Folau’s rights to free speech are not being attacked

Written By: - Date published: 8:11 am, June 30th, 2019 - 240 comments
Categories: culture, law, religion, rugby league, sport, uncategorized - Tags:

Israel Folau is a Tongan born professional Rugby/League player of some standing.

He is also a devout christian.

Too devout for my tastes.  I am an Irish Catholic still struggling to deal with the demons this has caused to me.  And I understand his commitment to his religion.  But I think that Israel’s views are too extreme.

I am really happy that he has earned so much money as a professional Rugby player.  He is really good.  He is a member of the Pacifica wave that has dominated Rugby and League recently.  

The Australian Rugby Union has some contractual obligations, one of them is that he should not behave in a way that brings the game into disrepute.

Most people think that he did when he sent messages via social media that homosexuals were sinners and hell awaits them.  This was not the first time he has done this.  Despite requests he refused to take the post down.

The matter has developed into a culture war with different attempts to gain funding for legal action being rather successful.

And people are trying to say that the matter involves freedom of speech and freedom of religion.  Tim Soutphommasane in the Sydney Morning Herald has the perfect response, that the claim is codswallop.

From his article:

Consider the alternative: if we were able to claim freedom of religion as a trump card, what would that mean? Would it mean we’re entitled to break the law or to void contractual agreements by claiming we have a right to exercise our religious beliefs? Or that organisations aren’t free to dissociate themselves from an employee or charge whose conduct is inconsistent with their values?

In any case, it simply isn’t true that Folau’s religious freedoms have been fundamentally encroached. Folau can still say what he likes about homosexuals and sinners. It’s just that saying that may come with consequences. That’s not free speech being unjustly restrained. That’s Folau choosing his religious conviction over his contractual obligations. A choice he is free to make. It’s hard to see how Folau is a victim.

It would be a strange result if you can breach an employment by, for instance, not turning up to work every Friday, but be exonerated by stating that it is because of your religious beliefs.  Or to claim that you should be shielded from consequence for swearing at your boss because you were exercising your right to free speech.

And it is a bit strange for a very wealthy person receiving donations from Christians so that he can continue his anti homosexual crusade.

Folau is not a standard bearer for free speech and protection of religion.  He is just a very naughty boy.

240 comments on “Folau’s rights to free speech are not being attacked”

  1. Ad 1

    Folau's case illustrates to me actually how constrained speech actually is in our society. 

    All public servants are of course constrained in what they can say.  They express little, and are highly constrained in groups that they can even associate with. Same with the thousands of trusts and companies who contract to the state.

    Most private companies, when you join, now require you to say whether you are a member of a union. 

    All members of any company are constrained in what they say. 

    So that covers pretty much everyone employed by any entityin New Zealand: heavily constrained in what they can say about anything.

    New Lynn Labour MP Deborah Russel complained in her Parliamentary speech about euthanasia this week that members of the Care Coalition were speaking as medical professionals, but did not also say that they may have had religious beliefs. 

    Imagine the uproar if she had said that a submitter should also be required to say if they were members of the Labour Party, or a union. 

    She got away with it because of her prejudice against religion.

    And on this site we are of course 90% anonymous and protected by nom de plumes on this site because would all be outed and our professional reputations destroyed, together with our mortgages. 

    That is to say, the enemies of personal expression are everywhere. 

    I have heard far worse in jokes from a standup comedian speaking after dinner at a Rugby match than what Folau said. They have supported homophobic culture for decades.

    The Australian Rugby Union are just another repressive force that smashes human expression. 

    • Sacha 1.1

      New Lynn Labour MP Deborah Russell complained in her Parliamentary speech about euthanasia this week that members of the Care Coalition were speaking as medical professionals, but did not also say that they may have had religious beliefs. 

      I actually watched that part. She said that it would help MPs if submitters were clear about their motivations, and that during oral submissions a religious basis was revealed which had been hidden in the accompanying written submissions from that group's members. It seemed to be the duplicity rather than the religion that was her issue.

      She also changed her vote to align with the Care Coalition.

      • Ad 1.1.1

        Where was the duplicity? 

        How she voted was not material to her complaint about the submitters. 

        This is about how she engaged at the Select Committee. All of that Select Committee did a terrible job. We now have a highly contentious bill which is going to go through its 3rd reading line by line rather than being in a largely settled state, which is a total farce of parliamentary procedure.

        • Dukeofurl 1.1.1.1

          Isnt the 'Committee of whole house' the next stage , and you have mistaken that for 3rd reading

          "

          The committee consists of all members of the House. The Deputy Speaker or an Assistant Speaker presides over the committee. The committee has delegated authority from the House to consider the bill in detail and make further amendments members may propose in writing. Sometimes members, particularly Ministers in charge of a bill, release their amendments in advance in the form of a supplementary order paper.

          There is no specific time limit on this stage and members have opportunities for up to four 5-minute speeches on each provision. On large bills of a controversial nature, this process can take place over several days."- Parliament NZ

    • marty mars 1.2

      Yep if christians want to be bigoted who are we to change the handed down practices of their faith – let their god sort it lol and we will just prosecute and hold up to ridicule those who push their religious hate onto others.

      Our society has said we are changing the attitude that individuals are king or as you put it 'personal expression' is king – lol – the pain of that change for some is too tough and I personally don't care – adapt or don't – change is inevitable.

      • Ad 1.2.1

        Most of this world getting less free, less tolerant of free speech, less accepting of free association, and less democratic. 

        Rugby Australia are a monopoly and the speech they are constraining is a restraint of trade across the entire industry. 

        Those like you who think that there's some inevitable drive towards greater human rights are factually wrong and belong to a shrinking cult of perpetual tolerance. There are few societies like ours left – and our constraints are massive as Folau's case shows.

        • RedLogix 1.2.1.1

          A lot of people have missed Folau's wider point, he was not ' bashing gays' per se, but rather a wider culture of permissiveness and unconstrained sexuality.  His Old Testament language was archaic and grates terribly on our modern ears, but the point he speaking to is a very old problem that all human societies grapple with … that sex is a powerful force and lacking proper boundaries it causes much harm.

          If Folau had spoken instead to an ideal promoting the safe and productive place for sexual expression should be within long-term, committed relationships he would have been on much safer ground. Socially conservative yes, but he would have avoided overt offense. 

          None of which has been made any better by a certain group of people determined to make the most of the offense because he's made himself a perfect target for some Christian bashing. 

          This is turning out to be a perfect example of why the trend toward curtailing freedom of expression is a bad idea. Instead of being able to debate what Folau was actually saying, it's morphed into yet another ugly, polarised skirmish in the culture wars.

          • Drowsy M. Kram 1.2.1.1.1

            Folau's 'freedom of expression' is intact – only his 'right' to play rugby for Australia has been curtailed.

            In NZ/Aus individuals can choose many things, e.g. a religious belief system.  But when a high-profile individual effectively advocates that sexual orientation is a choice, expect blowback.

            IMHO, the freedom to promote beliefs should not be a free pass – by all means advocate beliefs at odds with reality, just don't expect that choice to be 'cost-free'. #HaveYourCake

            • RedLogix 1.2.1.1.1.1

              But when a high-profile individual effectively advocates that sexual orientation is a choice

              That completely mischaracterises what Folau said. He was speaking to a wide range of often anti-social behaviours, drunkeness, fornication, adulterers, liars and so on.

              And while Folau's language unfortunately conflates sexual orientation with immorality, it's fair to argue that in historic terms, male homosexuality was frequently associated with extreme promiscuity. In the modern era we now understand that sexual orientation is not necessarily a choice, but acting on it in an unconstrained manner arguably still is.

              Similarly we've learnt there is a genetic component to alcoholism but we don't use this as an excuse to justify any amount of bad behaviour by drunkards. 

              Like Ad I'm no fan of Folau's brand of Christianity, it's often rigid, archaic literal and invites ridicule because of this. But his core argument, which is clear from reading the whole post, is that unconstrained sexuality is not a good thing … regardless of your sexual orientation.

              the freedom to promote beliefs should not be a free pass

              Just as Folau was free to express his view, everyone else was equally free to respond as they saw fit. Terminating employment is a coercive and punitive consequence far worse than the offense he may have caused.

              • Sacha

                his core argument, which is clear from reading the whole post, is that unconstrained sexuality is not a good thing … regardless of your sexual orientation.

                He could have listed promiscuity, which as you note is a behaviour. But he didn't. Instead he singled out one orientation.

              • The Al1en

                Terminating employment is a coercive and punitive consequence far worse than the offense he may have caused.

                Yeah, my concern isn't for the bigot who had already been warned about his anti gay messages, but with those young kids struggling with their sexuality in a world full of discrimination, or those who have already lived a lifetime with it, only to see a rugby meat head with sports star status pile it on even more.

                • RedLogix

                  Why not ask those kids if they want Folau sacked? 

                  • The Al1en

                    Knock yourself out

                    • RedLogix

                      You're the one speaking on their behalf ….

                    • The Al1en

                      Actually I wasn't, that was you implying it to make a point. What I actually wrote was…

                      my concern isn't for the bigot who had already been warned about his anti gay messages, but with those young kids struggling with their sexuality in a world full of discrimination, or those who have already lived a lifetime with it, only to see a rugby meat head with sports star status pile it on even more.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                You seem confident that Folau's "core argument, which is clear from reading the whole post, is that unconstrained sexuality is not a good thing … regardless of your sexual orientation."

                "Be fruitful and multiply."  Genesis 1:28

                Interpreting 'The Word of Falou' – in the ‘eye’ of the beholder!

          • SPC 1.2.1.1.2

            No, his only point was to say that people who are Christians are not to do – a to z: and those who do those things are not Christians and they will go to hell. 

            • Sacha 1.2.1.1.2.1

              How can "homosexual" be something you do?

              • SPC

                The current position of the Papacy is that it is only the sexual activity (any sexual actions outside of hetero-normative marriage and any non procreative sexual activity within marriage) that is wrong – thus it is no"sin" to be homosexual.

                But Paul writes about homosexuals as if that is itself the problem, rather than same sex activity. The reason he does this has its roots in Romans Chapter 1 where he links Creator Godfaith to heterosexuality and homosexuality to idolatry.

