CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

The Haters and Bigots Are Still After Folau

Jun 23, 2019

Having already written 14 full or partial articles in the past 14 months about Christian Rugby star Israel Folau, I really did not think I would be writing any more. But as anti-Christian bigotry and Folau-bashing keeps ramping up, it looks like I need to do yet another piece.

Now the God-hating lefties are going berserk because Folau has set up a funding campaign to help cover his $3 million in legal fees. He needs the funds to challenge Rugby Australia and their discriminatory dismissal of him. It is ultimately about religious freedom – and the war against it.

But idiotic claims are being made that he is greedy, and that sick children are dying because people are giving to Folau instead of them! Good grief. Um, people can give to anyone they want to! And the issue here is not the wealth of Folau or his supporters. It is one of Christian solidarity. Those giving to him know that today it is Folau, and tomorrow it might well be them.

They see the ugly crackdown on Christianity in the public square, and more and more in non-public spheres. Recall that what Folau had said that got the misotheists so upset was said on his own sites on his own time. So many Christians know what this is really all about: a full-fledged war on Christianity, and on any believers who boldly will stand up for their faith.

But the lunar left and their media cronies have been going nuts over all this. There have been relentless attacks on Folau, and most of the lamestream media has been up to its ears in this. For example, the Sunday night Ch. 7 TV news was especially appalling as it “covered” this story. It was not in the slightest stretch of the imagination a news story – it was a hatchet job opinion piece, designed to do one thing only: vilify and demonise Folau.

The hatchet man, I mean reporter, filmed himself out of Folau’s home, carrying on about what a fancy house it was. He even waxed all biblical, citing the gospel passage about it being easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter into heaven. He tried to make the case that Folau must be a lousy Christian.

The entire piece was nauseating. One has to ask: Has Ch. 7 decided it now will be a mouthpiece for anti-Christian bigotry? Does it only hire atheists to work for them now? Oh, and does anyone who works at Ch. 7 own a nice home? Hypocrisy much?

And this is not a one-off with Seven. Consider yet another ugly hatchet piece by the anti-God botherers at Ch. 7: 7news.com.au/sport/netball/folaus-wife-in-clear-for-campaign-backing-c-180137

If you are sick of this hatred of Folau and God and want to make a complaint to Ch. 7, please do. You can contact them here: support.7news.com.au/contact/

Martyn Iles of the ACL, who has a legal background, offers a few inconvenient truths here:

(1) There is no “greed”
The money is being deposited straight into a trust account. It cannot be used for anything other than defraying his legal expenses. Leftover funds will be distributed – likely to a philanthropic cause consistent with the intent of the original donors. If he was in this for money, he would have taken the millions of $ he was offered to simply delete the post.
Regarding his accumulated assets, he may have to live off those for a long time.

(2) Izzy did not manufacture this situation on purpose.
There was never a contractual or verbal agreement around social media use, despite claims in the media. The clause of the Code of Conduct invoked against him was the nebulous notion of “bringing the game into disrepute.” His social media content was consistent for some time. Christian, scriptural, themes of repentance etc. The post was business as usual (except the word “homosexual”).

(3) Highlighting the injustice of the case, and its importance to basic freedoms, is not playing the victim.
The legal significance of this case is very high. I’ve said elsewhere that this case is our case if we are Christians, or people who have politically incorrect beliefs. It is unjust, and it threatens to set a precedent which could bring about the same injustice upon many employees, professionals, and others in the Australian community.

He did no wrong, but he is being punished as a wrongdoer. That’s not “playing the victim” – it’s just explaining the situation as it is. It also addresses an issue at the heart of most religious freedom cases – ie, to what extent is religious expression protected?

Keep it simple – we are talking about freedom for the truth. And if we don’t care about that, then I query whether we understand that which lies at the core of the Christian mandate; to proclaim the truths of the gospel to all nations.

As Christians, we are supposed to stand with those of the household of faith who encounter various difficulties and trials. This has been very hard on Israel for a host of reasons, and the media continue to attack both him and his wife with false information.

Therefore, I am very happy to financially support him:
1. As a tangible demonstration of support for a fellow Christian;
2. In recognition of the importance of this case to all of us. His case is my case.

