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Questions about the Israel Folau Settlement

Dec 4, 2019

What are we to make of the Israel Folau and Rugby Australia settlement?

It appears that they have kissed and made up – sort of. As most folks would have heard by now, the long-running stand-off between star rugby player Israel Folau and Rugby Australia has seemingly come to an end – with a confidential settlement just being reached.

At this point the details are all rather sparse The most that media reports have said was that the settlement has occurred. One report for example put it this way:

Rugby Australia and Israel Folau have both issued an apology after a confidential settlement was reached. In a joint statement issued on Wednesday, the parties said they did not intend to cause harm to each other. “Rugby Australia and Mr Folau wish each other well for the future.”

The statement said Mr Folau wanted “all Australians to know that he does not condone discrimination of any kind against any person on the grounds of their sexuality and that he shares Rugby Australia’s commitment to inclusiveness and diversity.”

The confidential settlement comes after Folau was sacked following social media posts that said homosexuals, adulterers, fornicators and drunkards were going to hell. The statement said RA “do not in any way agree with the content of the social media post. Inclusiveness is one of rugby’s core values and it welcomes all people to the game, including all members of the LGBTI community.”

Folau was seeking $14 million and an apology in compensation, according to court documents, which included an assessment the Wallabies would have performed better at this year’s World Cup had he been in the team and that he might have been named captain. www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/rugby-union/israel-folau-rugby-australia-reach-settlement/news-story/2935ab2395fcbd35c9b1a9c527f34c82

But because it is a confidential settlement, with both sides saying there will be no further comments, there is a whole lot more that we don’t know than we do know. So we are left in the dark here it seems – at least for now. Whether any more details will emerge in the near future remains to be seen.

In the meantime plenty of questions remain unanswered. One biggie is this: Does Izzy get to play again? Or is he still out of the game? Will RA take him back? And if so, under what conditions? And will they go after him again for any future transgressions?

And while we may not ever know this it seems, but what if he got, say, a $7 million payout? Is that a win for him? But what if he still can’t play? Is it a win then? Or has RA in fact won? RA chief executive Raelene Castle has said their stance was and is correct. As another report states:

Castle said the body had received many messages of support. “It is these messages from members of our community and the wider sports community that leaves us in no doubt that we are doing what’s right,” she said outside court. “Israel’s commentary subsequent to his termination have only reinforced this belief.” www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/rugby-australia-doing-what-s-right-in-defending-folau-lawsuit-castle-20191202-p53fxq.html

So it seems that at least in terms of the PR battles, Castle and RA seem to think that they have won. They are not backing down from their pro-homosexual subserviency. Yes, a settlement is usually a form of compromise, but who compromised the most here? Izzy has now talked about it being wrong to discriminate.

But what does that mean? Does that mean one can no longer share biblical truth because it might offend someone? Or that one must now be forced to accept homosexuals in Christian businesses so as not to discriminate? It seems in the few words spoken here, Izzy may have conceded more ground than RA.

Other, more broad, questions about religious freedom and the like also arise here. One important one is this: Does it take heaps of money to get such apologies and to see such settlements come about? It is one thing if you happen to be wealthy, and have some wealthy and influential backers arguing your case for you.

But what about the little guy? What about those with no or very little resources of their own? Simply paying for legal help can mean an ordinary Joe such as myself would have to mortgage or sell the family home. Most of us just could not have gone as far with something like this as Izzy did.

And what are the motivations of Rugby Australia? I am certain we can quickly rule out any Christian concerns about love and forgiveness here. Spiritual considerations like that certainly did not lead to the “apology” by RA. It was the threat of a $14 million lawsuit hanging over their heads that finally seems to have gotten their attention!

Such is the state of play nowadays. Far too many corporate giants – and others – have fully bought the entire package of political correctness, woke politics, and secular left agendas. They will go after anyone who dares to rock the boat, think independently, and refuse to bow the knee.

Therefore most ordinary folks will just have to suffer. They will not have the clout, the resources, the backing, and the publicity that someone like Izzy has. And I happen to know of a number of such folks who are now under the hammer. Their stories are not public, but what they have gone through is very much like what Folau has experienced: simply stating their non-PC views in their own time on their own personal media pages.

