In Australia, the boss of New South Wales Rugby Union said that “we must … ensure that our game remains a game for all, no matter people’s background or beliefs” – inexplicably while ‘explaining’ why an overt Christian was sacked for expressing Christian beliefs. It seems that Christian beliefs don’t count.
The Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) is supposed to be for all forms of cultural expression, but aggressive Palestinians think that Israel should not be included – not Israel Folau the Australian star rugby player who has been sacked for a message on Instagram that says hell awaits unrepentant homosexuals, among a list of other unrepentant sinners. The Song Contest is being held in the land of Israel as a result of Israel winning the ESC last year, in spite of threats from aggressive pro-Palestinians. The BBC has called it “the most controversial Eurovision Song Contest ever”.
Intolerance is manifest on opposite sides of the globe, and all around it as well.
Folau has been criticised by those who have selectively quoted his message, conveniently omitting its important comment on repentance. Instead, he is being called upon to ‘repent’ of his views, the very thing he calls upon sinners to do.
Folau is a victim of the biblically ignorant media commenting on his views. The media seems unable to understand repentance and its role in true religion, although secular repentance is alive and kicking – kicking Christianity strongly. Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world today, by aggressive secularists, aggressive muslims and aggressive homosexuals. They need to repent of their aggression and intolerance.
Australian headlines say that Folau is ‘unrepentant’ – meaning, of course, secular repentance.
It is good to see Israel Folau stand strongly for biblical Christianity, but his message demonstrates how much Christians need to learn how to promote the Gospel in a balanced manner, otherwise they are likely to be misunderstood as has happened here.
The charge against him is that he has not expressed his Christian views in ‘a respectful manner’, which is code for ‘capitulation to secular morality’. Secular morality is not the same as Christian morality and secular toleration is not the same as nor as tolerant as Christian toleration.
Some have come to Folau’s defence and he is now appealing the decision on the principles of “the right to freedom of religion and the right to freedom of expression”.
Returning to the other Israel, in the Middle East, at least Madonna has resisted pressure from aggressive Palestinians. She has agreed to attend the ESC in Israel, with more determination than the Argentinian football team who pulled out of playing football in Israel because of Palestinian threats against Lionel Messi. The effect of such support for Israel is that Madonna is persona non gratia among those opposed to Israel, as demonstrated on BBC Newsnight tonight where one contributor said: “Madonna will do anything for money. She is a total prostitute.” He then modified his remark. “I’ve nothing against prostitutes”, begging the question why he mentioned them in the first place, but the question never came. BBC’s Kirsty Wark challenged and exposed his view against Israel’s right to exist but not his comments on prostitution. Will there be any reaction against these views? There is one media-law for some and another media-law for others. It might even be called double standards.
18 May 2019: so the UK came last in the Eurovision Song Contest showing how politicised it has become. Madonna was warned by Eurovision to keep politics out of her performance when her backing dancers displayed both Israeli and Palestinian flags. Iceland’s band members held up Palestinian flags during the live song contest while their public vote was being announced. Sport and entertainment are being politicised at many levels; however, television soap operas have been indoctrinating the public with the beliefs of secular religion for half a century. It is no wonder that it manifests itself in many areas of public life.
4 Dec 2019: the end of the story is a settlement in favour of Israel Folau. The question arises whether Rugby Australia has changed its opinion or whether the persecution will carry on.
‘Let not him that puts on his armour boast like he that puts it off.’1Kings 20:11.
31 Dec 2019: Australia is struggling against its worse bushfires in memory. Every one of Australia’s states is experiencing bushfires and in some places the sky turned ‘blood red’ and has affected daylight in some places so that the sky is black with smoke like nighttime. The Sydney fireworks at the Australian New Year went ahead as planned in the face of adversity, amidst protests that they should have been cancelled out of respect for the dead and homeless. However, its global reach, Sydney being one of the first cities in the world that welcomes the new year, and the beginning of a new decade outweighed local and temporary considersations.