Purgatory looms for unrepentant Israel

Matt Cleary Columnist

By Matt Cleary, Matt Cleary is a Roar Expert

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    The Israel Folau saga is proving a major headache for Rugby Australia (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

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    The Israel Folau thing? It would be laughable that a grown man believes his fellow human beings will be condemned to a fiery magic netherworld forever if they don’t conform to said man’s beliefs if it wasn’t actually dangerous.

    Dangerous? Yes. If you’re a high profile public person – what modern-day PR types call an “Influencer” – your words matter.

    Because there are hundreds, thousands, even millions of susceptible young minds who put Israel Folau on a pedestal.

    And if any of those young people are battling with their sexuality, say, and perhaps live in God-fearing households, cultures, what have you, and their hero Israel says that they’re effectively evil people whom God will cast into a hot lava pit forever if they don’t repent the sin of being themselves, gay, the way God made them, presumably, then those kids will take that to heart.

    And if you’re sharpening up that keyboard now and thinking of ever-creative uses of the word “snowflake”, then back up a bit. And consider: suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44.

    Men are three times more likely to kill themselves than women.

    Each year over 3000 people kill themselves. It’s eight people per day.

    How many because they believed their sexuality is a sin?

    Look – maybe Israel’s just been… I dunno. Been a bit stupid, maybe. Maybe he doesn’t think gays are going to Hell.

    Maybe he was just saying the gays are going to hell, like everyone else is going to hell because, in Israel’s mind, everyone has to repent their sins and admit them to God, who will say, as long as you really mean it, Okay, then. No worries. No Fiery Pit forever for you.

    As it says in the Bible.

    Young blokes are topping them themselves all over Australia, hating on themselves because they, well, you know… dig dudes.

    And that’s why Israel needs to pull his big dumb head in.

    Because his words are dangerous. And wrong.

    Israel Folau Wallabies Australia Rugby Union 2017

    (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

    They’re as wrong as The Daily Mail – perhaps the most infantile newspaper in the world – was when it slandered Steve Smith as a “Cry Baby” for breaking down in a press conference.

    It’s a sledge that says to young men that crying is weak. And so some young men will agree, and bottle things up. And then young men will self-destruct.

    It happens every day. It’s a national pandemic. Suicide kills more young men than all the drugs and car accidents and cancers combined.

    And if Israel Folau believes gay people will go to Hell because they’re gay people unless they admit to the God that being gay is bad, then Israel Folau is no ordinary idiot.

    But the world’s full of idiots who believe all manner of malarkey. And we generally put them in a corner and do our best not to engage them, and think, well, the world needs extremist fools, too.

    But Israel is an “Influencer”, a brilliant athlete and sportsman and “role model” for kids.

    And that’s one reason – of many – why Israel Folau needs to be educated that even if he does actually believe gay people are going to hell for being gay people (again, the way God made them, one would assume) then he has a very real responsibility, as an admired public figure, not to actually publicly utter such rampant, homophobic nonsense lest young, impressionable minds take it on board, and hate themselves for it, and decide that Israel’s right, being gay is bad, and punishable by eternity in hell, I must end this terrible torment, because I’m a bad, even evil person, Israel Folau said so.

    It’s just his opinion? It’s free speech?

    Friend, bring it in tight. And hear this:

    Bugger that.

    There’s a limit to free speech. You can’t say a lot of things. You can’t say you admire the Nazis or hate Jews or fancy children.

    You want to put pedophiles on a pedestal, allow them to promulgate their… ideas? How about Nazis? Jew-haters? Should we hear them out? In the interests of free speech?

    Of course we should not. Screw those people.

    There is a “line”. On one side is fair comment and critique, and opinion. On the other side is hate speech.

    Our Izzy, by condemning a minority of his fellow citizens to hell for being themselves, to wit gay – which, again, is presumably how his God made them – has tipped over from fair comment into bigotry.

    And it’s not right. And he needs to be called out. And he will be. And he’s going to cop it the next few days. From the media, from the community, from those corporations who put their brands on the floats that go up Oxford Street and so profit from the goodwill engendered by Mardi Gras.

    Raelene Castle – who’s been on those floats – is chief executive of Rugby Australia, and will hold a particularly dim view.

    Raelene Castle at a Rugby Australia press conference

    (AAP Image/Daniel Munoz)

    RA has promoted itself as an inclusive and fair place of work and play, and it has been.

    RA has in David Pocock and others wonderful “allies” for the gays.

    It’s been a highly-visible supporter of the Bingham Cup, the World Cup of Gay Rugby. Hell – Israel himself was an “ambassador” for the 2014 Bingham Cup in Sydney.

    And Israel’s ‘brand’ grew because of that. And those corporations that give Israel money would have thought, “My, isn’t that Israel a nice man? Doesn’t his brand stack up well? We should attach our brand to his brand. And give him a lot of money.”

    And I’ll tell you one thing for nothing: Israel likes money. And he’s very aware of the power of his brand. And he’ll have many people in his ear right this very minute – Castle very much among them – describing to Israel how he’s blighted that “brand” and other brands by writing a very silly albeit dangerous thing on Instagram.

    And these figures will be into Israel, advising him quite strong upon what his “message” should be “going forward”.

    And it’ll be interesting to see what Israel’s message is.

    Because if Israel’s message is still that God hates gay people so badly that he’d condemn them to hell for eternity unless they repent the “sin” of being gay people, then Israel Folau can pack his bible and his boots, and take a flying nude leap at the moon.

    Matt Cleary
    Matt Cleary

    Matt Cleary is a sports writer from Sydney. He enjoys golf, footy and Four Pines Pale Ale, and spends as much time as conscience allows at Long Reef GC. Tweet him @journomatcleary, or read him at his website.

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    The Crowd Says (743)

    • April 6th 2018 @ 8:47am
      riddler said | April 6th 2018 @ 8:47am | ! Report

      i know he and many won’t bat an eyelid..

      but folau has lost me..

      • April 6th 2018 @ 11:47am
        In Brief said | April 6th 2018 @ 11:47am | ! Report

        I actually applaud him for being consistent. Religion cannot change to meet the social mores of each decade in every country. Being homosexual is condemned by Christian teachings which is why gay marriage was such a strange bed fellow. Why would a homosexual person wish to adopt a Christian cultural practice? It is akin to a Jew joining the Nazi party. There are much more vital things to be concerned about than any one individual’s identity – that includes Folau’s identity, and those offended by his beliefs.

        • Roar Guru

          April 6th 2018 @ 12:48pm
          jeznez said | April 6th 2018 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

          I would have thought anything impacting the leading cause of death for Australians aged 15-44 was a relatively vital issue.

          If a young Tongan bloke being raised in a highly religious household is struggling with coming out as gay – do Folau’s words help or potentially push him towards a tragic outcome?

          It would be much more beneficial for society if he focussed on the love and acceptance messages of his chosen religion and less on the hateful parts.

          • April 6th 2018 @ 7:32pm
            Malo said | April 6th 2018 @ 7:32pm | ! Report

            This is typical gay bullying in Folau.

            • April 7th 2018 @ 8:58am
              Peter Kelly said | April 7th 2018 @ 8:58am | ! Report

              Bigotry in the name of christianity is not ok ever.
              “Do not judge or you too will be judged, for in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you”. Mathew 7:1-2

            • Roar Guru

              April 7th 2018 @ 12:31pm
              jeznez said | April 7th 2018 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

              No mate, the bullying is the guy saying a group of people are going to suffer eternal torment for being different to him.

              I’m suggesting he tries to channel a bit more love and acceptance.

              • April 8th 2018 @ 11:52pm
                bennalong said | April 8th 2018 @ 11:52pm | ! Report

                No mate. He’s not the bully .
                He’s one man stating the belief of his religion. I bet you say zip about child marriage or female genital mutilation. But Christianity is open slather.
                60 % of Australians still identify as Christians so you don’t care about them.
                It’s OK for you and all the judgmental people to pick on one quiet and respectful man. Using this forum is just like social media and its personally targeted hate that drives up suicide rates, not generalisations like Izzy’s.
                You want him silenced. Or punished. or both, eh.
                That’s free.

              • Roar Guru

                April 9th 2018 @ 11:08am
                jeznez said | April 9th 2018 @ 11:08am | ! Report

                Bennalong, I think child marriage and female genital mutilation are abhorrent as well. Haven’t heard any high profile Aussie spouting off in support of those things so they haven’t prompted the reaction that Folau’s comments have.

                I’ve deliberately not criticised Christianity, not all Christians hold the beliefs that he obviously holds regarding homosexuals.

