The Australian Christian Lobby is currently funding a concerted media effort to force the lifting of a ban, imposed by the three major national football codes (Australian Rugby League, the Australian Rugby Union, and Australian Football League, aka Aussie Rules) on the belligerent fundamentalist, Tongan Christian football star, Israel Folau, who has repeatedly, publically and most scathingly denounced the LGBT and atheist communities with the unmitigated fire and brimstone condemnations and threats of eternal torture found in the Old Testament which he insists is the true expression of his forgiving god’s love.
Folau is the son of the founder of a radical fundamentalist church in Sydney at which he himself and his family preach. His hateful public diatribes opposes the combined League’s entrenched policy of social equality and inclusion and in any case infringed the terms of his contract with the Australian Football League. The Rugby League and Rugby Union concurred and rejected Folau’s expected application to join their codes.
The ACL blithely believes that because such Bronze Age intolerance is condoned in the Bible, it is within Folau’s rights to exploit his sporting celebrity status to expound his religious intolerance because it is a fundamental part of his freedom of expression and religious rights as a Christian.
No politician, as far as I am aware, has offered any support or criticism of Folau, most likely out of concern for a backlash from either the conservatively religious community or the even greater more gargantuan power of the sporting industry. Prime Minister Morrison deflects the issue if confronted, by flaccidly re-asserting his support for his favoured Rugby League team.
Folau is not as popular in the grandstand or on the field as either pollies or theists imagine. It is assumed his intolerant stand is the cause of his fall from popularity. Many current players and fans in all three national codes, asked to comment on proceedings have expressed flat-out opposition to his joining their beloved codes. One player suggesting Folau should just “Fcuk the fcuk off.”
The ACL cares less about sport and more about its own political relevance, which appears to be waning, but their new Managing Director Martin Iles (note the annagram) is pushing Folau’s position as he were pushing the validity of the Resurrection itself and as a professional lawyer, I imagine he must be enjoying notoriety as a crusader of the faithful. The ACL also faces a great deal of opposition from established churches as being too intrusively political and for not reflecting true Christian doctrine and aspirations.
Folau currently plays football in a much less lucrative minor state competition in Queensland, but seems keen to return to fame and fortune football with the hopes of representing Australia rather than remain a theological martyr.
All of this make me proud of this larrikin country as our constitution holds firm against the rantings from an overly entitled Lilliputian religious/political organisation. They seem to underestimate the real power in all this hoo haa, the nation’s formidable secular army of average yobbo sports fans. Oi! Oi! Oi!
Whats even nicer is that not many of them would know the import of section 116.
- Section 116 of the Australian Constitution was ‘cut and pasted’ almost word for word from the US 1st Amendment, cleverly leaving out any specific rights to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.