Tag Archives: Homosexuality

Censorship of Israel Folau’s views

By Spencer D Gear PhD

(Israel Folau playing for Australia in 2008. Photo courtesy Wikipedia)

Here’s a list of words in my current vocabulary:

  • Rugby league
  • Theology
  • Facts
  • Faith
  • Family
  • Adultery
  • Homosexual marriage
  • Election

Would you have every right to call me homophobic and say nothing more about anything else in that list?

Shouldn’t I also be leagophobic, theophobic, factaphobic, faithaphobic, familophobic, adulterophobic or electophobic? These are my invented words to cover the nouns in the list above.

To say otherwise would make you a person who censors what I discuss and falsely labels who I am. What is someone who is homophobic? According to Oxford Living Dictionaries (2019. s.v. homophobic), it means ‘having or showing a dislike of or prejudice against homosexual people’.

Mentioning the terms, homosexuals or homosexual marriage, does not make anyone homophobic because it says nothing about their like or dislike of homosexuals. The context is needed to clarify such conclusions.

When I upload this article to my homepage, ‘Truth Challenge’, I expect some to label me falsely as being homophobic, simply by mentioning homosexual. It’s a phoney label for my views.

Why take one item from my list and make it into news – fake news? Surely it’s driven by a contemporary political correctness that is irrational?

1. Folau’s fateful post

That is what has happened to champion Rugby Union player Israel Folau as a result of his personal post on Instagram on 10 April 2019:

Instagram (image courtesy SBS: The Feed, 11 April 2019)

One word, ‘homosexuals’, was reefed from this list to accuse Folau, who calls himself a Christian, of being homophobic. Why could that be?

It’s a cultural subject and behaviour that is gaining in public and mass media popularity. How dare Folau use that favoured word in his list of sins needing repentance through Jesus Christ!

This is blatant bigotry and censorship, in my view, that picks one word to send Folau to Rugby Gehenna.

2. Headlines

What kinds of mass media stories would be fair from this Instagram post? ‘Drunks are heading for the pit’; ‘Liars will reap their lying crop’, or ‘Adulterers will burn in Hades’.

Instead, the one word is isolated to brand Folau homophobic. See how homosexuality is favoured in these articles:

(image courtesy Wikipedia)

3. Statement by NSW Rugby Union

Part of the statement of termination of Folau’s contract by Rugby Australia was:

“Israel has failed to understand that the expectation of him as a Rugby Australia and NSW Waratahs employee is that he cannot share material on social media that condemns, vilifies or discriminates against people on the basis of their sexuality.
“Rugby is a sport that continuously works to unite people. We want everyone to feel safe and welcome in our game and no vilification based on race, gender, religion or sexuality is acceptable and no language that isolates, divides or insults people based on any of those factors can be tolerated” (Rugby Australia and NSW Rugby Union statement regarding Israel Folau, 11 April 2019).

Folau did not mention homosexuals only. Does the NSW Rugby Union want liars, drunks, promiscuous, and thieves hanging around their football grounds? Why single out sexuality, race, gender and religion, especially homosexuality and not adultery and fornication (mentioned by Folau)?

4. Freedom of speech in Australia.

What prevents Folau from making openly Christian statements in the public square? Is he not guaranteed freedom of speech as an elite sportsman?

The Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department has defined this freedom:

The right to freedom of opinion is the right to hold opinions without interference, and cannot be subject to any exception or restriction.

The right to freedom of expression extends to any medium, including written and oral communications, the media, public protest, broadcasting, artistic works and commercial advertising. The right is not absolute. It carries with it special responsibilities, and may be restricted on several grounds. For example, restrictions could relate to filtering access to certain internet sites, the urging of violence or the classification of artistic material (What is the right to freedom of opinion and expression?)

(image courtesy Clip Art Mag)

From where does this freedom of opinion come? ‘Australia is a party to seven core international human rights treaties. The right to freedom of opinion and expression is contained in articles 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)I.

Radio 2GB talk-back host, Alan Jones, defended Folau, saying this issue has ‘nothing to do with Israel, or Rugby, or religion, or homosexuals. Where are we in this country on free speech?’