                I’ve also said nothing about silencing or punishing him – I’ve said I hope he gets help, can learn from the experience and becomes more accepting.

              • April 9th 2018 @ 11:28am
                Fionn said | April 9th 2018 @ 11:28am | ! Report

                Bennalong, I’m willing to bet that Jeznez does criticise child marriage and female genital mutilation.

                That was a cheap deflection.

                60% of Australians may be Christians, but more than 60% of Australians voted in favour of same sex marriage.

                Let’s be honest here, if you are upset that people are able to criticise religions in Australia perhaps it is time to move to a less free society. I find it amazing the number of people who complain about free speech, isn’t it possibly the single most important aspect of a modern secular democracy?

          • April 7th 2018 @ 10:22am
            Lano said | April 7th 2018 @ 10:22am | ! Report

            Terrific post!

        • Roar Guru

          April 6th 2018 @ 1:53pm
          XI said | April 6th 2018 @ 1:53pm | ! Report

          You haven’t read the Bible have you? Because there is a lot in that book that is no longer considered necessary to be a good Christian. Not to mention the myriad of changes to doctrine from church to church to consider.

          • April 6th 2018 @ 3:57pm
            Duckistani said | April 6th 2018 @ 3:57pm | ! Report

            I’ll also add that jesus had more to say about rich people getting into heaven… like a camel going through the eye of a needle. Repent now Israel!

            • April 7th 2018 @ 9:18am
              peter kelly said | April 7th 2018 @ 9:18am | ! Report

              he with out sin may cast the first stone – i hope Folau was a virgin until he got married, his religion has a bit to say about that as well

        • April 6th 2018 @ 3:13pm
          The Phantom said | April 6th 2018 @ 3:13pm | ! Report

          I didn’t realise marriage was only for the christian church, i’m sure people in all religions and non religions get married. It is a legal situation where two people commit to each other for the rest of their lives. You can also do it in the church if you want but you don’t have to.

        • April 6th 2018 @ 3:37pm
          Roger said | April 6th 2018 @ 3:37pm | ! Report

          Dude, the word “homosexual” didn’t even appear in English versions of the Bible until mid last century, so this is about it being an “abomination before God” is nonsense.

          Israel needs to pull his big dumbhead in.

        • April 6th 2018 @ 4:15pm
          antz666 said | April 6th 2018 @ 4:15pm | ! Report

          the bible also recomended stoneing for adulterers and promiscusis women, sanctioned genocide in the name of god, created the meaning of decimation ( 1 in 10 people die), among other things. Are we going to be consistent about that?

          • Roar Guru

            April 6th 2018 @ 4:23pm
            Mango Jack said | April 6th 2018 @ 4:23pm | ! Report

            That’s the essential problem for those who believe it should be followed literally. There are so many inconsistencies , which is entirely unremarkable when you understand that it was written over many years by many people, for different audiences. It’s not a historical document and shouldn’t be treated as such.

          • April 7th 2018 @ 7:59am
            Andrew Browne said | April 7th 2018 @ 7:59am | ! Report

            Nah, decimation was around long before the bible

        • April 6th 2018 @ 4:59pm
          Kane said | April 6th 2018 @ 4:59pm | ! Report

          I wonder if he was a virgin before he married Maria?

          Because I’m sure fooling around before marriage isn’t allowed…

        • April 6th 2018 @ 7:49pm
          Lack of Consistency said | April 6th 2018 @ 7:49pm | ! Report

          At which point in history has religion not changed it’s tune? Earth the centre of the Universe? Stars fixed lights in the sky? Religion is, by definition, bigoted and narrow minded. Genuine thinkers from the later Dark Ages and Middle Ages were killed for disagreeing with the religious dogma of the day! In the modern era people who cross themselves before a game or after they score a try remind me of opposing armies in WW2 getting a blessing from their ‘priests’ before going into battle. The same god glorifying in one over the other!
          Forgive for laughing at TOSSERS! Folau is a deluded human being – that does not make his opinion valuable! Folau should just play Rugby and stop showing what a narrow minded person he can be. Didn’t he change faiths from 7 Day Push Bike Riders so he could continue to play?

        • April 6th 2018 @ 8:34pm
          Zane said | April 6th 2018 @ 8:34pm | ! Report

          Good on Folau

          • April 9th 2018 @ 7:27am
            Jigbon said | April 9th 2018 @ 7:27am | ! Report

            So ….what do you support the spreading of ‘transparent twaddle’ and typical Christian intolerance , and hatred of anything non Christian (which is actually so unchristian). If god supposedly made everything why did he make gay people then ?
            Folau is out of order here.

        • April 6th 2018 @ 10:56pm
          dan in devon said | April 6th 2018 @ 10:56pm | ! Report

          Biblical interpratation is far from a settled field. The argument over the place of ‘law’ in religion was at the heart of the early Christian Church, especially in relation to the idea that a man had to be circumcised in order to be saved. The Pauline doctrine essentially arrived at the conclusion that what redeemed people was not the law but ‘faith.’ It was faith that brought salvation. I see no reason why a gay man or woman cannot have faith and certainly no reason why they should not be Christians. From a secular point of view, Folau is not entitled to encourage discrimination or hatred towards homosexuals irrespective of his personal beliefs. At the heart of civic society is citizenship and equality; homosexuals should feel entitled to participate fully in public life without fear of recrimination. Folau is a public figure and his comments should be emphatically disowned by RA.

          • Roar Guru

            April 8th 2018 @ 7:32am
            jeznez said | April 8th 2018 @ 7:32am | ! Report

            well said

        • April 6th 2018 @ 11:47pm
          Coconut said | April 6th 2018 @ 11:47pm | ! Report

          That is not the point – of course he is entitled to his beliefs. There is a time however, when such personal beliefs should be just that – kept personal and not made public – because of the damage such comments can create.

          Folau should be ‘encouraged’ to keep his trap shut on such things and simply make no comment.

        • April 7th 2018 @ 9:21am
          Ruckin Oaf said | April 7th 2018 @ 9:21am | ! Report

          “Religion cannot change to meet the social mores of each decade in every country.

          Which is why we still stone adulterers to death right ?

        • April 8th 2018 @ 10:07am
          Andy og said | April 8th 2018 @ 10:07am | ! Report

          Getting married or partnered has been around a lot longer than Christianity buddy. Most gay people have no want to join what you consider marriage, they just want to be equal in the eyes of the law,they want equality. And that in this country anyway is a basic civil right.

        • April 9th 2018 @ 11:30am
          Fionn said | April 9th 2018 @ 11:30am | ! Report

          ‘Religion cannot change to meet the social mores of each decade in every country.’

          What planet are you living on? Of course religion can change to meet the social mores of the time. This is what it has been doing since the time of the Enlightenment, although it has often been dragged unwillingly. It is made easier by the fact that the majority of Western countries have a broadly similar culture.

      • Roar Guru

        April 6th 2018 @ 12:05pm
        jeznez said | April 6th 2018 @ 12:05pm | ! Report

        I hope he gets the help he needs. I know it isn’t the first time he’s made comments in this space and generated a bit of outrage but every time something like this happens there is a chance for him to learn from it.

        • April 6th 2018 @ 12:14pm
          Fred said | April 6th 2018 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

          Maybe he can be sent to Tolerance Camp?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Death_Camp_of_Tolerance

          • Roar Guru

            April 6th 2018 @ 12:49pm
            jeznez said | April 6th 2018 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

            ‘There’s only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures and the Dutch.’ Nigel Powers.

        • April 6th 2018 @ 12:55pm
          Kenw said | April 6th 2018 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

          Learn from it in what way?

          If he gets too much heat on social media and loses some sponsorship dollars then he may learn not to say these things in public. I suppose that’s a win, as Matt noted, there are vulnerable people that can be hurt by these pronouncements and I him staying quiet is better than nothing.

          But he’s still going to be a grown man that believes in mystical creator beings who are apparently perfectly moral but happen to maintain eternal torture chambers for their creations that don’t turn out right despite the creator never making mistakes. He’s still going to believe that other people are lesser than him and he’s still going to support organisations that push that view. None of that is likely to change regardless of what happens here.

          For all intents and purposes he seems like a really great guy, it’s a same his credulity taints him.

          • Roar Guru

            April 6th 2018 @ 12:59pm
            jeznez said | April 6th 2018 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

            The learning I’m hoping he manages is the nonsense of the bits you rightly call out:

            But he’s still going to be a grown man that believes in mystical creator beings who are apparently perfectly moral but happen to maintain eternal torture chambers for their creations that don’t turn out right despite the creator never making mistakes. He’s still going to believe that other people are lesser than him

            I’m hoping he learns not to be that man.