And as Martyn said in a television interview, “If he was into money, he would have taken the deal — he would have walked away from the negotiations a rich man by deleting the post or taking some other remedial action. But I think what Israel has been able to do is rally a movement around himself and around the cause.”
www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/television/do-you-believe-homosexuals-go-to-hell-australian-christian-lobby-boss-grilled-on-the-sunday-project/news-story/658fa138683b792a2715bf240425895a

Bernard Gaynor, who has also had to dish out heaps of money in legal battles (over $400,000 to be exact), offers us five reasons why we must support Folau. Here is one of them:

2. This is about far more than Israel Folau
This battle may look, on the surface, to be one between Israel Folau and Rugby Australia over an employment contract. And that is exactly what the activists want you to believe. They want to keep us isolated and divided. They want to hide the truth too and with hypocritical words.

On the one hand they say this has nothing to do with religion. And on the other they claim Rugby Australia’s contracts limit Christian religious expression through words such as ‘code of conduct’ and ‘respect’ and ‘diversity’ that are interpreted to mean whatever the corporate elite want them to mean. This is a fight that impacts every single one of us. Truth be told, it even threatens the freedom of the very people clamouring for Israel Folau’s head.

Any Australian who believes in freedom has a choice: to sit and watch or to jump into the trenches with Israel Folau. We may not have the talent to play beside him on the footy field, but each and every one of us has the means and ability – in our own way – to run with Izzy in a much more important match. If Israel loses this fight, we all lose. But if he wins, we all do as well. We need to make sure Israel Folau succeeds.
bernardgaynor.com.au/2019/06/21/why-i-donated-to-israel-folau/

While Folau is being hammered by many – including some clueless and compromised Christians – some rather unexpected defences are appearing. One very surprising defender, of sorts, is hyper-atheist Peter Singer. In a recent piece he said in part:

Folau is a born-again Christian, and his post was an expression of his religious beliefs. To prevent misunderstanding, I should say that I do not share those beliefs. As an unrepentant atheist, I am among those for whom, Folau believes, hell awaits. But that does not trouble me, because there is, in my view, no god, no afterlife, and no hell. Nor do I differentiate, ethically, between homosexual and heterosexual relationships.

Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that Folau’s post falls squarely within traditional Christian teachings that Christians accepted almost unanimously until the twentieth century, and that continue to be held widely – though against strong and growing opposition – among Christians today. The post clearly draws on Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, in which Paul is reported as saying: “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

Paul also tells his Christian readers that they must not associate with anyone who is sexually immoral: “Do not even eat with such people.” That would have included not only homosexuals and adulterers, but also sexually active singles.
www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/rugby-australia-israel-folau-firing-free-speech-by-peter-singer-2019-06

In this case Singer is a bit more cluey about basic Christianity than many Christians are. But let me finish with a word from Folau himself. He said this on the funding site:

Thank you to all those who have given to my Legal Action Fund so far. I am humbled and overwhelmed by the support I have received, for which I am very grateful. Unsurprisingly, I have been criticised by Rugby Australia and some sections of the media overnight.

I decided to take legal action when Rugby Australia terminated my employment contract and ended my playing career after I expressed my religious beliefs on social media. I have received thousands of messages from supporters who believe discrimination in the workplace is wrong and has no place in Australia or anywhere else.

Sadly, Rugby Australia have said that they will devote significant resources to fight me in court. This shows I have a long and hard battle on my hands, which is why I am asking for your support. The money that is donated will be used to fund my legal battle, which could take years. While the attacks against me have shown I have a big fight on my hands, I will stand strong.

Your support and my faith will give me strength. For those of you who have chosen to donate within your capacity, I am very grateful of your support for my legal case. For those not in the position to donate, I value your prayers and messages of support so much. Every little bit will help.

Israel
www.gofundme.com/f/israel-folau-legal-action-fund

[1742 words]

39 Responses to The Haters and Bigots Are Still After Folau

  • Agree totally Bill. It is true sad to see how this maelstrom of hate being whipped up against Folau and effectively all who believe in the teachings of the Bible. Folau was not preaching hate he was preaching love and concern for all who sin that they need to accept Christ’s love and His mission to us and as you note that applies to all of us

  • He is fighting for you, for me and for our children. Above all he is fighting g for those who died so we can have Freedom

  • Someone said tonight they reckon Israel has only set up his gofundme to see how many people support him. Pretty sure there would be other ways to do that. ;-/

  • Tim Andrews of the ATA:

