Folau – the cost of being woke


The manner in which Australian Rugby have mishandled the Folau fiasco was always going to bite them in the arse – fragile Christians will almost certainly pledge $3m to his audacious go fund me campaign because this is a culture war now.

His contract didn’t prohibit his religious rights and his case in front of the Fair Work Commission could cost Australian Rugby an enormous amount.

I would argue that Folau’s Instagram post was stupid speech (as opposed to hate speech) and it also seems a little hollow for Qantas to attack Folau, because they are partnered to Qatar Airways and Emirates. Qatar imprisons  homosexual acts, and the UAE punishes homosexuality with the death penalty.

It’s easy to scream at a Pacific Island Rugby player over conservative religious opinions on social media but far harder to stand up to actual state sponsored repression against gay communities.

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In the age of subjective rage where the policing of micro aggressions trumps all objective reality, sacking Folau is a tiny win, however the backlash amongst those young men who see him as a hero will probably outweigh whatever point is supposed to be made here.

Liberal progressive democracies are supposed to be able to withstand and tolerate opinions that are offensive, buckling and proclaiming hate speech to everything we disagree with is likely to end in a cluster fuck of counter productive outcomes.

The totalitarian joy so many of the woke seem to be exhibiting in their online celebration at the sacking of a Pacific Island religious conservative rugby player seems like low hanging fruit at its most ironic and metaphorical.

Look, I adore the rainbow community and have zero time for Rugby and even less time for religious freaks, and I feel for those who were offended  by this guys weird views on homosexuals, drunks, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists & idolators, but mocking him would have been a far better outcome than this meltdown or actually simply point out he is misreading the Bible.

The Pride Parade in NZ was a woke war and that didn’t end well. I think the same trigger free sensitivities are gong to damage  Australian Rugby.

Every time you complain about Folau’s go fund me campaign a fragile Christian donates – this is who we are now – this is what we are now.


  1. Fair comment Martyn. I think Israel probably has the law on his side in respect of his sacking by AU rugby fair and square. I don’t see why it should cost $3M to establish that though. Justice at that price is no justice at all.
    D J S

    • I think the court hearing the case will side with the employer … and this is why Folau wants others to cover the cost of his action.

    • “mocking him would have been a far better outcome than this meltdown”. The best approach would have been to simply ignore him. Those who are so easily offended fail to see the irony of his position.
      A couple of centuries ago when Britain was hell bent on splashing splotches of red on the global atlas so we could take pride in the greatest empire ever, Britain discovered that, when confronted with people who could fight a bit, like most of the Polynesians, it was smarter to send in the missionaries, rather than the soldiers.
      So the Polynesians became devout Christians. And guess what? Just to show how successful that ploy was, the way Israel Folau talks now is just the way the fire and brimstone missionaries talked then. Serves us right! Leave the poor man alone. He is a poor, sad anachronism. If we want to to expend any emotions, it should be shame.

      • Except the British weren’t keen on establishing an empire everywhere. There were numerous examples where the British were reluctant to get involved. It was often the missionaries who forced their hand not the other way around.

        • Well, for a nation that wasn’t trying very hard to get an Empire, we did pretty well didn’t we? can you name some countries we didn’t want to know

  2. I donated to Israel Folau go-fund-me page. Not because I have any ill-feeling towards the Gay community, if anything, I am supportive. But I believe in tolerance, even of views that I disagree with.

    As you say Martyn, a Liberal democracy should be about tolerance. This notion of being “Intolerant of Intolerance” will lead to exactly what these people say they are against- intolerance. We should only reject those who physically and legally try to deny the freedom of others to live their lives.

    I find the juxtaposing of sick and dying kids to Israel Folau’s campaign especially distasteful. As if, there are only two choices, between donating to IF or sick and dying kids. If you look at go fund me, you have fundraising for Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young’s defamation case, and those against her; fundraising for community projects, and support for religious studies.