                So when Folau quotes Paul, he has homosexuals in the list – but he connects this to original sin, or originating cause, in idolatry. Of the creature or creation, rather than God. 

                One could argue this discriminates over sexual orientation, but then it also does in terms of religion – saying all those without belief in Jesus being God go to hell.

                • Sacha

                  Interesting, thanks. Still sounds like something you are, not something you do.

                  • SPC

                    Sure, it is the odd one out. Which should lead people to look for the reason why that is. 

                    I'll analyse the dynamic a little further. Romans believed that strength and virtue were connected, thus their republic was strong because of their citizenship virtue. They saw Greeks as weak and immoral and Paul's letter to them was to apologise for the Christian Greek, of the Creator God rather than idolatry, as being virtuous and therefore strong – as good as a Roman citizen.   

                • Rae

                  What a sadistic bastard of a god that creates (assuming here that the believers are creationists) homosexuals then condemns them to hell if they live who they are. 

                   

                  • SPC

                    The irony is that their god is only the idol that those who wrote the bible word created, and which they want to rule over us.

                    The wise were after all warned that there would be those who stole the authority of God to declare God to creation, trying to deceive us that they knew what was right and wrong etc

          • SPC 1.2.1.1.3

            This is more a case of conflating an employment contract dispute with suppression of free speech "rights". 

            And there has been no curtailing of free speech here, or in Oz, but rather a conflict with employment law. 

            And behind that is corporate protection of brand/reputation in their sponsorship arrangments.  

          • Gabby 1.2.1.1.4

            interesting the Izzy hasn't researched the biblical attitude to tattoos tough. Wonder if he's partial to shellfish and bacon.

        • marty mars 1.2.1.2

          except it was a contractual issue and not actually about christian gay bashing or anything like that. He can keep his beliefs – and get his 'ink' taken out so as not to offendith the lord – who cares, he just can't break his contract. Good all his christian mates are pleased to use him as a human battering ram against their greatest fear – losing power and money.

           

        • SPC 1.2.1.3

          The opposite is true – there has never been as much freedom of expression in so many countries as today. The means is greater and in more nations. 

    • Or perhaps the Australian rugby union are a body that gave one of their players a chance (in 2018) and said please don’t do that again. When he did it again they sacked him. I can’t see much repression of human expression – there is ample scope for human expression over multiple platforms.

    • She got away with it because of her prejudice against religion.

      She got away with it because she was making an excellent point: it's duplicitous for people to claim they're opposing this bill on medical grounds, when their actual reason is that they believe their god owns us so we don't have the right to choose our own death.  

      • Wensleydale 1.4.1

        Exactly right. When you purposely misrepresent yourself, even if only through omission, then you call into question everything you've had to say throughout the whole process. It's like an MP crapping on about oppressive regulations around forestry or the fishing industry, only for it then to be revealed they have business interests in forestry and fishing. There's a reason we have a register of pecuniary interests. People will inevitably start looking at you sideways, grinning knowingly and saying, "Ah, righto then." Claiming you have serious medical concerns in regard to euthanasia legislation, even if entirely true, while neglecting to mention you're also a hardcore evangelical with all that entails, is duplicitous. It speaks to motivation and it's essentially lying by omission.

        Folau is a muppet being led down the garden path by people with a vested interest in claiming Christians are oppressed and put-upon by simple virtue of their being Christians. Israel wasn't sacked for being a Christian. He was sacked for breaching his contract… again. He was given every opportunity to sort himself out and refrain from publically bagging gays on social media. He decided he was going to be contrary, and he suffered the consequences. He needs to suck it up and move on with his life. He's quite welcome to continue bagging gays in a private capacity on his own time. I'm sure Jesus will be suitably impressed.

    • woodart 1.5

      bollocks. you can say what you like anytime, anywhere. the consequences of useing that right may vary. get over it.

  2. Formerly Ross 2

    Despite requests he refused to take the post down.

    Well, if he'd taken the post down, it would indicate he isn't a fan of free speech. But we know that he is. So yeah taking the post down would be hypocritical.

    The answer to speech that you don't like is more speech. Indeed, plenty of people have criticised Folau, clearly missing the irony that they can speak out (sometimes in rather strong terms) at the same time as wanting him not to speak. 

    • Kevin 2.1

      Folau CAN speak out about his religion. He just can’t do it while representing RA. 

      • Formerly Ross 2.1.1

        Kevin,

        It begs the question of why he's restricted in what he can say. He presumably has some rights when he's not playing rugby. Let's look at Kurtley Beale – who plays rugby for Australia. In 2014, he texted a picture of a fat, naked woman to the Wallabies' team physio – and put the name Di on the pic. The team's phsyio was Di Patston. He allegedly sent her other texts including “Di who wants a go fucking this?” Now Beale has a long rap sheet and has been in strife with RA over many years. Patston, meanhwile, left the job she loved and apparently felt suicidal.

        What punishment do you think Beale received – a lifetime ban? A ten year ban, perhaps? He wasn't suspended for any matches. Do you think Folau has been treated in a proportionate manner when one considers the treatment Beale received?

        https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/oct/13/kurtley-beale-row-content-of-text-messages-with-di-patston-revealed

        • dv 2.1.1.1

          Did Beale send the pics to public media?

        • Ad 2.1.1.2

          Folau is getting called out because he happens not to be like the Australian Rugby Union's  misogynist and homophobic culture. 

          Even Australian League calls players out better. 

          • Muttonbird 2.1.1.2.1

            Put your teeth in and type that again, ffs. 😅

            • Ad 2.1.1.2.1.1

              You are clearly unaware of the long history of Rugby's repressing anyone different, often violently, and exploiting women sexually. 

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Daresay various (other) religions could give Rugby a run for its money in the 'repression and exploitation' stakes. Not a follower of rugby, or theist religions, but in this instance Rugby Australia is on the side of the angels (IMHO).

                "Folau’s views generate exclusivity, rather than inclusivity, and with it even hate." 

                "As Stuart Barnes wrote in the Sunday Times, the Pacific Islands are from another culture, where religious beliefs were heavily influenced by being part of the European empire.

                “Places where bullet and Bible worked in colonial interest,” wrote Barnes. “Missionaries taught the islanders to believe in our Christian God of empire. We moved on. The empire came to an end but in those Pacific Islands, God is a very real entity and belief absolute”"

                https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/gerry-thornley-israel-folau-left-rugby-australia-with-very-little-option-1.3861392

                • Ad

                  It was the Australian Rugby Union, in Australia, that has fired him for his expression.

                  It is Australian corporate sponsors, from Australia, that required this sacking of the Australian Rugby Union.

                  His church is the Australian Assembly of God, which supports Israel Folau. 

                  But top points for slurring Pacific islanders there.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    The Australian Rugby Union contends that "his expression" is a breach of contract – that contention will likely be tested in the courts.

                    Your "slur" attack seems as out of character as it is wide of the mark.  Homophobia brings out the worst in me – it’s not a choice.

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corrective_rape

                  • New view

                    Bollocks. Rugby Australia new it has large numbers of homosexuals lesbians and LP…… playing the game and didn’t want Falou insulting them. Sounds fair to me. He was already using his church to spread his idea of Godliness but that wasn’t enough for him. He decided to do his missionary work with a cheap txt. 

      • Dukeofurl 2.1.2

        Its seems that he had  over the past year done about 50 social media posts  about his religious beliefs.

        It seems only one ran a foul of Rugby Australia social media policy.

    • Sacha 2.2

      "The answer to speech that you don't like is more speech."

      Ah, the market will provide (for some people more than others).

  3. Formerly Ross 3

    It would be a strange result if you can breach an employment by, for instance, not turning up to work every Friday, but be exonerated by stating that it is because of your religious beliefs.

    Employers can be flexible – you mightn't have heard of former All Black Michael Jones. He refused to play on Sundays and as a result missed out on playing several tests. His employer didn't slag him off publicly nor did they sack him. 🙂

    • Sacha 3.1

      Jones also had the good grace not to attack anyone. There's your difference.

      • Formerly Ross 3.1.1

        Sacha, I was responding to Mickey who was suggesting that employees can't pick and choose when they work. In fact, many can.

        • Sacha 3.1.1.1

          And I was responding to your conclusion "His employer didn't slag him off publicly nor did they sack him."

          Jones is a great counter-example to Folau, thanks.

          • Formerly Ross 3.1.1.1.1

            Yeah I don't think you get it. Jones chose when he would play. His employer may not have liked that but they co-existed in harmony. 🙂

          • woodart 3.1.1.1.2

            plus ,michael has never held his hand out for donations to fund a court case….

        • Sabine 3.1.1.2

          actually employees can't pick and choose, but they can go to their boss and discuss these things. 

          like, sir, i like to go to church on sundays cause i am a devout christian. Can i take the days of?

          boss, sure thing, but you do understand that you will miss out on several tests? 

          I do sir, still cool tho? i really want to go to church on sunday with my family. 

          boss, sure thing, you go to church on sundays and someone else will take your place playing ball. 

           

          see? 

           

          • Ad 3.1.1.2.1

            Get real. 

            People get sent down the road for far less in this country, and the unions here are far weaker than in Australia. 

            You have absolutely no idea of the power dynamic between employer and employee in this country when it comes to public expression of any kind.

            • bwaghorn 3.1.1.2.1.1

              Yip as a bloke who earns his crust in a strongly nat voting conservative rural nz I moderate my self heavily.  Maybe it makes me a coward but a boys gotta eat.

        • Kevin 3.1.1.3

          Depending on your contract. You can make it a spur of the moment decision and expect your employer to be happy with it. 

  4. Sacha 4

    Folau is a highly-paid entertainer whose value to his employer and the broadcasters who pay them relies hugely on public reputation. So of course there was a general disrepute clause in his contract. In his case there was another layer of agreement not to repeat particular actions, which will no doubt form part of further legal maneuvering on his part.

    Avoiding responsibility for your actions is not exalted by any religion. If he wants to attack groups of people Folau can take the consequences and go get a different job.

  5. Muttonbird 5

    I suspect those supporting Folau are less interested in freedom of speech, and more interested in gay-bashing.