Macquarie Sports Radio host, James Willis, opposed Jones, stating that Rugby Australia has every right to terminate his contract:

“By signing up and accepting the $4 million that Israel Folau did, part of the contract was not putting anything on social media that may potentially offend.

“12 months ago he was hauled in and told, ‘please do not do that again’, and he agreed to. He resigned and then 12 months later has done so again”.

What are the issues at stake:

(1) Freedom of speech,

(2) Freedom of religion,

(3) Eliminating fake news where only one word (homosexuals) is chosen when many more were in the Instagram message; and

(4) Folau’s integrity in abiding by the terms of his contract.

5. Origin of Folau’s quote

Almost all of the now famous Instagram quote is straight from the Christian Scriptures:

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. And that is what some of you were (1 Cor 6:9-11).

That text does not say that these sinners will go to hell, but that they ‘will not inherit the kingdom of God’. That’s the same end in biblical terms as ‘hell awaits you’ (Folau’s quote).

The Scriptures tell who will end in Hades/Hell after this life: ‘Then he will say to those on his left (the unrighteous), “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels”’ (Matt 25:41).

6. My counsel to Folau

To Israel I say: You are a superb rough and tumble professional rugby player. You are not an expert lawn bowler. However, all Christians are to grow in the fruit of the Spirit which include love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

While your Instagram quote was faithful to biblical teaching, it was not presented with kindness and gentleness, in my view. You also sent these sinners to hell, when 1 Corinthians 6 says they ‘will not inherit the kingdom of God’, which I find to be a less confronting way of dealing with the reality of what happens after death.

I commend you for your stand for Christian truth in the public square, but have unwise words cost you your sporting career?

See also:

   Israel Folau: When diversity means censorship

   Israel Folau teaches false doctrine

Copyright © 2019 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 01 August 2019.

Intolerant Intolerance

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(Wintour photograph courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

By Spencer D Gear PhD

This article was first published (without the graphics and subject headings) in On Line Opinion, 21 Febrary 2019.

During the January 2019 Australian Open Tennis Grand Slam, Anna Wintour, long time fashion editor with Vogue, spoke publicly about her disagreement with champion tennis player, Margaret Court, over homosexual marriage.

Dame Anna Wintour DBE dived into the ‘intolerance’ issue against homosexuals. Her target was tennis champion, Margaret Court.

clip_image003(Margaret Court Arena, photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

The Age reported that Wintour ‘has thrown her support behind the push to rename Margaret Court Arena over the tennis champion’s opposition to same-sex marriage’.

Wintour stated, ‘I find that it is inconsistent with the sport for Margaret Court’s name to be on a stadium that does so much to bring all people together across their differences”‘, in a speech delivered at the Australian Open Inspirational Series in Melbourne on Thursday [24 January 2019] , to applause.

She continued: ‘This much I think is clear to anyone who understands the spirit and the joy of the game.Intolerance has no place in tennis” emphasis added).

Wintour continued her broadside against those who support traditional family values:

“I have been alarmed by your prime minister’s record on LGBTQ rights, which seems backward in all senses,” she said.

“That no one can be expelled from school for their orientation, should not require clarification. A government should protect its people, not make it unclear whether they will be accepted.”

Not once in that article did the journalist mention Anna Wintour’s intolerance towards Margaret Court and Scott Morrison.

I find it disconcerting when a person opposes the ‘intolerance’ of Margaret Court on the subject of homosexuality and doesn’t see her own intolerance towards Margaret Court’s values.

It is a self-contradictory statement to accuse another person of intolerance while perpetrating the same oneself.

Other media joined the Wintour refrain

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(image courtesy longfordpc.com)

There were a considerable number of mass media examples that promoted the Wintour homosexual chorus. Three instances were from:

ABC News:

ABC News Brisbane, Qld reported that ‘Wintour said when Australia passed same-sex marriage in 2017, “the world sang in celebration” with it’. Wintour continued:

“Intolerance has no place in tennis. What we love [is] watching these remarkable men and women exceed themselves while being themselves in many different forms.