            If he only learns not to say his nonsense in public then that would be an improvement but the true learning opportunity would have been missed.

            • April 6th 2018 @ 1:07pm
              Kenw said | April 6th 2018 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

              Well I hope for that too jeznez, I just don’t think it’s likely.

              • Roar Guru

                April 6th 2018 @ 1:12pm
                jeznez said | April 6th 2018 @ 1:12pm | ! Report

                Definitely a long shot but I try to be optimistic (don’t always manage it but I try)

        • April 6th 2018 @ 4:01pm
          Duckistani said | April 6th 2018 @ 4:01pm | ! Report

          Dunno he seems to be going backwards

      • April 6th 2018 @ 3:17pm
        Spanners said | April 6th 2018 @ 3:17pm | ! Report

        Folau was asked what was “GODS” plan for homosexuals and he answered as per Corinthians 6:9-11 ““homosexual offenders will not inherit the kingdom of God unless they are cleansed through Christ”. IE, the bible says they are off to hell.

        In his defence, Izzy never said that was his own opinion (although I suspect it probably is) and he never indulged in homophobic slurs or hate-speech. Folau has previously supported gay rugby players and was the face of the Bingham Cup (gay Sydney rugby comp. He has always said he “loves and respects all people for who they are regardless of differing opinions”.

        Homosexuality isn’t supported by his church and he is standing true to his religious beliefs. Power to him.

        Like it or not, he isn’t Robinson Crusoe, 38% or 9,500,000 Australians share his opinion (on same sex marriage).

        • Roar Guru

          April 6th 2018 @ 3:53pm
          Paul Dawson said | April 6th 2018 @ 3:53pm | ! Report

          9,500,000 Australians – that is absolutely totally incorrect. 38% of all Australians did not vote – you’re including everyone under 18 as well as every Australian in existence, as opposed to ones who participated.

          You’re not even close.

          The total turnout was 12,727,920 responses which is 79.5% of the Australian voting population.

          7,817,247 responses were yes. 4,873,987 responses were no and 36686 responses were unclear.

          The population of Australia as of around the time of the vote was estimated at 24.5 million Australians of all ages.

          When you take it in that context, your no voters are only 19.89% of the total population.

          • April 6th 2018 @ 6:05pm
            riddler said | April 6th 2018 @ 6:05pm | ! Report

            well done paul for clearing it up…

            but as an ozzie i am very ashamed of 1 in 5 thinking that way..

            unbelievable..

            • April 6th 2018 @ 9:56pm
              elvis said | April 6th 2018 @ 9:56pm | ! Report

              That cleared things up for you? So you believe that everyone who didn’t vote was a yes voter? I have a bridge to sell you.

              • Roar Rookie

                April 7th 2018 @ 9:13am
                Paulo said | April 7th 2018 @ 9:13am | ! Report

                Actually I didn’t read any assumption that everyone who didn’t vote no voted yes, it simply states how much actually voted no. We don’t know anything about the people who didn’t vote, as they didn’t vote.

          • April 7th 2018 @ 1:07am
            AndyS said | April 7th 2018 @ 1:07am | ! Report

        • April 7th 2018 @ 5:20pm
          jack said | April 7th 2018 @ 5:20pm | ! Report

          good analysis. Totally agree.
          I have often wondered how I would feel if my children ‘came out’ – and at the end of the day , I decided I would love them as they are for what they are – nothing changes. Do I want them to ‘come out ‘? – Actually, I just want them to be happy.
          I have made my peace with my God and they will make their own peace – which btw is nadda, since they are all athiests! And yes, I still love them very much.

        • April 8th 2018 @ 9:29am
          Country Boy said | April 8th 2018 @ 9:29am | ! Report

          Good on ya, well said!

      • April 6th 2018 @ 8:33pm
        Zane said | April 6th 2018 @ 8:33pm | ! Report

        Good on Folau for answering the question presented to him.

        • April 6th 2018 @ 9:29pm
          Pablo said | April 6th 2018 @ 9:29pm | ! Report

          You’re easily pleased. Good on a bloke for answering a tweet? Do you struggle with that kind of thing yourself and therefore find it an accomplishment?

          • April 6th 2018 @ 11:22pm
            Zane said | April 6th 2018 @ 11:22pm | ! Report

            It was a question put to him. Folau is being consistent with his view on the issue.

            • April 7th 2018 @ 12:12am
              Geoff said | April 7th 2018 @ 12:12am | ! Report

              Somebody doesn’t get it

              (That’s you Zane) lol

              • Roar Guru

                April 7th 2018 @ 11:25am
                jeznez said | April 7th 2018 @ 11:25am | ! Report

                A similar scenario if twitter existed back in the 30’s

                hatemaniac009: So Adolf, what should we do with all the Jews?

                Hitler: KILL ZEM ALL!!!

                Zane: Good on Hitler for answering a question posed to him.

      • April 7th 2018 @ 4:40pm
        JJJ said | April 7th 2018 @ 4:40pm | ! Report

        Remember when this used to be a sports website?

      • April 7th 2018 @ 6:28pm
        kkovak said | April 7th 2018 @ 6:28pm | ! Report

        you fly Qantas as well

    • Roar Guru

      April 6th 2018 @ 8:52am
      Mango Jack said | April 6th 2018 @ 8:52am | ! Report

      It’s was a stupid comment and demonstrates yet again how social media is such an inadequate medium for expression. Who knows whether he actually believes this, it’s certainly contrary to mainstream christian teaching these days. But before we all sharpen our pitchforks and demand his head, I would question how many people would actually be influenced by his opinion on homosexuality. How to play footy, fitness and conditioning, nutrition, sure, but religion?

      Perhaps the best response would be for a couple of other high profile players, say Hooper and Beale, to sand up and say “Rugby is an inclusive game, gays are very welcome, we do not share Izzy’s beliefs in this regard”.

      • April 6th 2018 @ 9:29am
        Johnny Boy said | April 6th 2018 @ 9:29am | ! Report

        It’s not contrary to Evangelical teaching which is the branch of Christianity that Folau follows. Make no mistake, he genuinely believes this.

      • April 6th 2018 @ 9:57am
        Dontcallmeshirley said | April 6th 2018 @ 9:57am | ! Report

        The best responce would have been no responce. When folk say these daft things we should just roll our eyes and jog on. But no we seem to enter into a frenzy trying show everyone how outraged we can get. This should not have got any oxygen.

        This article is as much of the problem as Folau’s comment on insta.

        • April 6th 2018 @ 10:37am
          Daws said | April 6th 2018 @ 10:37am | ! Report

          I can see your point Dcms, but the flipside of that is that silence amounts to endorsement. Sometimes the counterview needs to be asserted, and asserted repetitively.

          • April 6th 2018 @ 12:36pm
            Jacko said | April 6th 2018 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

            So assert it so often someone changes their belief? If he asserted his viewpoint repetitively would you change your belief?

            • April 6th 2018 @ 1:06pm
              Kenw said | April 6th 2018 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

              It’s not really about changing Folau’s belief – as ideal as that would be – it’s ensuring that his belief is challenged for the nonsense that it is to reduce it’s effect on society as a whole.

            • April 6th 2018 @ 1:57pm
              Daws said | April 6th 2018 @ 1:57pm | ! Report

              Basically what Kenw said Jacko.

          • April 7th 2018 @ 1:19am
            Dontcallmeshirley said | April 7th 2018 @ 1:19am | ! Report

            With all due respect Daws I do not see how silence equates to consent.
            We tolerate all kinds of various opinions in public discourse without agreeing with them all.
            If we all had the same set of beliefs our society would be worse off.
            There are no more intolerant folk in our society today than those wowsers that preach tolerance.

            • April 7th 2018 @ 9:23am
              Ruckin Oaf said | April 7th 2018 @ 9:23am | ! Report

              The standard you walk past etc………..

    • April 6th 2018 @ 8:56am
      I ate pies said | April 6th 2018 @ 8:56am | ! Report

      What happened to freedom of religion? Let’s face it, if these words were spoken by someone of a certain other religion this article wouldn’t be written. It’s easy to bash catholics.

      • April 6th 2018 @ 9:02am
        jameswm said | April 6th 2018 @ 9:02am | ! Report

        Pretty sure he’s not Catholic. I just looked it up and he was raised Mormon and in 2011 converted to the Assemblies of God, whatever that is.

