Rugby player has $4 million contract canceled because he tweeted Bible verses about sin

Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle
Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle

I used to think that if you were really good at your job, then it wouldn’t matter if you were serious about your Christian beliefs, because no one would fire you. But I guess that’s not true when it comes to the conflict between gay rights and the Bible. On Friday, an Australian rugby player had his contract canceled because he shared some Bible verses on social media.

Here’s the story from the UK Daily Mail:

Israel Folau says he ‘deeply saddened’ by Rugby Australia’s decision to tear up his $4million rugby contract, but his religious beliefs should not stop him from playing the sport.

The decision, which was announced on Friday afternoon, makes the devout Christian the first Australian athlete dismissed for expressing religious beliefs after sharing a homophobic Instagram post.

[…]’The Christian faith has always been a part of my life and I believe it is my duty as a Christian to share God’s word.

‘Upholding my religious beliefs should not prevent my ability to work or play for my club and country.’

The words he cited are from 1 Corinthians 6:9-14 which are about sin and repentance and who will be admitted to the Kingdom of God.

Just to be clear, the Christian position on sexuality is that you cannot have sex outside of marriage. And the Christian position on marriage is that it is one man and one woman for life. Authentic Bible-believing Christians may fail to live out that standard, but they can never take any other stance than that in public. If you are a Christian, you cannot say that sex outside of marriage is fine with God. If you are a Christian you cannot say that redefinitions of natural marriage are OK with God. There’s only one kind of authentic Christian, and that’s the kind that takes the Bible as authoritative, including on moral issues. Telling someone they can’t quote the Bible in public is essentially telling them that they can’t be a Christian in public.

Whenever things like this happen to Christians who are serious about their beliefs, I always try to find out what the people who take away their livelihood have to say about it. These people usually think of themselves as very tolerant and open-minded, so it’s interesting to hear how they keep their self-image after firing someone for their religious beliefs.

The article says:

In a press conference this afternoon, Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle said Folau was a ‘great player’ but that everyone has the right to be respected regardless of sexuality, race, gender or religion.

[…]’Our clear message today is that we need to stand by our values and the qualities of inclusion, passion, integrity, discipline, respect and teamwork.’

Ms Castle said she had told all rugby players in Australia that RA supports their rights to their own beliefs.

‘But when we are talking about inclusiveness in our game, we are talking about respecting differences as well,’ she said.

‘When we say rugby is a game for all, we mean it. People need to feel safe and welcoming in the game, regardless of their race, background or sexuality.

[…]’I’m confident because those players understand that everybody has a right to their own views or religious beliefs, and as long as they continue to express them in a respectful way we will continue to support them,’ she said.

[…]Ms Castle said she was ‘disappointed’ that Folau had not apologised.

So, did the rugby player have a right to be respected regardless of his religion? No, he needed to be fired. Did she respect his differences? No, she fired him. She says that authentic Christian quoting the Bible on social media is not being a Christian “in a respectful way”. So there’s a non-Christian telling a Christian how to behave like a Christian. And after she fires you, she’s disappointed that you didn’t apologize to her for not being Christian in a respectful way.

My thoughts

I have two thoughts about this. First, if you want to be public about your Christianity and keep your job, then you need to have an alias. Because of this intimidation from secular left fascists, Christians are refusing to speak out on moral issues on a daily basis. To help you to be more comfortable speaking out, you should have an alias. I have blogged about sexual issues and marriage many, many times on this blog, often citing peer-reviewed research in order to support the Christian position on these issues. And so far, no one has been able to get me fired. My goal is to have an influence. I want to do as much as I can without letting the fascists on the other side stop me.

Second, I’ve noticed that it’s increasingly common for Christians to side with the gay activists against other Christians. And that’s because Christianity has become so much about feelings and self-esteem that many people who claim to be Christians think that Christianity should always make them feel good and be popular. If all you have is feelings, it’s pretty easy to put your need to feel good above the need to defend what the Bible teaches.

