Religious freedom to conduct relgious persecution just got weird in OZ

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Grinseed's picture
Religious freedom to conduct relgious persecution just got weird in OZ

THE STORY so far....

Israel Folau played international representative football for Rugby Australia (RA) under a reported $4M contract.

Israel as a devout member of his father's very own quasi-christian radical church, the Truth of Jesus Christ Church (started 2013), posted a derogatory condemnation against homosexuals online.

Rugby Australia, who controls the code in Australia, reminded Israel his post contravened terms of his contract.
Israel removed the comment and said he would not do it again. He did it again and exhorted drunks, liars, atheists and homosexuals to repent or burn in hell.

RA said he broke his contract and was damaging the socially inclusive nature of RA's brand.

RA revoked his contract and banned him from playing representative rugby union in Oz.

Israel said he was being persecuted by RA for his religous beliefs and would defend himself as anything else would be conceding to the will of Satan.

Israel has copped criticism from the Hillsong church founder, Brian Houston (Hillsong) and from a prominent Anglican pastor Father Rod Bower (Anglican) for his intolerant and hateful declarations.

The stink from Folau's religious dummy spit is so bad that the National Rugby League (a different code) has rejected any chance for Folau to play for them, either in the nationally or internationally.

Unperturbed Israel has begun legal proceedings against RA and he not only wants to be reinstated with the Australian team, he wants $10M compensation.

The quasi-political Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) have eagerly supported Israel, ideologicially and financially, in view of the imminent release of the long awaited legislation, the "religious freedom bill" in Australia, which keen observers will remember was the christian minority's blowback against the rest of pagan Australia for having the nerve to approve same sex marriage legislation in a plebiscite in Oz last year.

The still butt-aching ACL is demanding, amongst other things, the pending legislation provide stringent protection against employers discriminating against christians for their faith.

What's just happened....
Now it gets weird, and worthy of a Marx Brothers' comedy routine.

Joshia Folau, Israel's cousin and fellow church member has been "fired" from his job as a tutor for posting his religious comments.
Josiah posted that "Roman Catholicism is masked devil worship" and the church "a synagogue for Satan" ( a very peculiar comment in itself).

Joshia also refuses to retract his comments for the sake of his family's brand of christianity. The Catholic school declared his position vacant.

So now, it's all become a matter concerning the religious freedom from persecution for an individual, or family, to conduct religious persecution of other established religious beliefs.

On second thoughts the Marx Brothers couldn't have come up with something THIS ridiculous.

As an atheist I am starting to feel left out with all this religious persecution stuff going on.

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Old man shouts at clouds's picture
This is one of the best sagas

This is one of the best sagas of religion in Australia...all of them tearing at each other in the name of 'salvation' and "biblical correctness" makes Jo and Fergie's little spat on here look like infantile silliness....oh wait....

Leave chretins alone and they can be relied on to make themselves and their 'faith(s)' look as foolish as they possibly can.

Calilasseia's picture
The Life of Brian is still

The Life of Brian is still better quality than this latest foray into the supernaturalist Twylight Zone ... though I'll join you in savouring the schadenfreude tsunami crashing down on the protagonists ...

Sheldon's picture
Calilasseia "schadenfreude

Calilasseia "schadenfreude tsunami "

Brilliant, have yet another agree.

Grinseed's picture
Because I am not actually

Because I am not actually debating anything here I would only add the following points:

Religion in this country is simply not more important than sport. Folau has made an unhappy marriage of both. Media polls suggests that most people think Izzy is acting like a dick.

The Truth of Christ Church (membership about 30 souls) believe everyone else, including the entire Catholic church, the Protestants, especially the Hillsong Pentecostals, the Australian Christian Lobby and everyone who donated to his legal fund (more than $2M in several weeks) and his legal team, are going to the fires of hell. Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Jains etc, Rugby Austalia, homosexuals, lesbians, transexuals, atheists, alcoholics, liars and all the rest of the usual suspects have already been put on notice.
It seems Heaven is going to be a deserted paradise.

Prime Minister "Hillsong" Morrison and his whole government are also doomed by Izzy's church, whether or not his forthcoming legislation is passed into law before Izzy's court case is heard, and despite whether or not it delivers the protections the 'persecuted' theists demand.

