In defence of Israel Folau

Wallabies playmaker Israel Folau could be refused entry to New Zealand due to alleged homophobic comments he made on social media.

I have watched the Israel Folau storm in a teacup develop and it has now reached peak hysteria. There are two issues that concern me about the entire manufactured controversy.

Firstly he may have been set up. He did not volunteer the comment, he was asked a specific question in order to get a response from him. It smacks to me of an activist with ill intent setting him up.

It would not be the first time that an LGTBZQKA alphabet soup activist has used someone to promote their cause. Two examples that spring to mind are firstly the Lesbian couple who asked Christian bakers in America to bake them a Wedding cake and secondly the mother in Australia who took her daughter to a men’s barber and demanded that he cut her hair. In both cases, the business was dragged through the court system and financially damaged just so the activists could gain media attention.

In the case of Israel Folau, he has been used by every Tom, Dick and Harry in the media now as a stalking horse and has been strung up as a convenient target for people to throw hateful darts at. Here are some of the local headlines so far and that is without even looking at the fuss being made outside of New Zealand.

On Stuff, one hysterical headline claimed that  “Israel Folau’s comments can kill.”
The Herald claimed that his comments were “harmful” and one headline said that  “Israel Folau’s views disgust me”

On One News Nigel Owens challenged Israel Folau to “Judge them on the content of their character.” and Kim Baker Wilson wrote an emotionally charged piece titled “Dear Israel Folau: I’ve already been to hell”

Jamie Wall at Radio NZ dragged Rugby Australia into the melee and said that they “can’t hide from hypocrisy.”

The second issue about the controversy is how the actual content of the comment has been described. It has been called anti-gay and homophobic but Folau essentially repeated a common religious belief that many Christian churches have about sin. That belief is that sinners will go to hell unless they repent of their sins and turn to God. Obviously, if you are a gay person you will not like the idea that some people consider gay sex to be a sin but like it or not homosexuality is still considered to be a sin by many Christian churches.

Considering something to be a sin does not mean any sinister intent as Christianity teaches to hate the sin but to love the sinner. Whether or not you agree that gay sex is a sin, Folau was not condemning gay people or wishing harm on them or saying that they have less value than anyone else. We are all sinners after all and the whole idea of Christianity is that sinners can be forgiven.

Islam, on the other hand, wants followers to actually punish or kill homosexuals yet no one is wanting Kiwi sportsman Sonny Bill Williams to stop playing sport because of the ideology he follows. Imagine if someone set him up by asking him what Muhammad says should be done to gay men?


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