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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

Hong Kong and Shenzhen China

 

 

 

 

 

Following our Japan trip in May 2017 we all returned to Hong Kong, after which Craig and Sonia headed home and Wendy and I headed to Shenzhen in China. 

I have mentioned both these locations as a result of previous travels.  They form what is effectively a single conurbation divided by the Hong Kong/Mainland border and this line also divides the population economically and in terms of population density.

These days there is a great deal of two way traffic between the two.  It's very easy if one has the appropriate passes; and just a little less so for foreign tourists like us.  Australians don't need a visa to Hong Kong but do need one to go into China unless flying through and stopping at certain locations for less than 72 hours.  Getting a visa requires a visit to the Chinese consulate at home or sitting around in a reception room on the Hong Kong side of the border, for about an hour in a ticket-queue, waiting for a (less expensive) temporary visa to be issued.

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How I miss Rio.  Rio de Janeiro the most stunningly picturesque city on Earth with its dark green mountains and generous bays, embelezado with broad white, sandy beaches.  Rio forever in my heart.   Rio my a minha pátria, my homeland, where I spent the most wonderful days of my life with linda, linda mãe, my beautiful, beautiful mother. Clambering up Corcovado Mountain together, to our favela amongst the trees.

Thinking back, I realise that she was not much older than I was, maybe fifteen years.  Who knows?

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Climate Change - a Myth?

 

 

Recently, an increasing number of friends and acquaintances has told me that Climate Change is a myth.  

Obviously they are talking about 'Anthropogenic Global Warming', not disclaiming actual changes to the climate.  

We don't need climate scientists to tell us that the climate changes. Our own experience is sufficient to be quite sure of that. 

During my lifetime the climate has been anything but constant.  Else what is drought relief about?  And the ski seasons have definitely been variable. 

In the longer term we all have to rely on others. For example on scientists who have themselves examined ice cores or tree rings or sea level records or other physical evidence that can be dated. 

So I'm prepared to believe the scientists who have determined sea levels showing that fourteen or fifteen thousand years ago a hypothetical Australian could walk from Tasmania to New Guinea or an Irishman all the way to Java.

 

Changing sea levels during the past 20,000 years
 Source Wikipedia: Early Human Migration & Sea Level change

 

This rise has not stopped.  During my lifetime the average sea level in Sydney Harbour has risen by nearly a foot, in keeping with long term trends.  More water in the Harbour on average obviously has temperature and therefore microclimate implications.  There are thousands of well documented examples of changes that have climate impacts.

But like the tides there is great variability that masks the underlying trends.   For example 2014 was a record warm year in Sydney.  But in mid 2015 we are going through the longest cold spell in 45 years.  It is snowing in Queensland!

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