Yet and maybe most importantly, this might prove a problem because Morrison, always worried about votes, and eager to please all parties including civil liberty groups is dancing around the Australian Constitution, in which Section 116 prohibits the Commonwealth Parliament from enacting legislation that would prohibit the free exercise of religion (does this include evangelical persecution of sinning minorities?) And yes, we stole the clause from the Yanks' constitution in 1900.

I don't follow sport much, but by Christ, Folau's Folly is providing grand spectator entertainment.

Sheldon's picture
"I don't follow sport much,

"I don't follow sport much, but by Christ, Folau's Folly is providing grand spectator entertainment."

Well I have been a lifelong rugby supporter, and it surely can't be a coincidence Folau has done this in a world cup year, in order to maximise the publicity and impact.

He's a vile cretin. I enjoyed this tweet from one of his former team mates Drew Mitchell, condmening Folau for his greed in setting up a GoFundMe page to fight his thoroughly deserved and perfectly justifiable sacking.

"YOU are in a fight that YOU chose to be in after YOU broke the terms of YOUR contract, the kids below are in a fight they NEVER wanted to be in & yet YOU think YOU deserve donations more than they do??!!"

Mitchell rightly pointing out that Folau's page had raised more than pages set up to help children receive medical treatment for cancer, and how selfish that is.

Maybe Folau is as stupid as ferguson and thinks cancer treatment is a waste of time as it never cures anyone.

Religious imbecility in all its glory.

Fleeing in Terror's picture
This is the only conversation

This is the only conversation about 'soccer' that I have ever had any interest in.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Mrs PO

@ Mrs PO

It's not about soccer.....Folau is a RUGBY player....

Fleeing in Terror's picture
OOOOOOH! I usually consider

OOOOOOH! I usually consider it lucky if I can figure out the sport being played when a team is mentioned.

That would relate to my question on brain damage. Isn't rugby supposed to be pretty violent as well?

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Very. And played without

Very. And played without armour..

algebe's picture
@Mrs. P Owczarek: Isn't rugby

@Mrs. P Owczarek: Isn't rugby supposed to be pretty violent as well?

Yes. Players end up in wheelchairs, brain-damaged, or dead. I last played rugby 50 years ago and I still remember the utter horror of a scrum. Eight players from each team form a three-row pushing unit. The two units then meet head on shoulder-to-shoulder. Another player then throws the ball into the middle of this monstrosity, and 16 men start to kick and push in a numbing miasma of sweat, linament, and farts. If the scrum collapses, someone's likely to end up bent backwards. It's a truly idiotic, savage game that should be restricted to consenting adults.

Fleeing in Terror's picture
Maybe this Folu guy will put

Maybe this Folu guy will put a damper on it.

algebe's picture
I'm intrigued by Israel Folau

I'm intrigued by Israel Folau's xtian morality. He twice promised not to make public statements that would harm the image of Rugby Australia. He twice broke those promises and got fired. Despite earning a huge income from sport, he then turned to crowd-funding to pay for his legal battles, thereby abusing a system that is normally reserved for people needing help with dire medical crises.

I don't have the benefit of theist objective morality, so I'd just feel subjectively disgusted with myself if I did any of things that Folau has done.

CyberLN's picture
It sounds like he signed a

It sounds like he signed a contract and then broke that contract. Caveat emptor. He’s, imo, being a manipulative ass who has an agenda that too many are fearful to call bullshit on.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Folau not only signed a

Folau not only signed a contract but also signed and agreed to NOT make divisive and specifically homophobic statements on a public forum. He did it immediately afterward. This comes under the heading of "bringing the game into disrepute".

Then he was approached by the ACL (Australian Christian Lobby) who are a group of hard right christians with more influence and money than compassion and charity. They encouraged him to speak out to keep their "religious Freedom" (aka Religious Privilege) agenda afloat after the success of the gay marriage campaign that utterly sidelined them.

Folau and his family run business (church) is just a Pawn in the ACL's larger quest for relevance and an issue to roll back gay rights.

Lets not forget Folau is covered in Tattoos, eats pork and breaks a few more 'biblical' mores such as playing sport on the Sabbath and Holy Days,, touching pigskin (are the balls still leather?) and more. I cannot wait until his cross examination by a competent QC. If it gets that far, it should be entertainment at its finest. Even better than ex Cardinal Pell's sentencing remarks.....

