To compare donating money to Israel Folau with burning a large pile of cash is completely unfair because burning money doesn’t tend to hurt anyone.
On the other hand, the fools who have helped Folau amass a $2 million war chest for his upcoming legal battle with Rugby Australia are actively funding a religious fanatic whose backwards views are dangerous.
Apparently giving money to Folau – a guy who wants the right to say disparaging things about the way certain people are born without having to face any consequence – is about defending Australians’ freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
A real bunch of patriots, these donors are.
Given this whole situation has somehow become a national issue, it’s trendy to say something about what soldiers who fought and died for our country would think.
But that’s not the question to ask when deciding which side of the fence you sit on with regards to Folau.
Rather, you’re better off asking: what would my children or grandchildren think? Because this is a fiasco that future generations will not look kindly upon.
I was staggered when I found out that homosexuality was only decriminalised in New South Wales in 1984 – in fact, the bill was passed the day after my oldest brother was born.
Yet that same brother now has two kids of his own and we’re having a national debate about whether it’s okay to ask a person who publicly vilifies homosexuals to, y’know, not do that.
And that is what happened.
The issue at hand isn’t that Israel holds homophobic beliefs – it may be baffling to the reasonable person that he does, but he’s totally allowed to, and no one’s sacking him for them.
The problem is that he’s repeatedly put statements trumpeting his homophobia out into the public sphere and he won’t retract them or make any future guarantees to leave his phone in his pocket next time he’s confronted with the reality that everyone’s different.
Granted, comparing him to the drink-drivers and domestic abusers of the rugby codes makes him look like a saint, except for the part where you apologise and show contrition.
Tolu Latu didn’t have his contract torn up for being found worse for wear behind the wheel of a parked car, but he sure would have if he had come out afterwards and said, “I’m glad I did it and I’ll do it again!”
As for the whole ‘don’t persecute me for my beliefs’ line? Please. Izzy is playing the Wizard of Oz – hiding behind the curtain provided to him by the Bible while pretending that the voice booming forth is truly that of a great and omnipotent being.
And need I remind you what happened at the end of that film? The friends of Dorothy pulled back the curtain and exposed the Great and Powerful Oz for what he really was: a humbug.
Folau is a fraud, his cause an embarrassment and his beliefs about as relevant as a Wizard of Oz reference in a rugby column.
As for those who are actually funding an uneducated millionaire’s right to be homophobic? Think ten years down the track. How embarrassed will your kids and grandkids be that you thought this was the way to improve the country and their future?
It’s rhetorical, don’t @ me. They’ll be heaps embarrassed.
And if you want to talk about freedom of speech, read up on the AFP raiding the ABC for reporting the news, then think long and hard about whether a footy player’s ignorant social media postings are in the same galaxy.