We seem to have entered an era where a misguided idea of freedom of speech and free religious expression have usurped more important things, such as not being a dropkick.
Let’s get something very clear from the outset: there is not one defender of Israel Folau on the basis of ‘freedom of speech’ that would condone everything any other person says, nor their right to say it.
Everyone has a line somewhere. The Instagram post incident, at least on social media, saw far more people defending Folau than attacking him.
The most common defence was, even though a person might disagree, he has the right to express his opinion. But of course, it was only a matter of time before he said something else, even more ridiculous.
Folau directly blamed the existence of gay marriage and abortion for the recent fires in Queensland and New South Wales. Presumably, he considers this some kind of divine punishment.
God is teaching that if we go against his teachings, he will murder us? Or something like that. Okay.
So the social media collective was less accepting of this. But for those that did accept it, there was once again a common theme: he has the right to express his religious beliefs.
Well, in that case, we have a right to critique those beliefs and Folau’s rather, let’s say, selective adoption of said beliefs.
So, despite the Bible claiming God is the ultimate judge, Folau seems to have appointed himself in this role.
Transgender people, according to him, are evil, and homosexuality is a sin worthy of earning yourself a place in Hell’s literal pit of fire, for eternity.
So, while we’re on the topic, I thought I might point out some more of Christianity’s main beliefs and teachings.
The third of the deadly sins: Greed. Quoting directly from the Bible: Hebrews 13:5, “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”
Wait a minute… I thought Folau cared about his beliefs above all else? I thought he was happy to go down as a martyr, sacrificing his rugby career in order to not be pushed around by those trying to oppress his right to religious freedom?
I thought that, well, until he tried to sue Rugby Australia for $14 million, most of which he was never going to get from them, even had they not terminated his contract.
I challenge anyone who defends Folau on the basis of his adherence to his beliefs, to explain how asking for $14 million is not greedy.
Regarding the seventh deadly sin, pride, the Bible says the following in Jeremiah 9:23-24, “Let not the mighty man boast of his might…but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me”.
Well, this is an easy one. Izzy, you were never going to be captain. The fact that the Wallabies had seven vice-captains while you played for them, and not one of them was you, sums up the entire issue.
So to all his defenders, I’ll say this to you: understand what you’re defending. If it’s Folau’s freedom of speech, don’t then get upset when he says something you don’t like. If it’s his freedom of religious expression, well, perhaps reflect on just how strongly he adheres to his religion.
Folau represented Rugby terribly, and he was rightly removed from it.
He’s currently representing both humanity and Christianity in an even worse way. By all means, let the man talk. At this point, it’s showing him for the hypocrite he is.