    Rugby Australia trying to get IF to deny his values has me especially upset. I am not religious, and I will avoid preachers when I see them at my door. But I would never expect them to disavow their religious beliefs. Especially, as an employer, I would them to be respectful to all groups- LGBTI and the Religious. Rugby Australia should be taken the position of Netball Australia and not be sucked into this cesspit.

    Even more offensive is the campaign now against IF’s wife. Will these people stoop any lower?

    Tolerance should be a two-way street.

    • Hate speech is a terrible crime that should be punished appropriately. A lot of the woke will say that we have to work on our differences and get along. I believe we should use what little the left and the have so we can be different.

      So, Adolf Eichmann that great nazi mastermind of the holocaust when him and Heinrich Himmler was trying to figure out what to do with Jews actually copied America’s treatment of blacks accept for the publicity of mob lynches because it was to brutal for the Nazis.

      No really this is like the grandfather paradox where if some one goes back in a time machine and Assasinates Hitler as a baby then some one else would have taken up the role of most disgusting ideology whether it be Stalin, Mao, Britain, America or Brazil, Qatar, Saudi or who ever. This IMO is why hate speech should be vigorously policed at the top and liberal at the bottom because of how slippery the slope is.

      • “This IMO is why hate speech should be vigorously policed at the top and liberal at the bottom because of how slippery the slope is.”

        What does liberal at the bottom mean?

    • So if you believe in tolerance david in aus why are you supporting 2 people who are using the bible to denigrate others this isn’t tolerance its pure hate. As we can only tolerate so much and many of us NZers have had enough of this nastiness and divisiveness and what this type of behaviour can lead to what we experienced this in the Chch mosque attacks.

      • Even if there is an agreement on the definition of ‘Hate Speech’, surely there must be malice involved from the speaker.

        When Israel Folau says those ‘sins’ can be forgiven if they repent, that cannot be Hate Speech. Is there malice in those words? Or only if the offense is taken from the listener is important? If so, then anything can be labeled as Hate Speech.

        False equivalence: what does the Mosque shooting got to do with this case?

  3. He should have been sacked, it was filthy stuff and his contract simply doesn’t allow this.

    He can say all he wants now that he has got the boot, he is a nasty piece of work . . I thought it was sick that his bid for dosh was up alongside kids needing healthcare. He is a wealthy man already.

    Imagine if one of his children is gay!

    A previous spokesperson around poverty levels who was working for the Sallies now works for MBIE and is no longer allowed to publicly criticise the current government, that is part of his contract.

    • That is patronizing. Israel Folau has more courage than i will ever have. He has not taken the path of least resistance.

      Even if i disagree with you, i will defend your right not to be discriminated against in the workplace because of your ethnicity, sexuality, or religion.

      • He was not discriminated against because of his religion, but because of a breach of his employment relationship – he told Australia Rugby if his social media posts caused future problems for them he would walk away from his contract.

        He lied to his employer.

        • Freedom of Religion is in the Australian Constitution and overrides any employment contract. You cannot contract away your rights. If a contract said that you will be sacked if you fall pregnant or marry the ‘wrong’ racial group, that contract would be illegal.

          Human rights are paramount. I cannot believe I have to explain this. Yes, there is a tension between some rights and not all rights are absolute. But if you are unable to follow your religion, in good faith, without sanction from your employer, what is the world coming to?

          An Orwellian world, where they try to turn spouse against spouse for ideological reasons. Oh wait, what is happening to Maria Folau?

          • I am glad the former Human Rights Commission head of Australia, and law professor, Gillian Triggs, is in agreement in me.

            I would expect Israel Folau to win his case and Rugby Australia to be in financial difficulty.

          • Who cares about maria does she care about the people they are hurting by being so nasty we never say to our gay whanu u can go to hell or you will go to hell nor do we quote the bible we love them and accept them no matter what. Pasifika people have huge gay communities and they don’t need to hear shit like this shallow shit from fool- lau pull your head in mate you are showing your arrogance.