    • millsy 5.1

      Yes. If Folau had criticised, say, Australia's treatment of asylum seekers, the treatment of young aboriginies in pice custody, or the government's response to climate change, Latham, Jones, et Al would be screaming for his head.

    • woodart 5.2

      many of his supporters dont give a fig for folau, are religeous, or hate gays. they are on board as reef fish, hopeing to prove a point . there is an excellent simpsons episode about actions without consequences…."do what you feel day"..maybe it should be required veiwing…

  6. BevanJS 6

    "so that he can continue his anti homosexual crusade." to describe two Instagram posts that don't directly single out only homosexuals and that do want people in those groups to live a life more aligned with Folau's quite recent take on Christianity…..

     

    • Formerly Ross 6.1

      Yep Mickey seems to be giving a free pass to liars, cheats, fornicators, drunks, adulterers, atheists, idolators and thieves. Maybe it was OK for Folau to talk about them…it reminds me of Seth MacFarlane who hosted the roast of Charlie Sheen: “It’s interesting, when you think about the firing of Charlie Sheen tells you all you really need to know about Hollywood. You can abuse drugs. You can abuse your spouse. You can trash hotel rooms. You can solicit prostitutes. But don’t you ever, ever call a Jewish guy by his actual Jewish name.”

      • Sacha 6.1.1

        Those all seem to involve an element of choice, strangely enough.

        • Muttonbird 6.1.1.1

          Yep, the fearful right still think homosexuality is a defect wanting to be fixed.

        • Formerly Ross 6.1.1.2

          Those all seem to involve an element of choice

          As does religion. Yet that didn't prevent a fatwa being issued with respect to Salman Rushdie. It's a funny old world.

  7. Observer Tokoroa 7

    Mr and Mrs Folau

    A Christian is a Person who follows the Footsteps of Christ.  The person who advocated "Love thy Neigbour" among other very useful beatitudes such as: " I was in Prison and you visited me."

    Many decades after Christ was killed on the Roman Cross  – at the Request of the Jews – several "booklets" were written purporting to be the "Word of Christ". 

    The worst of these were about sex and gender. "You will burn in Hell for all Eternity".

    That is simply not Possible.  You cannot burn the same body into ashes for more than once. Certainly not Forever and Ever and ever and ever and ever- .

    So the Folau family are going to do what cannot be done by anyone, Burn up Sinners for all Eternity.  Christ himself never ventured deeply into the Jewish Stupidity about sex.

    A Prostitute, Mary by name, was about to be stoned by the Jews for having committed Adultery. Christ pushed himself up the Gathering and challenged that "The person who is free from Sin shall cast the First stone". The Gathering sloped away.

    Christ Burnt nobody. Mr and Mrs Folau, whilst gathering lots of money from the illiterate, are burning every person they can find to destroy their sexuality.

    For there is no person who is free from sin. Certainly not Folau. 

    Mixing healthy sport with Excruciating Fires of  with nonsense Hell – is utterly totally Sick. Folau should beg forgiveness,

     

     

     

    • Ad 7.1

      And yet the only person burnt is Mr Folau. 

      • Formerly Ross 7.1.1

        If Rugby Australia is trying to turn Folau into a martyr, they're doing a bang-up job. 🙂

        • Ad 7.1.1.1

          Aye. 

          People forget that Australia is now run by a conservative Christian evangelical. The toleration of sustained attacks against Christians for purely commercial reasons isn't going to last forever. 

  8. marty mars 8

    the intellectuals get involved for some deep deep thinking 

    I know I’m a white, middle-class, privileged male writing about this and that Folau and Vunipola don’t look like your typical minority ethnic group members by virtue of being 18 stone and rugby players, but being a minority group isn’t about physical size.

    https://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/Israel-Folau-and-the-intolerance-of-the-new-colonialism

  9. Sabine 9

    i have come to the conclusion that 'devout christian' actually do think that their 'devoutness' is a get out of jail card. 

    be it the devout christian who defaces public property by cutting off some offending genitals of a sculpture or be it a dumb arsed rugby player who believes he has a right to tell people who live their lifes without his permission that they will go to hell. 

    as for his playing rugby and being a devout christian? Honey, there are a lot of 'devout christian, mulims, jews, hindus, sikhs, etc etc etc, and they are not assholes on social media or in real life. 

    if he wants to be a raging 'devout' christian, become a preacher, get a group of followers and call it the heterosexual falau cult. 

    no one owes this idiot a job. time for him to simply go away. 

     

    • Ad 9.1

      You have a pretty weird threshold for assholery if you can say that Israel Folau's post constituted that. 

      If every single person on this site had their name unmasked, a lot worse abuse would be attributed, for far lower consequences.

      The only reason he had to resign was because the sponsors pressured the Australian Rugby Union for entirely commercial reasons; let's not pretend there's some human rights principle at stake here. 

      • Sabine 9.1.1

        Nope, i have a perfectly balanced threshold for assholery. 

        One does not threaten people with 'hell' unless one are an asshole. One does not deface a public piece of artwork unless one is an asshole. 

        and if one is using his/her  'devout christianity' to hide ones assholery behind their religious believes then would consider one to be a cowardly asshole.  

         

        he wants to preach about people who don't conform to his worldview to go to 'hell' then he should get his ass into a church and start preaching. 

        but if i were to pay his wages, and would get a backlash from a rather large part of the population – gays and their families/supporters, a group of people who has cash to spend and sport to watch, then i would tell my employee to choose  – preaching or rugby. 

        And yeah, this young man is a raging asshole and maybe he will learn that ALL humans are created in the image of god. 

         

        • Formerly Ross 9.1.1.1

          One does not threaten people with 'hell' unless one are an asshole

          Threaten with Hell? It's embarrassing that I have to explain this to you, Sabine, but there is no such thing as Hell – it doesn't exist. Similarly, the tooth fairy and Father Christmas are not real. 🙂

          • Rae 9.1.1.1.1

            To little kids they all are real, including hell if their heads are filled with that.

      • A 9.1.2

        It was his expectation that he should be respected despite his social media stance that defines who/what he is.

        Pity that money raised isn't going to people who need help.  Today in the supermarket I stood next to someone who clearly hadn't showered for awhile and thought about how that money could have been used to help him out.  

    • Formerly Ross 9.2

      You want the issue of free seech to simply go away? I don't think it works like that. Free speech gave both the gay movement and the civil rights movement in the US tremendous assistance. I have no doubt that many people were pissed off as a result but they got over themselves.

  10. JohnSelway 10

    People always misunderstand freedom of speech. Freedom of speech laws only relate to the public sphere. You have no freedom of speech in the private sector. Facebook, Twitter, your workplace, even The Standard is not covered by freedom of speech. Folau cannot use the Freedom of Speech argument on twitter or in relation to his career. Employers curtail our freedom of speech all the time. Publicly we can stand in public and bemoan homosexuality without being arrested but your employer can say fuck you and fire your ass for doing so. 

    • Formerly Ross 10.1

      John

      Of course, employers can fire an employee, but that doesn't mean they're always in the right. You may not have heard of Karen Hammond, who baked a cake and was subsequently fired because the cake featured derogatory comments about her employer. She had the temerity to post a picture of the cake to Facebook. She was later awarded substantial damages by the Human Rights Review Tribunal due to a breach of her privacy. If only her employer had embraced her right to free speech. 🙂 One can only speculate at the reputational damage incurred by NZCU Baywide.

      Hawke's Bay woman Karen Hammond, who iced a cake with derogatory comments about her former employer, has won her claim that her privacy was breached when the company took an image of the cake from her Facebook page and used it to harm her employment opportunities.

      The Human Rights Review Tribunal ordered NZ Credit Union Baywide to pay a record $168,070 in damages to Hammond, and apologise to her "for the severe humiliation, severe loss of dignity and severe injury to feelings".

      The company must also retract information it sent to staff and other agencies about her, and undertake training to ensure all staff understand the Privacy Act.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/better-business/66827105/

      • JohnSelway 10.1.1

        I never said they were/are always right. Just pointing out Folau has freedom of speech in the public square but his employer can tell him to fuck off.

        People often misunderstand freedom of speech. I’ve seen people here demand “I have freedom of speech!”.

        Well, no you don’t. If LPrent wants you to fuck off then he can tell you to fuck off

        • Incognito 10.1.1.1

          Lynn has an idiosyncratic way of warning people who are breaking or are close to breaking the site’s policy and rules. Overstep the line and ignore the warnings at your own peril. This site is a beacon for free speech and as free as it gets IMHO. Some commenters take advantage of this freedom and the platform that is provided to them by Lynn and treat the site as their own personal sandpit in which they can bully others. If I were you, I’d be very careful how you pull TS and Lynn for that matter into a conversation about freedom of expression. Just saying.

          • JohnSelway 10.1.1.1.1

            Given I’m affirming that Lynn and the other Mods, The Standard as a whole, is able to ban anyone it likes and doesn’t have to capitulate to people crying “Freedom of Speech” I fail to see why I need to be careful. I’m saying facts not opinion. The Standard as a blog can ban and limit speech as much as it likes. 

            • Incognito 10.1.1.1.1.1

              You seem to suggest that the powers that be here are banning based on dislike and that is categorically untrue. Like or dislike does not come into it until you cross the line as set out in the site’s policy and rules. They are not restrictive by any means and very easy to read and understand. Even when you cross the line, you usually receive a warning or two and moderators go to great lengths to explain and to be fair and balanced. Moderation and even banning is all about adjustment of behaviour on this site. That said, moderators are human and make mistakes and certainly in the past some moderators got caught in heated arguments with (other) commenters and made some dubious calls. I’d like to think that things have improved somewhat 😉

              Anyway, your hypothetical case of willy-nilly banning here because it can or could happen is a weak argument IMO because it is hypothetical. Thus, why you raise it is not clear.

              • veutoviper

                At the risk of getting myself into trouble here, I think you are reading more into what John has said than he actually said – and particularly into the word "likes'. My reading is that in both comments 10.1.1 and 10.1.1.1 he is simply acknowledging that Mods etc here have the right to warn, ban etc and limit speech – period.  No criticism intended by John (or myself) .

                Imho he is simply recognizing/acknowledging  that all of us commenters here on TS are guests in someone else's house* and the TS Trust, lprent, and other authors/moderators rightly set the rules –  and also have the legal right to do so and are not bound by freedom of speech principles.