For that they are being picked off one after another. Some are still in the midst of all this, seeking to fight back. Many others have just accepted their fate and tried to move on. But as I have written before, it will soon get worse for all of us who dare to remain faithful to Christ and to truth: billmuehlenberg.com/2019/12/03/warning-do-you-really-trust-god/

And we know that the activists will never stop in pursuing their causes. They will keep targeting anyone who does not get on board with their lifestyles and agendas. They will keep targeting folks like Folau. Indeed, just yesterday one homosexual activist and serial pest said he is going after Folau for “homophobia” and damages of $100,000: www.starobserver.com.au/news/national-news/folau-suffers-burns-in-dramatic-new-twist/190752

So this particular story is NOT over, nor are the culture wars. They will keep on going. It is possible more clarity about the settlement will emerge over the next few days, but until then, plenty of questions remain. I am not even sure if I can say at this point who was the winner here – if anyone.

Note: Folau has just issued a short video statement here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RPbOWqlA74&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0YkSC_DhBKb4AO9aa4Qgvmqa-ZZ_bzcKTtc8qlolsQbFybkYoK1DqQ_x0

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23 Responses to Questions about the Israel Folau Settlement

  • It seemed like a very fake apology to me.

  • it is a pity that the details of the settlement are not made public because we could have all learned how the enemies minions think and how genuine is the sorry.

  • Bill I read this sentence of yours: “just yesterday one homosexual activist and serial pest said he is going after Folau for “homophobia” and damages of $100,000:”and thought:”Oh no! Not Gary Burns!” What he has done to poor Bernard Gaynor is deplorable and he should never have been able to continue….does he do nothing else but litigate? Methinks he doth protest too much…maybe feeling his sin under all the bluster?
    Another point Bill…why should employers (like Rugby Australia) be held responsible for what employees do in their own time and away from their job? What right did Alan Joyce have to tell RA he would remove the sponsorships? They should have said: “He’s not on the field or in our advertising…he’s free to do whatever he wants”.

  • I notice
    a) RA did not take it to Court, so I suggest they figured or were advised that they would have lost on the unfair dismissal claim
    b) RA also apologised so it seems they overreached, probably in relation to pressuring Tonga through the International Rugby Federation

    I see that Izzy is so much of a gentleman that he didn’t use the Paul and Silas approach “come and get is out and escort us out of the city with an apology”

  • The report in The Australian makes it clear he will never play for Australia or any other Australian club/team. It’s not that he is necessarily banned from doing so, just no Australian club/team will recruit him.

    He is free to play elsewhere in the world and will most likely play in Japan or Europe.

    I imagine RA handed over a great deal of money in the settlement.

    Pity that it didn’t go to court…As indicated in my WA Jurist article on Employment Contracts and Folau, I’m pretty confident he would have won.
    https://walta.net.au/vol10/employment-contracts-and-israel-folau/

    Enshrining religious freedom laws in legislation is a bad idea. What we need are FREE SPEECH laws!

  • Keep standing, sharing Gods truth from His Holy Bible.

  • Hi Bill. The only way to have freedom of speech is to scrap the hideous 18c bill and deter serial liturgists from abusing this law to chase down and try to financially destroy anyone who exercises the right to express an opinion or biblical truth that they don’t agree with. The law as it stands accommodates those who believe they have been defamed or slandered. To try to make anyone deny the truth to agree with what is believed to be a lie is an abomination. Bless you. Another great article. Thank you. Cheryl Ciccotosto.

  • Yes quite right about 18c Cheryl.

  • The Australian Christian Lobby is reported to have raised $2.2 million to pay Folau’s legal expenses. What happens to the left-over money? Can it be used to pay legal expenses for other Christians such as Bernard Gaynor? Interesting times ahead.

  • Hmmm… while it’s great to see headlines like the Australians “Folau ‘vindicated’ after settlement, RA apology”, it was my understanding that Australians backed him because he was going to take a stand against such vilification for his beliefs. I do understand that donors are entitled to a pro-rata refund given the settlement, but it seems I misunderstood the reasoning behind the court action and request for support.

    As you say, it hasn’t really strengthened the fight for free speech or set a beachhead against the homosexual militia.

    And it seems Australia will have to continue waiting for a PM with a backbone who would scrap 18c.

  • 18c won’t be scrapped – Scott Morrison not into mea culpa.

  • Those who donated to a Folau initiated court case against RA had different reasons for supporting Folau in that practical way. I suggest that none of those reasons would have been adequately covered by a secret settlement agreement out of court. This was a very very public case.
    It will be of interest to many to see where the remainder of those specifically raised funds is directed, hopefully to others of lesser public profile facing identical court cases. ACL and Folau owe it to their respective supporters to handle this well!