          • Heard of the no ass….s rule.

            There is plenty of precedent for an employee damaging an employer to be fired. Especially after a warning and assurance of walking away from the contract if his social media activity became a problem.

            Arguing that religious freedom grants these troublesome employees an exemption, is favoritism.

            How hard would you be arguing this if it was a Moslem supporting death sentences/honour killings for adultery and homosexuality?

    • whose manipulating izzy Doc maybe its God , his God has told him to go for gold and that is exactly what hes doing .

      • Maybe instead of guessing, you could read his blog and find out. You’ll disagree with him but I think you’d allow he’s no doofus.

  4. I am pro Gay rights ….I have marched for them, years ago, even although I am not Gay…I have wonderful friends who are Gay!

    …But this guy should be able to say what he wants ( he will be judged for it ….and he is only quoting the Bible for Gods sake!)

    …are we going to ban the Bible next?!

    ( this is ‘wokism’ and the ‘hate speech’ evangelists and ‘thought police ‘ gone nutburger…they are fascists pure and simple)

    • No, he added his own words to the text, enabling a misrepresentation.

      It should be no revelation to a bible believing person, but there is in it a passage condemning those who add to the word written and therefore misrespresent it.

      • Stop being childish – “umm Ma Ma Ma, Falou said something bad…,” please. If you are going to an entertainment sports star for your ideological and political beliefs then that is just childish and pointing fingers at the Internet is even more childish. Y’know? Grow up.

      • @SPC – this passage – could you please reference it. Everything in the bible has been cross-referenced multiple times and there are plenty of versions on the net.

  5. Why is the Israel Folau story getting more press than the behaviour of the Aussie Rugby League players? There are regular news items about seriously misogynistic behavoiur when those guys are out on the town after a game and yet Israel Folau is getting more press for just saying something offensive – and he seems to have lost his career because if it.

    I totally reject what he has to say but losing your career for some offensive tweets doesn’t meet any standard of fairness or justice that I’m aware of.

    And once again I don’t know why people aren’t just reminding Israel that Jesus has nothing to say about this issue.

  6. Well said, Bomber.
    What gets forgotten is that for Folau as a devout follower of his religion it is imperative for him to speak out. And, dare i say it again, if from his religious viewpoint he hated gays, liars, adulterers etc he’d just shut up and let them burn in hell – but he didn’t, he let them know that they could repent and be saved. You may think that’s a load of bollocks but last time I looked it was OK to believe in a load of bollocks and express that freely.

  7. “I would argue that Folau’s Instagram post was stupid speech (as opposed to hate speech) ”

    Its so easy to be casually dismissive about bigotry when your not the target of it

    • leave them in Aus we dont need people like this in our country perhaps they might go back to the islands who cares they are nasty maybe a coconut might fall on izzy head and he might wise the fuck up

    • Well I want know who gave the woke authority to sanitise religion. Like I want the government to get off the backs of single mothers on welfare which is conesitantly seen as a subculture while the woke jihad against religion. So people like me are happy to make trade offs and live and let live.

  8. I see a lot of people saying what’s in Folau’s contract and know specifically what agreements he made with his employers and them with him. From there definitive statements are made.

    It used to be that houses had to be built of firm foundations.

    • If the sacking of Folau was Gods will, why is Folau taking this path?
      If not then what is said of he who casts the first stone?

      • We can ignore the second question. “it’s God’s will” is a given.
        To the first question, why is Folau taking this path?
        Because this is the path God has chosen for Folau – to test him and see the strength of his faith. To Folau, the more the ante is upped, the more he sees this as a test of his faith and possibly as a test of his leadership of his community of believers.

      • Folou is harkening to the Old Testament of ‘The Chosen’ and the God Yahweh of punishment and wrath … not the New Testament of Jesus and love and tolerance

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