    “It was not my original intention to donate to this. After all, I generally believe that an employment contract can be terminated at will by either party, if the agreed terms are followed. However, upon reflection several things have made me change my mind and donate – and why I think you should too, as it is the principle at stake far more than the actual factual scenario here:

    1)Israel Folau’s contract was terminated using the clause that he essentially brought his employer into disrepute because he posted a bible verse (
    Corinthians 6: 9-10) (prefixed with the word “warning”) in social media. It sets an extraordinary legal precedent that quoting the Bible is something that can be used to trigger the provisions in a contract that it brings the employer into disrepute as RA is claiming here

    2)As a firm believer in contract law therefore RAs actions are unconscionable and they seem to have clearly breached their contractual obligations as I can not accept that quoting the Bible is grounds for breaking the contract and RA did not follow the stipulations in the contract as to his payout were they to break it. This is an important point: they should be allowed to terminate the contract but if they wanted to do so they should have paid out as per the agreed terms and not tried to claim he breached it by posting a bible verse.

    3) Israel’s wealth is irrespective to the question of right and wrong here. Whilst he could probably afford a defense, it is immoral to expect someone to sell their assets just to afford the chance to take in their former employer in court hence donating is a moral option

    4) The anti-Christian bigotry I have seen on social media over the last 48 hours in particular has been sickening and I think it is our moral responsibility to fight bigotry no matter the situation (which is why I have previously donated to legal defenses of people of other religions)

    5)no matter what you think of the specifics here, there is a wider precedent at play regarding the principle of being able to use someone’s religious opinions as grounds to break contract. If this is allowed to stand, the wider implications are horrific and this is why I strongly feel it just be fought”

  • Whatever the financial niceties of the Folau matter, the truth of Christ stands to receive a cross-examination before the an Australian court of some note.

    And so you will bear testimony to me. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. – Luke 21:13-15 [NIV]

    As C.S. Lewis once put it, we live in times when people seriously believe that it is God who is arraigned in the dock of the court of the universe and not themselves…

  • I’ve challenged Channel 7 to show the other side of the story – Israel’ fight for freedom of belief and expression, impartially and respectfully. Not holding my breath that it will happen! However, it seems the “quiet Australians” (how I love that expression – thank you ScoMo!) are mobilising again – nearly 10,000 have contributed to his fund, and still rising.

    Thank you, and Martin and Bernard, for so eloquently expressing what so many of us feel, and let’s flood Channel 7 , and the others, with our complaints and anger.

  • Spot on Bill. . .this is everyone of our Christian’s fight too. We need to get squarely behind Israel and his fight if we dont want to lose the freedom to express and live our faith

  • Hi Bill,

    I do wonder if this episode is being used by God to ‘shake’ His church out of the stupor it has fallen into over the years.

    I hope Israel triumphs in this matter, I also wonder what will happen if he doesn’t, only because the church flourishes under persecution and in the west has not really known that in great measure (isolated sectarian issues aside and the spread of islam in various places).

    Perhaps this situation will be used by God to call many more to repentance as there seems to be much support for Israel from secular sources but for more nebulous reasons? Maybe they will have an epiphany and see the truth?

    Maybe those highlighted in the scripture quotes will have a change of heart? No one wants them to go to hell, as we needed to repent of our sins (and still do) and turn to Jesus, so do they.

    I would be remiss if I didn’t thank and encourage you for your scholarship and steadfastness over the years in defending the faith. Thank you for your eloquence, that I could never muster.

  • Thanks, Bill. It is ironic, is it not, that the press who are “defaming” Folau do not even seems to understand that first it is free speech, next it is religion and next it will be the press? Well, it already is, but they only see what they want to see.

  • Dear Bill, Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention. I would not know of Israel Falou’s struggle appart from this site. Reading some of the comments on this site a few days ago, concerning Australians banks and their attack on Australian citizens. My prayer for this struggle of Israel Falous is that he does not suffer at their hands as well. May God bless all who read your message, Bill and may they be spurred into action.
    Mark Bryant

  • Interesting to see that Peter Singer has had his say on the Israel Folau saga. I wonder if he will cop some heavy leftist flak over that? When the left is in full flight it’s like a shark feeding frenzy – friend and foe alike get devoured. Richard Dawkins discovered that when he was disinvited from a speaking engagement for daring to say something negative about Islam.

  • The URL for the funding no longer works. Have GoFundMe been threatened by LGBT crowd?