        • Roar Guru

          April 6th 2018 @ 9:07am
          mds1970 said | April 6th 2018 @ 9:07am | ! Report

          Assemblies of God = Hillsong.

          • April 6th 2018 @ 9:41am
            Fin said | April 6th 2018 @ 9:41am | ! Report

            pretty sure we’re all going to hell by their standards.

            • April 6th 2018 @ 9:52am
              Noel said | April 6th 2018 @ 9:52am | ! Report

              Amen

            • April 6th 2018 @ 10:17am
              Neil Back said | April 6th 2018 @ 10:17am | ! Report

              I’d be very happy going anywhere they’re not.

              • Roar Guru

                April 6th 2018 @ 10:48am
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 6th 2018 @ 10:48am | ! Report

                Hell very much seems to be the place to be if one wants to be surrounded by intelligent and interesting people 😉

              • April 6th 2018 @ 11:22am
                Neil Back said | April 6th 2018 @ 11:22am | ! Report

                That’s where the party’s at 😉

              • April 6th 2018 @ 11:00am
                Fin said | April 6th 2018 @ 11:00am | ! Report

                So heaven will pretty much be Izzy and Tony Abbott in his budgie smugglers. Izzy if you can stay heterosexual, with that going on, you are a stronger man than me.

              • April 6th 2018 @ 11:35am
                Neil Back said | April 6th 2018 @ 11:35am | ! Report

                Now that’s a hell I can honestly fear ….

              • April 6th 2018 @ 11:55am
                Ellef said | April 6th 2018 @ 11:55am | ! Report

                Gold…

              • April 6th 2018 @ 4:19pm
                cuw said | April 6th 2018 @ 4:19pm | ! Report

                The Neutral View From Sweden

                AC/DC said hell is not so bad – i think they sang a lot about Hell 🙂

                am sure its a party place 😛

              • Roar Guru

                April 6th 2018 @ 4:38pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 6th 2018 @ 4:38pm | ! Report

                This being an Aussie site cuw, we have to get the “facts” right about one of the standout products ever to come from Down Under; AC/DC’s masterpiece Highway to Hell

                AC/DC had a really hard time touring in America for the first time, and Angus Young really hated it, because of all the satanism crap that was being said about them. Several states even tried to ban them from playing, but AC/DC’s lawyers told them that it was illegal, so AC/DC took the states to court and won the battle to play, but the states wouldn’t let them stay in any of the hotels in the state, which is legal, so the band had to stay in a hotel outside state limits, and then drive to the gig where they got jostled by the crazy uber-religious people. Angus labeled the drive to the gigs the “Highway to Hell.”

              • April 6th 2018 @ 4:24pm
                Mzilikazi said | April 6th 2018 @ 4:24pm | ! Report

                “I’d be very happy going anywhere they’re not” Great comment, Neil.

            • April 7th 2018 @ 4:51am
              Upfromdown said | April 7th 2018 @ 4:51am | ! Report

              Unless you put your hand in your pocket. No doubt Izzy has deep pockets so he will be more than ok.

          • April 9th 2018 @ 4:31pm
            stella coles said | April 9th 2018 @ 4:31pm | ! Report

            And just look at how well feed , shiny and oh so white teeth the owners of Hillsong are ! Yes OWNERS.

        • April 6th 2018 @ 10:08am
          I ate pies said | April 6th 2018 @ 10:08am | ! Report

          As I wrote that I was thinking it was probably wrong, but I couldn’t be bothered finding out. It doesn’t surprise me that he’s Mormon. My point still stands.

          • April 6th 2018 @ 12:37pm
            cm said | April 6th 2018 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

            No it does’t. Freedom of religion is the right to worship the sky fairy of your choice and no one is denying Folau that right.

          • April 6th 2018 @ 1:22pm
            Kenw said | April 6th 2018 @ 1:22pm | ! Report

            No one is saying he can’t worship. They are saying that his religion does not trump discrimination.

            Besides, freedom of religion is a bit like freedom of speech in a couple of ways. For one thing, we don’t have comprehensive protections of either although common law mostly covers it.

            But even if we assume it does exist, it’s only the protection from the state legislating that you either must or must not hold a religious belief. It doesn’t protect you from criticism of your beliefs and it doesn’t allow you special treatment to abuse or discriminate against others.

            • April 6th 2018 @ 2:16pm
              Dexter The Hamster said | April 6th 2018 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

              I wanted to like this, but there was no “like” button.

              Well said Kenw.

            • April 6th 2018 @ 3:32pm
              enoughisenough said | April 6th 2018 @ 3:32pm | ! Report

              “It doesn’t protect you from criticism of your beliefs and it doesn’t allow you special treatment to abuse or discriminate against others.” So this article ridiculing Folau for his beliefs is ok? Strange that so many seem perfectly happy to ridicule Folau, to pile hate and scorn on him for his beliefs, but those same people are absolutely horrified that he holds beliefs that aren’t aligned with theirs, and are keen to shut him down. Folau apparently can’t have an opinion, but others who don’t agree with him can. Another fine example of the humanitarian hoax of collectivism.
              In todays world it is apparently not ok to hold strong Christian beliefs, but ok to decide today you are one gender, tomorrow another. Yet the Christian belief system is fair game for abuse, the other a protected sacred cow. I find it deeply personally offensive, and rather distressing, that God is described as a “sky fairy”, and that my personal beliefs can be so freely derided. So where’s my apology?

              • April 6th 2018 @ 9:40pm
                Pablo said | April 6th 2018 @ 9:40pm | ! Report

                You’re offended by the term “sky fairy” which is aimed at some mythical/imaginary figure but yet your religion will justify you treating certain fellow humans differently than offers. You poor fellow …. life is so unfair.

              • April 7th 2018 @ 12:06am
                Kenw said | April 7th 2018 @ 12:06am | ! Report

                Folau’s not being discriminated against, he is being held to account for his discrimination of others.

                ‘So this article ridiculing Folau for his beliefs is ok’
                Yes, it really is. Consider this, Folau has been a household name for more than a decade, in these pages alone he must have had literally hundreds of blog posts written about him, each with comments from the public. His religious affiliations are well known and yet I don’t recall ever seeing any unsolicited abuse because of his beliefs – he is not being persecuted, nobody is out to get him because he’s religious.

                The only time it comes up is when he uses these beliefs to denigrate others – and in that situation it’s perfectly reasonable to point out the ridiculousness of the beliefs he is wielding.

              • April 7th 2018 @ 10:23am
                enoughisenough said | April 7th 2018 @ 10:23am | ! Report

                The sneering arrogance of people who feel they can state that Christian beliefs are ridiculous, shows nothing but ignorance. You types seem to feel its quite ok to treat conservative Christians with scorn and derision, but not ok for conservative Christians to hold, and affirm, their religious beliefs. Its not the Christian or Folau who judges man for his actions, it is God, and some should rightly fear this judgement more than others. But I guess this basic comprehension of what was said, has been lost in the rush to outrage and condemnation of Folau, and Christians in general. Who made you and your kind the arbiter of what is good and right in this world?

              • April 7th 2018 @ 2:55pm
                Crackerjack said | April 7th 2018 @ 2:55pm | ! Report

                And who made your kind tell others there going to hell because they don’t believe in what you believe in!!!

                Also the amount of hate in all your posts time after time on his site obviously shows you don’t follow any religion at all!!! You are a terrible representation of religious behaviour! So angry all the time!!!

              • Roar Guru

                April 8th 2018 @ 7:40am
                jeznez said | April 8th 2018 @ 7:40am | ! Report

                Kenw has nailed it – he isn’t being called out for being christian, he is being called out for hating a group of people.

      • April 6th 2018 @ 9:03am
        Rhys Bosley said | April 6th 2018 @ 9:03am | ! Report

        If others get away with this sort of nonsense then they shouldn’t, but it doesn’t justify his completely unnecessary comment. He is free to say it but others, including his sponsors, are also free to call him out and to no longer associate with him.

        • April 6th 2018 @ 10:09am
          I ate pies said | April 6th 2018 @ 10:09am | ! Report

          Absolutely. It should be called out in all circumstances though, if that’s what people believe, not just against easy targets. It’s terribly hypocritical.

          • April 6th 2018 @ 11:08am
            soapit said | April 6th 2018 @ 11:08am | ! Report

            which similar examples should have been called out for us to avoid this hypocrisy in ourselves?

            • April 6th 2018 @ 11:20am
              Jimmyjam said | April 6th 2018 @ 11:20am | ! Report

              About 1.5 Billion Muslims gives you somewhere to start. They all believe this.

