Israel Folau
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Persecution of Christians in Australia – Israel Folau

by James Fratzia

15 April 2019

The Persecution of Christians in Australia has become overtly demonstrated with the imminent dismissal of Australia’s best Rugby player, Israel Folau, by the commercially controlled Australian Rugby Union for publicly expressing his Christian viewpoint in a social media tweet last week.

The witch-hunt continues for other Christians who ‘liked’ Mr Folau’s post, such as Wallabies players Samu Kerevi and Allan Alaalatoa, and Australian Football League (“Aussie-rules”) players Geelong champion Gary Ablett and Carlton midfielder Matt Kennedy. Staff writers from news.com.au have gone one step further in the search for potential Christians and named elite sportsmen Aaron Hall and Zac Smith who have been noted to pray with them. They have not been punished yet.

Mr Folau has correctly identified from the Bible that that a number of behaviours and ‘approvals’ are an expression of heartfelt and intellectually considered opposition to God. They are behaviours which represent a lack of allegiance to God. In the minds of people engaged in such activities, God either doesn’t exist or doesn’t care. Admittedly, Mr Folau’s Instagram feed is blunt

Israel Folau Instagram Post

Israel Folau Instagram Post

In the side panel Mr Folau quotes the Bible verbatim.

  • Those that are living in Sin will end up in Hell unless you repent. Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him.” 
  • “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these , adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.Galatians 5:19‭-‬21 KJV
  • “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 2:38 KJV
  • “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:” Acts 17:30 KJV

A video has been shown in some of the on-line platforms showing Mr Folau interpreting Jeremiah 10-11. In this passage from the Old Testament, God speaks through the prophet Jeremiah to the Israelites. The Israelites had the advantage over the rest of humanity because they had been selected as God’s portion of humanity to receive specific revelation and divine intervention throughout their history, and special laws from Moses.  This both defined them and pointed them to God’ grace and reliance on God’s everlasting kindness to them. However, the relationship between Israel and God required they maintain their allegiance to God.

Jeremiah 10 says

1 “Do not learn the ways of the nations
    or be terrified by signs in the heavens,
    though the nations are terrified by them.
For the practices of the peoples are worthless;
    they cut a tree out of the forest,
    and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.
They adorn it with silver and gold;
    they fasten it with hammer and nails
    so it will not totter.
Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field,
    their idols cannot speak;
they must be carried
    because they cannot walk.
Do not fear them;
    they can do no harm
    nor can they do any good.”

In his online video, Mr Folau identified potential worship of images and Mary as a modern expression of the worship of idols. He was simplistically criticised in the media for insulting Roman Catholics. Mr Folau’s ‘spray’ was not targeting Roman Catholics specifically but all those who set up ‘idols’ in their lives and put them in the place of God, or as intercessors with God. This included ideologies, religion and philosophies, commercial and political and academic ‘idols’. His current defiance to ARU officials, despite a previous attempt to ‘gag’ him, is in direct response to the exhortation in the passage not to “fear them“.

The passage from Jeremiah 10 continues :

They are all senseless and foolish;
    they are taught by worthless wooden idols.
………….
10 But the Lord is the true God;
    he is the living God, the eternal King.
When he is angry, the earth trembles;
    the nations cannot endure his wrath.

……………….

14 Everyone is senseless and without knowledge;
   …………………….
    when their judgment comes, they will perish.
16 He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these,
    for he is the Maker of all things,
including Israel, the people of his inheritance —
    the Lord Almighty is his name.

………………..

21 The shepherds are senseless
    and do not inquire of the Lord;

so they do not prosper
    and all their flock is scattered.

Of particular note is the instruction by God to the prophet Jeremiah to warn the people:

11 “Tell them this: ‘These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.’”

According to the Bible and Christian belief, God  is the source of all life and all that is good in life.  And God will act against people who refuse to turn away from these behaviours because their hearts are corrupted. It is not the behaviours themselves that lead to destruction. It is the mindset and the heartfelt inclinations of the people who approve of them and or engage in them. Ultimately, people make their own choices. This is inherent in Christian belief. No-one is coerced.

The Bible is clear. If people reject God, God will reject them. This eternal rejection by God is hell. Eternal separation from God, the source of all that is good in life. And that is the entire point of Jesus who offers forgiveness when people shift their allegiance back to God. Mr Folau is warning people and giving a warning is not an act of self-righteousness (as the media want’s to imply), but an act of love. The intellectual gymnastics of the new values-dictators in Australia now describes the message of love, a message of hate. Give Australians a break, they aren’t that intellectually dishonest.

Later, in Jeremiah Chapter 11,  the passage says

Then the Lord said to me, “There is a conspiracy among the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem. 10 They have returned to the sins of their ancestors, who refused to listen to my words. They have followed other gods  to serve them.( Both Israel and Judah have broken the covenant I made with their ancestors. 11 Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them.

The passage uses the Israelites and the people of Judah as an example, but the Bible actually expands this application to the entire human world, with it’s many gods who aren’t God, and it’s ideologies and worship of things made by human ‘hands’. This includes modern ideologies, the philosophies of Hollywood moves, media celebrities, academics and politicians. The Bible also identifies potent powers and principalities in the background facilitating such an exchange of ignorance. Therefore, Christians believe that to some extent humans are involved in a bigger cosmic rebellion involving the spiritual realm, manipulated against God without even being aware of it much of the time. And no-one will escape God when God’s patience ends and God acts.

But the main force of the passage is that those who follow the one true living God should resist the ‘wisdom’ of teachers in the world who reject the one true living God and replace the knowledge of God with foolish ideologies, practises and  harmful activities and behaviours.

Resisting Godlessness

But the main force of the passage is that those who follow the one true living God should resist the ‘wisdom’ of teachers in the world who reject the one true living God and replace the knowledge of God with foolish ideologies, practises and  harmful activities and behaviours.

Mr Folau is a faithful Christian man who is being persecuted by the ‘Godless’ for seeking to help people who do not acknowledge they are in trouble. They may not welcome his plea that they reconsider their behaviours but persecuting him for expressing it is the beginning of the end for freedom in Australia. If one puts a frog in boiling water it simply jumps out so it doesn’t die. But if the frog is put in cool water and the water slowly boiled, it won’t jump out and will die as the water boils.

It is about time Australians realised, whether they believe Mr Folau is simply insensitive to remnant Anglo-Saxon cultural subtleties or not, that their freedom has been taken away and they are like the frog in slowly heating water. Those represented by the tirade against Mr Folau are spiritually ‘walking dead’. Their offense at Mr Folau’s comments are understandable since the Christian message is a declaration of humanity’s eventual and inescapable spiritual death at the hands of a God whom they have ignored and misrepresented1. Hence, though the Christophobia is not surprising, the failure to recognise the importance for Australian society of the freedom required for Mr Folau to give offense is surprising. One day non-Christian Australians may realise they are enslaved by the elite and cannot get their freedom back.

Mr Folau did not specifically target homosexuality but stated a range of behaviours that demonstrate a heartfelt and intellectual rebellion against God. Calling Mr Folau names like homophobic (scared of homosexuality) objectively doesn’t make sense when his enormous Rugby physique is taken into account. I doubt Mr Folau is afraid of homosexuals. But it does demonstrate the willingness of Mr Folau’s self-righteous opponents in the media to massage the facts in order to criticise and punish him.

Describing Mr Folau’s speech as ‘hate-speech’ is just another label by those who do not understand the love that motivated  his social media post. In fact, such labels demonstrate a Christophobia in the West that is the norm in media and political discourse, and also a hypocritical lack of love for Mr Folau in accusing him of ‘hate-crimes’ for expressing his Christian belief.

Freedom in Australia

…clearly ‘some are freer than others’ to express their views. Australians are subject to an unrelenting and unrestrained ‘Godless’ chatter from the media and their politicians, including their public broadcaster. Expressing Christian belief leads to persecution

What does this incident reveal about freedom in Australia today? Well, clearly ‘some are freer than others’ to express their views. For example, the homosexual lobby clearly want more than tolerance. In their pursuit of absolute legitimacy they want suppression of anyone who disagrees with them. And laws regarding freedom in Australia are configured by inept lawmakers to ensure this occurs. Christians or other religious groups in Australia are tolerant of homosexuality in the public space. Though they disagree with it’s promotion, they do not advocate for persecution of homosexuals. The failure of the media to pursue this inconsistency is astounding, alienating much of the general community and it demonstrates their moral bankruptcy. Australians are subject to an unrelenting and unrestrained ‘Godless’ chatter from the media and their politicians, including their public broadcaster. And they are increasingly subject to advertising from commercial interests, including that paragon of virtue, the airline QANTAS.

Under it’s C.E.O Alan Joyce there is no tolerance for any negative comments regarding homosexuality. To believe there is no pressure on the Australian Rugby Union by QANTAS to maintain a ‘homosexual inclusive’ culture at the expense of any opposition, and at any cost is foolish. Australia will lose its best Rugby player at the intolerant altar of the homosexual lobby.  The hypocrisy of QANTAS is breathtaking with it’s partnership with overseas airlines from countries which outlaw homosexuality, imprison or even kill homosexuals. Mr Folau has never advocated the mistreatment of homosexuals yet it is he and not Mr Joyce or the head of the ARU, Raelene Castle, who are losing their jobs.

There is a clear double-standard here as well. Rugby Australia and Qantas are free to promote their political beliefs about LGBTIQ issues, but Mr Folau is not free to express his Christian identity. Many of the cultural engineers in the media, including some current and ex-Rugby players on the pay-roll, claim that players should be immunised from the destructive or corrosive beliefs of their teammates. Yet Rugby players are frequently required to stand up for political causes to improve the political respectability of Rugby Administrations, such as the All Blacks recent “Diversity is Strength” campaign in which players are associated with rainbow jerseys.

As things stand in the public space in Australia today, people won’t hear about their saviour, Jesus Christ. Unless brave young Christian men and women take the risk and let people know. The elite prefer an Australia where the only public place ordinary people can find solutions to their problems is from the meaningless chatter of journalists, politicians, commercial products and politically-correct television shows and movies.  It seems that in the interests of a narrowly defined inclusiveness, Australians are better off without hope, than with Jesus.

The hypocrisy of the wider Australian ‘civil society’ is also breathtaking. Quick to criticise Mr Folau and disagree with the Bible, most will nevertheless enthusiastically enjoy the Easter public holidays next week. Most will take Good Friday and Easter Monday off work, and enjoy travel and relaxation over an extended weekend. Yet the reason Good Friday is good, and why Easter is celebrated historically as a national holiday in Australia and most Western nations, is legal recognition of the hope for sinners offered by Jesus Christ. The nation actually celebrates the message that Mr Folau put in his social media post. Or it did so when Australia was founded. They’ll condemn him on the one hand, yet on the other enjoy the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for all of us, sinners one and all.

Many who claim to follow Jesus might find fault with ‘clumsiness’, ‘lovelessness’, ‘judgmentalism’ or ‘insensitivity’ in the manner of Mr Folau’s expression. This may be the case with the news.com.au report regarding the views of Hillsong founder and pastor Brian Houston reported on-line on 15 April 2019 who may have been misrepresented. Nevertheless, Jesus himself separates the veracity of the allegiance of the ‘sheep‘ and the ‘goats‘ who claim Him as Lord in Matthew 25 by the compassion they show the least of their Christian brethren, and not by the sophistication of their communication to ‘the lost’ around them.  “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Matthew 25: 44-45. Mr Folau does not deserve condemnation from his alleged brethren ingratiating themselves to the wider society around them.

