In my previous article I wrote of how the case of Israel Folau demonstrates two important principles to Australians. One was that we see the open persecution of Christians who merely quote the Bible on social media, and the second was that we see a powerful example of a strong man of God who is prepared to stand in faith despite vilification, attacks, discrimination, mistreatment, harassment and exclusion from his career and the sport he loves.
Recent developments have brought further light to these principles.
Legal defence funding terminated
Israel Folau established a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for his legal defence in taking Rugby Australia to court over wrongful termination of his contract due to religious discrimination. In doing this Israel stated that he had spent $100,000 of his own money just getting through the tribunal process with Rugby Australia. Israel Folau’s campaign generated over $750,000 from over 10,000 donors but was terminated by GoFundMe.
GoFundMe after receiving considerable pressure declared that Israel Folau’s campaign for his legal defences violated their terms of service. This is not true, but the company cited their terms which stated they can take down any funding: “For the legal defence of alleged crimes associated with hate, violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, terrorism or intolerance of any kind relating to race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender or gender identity or serious disabilities or diseases.”
Corporate hypocrisy and doublespeak
Israel Folau did not commit a crime by quoting from the Bible on social media, nor is he being accused of a crime, so GoFundMe cannot state Israel Folau’s campaign is “For the legal defence of alleged crimes”. The company said it would not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion, and stated: "We are absolutely committed to the fight for equality for LGBTIQ+ people and fostering an environment of inclusivity."
What they are really saying is that they do not tolerate discrimination or exclusion, except for Christians, which is completely permissible. What they are really saying is that if you quote the Bible you are not welcome to do business with their corporation.
While to many GoFundMe appears to be taking some moral high ground against Israel Folau by championing the broad and often nebulous terms of “discrimination” and “exclusion”, by their own deeds and fruits they are practicers of discrimination and exclusion!
This is called doublespeak and is double-minded. The Scripture says that the double-minded are unstable in all their ways: James chapter 1 verse 8: “He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
This is commonly seen with those who say they are against “hate”, who practice hatred, those who say they are for “tolerance”, who practice intolerance, those who say they are for “love”, who practice lewdness. These are clever practicers employing deceitful psychological language to achieve their purpose of marginalising and oppressing Christianity.
This was clearly seen in the open bullying of Israel Folau’s wife Maria for supporting her husband, and the recent statements by Rugby Australia CEO Cameron Clyne who all but admitted that the reason Israel Folau’s contract was terminated was due to pressure from corporate sponsors, stating: “[The alternative] would be that we’d have no sponsors at all because no sponsor has indicated they would be willing to be associated with social media posts of that sort, and that includes government, because we’ve also heard from them.”
We have the CEO of Rugby Australia saying that none of their sponsors, including government sponsors, would do business with them unless they took action against Israel Folau’s social media post which quoted the Bible.
This man is legitimising and making the case for open Christian persecution in Australia, by claiming corporations and the government rightfully withdrew their support due to Israel Folau quoting the Bible on his personal social media account!
This should be very alarming for Australians! Will they ban or re-write the Bibles next? Or declare the Bible as hate speech? These kinds of behaviours and encroachments are common in communistic and totalitarian regimes, and will not stop at limiting religious freedom, but go to a complete control agenda of stopping all dissenting opinions that disagree with the most powerful political narrative.
Christians stand up
Shortly after the news of Israel Folau’sGoFundMe campaign being shut down, after talks between Israel Folau and the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), a new funding campaign was hosted by the ACL on their website. Incredibly within only two days over $2 million was raised by over 20,000 donors, and the fundraising campaign was put on pause, giving the option for pledges if more is needed, having raised sufficient funds for this stage of the legal process.
Also, the Australian Christian Lobby’s campaign for religious freedom in Australia was also funded, exceeding $1.6 million. Christians from around Australia and across the world jumped in for the opportunity to have their voice heard and support Israel Folau financially in his legal case against Rugby Australia.
Not only Christians, but many freedom loving people also contributed, who understood the true issues at stake in this matter, and the significance of this case in our nation and across the world. Christians want to be free to practice their faith, to preach Jesus Christ to others, to post from the Bible on social media, and to disagree with others and express their own views. These principles are the foundation of a free society, and where they are eroded, oppression results.
We see that in the face of persecution, Israel Folau has stood strong and Christians have recognised the importance of uniting together in defence of the Word of God in our society, sending a clear message to corporate and controlling interests.
We are at a threshold in our societies, where we may soon move off a cliff into an abyss of great and open Christian persecution, as is prophesied in the Bible in the last days. We should push back now, and stand up together in boldness in this time, finding our strength from God. We should declare the truth of the Word of God and stand for it, not being ashamed to be Christian or being ashamed of God’s Word. The time is now for Christians to stand up.
Christopher Harris is 29 years old and confessed his faith in Jesus Christ in 2016 and has sought to set his focus on the Lord. He makes videos on his youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/JESUSisLORD and believes the world is living in those times prophesied by the Holy Bible as the last days.
A link to Christopher’s other articles: https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/christopher-harris.html