  • High Court Media Release
    In the matter of CastleRA v God

    CastleRA is expecting a strong result thereby proving God is wrong. CastleRA expects God will then apologise and rewrite the Bible.

    —-

    Dear Heavenly Father, please forgive me for this flippancy.

  • Whatever Israel Falou does with our contributions is entirely up to him as those of us who realise that Israel has already forfeited over $3 million for standing by his faith and principles is a $3 million dollar lesson to us all and is akin to the martyrs who sacrificed themselves; their children; their property and all that they owned to God. How many of us are prepared to do the same and if it costs us a few pennies to show Israel that he does not stand alone then it may also show the corrupt that he does not stand alone. In essence, Israel is advancing the faith and has become a shining light for God and his begotten son – Jesus.
    John Abbott

  • BILL

    THE FOLAU. GO FUND ME PAGE HAS BEEN PULLED
    STILL LOTS OF ANTI FOLAU GO FUND ME PAGES NOW ON LINE

    JOHN

    Refer
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/

  • Apparently the gofundme has been pulled down. But there are hundreds of channels for raising money, the haters can’t control them all. I’ve no doubt it will still happen.

    It does astound me how some ‘Christians’ are attacking him. They seem utterly devoid of understanding why this matters and their pious stance is sickening.

  • Thanks guys. Yes it looks like GoFundMe has actually pulled his page down! So they too seem to have joined the ranks of the secular left God-haters. We live in very dark times.

  • Bill, GoFundMe just twigged to the fact that Australians are supporting a chap sacked for expressing basic Christian truths and removed his funding campaign: https://www.news.com.au/sport/sports-life/folau-debate-continues-as-public-donations-pass-760000/news-story/67bbe0a7c8b1b03b6f6fbaa6a50ff851

    In their statement the company says they are absolutely committed to the fight for LGBTIQ people and inclusivity and will not tolerate discrimination or exclusion i.e. they won’t tolerate Christianity on their site. They’re clearly breaching their own ToS but I don’t there’s anything anyone in Australia can do about that.

    Since GoFundMe is refusing to permit Australians to support Folau might there be another platform equally capable? I have a very vague recollection of running across an Orthodox Jewish or Judeo-Christian platform somewhere sometime but can’t recall the details. Might anyone here have any ideas? If such a platform does exist, might there be any way to let Israel Folau know of it? It would be a shame if after all the MSM’s efforts to publicise Folau’s funding campaign and the support he’s been given, it all came to naught.

  • There a full blown anti-Folau campaign also happening at news.com.au with many, repeat many, interlinked articles including this piece of dodgy theological word games at: https://www.news.com.au/sport/sports-life/two-replaced-words-crippled-israel-folaus-bible-verse-defence/news-story/5d99538df841c0a98212bf1a186e3f65

    With regards to the above article, surely the entire verse of Corinthians 6: 9-10 could be read as a ‘warning’ and the phrase “nor…will inherit the kingdom of God” effectively by default means ‘hell’.

    If there is such concern about legal expenses money being diverted away from sick children, then Rugby Australia should re-instate Folau and then donate its legal expenses money saved.
    Now that idea may be worth a change.org petition.

  • “As a company, we are absolutely committed to the fight for equality for LGBTIQ+ people and fostering an environment of inclusivity. While we welcome GoFundMes engaging in diverse civil debate, we do not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion.”

    Except the promotion of discrimination or exclusion against Bible-believing Christians!!!

    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/folau-gofundme-appeal-shut-down-by-crowdfunding-site-20190624-p520nh.html

  • To paraphrase the German pastor and Holocaust survivor Martin Niemoller:

    In Australia they came first for Archbishop Julian Porteous, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a cleric.
    Then they came for Bernard Gaynor, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Catholic.
    Then they came for Margaret Court, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a tennis player.
    Then they came for Lyle Shelton, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a lobbyist.
    Then they came for Israel Folau, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a footballer.
    Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.

  • Not only are they closing his GoFundMe page down, they are refunding all the donations! How dare they! This is money given voluntarily for a particular cause. They are denying the donors the right to give to something they believe in, just because the managers of the website either disagree with the cause, or are too afraid to continue because of the PC backlash. Satan is truly alive and thriving .