              Sorry, I forgot you only go after the soft targets when promoting the SJW line.

              Please let me know when you’re ready to start calling them out. I’ll have my popcorn ready!

              • April 6th 2018 @ 11:59am
                Logical Fallacy said | April 6th 2018 @ 11:59am | ! Report

                Which Australian Muslim sports star has publicly condemned homosexual people this week?

              • Roar Pro

                April 6th 2018 @ 12:29pm
                Andy Thompson said | April 6th 2018 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

                “About 1.5 Billion Muslims gives you somewhere to start. They all believe this”

                My gay, Muslim mate might have something to say about that. Like other religions, people who follow Islam have varying degrees of adherence.

              • April 6th 2018 @ 2:05pm
                Johnny Boy said | April 6th 2018 @ 2:05pm | ! Report

                Yeah. One Izzy says this and everyone is up in arms. 1.5 billion Muslims believe this and anyone who has a go at them are immediately labelled as Islamaphobes by the PC western media. The double standards is just ridiculous.

              • April 6th 2018 @ 2:12pm
                soapit said | April 6th 2018 @ 2:12pm | ! Report

                so you have zero specific comparable examples jimmyjam/johnnyboy.

                you could have just said so without throwing in the mass generalisation as a diversion. i guess staying away from specifics suits the point your trying to push in this case. perhaps it does prevent it being shown up as having no credbility to at least some people. probably to yourselves at least.

              • April 6th 2018 @ 10:57pm
                Johnny Boy said | April 6th 2018 @ 10:57pm | ! Report

                Soapit, what Izzy said is tame compared to what is actually happening in the Islamic world. It’s true, I may not have comparable examples, I have much worse. Take a read of this. It might help you to open your eyes.

                https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/gay-lesbian-bisexual-relationships-illegal-in-74-countries-a7033666.html

                “In 13 countries, being gay or bisexual is punishable by death. These are; Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Mauritania, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar, UAE, parts of Nigeria, parts of Somalia, parts of Syria and parts of Iraq.”

              • April 7th 2018 @ 8:00am
                soapit said | April 7th 2018 @ 8:00am | ! Report

                johnny boys your information is not new to me. its just not paricularly relevent to this discussion .

                the case was made that we are hypocritical because no one is discussing things like what youve linked to there with the insinuation its because they are msulim and not christian. the real reason which you essentially admit is that they are not comparable circumstances, none of the muslim examples are high profile athletes in australia. obviously this is the major factor in the attention folau is getting, there are many christians who are saying the same things but are not being focused on outside their immediate circles.

                im sure you understand the difference really when you think about it. that would be better than trying to wedge in a reflex anti muslim argument

                given we’ve established conclusively this has nothing to do with the topic i wont be continuing with this tangent after this.

              • April 7th 2018 @ 10:24am
                enoughisenough said | April 7th 2018 @ 10:24am | ! Report

                Yes and virtue signalling Qantas has a huge deal with Emirates……what shocking hypocrisy.

              • April 8th 2018 @ 10:08am
                rebelpirate said | April 8th 2018 @ 10:08am | ! Report

                Jimmyjam, you are absolutely right. There’s no limit to the heroes who can stand up and challenge Christian’s for expressing their views. Yet there’s a weak response if Islam values were expressed. Folau is not the only Christian playing for the Waratahs, Wallabies or Australian Super Rugby team. There are other players who would hold similar views. In saying that, Folau should have been more diplomatic about expressing his opinion. Hill Song is not purely AG and does not follow rigid views. It is an inclusive church.

              • Roar Guru

                April 9th 2018 @ 4:58pm
                Timbo (L) said | April 9th 2018 @ 4:58pm | ! Report

                Railing against Muslims that practice the type of Islam that promotes crimes against others is not a new concept. There are not a lot of Muslims playing rugby that speak like this.

                In fact I felt a sense of pride when I saw the AFL advert with the Australian Muslim Girl wanting to play. Sure it might just be Gruen spin, but it is positive, inclusive messaging and good for the sort of country that we should be building.
                Not tearing it down with hate like Foolau is doing.

            • April 7th 2018 @ 12:27pm
              Johnny Boy said | April 7th 2018 @ 12:27pm | ! Report

              It may not be directly comparable but they are certainly not unrelated either. I’m having a go at the hypocrisy of our media here. Whenever there is a terror attack etc, the media and the politicians are very quick to come out with the pc line that it’s a religion of peace etc when we all know it isn’t. But when one sportsman says something honestly and per his religious beliefs, he is vilified by all in sundry. All I am saying is that the media are a gutless bunch of hypocrites who refuse to be consistent with their reporting. One rule for some and a different one for others.

      • April 6th 2018 @ 9:22am
        Crackerjack said | April 6th 2018 @ 9:22am | ! Report

        What’s that other religion you are talking about I ate pies?

        • April 6th 2018 @ 9:27am
          Boomeranga said | April 6th 2018 @ 9:27am | ! Report

          The followers of Guru Swami Bugger-the-rest-of-you-I’m-all-right-thanks-Jack Gi.

          • April 6th 2018 @ 10:10am
            Jacko said | April 6th 2018 @ 10:10am | ! Report

            I am a true believer Booma…

        • April 6th 2018 @ 10:10am
          I ate pies said | April 6th 2018 @ 10:10am | ! Report

          You know exactly what I’m talking about.

          • April 6th 2018 @ 11:04am
            Dennis Hopper Jr. said | April 6th 2018 @ 11:04am | ! Report

            I’ve got no idea what you are talking about but I do feel like a nice curry steak pie.

          • Roar Pro

            April 6th 2018 @ 4:02pm
            anon said | April 6th 2018 @ 4:02pm | ! Report

            I understand completely.

            In the recent SSM vote, suburbs in western Sydney densely populated by a particular religious group almost uniformly voted against the idea of SSM.

            • Roar Guru

              April 6th 2018 @ 4:36pm
              Paul Dawson said | April 6th 2018 @ 4:36pm | ! Report

              I know right, those hardcore Chinese Christians are some of the most hateful bigoted people going around

        • April 6th 2018 @ 10:55am
          Crackerjack said | April 6th 2018 @ 10:55am | ! Report

          Actually I don’t! I have an idea but I don’t live in your world of which regions are good or bad…enlighten me! Being sincere.

      • April 6th 2018 @ 9:38am
        Drei said | April 6th 2018 @ 9:38am | ! Report

        Replace the word Catholics with Christians, and you are correct in your assumption. If Folau was Muslim, then no one would be outraged, at least publicly, because, after all, we have to be a tolerant and all inclusive society and everyone is entitled to their opinion and belief.
        But we leave in a politically correct society, a society where people discover their moral values and voice their strong opinion selectively, when the matter they are outraged about is trendy.
        Where were you, Matt Cleary, where was your outraged opinion and article on the fact that James Stannard was almost killed by a coward who punched him from behind?
        Those articles on the Folau response to a question will attract hundreds of comments, but there’s only 8 comments on the article about Standard.
        I know is a small matter, a guy was almost killed, but he’ll be ok,might have some neurological problems in the future,whatever, so we move on,not much to see here, more important is to debate the immeasurable damage that Folau did with his comments, now this is a matter worth debating over and over and over. Matt Cleary even brings Nazis, pedophiles, antisemitism in the discussion. What a sad society we have become.

        • Roar Guru

          April 6th 2018 @ 10:53am
          Rugby Fan said | April 6th 2018 @ 10:53am | ! Report

          There’s no need for comments on the James Stannard piece because no-one has argued that the perpetrator had a right to sucker punch him, and nearly kill him.

          • April 6th 2018 @ 11:35am
            Drei said | April 6th 2018 @ 11:35am | ! Report

            So you think the comments are needed only if there’s something to argue about? What about expressing sorrow, compassion, you know, hoping the man will fully recover?
            You validated my point completely…

            • April 6th 2018 @ 12:45pm
              Neil Back said | April 6th 2018 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

              Mate, you’re tieing yourself in knots with this – not least because here you are arguing the toss on this subject, but added nothing to the Stannard comments yourself.

              • April 6th 2018 @ 1:09pm
                Drei said | April 6th 2018 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

                I actually did, Neil Back, but my comments never made it past moderation for some reason. Maybe they were not deemed appropriate because I stated that I hope that the coward who punched Stannard will get a lot more than a slap on the wrist for his actions.

        • Roar Guru

          April 6th 2018 @ 10:56am
          Mango Jack said | April 6th 2018 @ 10:56am | ! Report

          The author’s point is how Folau’s words might negatively effect young people struggling with identity, potentially driving them to desperate acts. The terrible assault on Stannard is completely unrelated.