Grinseed's picture
Agreed Algebe, he shows no

Agreed Algebe, he shows no reluctance to let others pay for his religious freedom, in more than one sense. The Folau family fortune also enjoys a large real estate folio including a number of luxury homes. It has been explained that the Folaus follow a Tongan custom of providing shelter for extended family members. Questions have already been raised as to how much tax avoidance the church might provide if all the other houses are claimed as charitable housing and with the family home being claimed as a church.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Grinseed

@ Grinseed

Folau's gift for hypocrisy just keeps on giving does it not?

Grinseed's picture
@Old Man

@Old Man

Not unlike the god fearing contributors to his legal war chest. I wonder if some of them don't think of it as a modern form of indulgence for past sins.
At the very least, if Izzy wins his court case, it could be argued that these donations might be seen as doing God's work and so qualify as tax exemptions. The good lord will provide.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Grinseed

@ Grinseed

The best part of all this is that it has suddenly dawned on the promoters of Christian homophobia that if " Religious Privilege" legislation is passed it will apply to ALL religions...apparently that had not figured in their twisted little minds.
Some of the more vocal supporters have quieted on realising it isn't just their poisonous brand of Christianity that will be privileged but will apply to Islam, Hindus, zoroasters, Scientology...anyone who can claim a religious exemption from decency and fairness.
Interesting times indeed....

Calilasseia's picture
Indeed, this is one of the

Indeed, this is one of the aspects of the supernaturalist aetiology that continues to provide me with much amusement, some of it falling squarely and emphatically into the schadenfreude category. Namely, whenever superrnaturalists seek "privileges" for religion, they always think solely in terms of privileges for their religion. The moment someone suggests that a different choice of religion should enjoy the same "privileges", the whiny expressions of butthurt are a picture to behold.

The flip side of this coin, of course, is the tiresome railing against "secularism" by would-be theocratic fantasists, who apparently never paid attention in basic history class, with respect to the manner in which supernaturalists routinely demonstrated in the past, that they could not be relied upon to treat those outside their own doctrinal pale in a decent, humane manner. Only when Europe had become so thoroughly sick and tired of their rampant abuses of power, that secularism was instituted, in no small part to stop rival cabals of supernaturalists from slaughtering each other, was the carnage eventually brought to a halt. The essential idea underpinning secularism, namely that freedom of conscience and belief includes, by definition, freedom from persecution by rival would-be enforcers of conformity to doctrine, has via its proper and vigorous application, done more to prevent internecine religious wars, than any amount of unctuous pontificating on the part of the supernaturalists who were prevented from behaving true to type.

Unfortunately, a degree of complacency has set in as a result of said vigorous application of secular principles, to the effect that a return to the bad old days is naively thought of as impossible. Those entertaining this dangerous complacency, would do well to peruse the observational data available, with respect to the rise of theocratic fantasism among assorted groups of supernaturalists. Who, in accord with the documented aetiology, routinely think that any theocracy is going to be operated by them, and that they are the ones who will be enjoying a return to the extermination of 'heretics'. NONE of them ever think that any of their rivals might be the ones seizing hegemony instead. Unfortunately for the requisite fantasists, it will be too late to rethink their attachment to sadistic wish-fulfilment daydreams of being the next generation of Inquisitors, when many of them discover that instead, someone else has assumed the role, and they are the ones being rounded up for the public human barbecues.

Equally unfortunately, that's a part of the pernicious and verminous appeal of supernaturalism for many - the thought that one day, their adherence to mythology will provide them with the opportunity to become the monsters they've always been at heart, but been prevented from bringing into sharp relief, by properly applied secular restraint thereupon. That vicious and cancerous development of the Abrahamic religions in particular, known as ruthless enforcement of conformity to doctrine (more on this below), was in the past the vehicle conveying many adherents into the territory of the homicidal criminal, and its potent virulence in this respect has never waned. Given the voluminous historical data extant, with respect to the capacity for bestial levels of carnage on the part of supernaturalists, fuelled with self-righteous disregard for those outside the doctrinal pale by this sinister propellant, which was restrained principally by the historical accident of access to primitive weapons technology, the thought of that same propellant fuelling a new generation of Inquisitors with access to modern weapons, should terrify anyone with functioning neurons.

It's now time for the part where I point to the first documented introduction, within the Abrahamic mythologies, of the concept of ruthless enforcement of conformity to doctrine. There are two places where this verminous concept rears its ugly head explicitly, the first being Exodus 23:24 - here's the King James version of that verse:

Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.