                I have some agreement with John's overall contentions in 10, although I also think they are probably a bit too generalised. but that is for another comment maybe.

                * Ie that TS is not part of the wider 'public sector' as mentioned in his original comment at 10, but rather is part of the 'private sector' which is not subject to freedom of speech.  

                 

                • Dennis Frank

                  TS is not part of the wider 'public sector'

                  Not so, imo!  I've seen plenty of media commentary in recent years asserting that political blogs are the contemporary equivalent of newspapers.  Inasmuch as they incorporate comments on the political news, just as newspapers did via letters to the editor, I can see where this body of opinion is coming from.

                  I'm agnostic on the point and if someone can quote a clause in any current law that pertains to media and contradicts this popular view, I'll acknowledge it is in error!

                  That said, I agree that TS can be viewed as someone's room (however communal) and there is therefore a basis for deeming it partially private.  Yet I suspect that posting to any social media site that the public reads is an act of publication – by definition – if the result can be seen by the public!!

              • JohnSelway

                Don’t be a fucking jackass Incognito. I’m saying that the public sphere has enshrined free speech and the private sphere – like the standard doesn’t.

                 

                thats it.

                • Incognito

                  No need to get so abusive; please tone it down.

                  You’ll have to explain two things:

                  1) “the public sphere has enshrined free speech”.

                  2) why you consider TS to be (part of) the private sector and thus not enshrine free speech.

                  TS is a free forum where anybody can join in, unlike Stuff or NZ Herald, for example. TS is subject to the same laws.

                  Thats it [sic]

                  • JohnSelway

                    im not sure what you’re misunderstanding here. In a public place you are allowed to organise a protest and proclaim you are anti-homosexuals (as one example). It’s your right to organise, associate and protest. On a private site, like The Standard, Kiwiblog, Twitter, Facebook or any other medium you don’t have those rights and can be removed based upon site policy.

                    It’s pretty simple

                  • JohnSelway

                    Here’s a better example. I can stand outside parliament every day with a sign that says “Down with Jacinda Ardern” which is my right and if I was removed I would be able to make a case that my freedom of speech was taken away. If I did that here and Lynn decided to ban me for it then there’s fuck all I could do

                    • Incognito

                      It seems I may have extrapolated your comments too far out of context according to Veutoviper @ 1:52 pm but Dennis Frank @ 5:47 PM put it into a perspective that aligns better with the actual situation.

                      TS is, of course, subject to the same laws on free speech, defamation, libel, etc., as MSM. As far as I know. If you read the site’s policy, which you have done, of course, you will know that you have as much freedom as you like within the rules set out in the policy. These rules may seem arbitrary to you, as if you’re in one’s living room, but they are really to encourage robust debate and avoid legal repercussions to TS. I think a better analogy would be a shop with an open mike.

                      TS is neither a billboard nor an advertising space where you can pay for your own sign to be put up. However, if you’d like to post a comment every day saying “[d]own with Jacinda Ardern”, you can! Where else can you do this except on your own blog or in your own living room? Fact is that many commenters here do this, day in – day out, but perhaps not with so many words. They tend to be called out and labelled RWNJs but they are free to say what they want to say. TS is not an echo chamber.

                      All public places, even parliamentary grounds, have certain rules to obey with. The only difference is that with TS you may not have legal recourse when you get booted off. In fact, I found a moderation note to you by Lynn in which he was twitching to kick you off but he didn’t because he was bound by the site’s policy and he said that in his note; do you want me to link to that?

                      To make a long story short, IMO TS is as public a space as I can imagine with loads of freedom, lenient rules, and safety of light-handed moderation that fosters robust debate. If one doesn’t like it, one can waive their placard on the corner of a street somewhere and see what that achieves.

  11. If he said Jews, blacks or cripples would burn in hell, he'd have no way back and we wouldn't even be having this conversation as he'd rightfully be run out of town, yet because his backwards understanding of his backwards religion, and what appears to be an acceptance of homophobia, he somehow has some redress because it affects his free speech rights.

    Bullshit to that.

  12. Sacha 12

    From the SMH article:

    It’s no accident the demands for more free speech tend to come not from those lacking power, but those who fear the erosion of their power.

    • Rapunzel 12.1

      And also those with not a lot to say but you have latched on to a bit of a trend to bang on about free speech. The internet along with media beat ups to grab a headline are what enables something that did not exist on this level not that long ago.

      To me it is a non-issue, basically you do not swear or broach some subjects in front of children and certain others when at work or a group unless the subject is a common interest of that group.

      If certain church representatives turn up at my gate I can turn them away, as I can those selling anything else, including politics if I choose, I am not obliged to consider what they think and I am not stopping them saying what they think to whoever wants to listen. I suppose they at least have a message whereas the "free speech" argument seems like a new religion whereby they imagine they have some right to enforce their view on others but much of the time, other than repeating "free speech" again and again, any "views" seem extremely limited.

    • Ad 12.2

      It's no accident people who are minority and have temerity to express something get the shit kicked out of them. 

      • Sacha 12.2.1

        The long history of elite sportspeople and christians being savagely repressed must concern us all.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 12.2.2

        Couldn't agree more, Ad. Examples of ‘Getting the shit kicked out of them‘ (and much worse) abound, some quite close to home.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_sexual_abuse_cases_in_Australia

        It’s all to do with control and fear. On the Faith-Doubt axis, I tend towards doubt.

        "Even as society progressed, attitudes towards homosexuality became slightly more tolerant but it was seen as a mental health issue. Homosexuality was considered a psychiatric disorder until 1975.

        In 1978, the year some attribute to the birth of Australia’s ‘gay rights movement’, violent confrontations between police and a group of protesters in Sydney ended in 53 arrests. This was the first Gay Mardi Gras.Additional protests in the same year resulted in a total of almost 200 arrests."

        "Although these advances in societal attitudes and law supported a more progressive approach towards homosexuality, during the late 1980s and early 1990s, a series of disappearances and murders of gay men and men presumed to be gay, many involving groups of young people specifically targeting these men and locations known as ‘beats’ (cliffs in Bondi and Tamarama and Marks Park), highlighted a change in focus on the homosexual as a ‘lawbreaker’ to a ‘victim’ of anti-gay violence."

        "Despite this clear progress in terms of law reform, there remains concerning evidence of discrimination and violence directed against people simply because they are or appear to be gay, lesbian or transgender, gender diverse. Research eg Private Lives 2012, suggests that LGBTIQ people continue to experience high levels of harassment and violence, and fear of such violence. Reports to police however, seem to be declining, even though there has been substantial campaign activity by police, in partnership with community organisations to encourage reporting. Whilst verbal and non physical harassment, abuse and bullying may be on the rise, or at least still very concerning, there does not appear to be the same level of extreme physical violence towards LGBTIQ people as we saw during the 80s and 90s. Nevertheless, literature from around the world suggests that under-reporting of bias crime is a major concern and police need to appreciate the challenges many people face when considering whether to report to police."

        https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/lcdocs/other/12196/Answers%20to%20supplementary%20questions%20-%20Attachments%20-%20NSW%20Police%20-%20received%205%20February%202019.PDF

  13. Dukeofurl 13

    Folau wasnt born in Tonga. Was born in Minto, on the outskirts of Sydney in 1989.

    Its a common mistake with sports stars , every one thinks they were all born in various places in the Pacific Islands, when its mostly NZ now  and   Australia.

     

  14. Definition of "Quote" To copy or repeat word for word.

    His WHOLE case revolves around him saying that he "QUOTED word for word" from the bible in his rant. That, right there, is his downfall. There is nowhere in the bible that says what he "QUOTED". He has twisted what the bible said and put it into his OWN words and said it was a "QUOTE". He is a lier (one of his condemned items). So, in saying that, he is also a hypocrite. Case closed.

    • Roflcopter 14.1

      Depends on which version of the Bible you read.

      • Clive Macann 14.1.1

        I have looked through a number of versions and his wording is HIS.

        Not a Quote at all as he insisted. 

         

        • Dennis Frank 14.1.1.1

          What I suspected.  I've noticed that he hasn't quoted the bible in any media coverage of his controversy right from the very start of it!  I just assumed it was part of the popular trend away from feeling the need to validate assertions (perception rules, reality doesn't matter).

          I vaguely recall admonitions against homosexuality being in the bible, emanating from God rather than Jesus, but I haven't read it since I was a child long ago.  Someone here suggested Saint Paul's letters contain such, in the bible.  Until someone proves it, I view both as unvalidated.

  15. That’s not free speech being unjustly restrained. That’s Folau choosing his religious conviction over his contractual obligations.

    Sure.  But there's a weird disconnect here.  Right-wingers have been successfully pushing in recent decades for employers to have more and more control over their employees' lives, but are suddenly horrified by it when an employer uses it against a religious conservative.  Left-wingers have consistently agitated against the growth of employer control over employees' lives, but are suddenly supportive of it now that it's being used against a religious conservative.

    Seems to me the truth here is that Folau's freedom of speech isn't being unfairly restricted because he signed it away when he agreed to take Rugby Australia's money, but the fact that employers are legally able to make an employee sign their freedom of speech away isn't something we should have allowed to happen.  The NZ government should take this Aus incident as a reason for looking at restricting what employers can get away with, eg it shouldn't be possible to contract out of your BoRA freedom of expressions rights. 

    • RedLogix 15.1

      but are suddenly supportive of it now that it's being used against a religious conservative.

      Yep, and especially a Christian religious conservative. Ideal target. Any sort of conservative in fact.

      There is good reason for an employer to require employees not to explicitly denigrate them in public; it's unreasonable to expect to be paid by a company and at the same time dump on their products and services. The two are just not commensurate. But a tricky line gets crossed when RA as an employer can invoke the 'bring into disrepute' argument when, as in this case, Folau was speaking as a private person, nor saying anything specific about Rugby itself.

      That opens the door to employers objecting to literally anything you might say in the public domain that senior management disagrees with, and then terminating employees with impunity.

    • McFlock 15.2

      Seems to me the truth here is that Folau's freedom of speech isn't being unfairly restricted because he signed it away when he agreed to take Rugby Australia's money, but the fact that employers are legally able to make an employee sign their freedom of speech away isn't something we should have allowed to happen. 

