Rugby Australia vs The Bible

8 July 2019

2.4 MINS

When Israel Folau is asked to swear on the Bible before he gives evidence in the High Court, will someone from the legal team of Rugby Australia object that it is an example of ‘hate speech’? That’s a serious question now, because as Miranda Devine reported in The Sunday Telegraph, even if Folau had simply “photocopied the passages that referred to in the posts… that would have caused a problem.”

What follows is a copy—supplied by Devine—of the transcript from Folau’s code of conduct meeting in May:

Q. What about when the Bible requires him to tell the good and the bad, that is, that the Bible is the truth and sometimes the truth can be difficult to hear?
A. The Bible is not the contract that he signed with Rugby Australia.

Q. No, but it goes to his very being, does it not, his belief in that particular religion? I want to suggest to you that in real terms, in practical terms, that Rugby Australia did not assist Israel to understand what Rugby Australia’s expectations were as to how he could communicate his strong religious beliefs in a way that was still deemed acceptable by Rugby Australia. Do you accept that?
A. No, I don’t accept that.

Q. Following the 2018 post, did Rugby Australia commence to monitor his social media use more closely?
A. Yes, we did.

Q. And did you yourself personally monitor his social media use from that point on?
A. No, I’ve got people that kindly do that for me.

Q. I was going to ask I don’t know how it works, whether you’re a Facebook friend, or however you —
A. No.

Q. You’re not?
A. No.

THE CHAIRMAN: Could I ask a question?
MR CASSELDENL: Certainly, Mr Chair.

THE CHAIRMAN: Q. Ms Castle, what if Mr Folau had photocopied passages from the Bible and simply posted that on his social media pages, would that have caused a problem for you?
A. I think it depends on which ones he — which pages he photocopied.

Q. If he’d photocopied the passages that are referred to in the posts, would that have caused a problem for you?
A. Yes, it would have.

So, just to be clear. Folau’s contract was not terminated because he presented the Bible in an offensive way, but that he quoted from the Bible at all. This is a real game change in the whole Folau farrago. Because if this can happen to Australia’s best rugby player, then it can happen to anyone.

Of course, it would have been a completely different story if Folau had quoted a different religious text from say, the Quran or the Hadiths. What would have happened if Folau had quoted one of the following?

‘Will you persist in these lewd acts which no other nation has committed before you? You lust after men instead of women. Truly, you are a degenerate people.’ Quran 7:81-82

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Whoever you find doing the action of the people of Loot, execute the one who does it and the one to whom it is done.” Abu Dawud 4462 (This is a Sahih hadith)

All of which is to say, Rugby Australia and its CEO Raelene Castle has a problem with Christianity. And as Miranda Devine rightly conclude:

Castle made a mountain out of a molehill, and has thrown Australian rugby into disrepute as a result, trashing morale and sabotaging the Wallabies’ chances in a World Cup year.

Having unilaterally condemned the foundational document of Judaeo-Christian civilisation as akin to hate speech, she [Castle] boasted in a press conference that her decision was a “landmark” which “will change the landscape for rugby and sport”.

There’s one person who should have been sacked, and it wasn’t Folau.

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  1. Walter Crawford 8 July 2019 at 8:48 am - Reply

    I think it’s going to take a lot of Humility to say I was wrong even when you’ve lifted your foot and find the yuk you’ve stepped in was what you put there in the first place.
    Slowly slowly lies will be uncovered and as Christians we find Gods affirmation

  2. Mana 8 July 2019 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    By law, Aussie;’s swear on the bible not the Quran or any other religion belief so Christian should be the religion of stop bringing other religion in to this arguement

    • Caroline 10 July 2019 at 6:27 pm - Reply

      @Mana, it is not mandatory by law to swear on the Bible in court. You have a choice to make an affirmation instead. (i.e to swear to tell the truth).

  3. Tony Trautman 8 July 2019 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    Touche` and amen .

  4. Charlton 9 July 2019 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    “Of course, it would have been a completely different story if Folau had quoted a different religious text from say, the Quran or the Hadiths.”

    I’m curious… How did you come to thsi conclusion? ????

  5. Russ Ford 25 July 2019 at 10:41 am - Reply

    I am now curious who Castles Facebook watch dogs were and so should Izzy lawyers. The reason being is whether or not they were actually employees of Rugby Australia, or some LGBTQ community friends of Castles. The importance is whether she relied on information authorised and provided in house, or not, and if not was their any serious predetermined bias in the mindset of those non employee’s whose research and heads up that she relied upon. The failure of any other sinner group to lay a complaint about the scripture warning that effected them, remains the anomaly here. You see, the passage is to be read as it was written a whole, not dissected to exclude all but homosexuals as if only they were the selected target group for God’s wrath and Izzy’s warning. You see I believe that at law proof of discrimination requires a proven specific targeting of the discriminated party, to show that any public comment was specifically targeting them and not sinners in God’s eyes as a whole. This trail has the capacity to become another trial of God, not Izzy, as to whether he is homophobic which of course he is! He in sinophobic and homosexuality is one of his favourite sins to smite. So too is any Christian, Jew or Muslim believer in the one true God. The fact that we all hate the sin does not mean we hate the sinner. Christ preached and personally showed that this was not the case, just as God did when he saved me, forgave my sins and changed my ways through rebirth… PTL!. That is the same invitation Izzy was sharing with readers of his post, regardless as to their category of sin. For readers of his post, it is merely a case if the boot fits wear it!

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