          • April 6th 2018 @ 11:48am
            Drei said | April 6th 2018 @ 11:48am | ! Report

            And did the author maybe stopped to think how his own words, accusing Folau that he might potentially drive some young people to desperate acts, might potentially affect Folau’s mental state and maybe drive him towards a desperate act?
            My whole point was, if he’s so morally pure, this author, why wasn’t he outraged when a man was almost killed for no reason? Why didn’t he feel the need to write an article about how morally wrong is to just punch someone from behind and maybe end their life?
            What Stannard went through is terrible, tragic….luckily he will recover…but that incident will not get even 10%percent of the coverage that Folau’s comments will bring…a rugby player almost killed versus another famous rugby player being apparently a gay people hater…which was my point exactly, which subject you think will be more trendy to express our views on?

            • Roar Guru

              April 6th 2018 @ 12:07pm
              Mango Jack said | April 6th 2018 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

              Come on Drei, a journalist telling Folau that his tweet was out of line is in no way comparable to a gay teenager struggling to accept how he was born being told he will go to hell by a high profile sports person.

              • Roar Guru

                April 6th 2018 @ 12:23pm
                Ralph said | April 6th 2018 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

                Your assumption that peoples actions are nothing more than an extrapolation of how they were born probably needs work.

                If birth was all the justification one needed for ones actions, well, let’s just say it’s a very wide moral doorway.

              • Roar Guru

                April 6th 2018 @ 12:36pm
                Mango Jack said | April 6th 2018 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

                I take it you think that gay people have a choice, and should revert to heterosexuality in order to fit through the “moral doorway”?

              • Roar Guru

                April 6th 2018 @ 1:54pm
                Ralph said | April 6th 2018 @ 1:54pm | ! Report

                Any sentence that starts with the words, “I take it you think ..” means the author is not listening.

                If you want to know what someone thinks ask them. Don’t just put words in their mouth.

              • Roar Guru

                April 6th 2018 @ 2:22pm
                Mango Jack said | April 6th 2018 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

                Ha! Who is putting words in whose mouth? I never stated that “peoples actions are nothing more than an extrapolation of how they were born”. Of course people must take responsibility for their actions, but someone can no more change their sexual orientation than their eye colour. To be told that an innate characteristic will land you in hell is not just wrong but dangerous to a young person who is struggling to come to terms with it.

              • Roar Guru

                April 6th 2018 @ 2:46pm
                Ralph said | April 6th 2018 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

                “.. someone can no more change their sexual orientation than their eye colour”

                I don’t think this statement is scientifically true Mango Jack.

                Eye colour is determined completely genetically and is not subject to the exercise of personal choice at any level, ever.

                Sexual orientation includes an aspect of attraction, which is almost certainly influenced by genetics, but also involves an aspect of choice.

                It would be more correct to say, ‘someone can no more change their gender than their eye colour.’

              • Roar Guru

                April 6th 2018 @ 2:49pm
                Paul Dawson said | April 6th 2018 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

                Ralph – are you gay?

                I am gay and in my case I assure you there was never any choice, beyond wishing I could choose not to be gay at times when I was younger

                Saying that gays have a choice in their sexuality is like saying you can change your eye colour to black by getting punched in the face

                Technically true but it’s painful, uncomfortable and not really a choice at all

              • Roar Guru

                April 6th 2018 @ 3:03pm
                Ralph said | April 6th 2018 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

                Paul,

                I am male and have never slept with another man, yet I have met attractive men in my life. You be the judge.

                As I understand the science on the matter, attraction is not genetically equivalent to eye colour as you suggest.

              • Roar Guru

                April 6th 2018 @ 3:11pm
                Paul Dawson said | April 6th 2018 @ 3:11pm | ! Report

                You can judge another man as being attractive without having lustful feelings for them. Never seen a man ‘miring another man at the gym? Nothing wrong with appreciation.

                I didn’t want to use the eye colour metaphor either, I was just trying to engage you using the same analogy you were discussing. You’re just dismissing your own argument, not mine.

              • April 6th 2018 @ 6:24pm
                Joe B said | April 6th 2018 @ 6:24pm | ! Report

                All the talk of changing eye colour reminded me of the last days before my grandmother passed away…. did you know that it is common for eye colour to change in the last hours/days before passing ? So bizarre to see someone’s eyes turn blue when they have always been brown.

              • Roar Guru

                April 6th 2018 @ 4:39pm
                Mango Jack said | April 6th 2018 @ 4:39pm | ! Report

                Ralph I said “sexual orientation” not “attraction”,and they are very different. The former is very specific and, I believe, quite innate. Attraction relates to all manner of things – food, scenery, art – and is potentially influenced by mood and other factors.

              • Roar Guru

                April 6th 2018 @ 4:45pm
                Ralph said | April 6th 2018 @ 4:45pm | ! Report

                noun
                noun: sexual orientation; plural noun: sexual orientations
                a person’s sexual identity in relation to the gender to which they are attracted

                If you have alternate meaning for the phrase Mango Jack then we should get that out now or we may talk cross purposes.

                (From the online dictionary attached to my browser.)

              • Roar Rookie

                April 7th 2018 @ 3:53pm
                Paulo said | April 7th 2018 @ 3:53pm | ! Report

                So if it is a choice, I guess we all must have made one at one point. I don’t rememeber when Inchose to be straight. Ralph, can you tell us about your choice and what you thought about when you choose to be straight?

              • Roar Guru

                April 6th 2018 @ 5:12pm
                Mango Jack said | April 6th 2018 @ 5:12pm | ! Report

                This is getting silly. Because the word “attraction” is part of a definition of “sexual orientation” does not mean they are synonyms, i.e. have the same meaning.

                Moving on ….

              • April 7th 2018 @ 5:23pm
                cuw said | April 7th 2018 @ 5:23pm | ! Report

                @Ralph

                perhaps u need to understand about humans a bit better.

                we all have the X and Y chromosomes. X is from the father and Y is from the mother.

                the dominance of X over Y or vice versa determines our sexual preference.

                in some cases a female may have dominant X or a male may have dominant Y.

                there is a recent article u need to read .

                ” No one is 100% straight: Study says sexuality is a ‘spectrum’ and all of us get aroused by men and women

                http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5497267/No-one-100-straight-Study-says-sexuality-spectrum.html

                so it is how people are born.

            • April 6th 2018 @ 3:36pm
              enoughisenough said | April 6th 2018 @ 3:36pm | ! Report

              Typical virtue signalling by the author of this article. Where’s his care for the young Christians that might read this, and see their belief system being so derided and vilified?

              • April 6th 2018 @ 4:33pm
                aussikiwi said | April 6th 2018 @ 4:33pm | ! Report

                By disagreeing with his view that gays will deservedly go to hell you mean?

                He is entitled publicly to express that view, subject to his contract, which he may well have breached. But he is a public figure with a twitter platform to huge numbers. Why shouldn’t people vigorously disagree with his view?

              • April 6th 2018 @ 8:07pm
                664 neighbour of the beast said | April 6th 2018 @ 8:07pm | ! Report

                This article wouldn’t have been written if Isreal didn’t come out and tell gay people they were going to hell! You failed, try again!

              • Roar Guru

                April 6th 2018 @ 8:23pm
                Paul Dawson said | April 6th 2018 @ 8:23pm | ! Report

                You put me in mind of the drawn together movie

                “Israel sick and tired for being blamed everytime something goes wrong in the effing desert!”

      • April 6th 2018 @ 10:40am
        Daws said | April 6th 2018 @ 10:40am | ! Report

        Freedom of religion has always been narrowly construed in Australia. Unless you go on some Pauline Hanson-esque rant specifically identifying a group, then it’s pretty hard to hide behind.

        • April 6th 2018 @ 12:49pm
          Malo said | April 6th 2018 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

          .next Matt Cleary will bann the bible and quoran. Is he outraged that religion exists and is practiced by billions, go target someone else you moral leach

          • April 6th 2018 @ 2:24pm
            Dexter The Hamster said | April 6th 2018 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

            I guess to you Freedom of Speech applies to Izzy and he can say what he wants, but it doesn’t extend to M Cleary when he wants to reply. And he is the moral leech???

            • April 6th 2018 @ 3:22pm
              664 neighbour of the beast said | April 6th 2018 @ 3:22pm | ! Report

              No Dexter, he would prefer the target is on someone else…so christian of him!