“Margaret Court was a champion on the court but a meeting point for players of all nations, preferences, and backgrounds should celebrate somebody who was a champion off the court as well.”

Do you hear Wintour’s ‘off the court’ intolerance towards Margaret Court’s sexual values as a Christian?

This article quoted Margaret Court’s views about the approach of her opponents who call for the renaming of the Margaret Court Arena at Melbourne Park. Court called this ‘another example of freedom of religion under threat…. I should be able to have my say as a minister of the Gospel…. I believe I shouldn’t be bullied for what I did in my past’.

Not a word was stated in this article about Wintour’s intolerance towards Margaret Court’s views.

Channel 9:

MSN Channel 9 explained the Wintour event with similar quotes to those by The Age and ABC News Brisbane about Primer Minister Scott Morrison and tennis champion and now Christian minister, Margaret Court.

Wintour didn’t hold back about her views on the proposed amendments to the Sex Discrimination Act:

“That no-one can be expelled from school for their orientation should not require clarification,” Wintour added, referring to previous proposals for the Sex Discrimination Act to be amended in a way to allow religious schools to do so.

“A government should protect its people, not make it unclear whether they will be accepted and we are struggling with these issues in the United States as well.”

This article failed to expose Wintour’s own intolerance in her speech.

News.com.au

News.com.au provided similar details on the Wintour speech, with a sub-heading, ‘Fashion legend Anna Wintour has taken a swipe at Australia’s Prime Minister and one of our greatest tennis stars in a scathing speech’.

This news report and others were pleased to use Wintour’s statement in her speech: ‘This much I think is clear to anyone who understands the spirit and the joy of the game. Intolerance has no place in tennis’.

Again there was no effort to demonstrate Wintour’s own intolerance.

In this article I point to an apparent lack of discernment by journalists into the nature of intolerance that Wintour actively perpetrated. She practised the very thing she complained about with Margaret Court and Scott Morrison.

This is one of the main issues:

Intolerant intolerance

clip_image007(image courtesy Pinterest)

Dr Jeremy Sherman exposed the nature of Wintour’s intolerant intolerance with examples from other situations that can be applied specifically to Wintour’s proclamation at the speech delivered at the Australian Open Inspirational Series in Melbourne on 24 January 2019.

  • “It’s true. We shouldn’t tolerate intolerance. We should nip it in the bud, set clear boundaries.”
  • “If we tolerate intolerance it spreads: Racism, sexism, prejudices of all sorts, judgmentalism, negativity, bigotry, factions squaring off and fighting: right vs. left, this fundamentalism vs. that.”
  • “An eye for an eye just leaves the whole world blind.”
  • “To bring about greater harmony we must all of us be tolerant. No exceptions. Loving, listening, caring for each other, respecting each other’s opinions whatever they may be.”

Sherman exposed our hypocrisy when we try to tolerate certain behaviours yet name others as being intolerant. He said the ‘truest practical question’ is ‘not whether to be tolerant or intolerant but when to be which’.

So far, I have not noticed the mass media I read expose Wintour’s intolerance of her own views – against Margaret Court’s and Scott Morrison’s views.

Sherman rightly exposed the dilemma:

‘Folks who don’t notice the hypocrisy don’t appreciate the bind we’re all in and they cut themselves unconscionable slack. They manage the bind ineptly at best, self-servingly at worst, telling people not to be judgmental when they’re being criticized, and not noticing they’re being judgmental when criticizing others’.

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(image courtesy Pinterest)

In applying this to Wintour’s speech content, Wintour didn’t seem to be aware that she herself was intolerant towards Margaret Court’s and Scott Morrison’s values. It would been startling to hear Wintour admit: ‘I oppose Court’s views on homosexuality, but in saying that, I’m making an admission this is an intolerant statement I’m making’.

It would have been even more remarkable to hear Wintour admit: ‘We live in a free society where freedom of religion and thought are allowed. It shouldn’t be surprising that a modern society like ours accepts homosexual behaviour, but I should not lambast Margaret Court’s worldview as that would demonstrate my intolerance’.

