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Elizabeth

Israel Folau - fundamentalism in sports

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Elizabeth

Hi, I'm new here so I'm not sure if this is the right thing to do, but has anyone been following the Israel Folau story. Basically an Australian professional rugby player has had his contract terminated (probably - there's still an ongoing hearing) over something he put on Twitter. Most of the anger has been because it's homophobic, but as you can see it's practically fundie bingo.

Spoiler

 

download.jpeg.ba9fea230c7c2f2cba2754b74f75ec1a.jpeg

He's refused to take it down and says he posted it because he had a message from God. He claims that having been effectively sacked he "lives for God now" and said this to his church:

"There have been many opportunities to potentially make the situation a little bit easier," said the fundamentalist Christian.

"I could go back and play the game, get everything back to the way it used to be.

"The way Satan works is he offers you stuff that could look good to the eye and makes you feel comfortable, and if you go down that path all the worries and troubles will go away.

"It is always the will of God that comes first."

 

Here's the article I got that quote from https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/48251832

And a couple of others https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/god-spoke-to-me-folau-s-tribunal-explanation-revealed-20190512-p51mj2.html

 

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/apr/14/israel-folau-ready-to-give-up-rugby-union-australia

(Hopefully the links will work)

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infooverload
Posted (edited)

How long till his story becomes the next Christian movie.
 

Edited by Destiny
Removed signature.
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JermajestyDuggar

He obviously made his choice. And he chose to not play anymore. Is he not very good anyway? I could see someone doing something like this if they knew their playing days are mostly over anyway. 

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Elizabeth

No he's really good. The Aussie team is almost built round him, he was their best hope for the World Cup which is coming up in a few months.

Although loads of people are claiming he was always over rated and they never liked him anyway now this has come out.

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Glasgowghirl

As someone from Scotland I can tell you mixing religion and sport is not a good idea. 

He was warned before not to make offensive comments and knew that he would be sacked if he did, he has ruined his own career because he couldn't keep his hateful views to himself.

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Elizabeth

I get it, I'm English so it's not as much of a thing as it is in Scotland, but Celtic/Rangers still looms pretty large. It's not over yet but I'm glad he's not being allowed to get away with claiming persecution or freedom of speech like his supporters are.

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Glasgowghirl
53 minutes ago, Elizabeth said:

I get it, I'm English so it's not as much of a thing as it is in Scotland, but Celtic/Rangers still looms pretty large. It's not over yet but I'm glad he's not being allowed to get away with claiming persecution or freedom of speech like his supporters are.

Don't get me wrong it isn't always bad here yesterday both teams played eachother and no trouble happened as far as I'm aware, the league was already won by Celtic the week before and the result didn't mean much but last time a fights happened in the city centre and a man was left fighting for his life.

Nothing against people being religious but for him to post things condemning people and probably a large section of his team's fans is incredibly stupid. 

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Mrs Ms

He posted a similar dumb-arse  remark almost a year ago and got a lot of grief from the public then. It took the officials a bit too long to condemn his original comment and they copped a lot of flak for it . If they don’t send a clear message this time in a timely manner it’ll be even worse for rugby Australia (and New Zealand)

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Syriana

He's a huge loss to the Australian national team, an incredibly talented player who appears to have sunk his career.

That post was inflammatory at best, idiotic is more accurate.  Holding conservative views is one thing - and however distasteful many people find those views, people should and do have a right to hold them - but when you're in the public eye you have a duty to act sensibly.  There are many ways he could have acknowledged his values without being judgemental and hateful (both of which go against the teachings of Christ).

 

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Aine

As a life long rugby and rugby league fan, I think that Israel Folau is one of the most talented athletes to play either code, let alone both.

That being said, you can hold those views, you can say that you don't agree with same-sex marriage due to your religion or you can say that your personal belief is that only faith that Jesus Christ is the son of God and following Biblical teachings will bring salvation (because millions of Christians worldwide believe that) but you can believe all those things and realize that not everyone agrees and they also have the right to live their life according to their beliefs. The issue with his posts, in my opinion, is that people who publicly spew hatred and that only their belief is true and worthy (even if many people think that privately) fuel the actual hateful behavior directed against people who don't fit the heterosexual Judeo-Christian norm. Same-sex attracted teens and even children who fit the 'stereotype' of a homosexual kill themselves or attempt to every day. In my experience as someone who grew up in Australia, the whole 'Aussie bloke' culture of toxic masculinity (included in there is footy playing) drives a lot of the bullying so football players of all codes have a platform to really make some change in that arena.