Is it now a pre-requestite that truth-telling in the public space be eloquent and carefully crafted? Mr Folau speaks in the plain and clumsy language of an ordinary Australian who has an extraordinary Rugby talent. When an Australian voice is shut down due to ‘clumsy’ use of words in the public space, democracy is extinguished; replaced by the cultural elites and their media mouthpieces. This applies to truth-speaking in Christianity too where traditionally priests and ministers have monopolised the ‘speaking public space’ to the exclusion of the less eloquent. This quickly turned Christianity into a shadow of what God intended. It is arguable whether the pastoral gravy train that Pastor Houston rides has anything to do with teaching service envisaged by the Bible. But Mr Folau’s willingness to lose a fortune rather than compromise on God’s truth is a genuine Biblical pattern.

Yet this arrogance of eloquence and educational status is opposed by Jesus who taught that truth can come ‘out of the mouth of babes’ Matthew 21:16. Jesus directly challenged the ruling elites by arguing that one can communicate the most profound truth without a degree in journalism, political science, law, theology or the academic humanities. This is an intense affirmation of human dignity, suppressed today by the ruling elites, like it was at the time of Jesus, who ironically appear to overwhelmingly self identify as liberal humanists or progressives. Mr Folau is expressing an identity that is entirely Christian. It is Christian identity that is being targeted by those who wish to replace God as dictators of our values and norms because it challenges their own sense of moral superiority or self-righteousness. 

Expressing absolute truth is at the core of the identity of Christians

Mr Folau is behaving as if he believes this truth is absolute and exclusive, and there is nothing inconsistent with the historical belief system of Australia or Western civilisation……In order to understand Mr Folau we need also to see that for a Christian there is no difference between their allegiance to Jesus and expressing their ‘offensive’ faith……Politically respectable policies of organisations like Rugby Australia which are intended to be ‘inclusive’ will inherently exclude Christians  because it requires them to suppress who they are.

“Truth is incontrovertible,” wrote Winston Churchill. “Panic may resent it; ignorance may deride it; malice will hate and distort it; but there it is.” Christians believe in an ‘exclusive‘ truth because it does not compromise for the sake of other ideologies. It is ‘absolute‘ truth because peoples’ opinions or social trends cannot change it. It is an ‘inclusive‘ truth because all of us fit into the categories of people identified in Mr Folau’s post, all of us are doomed and all of us have the same unique hope, ie, turning to Jesus for salvation from our doom. It is ‘good news‘ to those who can see this but offensive to those who cannot or do not want to see the nature of humanity around them, 2 Corinthians 2:15-17. And Jesus excludes all who do not have an allegiance to Him. Satan himself, seeks to distort or undermine this truth because Satan is misanthropic, John 8:44. Inherently, the message about Jesus is offensive to those who who do not welcome it because it is and absolute and exclusive truth. Mr Folau is behaving as if he believes this truth is absolute and exclusive, and there is nothing inconsistent with the historical belief system of Australia or Western civilisation.

We are warned in the Bible of what happens when ‘truth-speaking’ is suppressed or disappears from the public space Isaiah 59:14. It is followed by injustice and unfairness Isaiah 59:15-16. And everyone will simply turn a away from any injustice or unfairness they see. Most will have too much to lose and just remain silent. Does that sound familiar? It is the effect of totalitarianism on civilisation and leads to barbarism.

Suppressing the truth leads to injustice

We are warned in the Bible of what happens when ‘truth-speaking’ is suppressed or disappears from the public space. It is followed by injustice and unfairness. And everyone will simply turn a away from any injustice or unfairness they see.

There is no such things as private Christianity, Matthew 10:32-33. In order to understand Mr Folau we need also to see that for a Christian there is no difference between their allegiance to Jesus and expressing their ‘offensive’ faith, Matthew 10:26-28. In fact, they are inherently linked. Politically respectable policies of organisations like Rugby Australia which are intended to be ‘inclusive’ will inherently exclude Christians  because it requires them to suppress who they are.  Wallabies centre and Queensland Reds skipper Samu Kerevi expressed this precisely when describing the implications for him in response to the persecution of Mr Folau; “People can come up to me personally and talk about my faith and beliefs and I’ll stand by it, every day of the week,” he said. “One hundred per cent (I’m comfortable expressing myself), I’ll do it this weekend, I’ll do it every weekend … that’s who I am and footy is what I do.” Mr Kerevi sees the response to Mr Folau’s post for what it is because Bible believing Christians already expect this persecution – 2 Timothy 3:12; John 3:19-21; Matthew 10:16-18; Matthew 10:22; Matthew 10:24-25. His Queensland Reds and Wallabies teammate Taniela Tupou stated “Seriously, might as well sack me and all the other Pacific Islands rugby players around the world because we have the same Christian beliefs”. At best, such innovative policies are counterproductive. They only really serve the self-righteous respectability vanities of those who put them together.

Lastly, consider the impact on society of ‘radicalising’ Christians. I’m sure the powers running the country will have already considered it. It may even be their objective to justify even more intense persecution. At worst, though the majority will simply accept the persecution, some will  push back.  And some of them will be ‘nutters’. The range of ‘misanthropic outcomes resulting from encouraging this push-back by marginalising Christian thought and punishing beleivers will simply feed the other sinister element of this persecution in the minds of Christians – that behind such persecution are dark ‘powers and authorities’ (Ephesians 6:12) with whom they are in eternal conflict.

In Australia today, a Christian expressing their belief for the sake of others, can lose their job. It is just the beginning of the persecution of Christians in this country.

About the Author
James Fratzia

James Fratzia

He's not the Messiah - he's just a very naughty boy!

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  1. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 2:16 For those who are being lost, it is a deadly stench that kills; but for those who are being saved, it is a fragrance that brings life”
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  1. Folau’s faith compelled him to shout a warning: repent
    Israel Folau criticised several groups in his Instagram post, but only one of them has complained.
    • By KEL RICHARDS
    • 12:00AM JUNE 1, 2019
    https://WWW.THEAUSTRALIAN.COM.AU/INQUIRER/FOLAUS-FAITH-COMPELLED-HIM-TO-SHOUT-A-WARNING-REPENT/NEWS-STORY/959D971840D50415402DE018F4DB1D10#CORAL

    On April 10, Israel Folau posted on his Instagram account the following message: “Warning: Drunks, Homosexuals, Adulterers, Liars, Fornicators, Thieves, Atheists, Idolators: Hell Awaits You. Repent! Only Jesus Saves.” Next to this big, bold statement was the message: “Those that are living in Sin will end up in Hell unless you repent. Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him.”

    This eye-catching text was from the Bible, a loose paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10: “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
    If someone else had posted this it would almost certainly have slipped under the radar. But Folau was being watched. Partly this is because of his brilliance as a footballer. He holds the record for the most tries scored in Super Rugby. In 2007 he won rugby league’s Dally M Rookie of the Year award for having scored the most tries in his debut year. In that same year he was the all-time youngest international player (he was 18 at the time).

    COMMENTARY

    Folau compelled to shout a warning

    KEL RICHARDS

    But it looks as though Folau was also being watched for an opportunity to punish him for being a Christian; indeed, for being a blunt defender of the classic, conservative Christian faith.

    The attack on Folau provoked an unexpected reaction: many Aussies were unhappy. They flooded open-line radio with calls in support of the right of Folau to hold and express his faith. This support was not limited to the 52.1 per cent of Australians who called themselves Christian in the 2016 census. A bucket load of callers took the line of “I don’t support what he said or the way he said it, but, hey the bloke’s obviously sincere so why is he being bashed up like this?”

    Whether articulated or not, the underlying feeling of much of this response was: Australia is a free country. There was a distinct unease about the possibility of losing at least some degree of freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, freedom of belief and freedom of religion in this wide, brown land.

    Tone deaf to the electorate Bill Shorten came down on the wrong side of this debate in the election campaign. Ignoring section 116 of the Constitution, which says there shall be no religious test for public office, Shorten demanded to know where Scott Morrison stood on the “gays/hell” issue. This blunder won him no friends (apart from the inner-city crowd, who were already on his side).

    For Rugby Australia this is a lose-lose debate. The religious test they applied to Folau’s employment looked so unfair to him that he bypassed their internal appeal process as pointless and announced his intention to test them in the courts. So Rugby Australia now will either lose the court battle or lose its major sponsor. It has already lost its best player.

    This is no storm in a tea cup: this is central to Australia’s character as a nation and raises three questions:
    ● Why should there be penalties for defending classical Christianity?
    ● Why do the rights of one group trump all other rights?
    ● What is the actual content of the view he is defending?

    Let’s tackle them. First, why should there be penalties for defending classic, conservative Christianity? It’s not as though Christianity is an eccentric, minority belief system. It’s the largest faith on earth with 2.3 billion followers.
    Some will say people can believe what they like in private but the views of classic Christianity do not belong in the public arena. The problem is that Jesus ruled out that option when he said: “Everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)

    So according to Jesus there is no such thing as private Christianity — there is only whole-of-life Christianity (public and private). Being a Christian means speaking about it. The Christian faith is part of our community and not a private matter.
    Some politicians will say, “Well, we have to balance the rights of Christians to speak their faith aloud with the right of homosexuals not to be offended.” But from the words of Jesus it is clear that telling Christians they are not permitted to speak their faith aloud is telling them they are not permitted to be Christian.

    Which brings us to the second question: why should the rights of one group trump all other rights? In this case it appears that the right of homosexuals not to be offended trumps the right of Christians to be as Christian as Jesus intended. It is especially interesting to note that Folau included eight groups in his post — none of the others has complained.

    Surely the issue is that none of those seven other groups is demanding approval from everyone. On the whole, drunks, adulterers and the rest don’t care whether you approve or disapprove of them.

    The homosexual community, however, appears not to be willing to accept disapproval. They may say all they want is tolerance. But that’s looking increasingly like a dishonest claim. They won’t, it seems, settle for anything short of complete approval.
    Devout Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, atheists, Christians or Calathumpians don’t expect you to approve of them. They think they’re right, and if you believe differently you’re wrong — and they’re quite happy to debate this with you. But they don’t demand that you be legally compelled to approve of them, and legally silenced and punished if you disapprove.

    Which brings us to the third question: what is the actual content of the view Folau is defending? Is it simply a system of morality? Folau lists eight behaviours that with the support of the Bible he says are proscribed — unacceptable to God — so it could certainly look like a question of morality.

    In part this is a problem created by the brevity of social media posts, which don’t allow for nuance. But Folau himself is pointing beyond simple moral judgment when he writes that “Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him”.

    He is drawing attention to the fact that classical Christianity is certainly about judgment, but it is also about sacrifice and forgiveness. For 2000 years Christians have been calling it “good news” because the news that God loves you despite your behaviour and offers forgiveness can only count as very good news, indeed.

    This good news Folau is talking about addresses the fact of death. The Christian world view says “people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

    The point is that life is a journey and, like every journey, it has an end. It would be intelligent to give some thought to how and where the journey of life might end. You might protest: but we can’t know! It’s not possible to know what death will be like and whether we might survive it, and, if so, what that survival might be like.

    Picture it as being like a group of travellers walking down a long country road. They fall into an argument about where the road will end. One of them may claim it ends at a steep cliff face and that’s it. Someone else may suggest it ends at a railway station where a train is waiting to take you back to the beginning so you can do the journey all over again. Yet another may suggest the road of life ends in a garden and, just like Christmas, everyone will get gifts and be happy. Another may argue there are two cities at the end of the road: a comfortable one (“heaven”) and a bleak one (“hell”) and that we can be switched from the bad option to the good option as a free gift because the lord of the road loves the travellers and has paid for the gift.

    That is pretty much the state of the debate in the modern world, and that brings us back to Folau’s warning that we should avoid hell.

