Rugby chief suggests quoting Bible is hate speech

Australian rugby star Israel Folau hit back after the organization that sacked him for posting a Bible verse suggested parts of the Holy Book are a problem.

Rugby Australia chief Raelene Castle said she would have punished the star fullback if he “photocopied Bible passages” and posted it on social media, suggesting the Holy Book is akin to hate speech.

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“What Raelene said is in black and white in the transcript,” Folau told The West Australian as he left The Truth of Jesus Christ Church in Kenthurst this weekend.

His case with the Fair Work Commission could head to federal court after the rugby star and his former employer, RA, failed to reach a settlement.

“I won’t comment any further at this stage for obvious reasons,” he said.

Folau had his multi-million dollar contract with the Waratahs and Wallabies ripped up for posting a paraphrase of Scripture on Instagram listing “homosexuals, adulterers, liars” needing to repent and turn to Jesus for salvation.

The rugby official said at Folau’s code of conduct hearing in May that the Bible itself is offensive, according to The Sunday Telegraph.

“What if Mr. Folau had photocopied passages from the Bible and simply posted that on his social media pages, would that have caused a problem for you?” a panelist asked her.

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“I think it depends on which ones – which pages he photocopied,” Castle replied.

“If he’d photocopied the passages that are referred to in the posts would that have caused a problem for you?” he asked.

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“Yes, it would have,” Castle said.

The star’s post was labeled anti-gay by the RA, which said it had “no choice” but to sack him. He was then booted from GoFundMe because the platform does “not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion.”

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The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), which took on his case, set up an alternative site and raised over $2 million in less than two days from over 20,000 people.

“This is an unprecedented outpouring of support which cannot be ignored. Politicians are watching, Rugby Australia is watching, corporate bullies are watching, and those who think it’s OK to make people suffer for their beliefs are watching,” ACL managing director Martyn Iles wrote in a statement.

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Iles said Folau was fired for a general clause in his contract despite other players in RA “who have been hauled up in domestic violence…forced girlfriends to get abortions…drunk and disorderly in public…and many of those people retain their professional playing careers.”


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