Israel Folau, Religious Liberty Martyr
Hello all. I’m in Brisbane tonight, and have been so busy all day that I haven’t had time to post or to approve comments. Big news here is that the country’s top rugby player, Israel Folau, has had his career destroyed by league officials because he posted to Instagram a Bible verse criticizing homosexuals. More:
An understandably gutted Israel Folau has issued a parting jab at Rugby Australia shortly after his official axing from the Wallabies.
The 30-year-old had his $4 million contract scrapped on Friday following the nuclear fallout to his anti-gay Instagram post.
“It has been a privilege and honour to represent Australia and my home state of New South Wales, playing the game I love,” he said.
“I am deeply saddened by today’s decision to terminate my employment and I am considering my options.
“As Australians, we are born with certain rights, including the right to freedom of religion and the right to freedom of expression. The Christian faith has always been a part of my life and I believe it is my duty as a Christian to share God’s word. Upholding my religious beliefs should not prevent my ability to work or play for my club and country.”
Outspoken radio host and former Wallabies coach Alan Jones went for the jugular on Friday, insisting Rugby Australia will “fall on its sword” in the fallout to the Folau case.
The 78-year-old tore into the organisation live on 2GB this afternoon, saying it wasn’t a surprise the decision to sack Folau was made.
“There’s no surprise here…you’re dealing with incompetent people … and incompetent people always behave incompetently,” he said.
“They’ve destroyed his employment and internationally destroyed his name for quoting a passage from the bible for God’s sake.
“He hasn’t slaughtered anyone, he hasn’t insulted anyone and he hasn’t even tried to push this stuff down anyone’s throat.”
The Aussie Christians I’ve been talking to today all maintain that Folau is a kind of martyr to the extreme illiberalism of the Australian left. Tomorrow are national elections. If Labor wins, as is likely, I’m told that the party is expected to pass a number of laws further restricting freedom of religion and speech — all in the service of building a progressive utopia.
If they will destroy the career of the No. 1 rugby player in the country over his religious beliefs, who is safe?