    Cartoonists have had a lot of fun will hell through the years, picturing comic demons in red tights with pitchforks prodding hapless condemned souls into furnaces. However, all the amusing things, or silly things, that have ever been said about hell, or thought about hell, spring from our reluctance to seriously consider death — what it is and what it means.

    Here’s a practical definition: death really means separation.

    For a start, death is the separation of the mind (or soul if you prefer) from the body. Most human beings who have ever lived, from Plato to now, have believed that the mind (or soul) will survive this separation. If it doesn’t, then that answers our question of destination. But if it does it means we are on the right track in thinking about death as separation.

    But there is another separation that counts as death: separation from God. In classical Christianity separation from God is spiritual death. This separation from God shows itself in a wide range of behaviours, including the eight behaviours listed by Folau in his Instagram post, but not limited to those eight. Because, according to the classically Christian world view, we are designed to function plugged in to God; once we are unplugged (separated) we are like an unplugged appliance — we don’t function properly or we don’t function at all.

    That’s the danger Folau believed he was warning people against. He thought he was warning his followers that those people who ignore God, choose to be separated from God, are sending a message; are saying to God, “just leave me alone”. The danger is God will take them at their word: they will be cut off from God forever.

    That being “cut off” is what hell is. Not the funny cartoons of demons with pitchforks but being cut off, isolated, exiled, expelled, separated. When Jesus himself pronounces judgment on people the words he says are “depart from me”, adding, “I never knew you” (Matthew 7:23).

    But as Folau’s short post indicates, there is more to the story. Here’s the completion of those words from the Bible quoted above: “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many” (Hebrews 9:27-28).

    There is the offer of God’s love and forgiveness and restoration: switching at life’s end from the bad option (separation, isolation, “hell”) to the good option (connection, community, “heaven”) as a free gift. From the point of view of classical Christianity, Folau saw people in danger and shouted out a warning. In other words, the intention of his message was the exact opposite to how it has been portrayed. And for that Folau is being punished.

    Kel Richards is an author, journalist, radio personality and lay canon at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney. He is the author of The Aussie Bible.

  2. I’m not a believer but I share the sentiments in this article and all the commentators.

    I am very happy to see people willing to speak in a Western world where freedom is being eroded a little bit at a time.

    I would point the readers to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights of which the author is aware in his article on Abortion. What has happened to this Rugby player appears to contradict this declaration to which I believe Australia is a signatory. It shows how powerful the anti Christian and/or homosexual lobby is in that country when united to capital.

  3. I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me. (Acts 26:17–18)

  4. ’You are free to be a drunkard, an idler, a coward, a backbiter, a fornicator; but you are not freeto think for yourself.’ – George Orwell

  5. Now that the LNP has been returned to government I can’t help but wonder if Scomo had stood up for his Lord & Saviour instead of cowardly compromising in order to appease the rainbow community over Bill Shorten’s question about gays going to hell, weather we would have seen the same outcome at the election? There are so many ways a thinking Christian could have handled that better and I have concerns about a Christian who would do that AND allow the Media into his church to film him ‘worshiping’…..

  6. Not only are those who engage in identity politics (IP) and political correctness (PC), hypocritical by their own standards, their worldview and philosophy is self-refuting and is therefore patently false. Not only do they fail to meet their grandiose claims of tolerance and inclusivity and their cries of vilification and discrimination, but it’s clear that they only pay lip-service to them. Instead, these catch-cry slogans and phrases are merely used as weapons for promulgating a much more sinister agenda that many of them are oblivious to. Their anti-Christ and anti-God sentiments enables Satan to use them as unwitting pawns for his deceptive, maleficent intentions which in reality are misanthropic.

    It is very telling when atheists like Jay Birch and Alan Jones, are able to clearly see through BS and the corruption of Rugby Australia in order to protect support from their financial sponsors and to appease the perceived disapproval of the majority of their fans. The philosophy and ethics of IP & PC is neo-Marxist, totalitarian, post-modern and consequentialist – everything that Christianity is not. You may find the following interview that John Anderson conducted with Jennifer Oriel, columnist for the Australian to be of interest. Prominent agnostics like Jordan Peterson have also seen through the smoke and mirrors of this worldview.

