Israel Folau

Hillmanhunter1

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(Firstly, those of you not interested in Rugby Union will be very pleased to learn that this thread has nothing to do with Israel, Jews, Palestinians, BDS, and/or anti-Semitism!)

Mr Israel Folau is an Australian Rugby Union footballer. He is an exceptionally talent rugby player, he has been capped 73 times for Australia and was expected to be one of the players to watch in the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

Mr Folau is also a committed Christian, he is a member of the Assemblies of God, which is apparently the largest Pentecostal denomination in the world. Arising from his religious beliefs Mr Folau holds that homosexuality is sinful, and eternal damnation is the fate homosexuals.

Mr Folau has in the past posted on social media expressing this view, and on 10 April 2019 he posted the following on Instagram:

17639

The following day he was sacked by Rugby Australia.

Mr Billy Vunipola is also a Rugby Union footballer. He too is exceptionally talented and has been capped 36 times for England. Mr Vunipola is also deeply religious. He "liked" Mr Folau's post, and also posted “Man was made for woman to pro create that was the goal no?”. Mr Vunipola has been given a dressing down by the English Rugby Football Union. In a statement they said "Following a meeting between the RFU and Billy Vunipola, the Saracens forward has been issued with a formal warning under RFU rule 5.12 for conduct prejudicial to the interests of the union or the game.”

I am not homosexual, but I think that if Mr Folau's beliefs as set out in his post are correct that eternal damnation also awaits me - on several counts! But I am not offended by his post. I am an atheist, but he's entitled to believe in God, and if you follow any of the myriad branches of the three Abrahamic faiths it is clear that most religions condemn homosexuality as sinful, and that the consequence of sinfulness is hell.

Mr Folau and Mr Vunipola are footballers, not civic leaders or politicians They are entitled to hold religious views, and to express those views, just as much as anyone else. I don't think that anyone looks to them for moral guidance or for insights on how to make the world a better place. They're just two working guys.

I find myself in the odd position of an atheist defending the rights of Christians, but there is a fundamental free speech issue here. Free speech means allowing ideas that you don't agree with to be expressed.
 


cozzy121

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does free speech cover bigotry or incitement to hatred?
 

owedtojoy

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(Firstly, those of you not interested in Rugby Union will be very pleased to learn that this thread has nothing to do with Israel, Jews, Palestinians, BDS, and/or anti-Semitism!)

Mr Israel Folau is an Australian Rugby Union footballer. He is an exceptionally talent rugby player, he has been capped 73 times for Australia and was expected to be one of the players to watch in the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

Mr Folau is also a committed Christian, he is a member of the Assemblies of God, which is apparently the largest Pentecostal denomination in the world. Arising from his religious beliefs Mr Folau holds that homosexuality is sinful, and eternal damnation is the fate homosexuals.

Mr Folau has in the past posted on social media expressing this view, and on 10 April 2019 he posted the following on Instagram:

View attachment 17639

The following day he was sacked by Rugby Australia.

Mr Billy Vunipola is also a Rugby Union footballer. He too is exceptionally talented and has been capped 36 times for England. Mr Vunipola is also deeply religious. He "liked" Mr Folau's post, and also posted “Man was made for woman to pro create that was the goal no?”. Mr Vunipola has been given a dressing down by the English Rugby Football Union. In a statement they said "Following a meeting between the RFU and Billy Vunipola, the Saracens forward has been issued with a formal warning under RFU rule 5.12 for conduct prejudicial to the interests of the union or the game.”

I am not homosexual, but I think that if Mr Folau's beliefs as set out in his post are correct that eternal damnation also awaits me - on several counts! But I am not offended by his post. I am an atheist, but he's entitled to believe in God, and if you follow any of the myriad branches of the three Abrahamic faiths it is clear that most religions condemn homosexuality as sinful, and that the consequence of sinfulness is hell.

Mr Folau and Mr Vunipola are footballers, not civic leaders or politicians They are entitled to hold religious views, and to express those views, just as much as anyone else. I don't think that anyone looks to them for moral guidance or for insights on how to make the world a better place. They're just two working guys.

I find myself in the odd position of an atheist defending the rights of Christians, but there is a fundamental free speech issue here. Free speech means allowing ideas that you don't agree with to be expressed.
Israel Folau is entitled to his views, of course, and no one is trying to force him to change.