  • The upcoming court case will be:

    Rugby Australia v God

  • Belief
    Citizens in a civil society should have freedom of thought, belief and religion. In a civil society, if you disagree with a position, the appropriate response is to ignore it or to debate that position.

    Actions
    However in our easily-offended society, responses to a belief, now include, physical actions such as litigation, legislation, sanctions and banning. Even a requirement to bake a gay wedding cake is an example of this new orthodoxy. As an aside, the claim that, ‘homophobia’ is the primary reason for the high level of gay-suicide, is debatable. Refer:
    https://www.conservapedia.com/Homosexuality_and_health

    Belief
    Again in a civil society, Muslims should be free to believe whatever they believe. Again, in a civil society, if you disagree with a position, the appropriate response is to ignore it or to debate that position.

    Actions
    However, if an Islamic belief system generates physical actions against others – such as violence, terrorism, FGM, society-sharia or society-halal, these are completely different situations. There is absolutely no excuse for violence against Muslims.

    Jordan Peterson says, “I regard free speech as a prerequisite to a civilized society, because freedom of speech means that you can have combat with words”.

  • Australian churches have to-date have remained relatively quiet on the Folau matter.

    I put forward the following motion:

    * that Australia’s large and financial Christian denominations get behind Israel Folau’s commitment to God’s Word and as evidence of that support, provide $3million dollars for his court case.

  • Dear Bill, it would appear the head of Quantas knew exactly what would happen when said – you will not be able to fly , you will not be able to bank ………
    Our prayers are most urgently needed for all those in this battle for freedom
    Mark Bryant

  • Dear Bill, I expect the next move from the one worlders is to take away our cash. Once they do that Joyce will be correct : True followers of ‘the way’ will not be able to bank. I wonder what mark will come next?
    Mark Bryant

  • I looked up he website for GoFundMe alternatives, Bill, and none of them would be suitable. Fundly is the only general one, and it is run out of San Francisco. Don’t think a pro Folau page would last long there! All the others are very specific in there audience, including one to fund sports people for equipment, transportation costs etc. Maybe he could try that!! (Joking,of course).

  • I went to the go fund me site. I can’t even find the campaign to support him. There are so many anti Israel funds started by LGBT groups and just plain idiots. What is the name of the go fund me? Your link just delivers me to the page. I scrolled through and couldn’t find a legitimate one. I really feel the lunacy i ramping up from the past 3 weeks. It’s frightening. LGBTQ have become massive bullies and enjoy hatred towards straight people.

  • Thanks Jilly. You can’t find it because GoFundMe has pulled it! How very tolerant and inclusive of them! See here for details:

    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2019/06/24/folau-the-left-and-double-standards/

  • The ACL has now set up a funding page for Izzy Folau: https://www.acl.org.au/donate_izzy

  • And ACL has already raised over $500,000! Praise the Lord! Let’s all double our original contributions!

  • Thanks guys. See my newest piece on this, including the new funding campaign for Folau:

    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2019/06/25/folau-faith-freedom-and-fake-friends/

  • totally support Israel Folau, he is speaking out of love for people just like the Christ would. but as we saw they crucified the Christ. I think all Christians should boycott Australian Rugby, Qantas. lets look at this, it is all about marketing with these two (Rugby Australia and Qantas, not about love for people, or faith etc.

  • The “progressive” christians will say that the verses in the Bible which speak negatively about homosexuality actually mean something else, see http://southyarrabaptist.church/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/SameSexMarriage.pdf

    So why the fuss about the verses Israel Folau quoted? They’re not speaking about homosexuality.

    The progressive chistians should be ringing Rugby Australia telling them its all been a big misunderstanding.

  • Hi all,

    I wonder what would have happened if Israel would have used the relevant scripture verse reference?
    I’m glad he didn’t, but often we gladly mouth off scriptures, verbatim or power phrase them, and perhaps open the proverbial Pandora box of the world…
    I’m open to being corrected(:

    Cheers & blessings

    Eric Hansen

  • Must watch and share – the Israel Folau and Alan Jones interview:

    https://www.skynews.com.au/details/_6052884328001

  • Hi Bill, maybe we, none-LGBTYQRZXYYY…should start looking for alternative support, to openly anti-Christian-operations like ANZ & Qantas and others, for our next financial/travel involvements?

    After all, these companies are supporting and advocating corporate warfare, on behalf of less than 1% of Australians!

    Cheers & blessings

    Eric Hansen

    Keep up the great work…

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