      Best argument I've heard in favour of the dude.

      Personally, I think that his role as (as someone upthread called it) an entertainer is one of the few roles where employers should be able to incorporate public statements outside of work as part of the employee's suitability for the role. It goes to whether people want to pay money to see the person at work (or associate themselves with the player to advertise their own brand).

      At the other end would be say a truckdriver who gets fired for having a twitter account where the driver says "Ardern sucks", even though the account is almost anonymous and wouldn't be traced back to the company by any normal person. Let's say it only came to light because a colleague noticed the login during a bbq at the driver's house. So it's not really any effect on the employer's business at all.

      I reckon the line is somewhere between the two.

      As for folau himself, he seems to be just another "christian" who selectively chooses which bits they follow in practise. Says more about him than the Bible.

      • Psycho Milt 15.2.1

        Personally, I think that his role as (as someone upthread called it) an entertainer is one of the few roles where employers should be able to incorporate public statements outside of work as part of the employee's suitability for the role.

        A particularly rich irony of this fuss.  His fame as a professional entertainer makes his case at the same time the least relevant instance of an employer restricting employees' freedom of speech, and the most likely to get traction in the media.

  16. Reality 16

    According to an article in the Herald and assuming it is correct,  the CEO of Qantas is gay. Qantas is a major sponsor of Australian rugby. So Folau is in effect wanting to be free to insult and berate that CEO but saying hey, I still want you to pay me millions.  The real world doesn't work that way.

    No one seems to be asking why Folau is not selling one of his properties to cover his legal costs.  Is not greed one of the seven deadly sins?  

    • mauī 16.1

      Folau was just as insulting to drunks and atheists in his social media post. Yet if the CEO was drunk and an atheist I'm sure the comment would probably fly under the radar. I think out current culture has a serious problem with inflaming issues and that probably has all sorts of negative effects on society cohesion.

  17. One Two 17

    The pile in on Maria Folau highlights the rank hypocrisy of this situation, and all who have actively chosen to participate in the bullying.

    Individuals and corporations, alike.

  18. Wayne 18

    This whole thing is emblematic of the culture wars. Basically the Left are saying Folau should be sacked because he expressed his religious beliefs. And the Right are saying that he ought to be able to express his religious, because basically they are nothing to do with the Rugby Union. And I expect the twain shall not meet.

    As you might expect, I think Folau should be able to express his religious beliefs. His view of what happens in Hell is no business of of the Rugby Union.

    I do think religious beliefs have a special level of protection. They are different to the broader right of free speech, where it is self evident that one could easily say something that will bring an employer into disrepute, criticising their product or service on line being obvious examples. All legislation and constitutions recognise that, by giving special protection to religion.

    A religious belief is not about the employer. It is nothing to do with them. 

    For instance an Exclusive Brethren believer might be employed by a local council. Their religious beliefs will be much stricter than what a council would have as public policy. So if the members of the congregation publicise their beliefs on a website, each signing up to it, is the Left's view that if any of them are employed by the local council they should be sacked? I guess the answer is yes.

    Folau obviously has a much higher profile as a result of his employment, but that doesn't mean he surrenders his rights to a religious belief, and his right to speak of his beliefs. 

     

     

    • Sacha 18.1

      There is no unfettered right to public speech. That includes claiming 'religion' as a cover for hatred or disparagement.

      • One Two 18.1.1

        There is no unfettered right to public speech

        Of course there is. Exercised or not.

         

        • Sacha 18.1.1.1

          All rights are balanced against other rights. This conversation has been had here many times before.

          • Dukeofurl 18.1.1.1.1

            Yes . Even in US  where they have the broadest 'free speech ' protections

            there are plenty of exclusions. (like there is for all the 'rights')

            1 lies

            2 obscenity

            3 Violence

            4 Students Speech

            5 Offending Friends and Co workers

            6 Time and place

             

            There are other obvious worked related restrictions,  you cant discuss confidential  stuff outside work.

            The main one is the employer can fire someone because of their political views, even  if its indirect – ie bumper sticker on car

      • Wayne 18.1.2

        Sacha,

        What about my question about the Exclusive Brethren, who I am pretty sure have fundamentalist views similar to Folau. As indeed do many fundamentalist sects of the three Abrahamic religions.

        • Sacha 18.1.2.1

          It matters nothing which religion an elite professional entertainer follows if their contract restricts their public utterances. Take competing rights in front of a court by all means. Preferably pay for that yourself, or ask your church for support.

        • KJT 18.1.2.2

          They have the freedom to say it.

          Just as we have the freedom to say they are intolerant arseholes, using religion as a cover.

          Funny how religious extremists ignore other lessons from the Abrahamic religions, Refraining from Usury and cheating, and sharing wealth. 

          Apparently the bible was only translated as forbidding homosexuality as late as the mid 1900's. The Greek version apparently translates as forbidding pedophilia. Go figure

        • Dukeofurl 18.1.2.3

          This Exclusive Brethren school teacher was sacked

          "The Herald on Sunday reported last week that a teacher from one such school in the Northland town of Kerikeri was sacked for using a "morally defiling" modern version of Shakespeare's great tragedy King Lear in a Year 13 class. "

          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10643666

          • KJT 18.1.2.3.1

            I had a go at the school my son went to at 5, with the religious education that had him having nightmares about crucifixion and hell. 

            The kids who opted out were effectively punished, so I started taking him to school after the religious arsehats had done their deeds.

            Reminded me we shouldn't give religious extremists a platform, in State schools.

            Ethics and telling kids that people have different beliefs , with examples, is fine. Indoctrination is not!

             

    • The Al1en 18.2

      He can have his beliefs, repugnant as they are, his wife can support him (and thus them), but what he can't do is say gays will burn in hell and expect zero consequences.

      It brings the game into disrepute far more than a druggie or boozy player fighting in public or one caught out shagging behind their partners back, which have previously resulted in punishments and bans.

      It's not left, or right, it's just correct. It’s why white supremacists are able to believe their shit, but not permitted to engage in hate speech.

      • mauī 18.2.1

        "It brings the game into disrepute far more than a druggie or boozy player fighting in public or one caught out shagging behind their partners back,"

        Not sure about that. Finding out there was widespread cheating in rugby would be bringing the game into disrepute, but singular player indiscretions outside of the game is more on the player than the game.

    • KJT 18.3

      I agree that it is a very slippery slope. Religious beliefs today. Political alignment tomorrow. Both of which should have nothing to do with an employer.

      Employers have too much power over employees speech as it is. Talley's being one example of abuse of that power.

      In some things I will say, to fellow lefties, be careful what you wish for. The right wing, despite all their pontificating about "free speech" at the moment are the first to try and stop it. Note the home invasion of the Hagars, by the police. We don't need to encourage them in restricting principled dissent. I find the right wing support of Folau as "mealy mouthed", as their crocodile tears over housing.

      Folau is an ignorant brainwashed twit, but so are Richardson and Hosking's.

      They have a right to free speech, but whether we should allow them a platform, or allow employers to dictate what they say, in matters that don't directly affect their employer in their work life,  is another matter?

    • Sabine 18.4

      define the left? 

      or do you consider his boss as 'the left'? 

      what has happened to 'the market decides' or are people of a different sexual orientation than that rugby player not part of 'the market' ? 

      Or is freedom of speech only something that 'conservatives' get to use and get to complain about? 

       

      • KJT 18.4.1

        If you are replying to my comment, I suggest you read it again.

      • Sabine 18.4.2

        no the left and the right are saying nothing much. 

         

        there are group of people that are not heterosexual but that are christian, are conservative and they are equally unhappy about such comments. 

        and there are groups that are heterosexual, christian and liberal and they are equally unhappy about these comments. 

        and then you have the libertarians who are also anything in between. 

         

        so anyone speaks in terms of the 'right' or the ' left' i would like these terms to be quantified and specified. Because it is a simple bullshit cop out, unless of course one speaks of polititans and journalists. Who seem to be nothing of anything much these days. 

         

    • SPC 18.5

      Yeah sure … leaving employers free to discriminate against left wing employees but not the right wing's darlings, the Christian conservative. Typical. 

      It's either an equal protection – political creed, religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, marital status etc or its the old order of privileged favouritism.

      And surely religious freedom would include non discrimination against employees based on their work availabililty – on religious grounds. 

  19. Sabine 19

    Freedom of speech guarantees 

     

    freedom of government interference and threats of loss of live/liberty etc at that hand of government

     

    freedom of speech however does not guarantee 

    freedom of consequenses socially, i.e. people thinking that maybe the speechifyer is a bit of a wanker, freedom of consequences professionally, i.e. don't have a negative impact on the bottom line of your boss, and last but least freedom of ridicule. 

     

     

    • KJT 19.1

      "A negative impact on the bottom line of your boss" can include any public Union discussion on wages. Just saying.

      • Sabine 19.1.1

        I personally think there is a big difference between a Union fighting for better wages  – for everyone irrespective of race, gender, sexual identity – then this little dude to declare 'gays are going to hell btw' . But what ever. 

        the point is, that surely this guy in his contract has a clause that would include how to behave in public and to not bring shame, distressed, or any negative impact on the business. 

        Frankly most of us who have signed a work contract have such a clause in it. 

        And maybe its just the year 2021 and people are over this shit. 

        He has a right to his speech, he has a right to legal representation, and the company has exactly the same rights. And if his company has to realise that instead of him making them money – the only reason for his employment – he is making them loose money then the company is entitled to severe the contract.They might have to give him a bit of money – outstanding pay / holiday pay etc, but they too have rights, and i would think that unions would agree to this. 

         

        Someone should have coached Falau on how to speak about homosexuality and the churches stance without being a dick about it. And it appears that who ever has this job did not understand that doubling down on previously stated bullshit might not be a good strategy. 

         

        Personally i am all for these wankers to be coming out of the woodwork. Go show us your 'christian love' and 'tolerance'. Let us know how you feel, so that i better can avoid you at all cost and that means not watching rugby when he is on the screen. 

  20. SPC 20

    There are a lot of people who cannot get employment unless they are available to work when required (including 7 day shifts). This is not something those who have religious holidays can guarantee, so they do not get employed. 