    Jennifer Oriel: Conversations with John Anderson
    7/12/2018
    John Anderson: Jennifer Oriel it’s great to have you here participating in a conversation I think people are going to be very interested in what you have to say. You grew up in Adelaide but then moved to academia in Melbourne.
    Jennifer Oriel: Yes, that’s right. I studied in Adelaide undergraduate years and then I did my honours degree and phd in Melbourne. And I moved because at the time I was a fairly radical and I was looking for an intellectual community where I could learn more about the ideas. I thought, if I were going to be in politics, and that I needed to understand the full spectrum of ideas of the side of politics that I was on. And at that stage it was the Left side of politics.
    Anderson: That’s interesting. I sometimes think that it’s hard as we go about our everyday lives to stop and focus on something that I think history tells us, which is every society including ours is the result really of great ideas and often of the great clash of ideas, and that they move over time. So, ideas are important to the society that we live in and the shape it takes.
    Oriel: Absolutely, and I think it that at the time … you know we’ve discussed how I was on the Left and at the time those ideas (were really born of my father) was working-class. He grew up in a very poor, single-parent household and he really struggled to get a decent education in Scotland at the time in Glasgow. And so, even though he was conservative culturally, he always remembered that poverty and the difficulty of that poverty and how much it was an impediment for many people to realise their full potential. And so, for me being on the Left side of politics meant working with people who were very disadvantaged and being able to create a better society where they would be given the opportunity, equal opportunity to achieve and not have to have the impediments that that my forebears had in Scotland.
    Anderson: I spoke recently with Melanie Phillips in the United Kingdom and she tells a very interesting story of growing up in a very tough working-class environment and saying that for her the Labour Party, in the Left were her natural home because they looked after the interests of the poor and as she puts it, defended family vigorously but over time, she found she would say, she didn’t move but the Left did. Was that your experience?
    Oriel: Yes. I mean my earliest interests were the pursuit of truth and the equal treatment of people. And so, for me that that is really what I thought the Left represented and for a time I think it did. I mean there were flaws in the approach and serious flaws but there was this basis of helping the poor and creating a strong community because that was the basis of grassroots activism that would change the system wherever that system was unfair or created structural disadvantage for people. And by the time I was in my late twenties I started to see after having spent a long time on the Left, I started to see that the Left is really moving away from truth. I thought that it wasn’t allowing the truth, even about biological facts to be told, that it had really rejected the Marxist concept of a scientific society, it wasn’t really supportive of the scientific method in the humanities where I was working. And this desire to help the poor and work at the grassroots and really work was community had been replaced by a kind of elitism and a very cheap identity or minority politics, whose central aim was really to suppress dissenting thought. And that rejection of truths, the rejection of public reason, the rejection of the scientific method, revolted me to the degree that I started to move to the Rightof the line and no one was more surprised than me with that change in direction.
    Anderson: So, on this question of who moved? Churchill used to quip, that because he moved around amongst parties, that it wasn’t he wasn’t moving, the parties were. I found it very interesting in my early days as a young member of the Federal Parliament to talk to some of the old figures from the Left, where I found that I might have disagreed with their policy prescriptions but I found there their underlying motivation quite noble. There about what I think Peter Baldwin would call universalism.
    Oriel: Um (acknowledgement).
    Anderson: He wanted the poor, the weak, the oppressed, those who weren’t given a fair say. He would say, “Full recognition as Australians, full status as Australians”. And he deplores the idea that parties moved away, his party, old party’s moved away from that to identity politics. So, who’s moving in this debate?
    Oriel: Well, a friend … I’ve been in Adelaide recently and an old friend said, “I have to ask you a question.” And I said, “What’s that?” She said, “Well you used to be left-wing in your twenties. What happened?” And I said, “Well I my principles are the same they haven’t changed at all but the Left has changed. So I had to go and I was heartbroken, I left friends behind, I left long-term relationships and I was very passionate about what I perceived as left-wing beliefs at that point. And so, it’s very difficult to go to the to the Rightside of the line but for me the pursuit of truth, support of public reason, freedom of thought and speech, support for the scientific method particularly in public policy so that we could attach the intent of public policy to clear outcomes and measure that so that we weren’t wasting taxpayers money. And these were things that were very important to me and I couldn’t get support from them on the Left anymore. And another thing that really I suppose tipped me over the edge was the hatred of Western civilization. Why would you hate the free world? Why would you hate the freest culture and civilization in the world? I mean we can critique Western civilization of course but that shouldn’t be … when you’re living in a world with where the majority of states are unfree, the majority of people are living in states that are unfree (in communist and Islamist States) – why would you focus not be on reforming those states? Why would it be constant criticism of the free world? So, I found that you know it was a reckoning. I had to recognize and it was very hard to do it that the natural home for public for reason and truth and scientific method and community was no longer the Left, it was to the Rightside of the political line.
    Anderson: To go back to those questions that you’ve just posed, what do you think the answer is? Why is it now such a focus of the Left to decry our own cultural heritage and our own freedoms? What do you think the answer to that big question is? Why are we now into this terrible self-loathing?
    Oriel: We’ve been convinced as a result of a number of major events in the 20th century that the West ought to carry the burden of collective guilt. And it’s not only an ought to, they’ve turned the public admission of collective guilt into a virtue. It’s kind of a ticket for the little admission into the politically correct Left. We have to decry the founding and foundational values of the West to be a part of the modern Left. And the modern Left, it’s not … I don’t know what it is. It’s neo-Marxist in political terms which means it’s informed by what was called a “New Left” in the 1960s. And that was a departure from working-class politics and a transformation from the politics of class-disadvantaged Marxist politics to minority politics as it was known. And it meant that simply by being female or by being black or by being gay, that you were automatically considered more virtuous and entitled to special protections and special privileges under the state. And those regimes were translated into affirmative action law – that is the embodiment of inequality, it’s formal inequality. It ensures that people are treated unequally under the law. It’s an absolute rejection of universalism for particularism, a tribal ethic where the Left once supported the idea of a whole community working cohesively together and unified around a belief in equal opportunity.
    Anderson: So, given now that very large numbers of young Australians go to universities and let’s be frank, the universities have been almost totally captured by people who no longer believe in the traditional Western model of reason and of the pursuit of truth and a civilized debate. The frightening thing to me is that it might have mattered once when so limited numbers of people went to university. Now vast numbers of young people do it’s very hard for them to hear an alternative view and to really find their feet in terms of what they might think and believe themselves because very hard to get an opposing set of views. How do we resolve that? How do we put before people? You’re very active you write widely. Hopefully some people will listen to this conversation and start to think these issues through a bit more. But how do we challenge what has become the new conservatism?
    Oriel: It’s an orthodoxy and you can really only challenge it by … I mean if I were a Leftist looking at this question.
    Anderson: Which is what I meant by new conservatism by the way.
    Oriel: Yeah.
    Anderson: So, to be orthodox today, to be conservative is to essentially hate the foundational pillars of our own society and its emphasis on reason and the pursuit of truth.
    Oriel: Well in the 1990s I was a young Leftist and you know thought revolution was coming every morning we used to talk about structural disadvantage and part of that is a lack of proportional representation in major institutions such as universities. So, we really need, we’ve tried for … I mean the march through the universities occurred in the late 1960s but really became came to fruition in the 1970s and the campus was chosen as a site for revolution because young people are naturally optimistic about the world, and they want to make it better and they have the energy and vigor to sustain activism. And they’re often, you know, not working as much and don’t have kids and a mortgage, so they have more time. So, those young people were critical to bringing about the neo-Marxist revolution which had at its centre a belief that there had to be a new radical minority because the working class wasn’t revolutionary enough anymore. And there had to be a new radical minority and they would be used to bring about … really the demise of the West. And there were various permutations of this across the world. Orientalism was one part of it so the beliefs that Third-World revolutions would … against the West, would be critical to bringing down the Western model of government. And the forefather of the neo-Marxist or the New Left architect was Herbert Marcuse and he wrote a brief essay (you can find it online called Repressive Tolerance) and it described the method by which this New Left would come about. And it was to promote the “New Radical Minority” as it was called, to positions of power in the meets, in areas such as the media and education, but the public square generally, and to force out conservative points of view. So, the idea that the Left should become a sledgehammer of censorship was born in that era and collective guilt was part of the way to bring down pro-Western people and to bring down conservatives because it was based on dis-esteeming Western society. It didn’t really come from Marcuse, the idea that Western society should be dis-esteemed and the leading values should be dis-esteemed, was promoted by social psychologists as well such as Lewin – Kurt Lewin. So, and in part … I mean let’s look at the time which had occurred – civil rights were in their infancy, minorities were treated appallingly, the Jews had just come out of the Holocaust (where the father figure, you know, the Fuhrer, was paramount in their in the destruction of an entire people). So, and women had no power really either. If I had been there in the … I would have marched with them because I believe in basic human equality and universalism. But in the late 1970s (and that’s very good that we had civil rights a very good thing that) the idea of formal equality was enshrined in law. And I think it’s brilliant that that change came about. In the late 1970s when the welfare money was drying up and the news about communism, communist states, the brutality of those states started to come out as dissidents escaped to the west, it was no longer possible to support this really revolutionary ethic without mentioning anything about these totalitarian regimes and the failure of the Marxist-Leninist model of state. And in the US, Critical Theory emerged, Kimberle Crenshaw is a very well-known Critical Theorist, writes about how groups of law schools in America, critical theorists started to say, ”Well, we need to change tack you know. We’re not getting what we want in terms of legal transformation, it’s not enough.” So, they started to adopt legal critical theory or critical legal theory, critical legal studies and the aim was to the law and to promote again this minority agenda by introducing affirmative action laws and that would stop black-letter law. Now the effect of that has been disastrous for the Left and it’s been disastrous for the Western belief in universalism, the Western belief in formal equality, the beliefs that underpinned the civil rights movement (which was essentially a movement for recognition of equal human worth). That all changed and that as a result of this this new Left and it’s unrecognizable now. It now has become what conservatism once was, which is the promotion of a privileged minority to positions of power, not by virtue of merit but by virtue of cultural supremacy and it’s appalling. That’s why we’re in the state we’re in and that system, that legal system has to be dismantled. And I think we would need to introduce counteractive laws to try to counteract, for example, the lack of political and intellectual diversity on campus. I mean let’s have political and intellectual diversity as a recognized attribute of affirmative action law. Let’s get a quality back into the Academy.
    Anderson: It’s quite extraordinary … somebody commented the other day that ambivalence is the post-modernist … ambivalence in language as a post-modernist best friend. That word, “diversity” it seems, means everything except a range of views and opinions which are so critical to a functioning democracy.
    Oriel: It’s Skin, it’s the Politics of Skin. I call it Skin Politics – What’s your melanin? How black are you? How female are you? How much do you fit into a state-category of affirmative action privilege? If we don’t start … I don’t think at this stage it’s worth trying to work within universities. I know that’s sounds defeatist or fatalist but people have been trying it, if you know the history of the past 50 years, the best and brightest minds, the most resolute-free thinkers have tried to work within the Academy to change it. They haven’t been able to do it and I don’t like our chances.
    Anderson: I’d be the last person to suggest that the West has got everything right but part of it is genius, I think as being that it’s worked the way of improving itself all the time and when something’s plainly been wrong or needed addressing, in the past we’ve found reasonably civil ways to do it. Now we don’t seem to be able to agree on how to find a reasoned way forward, we seem to resort to loathing, hatred and name-calling of the worst order. What’s changed?
    Oriel: It’s a good question and it is a difficult one to pinpoint in history when it changed and exactly what it was. In part the … I think the antipathy towards the West has meant that its finer points, its contribution to the world at large into the development of freedom in the world has been lost. The West is now viewed as a an oppressive Leviathin who did nothing that … whose people did nothing but conquer other nations, use up their natural resources, put them in chains and live off the spoils. But there is a long, long history. You have to know history to understand what the West has given to the world. And part of course, the Marxist tradition and certainly the neo-Marxist tradition is the suppression and rewriting of history. And when that happens people have no anchor, there is no ground on which to move. To really understand the future, you have to understand the past. And when you lose that sense of length of time, when everything contracts, it becomes survival of the fittest. But we’re also dealing with one of the fallouts from neo-Marxism, from this idea of the privilege of the minorities, of selected state-recognized minorities, is that the movement towards the universal public good becomes tribalist, it descends into tribalism. And I think what we’re seeing now is a society that is acting like a tribal society, a pre-civilization society where everything, everyone is in their separate tribes and reason isn’t mediating that – that used to … that was the great mediator. And Christianity isn’t mediating it, that was another great mediator. And, so instead, we have a very vicious kind of public discourse.
    Anderson: This inability to communicate, indeed the deep level of antipathy and hatred that you see played out by the tribes against one another, as they live within their own bubbles via social media seems to make it as you say, “Difficult to imagine how we’re going to rebuild the ability to respect one another enough to communicate.” And I wonder whether you can resolve any great policy issues in a country like Australia, if we can’t again find common cause and a decent argument rather than slanging matches?
    Oriel: Well, you have to remove the reward for tribalism and you have to introduce penalties for it. And at the moment all the rewards, the financial rewards, the professional rewards, the social rewards, lie in being tribalist. People get followers on social media too, by attacking viciously the opposite camp and that can be come from the Rightand it can come from the Left. The aim is to destroy. It isn’t to cultivate learning. It is to destroy your opponent. And the rewards are that you are seen as loyal to the tribe, to the degree that you attack the collective enemy. The whole identity of the tribe is based on, less and less on shared values and more on the common enemy. And so, you end up with a very aggressive culture where people who for example, might say, “Oh well I think so-and-so had a fairly decent point,” – someone who might try to be reasonable in the midst of that kind of slanging match is seen as disloyal to the tribe. So, it creates a black-and-white scenario and us-and-them world, where you can’t really introduce public reason without suffering social penalty for it. One of the ways to, I suppose to try to reintroduce public reason is to have debate and logic taught as a mandatory part of the curriculum for undergraduates so that they learn how to think, not what to think.
    Anderson: Perhaps a little less confusion between thinking and feeling would be helpful.
    Oriel: Absolutely.
    Anderson: Reason and emotion.
    Oriel: Yes. So, the idea of public reason in ancient Greece was perfected and you learned how to take a point usually that you disagreed with vehemently and you succeeded to the degree that you could defend that point. Now that that does two things, it teaches you how to think (not what to think) and it also teaches you to be more sympathetic to the opponent’s point of view. If students don’t know how to think, if they aren’t taught the specific Western method of thought, and it is a specifically Western method of thought.
    Anderson: Which by the way, served us very well in the past.
    Oriel: It has and it’s very, very different to, for example, that the greatest (I think if you look at the history of the 20th century and), the most successful, we can say that totalitarian leaders – they each contributed something particularly horrible to human destiny. And Mao Zedong perfected the use of thought as a weapon of totalitarian control. And he introduced the idea of, that the idea, the ideology was the endpoint of thought, not truth. So, ideology, correct ideology, politically correct ideology was the conclusion of thought. And that’s very different to the Western method, which had truth as the conclusion of thought. The revelation, the unveiling of truth, whether that was natural truth or divine inspiration, that was the endpoint. And if that is your endpoint, it’s markedly different (your society is different, your education is different) to a type of society where the politically correct version of the truth is your concluding point (you must arrive there).
    Anderson: Well let’s try and ground this a bit then by saying … I was sitting on an up-ended tin talking to another fella out in the bush the other day and he doesn’t have a formal education but he’s smart and he was asking some hard questions. He said, “You know everything seems to be going to custard. All the old certainties are gone. It’s all confusing. We all seem to fight each other. What’s happening and where is it leading us?” So, in other words, for people who are not engaged in these sort of heady debates but sense that things are going wrong, the question I think that needs to be put before, for example, all those academics who are against a Centre for the Study of Western civilization – Where are they trying to take us? What is their view of a better society?
    Oriel: You don’t know when you’re in the Left. You don’t think about … this is what I’m saying about, it’s a non-sort movement now, you don’t think about where society is going. You think about, “Am I doing the correct thing?” So, in every conversation, say, I’m a feminist, you know I am one to the degree that I believe in formal equality and the recognition of basic human equal worth.
    Anderson: Pretty hard to argue against.
    Oriel: Yeah, but that feminism is now something entirely different.
    Anderson: It’s moved on.
    Oriel: It’s really has moved down. And so, what I think is that when you’re on the Left (I was on the Left), I had no idea about Herbert Marcuse or ever heard of him. I have no idea that I was living that ideology and so you don’t know that you’re in it and you don’t aim at, you don’t think about, “Where would this be in 50 years?” You’re just immersed in the battle and your conclusion is, “More power to women.”
    Anderson: So, Jennifer coming to the great debates about freedom, the debate over religious freedom we saw the prime minister at the time, Malcolm Turnbull say, that even though he was a vigorous supporter of same-sex marriage, religious freedom was even more important to him than same-sex marriage and Bill Shorten came in behind him (the alternative prime minister) and declared that religious freedom was of vital importance in his worldview as well. But the first question arises because one wonders what they meant by religious freedom. What is religious freedom?
