The Northland Age 24 April 2018
Family First Comment: Another superb commentary from Peter Jackson…
“It all started when Qantas, which puts a lot of money into Australian rugby, claimed that the belief that unrepentant homosexuals would be consigned to Hell did not sit comfortably with its values. Surely that has to qualify the airline for the Hypocrite of the Year award.
Qantas, remember, has a formal (and no doubt highly lucrative) partnership with Emirates Airlines, based in Dubai. The United Arab Emirates does not smile particularly fondly on homosexuality, or any other form of sexual expression beyond what the Bible finds acceptable, and goes further.”
The furore over Israel Folau’s stated belief, in answer to a question, that unrepentant homosexuals are destined for Hell, is remarkable for one thing and one thing only — that it is news. And big news at that.
What should not surprise us is that it reminds us, if we needed reminding, that when it comes to the laws and social mores governing the denigration of people, cultures or religions, Christianity is in a class of its own. And not a good class.
Clearly, Christians cannot be offended, and while they have the right to believe what they will, they do not have the right to articulate those beliefs.
Those who have objected to Folau’s utterance might well have a point in terms of some who do not conform to the Christian view regarding what is sexually acceptable, namely heterosexuality strictly confined within the bounds of marriage, are fragile, and therefore vulnerable. Some who take his warning to heart, we are told, might in fact be so vulnerable as to take their own lives.
“It is unimaginable that a Muslim, for example, would have experienced a Folauesque reaction to any statement detailing his or her faith’s belief regarding any form of human behaviour.”
That concern might well be genuine and realistic, but the bigger issue is his right to say what he said, and the extraordinary reaction to it.
His statement has widely been described as hate speech and bigotry. It is neither. It is simply the view of a committed Christian who believes the Bible’s instruction regarding how we should live. If Israel Folau was anything other than a Christian there would have been no reaction at all.
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