    But I doubt Folau, or the right wing identity, race and religion politicians could care less about that. Because they are of a privileged moneyed elite. They will however protect the right of religious groups to discriminate in employment. 

  21. Jenny - How to Get there? 21

    I don't know what church Israel Folau goes to but it must not be a very progressive one

    If recent history teaches us anything, it is that public expressions of bigotry and hatred should not go unchallenged.

    Israel Folau has used the public platform afforded him by his sporting success to launch an unprovoked attack on the gay community;  his excuse, he is just quoting from the Christian Bible.

    Using a quote from the bible as an excuse to inflame hatred against any group is unacceptable.

    Quotes from the bible have been used by people of ill will to justify everything from slavery to anti-semitism.
     

    Religious leaders of all faiths need to speak out. Don't just leave it to the Secular community to decry these sorts of attacks.

    “I think any serious engagement with the Bible has to take it, not in terms of the particularities of an individual verse, but in terms of the whole of the witness,”
    Harold Attridge, Sterling Professor of Divinity at the Yale Divinity School.

    Jews are the children of Satan" and the danger of taking biblical passages out of context

    …..despite the fact that Jesus was himself a member of the Jewish people – there are many examples throughout history of passages in the New Testament being wielded for anti-Semitic purposes. 

    ……..The wielding of biblical passages for hate-fueled ends is sadly nothing new to the Jewish community. It is also all too familiar to black Americans and to members of the LGBTQ community, as well. 

    There are numerous examples of Bible verses which have been used through the course of history to justify the institution of slavery, with all its racial connotations in this country, and that are still being heralded by white supremacists today. First Corinthians 7:21, First Timothy, Second Timothy, Ephesians, Colossians, an entire letter that Paul writes about a fugitive slave… the list goes on and on, with several biblical examples in which the same advice is given to slaves: "Obey your masters." 

    “They are there in the Bible and we now recognize that they are not moral guides to what we should do or be," explains Attridge. "But you know, 150 years ago, people were quoting the Bible to support the institution of slavery. That heritage has lasted in terms of some of the racialism we see on the streets today.”

    In addition, some of those who condemn homosexuality point to biblical passages like Leviticus and Romans 1:24-27 as proof that the Bible agrees. But in this case, too, Attridge argues that these passages are being taken out of their proper historical context.

    "Paul talks about men having sexual relations with men and women exchanging the natural for the unnatural," says Attridge. "They're probably reacting not in general to homosexual activity, but to specifically the forms it was taking in the Greco-Roman world, reacting to the ways in which people were exploiting people of the same sex, as well as people of other sexes, for various personal reasons. This has to be, I think, understood in the same way as a lot of stuff in the Bible that simply reflects the cultural assumptions of the period, which have long since proven to be problematic – that the world is flat, that lending money at interest is evil, etc. 

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/jews-are-the-children-of-satan-john-8-44-danger-of-taking-biblical-passages-out-of-context/

    As others have pointed out Israel Folau’s right to free speech is not being curtailed. The platform given him that he has abused, is being taken back by the ARU. Good on them.

    • Sabine 21.1

      @ Jenny – How to Get there?

      As others have pointed out Israel Folau’s right to free speech is not being curtailed. The platform given him that he has abused, is being taken back by the ARU. Good on them.

       

      so good it had to be repeated. 

  22. Darien Fenton 22

    Anyone noticed what's happening in Fiji with FTUC leader Felix Anthony arrested yet again?  Have a look at the "free speech" issues in that case, and tell me you are going to contribution gazillions for the cause,

     

  23. Red Blooded One 23

    I would just like to thank Sacha, Muttonbird and many others saying the things I would like to say on this thread. My reply function on this site is not working on my computer (which is probably a good thing) so cannot comment directly.

    To those of you defending the Folau's and demanding their right to free speech I would just like to tell you I am tired. Tired of having to turn the other cheek, tired of having to be the bigger man, whether it be the intrusion of a Adventist at your door, reminding you that in their eyes you are an Abomination or the Folau's linking your born sexuality with thieves and murderers and telling you that you'll burn in Hell for all eternity because of who you are. For you to vehemently defend them just highlights to me that a great number of the public do not believe I should be allowed to exist un-demonized.

    This started all around the same time as the Mosque shootings and the countries religious leaders joined the country (except a very few, Tamaki, and white supremacists etc) to stand up against the attack. I did not see ONE Religeous leader (of any denomination) stand to say Folau was wrong in what he said. (I saw a little waffle of "I wouldn't say things the way he did" etc) so as far as I am concerned all those sanctimoniously calling for protection of Religious expression, please consider what you are actually defending.

     

  24. Roflcopter 24

    As much of a dick Folau is, people could have just gone "what a dick", rolled their eyes, unsubscribed from his feeds, and we wouldn't be where we are today.

  25. Rae 25

    This dropped onto my fb page yesterday. Mr Pitt appears to be an Australian (see last line) indecision

    Wayne Pitt

    27 June at 09:43

    Dear Israel Folau,

    Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from you, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can.

    When someone tries to defend the homosexual/transsexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination … End of debate.
    I do, however, need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

    These are:
    1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations.
    A friend of mine claims that this applies to Papua New Guineans, but not New Zealanders. Can you clarify? Why can't I own New Zealanders?

    2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15: 19-24.
    The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.

    4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odour for the Lord – Lev.1:9.
    The problem is my neighbours. They claim the odour is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

    5. I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death.
    Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

    6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

    7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

    8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

    9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

    10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot………
    ….. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

    11. The bible clearly states Leviticus 19:28, which says,”You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord.”

    Why do you have tattoos Israel Folau ? Am I now morally obliged to now stone you to death ?

    I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help.

    Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

    PS: It would be a real shame if we couldn't own a New Zealander

    • SPC 25.1

      Christians tend to regard themselves as post OT law. 

      In this case the issue is more one of Folau's adding his words along with the text in a careless way (taking text out of context is an arguement others make) – this is frowned upon. Not adding, or taking away, words when quoting the bible is proper form which he strays from without due care. 

      • KJT 25.1.1

        According to my bible scholar reference person.

        Not the Bible. Even the old testament mostly described specific religious practices. Not what we would call homosexuality.

        The original scriptures in Greek used the words for pederasty. Forbidding sex with young boys. A common Roman practice.

        https://www.huffpost.com/entry/dont-blame-it-on-the-bible_b_2884094

        "What did Sodom’s wickedness entail? Ezekiel explains that it was not sexual sins, but rather “pride, excess of food [that is, for greed and unwillingness to share], … prosperous ease” and because it “did not aid the poor and needy” (16:49-50). The prophet Jeremiah gives the same general reason (23:13), as does Jesus (Matthew 10:14-15). In fact, biblical references to Sodom and Gomorrah overwhelmingly cite the issues of unscrupulousness and domination of others as their fatal transgressions; there is little if any mention of any kind of sex".

        • SPC 25.1.1.1

          Yeah na. While I sympathise with the purpose, it's just apologetic for the continued relevance of the bible word as authoritative on God – by trying to "sweeten the meaning" to modern taste.  

          A democratic society, providing for the equality of all its citizens, can validate its secular regime without recourse to validation from the bible word. 

          The bible does say what it says – and that is why, despite that American scholarship and their media publishing that stuff it has little impact on most Christians over there. Most still believe in creationism, a historic flood, destruction of  Sodom and Gomorrah by God, an end time judgment etc and hell for all those not Christians (including Jews and Moslems etc). 

          • KJT 25.1.1.1.1

            Just pointing out the contradictions.

            Of course believing in an "invisible and unknowable" being, without evidence is in itself a cognitive dissonance.

      • Rae 25.1.2

        Then why is the OT there?

        • SPC 25.1.2.1

          Probably a necessity given it is quoted in the NT gospels and letters and it was the cultural origin of the mother of the one they call their God.

          The believer will cite OT prophecy of the birth of the Messiah – anointed one.

          I'll just add something most miss completely, there are 39 OT books the number of weeks from conception to birth (36 original names – Levi and law have the number 36 and 3 repeated names to get to 39 because there are more than 4 weeks a month). 

        • Sacha 25.1.2.2

          Without the Original Trilogy the first and last three films make less sense.

  26. Rae 26

    Inside the churches that preach what they preach are young children having homophobia drilled into their impressionable minds through the preaching of what Folau believes. 

    I kind of don't care about Folau and his beliefs, him being an adult and all, but I definitely am bothered that somehow or other these people think being homosexual is a choice, as is being an atheist, drunkard, fornicator or even following a religion when it comes right down to it.

    I will challenge the belief in a god that would create homosexuals then condemn them if they live who they are. Pretty sadistic thing to do far as I am concerned.

    I am going to be bold enough to draw a link between attacks on homosexuals, such as the one on Aziz Al-Sa'afin on these beliefs being hammered into kids' heads https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/celebrities/110522433/journalist-aziz-alsaafin-beaten-up-in-auckland-in-homophobic-attack

  27. Morrissey 27

    Israel Folau is a Tongan born professional Rugby/League player of some standing.

    In fact, Israel Folau is a Tongan born professional footballer of some standing. 

    • KJT 27.1

      Born in Sydney?

      • Morrissey 27.1.1

        Correct, KJT! In actual fact, Israel Folau is a Minto, NSW-born professional footballer of some standing. 

    • And has he ever played football, let alone professionally?

      • SPC 27.2.1

        He played Aussie rules, not very well, but got paid a lot. 

      • Morrissey 27.2.2

        He played football for the NSW Waratahs until he breached his contract. He also played football for the Wallabies, as I'm sure you're aware.

        He also played a season of Australian Rules football for Greater Western Sydney in 2012.

         

        • The Al1en 27.2.2.1

          NSW Waratahs are rugby union team.

          • Morrissey 27.2.2.1.1

            Idiot. They're a football team. Rugby union is a kind of football. 

            • The Al1en 27.2.2.1.1.1

              NSW Rugby union. It's on the bloody logo lol

              http://www.nswwaratahs.com.au

              • Morrissey

                That's the organisation that runs the football team. 

                • The Al1en

                  You've been munted on this issue in the past, and I'm not personally interested in you re-litigating one of your failures with you, other than to say sure, it may originate from rugby football, but unlike American football in the states, football is widely accepted to mean the round ball game, rugby the 15 a side version and league with 13 players.