But some prominent rugby folk have come out as gay - like the Welsh 100-capped player Gareth Thomas, and the referee Nigel Owens, arguably the best ref in the world. The anthem of the World Rugby Union is "The World in Union" - it makes a nonsense of the "World in Union" if part of the rugby-playing fraternity (and sisterhood) are condemning other parts of it to hell-fire.

Folau has transgressed before, and this is the outcome of a process that included several warnings. He has to take responsibility for his actions, and he must have known that the Australian Rugby Union could not let his divisive messaging pass without any sanction.

As for Vunipola, this is his first transgression, and his club are dealing with the matter internally. I hope he remains more discreet about his opinions from now on.

Folau is a superb player, and a terrible loss to the game. But I cannot see any other possible outcome other than a complete ban. How many chances does he expect to get?
 

Hillmanhunter1

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Israel Folau is entitled to his views, of course, and no one is trying to force him to change.

But some prominent rugby folk have come out as gay - like the Welsh 100-capped player Gareth Thomas, and the referee Nigel Owens, arguably the best ref in the world. The anthem of the World Rugby Union is "The World in Union" - it makes a nonsense of the "World in Union" if part of the rugby-playing fraternity (and sisterhood) are condemning other parts of it to hell-fire.

Folau has transgressed before, and this is the outcome of a process that included several warnings. He has to take responsibility for his actions, and he must have known that the Australian Rugby Union could not let his divisive messaging pass without any sanction.

As for Vunipola, this is his first transgression, and his club are dealing with the matter internally. I hope he remains more discreet about his opinions from now on.

Folau is a superb player, and a terrible loss to the game. But I cannot see any other possible outcome other than a complete ban. How many chances does he expect to get?
Is it therefore the case that the only people who can be permitted to play representative sports are those who hold politically correct views, or at least are willing to be silence if they do not?

Bear in mind that he is not threatening gays, or urging others to do so, he's simply saying that it is his belief that, in accordance with his faith, homosexuals will go to hell.

Why is the focus on homosexuals only. What about the drunks and the fornicators (two groups very close to my heart)?
 

Hillmanhunter1

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does free speech cover bigotry or incitement to hatred?
Free speech probably does cover bigotry, but not incitement to hatred if there is a law and a workable legal definition.
 

owedtojoy

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Is it therefore the case that the only people who can be permitted to play representative sports are those who hold politically correct views, or at least are willing to be silence if they do not?

Bear in mind that he is not threatening gays, or urging others to do so, he's simply saying that it is his belief that, in accordance with his faith, homosexuals will go to hell.

Why is the focus on homosexuals only. What about the drunks and the fornicators (two groups very close to my heart)?
It is not about "homosexuals only" or social media only. Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding lost their contracts with Ulster Rugby and the IRFU because they brought the game into disrepute with misogynistic texts. Two spectators were banned from attending rugby games for life after verbal abuse of Nigel Owens because he was gay.

Israel Folau, AFAIK, is in a similar position to Jackson and Olding. His club and national rugby body believe he has violated his contract, which states that he adhere to a certain code of conduct, plus ignoring written warnings, and accordingly his contract is terminated.

Folau has a right of appeal which he is taking Israel Folau hearing could turn on point of NSW law, expert says

It is faux-innocent and disingenuous to say "Shure, he was only expressing a belief .... " The beliefs of 99% of the world on social media can be ignored - Folau is a star rugby player, being paid AU$millions by his employers, and that brings responsibilities to the game, to the organisation that pays him so much, and to the fans (some of whom are gay or have gay family members). Among the responsibilities is ensuring the game is open and welcoming, and a space where you will not be publicly consigned to hell by one of your fellow-players for your sexual preferences.
 

Hillmanhunter1

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It is not about "homosexuals only" or social media only. Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding lost their contracts with Ulster Rugby and the IRFU because they brought the game into disrepute with misogynistic texts. Two spectators were banned from attending rugby games for life after verbal abuse of Nigel Owens because he was gay.

Israel Folau, AFAIK, is in a similar position to Jackson and Olding. His club and national rugby body believe he has violated his contract, which states that he adhere to a certain code of conduct, plus ignoring written warnings, and accordingly his contract is terminated.