    Oriel: Religious freedom properly conceived is the freedom to exercise religion in society. That was the definition articulated by the Vatican in 1965. And the reason it matters, that that their declaration on religious freedom matters, is because it presents religious freedom as a positive right, a positive liberty. So, it’s the freedom … the[re’s] two points here, the freedom to exercise religion in society. So, we’re saying that freedom, it isn’t freedom of thought, it isn’t just freedom of conscience, it isn’t just internal – it’s a foundational part of our culture, it’s a foundational part of Western civilization, and it’s fundamental to our way of life. When the concept of religious freedom was introduced by uh, or adopted by the UN General Assembly a year later in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, it presented religious freedom as a composite right. So, it was freedom of thought, conscience and religion. And that’s really problematic because it provides an unclear definition of all of those terms.
    Anderson: Right.
    Oriel: It’s trying to please everyone. And so, I think the previous, the other definition is much better. When our … saying that it superior to the current definition in the un and indeed in our constitution in section 116 of the australian constitution which really presents freedom of religion as a negative liberty, the right to practice religion or the right to have a religion free from undue interference by the state. But when you have the concept of freedom to exercise religion in society, you’re transforming it into a positive liberty, that is I have the freedom to act and I have the freedom to be, to act free from undue interference and intervention from the state. And it’s critical that that definition is understood because there is no freedom of religion unless there is the freedom to exercise it.
    Anderson: Jennifer many people would argue that religion’s dying out (ignores what’s happening globally) but certainly in the West the evidence would suggest that they’ve got a point and that that’s a good thing that religion is a cause of strife of war, of discord, of misery. And that it’s a good thing to continue to marginalize it, force it out of the public square. So, that far from protecting people’s rights in this area, we’re better off if you like, continuing to push it out.
    Oriel: There are of course wars and strife that are that are justified on the basis of religion. There have been religious wars throughout human history and we now deal in an age where we’ve just come out of the most vicious genocidal war created by Islamic state and they used appeals to the Koran to justify that war. But if you’re looking at the last 100 years, the most murderous genocidal ideology wasn’t religious it was communist. Communists killed on scholarly estimates around a hundred million people in a hundred years.
    Anderson: Four times the population of Australia today.
    Oriel: No one is really arguing that because of the genocide or legacy of communism that Marxist Leninism should be written out of history and forced completely off the public square, out of the public square. And yet we have this argument for Christianity. When we speak of religious freedom in the West, we’re speaking about a particular rendering of the idea. It isn’t the freedom to go about and hold someone for Sharia court or someone … or stone someone to death because they’re not respecting the particular rules of a doctrine. We’re talking about Western freedom of religion that has been heavily influenced by the Judeo-Christian tradition. In the second century AD and Christians were accused of atheism because they wouldn’t worship the gods of the state. And they wouldn’t worship the gods of the state in part because they had a scriptural justification for not doing so. Christ said, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s.” Christianity provides the ultimate defense against totalitarianism – it has a scriptural defense of the limited state, moreover, Christianity provides a scriptural basis for what we now know as the liberal democratic state based on the ideas of universalism, the inherent worth and dignity of the person, and the secular model of government that we’ve come to appreciate. All of those are based in Christian scripture. It’s lost on most of society now because in Australia as in many other parts of the West we are becoming less and less religious. Christianity is losing its popular appeal, in part because people are no longer reading the Word of God. I would encourage people to read it even if they’re atheists. Encourage … Dawkins has said, “Read the King James Bible just for the beautiful language in it. Appreciate it as a cultural artefact even if you don’t ….
    Anderson: Richard Dawkins have said that?
    Oriel: Yes, because of the superb language, because it provides a great lesson in the English language. And we’re now getting to a point where there’s such a cultural cringe about Christianity the people can’t even appreciate it from an aesthetic perspective, they don’t want to look at how the belief in the divine has inspired the greatest art and music and literature of Western civilization. So, when we start to talk about doing away with Christianity and addressing the question of, “Would we be better off without it?” Well no, because it’s the basis for liberal democracy, it’s the basis of the secular state, it’s the basis for universal morality that guides our law and our political systems, and it’s the basis for that absolutely critical Western conception of individual human worth, that is imago dei.
    Anderson: This idea that we’re losing out because we don’t not only not don’t practice but don’t understand the Christian faith and its influence on our society is something that I was reminded of the other day when I came across a very interesting quote from Menzies, our longest-serving Prime Minister. He said, “Democracy is not so much a machine as a spirit in which we acknowledge different capabilities, people’s different roles, and we don’t try and pretend they’re all the same.” I’m paraphrasing, but we do recognize what he called, “The spark of the divine in each and that each soul has value in the eyes of heaven,” which is a very interesting concept. If you lose sight of that it seems to me you struggle to find a basis to maintain the Western ideal or a framework for saying that each individual does have worth and dignity. On what basis do people have worth and dignity if you don’t believe in a higher being saying everyone has worth and dignity. And that seems to play right into the idea of tribalism, where we don’t respect the worth and dignity of our fellow Australians if we disagree with them.
    Oriel: Well the great civil rights leaders spoke about this, you must judge a person (Martin Luther King), judge a person by the character, their character. You look into the soul of a person for their human worth. You don’t look at this skin color. You don’t look at their sex. You look at their substance. And this concept of each of us being born in the image of God, in His image gives us … it makes it impossible for biblically based Christians (and by that I mean not just people who rock up to church once a week and gain absolution but), people who really understand the basis of living in a Christian manner. That you have to see a person even in their worst moments as someone who is capable of much more, someone who was put on this earth for a much greater purpose. So, human frailty becomes more acceptable. We learn to care for the sick because they’re godly. We learn to care for the frail. We learn to care for the poor not because it’s ideologically correct but because deep inside us we were taught from a very young age that each of us has a God-given mission, a God-given purpose to fulfil. And if we kill a , if we rob them, deprive them of liberty, we’re depriving them of God’s mission for their life. And so, it’s impossible to treat people very, very badly in a long-term way. I mean all of us have moments, I do, it doesn’t stop Christians being bad that’s for sure but it just means that there’s always a better place to return to. You have a guide, a guideline, you have a path and a goalpost that reminds you that is not the way to behave, it’s not the right way to behave. It gives you a sense of very basic morality about how to treat a fellow human being. So, I think in terms of the sense of community, the sense of the universal goods and the sense of what’s right and wrong and the ultimate sense of forgiveness of sin and redemption – all of those are bound up in our beliefs that we are born in the image of God and we’re here for a specific person purpose designed by him. But it also leads to formal equality. The civil rights movement was very Christian based. You know, civil rights leaders were inspired by Christianity. And they believed in the inherent worth of the person consistent with Christian scripture and were able to I think take that spirit through the movement. It’s very hard to define, I mean I see a similar problem with indigenous recognition, there’s no real language in it, in a highly industrialized society, in a materialist age to describe the worth of the soul because we don’t really have a language for the soul. I don’t think it’s the right language in in the Western public debate. We’re told that you can only legislate on tangibles and on material goods and so forth. And that to a degree is true but we have to find a way for the liberty of the soul to exist and that’s part of the reason that freedom of religion has to be framed as a positive liberty not just a negative one.
    Anderson: I had a vigorous debate only recently with a very highly educated young man in his early thirties, medical graduate, and he argued vehemently that all the great belief systems and all the great religions insist on the worth and the value of every individual. He was unable to provide any evidence in fact he literally said let’s google it, but it is a common view that if there’s anything to be taken out of religion, it’s that we should all love each other.
    Oriel: Well yes and Jesus was the greatest advocate of that, but no, it’s not common for religions at all.
    Anderson: There’s a stark contrast it seems to me between the idea which we’ve been generally recognized as pretty healthy for society, that you, “Ought to love your neighbor and do unto them as you’d have done under yourself,” and the modern version which seems to be, all rules-based, it’s all regulation-based, we’ll bind you up, will tell you what you can say, therefore, what you can think. We will prescribe how you will treat other people and what you will be allowed to say to them, what you can’t. I’m not sure that’s genuine freedom but it seems to be the modern prescription from the politically correct.
    Oriel: Hmm, well as I said, Christianity provides the ultimate defense from the totalitarian state. It gives us a limited state and it gives us a guide for good living within the limited state. To have a limited state you have to have public good.
    Anderson: Yeah.
    Oriel: You have to have a strong community. You have to have structures that can withstand all sorts of pressures internal and external, and external shocks such as wars or invasions and so forth. And if you don’t have that community, if that falls apart, the state becomes indispensable, it takes the place of something better.
    Anderson: You mentioned Martin Luther King and the Left seem to be very fond of saying that they are carrying on his tradition. We need to stop and think about who Martin Luther, he was a remarkable man.
    Oriel: He was a remarkable man and a remarkable Christian. When we listen to his speeches he’s a preacher he is completely inspired you can’t listen to him speak and not see what we call the Holy Spirit in him I mean it’s extraordinary he sort of inspired not only a return to the gospel understanding of the inherent worth of the individual of each person and the legal recognition that we must remove impediments to the development of and the realization of human potential. He also sparked what should have been a cultural revolution, that was not just similar to the Cultural Revolution that the Christ sparked in his day, which was we don’t believe in hierarchy and privilege set by bloodline. We don’t believe in it as Christians. We don’t believe in hierarchy set by race. We believe in the inherent worth of the individual and that God is in each of us and that we have extraordinary potential that can only come to fruition if the state is limited and the person is allowed to be free to reach their highest human potential and we would say God-given potential but I don’t think I think it’s important to say you don’t need to be Christian to believe in these things obviously. Many people who aren’t Christian and aren’t religious believe in them but you do need to be truthful about the origins of these beliefs of the belief and formal equality of the belief in the individual that make Western society Western and they’re rooted in Christian scripture.
    Anderson: It’s a very point did you make because in an age when more and more people declare themselves to be atheist there’s quite a notable divide there and I don’t want to sound disrespectful but there are atheists who will just simply slag off at Christians and anything Christian there are many who will say I’m an atheist but I recognize plainly the role of Christianity in creating the society that we’ve had and I even a couple of atheists who have said only a return to Christianity even though I don’t believe in it will re-secure our future I have actually heard atheists say that.
    Oriel: Hmm, well my father was one of those he was the gracious lover of the Western canon I’ve ever come across and he simply couldn’t believe in God but he said, “Christianity is indispensable to Western civilization there is no Western civilization without.” It the aesthetics the beauty the transcendence the architecture the arts of writing all of the gracious contributions all of the most transcendent and beautiful moments in Western civilization where creation from veneration to God.
    Anderson: It seems that one of the ways in which we might define the cultural battle at the moment goes to the heart of whether the state is a function of the people all the people are a function of the state. And the separation of church and state is something people now prattle on about without I suspect often understanding it’s actually a Christian concept render unto Caesar that which is Caesars but no more than that which is Caesars. How did we get into this mess.
    Oriel: Well secularism isn’t purging religion from the public sphere it’s never meant that it means the separation between Church authority or God’s authority and state authority. So, each is recognized as a sphere of authority and not as not necessarily at war with each other. It can be consistent to have those. And in fact, in England one of the earliest defenses of religious liberty was created by someone who … Thomas Helwys, who talked about the need for King James to recognize the limits of his authority and not pretend to be an intermediary of God’s on earth, not pretend to be appointed by him for the purpose of creating a theocratic Empire. There’s a distinction here again between the limited state model that we have in the West and the totalitarian model. In Enlightenment thought this really was teased out because Enlightenment theorists often wanted a much greater role for the state in human affairs and also in spiritual affairs as we know. The theorist, Jean-Jacques Rousseau thought Christianity posed a particular threat to the state, the model of state that he wanted. And I’ll just read what he said. “[He] rejected Christianity as a religion of the true state because of its secularism.”.
    Anderson: Really?
    Oriel: Yes.
    Anderson: Would you say that again!
    Oriel: He rejected the idea of Christianity as the true state because of its secularism, because of the secular basis of Christianity. He wrote, “Christianity as a religion is entirely spiritual. Occupied solely with heavenly things. The country of the Christians is not of this world.” And he also said, “Christian charity does not readily allow a man to think hardly of his neighbors. The spirit of subservience which Christianity embodies will prevent any real flowering of the martial spirit.” For totalitarians is essential that the state is big. It’s interventionist. It’s very controlling and it’s kind of based on a Spartan model of survival of the fittest, the martial spirit, that is so described. So, like Rousseau, Nietszche, Hitler – they’re very vicious totalitarians and nihilists believed in the Spartan model of democracy, not in the Christian model of democracy, which is the limited state. And of course, we’ve had these conflicts throughout the centuries of Christianity where the church has adopted a theocratic model but there have always been free-thinkers, Christian free-thinkers who have tried to reject that model and try to break it down as we see in the Reformation and as we see especially in the development of American Christianity, a Protestant model of Christianity. So, it’s very important to understand that the totalitarian model is directly antagonistic in history to the Christian model of state. If you’re talking about the Christian model of state, state derived from Christian scripture, not from the perversion of that scripture for the gain of sake and temporal power.
    Anderson: So, to turn that around and look at it from another side do I hear you saying that protecting religious freedom and people’s right to speak to it assuming that there are people out there who are then prepared to use that freedom and those rights is about the best guarantee we can find against the creeping influence of the state drifting towards more and more control over our lives, costing us more and more of our freedoms?
    Oriel: I am saying that the government has a tricky, tricky job ahead of it to ensure that the Western model of religious freedom is the model that is legislated in Australia. There are many countries in the world where theocracy exists. And one of the great conflicts that we are going to come up against is the difference between the Western, the Christian model of religious freedom and the Islamist model of religious freedom which is actually theocracy under Sharia law. So, there are going to be, it’s going to be very tricky to navigate. And the more that political leaders understand the Christian concept of religious freedom, the more the legislated idea, the legislated right will reinforce liberal democracy in Australia.
    Anderson: Well, I could see instantly that this is not going to be easy for one thing the idea that somehow the West might have something right and that our cultural underpinnings might be peculiar and worth defending flies in the face of all of those who know, insist on cultural relativism – all cultures are of equal value and no one should have a right to assert that one culture is superior to another.
    Oriel: They should read up on the traditions of Christianity nonetheless, even if they’re not going to use the language because it provides the best model for a limited state for liberal democracy, for secularism and for constraining principles that protect the inherent worth of the person.
    Anderson: This comes right back to the value of ideas and of deep thinking that lies at the heart of Western freedom. It requires deep knowledge, I suspect you can’t have wisdom without a lot of knowledge. You can certainly have knowledge with no wisdom but I’m not sure you can have wisdom without a lot of knowledge and a lot of reflection time and I wonder whether in the age of the 30-second grab, in the age when I know a bit about this but it’s got worse. Politicians are so frenetic because of the demands placed on them, when there are so few people able to inform them out of our universities, whether we have the cultural depth now to preserve all that is good in our culture it’s going to be a very big test for us I’d have to say as an Australian I think regardless of your worldview and your beliefs this is a far more important debate then as being generally recognized. What should we seek to do? What should come out of the debate in Canberra around this issue?
    Oriel: I think in legislation of religious freedom we need to be, as I’ve said, be careful that it’s defined or it includes a positive a sense of positive liberty and that means the free exercise of religion would include implicitly freedom of thought and expression, but we also need to assert the fundamental nature of the right to the free exercise of religion in society as a public right. And that means it has to be applied in the provision of goods and services and the use of private property parental rights and education and so forth. There needs to be what we saw in the initial debate around same-sex marriage was that people lost jobs, Christians lost their jobs, they were slandered and defamed on social media. There were events that we can’t … so Christian events that were to discuss same-sex marriage that were cancelled because very, very aggressive activists stopped people participating. People became afraid to speak out because they were attacked, sometimes physically. So, we need to ensure that there is an anti-detriment provision in the legislation to protect people and organisations from being subjected to unfavorable treatment on the basis of belief. And I think that particular part has to include explicit reference to employment, accreditation and registration. I think we also need to ensure that the no harm principle is expressly articulated so that we define it as no physical harm or incitement to violence. We want to avoid this becoming in a highly emotional issue. And we also I think should ensure MP’s legislate article 18 to prevent vexatious legislation but also to ensure that state discrimination and equal opportunity laws can’t override easily the right to religious … the free exercise of religion in society.
    Anderson: Well, it’s going to be an extremely interesting but I would argue very, very important debate, much more so than probably people in the street (and I’m not being critical of them at all, they’re very busy people they’ve got a lot on their plates but it may have much more influence over the nature of our freedoms and our society), than they’ve even begun to imagine.
    Oriel: It’s a turning point in Australian cultural history.
    Anderson: Well let’s hope the debate is mature and sensible and not simply based on personal attacks and the sort of loathing we see too much … too much of in social media, particularly today. Thank you very much for being with us.
    Oriel: Thank you for inviting me John.

