional Christian position – and of course, we were mocked and abused as extremists for suggesting such a ridiculous idea.…”

– David Robertson writes at The Wee Flea.

I’m a Sinner too

“People’s lives are not for me to judge. Only God can do that.

I have sinned many times in my life. I take responsibility for those sins and ask for forgiveness through repentance daily.

I understand a lot of people won’t agree with some of the things I’m about to write.

That’s absolutely fine. In life, you are allowed to agree to disagree.

But I would like to explain to you what I believe in, how I arrived at these beliefs and why I will not compromise my faith in Jesus Christ, which is the cornerstone of every single thing in my life.

I hope this will provide some context to the discussion that started with my reply to a question asked of me on Instagram two weeks ago. …”

– Israel Folau shares his story at PlayersVoice. (Photo: PlayersVoice.)

Related: The Bible and Same-Sex Marriage – Dr. Lionel Windsor.

‘I’m on about Jesus’

“Archbishop Glenn Davies has put the furore over an Instagram post by star Rugby player Israel Folau in context, saying all people should turn to Jesus. …”

Read it all at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Related: Two Ways to Live – the choice we all face.

‘CEO Activism clashes with Religious Freedom’

“Reports today that Qantas is considering withdrawing its sponsorship for the Wallabies because of Israel Folau’s recent comments about homosexuality are the latest example of the national carrier’s attempts to marginalise Christians.

Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Martyn Iles expressed concern at the reports, “It’s not enough for Qantas to preach tolerance, they have to demonstrate it.

“This is just the latest attempt by big corporates to try to silence Christians and marginalise them for their beliefs.

“The threat to withdraw sponsorship for an athlete sharing his personal belief should send a chill down the spine of the millions of Australians who voted ‘No’ last year, and every politician who promised that gay marriage would not affect religious freedom …”

– see the full media release from the Australian Christian Lobby.

David Ould has some background to the controversy.

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