Many Americans have never heard of Israel Folau, but much of the English-speaking world knows this rugby superstar, not only for his athletic talent, but because he was recently “sacked” by Rugby Australia for violating its code of conduct.
The violation was a post on Instagram: “Warning: Drunks, homosexuals, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolators. Hell awaits you. Repent. Only Jesus saves.”
This bold allusion to 1 Corinthians 6 and his subsequent ban from rugby has dominated the news in Australia and elsewhere, and has set the stage for a national debate over the pond over freedom of religion and speech.
Folau is suing Rugby Australia, and even though GoFundMe banned his appeal for donations, over $1.5 million has been donated to the cause.
As Rod Dreher points out, atheist philosopher Peter Singer and Australian lesbian political philosopher Holly Lawford-Smith have both publicly backed Folau’s “freedom of thought and expression.”
Keep an eye on this scrum. It will have major implications for Australia . . . and probably for us.
Image: Google Images