  7. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” – Isaiah 5:2

  8. The readers might find this article from the Australian Financial Review interesting

    https://www.afr.com/business/sport/something-amiss-in-live-and-let-live-australia-20190509-p51lmp

    It’s about Israel Folau and the cultural engineering taking place in Australia by Peter Kurti who is a senior research fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies and adjunct associate professor of law at the University of Notre Dame Australia.
    ————

    Something amiss in live-and-let live Australia
    When stating a religious conviction is branded as offensive hate speech and
    ends one’s career, we know a deep crack has opened in our culture.

    Peter Kurti
    May 9, 2019

    Found guilty of a serious breach of his contract with Rugby Australia (RA). Israel Folau is now to be punished on the grounds that he openly expressed his personaland sincerely held – religious beliefs.

    A few years ago, it would have been laughable to think a sports star could be drummed out of his profession simply for having stated his deep religious convictions about Christian lifestyles. Israel Folau is the victim of changing social standards that seek to limit the free expression of religion outside of the workplace. But not today. Folau may yet be sacked for quoting from the Bible- the very book used for taking the oath in our law courts, and the very book taken to his Pacific Island ancestors by missionaries in the 19th century. Footballs were sent much later, of course, but became almost as strong a part of the island culture.

    The Bible is the same; but the countries that sent it out have changed, and they don’t like the Bible message now being preached to them. And now the tables have turned.Today, Folau, like other Pacific Islander Christians, is the missionary bringing the Bible back to the Western world from which the original missionaries set sail.It’s much the same with African Christian missionaries who now preach the Bible in countries such as England that seeded their religion in the18th century.

    The Bible is the same; but the countries that sent it out have changed, and they don’t like the Bible message now being preached to them. It is an Orwellian, watershed moment.

    Make no mistake: when stating a religious conviction is branded as offensive hate speech and leads to the destruction of one’s career and reputation, we know a deep crack has opened in our culture.

    Many of us are asking: What has gone wrong?

    Let’s think of culture as a way of life comprising distinctive ideas and customs: “the invisible colour of everyday life,” as the great 18th century defender of liberty, Edmund Burke, defined it.

    And then think back to the Australia characterised by what we like to see as an easygoing, live-and-let-live approach to social, ethnic and religious differences in our communities. Many of us are asking:What has gone wrong?

    Checking bad behaviour

    Part of the answer lies in first recognising the role anti-discrimination laws have played in checking certain forms of bad behaviour, targeting minority groups.Those laws were an important reform. But the determination to eradicate discrimination has surely gone too far. Instead of being used as a shield to protect the vulnerable, it is now being used as a sword to cut down genuine forms of diversity. If Rugby Austraia is concerned about losing support from sponsor Qantas, it should note that the airline itself is partnered with Emirates, whose home base of Dubai bans-and severely punishes- homosexuality.

    Metropolitan sophisticates work themselves up into a frenzy about anything they consider to be an extremist opinion, especially if it involves religion-and Christianity, in particular. Israel Folau’s fame and talent have now focused the nation’s attention on the crisis our culture is facing.

    Inner city elites seize instantly on any remark or social media post critical of gender, ethnicity, climate change or any number of issues, and whip up a storm about socalled “hate speech”. Their voices arc loud and reinforce one another’s points of view. But what those urban elites fail to realise is that their angry opinions are utterly divorced from the concerns of middle Australia.

    Nearly 90 per cent of respondents to a recent informal- therefore perhaps somewhat unreliable-online poll said Folau’s $4 million contract with RA should not be terminated. Ordinary Australians are well able to respect differing opinions and beliefs.

    But what they do not respect is the concerted assault, led by those same elites, on our highly-prized freedoms of speech, religion, conscience, and association that make for an open and tolerant society.

    Nor are they willing to tolerate the real extremism that the politically correct fetish for diversity imposes on the rest of us- like a dictatorship of virtue threatening to extinguish the flame of freedom.

    Cultural crisis

    Israel Folau’s fame and talent have now focused the nation’s attention on the crisis our culture is facing. And it’s not before time. This crisis has long been fomenting, and it confronts us with a choice.

    As Shakespeare said in Julius Caesar: “There is a tide in the affairs of men which taken at the flood leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea we are now afloat.”

    A new tyranny of tolerance is descending upon us and is set to vilify-and then silence- the views and concerns of ordinary Australians who seek nothing more than freedom for themselves and for all others.

    Either we can watch as the tide of the age ebbs, submitting to what Mark Latham whose own concerns for community well being have resuscitated his political career -recently called “the new serfdom in the Australian workplace”…where every
    aspect of an individual’s life is subject to scrutiny and control.

    Or we can catch the tide, seize the moment, and stand fast against the diversity dictators, resolved to uphold our Australian way of life- refusing to divide neighbour from neighbour, or friend from friend.

  9. A Speech in the Parliament of NSW by a new member who used to lead the Australian Labor Party

    Mark Latham unleashes in maiden speech: How did our nation come to this?

    NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham’s maiden speech to NSW parliament backed Israel Folau (inset, top) and thanked Alan Jones (inset bottom)
    New One Nation NSW MP Mark Latham has railed against the Left and political correctness in his maiden speech in the NSW parliament, accusing people of trying to bring down western civilisation through a campaign of “cultural Marxism”.

    Mr Latham defended rugby player Israel Folau and said that he would be “moving legislation for the protection of free speech, religious freedom and the privacy rights of workers” in his time in parliament.
    He also said he would move legislation allowing nuclear power into NSW and said the federal Opposition spokesman on the environment, Mark Butler, would become the “minister for blackouts” with his pro-renewables approach and compared the push for renewables to a “pagan religion”.

    Mr Latham, who with a One Nation colleague and several other crossbenchers will hold the balance of power in the upper house in NSW, said he and others were in the “fight of our lives” to bring back the values of Western civilisation.

    “Mr President, I stand with Israel Folau. In his own private time away from his job playing football, he’s a preacher at his community church and naturally, he quotes the Bible,” Mr Latham said.
    “I was on Folau’s list of sinners”
    “He believes, as millions of people have believed for thousands of years, that sinners go to Hell.
    “As per his valid religious faith, he loves the sinner but condemns the sin. Yet for his beliefs, his Christianity, he is not allowed to play rugby, to chase the pigskin around the park.
    “How did our State and our nation ever come to this? I was on Folau’s list of sinners, more than once actually.
    “But as I don’t believe in Hell, there was no way I could take offence. Those claiming outrage have fabricated their position solely for the purpose of censorship. This is not an argument about diversity.
    “The Wallabies have no female players, no disabled, no elderly, no middle aged.
    “They are selected from a tiny fraction of the young, fit, athletic male population.
    “By excluding a committed Christian, they are making their game less inclusive. And as for Folau being a role model for young gay men, one only needs to state this proposition to understand its absurdity.
    “Footballers are not role models for anyone, other than in enjoying their sporting ability.

    “I say to any young person: if you are looking for guidance and inspiration in life, study Churchill, Lincoln, Reagan and Roosevelt, not Todd Carney. By the way, that’s Ronald Reagan, not Reg Reagan.
    “The new serfdom”

    “No Australian should be fearful of proclaiming four of the most glorious words of our civilisation: I Am A Christian.
    “No one should be sacked by their employer for statements of genuine belief and faith that have got nothing to do with their job.

    “The Folau case exposes the new serfdom in the Australian workplace: how big companies, the corporate PC-elites are wanting to control all aspects of their employees’ lives — their religious and political views, how they speak and think, how they behave, even in their own time away from the workplace.
    “This is a stunning intrusion on workers’ rights. Yet far from condemning the new serfdom, Labor and the trade unions have been cheering it on.

    “As per our One Nation election commitments, I will be moving legislation for the protection of free speech, religious freedom and the privacy rights of workers.”

    Mr Latham also went on to rail against the Left generally.
    “For all its pitfalls and failings, the Legislative Council has always redeemed itself in wanting to extend the reach of Western civilisation and advancement in Australia. Until now,” Mr Latham said.
    ‘A scene from the Life of Brian’

    “Like so many parts of our politics that have changed quickly in recent times, there are voices here who do not believe in the virtues of the West, who do not acknowledge the nation-building achievements of our culture and our country.
    “It’s like a scene from The Life of Brian, a case of: What has Western civilisation done for us? Only advanced healthcare and education; architecture, engineering, information technology, free speech and the rule of law.

    “ In fact: this chamber, this parliament, in this city, all our public institutions and the material comforts we take for granted — none of them could exist without the greatness of the West. Without the advances that began with the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution and continue to this day.