Michael Mendis calls it ‘the paradox of tolerance‘ because tolerance is a ‘self-contradictory principle’ as it is reflexive. The phrase is not original with him:

He stated that the principle of tolerance ‘dictates that we must be tolerant of everything. We cannot pick and choose what we will tolerate and what we will not. If this is so, then tolerance requires us to tolerate even intolerance‘.

Thus, if somebody is proclaiming or practising intolerance, Mendis rightly observes that ‘the tolerant person cannot, in principle, speak out against what the intolerant person is doing, since speaking out against intolerance would itself be an act of intolerance”.

Therefore, his assessment was that ‘tolerance as a principle, then, is clearly illogical, and therefore irrational. It is much more logical and rational to espouse intolerance, for then one does not get entangled in any contradictions-self or otherwise.

Intolerance as a principle does not require us to be consistently and universally intolerant’.

Who raised this paradox?

Enter Sir Karl Popper, Austrian-British philosopher of science and political philosopher:

“Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them”.

In my view, it shows the lack of logical precision by the Australian mass media that they don’t expose the intolerant intolerance by Dame Anna Wintour’s statements against Margaret Court’s Christian beliefs about homosexuality and the Prime Minister’s views on amendments to the Sex Discrimination Act.

Intolerant tolerance of Court’s & Morrison’s values

clip_image011(image courtesy 123RF.com)

The Collins’ Dictionary (online) defines ‘intolerance’ as an ‘unwillingness to let other people act in a different way or hold different opinions from you’ (2019. s.v. intolerance).

Therefore, for Wintour to accuse Margaret Court of intolerance because she didn’t support same-sex marriage is to engage in an act of intolerance towards Court’s values. When will the supporters of certain values wake up to the fact that to accuse opponents of being intolerant is to engage in an act of intolerance perpetrated by themselves?

Other media join the Wintour spin

1. Sporting News, Australian Open: Anna Wintour slams Margaret Court over gay marriage stance (24 January 2019).

2. Perth Now, Wintour of discontent gets a serve from WA tennis legend Margaret Court (25 January 2019).

3. Daily Mail Australia, Fashion icon Anna Wintour slams Scott Morrison’s gay rights record and calls for the Margaret Court Arena to be renamed in a fiery speech – but she’s not Snow White when it comes to the #MeToo era (24 January 2019).

4. Women’s Agenda, Thank you Anna Wintour for highlighting what should be key to sport: ‘Intolerance has no place’ (February 2019).

5. Vogue Australia, Anna Wintour on inclusivity and the power of tennis (24 January 2019).

6. Fox Sports, Australian Open 2019: Anna Wintour calls for Margaret Court Arena to be renamed (24 January 2019).

7. SBS News, Vogue editor Anna Wintour slams Scott Morrison on LGBTQ rights (24 January 2019).

8. WWD, Anna Wintour Slams Margaret Court and Australian PM Over LGBT Issues (24 January 2019).

9. 3AW News Talk, Tom Elliott takes “hypocritical” Anna Wintour to task over Margaret Court comments (24 January 2019).

10. CNN, Anna Wintour slams Margaret Court, Scott Morrison over LGBTQ rights (25 January 2019).

Intolerant intolerance

See: Be Intolerant Of Intolerance! At: https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/ambigamy/201501/be-intolerant-intolerance

Also, The Paradox of Tolerance: https://bigthink.com/the-paradox-of-tolerance

Enter Karl Popper: Paradox of tolerance, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance

Works consulted

Singer, M 2019. ‘Intolerance has no place in tennis’: Wintour criticises Margaret Court. The Age (online), 24 January 2019. Available at: https://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle/fashion/intolerance-has-no-place-in-tennis-wintour-criticises-margaret-court-20190124-p50tcs.html (Accessed 8 February 2019).

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(image courtesy Brotherhood News:

Facebook censors biblical posts against homosexuality)

Copyright © 2019 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 05 March 2019.

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