                   

                  • Morrissey

                    Your fantasy world, with its tidy and clearly delineated categories, does not exist in reality. Football in New Zealand and Australia means rugby football or Australian Rules. Which round ball football game do you mean—Association or Gaelic?

                  • KJT

                    All the time i was growing up in New Zealand, it was footie, football, or Rugby, and the other game was Soccer.

                    Calling Soccer, "football" came much later with an influx of English Soccer coaches and players.

                • alwyn

                  The poor fellow obviously doesn't know anything about the game.

                  Most Rugby Football teams in New Zealand have the word Football in their name, and have done so for aeons.

                  For example here is the home page for the Petone Rugby Football Club. They have had that name since they were founded in 1885. They are affiliated to the Wellington Rugby Football Union.

                  Anyone who doesn't allow them to be called Football Clubs is simply an ignorant idiot.

        • Psycho Milt 27.2.2.2

          He played football for the NSW Waratahs…

          That must have been very embarrassing, given that the Waratahs are a rugby team. How did he manage to keep his job?

  28. SPC 28

    At its heart this is about an employment contract – and it has been terminated because the employee was in breach of his contract. 

    Folau's arguement is that contracts which restrain free speech by religious people should be seen as invalid – because this impacts on their religious freedom. Yet for sometime free speech in the public realm has impacted on peoples employment. 

    If a court were to determine in Folau's favour, it would be ordering the termination of all existing contracts that restricted freedom of speech of employees – federal, state, private firms. It would allow many of those sacked in the past to seek redress. 

    This is why he stands no chance, the free sppech activist and religious right will back him but the government will be quiet and he will lose in the court. Any good QC (not after lucre for themselves) would have told him this, and this is why he has got others to meet the legal costs. His only play was to get AR to offer a deal, by building a warchest to intimidate them into doing this. The AR has decided to spend a couple of million to see him off. They had no choice they have tens of millions in corporate sponsorship at risk since he chose to ignore his earlier warning. 

    Given Folau said the first time if his social media posts caused the AR problems he would walk away from his contract, he is not deserving of much sympathy. And given he believes that focus on money is a wrongdoing the request for millions of dollars in compensation for lost endorsement money is risible. Keeping him on was going to cost the AR money and he lost endorsement backing not because he was off contract, but because of why he was off contract.

    • RedLogix 28.1

      Yet for sometime free speech in the public realm has impacted on peoples employment. 

      And this runs to the core of the matter; should employers be able to include contractual terms that constrain what people say, when what they are saying has nothing directly to do with their employment? 

      What would be preventing employment contracts having a standard clause that required everything any employee posted on social media, pseudononymous or not, to be vetted by their legal department first?  That may look a little extreme, but quite justified by your reasoning.

      • SPC 28.1.1

        No it is not. Because few employees have the celebrity status or public occupation profile. The rest, no public comment on the business covers it.

        Folau's problem is that there is evidence that his social media posts had adversely impacted on his employer and that he had been previously made aware of this. And yet he decided to make the second post and not only that defend his right to continue to post as he wanted to regardless of the impact on his employer. 

        It's one of the worst cases of its kind. 

        League, Aussie Rules, Union, team Assembly of God. I guess he can only be loyal to one master at a time. 

        • Dukeofurl 28.1.1.1

          He now belongs to his  fathers new church "Truth of Jesus Christ"- which they run out  of his fathers church in Kentworth.

          Thats what this is all about – his father hardline christian  views , using his sons  social media to promote the church . Likely to create a  simular situation to Tamaki- a money making  'house of Jesus'

          • Dennis Frank 28.1.1.1.1

            Well, okay.  So everyone could avoid all the irrelevant waffle by telling the media to ask that church for proof that Jesus Christ said gays go to hell.  Point out that the church has dedicated itself to the truth about him in its actual name when they start evading the fact that he didn't!  Expose the bullshit!

        • RedLogix 28.1.1.2

          If a court were to determine in Folau's favour, it would be ordering the termination of all existing contracts that restricted freedom of speech of employees – federal, state, private firms. It would allow many of those sacked in the past to seek redress. 

          When I read this I get the sense these clauses gagging employees from speaking in public are reasonably commonplace. I know I've had to sign them in the past and I'm certainly not a celebrity or have a 'public occupation profile'.  While it does make sense that employees whose specific job title means they represent the views and decisions of a company's Board of Directors, or C-Level roles should be subject to responsible constraint … but it's not obvious to me that everyone who works for Rugby Australia should be held to the same standard.

          Or to put it the other way around, when Folau put up these social media posts it was obvious that he was speaking to his personal views, and not that of Rugby Australia. It’s a very broad catch-all to claim he ‘represented’ them simply by virtue of being a player.

          My view is that employers have been encroaching unreasonably on our freedom of expression for some time now. It may be highly convenient for your employer if you never say anything stupid or controversial in public, but freedom of expression is one of those rights you don't miss, until the day you really need it.

          • Sacha 28.1.1.2.1

            He is free to say whatever he likes. He is also free to lose his job as a result.

            What people seem to want on his behalf and with his inspiration is freedom from consequences. Doubt that's guaranteed in the bible, especially the parts he seems to prefer.

            • RedLogix 28.1.1.2.1.1

              He is also free to lose his job as a result.

              No I disagree; saying something unpleasant, disagreeable or downright stupid is one thing, terminating their job is quite another. The two are not comparable or commensurate at all.

              And it rather disturbs me how many authoritarian lefties around here cannot see the difference.

              • McFlock

                Folau's job is intimately linked to his public image.

                If his employer's business model were "play rugby -> win games -> money", fine.

                But his employer's business model is "play rugby -> win games -> get sponsors and advertisers because people like winners and large audiences -> money".

                Folau choosing to express himself in the manner he did screws with the third bit, which hits the fourth bit.

                Folau got fired for the same reason Kevin Spacey got fired, in that having him continue employment would cost more money than paying to get rid of him.

                 

                • Folau got fired for the same reason Kevin Spacey got fired, in that having him continue employment would cost more money than paying to get rid of him.

                  There we go – this entire "issue" summed up in one sentence.

                • RedLogix

                  Yes but that line of argument can be extended to include pretty much anything any employee might say. All companies have customers or clients who could be construed to object, hypothetically or otherwise, to pretty much any damned thing any employee might say.

                  As you say up above, a line has to be drawn somewhere, and clearly roles such a Board of Directors, CEO or PR Spokesperson entail representing the decisions and views of an organisation. But the moment you step past that, where do you stop? It seems many organisations are sweeping all their employees into the net just to be on the safe side.

                  That they can potentially compel any and all employees to sign contracts with such gagging orders is highly unreasonable.

                  • McFlock

                    Is it a "gagging order", or is it Folau misrepresenting what he'll say on social media?

                    We're not talking about hypothetical objections, here. There was open public outrage that threatened his employer's value to advertisers. That's a bit more than an employer finding out that an employee joined a local bird-breeder's group on FB.

                    Part of Folau's job, as he agreed to in his employment contract, was to not be seen to be a dick. In the eyes of many members of the general public, he failed that KPI.

                    Should such a clause be in every person's contract? Nope. But he wasn't there just to play rugby.

                    • RedLogix

                      There was open public outrage that threatened his employer's value to advertisers. 

                      That's the point; if you are going to say anything meaningful in public there will be someone you will outrage. Do we want them all to have licence to threaten your employer, and in turn for your employer to have recourse to a clause in your employment contract to make your face go away, no fuss no muss?

                      What could possibly go wrong?

                    • McFlock

                      if you are going to say anything meaningful in public there will be someone you will outrage.

                      But that's not actually true, is it.

                      People say things online all the time without causing outrage. Much of what they say is meaningful.

                      And of the subset that does cause outrage, very little of it actually reflects on their employer. In fact, usually the only things that do so are from people in roles that leverage off their social media prominence, either directly or as a reflection of their role, e.g. pr types, clickbait stars, and entertainers.

                      I agree that a checkout operator writing on their personal  FB status that they support dolt45 should not get disciplined for that. But an employer would have a hard time justifying that such a comment had an impact on their bottom line.

                       

                • Formerly Ross

                  Folau got fired for the same reason Kevin Spacey got fired, in that having him continue employment would cost more money than paying to get rid of him.

                  I quoted the example of Karen Hammond above, who was fired and whose employer breached her privacy after she baked a cake with some rude content. Her employer had to fork out $168,000. Some employers act before they think. Big mistake.

                  • McFlock

                    That example has nothing to do with Folau.

                    She wasn't fired because of the cake.

                    Her former employer shared information it gained about her (the photos of the cake) with recruitment agencies and her current employer in order to sabotage her ability to gain work anywhere else, after she had resigned from them. That is what cost them $168k.

                    Nobody is looking to sabotage Folau's career with other employers, or share his private information.

                    • Formerly Ross

                      She wasn't fired because of the cake.

                      You should read the HRRT judgment. Hammond was pursued by her former employer because they didn't like what she wrote on the cake. They sent screenshots of the cake (really!) to various employment agencies, suggesting that she would be a risk if she were to be employed.

                      According to the Human Rights Review Tribunal:  "NZCU Baywide also placed severe pressure on her new employer to terminate her (Ms Hammond’s) employment.". This was because she continued to have contact with NZCU Baywide as part of her new job.

                      [51-52] Ms Baxter and Mr Porter nevertheless pressed Mr Tonge to “terminate” Ms Hammond’s employment.  In an email dated 20 April 2012 Ms Baxter and Mr Porter asserted Mr Tonge would be entirely within his rights to “dismiss” Ms Hammond and unless this happened, Baywide would discontinue processing loans for FinancePoint…Mr Tonge replied on 26 April 2012 confirming he had instructed Ms Hammond she was to have no contact with NZCU Baywide staff during working hours.

                      [53] After NZCU Baywide halted business with FinancePoint for three weeks Ms Hammond found her position at FinancePoint had become untenable given the pressure to which Mr Tonge was being subjected by NZCU Baywide and further given she was now unable to do the work for which she had been employed. She reached the conclusion that to protect FinancePoint’s business she would have to resign. This she did in writing on 18 September 2012. In her letter of resignation she advised Mr Tonge she could no longer put him in a position where his business would suffer due to her employment by FinancePoint.