I'm glad Rugby Australia are standing up to Folau's posts. It is purposely inflammatory, arrogant, and causes harm. Also...having atheists and homosexuals in the same list as pedophiles is 🤮 . So let's say if I repent as an atheist one day? And then a lifelong pedophile who molests a boatload of children does too? I'm going to the same place as them? I don't want any part in that 'heaven'. Nope. Nada.

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Aine

Also, I'm so sick of people saying that this infringes on freedom of speech or freedom of religion. The government is not punishing him for his speech, he is free to say what he wants, and the government is not persecuting him for his religion. I feel like I need to say this way too often (at least in my head) to Christians exclusively- freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences and freedom of religion does not mean spewing your beliefs everywhere all the time. 

My current clinical placement is with an organization that has strong Christian roots and while they have a non-discriminatory hiring policy, they are essentially a Christian organization even if it isn't always in my face. Also, the part of the US that I live in is almost entirely practicing Christians. If I was doing therapy or interacting with patients and actively telling them that their beliefs are wrong or that I think logic and science indicates there isn't some omnipotent and omnipresent god listening to all of their prayers, I'd have my ass hauled into my bosses office so damn fast. I would upset my patients. I would not be doing anyone any good except maybe fulfilling my own need to be 'right'? To feel 'superior'? I'd get a warning at first, I think. But if I carried on, I'd be fired. It's not in my job description to do that. It is in my job description to listen to feedback from my supervisors so I'd be out after the warning. Because words have consequences, especially when they aren't asked for.

(To be clear, I don't feel 'superior' or like I'm 'more correct' for my beliefs. I have prayed with patients before when they have asked me to and it was appropriate. I am yet to have a patient directly ask me if I believe and I don't think I would lie to them if asked.)

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Womble

I just keep thinking how much good he could have done with is 4million dollar salary if he had put it towards good causes, rather than just throwing it away like this.

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dramallama

I mean, strictly from an effectiveness standpoint - as an atheist, telling me I'm going to hell means....uh, nothing?  I don't believe in hell, dumbass.  That's like telling me a giant purple rhino that lives in my basement is going to eat me if I don't take my vitamins today.  I guess that would be scary if I believed in a giant purple rhino living in my basement but I don't, so....

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adidas

He just officially got the sack. 

The problem here is that it is a lie for him to claim religious freedom, free speech or whatever he decides to use to try to justify what he said. The simple fact is that before he joined the team, he signed a code of conduct (legal document) saying he wouldn’t post anything discriminatory. He broke his code of conduct so he got the sack. It’s not that hard to understand. I have signed a code of conduct too and I would expect my employment to be terminated if I broke it, got a warning then deliberately broke it again as Folau did.

This is not about religion. It is about him choosing to break his contact. He has been disciplined fairly.

https://www.news.com.au/sport/rugby/australia-reacts-to-official-israel-folau-sacking/news-story/28e7e7c01434ef63a388486de223ffee

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Irishy
Posted (edited)

Hats off to Australia Rugby for their stance. My teenage son is a talented full-back and he’s also gay. I am overjoyed that he is seeing the message that views like this won’t be tolerated in the rugby world.

And it’s not free speech. It’s hate speech. Would anyone say he’s entitled to his views if we removed the word ‘homosexuals’ and inserted ‘women’? Or any minority you like. Fuck that.

Edited by Irishy

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Elizabeth

I think part of it is that as a celebrity he's seen as representing the organisation he works for. It's not just one person saying hateful things, it reflects on the whole organisation and the whole sport.

On 5/16/2019 at 7:05 PM, dramallama said:

I mean, strictly from an effectiveness standpoint - as an atheist, telling me I'm going to hell means....uh, nothing?  I don't believe in hell, dumbass.  That's like telling me a giant purple rhino that lives in my basement is going to eat me if I don't take my vitamins today.  I guess that would be scary if I believed in a giant purple rhino living in my basement but I don't, so....

I agree with you, but he does believe it. So from his viewpoint he really is condemning people to 'eternal damnation' or whatever. Basically he's trying to hurt people, even if he doesn't succeed.

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Ozlsn

So in what can only be described as a stunningly tone deaf move Folau has opened a gofundme for $A3 million to pay for his legal case against Rugby Australia. Of course he has donations,  because basically some people (*cough* Australian Christian Lobby *cough* Fred Nile *cough* Hillsong *cough*) are arseholes. (Some others are giving the minimum so they can leave messages of... not support.

So far it's been reported that he owns $7 million worth of property, and when even the Murdoch press are basically calling you out on your "fight of my life" bull then you have to wonder if losing a $4 million contract in order to be a moralistic dickhead was worth it.

This opinion piece titled "five words that show why Israel Folau is clueless" is my favourite so far - so Australian Christian Lobby, want to get off your high horse and support some of the families with terminally ill members with associated costs? Like, you know, Jesus would have been more likely to do?