    “Yet still, among the Leftist elites, among the social engineers and cultural dietitians, sneering at our civilisation and its achievements has become their new pastime.
    “They preach diversity but practice a suffocating cultural conformity, wanting everyone to be just like them.

    “They argue for inclusion but as soon as a Christian, a conservative, a libertarian, a nationalist, a working class larrikin, an outsider from the vast suburbs and regions of our nation disagrees with them, they crank up their PC “outrage machine to exclude them from society. “

    They are tolerant of everything except dissenting values and opinions — meaning, of course, they are tolerant of nothing that matters, only themselves.”

    Mr Latham said this was a “Leftist curse through the ages: the recurring history of those who so badly crave control over others, they lose control over themselves.”
    “Safe Schools garbage”

    He said those from the Left were taking away from “battlers” “the right to speak their mind. To say they love their country and want Australia Day to stay”.

    “To practice their Christianity, openly and freely. To send their children to school without the garbage of Safe Schools, Wear-It-Purple days, ‘HeadRest’ indoctrination and the other crackpot theories making some NSW classrooms more like a Hare Krishna meeting than actual education.

    “And when they go to work, the chance to do their job without being bombarded by employment quotas, ‘unconscious bias’ training and a long list of unspeakable, taboo words — scary, scary stuff, like ‘guys’ and ‘mums and dads’.” “The New Left are the new primitives of our time: junking the importance of evidence, of recorded history, of biological science, to pretend that all parts of our lives (especially race, gender and sexuality) can be fluid, that everything we know and feel around us is, in fact, ‘socially constructed’.”

    Mr Latham said society “shouldn’t be confusing young people and risking their mental health by pushing gender fluidity upon them”.
    “ … In the last national census, for instance, 13 hundred Australians identified as transgender. But to listen to the political and media coverage of this issue, you would think there were 13 million.

    “ Mr President, Everywhere I travel, parents and grandparents, workers and communities, tell me how concerned they are about Australia’s direction. They ask me, ‘What’s happened to our country; where has this nonsense come from?’ The answer is clear. The Leftist project, then and now, is about control. “Having, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, lost the struggle for economic control, the Left got smarter. It shifted from the Cold War to a culture war. It moved from pursuing economic Marxism to pushing cultural Marxism.

    “Instead of seeking revolution at the top of government, it has marched instead through our institutions — a tactic that’s harder to combat. The elites have been remarkably successful in this cultural invasion.

    “Our abiding national traditions of free speech, merit selection, resilience and love of country are being lost, not just in the public sector — in schools, universities, public broadcasters, major political parties and government agencies — but also in large parts of corporate Australia and the commercial media. The rest of us are the Resistance to this national takeover.

    “If you control someone’s language, you control a big part of their lives: how they interact with others, how they communicate in society, their feeling of belonging.”

    “As the great John Cleese has pointed out, telling a joke about someone doesn’t mean we hate them.”
    Mr Latham went on to defend former Labor leader Luke Foley’s description of “white flight” from western Sydney but criticised his successor Michael Daley’s comments about “Asians with PhDs” coming in to take jobs.

    And he said there was too much immigration.
    “Big Australia immigration has flooded the labour market, holding down wages. “It has also flooded the housing market, driving up demand and prices.

    “It’s fuelling Sydney’s congestion and overdevelopment crisis. This city cannot continue to grow at 100,000 per annum, at a severe cost to the environment and residential lifestyle.

    “For a government struggling to build a couple of tram tracks down the main street, the promise of better planning is a hoax.
    He said Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s government was championing an “aerotropolis” near the new Western Sydney Airport.

    “The government talks about it like it’s a cross between Silicon Valley and Disneyland.

    “But it’s looming as just another excuse for urban sprawl and under-servicing.

    “The government says it’s building a new city the size of Adelaide, with 1.3 million people. Yet remarkably, there are no plans for a new public hospital, only a so-called ‘integrated health facility’ servicing less than 20 per cent of the proposed population.

    “Mr President, The fightback for freedom is long overdue. As is the fightback for fairness.

    “The repair job in education is massive: hours of discussion, hundreds of questions to be asked and answered, scores of policy ideas and reform proposals to be advanced. And that’s what I’ll be doing throughout this term of parliament — my word I will. Mr President, I’m concerned for the future prosperity of our State.”

    Priorities: education, energy
    He said education and energy policy were his two priorities.
    “I’m not a climate denier. I respect all forms of science. But just as much, I don’t believe in running public policy through the work of zealots.

    “And that’s what renewables have become — a new pagan religion, whereby the Green-Left wants to hand over human control of our energy grid to the vagaries of the weather, through wind and sun worship.

    “We are being asked to change the climate by relying on the weather — a high-risk, paradoxical way of planning for the needs of a modern economy. There is a place for renewables in the system. But it must be supplementary to baseload power, not the other way around.

    “Currently the Federal Labor Shadow Minister for Energy, Mark Butler, is promising the Australian people a new era of “dispatchable renewable energy”. “Yet when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining, there is nothing to dispatch. Butler will end up being the Minister for Blackouts.

    “In longer term planning for the State, lifting the ban on uranium mining and nuclear power, as per the Deputy Premier’s policy. I can advise the House that yesterday I gave notice of a Private Member’s Bill for this purpose.”
    Mr Latham said that since retiring from federal parliament having served as federal opposition leader in 2005: “The days and years with my children have been the best of my life but now they are so much older and, through them, having seen what the government school system has become, it was time to come here to do something about it.”

    He thanked 2GB broadcaster Alan Jones for his support, saying he “at various times gave me a chance when no one else would”.

    “ For those of us who believe in the virtues of Western civilisation, who treasure the advances and values of the Enlightenment … this is the fight of our lives. Our ethos, sir, is simple: No surrender. No surrender in any debate, in any institution, on any front. No surrender in trying to take back our country, That, Mr President, is why I’m here and what I’m fighting for.”

    1. Editor thedebriefing

      This website does not endorse any political party in any country. But this politician’s comments are very insightful.

  10. This is the text from https://www.spiked-online.com/2019/04/17/the-persecution-of-israel-folau/ I mentioned

    The persecution of Israel Folau
    The Aussie rugby player is being punished for his Christian beliefs.

    JAY BIRCH
    17th April 2019
    The persecution of Israel Folau

    Topics FREE SPEECH UK WORLD

    Rugby Australia (RA) looks set to remove Israel Folau from their national team over an Instagram post deemed to be anti-gay. The Wallabies star faces the axe for sharing an image warning that homosexuals – among others – face Hell unless they repent.

    It’s the second time the New South Wales Waratahs player has been accused of homophobia for expressing such a sentiment. Last year, in response to a question from someone on social media, he similarly suggested that God’s plan for gay people was Hell.

    The inevitable backlash promoted Folau to write a reasonable and heartfelt blog post explaining his stance and the Bible passage it was drawn from. As a committed Christian, he said that for him ‘the Bible is the truth and sometimes the truth can be difficult to hear’. However, he added: ‘Every individual in this world is different… I don’t expect everyone to believe what I believe.’

    By contrast, in a joint statement regarding the latest furore, RA and NSW Rugby Union said: ‘Whilst Israel is entitled to his religious beliefs, the way in which he has expressed these beliefs is inconsistent with the values of the sport.’

    They were also keen to stress that Folau, who recently set a Super Rugby try-scoring record, does not ‘speak for the game’ (as if any right-minded person would think he does) and the language he used ‘cannot be tolerated’.

    Ironically, they added that ‘no vilification based on race, gender, religion or sexuality is acceptable’ as they openly vilified one of their best players, five months out from the World Cup, based on his religious beliefs.

    As an atheist (regular drunk and occasional fornicator), Folau’s ‘warning’ doesn’t offend me because I don’t believe in Hell or the notion that Jesus is our saviour. The ideas are as ridiculous to me as my lack of faith probably is to Folau. But even if I was a modern-thinking Christian, I would still expect people to be tolerant enough to disagree fundamentally with an opinion while respecting my right to express it.

    The simple concept of mutual respect for differing views is lost on the authorities in the rugby world, though. The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is also set to meet England’s Billy Vunipola after he defended the Australian full-back. After liking Falou’s post, England’s 26-year-old No8 said in his own message: ‘He’s saying how we live our lives needs to be closer to how God intended them to be. Man was made for woman to procreate that was the goal no?’

    The RFU were quick to distance themselves from this view and claim rugby is ‘an inclusive sport’. But if this were true, surely they should at least tolerate their players’ Christian beliefs. Vunipola’s club, Saracens, have said they will also investigate the matter internally. It appears expressing an honest opinion has now thrown his career prospects into doubt, too.

    Since when did governing bodies in rugby become the present-day equivalent of Orwell’s Thought Police? Probably around the same time that the liberal elite and many mainstream media outlets appointed themselves judges of what is and isn’t acceptable say.

    It’s interesting that these ‘stories’ of public figures expressing unfavoured opinions gain such prominence in our news cycle – like having a different view to one that is widely held is somehow new or shocking. Recently, Roger Scruton was sacked as a government housing adviser for his ‘unacceptable comments’ in a dubious New Statesman interview and Emmerdale actress Shila Iqbal lost her job for offensive tweets from six years ago.

    Yes, we are now in territory where you can even be punished for historical breaches of the moral codes established by organisations that are (however well-meaning) over-zealous in their pursuit of ‘opinion conformity’.

    At what point in our evolution did we stop believing that well-constructed arguments, open debate and civilised discourse can change minds and lead to social progress? People need to realise that silencing unfashionable or outdated views is not the best way to tackle them – on the rugby field or in wider society.

    Jay Birch is a freelance journalist.

    1. Editor thedebriefing

      Thanks, “I work for the QANTAS. Can’t say my name, I’ll lose my job.” Interesting article from an interesting website.

      Being a self-proclaimed ‘atheist’ in this article does not mean Jay Birch can’t see things for what they are. In a sense in this article we have one of many positions that both Christians and some atheists can agree.

      I hope you don’t lose your job.

  11. By ’the Mocker’, The Australian, 2 May 2019:

    Ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard Rugby Australia Airlines. This is your captain Raelene Castle speaking from the flight deck and with me is the co-pilot, Alan Joyce — I mean Michael Cheika. We apologise for the delay in departure. You will have noticed that we’ve just told all Polynesian passengers to leave the aircraft immediately. Be assured this is in accordance with RA’s inclusion policy.

    To assist with our departure, please give us your attention for a few minutes while we play this important safety video.

    (Pre-safety briefing music)
    I’ve been to a circus with the greatest of clowns
    From New York to Rio and to Canberra town
    But no matter how far or how wide they roam
    Rugby Australia’s their home
    I was my own man, I loved being free
    Now Rugby Australia’s dictating to me
    What to say, what to think, what beliefs I can own
    And which tracts I must not condone
    Union’s sons and daughters
    Have played around the world
    Away from their family and friends
    But the PC world gets bolder and colder
    It’s sad to know where this great game will end
    And some day we’ll all be together once more
    When all of us sheep act the same evermore
    We can’t play, we can’t win, we’re a trophy free-zone
    It’s Rugby Australia syndrome
    We can’t play, we can’t win, we’re a trophy free-zone
    We’re Rugby Australia
    We’re Rugby Australia
    We’re Rugby Australia
    CLONES!

    Fasten your seatbelt by inserting the clasp into the buckle and tying it tightly across your waist. If you are the outspoken type but still wish to continue with your flight, fasten your seatbelt tightly across your mouth.
    All bags must be stored in the overhead locker or under the seat in front of you. Note that we said ‘bags’, you religious types, not baggage. RA strictly prohibits baggage on our aircraft.