    • April 6th 2018 @ 9:00am
      jameswm said | April 6th 2018 @ 9:00am | ! Report

      I think there’s an important distinction. My understanding – and I haven’t seen a transcript of the interview – was that Izzy was asked what God’s plan for gays was, and he said it is that they go to hell unless they repent. I do not believe he said or suggested he thought gays should go to hell. It’s an important distinction.

      Even still, he should have been smart enough to realise what the effect of his answer would be, and to keep the trap firmly shut. As Mark Twain said – better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

      • April 6th 2018 @ 10:02am
        DaveR said | April 6th 2018 @ 10:02am | ! Report

        Good comment jameswm. And Israel Folau, like every other Australian, has the right to express his opinion, whether everybody else agrees with him or not. And this seems to be a religious opinion.

        • Roar Guru

          April 6th 2018 @ 11:37am
          spruce moose said | April 6th 2018 @ 11:37am | ! Report

          Alternatively,

          the only entity who determines who goes to hell or not is God, and that Israel Folau, when I last looked was not the voice of, or indeed representative God in anyway, so perhaps should leave the decision of where homosexuals go to this apparent chap upstairs huh?

          • April 6th 2018 @ 12:47pm
            Jacko said | April 6th 2018 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

            He said it was Gods plan…He never claimed ownership of the beliefs of his religion he stated what his religion believes

            • April 6th 2018 @ 1:27pm
              RobN said | April 6th 2018 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

              But he does strongly believe in that religion…

            • Roar Guru

              April 6th 2018 @ 3:29pm
              spruce moose said | April 6th 2018 @ 3:29pm | ! Report

              His religion believes that God has final judgement.

              No more, no less.

              What God judges on is speculative.

              • April 7th 2018 @ 11:55am
                Ian said | April 7th 2018 @ 11:55am | ! Report

                No it’s not! Since the faith Israel adheres to believes God has revealed Himself and His will in the Scriptures, then to express those views is the equivalent of expressing God’s views (e.g 1 Corinthians 6:9).

                You may disagree with his view, but he would claim the bible reveals God’s judgement on many matters, even if some matters remain obscure.

      • April 6th 2018 @ 10:11am
        Christo the Daddyo said | April 6th 2018 @ 10:11am | ! Report

        Yep, great observations.

        Also, if you don’t believe in Hell, then why would you worry about someone telling you you’re going there?

        • Roar Rookie

          April 6th 2018 @ 11:30am
          Joe said | April 6th 2018 @ 11:30am | ! Report

          Right there is the logic that is failing a lot of people. Put another way, do I care that Muslims think I as an infidel am going to hell, or I’m unclean for chowing down on a pork chop. Do I care that the HIndus think I’m likely going to be reincarnated as a lower life form due to my life choices. I don’t give a rats since I don’t subscribe to their beliefs. They’re free to say what they want and tell me all that if I ask them but I’m not going to tell them to shut up.

          • April 6th 2018 @ 2:27pm
            Dexter The Hamster said | April 6th 2018 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

            We are not talking about fellow unbelievers. We are talking about young people brought up in a religious family or community who happen to believe in the same god that Falou does.

            • Roar Rookie

              April 6th 2018 @ 2:57pm
              Joe said | April 6th 2018 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

              So somehow this is Folau’s fault and he shouldn’t be able to answer a question about his faith truthfully? He was asked a question and he answered truthfully according to his belief. If there were these young people in that situation they have far bigger problems with their own family, community and the God that you say they believe in than what Folau says on twitter. Shutting Folau’s right of speech and religion is not the answer to their problems.

            • April 6th 2018 @ 2:57pm
              Christo the Daddyo said | April 6th 2018 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

              If that’s true then what Folau said won’t be news to them will it?

      • April 6th 2018 @ 10:31am
        Neil Back said | April 6th 2018 @ 10:31am | ! Report

        Sorry James, but that’s nonsense.

        First, probably best not to comment before you bother to look at ‘the transcript’ – in which case you’ll discover it wasn’t an interview, but a response to the question “what was God’s plan for gay people?” after Izzy had posted a graphic and quoted from the Bible, James 1:2-4 sharing his vision of ‘God’s plan’ with the world. His response was ““HELL… Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God.”

        Now you can argue this is not his opinion or what he believes if you want. But then you probably also believe in fairies.

        Like I said, nonsense.

        • April 6th 2018 @ 10:57am
          jameswm said | April 6th 2018 @ 10:57am | ! Report

          “Good comment:”, “great observations”, and then Neil. Got to love it.

          I’m not saying it’s not his opinion. I don’t know, maybe it is. I’m saying he didn’t say it is his opinion, a point you’ve just proven for me, thanks for that. And thanks for showing my understanding of what he said was correct. Not an interview – whatever.

          • April 6th 2018 @ 11:15am
            Neil Back said | April 6th 2018 @ 11:15am | ! Report

            Sorry to keep bursting your bubble James, but maybe stop living in one?

            If you honestly don’t believe, or can’t in all sanity be sure that’s his opinion, then I’d suggest you haven’t been paying attention.

            • April 6th 2018 @ 2:02pm
              jameswm said | April 6th 2018 @ 2:02pm | ! Report

              Gold medal to Neil for point missing.

              Funny how you keep apologising though.

              • Roar Guru

                April 6th 2018 @ 2:36pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 6th 2018 @ 2:36pm | ! Report

                Maybe Neil just have some manners?
                I guess he takes no pleasure at all schooling you and wants to speak in a civilized manner when rather big and sensitive subjects are on the agenda.

              • Roar Guru

                April 6th 2018 @ 2:36pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 6th 2018 @ 2:36pm | ! Report

                Maybe Neil just have some manners?
                I guess he takes no pleasure at all schooling you and wants to speak in a civilized manner when rather big and sensitive subjects are on the agenda.

          • April 6th 2018 @ 11:21am
            Fools Gold said | April 6th 2018 @ 11:21am | ! Report

            Fools seldom differ.

            He clearly believes a strict interpretation of the New Testament and believes that homosexual people “go to hell”, which funnily enough, Corinthians also mentions people shouldn’t get married, you shouldn’t see doctors and you shouldn’t accumulate wealth, all rules of his precious book he is clearly breaking, so why try and defend him?

            • Roar Guru

              April 6th 2018 @ 11:57am
              Ralph said | April 6th 2018 @ 11:57am | ! Report

              If you think following Jesus is about following rules you have missed the boat entirely.

              • April 6th 2018 @ 12:03pm
                Fools Gold said | April 6th 2018 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

                Which excuses him how?

              • April 6th 2018 @ 12:50pm
                Jacko said | April 6th 2018 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

                Excuses him from what? Answering a question according to his religeous beliefs?

              • April 6th 2018 @ 1:09pm
                Fools Gold said | April 6th 2018 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

                Making publicly homophobic statements that are putting Rugby in a bad light when Rugby is already struggling to retain fans and grassroots players.

                Meanwhile AFL and soccer take over the space on public parks and fields on the Eastern seaboard and Rugby retreats to private and Catholic schools dwindling the talent pool further and leaving us further off New Zealand and England than any time in the last 25 years.

              • Roar Guru

                April 6th 2018 @ 1:19pm
                Ralph said | April 6th 2018 @ 1:19pm | ! Report

                Mr Gold,

                You misrepresented Corinthians and set about to turn it into a set of rules, which by nature pretty much disqualifies you from explaining its teaching.

              • April 6th 2018 @ 3:31pm
                Fools Gold said | April 6th 2018 @ 3:31pm | ! Report

                Corinthians is a set of rules written by Paul that he expects the followers of the church in Corinth to follow.

                Sorry I forgot to define the different books and rules as written in James and Matthew but you know that every single statement I have brought up is in the New Testament and have 0 defence of that, I mean you’re such a good Christian you don’t think Corinthians is a set of rules…..

              • April 6th 2018 @ 3:26pm
                moaman said | April 6th 2018 @ 3:26pm | ! Report

                Ralph
                Did Jesus have anything at all to say about homosexuality?
                So Paul writes a few letters and reckons that “unnatural love” should be frowned upon….did even Paul say expressly that gays (arsenkoitai I think it was called) would “go to Hell”?

                I had a quick squiz this morning before work and I couldn’t find more than 4-5 references to gays in either Testament.

                What fundamentalist Christians today call “religious belief” is often merely the tenets of some bloke who founded their particular sect. Most of them are ‘splitters’ anyway! 😉

              • Roar Guru

                April 6th 2018 @ 5:01pm
                Ralph said | April 6th 2018 @ 5:01pm | ! Report

                Moaman,

                Not that I know of. He certainly did not have the obsession with sex that we have today.

