This isn’t surprising:
Israel Folau’s contract has been terminated by Rugby Australia after he said “hell awaits” gay people in a social media post.
The Waratahs full-back, 30, was sacked in April but requested a hearing, which was heard by a three-person panel.
They found him guilty of a “high level breach” of RA’s player code of conduct and have upheld the dismissal.
It’s not the first time Folau has got into trouble for expressing views consistent with his unapproved and unprotected religion.
The fundamentalist Christian posted a banner on his Instagram account in April that read: “Drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators – Hell awaits you.”
This is another example of tolerance and diversity only extending as far as government-approved opinions. Note that Folau is not demanding homosexuals be punished, nor is he refusing to play with them. Instead, he is expressing his religious views that homosexuality is a sin for which they will ultimately pay in the afterlife. A charitable interpretation is he’s not even being malicious, he genuinely fears for such people and wants to save them. His opinions on the fate of homosexuals are derived directly from his religion, which in theory he has the freedom to practice. But as far as Rugby Australia are concerned, he’s free to practice Christianity provided he doesn’t pass remarks on what that entails. This doesn’t sound like an organisation which embraces diversity or practices tolerance.
The other daft thing is Heaven and Hell are religious concepts, and Folau is clearly using the term “hell” in it’s religious context here. So unless you’re religious like Folau, the whole idea of Hell ought to be meaningless. In which case what’s the problem? Homosexuals seem to be taking offence that Folau is condemning them to a fate in an afterlife they don’t themselves believe in. They might as well fret about stepping on cracks in the pavement.
Rugby Australia is a foundation member of Pride in Sport Index (PSI), which is a sporting inclusion programme in Australia set up to help sporting organisations with the inclusion of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community.
And to the exclusion of practicing Christians whose views have brought no problems whatsoever to the game (unless you count Michael Jones refusing to play on Sundays).
“We commend Rugby Australia, as well as New South Wales Rugby Union, for their leadership and courage throughout this process,” said PSI co-founder Andrew Purchas.
Chucking outspoken Christians under the bus to appease the gay lobby is hardly courageous. What would have been really courageous is for Rugby Australia to state that Folau is entitled to practice his religion and express the views derived from it on his social media platforms.
“Their swift and decisive actions shows that homophobic and transphobic discrimination is not acceptable in sport and individuals – irrespective of their social or professional stature – will be held accountable for their words and actions.”
Held accountable for their actions, eh? Funny, these are the precise sentiments which have just got Folau fired. What we’re seeing here is new quasi-religious dogma pushing out the old. Only Christian societies had a 2,000 year run. How long do you think modern society will last in its current guise?