  • Woe, woe and thrice woe. I thought the news was too good to be true. Any appeasing or accommodation of the LGBTs and their allies is doomed to end in tears. Any step of accommodation with the LGBTs does not end there, but their demanding to slice more meat off their victim. A wounded animal is always more dangerous than an animal that is not. Raelenes’s appetite for’ blood will have only been further inflamed by this ‘settlement’ and no doubt she will take it out on some lesser god in the pantheon of sporting gods, than Israel.

    David Skinner UK

  • If Israel and people like him are not free to play rugby or engage in any other financial activity within Australia then we are still seeing religious persecution entrenched within Australian society. A single settlement from someone who has the financial clout to facilitate the system does not mean the problems are anywhere near solved.

    We, as a nation, have to face the reality that there is no basic right to not be offended by what others say and believe. Unless society is completely homogeneous, as is attempted to be forced under socialism and enforced “politically correct” speech, then that is a concept that is obviously absurd and impossible. Basic freedom means we are not all just socialist automatons.

    The fact that there is something intrinsically wrong with homosexuality such that they react worse than other people to criticism and attempt to undermine other people’s rights to enforce their own, wrongful view, such as what Alan Joyce has done, is a function of what is wrong with homosexuality, not the criticism of it.

  • Good outcome. Have to wait and see the details and the responses from the gay side. Justice prevails.

  • Robert ACL has said a pro rata amount of the money will be returned. I myself am quite happy not to get any return and whatever is there be kept to be used to fight the war! The settlement being kept a secret is a great concern. Some things need to be exposed to the light! To me if Israel is not reinstated and free to play no strings attached and slotted back into to where he was then I still consider it a loss in the culture wars am not holding my breath over the new religious freedom laws either, often on the surface something may look great but the devil hides in the detail just like sin disguises itself as not sin. Error always comes riding on the back of truth just like deception appears to be everything but what it is!
    that the world we live in!

  • It’s cool comfort that RUA has settled with Izzy and I wish him all the best. But there is still the major issue remaining, that’s his freedom from vilification in place by the two rugby sporting bodies that deny him his right to play again and also denying the sporting public of witnessing this great sporting icon.
    So for Qantas, who shamefully dismantled Izzy’s character, this favorable decision for him casts a very dark cloud over the role of their executive ability to make the right decision. Even the wisdom of entering into the influencing of sporting bodies that they financially support.

  • A rather ambiguous conclusion. And of course, it may not quite be over yet.

    Meanwhile, I hate to go off-topic but I don’t know where to put this. As if Pakistan’s Christian community doesn’t have enough problems and enemies, now this:
    “Trafficking investigations into hundreds of Pakistani women and girls being sold as brides to Chinese men have reportedly ground to a halt because of government reluctance to harm ties with Beijing…Many of the women involved come from Pakistan’s impoverished and marginalised Christian community who are targeted by marriage brokers offering much-needed money.”
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/12/04/pakistan-halts-investigation-sale-629-brides-china-financial/

  • I agree you need a blanket free speech law of the law would only apply to religious speech it puts the government in the position of determining what is and isn’t religious speech. Next you’ll have the government determining doctrine. No government should be able to say what beliefs are and aren’t part of any given faith.

  • Andrew says – “Enshrining religious freedom laws in legislation is a bad idea. What we need are FREE SPEECH laws!” – I think Andrew has nailed it with a slight addition. We need “… freedom of belief …..” legislation. Even Qantas head AJ, has a belief system.

  • Hi Bill. It would be great to ‘harness the passion’ this event is generating and encourage everyone who values freedom of speech and faith, to petition our Prime Minister to scrap 18c. If he believes he has the support of the ‘quiet Australians’ who confounded the so-called ‘experts’ at the last federal election, he might act. One Nation Senator Mark Latham has addressed the issue of serial liturgist and homosexual activist Gary Burns using 18c to pursue Bernard Gaynor through the courts for years using 18c. Meanwhile it’s back on the knees, seeking GOD’s help in the secure knowledge that HE is our ever present help in time of trouble. Blessings, Cheryl Ciccotosto

  • The LGBT activists don’t seem all that bright, do they? I would never have heard of Israel Folau, or heard what he said, if it weren’t for them, so thanks guys! If what he said is so horrible, why do the media keep repeating it?

    It’s quite obvious the LGBT activists don’t believe in equality at all, unless they have redefined the word “equality” to mean superiority. It seems the fornicators, adulterers, drunkards and thieves didn’t mind having the Bible quoted from on social media; just the homosexuals, who apparently regard themselves as more equal than other people.

    If only Isreal Folau had sandpapered the ball during an international test match! He’d be welcomed back with open arms. Equality, anyone?

  • Cathie remember your animal farm “some are more equal than others”. Funny how it was the pigs that said that.

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