Folau has a right of appeal which he is taking Israel Folau hearing could turn on point of NSW law, expert says

It is faux-innocent and disingenuous to say "Shure, he was only expressing a belief .... " The beliefs of 99% of the world on social media can be ignored - Folau is a star rugby player, being paid AU$millions by his employers, and that brings responsibilities to the game, to the organisation that pays him so much, and to the fans (some of whom are gay or have gay family members). Among the responsibilities is ensuring the game is open and welcoming, and a space where you will not be publicly consigned to hell by one of your fellow-players for your sexual preferences.
I'm not so sure that Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding were sacked, in that I suspect their contracts were paid up and then terminated. They were both too hot to handle in the immediate aftermath of the trial, but they have both continued to play professionally (in France) and the doorway for a return to Ulster and Ireland seems open:
IRFU and Ulster leave door open for Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding return - Independent.ie

The point you make about Folau possibly breaching his contract may technically be true, but is it desirable that an employer exercises a veto over the right of an employee to exercise freedom of speech and religious beliefs? Remember believing, and saying, that you think homosexuals will go to hell is not illegal. In addition, I don't believe that Folau has ever been accused of abusing anyone because of their gender orientation.
 

Golah veNekhar

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does free speech cover bigotry or incitement to hatred?
He was trying as he sees it to offer help to homosexuals, alcoholics, etc and not incite hatred towards them.
 

owedtojoy

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I'm not so sure that Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding were sacked, in that I suspect their contracts were paid up and then terminated. They were both too hot to handle in the immediate aftermath of the trial, but they have both continued to play professionally (in France) and the doorway for a return to Ulster and Ireland seems open:
IRFU and Ulster leave door open for Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding return - Independent.ie

The point you make about Folau possibly breaching his contract may technically be true, but is it desirable that an employer exercises a veto over the right of an employee to exercise freedom of speech and religious beliefs? Remember believing, and saying, that you think homosexuals will go to hell is not illegal. In addition, I don't believe that Folau has ever been accused of abusing anyone because of their gender orientation.
I think the door would be open for Folau to play elsewhere .... if he signed a similar code of conduct.

Folau is not being singled out, except by himself. He had a mature choice to make and if his conscience told him to tweet irrespective of warnings and a code of conduct, then he has to take responsibility for his actions. HIs legal case is on a point of law that has nothing to do with his freedom of speech rights, but related to social media, so that he seems to have conceded that signing a code of conduct did not breach his civil rights.

To turn your point on its head, all players sign the code of conduct. Why should a homophobe be allowed to breach it without any come-back just because he says he is on the side of Jesus? it seems to be you who want to single Folau out for special treatment.

And, to take another of your points, "drunkards and fornicators" do not "get away with it", assuming they are caught transgressing. For example, a professional playing caught drunk driving would probably be fined by his club, and let go if he was caught more than once. So would a player who continually breached curfew to get drunk. All-Black Aaron Smith was dropped from a tour and sanctioned by the NZ Union for getting too frisky with a female fan in an airport public toilet. Continuous breaches of discipline would lead to termination of contract.

All Blacks ready to move on from Aaron Smith affair
 

Hillmanhunter1

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I think the door would be open for Folau to play elsewhere .... if he signed a similar code of conduct.

Folau is not being singled out, except by himself. He had a mature choice to make and if his conscience told him to tweet irrespective of warnings and a code of conduct, then he has to take responsibility for his actions. HIs legal case is on a point of law that has nothing to do with his freedom of speech rights, but related to social media, so that he seems to have conceded that signing a code of conduct did not breach his civil rights.

To turn your point on its head, all players sign the code of conduct. Why should a homophobe be allowed to breach it without any come-back just because he says he is on the side of Jesus? it seems to be you who want to single Folau out for special treatment.

And, to take another of your points, "drunkards and fornicators" do not "get away with it", assuming they are caught transgressing. For example, a professional playing caught drunk driving would probably be fined by his club, and let go if he was caught more than once. So would a player who continually breached curfew to get drunk. All-Black Aaron Smith was dropped from a tour and sanctioned by the NZ Union for getting too frisky with a female fan in an airport public toilet. Continuous breaches of discipline would lead to termination of contract.

All Blacks ready to move on from Aaron Smith affair
You make several valid points but I'm just going to focus on one - specifically the use of the word "homophobe".

Is it homophobic to believe that homosexuality is a sin, and that homosexuals will go to hell, and to say that this is what you believe?

