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Rugby Australia terminates Folau's contract after anti-gay comments on social media

18 Comments
By Dennis Passa

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So, the only protected group on Folau’s list are homosexuals?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

So, the only protected group on Folau’s list are homosexuals?

Given that he seems obsessed about what LGBT people get up to in private and what their rights should be, it's worthy of all this attention.

He's supposed to be a role model, not a bigot.

But what do you think, cla68, is it ok to demonise gay people?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Hmmm. One person thinks it's ok to demonise gay people, apparently.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I think a mountain is made out of this. But I do see both sides.

On one side ..... he is entitled to his beliefs, he shouldn't be forced into anything against his convictions. We should be encouraged to share, talk, debate our different views. After all, we will never agree on absolutely everything. And I am sure there are millions of people (rightly or wrongly) might agree with him (??)

But, given the social climate at the moment .... he should at least word his posts a little more carefully.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He wasn't fired for his beliefs. He was (rightfully) fired for his use of social media.

"As a code we have made it clear to Israel formally and repeatedly that any social media posts or commentary that is in any way disrespectful to people because of their sexuality will result in disciplinary action,"

...

Castle said that while Folau was entitled to his religious beliefs, "the way in which he has expressed these beliefs is inconsistent with the values of the sport.

Tell your story walking, Izzy.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

On one side ..... he is entitled to his beliefs, he shouldn't be forced into anything against his convictions. We should be encouraged to share, talk, debate our different views. After all, we will never agree on absolutely everything.

And that's fair enough. I have no pbm with him expressing different views, (including not approving of gay marriage, adultery etc) but it seems he hates ppl who don't share his beliefs/pov/lifestyle.

There's a massive diff between a 'look, i don't particularly approve of ...' & 'you guys will burn in hell unless...'

4 ( +4 / -0 )

He's supposed to be a role model, not a bigot.

Do you realize that the vast majority of the world agrees with him and you're in the minority? Almost the entire populations of Africa, the Middle East, South America, and the South Pacific believe exactly the same thing. Why do you think your minority view is the "right" or "moral" view for role models? I don't agree with him personally, but I recognize that I'm part of the minority. It's arrogant and foolish to assume that people who disagree with your minority opinion are wrong, especially on matters that you can't possibly prove one way or the other.

but it seems he hates ppl who don't share his beliefs/pov/lifestyle. There's a massive diff between a 'look, i don't particularly approve of ...' & 'you guys will burn in hell unless...'

Your first statement is far more objectionable than the second. The first is an unsolicited personal opinion expressing disapproval. The second statement is just a warning for people to avoid a specific danger which the speaker genuinely believes exists. Folau's post not only warned people of the possible danger, but he told people how they can avoid it. There was no subjective judgement or personal disapproval of homosexuality. He was only restating Christianity's position. Folau's post was really no different than a warning to hold the handrail while riding an escalator. We all have different opinions about how dangerous escalators are, but if someone honestly believes that you risk death if you don't hold the handrail, they shouldn't be condemned for trying to warn others.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Helix... He was only restating Christianity's position." Catholics think divorce and remarriage constitutes adultery. Eastern Orthodox do not. Evangelicals think Jews Muslims and all non-evangelical Christians are headed to Hell. Catholics don't think that is necessarily true. Protestants think Orthodox and Catholic reverence for Mary and the Saints is idolatry. So which Christianity are we talking about? Ideally, Folau should have said "I want to warn people about X Y and Z, because my denomination's understanding of Christianity indicates that these acts could lead people to hell. But I could be mistaken. God Bless."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ideally, Folau should have said "I want to warn people about X Y and Z, because my denomination's understanding of Christianity indicates that these acts could lead people to hell. But I could be mistaken. God Bless."

So you don't have a problem with what Folau believes, just how he phrased it?

Christianity indicates that these acts could.... But I could be mistaken.

As people engaging in good faith conversations, shouldn't this be implied after every statement another person makes? Especially in conversations about religion and the afterlife?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Helix, popularity does not make a proposition correct. Infinite punishment for a finite “crime” is not moral irrespective of doctrine.

None the list are deserving of demonisation. Role models would do well to remember.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Helix, popularity does not make a proposition correct.

I never said it did. The problem is how are you going to reach some sort of reasonable accommodation with the majority of people who fundamentally disagree with you? Are you going to live in peace and meet them half way when it comes to tolerance, or are you going to hound them from employer to employer until they agree to never share any opinions which you don't approve of? If it's the latter, it's important to realize that you're outnumbered and there's a risk that the tables could be turned on you someday.