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Depressed
The Mother Dust
Posted (edited)
On 5/13/2019 at 12:51 PM, Elizabeth said:

Hi, I'm new here so I'm not sure if this is the right thing to do, but has anyone been following the Israel Folau story. Basically an Australian professional rugby player has had his contract terminated (probably - there's still an ongoing hearing) over something he put on Twitter. Most of the anger has been because it's homophobic, but as you can see it's practically fundie bingo.

  Hide contents

 

download.jpeg.ba9fea230c7c2f2cba2754b74f75ec1a.jpeg

 

He would definitely think that I tick four of the things on that list 🤣 Side note, very interesting that "murderer" isn't on that list.  Not a sin anymore??  awesome!  *starts making sinister plans*

Edited by The Mother Dust

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Howl
Posted (edited)
On 5/14/2019 at 6:41 PM, Aine said:

Also, I'm so sick of people saying that this infringes on freedom of speech or freedom of religion. The government is not punishing him for his speech, he is free to say what he wants, and the government is not persecuting him for his religion. I feel like I need to say this way too often (at least in my head) to Christians exclusively- freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences and freedom of religion does not mean spewing your beliefs everywhere all the time. 

I'm assuming he's suffering repercussions because he's gone against the professional guidelines laid out by the governing body of his sport, which is an entirely different issue from 1st Amendment rights. 

However, you are correct that religious fundamentalists are incapable of making this distinction.   My thinking is this is at least partly because there are conservative judges who seem to cater to the Christian Persecution Complex narrative.  Consider this past week's Supreme Court decision on the Bladensburg Peace Cross case, discussed in this NPR article

Supreme Court: Cross Can Stand On Public Land In Separation Of Church And State Case

Edited by Howl

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Happy
FluffySnowball

Some news on the matter:

http://nzh.tw/12243362

His GoFundMe has been taken down... 

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Dizzy
nelliebelle1197
8 hours ago, Howl said:

I'm assuming he's suffering repercussions because he's gone against the professional guidelines laid out by the governing body of his sport, which is an entirely different issue from 1st Amendment rights. 

However, you are correct that religious fundamentalists are incapable of making this distinction.   My thinking is this is at least partly because there are conservative judges who seem to cater to the Christian Persecution Complex narrative.  Consider this past week's Supreme Court decision on the Bladensburg Peace Cross case, discussed in this NPR article

Supreme Court: Cross Can Stand On Public Land In Separation Of Church And State Case

The first amendment does not apply in Australia.

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Howl
Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, nelliebelle1197 said:

The first amendment does not apply in Australia.

I realized I conflated the US and Australia.  

Does Australia emphasize separation of church and state?

Does Australia have something similar to the US First Amendment?

On the US side of things, I'd put American basketball player Steph Curry out there as an example of a devout Christian athlete who doesn't post fundamentalist hate porn on social medial. 

Edited by Howl

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Mrs Ms

Some distantly related idiot of mine is howling on fb about “freedom is gone!!11!! THEY are telling us how we can spend our money!!11!!” 

Once my eyes rolled back to their proper position, I tried to explain that he has a problem sticking to conditions he agreed to. First his contract and now his gofundme plea were canceled for breach of terms. He isn’t persecuted, he can’t stick to rules 🙄

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Glasgowghirl

Glasgow football team Partick Thistle is supporting Pride by putting a rainbow stripe on the collar and sides of their away kit, proceeds from the sales are also going to a pride charity. I mentioned this on the Jill Rod thread but more appropriate here.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/48679183

I take it Israel Falou will not be wanting the kit. I support one their Glasgow rivals and don't really wear sports wear so won't be buying it myself but I am going to donate to the charity they are donating too. Hope other teams get on board.

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adidas
8 hours ago, Howl said:

I realized I conflated the US and Australia.  

Does Australia emphasize separation of church and state?

Does Australia have something similar to the US First Amendment?

On the US side of things, I'd put American basketball player Steph Curry out there as an example of a devout Christian athlete who doesn't post fundamentalist hate porn on social medial. 

We don’t have anything similar to your first amendment - the short answer to whether we have the right to free speech is no. The long answer is that it is implied, but we do not have the right to offend others based on their age, gender, race etc. 

https://boilingfrog.com.au/australians-right-free-speech/

If you click down to Oceania there is more info at the wiki page and it’s pretty accurate. 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech_by_country

Regarding church and state, the wording in our constitution is taken from the US constitution, but it is implemented differently. The ‘washminster’ system is of course going to be swayed by our culture. 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_church_and_state_in_Australia

https://www.abc.net.au/religion/australias-fading-separation-between-church-and-state/10101448

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