                      So, her former employer wanted her current employer to terminate her employment because of what she had written on a cake! Yeah that makes it an issue of free speech. And she lost her new job as a result. It shows what can happen when an employer doesn't give free speech the weight and attention it deserves. We'll wait and see if Rugby Australia has been equally lax.

                      https://www.justice.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Decisions/2015-NZHRRT-6-Hammond-v-Credit-Union-Baywide.pdf 

                    • McFlock

                      And if the aussie rugby union was emailing Folau's private information to all other similar sporting codes in order to make Folau unemployable as a sporting entertainer, your example would be applicable to his case and under NZ law he'd make more than the few million his supporters have given him.

                      As you identified, your link was from the HRRT and related to a damaging violation of privacy. Not an employer:employee contract dispute, as in Folau's case.

                    • Formerly Ross

                      You can continue to miss the point if you choose. It's clear that NZCU Baywide wouldn't have pursued Hammond if she hadn't written a few swear words on a cake. Why didn't her former employer simply accept she had the right to freely express herself? As it is, they had to pay her $168k, suffered potentially huge reputational damage, and required all staff to undergo privacy training.

                      It was also an employment matter as she was forced out of her new job and was unemployed for 10 months. You're welcome to side with the employee in this case. 🙂

                    • McFlock

                      I hate to break it to you, but Folau hasn't had his privacy breached, nor has his former employer tried to stop other people employing him.

                      Even the use of social media isn't equivalent, as his posts were intentionally public without anyone else's involvement.

                      Hammond didn't receive damages because her former employer took offence at something she wrote. She received damages because her former employers were incompetent dicks about it.

          • SPC 28.1.1.2.2

            If your behaviour, word or deed, harms another they are entitled to seek legal redress. The employee accepts the obligation of this when signing an employment contract. It's an open and shut case in employment law, which is why the termination will stand up under legal challenge. 

            That they are his personal views (or not his personal views but just what the bible says) is irrelevant, the sponsors of the game made the potential for harm clear last time around, and thus the earlier warning from the employer AR. 

            • RedLogix 28.1.1.2.2.1

              Interesting watching leftwingers stand up so resolutely for a feature of employment law that massively benefits employers over employees.

              Besides, why do I get the feeling all Folau’s problems would go away if he just converted to Islam?

              • marty mars

                If you were left wing you'd get it – it is a value thing.

                • RedLogix

                  You staunchly attack anyone you disagree with, so why is this good enough for you but not for Folau?

                  Or is this another leftie virtue that's lost on me?

                  • marty mars

                    most lefties I know see it as a simple contract situation and little to do with 'religious bigotry and hatred' – only the righties are keen to stir the waves in the bathtub and try and make it slosh over 

                    • RedLogix

                      And I find it a little weird watching so many lefties endorsing the power of employers to impose and enforce 'simple contract terms' that have such far reaching and potentially draconian impacts.

                      Freedom of expression used to be considered extremely valuable by minorities and the vulnerable, yet here we are cheerfully signing it away to suit the interests of big money sponsorships. It’s a right that we either all have, or none of us. Just because Folau doesn’t make a cute poster boy for the cause, I’m still willing to make the case for it.

                      Just spotted this:

                      https://www.news.com.au/sport/sports-life/israel-folau-has-hit-out-over-the-ugly-attacks-levelled-at-magda-szubanski/news-story/ca2e678fa495f3bdd613247af72b805c

                    • David Mac

                      Yeah. The left and right bleed into each other in modern life but the fundamental Yin and Yan remains. Left = people and the Right = things.

                      As is often the case, the quality position with this Israel Furore Furore is to consider the people. It's people that matter, fuck things. The argument that is primarily concerned with money, sponsors…it's not the side Jesus would choose, she'd go with the people, not the cash.

                      When it becomes about people, Israel is speaking for a very tiny tiny group of people. In this day and age nearly all of us know and love a gay person and wouldn't hesitate to go in and bat for them.

                      In this light, it's a storm in a tea-cup, a big mouthed misguided man.

                      We need some better problems.  

                    • marty mars

                      well as I said rl it's a left value thing – it's part of what makes those of us proudly left, left – middle roaders and righties never get it – no big thing.

              • SPC

                Bizarre comment. Because you surely know all the suppport Folau has would evaporate if he were Moslem.  

                But then, many right wingers conflate left wingers with being on the side of their enemy. The leftie liberal as UnAmerican in the Cold War or on the PNAC regime change op in Iraq, or resisting Trumpian immigration policies.

  29. ianmac 29

    If this case is nothing to do with free speech or with freedom of religion but a clear case of disobeying a clause in a contract, how will Folau Supporters cope when a court hands down a clear case of broken contract?

  30. A 30

    I hope the lawyers waste s*loads of the toxic “Christian”: funds.  This case is going nowhere except to fuel the kicking of their own ego's when they lose. 

  31. David Mac 31

    I think Israel is wrestling with his burning desire to touch another bloke on the pee-pee. Rugby has to be a gay man's sexual smorgasbord. 15 blokes running down an individual and dragging him to the ground… Do rough sex fantasies get any better than that? I'd love to play rugby but I'm looking for a sport better aligned with my hetrosexuality.

  32. David Mac 32

    Apparently I'm not normal. I want to go away on wild sporting weekends with males and females.

  33. peterlepaysan 33

    This is not about anything else except Folau's ego and the other children he shares a common playground with, and he is one of the wannabe bullies.

    • Treetop 33.1

      Folau's attitude is, he considers people to not be a Christian, if their behaviour does not fit his religious view of how a Christian should live.

      This is not freedom of speech on religious grounds.

  34. Sanctuary 34

    *sigh*

    Israel Folau is a loud mouthed narcissist who is employed as a glorified performing seal. His entire educational portfolio exhibits a profound ignorance and is almost entirely informed by equally ignorant religious grifters and chancers. He has an enormous sense of entitlement and a galaxy sized sense of his own moral superiority.

    Good on him. I'll throw him a fish next time I see him performing.

    Now can we stop talking about this bigoted idiot?

    • Peter 34.1

      Chuck a bit of bread too. Maybe he knows someone who could turn them into enough to feed all of NSW for the next three years.

  35. esoteric pineapples 35

    Israel Folau isn't a Christian. He's a non Jewish follower of the Old Testament, as are most "Christian" fundamentalists

  36. Rae 36

    I actually think it is fine for society to tell religious organisations to cease preaching what they do about sexual orientation, there are plenty of things it is okay to believe in, that is not one of them. 

    • Formerly Ross 36.1

      I actually think it is fine for society to tell religious organisations to cease preaching what they do about sexual orientation

      Equally it's fine for religious organisations to tell busy-bodies to focus on their own issues and to STFU. That's how freedom of speech works – everyone gets to have their say. Of course, if you don’t like their point of view, you have the option of ignoring it and or becoming more resilient.

      Let him who is without sin, let him case the fist stone. 

      • Rae 36.1.1

        Sorry, but if this bloc gain enough votres it is possible they could roll back rights gained by the rainbow community, of which I am not one, by the way. I just think we can now call out the evil of persisting with this particular teaching, they are not free to preach the stoning of people as we've moved along from that, I just happen to think that religious attitudes toward homosexuality need to be moved along as well. I would do that in a heartbeat.

    • Treetop 36.2

      Yes and make it a form of hate speech as a group in society are being targeted.

       

  37. Tim 37

    I think RA knew about his views and his type of posts on his private Facebook account. They made a choice to renew his contract even pay him more. They could have said then lets not renew his contract the risk to losing sponsorship is too high. But they did not. They decided to be an inclusive organisation and include him. 

    If I had to employ someone to work at the workplace at the weekend and one informed me that he goes to church on Sundays I would not choose him for employment. 

    • Formerly Ross 37.1

      That's correct, Tim. Folau had already posted at least one comment about gays before his contract was renewed for four years. Apparently RA tried to insert social media clauses into his contract but he rejected those clauses. And there was no indication that Folau would tone down his comments, which is evident in this interview of Folau shortly before he signed a new contract.

      I do not know the person who asked the question, but that didn’t matter. I believed he was looking for guidance and I answered him honestly and from the heart. I know a lot of people will find that difficult to understand, but I believe the Bible is the truth and sometimes the truth can be difficult to hear.

      I think of it this way: you see someone who is about to walk into a hole and have the chance to save him. He might be determined to maintain his course and doesn’t want to hear what you have to say. But if you don’t tell him the truth, as unpopular as it might be, he is going to fall into that hole. What do you do?

      In this case, we are talking about sin as the Bible describes it, not just homosexuality, which I think has been lost on a lot of people.

      After the meeting I went home, turned on the TV and was really disappointed with some of the things that were said in the press conference.

      I felt Raelene misrepresented my position and my comments, and did so to appease other people, which is an issue I need to discuss with her and others at Rugby Australia.

      That aside, I hope Raelene and Andrew appreciate my position, even if it differs with theirs.

      https://www.playersvoice.com.au/israel-folau-im-a-sinner-too/#HW7C5IcKoFvCX4BY.97

  38. Formerly Ross 38

    Mark Latham, former leader of the ALP, has shown his support for Folau.

    Mr Latham successfully moved that the Legislative Council: “support the basic human right of New South Wales workers to express political, cultural and religious opinions in their private time, away from their place of work, without suffering employment penalties…”

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/no-doubt-israel-folau-was-sacked-by-qantas-latham/news-story/d10797349bcc1af399fecb1cb7d29f27

    Meanwhile, it's apparent that Qantas and possibly other sponsors influenced Rugby Austrlia'a decision to ban Folau. Thankfully, there is no evidence that Air New Zealand decides who is to be selected for the All Blacks.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=12245655

     

     

    • Mark 38.1

      The difference is Folau has a job of public entertainer. That is what mass spectator sports is all about.

      If Australian Rugby were to keep him, that would piss off a big percentage of the paying customer (LGBT people and those who support LGBT rights)

      So Folau has become a liability to his employer – he has pissed off a large part of the public who pay his wages – based on that alone the employer should have every right to sack the selfish grandstanding prick.

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