Here we have the first declaration of intolerance of divergent ideas or beliefs, enshrined in the requisite mythology. As an exhortation to exterminate that which does not conform to doctrine, it becomes truly sinister when viewed in the surrounding context, of an exhortation to pursue bloody Lebensraum wars against neighbouring people, several of which are listed in the preceding Exodus 23:23.

Then, we have Deuteronomy 12: 2-3, the King James version of which reads as follows:

Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree:

And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.

which is followed in pretty short order by another exhortation to engage in bloody Lebensraum wars, in Deuteronomy 12:29-30, viz:

When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land;

Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.

Those two exhortations to destroy all that does not conform, and variations thereof appearing in later texts, have been the most hideous contribution made by the Abrahamic mythologies and their adherents to the darkest aspects of history. A contribution that, it will not surprise those who paid attention in class, was seized upon and pursued relentlessly by adherents of the relevant mythologies. This lethal concept has been the driving force for human misery for too long, and its extirpation from the realm of ideas is long overdue.

Fleeing in Terror's picture
point out it will also apply

point out it will also apply to you atheists and really watch the screaming start.

Sheldon's picture
I've always said theists are

I've always said theists are irony umpired, but anyone who turns crybaby about their religious freedom from persecution after a statement like this "Roman Catholicism is masked devil worship", is clearly also dumber than a bucket of hair.

It's clear to any sane individual that they are not being persecuted for their beliefs, even the vile odious
bigoted homophobic beliefs, they are being censured for breach of contract, and for spreading hate speech. Believing something is everyone's right, that does not mean you're allowed to persecute others by condemning them for who they are, because you hold the vile belief that who someone is devalue them or their life when they have harmed no one. So the real irony is being gay is not remotely a choice, whereas signing a lucrative contract, then breaking it, as well as getting tattooed and eating shellfish in direct violation of the biblical texts he's claiming must be followed inviolate, most definitely is, and Folau has chosen to do all of those, it's cherry picking text to reinforce his bigotry

So again he's not just a vile bigot, he's clearly a hypocrite, and a moron.

boomer47's picture
Been following this bit of

Been following this bit of the theatre of the absurd. The one good thing is that these dropkicks do not have the power to burn heretics alive. There is no doubt in my mind that they would if they could.

This football peanut reminds me of Hutton Gibson, Mel's dad. A devout and extreme catholic, Hutton thought john Paul 11 was far too liberal. Reading Hutton's Wiki entry explains a great deal about Mel's lunacy.

Fair dinkum, one doesn't need to shake too many gum trees in Oz before the religious loons start dropping out.

It is often said that sport is Oz's national religion. This is especially true of the three football codes. It should be no surprise that a 'goodly number' of sports heroes are entitled troglodytes. That get that way by fawning way in which they are treated. Then everyone gets their knickers all out of focus when said troglodytes act like troglodytes. I find that odd.

I think the absurdly permissive attitude and mental calibre of many of millionaire what's his names admirers is shown very clearly by the fact that he raised over $2 million from a 'go fund me' exercise for his legal expenses..


Hutton Peter Gibson (born August 26, 1918) is an American writer on sedevacantism, a World War II veteran, the 1968 Jeopardy! grand champion and the father of 11 children, one of whom is the actor and director Mel Gibson.

Gibson is an outspoken critic, both of the post-Vatican II Roman Catholic Church and of those Traditionalist Catholics, like the Society of Saint Pius X, who reject sedevacantism. In a 2003 interview he questioned how the Nazis could have disposed of six million bodies during the Holocaust and claimed that the September 11, 2001 attacks were perpetrated by remote control.[1] He has also been quoted as saying the Second Vatican Council was "a Masonic plot backed by the Jews".[2]

Fleeing in Terror's picture
American football results in

American football results in a horrible amount of brain damage. Is soccer much safer? Don't they hit the balls with their heads a lot?

Grinseed's picture
@Mrs Paul Owczarek

@Mrs Paul Owczarek

Folau doesn't play soccer, though this game is also very popular here.

Folau has played professionally in the three other codes of football: Rugby Union, Rugby League, and Australian Rules.