Infinite punishment for a finite “crime” is not moral irrespective of doctrine.

That's an equally subjective opinion on morality. For your sake I hope your employer agrees with it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

All morality is subjective. That’s why we discuss, come to an agreed standard and implement law that provides punishment befitting the crime committed, if one has indeed been committed.

My employer is me and this employer believes people’s lives, opinions and actions are their own business until they harm others, or bring the business into disrepute. Folau’s comments to the gay and non religious communities were bigoted and intolerant. I don’t blame his employer for wanting to distance themselves from him one bit. I certainly don’t advocate hounding anyone, including Folau. If he modifies his behaviour I’m sure he’ll find another employer.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Do you realize that the vast majority of the world agrees with him and you're in the minority? Almost the entire populations of Africa, the Middle East, South America, and the South Pacific believe exactly the same thing.

Religious might is not necessarily right.

Once upon a time most people believed in witches and hundreds of thousands of women were burnt or drowned across Europe and other places over several centuries.

His views belong in the dark ages.

It's arrogant and foolish to assume that people who disagree with your minority opinion are wrong, especially on matters that you can't possibly prove one way or the other.

Prove what? That he's bigoted? I don't need to - his words give him away.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@SwissToni

All morality is subjective. That’s why we discuss, come to an agreed standard and implement law that provides punishment befitting the crime committed, if one has indeed been committed.

But we're not talking about crimes are we? We're talking about someone expressing a deeply held opinion about what happens in a theoretical afterlife.

My employer is me and this employer believes people’s lives, opinions and actions are their own business until they harm others, or bring the business into disrepute.

If he modifies his behaviour I’m sure he’ll find another employer.

How far you do think the rights of employers should go? If the clientele of a business is predominantly Jewish, should the owners be allowed to fire any Muslim employee who preaches Islam to people on his own time?

Folau’s comments to the gay and non religious communities were bigoted and intolerant.

Is he actually intolerant though? What is your definition of intolerance? He wasn't calling for gays or atheists to be fired, or arrested, driven out of the country, or shunned in any way. Wasn't the line of real intolerance crossed by the people who couldn't tolerate him playing professional rugby and advocated for him to be fired?

@Toasted Heretic

Prove what? That he's bigoted? I don't need to - his words give him away.

Prove that what he's saying about the afterlife is factually incorrect. It's impossible to prove either way.

His views belong in the dark ages.

What if someone decides that your opinions belong in the dark ages and you need to be silenced? Do you recognize the problem this creates in a diverse society? If people are not allowed to hold and express opinions you disagree with, it's a recipe for intolerance and violence.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Helix, if we’re to get on we all have to tolerate ideas and actions we may find disagreeable, but sometimes people go too far. This is a public figure, he has used his platform to express his bigoted ideas. He is a representative of his country’s national team, to continue to be associated with him would be giving him tacit approval to continue and that would impact the teams reputation.

Prove what he’s saying about the afterlife is factually incorrect .

In general it’s for the claimant to substantiate their claims. However from what we understand of the functioning of the human body and brain in life and in death, the evidence would suggest any form of conscious existence outside the body is highly unlikely. All the while substantiated evidence for any kind of an afterlife is exactly none.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Helix, if we’re to get on we all have to tolerate ideas and actions we may find disagreeable, but sometimes people go too far. This is a public figure, he has used his platform to express his bigoted ideas.

But has he really gone too far? I don't think so. If he called for violence or encouraged discrimination against the groups he mentioned, then that would be a very different story. Just imagine if a Muslim player on the team tweeted that people won't go to paradise if they keep eating bacon. Would that also be going too far? Would that be just as bigoted and offensive to people? Because that, in my view, is the functional equivalent of what we're talking about here. (someone dispassionately stating a core tenet of their faith relating to the afterlife)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

 Just imagine if a Muslim player on the team tweeted that people won't go to paradise if they keep eating bacon. Would that also be going too far? Would that be just as bigoted and offensive to people? Because that, in my view, is the functional equivalent of what we're talking about here. 

I don't think that eating bacon is analogous with homosexuality. It might work with the other groups he mentioned, though. Homosexuality isn't a choice, it's who a person is. He may as well have said that hell awaits tall people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

gone too far? I don't think so. 

In your opinion.

Using a public platform to say gay or atheist people are going to hell is bigoted, intimidatory and designed to oppress another’s freedom to live their lives as they see fit. I would not wish to be associated with such a person and it seems the Australian rugby authorities agree with me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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