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Israel Folau refuses to back down, tells Rugby Australia he’s prepared to quit code

(Headline - Weekend Australian - 13 April 2018)

 

Israel Folau is a fundamentalist Christian Rugby League footballer who was asked on Instagram: "what was God's plan for gay people??".  He replied: "Hell... Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God".

As it happens he's not Robinson Crusoe in this belief. It's there in black and white in the Old Testament (the Torah) and thus found its way into the Koran. And for Christians it's repeated in the New Testament.

While it's unlikely anybody would take religious advise from a Rugby League footballer, and less than 40% of Australians opposed same sex marriage in the recent plebiscite so it's evident that most Australians think his views are nonsense, failure by the League to discipline him has put such material things as sponsorship at risk.

But surely Israel's just as entitled to express his religious beliefs as either of the Christian Archbishops of Sydney, the Rabbi of The Great Synagogue or the Mufti of the Lakemba Mosque.

Australia lacks a Bill of Rights. Yet one of the few fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution of Australia is religious freedom: The Commonwealth of Australia, and thus by agreement the member States, are precluded from making laws prohibiting the free exercise of any religion.

As a person who voluntarily became an Australian Citizen back in 1976 I strongly endorse this (Section 116) and accept that if I want my beliefs to be tolerated then there is a quid pro quo - I must allow others to hold and express their religious views - no matter how silly they seem to me.

So if we Australians are to enjoy our own religious freedom we must allow Israel to freely express his, provided he's not advocating harm to others or breaking the law in some other way.

Even people who believe in Hell could not possibly construe his assertion as advocating harm, unless they think he can influence God come Judgement Day - whenever that might be.

Personally, I have no belief in a person's ability to continue to think, or to experience anything, in any meaningful way, after death - so there can be no post-mortem Heaven or Hell. But I don't mind hearing what others believe and I'm prepared to stand-up for Israel's right say what he believes.

Israel's defence that he was simply responding to a question from a fan is as transparent as a 'Dorothy Dixer' asked by a fellow party member in Parliament.   But that's not the point he's just as constitutionally entitled to express his beliefs without such 'framing'.

For more on the beliefs of Fundamentalist Christians read about ex US President Jimmy Carter's change of heart... 

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On Thu, May 10, 2018, at 5:04 PM, peter mckie wrote:
As the security code didn't show/refresh, I send my comment direct - for you to append.

Hi Richard, little brother Peter here,
Much as I agree with the right to believe what you want, flat earth, chemtrails, vaccines cause whatever, coffee colonics, auras, crystals, even Deities, in the religious lexicon threatening "Hell" on another IS wishing them harm. In fact; torture for eternity. It's hate speech. Same as the Mufti that called for uncovered women to be raped. 
Point being the "fundamentalists" don't read their own books. Had they, they would see Leviticus was just a (broad-scope) hateful prick, King David was gay, Jesus was a feminist, LGBT tolerant socialist, and Paul (the antichrist) wrote the 'hate' back in as a marketing exercise to raise appeal among the Roman patriarchy.
Bottom line is all Abrahamic religions are "fundamentally" "advocating" harm to others. 
Perhaps next time, instead of hate speech on social media, Israel should read Matthew 6.5.
Just sayin'  


Nice to hear from you 
The Security Code on my site is ineffective at the moment due to (Russian?) hackers - I had to turn it off.
I'll append your comment manually.  


You could be right regarding hate speech.  I suppose I'm so used to being told I'll go to hell in jest that I assume that everyone thinks it's a joke.  But I'm still inclined to regard freedom of expression, such as yours, as having a higher social and intellectual debating value than the cost of a few noses out of joint.

Big Brother

 

 

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Travel

Denmark

 

 

  

 

 

In the seventies I spent some time travelling around Denmark visiting geographically diverse relatives but in a couple of days there was no time to repeat that, so this was to be a quick trip to two places that I remembered as standing out in 1970's: Copenhagen and Roskilde.

An increasing number of Danes are my progressively distant cousins by virtue of my great aunt marrying a Dane, thus contributing my mother's grandparent's DNA to the extended family in Denmark.  As a result, these Danes are my children's cousins too.

Denmark is a relatively small but wealthy country in which people share a common language and thus similar values, like an enthusiasm for subsidising wind power and shunning nuclear energy, except as an import from Germany, Sweden and France. 

They also like all things cultural and historical and to judge by the museums and cultural activities many take pride in the Danish Vikings who were amongst those who contributed to my aforementioned DNA, way back.  My Danish great uncle liked to listen to Geordies on the buses in Newcastle speaking Tyneside, as he discovered many words in common with Danish thanks to those Danes who had settled in the Tyne valley.

Nevertheless, compared to Australia or the US or even many other European countries, Denmark is remarkably monocultural. A social scientist I listened to last year made the point that the sense of community, that a single language and culture confers, creates a sense of extended family.  This allows the Scandinavian countries to maintain very generous social welfare, supported by some of the highest tax rates in the world, yet to be sufficiently productive and hence consumptive per capita, to maintain among the highest material standards of living in the world. 

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Fiction, Recollections & News

Cars, Radios, TV and other Pastimes

 

 

I grew up in semi-rural Thornleigh on the outskirts of Sydney.  I went to the local Primary School and later the Boys' High School at Normanhurst; followed by the University of New South Wales.  

As kids we, like many of my friends, were encouraged to make things and try things out.  My brother Peter liked to build forts and tree houses; dig giant holes; and play with old compressors and other dangerous motorised devices like model aircraft engines and lawnmowers; until his car came along.

 

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Opinions and Philosophy

The reputation of nuclear power

 

 

One night of at the end of March in 1979 we went to a party in Queens.  Brenda, my first wife, is an artist and was painting and studying in New York.  Our friends included many of the younger artists working in New York at the time.  That day it had just been announced that there was a possible meltdown at a nuclear reactor at a place called a Three Mile Island , near Harrisburg Pennsylvania. 

I was amazed that some people at the party were excitedly imagining that the scenario in the just released film ‘The China Syndrome’  was about to be realised; and thousands of people would be killed. 

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