All three involve hard physical contact between players. Unlike American gridiron, players wear no helmets or heavy padding, its just muscle and bone crash tackling muscle and bone. They risk serious injury and even death. There has always been periodic warnings from the sidelines from neurological research units that most players do indeed suffer effects of severe brain damage later in life. However all young men think themselves immortal and have eyes only for the lucrative money.

While it is quite possible that Folau, a big man, may have taken one too many hits to the head with three opponents permitted to bring him to ground everytime he has the ball, it is more likely that the real damage was already done at home, under the strict "old time" religious upbringing of his father Eni.

Grinseed's picture
Good call Cranky. And thanks

Good call Cranky. And thanks for the new word...sedevacantism...had to look it up...Im not Catholic but I understand the roots of the word...all them anti-popes muddying the lineage of Peter's true successors...frankly I think they were all deluded except for the pirate pope who fought the Moors at sea after morning prayers and the hermit pope who lived in a box in the vatican.
As for Folau and his bretheren it shows you got to becareful around families who use the OT as a reference for baby names.

boomer47's picture
Yes, old testament names can

Yes, old testament names can be horrendous. Around 40 years ago, I talked an [atheist]] mate out of calling his son "Ishmael'. He did thank me, eventually, in around 2001 I think.

Names are fascinating.My favourite real historical name is "Praisegod Barebones",an English puritan:(1598-1679)

My mother put a lot of thought into my name; My first name has only 4 letters. My Canadian mother chose it because she didn't like the way Aussies play with long names. No problem. People simply added 'ie'. . My middle name is my paternal grandfather's first name, my dad's middle name AND my mum's maiden name.

algebe's picture
@Grinseed: you got to

@Grinseed: you got to becareful around families who use the OT as a reference for baby names.

Hang on a minute. We named our son 'Daniel'. It wasn't for religious reasons, though. He was named after my half-Jewish Salvationist-Baptist-Methodist-Presbytarian grandfather (he'd join any religion that gave him a free book).

As for Popes, my favorite is Pope Joan, who gave birth during a religious procession in Rome.

Grinseed's picture
@ Algebe

@ Algebe

"Daniel" is a great name. Your grandad seems to have played Pascal's Roulette.

I always wanted to name my son "Sam" after the LOTR chatacter but SHE would not have it. "I did not give birth to a Hobbit," she huffed.

I'm only concerned when the first names of a family sound like a roll call for a tribe of Israel.

edited here
Of course unless it is a Jewish family.

Calilasseia's picture
One of the bitter ironies

One of the bitter ironies surrounding this issue, namely all those people choosing Biblical names for their offspring in the past, is that it made life more complicated for the Nazis, when they were trying to track down Jews and identify them, so that they could target their planned brutal treatment thereof with some degree of precision. When they started sieving through census data on a large scale, they found that "Jewish" sounding names were all over the family trees of non-Jewish Germans who were brought up in either the Catholic or the Lutheran traditions. You can imagine how much that pissed off the likes of Eichmann.

Though in more recent times, we have perhaps the most flatulently pompous instance of pretension and Pharisaic posturing, in the form of the UK's own Jacob Rees-Mogg (or as many here refer to him, Reeks of Smug). Who has bestowed upon his children a host of bombastic "Look how Catholic I am" names upon his sprogs. Who the fuck in the modern world would call their children such names as "Sixtus Dominic Boniface" and "Anselm Charles Fitzwilliam"? How far up your own arse do you have to be to indulge in this sort of shit? Though he probably got this trait from his father, who decided to call his younger sister, wait for it, Annunziata. Fucking hell, these names were tailor made for that Rowan Atkinson public school roll call sketch.

But this individual has form with respect to being a posturing wankstain, not to mention a fucking hypocrite, courtesy of the fact that [1] he opposes abortion in all circumstances, including rape and imminent danger to the life of the mother, but made a fuckton of loot investing in companies selling abortion drugs, and [2] concentrates exclusively on hard-Right button-pushing issues, whilst actively pursuing policies attacking the poor, in direct contravention to the edicts of the Pope he claims to accept as a "spiritual leader".

He also has £100 million hidden from the taxman in offshore slush funds. You know the type. Right wing closet fascist and would-be Inquisitor.

Grinseed's picture
@ Calilasseia

@ Calilasseia

Re: Jacob Rees-Mogg, I had never heard of him before. What an elegant shithead. The stuff of nightmares.


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