I would have thought that it comes within the space of freedom to profess, express and follow a faith.
 

cozzy121

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He was trying as he sees it to offer help to homosexuals, alcoholics, etc and not incite hatred towards them.
"You'll burn in hell if you don't repent" is no seen as Help?

Troll harder
 

Golah veNekhar

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"You'll burn in hell if you don't repent" is no seen as Help?

Troll harder
If hated them he would not be trying to save them from hell, he was showing concern for their souls. If there is one thing worse than hatred it is indifference.
 

Hillmanhunter1

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"You'll burn in hell if you don't repent" is no seen as Help?

Troll harder
The question is not whether or not you agree with Mr Folau - I don't, but I do think that he is entitled to hold this opinion and to express the opinion.

I also believe that he should not lose his job as a footballer because he holds this view - who cares what footballers believe?
 

Herr Rommel

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(Firstly, those of you not interested in Rugby Union will be very pleased to learn that this thread has nothing to do with Israel, Jews, Palestinians, BDS, and/or anti-Semitism!)

Mr Israel Folau is an Australian Rugby Union footballer. He is an exceptionally talent rugby player, he has been capped 73 times for Australia and was expected to be one of the players to watch in the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

Mr Folau is also a committed Christian, he is a member of the Assemblies of God, which is apparently the largest Pentecostal denomination in the world. Arising from his religious beliefs Mr Folau holds that homosexuality is sinful, and eternal damnation is the fate homosexuals.

Mr Folau has in the past posted on social media expressing this view, and on 10 April 2019 he posted the following on Instagram:

View attachment 17639

The following day he was sacked by Rugby Australia.

Mr Billy Vunipola is also a Rugby Union footballer. He too is exceptionally talented and has been capped 36 times for England. Mr Vunipola is also deeply religious. He "liked" Mr Folau's post, and also posted “Man was made for woman to pro create that was the goal no?”. Mr Vunipola has been given a dressing down by the English Rugby Football Union. In a statement they said "Following a meeting between the RFU and Billy Vunipola, the Saracens forward has been issued with a formal warning under RFU rule 5.12 for conduct prejudicial to the interests of the union or the game.”

I am not homosexual, but I think that if Mr Folau's beliefs as set out in his post are correct that eternal damnation also awaits me - on several counts! But I am not offended by his post. I am an atheist, but he's entitled to believe in God, and if you follow any of the myriad branches of the three Abrahamic faiths it is clear that most religions condemn homosexuality as sinful, and that the consequence of sinfulness is hell.

Mr Folau and Mr Vunipola are footballers, not civic leaders or politicians They are entitled to hold religious views, and to express those views, just as much as anyone else. I don't think that anyone looks to them for moral guidance or for insights on how to make the world a better place. They're just two working guys.

I find myself in the odd position of an atheist defending the rights of Christians, but there is a fundamental free speech issue here. Free speech means allowing ideas that you don't agree with to be expressed.
If they are the rules to get into heaven most of us are screw.
 

Buchaill Dana

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Is it therefore the case that the only people who can be permitted to play representative sports are those who hold politically correct views, or at least are willing to be silence if they do not?

Bear in mind that he is not threatening gays, or urging others to do so, he's simply saying that it is his belief that, in accordance with his faith, homosexuals will go to hell.

Why is the focus on homosexuals only. What about the drunks and the fornicators (two groups very close to my heart)?
He can hold whatever views he wants. He cant promote them publically if they go against the inclusive culture the Aussies are trying to create.

There is a queer notion out there of rights without responsibilities
 

Buchaill Dana

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The question is not whether or not you agree with Mr Folau - I don't, but I do think that he is entitled to hold this opinion and to express the opinion.

I also believe that he should not lose his job as a footballer because he holds this view - who cares what footballers believe?
He was on a warning for doing it before.

Very few of us woild keep our jobs if we publically said what he did on a page saying who we worked for.
 

Hillmanhunter1

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He was on a warning for doing it before.

Very few of us woild keep our jobs if we publically said what he did on a page saying who we worked for.
I disagree - I think the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker would keep their jobs. The rugby player is no different.
 

Disillusioned democrat

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Free speech probably does cover bigotry, but not incitement to hatred if there is a law and a workable legal definition.
Freedom of speech does not make you immune from consequences....he broke his contract with the Aussie Rugby Union, end of story...he signed up as one of the world’s best paid rugby players with a condition that he uphold the views of that Union and then blew it.
 


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