                The idea of Hell as we use it has certainly been ’embellished” shall we say, but the idea that life should have justice and that justice extend beyond the natural lifetime is very strong in the bible as a whole.

                My understanding of heaven is that I will die Into the arms of a father who absolutely loves me and that life continues in another from beyond death. It’s entirely a relational thing.

              • Roar Guru

                April 6th 2018 @ 5:32pm
                Ralph said | April 6th 2018 @ 5:32pm | ! Report

                Fools Gold – Following Jesus has absolutely nothing to do with rules.

              • April 7th 2018 @ 8:04am
                soapit said | April 7th 2018 @ 8:04am | ! Report

                being allowed to follow him into heaven does tho ralph

      • April 6th 2018 @ 10:55am
        aussikiwi said | April 6th 2018 @ 10:55am | ! Report

        That is a false distinction James. Obviously (one assumes) Folau believes his God is a fair and just god, and consequently he must believe that it is fair and just for unrepentant gays to go to hell.

        Nice message for young gay people, that just being themselves condemns them to eternal damnation.

        • April 6th 2018 @ 11:42am
          Sage said | April 6th 2018 @ 11:42am | ! Report

          Something to agree on. Nice…

          • April 7th 2018 @ 12:45pm
            Enrique TOPO Rodriguez said | April 7th 2018 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

            Sage – Your recent comment or a copy of some source in regards to Depression + Gay people + Suicide, etc. is WAY FLAWED AND PLAGUED WITH BIASED INACCURACIES.

            I will not enter either a short or a long debate on the subject, I will just point you in the right direction for future references you may wish to put under your name.

            FYI, Mental Illness DO NOT discriminate, neither gender, sexual inclination or religion preference, nor the colour of the skin or country of birth. Source, World Health Organisation, (2009).

          • April 7th 2018 @ 12:46pm
            Enrique TOPO Rodriguez said | April 7th 2018 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

            TO: ‘Sage’ – Your recent comments (or a copy of some source) in regards to Depression + Gay people + Suicide, etc. is WAY FLAWED AND PLAGUED WITH BIASED INACCURACIES.

            I will not enter either a short or a long debate on the subject, I will just point you (hopefully) in the right direction for future references you may wish to put under your name.

            FYI, Mental Illness DO NOT discriminate, neither gender, sexual inclination or religion preference, nor the colour of the skin or country of birth. Source, World Health Organisation, (2009).

            ETR

            • April 7th 2018 @ 1:42pm
              Sage said | April 7th 2018 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

              It was a copy of an article with a bibliography, yes. The reference was to indicate that studies had been done and the results published. I would usually read and agree or otherwise with the findings as you may have done and that’s everybodies right. Normally studies by a number of experts in a given field I would give due reference. Others may not. That’s cool.

        • April 6th 2018 @ 2:07pm
          jameswm said | April 6th 2018 @ 2:07pm | ! Report

          You would think that if he follows god and says that is his plan , then he follows that plan too.

          But he didn’t say what his belief is, and reporting that he did is inaccurate.

          We all agree on the sarcastic last line. I just found out about one kid (in a family I know very well) who is getting bullied at school because his older brother has come out since he left that school. Nice. Prominent Sydney rugby school, too.

          • April 6th 2018 @ 3:52pm
            aussikiwi said | April 6th 2018 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

            Can we assume that Folau believes what his god does is fair and just? If so, Folau believes that gay people deservedly go to hell for being gay. God wouldnt send people to eternal damnation unless they deserved it.

      • Roar Rookie

        April 6th 2018 @ 3:47pm
        Roger said | April 6th 2018 @ 3:47pm | ! Report

        Good old Roar commenters. Doesn’t take much go get em in a flap.

      • April 7th 2018 @ 1:19am
        Taylorman said | April 7th 2018 @ 1:19am | ! Report

        Thats really it in a nutshell for me. Naievity has coupled with an overeaction here and Folau has simply stated something he thinks is standard fare in his world.

        If hed have realised the impact this would have he probably wouldnt have said it. It doesnt see him in a very smart position and I think hes wondering what on earth the big deal is.

    • April 6th 2018 @ 9:01am
      Rhys Bosley said | April 6th 2018 @ 9:01am | ! Report

      Don’t people go to hell for vanity too? What a dork.

    • April 6th 2018 @ 9:04am
      Jacko said | April 6th 2018 @ 9:04am | ! Report

      Geez Matt this article is far worse than anything Folau said….Its all Izzy’s fault eh

      • April 6th 2018 @ 9:10am
        Roy said | April 6th 2018 @ 9:10am | ! Report

        What are you on about Jacko?
        In what way is Matt’s piece worse (or in any way comparable) than Israel’s infantile comment?

        • April 6th 2018 @ 9:27am
          Jacko said | April 6th 2018 @ 9:27am | ! Report

          Re read it….You will understand…..

          • April 6th 2018 @ 9:46am
            Roy said | April 6th 2018 @ 9:46am | ! Report

            Sorry mate, I’m still none the wiser. you’ll have to give me a steer if you don’t mind.

            • April 6th 2018 @ 1:00pm
              Jacko said | April 6th 2018 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

              OK so the article brings in a whole lot of issues we have in society and blames all this on Folau. How is it folau’s fault that there is such a high suicide rate in Aus from males 14 – 44? This article infers that all those are to do with being Gay and that is simply NOT true. Matt brings into the article a number of things Folau never said anything about at all like Pedophils, Nazi’s Jew Haters etc and is somehow trying to link all this to Folau which is FAR WORSE than anything Folau said or has ever done.
              Remember this high suicide rate and all the other criminals mentioned are all things that happen in life..whether Folau says what he said or doesnt say anything as MAtt is writing all this just a couple of days after the comments from Folau yet these issues have been around for years. I have known of 3 people in my life time that have committed suicide and not 1 was gay or had heard Folau say what he said so blaming all this on Folau is just plain sad and extreme to say thew least.
              If MAtt would only apply the same standards to himself that he wants to apply to Folau then it would have been a far shorter article with much less hatred and far less mention of fanatical groups.

              • April 6th 2018 @ 1:12pm
                Fools Gold said | April 6th 2018 @ 1:12pm | ! Report

                You’re kind are a group on the decline, kind of like fan support, sponsorship dollars and junior player participation rates have been for Rugby for the last 5 years.

              • April 6th 2018 @ 3:31pm
                Jacko said | April 6th 2018 @ 3:31pm | ! Report

                True Fools gold my kind are in decline. The kind that allows freedom of speech, the kind that believes you are entitled to your view JUST AS MUCH as I am entitled to my view, the kind that says you can do, think, act any way you like provided you dont do harm to others, the kind that says “live and let Live”
                We are a KIND in decline and we are being replaced by your kind

              • April 8th 2018 @ 3:20pm
                onDFreo said | April 8th 2018 @ 3:20pm | ! Report

                And yet you are always here decrying people’s statements as false [Mods. Snip. Warning, No name calling]

              • April 7th 2018 @ 9:29am
                Ruckin Oaf said | April 7th 2018 @ 9:29am | ! Report

                Yeah the kind that says “think before you speak”

              • Roar Guru

                April 8th 2018 @ 7:59am
                jeznez said | April 8th 2018 @ 7:59am | ! Report

                Jacko – the no harm to others bit is exactly the reason the bloke is being called out

              • Roar Guru

                April 9th 2018 @ 1:41pm
                SandBox said | April 9th 2018 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

                Agree with Jacko, this article mostly ‘strawman’s’ Issie’s statement.

                No mention of Kwaja and the sponsors bending over to include him. Why do sponsors have more rights against certain religions than others?

          • April 6th 2018 @ 10:26am
            DNZ said | April 6th 2018 @ 10:26am | ! Report

            Nope not getting it.

            • April 6th 2018 @ 10:57am
              jameswm said | April 6th 2018 @ 10:57am | ! Report

              I think Jacko’s on a different level to us.

              • April 6th 2018 @ 1:03pm
                Jacko said | April 6th 2018 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

                We are all on different levels are we not Jameswm. Or does everyone you know agree with everything you say?

              • April 6th 2018 @ 1:04pm
                Fionn said | April 6th 2018 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

                He’s referring to the fact that no one even understands your position, Jacko. It’s not that we disagree with it, we don’t know what you’re talking about.

              • April 6th 2018 @ 1:22pm
                Jacko said | April 6th 2018 @ 1:22pm | ! Report

                Yeah just explained my views above.

              • April 6th 2018 @ 2:10pm
                jameswm said | April 6th 2018 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

                We all have to laugh at ourselves sometimes Jacko.

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