    Your phone and tablet should already be in flight mode. If they aren’t, please do so now. This aircraft is enabled with wi-fi for your convenience, however, please exercise discretion regarding what comments you make on social media. Please also note you may be asked to justify why you activated the ‘like’ tab on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram posts that we deem unacceptable. Failure to provide an acceptable answer may result in you being barred from flying RA in future.

    There is a lifejacket under your seat. Its colour is most appropriate: it reflects RA’s ability to administer the great game of rugby while withstanding pressure from external stakeholders. If required, put it over your head and tie the strap. Pull the red tag for that outraged puffer fish look so beloved of social justice activists. There’s also a whistle you can use to alert the crew if you hear any unacceptable conversation from a fellow passenger that breaches RA’s inclusion policy.

    Please note that incendiary topics are prohibited and this aircraft is fitted with woke detectors to ensure you can be recognised as a virtuous corporate citizen. In the past you might, for example, have worn a specially designed “acceptance ring” to symbolise your support for same-sex marriage. You could perhaps consider changing your passenger profile from a binary pronoun to they/them. Today’s prize goes to the young man who insisted on sitting in seat 18C to signal his support for the Racial Discrimination Act and his opposition to hate speech!

    For important safety information on how to prevent DVT, please read the health and safety information in your in-flight magazine. What’s that — you can’t find anything in the magazine on Deep Vein Thrombosis? Madam, please, I’m talking about Divisive and Vitriolic Teachings, which is far more of a toxic threat. And in the event someone says anything unacceptable or intolerant, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead compartment. Place it over your mouth, tighten the strap and inhale deeply until you compose yourself.

    Please also note we will not actually be flying today, and we are relying solely on the pushback tractor to tow the aircraft to our destination. Unfortunately in our haste to engage counsellors, communication consultants, diversity advisers, and sensitivity trainers, we forgot to recruit pilots, flight attendants, and aircraft maintenance engineers.
    Nonetheless the crew are here to help you on your journey through life, so follow their instructions at all time. Sit back, plug in your headsets and listen to our new theme song. Take it away Talking Heads with their hit ‘Road to Nowhere’!

  12. I would describe myself as a ‘Rugby tragic”. And I am amazed at the persecution of Israel Folau.

    My understanding of the Bible is that all of us fit into the categories of people identified in Israel’s post. It is the Christian God who has stated that we are all doomed because of our behaviour. Our behaviour reflects our rejection of the Christian God. It is the Christian God motivated by love who has provided forgiveness through Jesus and only Jesus. Israel’s message is a message of love to us all by the Christian God and an act of loving kindness by Israel to state it.

    It is beyond me how anyone interprets this as hate speech. Are people seriously saying Israel’s mainstream Christian view deserves him losing his job. Whereas so many footballers have misogynist, violent, drug using or other criminal behaviours which do not deserve them losing their jobs. Is Israel’s speech to be equated with hate speech. Speech like ‘killing infidels’ proclaimed by so many political Islamists? Are Israel’s crimes in the same league as these people?

    How is it that public life in Australia is dominated by unaccountable commentators who behave like a an outraged lynch mob to protect their cosy positions in the ‘gravy train’ (as Alan Jones put it in one of the other comments below). Who are their masters? Israel’s master is the Christian God. And the ‘value-less’ sycophants in the media appear to be competing with one another to heap abuse on the man and gain more and more political respectability.

    I think the topic of this post “The persecution of Christians in Australia” is spot on. For a while now I’ve wondered what I am defending in the ADF. I realised with the persecution of Israel Folau and the almost certain loss of the Wallabies best player that I do not share the values of this country any more.

    I’m leaving the Australian Defense Force after 15 unblemished years. I made the decision on ANZAC Day.

    Australia is fucked.

    1. Editor thedebriefing

      I very much appreciate the frankness of your comment “Disillusioned Defense Force Member”.

      On behalf of everyone who visits thedebriefing.net I wish you all the best in your decision, and God’s blessing in what you do next.

  13. The Sydney Commentator and ex-Australian Rugby Union Coach published the following article in The Australian Newspaper
    https://WWW.THEAUSTRALIAN.COM.AU/SPORT/RUGBY-UNION/FOLAU-STANDS-ALONE-AS-THE-REST-FALL-INTO-LINE-WITH-THEIR-PAY-MASTERS/NEWS-STORY/E4ECD4EC2F1EA70186B64EF933C60D05#CORAL

    The rugby family are meant to believe that Israel Folau is fighting for his future. Surely the boot is on the wrong foot. Israel must stay. Enough is enough. The board must go.

    Nonetheless, watch the Judas brigade and its mercenary membership line up behind Rugby Australia and spout the party line. Israel speaks from conviction and Christian commitment.

    What is the motivation for many of his critics in Rugby administration? Sadly the Wallabies coach, Michael Cheika, has lost his moral compass on this; but then, in this day and age, would he be the next victim if he were to defend Folau’s right to cite the King James Bible?

    Wallabies captain Michael Hooper is on the payroll for more than $1 million. Why put that at risk by defending Israel’s right to express a biblical truth?

    How many people are singing the company tune to keep their gravy train rolling?

    To use a biblical analogy, it is sickening to see these blokes taking their pieces of silver to sell out their former teammate and celebrated player. Rod Kafer somewhat fancifully said: “The Wallabies are a better team without Folau.” With that judgment, why would anyone listen to his commentary? No wonder he failed as a coach if that is his evaluation of a prodigious talent.
    Phil Waugh was a tough and uncompromising player, dedicated totally to the green-and-gold. But now, sadly, on the board of Rugby Australia, he is singing the board’s tune.

    If as some suggest, though I don’t agree, Folau should have kept quiet surely that is precisely what some of his critics should be doing. But if the gravy train terminates at Rugby Australia then I suppose it is asking for too much moral courage to expect some people to get off the train rather than stay on it for the money.

    I know Karmichael Hunt. He is a good person and a fine player. He has been silly and he knows that. But he has been given three chances. His obvious decency, to anyone who knows him, was twice damaged by drug-related offences; but he is now on chance number three.

    I don’t have a problem with that. I would give anyone a second chance, or a third chance if I knew that what lay in the future was the prospect of a good and reformed person. But is our message to kids that the taking of drugs is OK for the “values of the game”, but having strong religious beliefs and sharing them is wrong.

    How odd that Rugby Australia preaches “diversity” and “inclusiveness” when what they really mean is uniformity or exclusion.
    It was General George Patton, who commanded the US Seventh Army in the Mediterranean theatre in World War II and the US Third Army in France and Germany following the Allied invasion of Normandy, who said: “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”

    The only person we have not heard from is Scott Johnson. He has been back almost a month and he is silent. Where does he stand on this matter? Does he also think that it is OK for Qantas to sign contracts with nations where homosexuals and women are treated abominably; yet we are prepared to ostracise, demonise, punish and banish an Australian who has done nothing wrong other than state his beliefs. Is Johnson going to fall into line with the rest of the gravy train brigade? He is on big money. He was appointed, as I understand it, to be the boss; but when real leadership is needed, he has become gun-shy.
    So keen to fall in line with the Qantas demands and gather up the money, Rugby Australia have completely ballsed up the whole show.

    Of course, they have good form in the balls-up business. Remember the chairman Cameron Clyne calling a press conference over the summer then wet the bed when he was asked to explain the coaching restructure.

    The bed wetters are now running around squeaking that Qantas may pull their sponsorship because Alan Joyce wants Rugby Australia to sack Folau and, apparently, any of his mates who hold similar views. If Joyce is not applying the weights to Rugby Australia, let him clear the air and say so; but to the rugby follower, a dirty tail seems to be wagging a mongrel dog and the politically correct minority sharpen their knives.

    Before proclaiming Folau’s guilt, one would have thought he was entitled to the deliberation of a tribunal. But RA have already said he won’t play for Australia; he won’t be picked for NSW; his contract will be ripped up. Folau is, sensibly, going to contest all this. But this is after the event.

    Rugby Australia have already called for punishment, banishment and termination because Folau warned “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolaters, hell awaits you, repent, only Jesus saves … Jesus Christ loves you and has given you time to turn away from your sin and come to him”. This is nothing more than what all Christians are called to do. It is part of the great commission Jesus gave to his disciples.

    Matthew 26:18-20: “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you’. ”

    We are talking about a young man who is a dedicated Christian expressing a legitimate view based on biblical teaching. Christians around the world are under siege. It appears now that sanctions of the most draconian kind are being imposed on Christians here who dare to proclaim their faith.

    Anglican Bishop Michael Stead, who heads the South Sydney diocese, said on Tuesday: “If a rugby player can be sacked for doing nothing more than posting on his social media page what is essentially a summary of the Bible, then it is a signal to the rest of us that we better keep our mouths shut.”

    Forcing people to keep their mouths shut because they might express a view contrary to ours has almost become the norm. It is interesting that Joyce is entitled to his view even though, apparently, Folau is not. But surely Joyce cannot appropriate his view to the whole Qantas family, many of whom disagree with him.

    And by what Christian teaching do we seek to destroy an individual and his career for articulating a summary from the Bible, which is thousands of years old? Folau, as I have said before, is from a devoutly religious Polynesian family and it is interesting that many who now criticise him have, in the past, demanded tolerance for their viewpoint.

    And that is fair enough. A diversity of viewpoints is healthy; but none of that tolerance is extended toward Folau. What is to happen to many of Folau’s fellow players who “liked” what he had to say? Are they to be banished? The drunks, the liars, the thieves, the fornicators and the atheists are not complaining.

    Have we reached the point articulated in the Keith Murdoch Oration in Melbourne on Tuesday night by the chief executive of News Corp, Robert Thomson, who declared that a mob mentality has taken hold across much of the west … with “illiberal liberals” on a “seemingly endless, insatiable quest” for indignation and umbrage.

    Thomson declared: “We are going through a strange phase in seeking affirmation through victimhood; and one example was the seething secularism that portrays any person of faith, whether an evanescent evangelical or occasional attendee at mass or synagogue or mosque or temple, as a nutter, a fruitcake, touched, a devotee of the deviant.”

    Is that, shamefully, the category in which we seek to cast Folau? Billy Vunipola, the England number 8, has voiced his support and he too has been muzzled. There are thousands of other Pacific Island players, all over the world, who hold strong religious beliefs and back Folau.

    Most of these players support families back in the islands and will remain silent for fear that if they speak up, they will lose their contracts and they will no longer be able to support their extended families. Be proud Cameron Clyne. What a legacy.
    It has been jarring for the average Australian rugby fan to turn on the news and see Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle and NSW Rugby boss Andrew Hore, both Kiwis, talking rubbish and questioning the character of Folau. The difference is, Folau is authentic.

    In comparison, Hore and Castle are Kiwi rejects, seemingly able to trade off their nationality because our game is such a basket-case, our board members will listen to anyone wearing an All Blacks tracksuit.

    Who the hell hired these people to run NSW and Australian Rugby? Christianity was introduced into the Pacific Islands by missionaries. Most of these Islander people don’t have a lot of material things. But you only have to see their smiles to know they are rich of heart. They could teach our administrators a lot. Israel, keep your head high. There are millions of ordinary Australians in your corner. Not all of them share your beliefs but they recognise your right to express them and they understand you are coming from a place of love. For those of us who have looked at your complete comments, we understand you are genuinely concerned for your fellow man.

    These words are not yours. They have been part of the scriptures for 2000 years.

    As I have said this week, Folau has shown a rare degree of moral courage. I would want him in my team any day.
    Beyond his rugby skills, his example of moral courage is one that should inspire young people. This is not a battle that rugby administrators can win but they think they can. We know that rugby today is in a dark place.

  14. “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” – 2 Corinthians 4:3-4

  15. Agree. The lynch mob are all hypocrites .!
    Leave him alone. If he were gay then they would. Whats this word coming to. What happened to free speech.?

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