For those who would like to be bolder but don’t know how, the Bible actually has an answer to that in 1 Pet 3:15. In order to be bold, you need to be prepared. By reading books outside of the Bible, you’ll equip yourself with evidence so that you can debate non-Christians who don’t accept the Bible. They may not accept the Bible, but they have to accept evidence, or they’ll look stupid and irrational.

11 thoughts on “Rugby player has $4 million contract canceled because he tweeted Bible verses about sin”

  1. I was just reading an article on The Federalist talking about how “low information” voters were they group least likely to support Romney vs Obama. It’s depressing, they deciding who to vote for bases on feelings and impressions of who is nice/cool vs who is not nice/uncool.

    https://thefederalist.com/2019/05/20/controlling-pop-culture-helps-left-dominate-abortion-debates/

    Quote:

    Magazines have huge potential to engage passively pro-abortion women with visually stunning products. Blogger Glenn Reynolds has been lobbying for years for social conservatives to buy a major magazine. In an autopsy of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, Reynolds wrote, “Buy some women’s magazines. No, really. Or at least some women’s web sites. One of the groups with whom Romney did worst was female ‘low-information voters.’ Those are women who don’t really follow politics, and vote based on a vague sense of who’s mean and who’s nice, who’s cool and who’s uncool.”

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    1. Low information voters (LIV)….depressing. I agree. However, my question : is How did they become “low information voters?” There are several reasons that I can think ….1) Who speaks loudest will usually get the attention. Case in point: AOC newly elected representative…she would say things that she has no concept or very superficial and the standard press, general public would take it as gospel truth or such wisdom. 2) Those of you who have been train in multiple trauma evaluation will know that those who scream, shout for help are the least injured, while those who barely speak or do not ask for help are the ones you should pay attention to.(ATLS =Advance Life Trauma Service) This principle is basically the same which can be applied to (#1) above. 3) How is it an ” art” when one can immerse cross in jar of urine and get away with it? Now try that with picture of Mohammad the prophet of Muslim in a jar of urine? Without a doubt ! there will be mass protest from Imams from mosques, news will be running 24 or even 48 hours about how bigoted that person etc is. The difference is blinding. Bottom line : we as Christians in a way are responsible for the situation we are in. How? Because: a) majority do not ” push back.” b) we rationalize that we can work within the system to make an ” effect ” c) we seldom stand in solidarity and make ” noise ” or make a scene out of the situation thus it would appear we are easily “push over” 4) Public in general are busy with their lives and misconstrue that it does not affect their lives. What they do not understand and myopic to is that those information that are superficially obtain are metastasis of tumor cells, it eats away the ” soul” and the end results is what we currently have. In addition, most sermons do not address current situation, rather they deal in spiritual, or things that are in the past.and does not translate to current daily situations. Church has failed and continue to fail in teaching Christians on how to STAND TOGETHER, stand in solidarity “tall and not waver” in the face of adversity. Take any current or past case in the news: In Oregon Owner Aaron and Melissa were fined by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries in 2015 after they refused to bake a cake for a wedding with two brides. They were in the news secular and Christian news. But where was the ‘push back.” Where were the religious leaders, Christian Universities spokesmen etc defending them? There is a disconnect like what Francis Schaeffer rightly call Christians living a two story life. Top story is religious which is only for those who believe, bottom story is secular daily life and they do not mix. In conclusion, unless and until we as Christians BACK Each other and PUSH BACK in solidarity, we will always be in our current situation.

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  2. “…or they’ll look stupid and irrational. ”
    Are you saying that is a negative outcome? Because it contradicts your acknowledgment that Christians are motivated and guided by feelings. If you are passionate about the right topics with the correct thinking, then you can’t look bad, or at least that is how I understand it. I hate mean people!!!! Mean people are those who make sinners feel bad about their sin. Seems like a rational response to the cultural incentives.

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    1. No, that’s a positive outcome. I think eventually (as alternative lifestyles fail to satisfy) people will start to respect intelligence and competence in relationships once again.

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  3. In the US employers are not allowed to discriminate against people for religious beliefs. I don’t think our rugby teams pay so well though.

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  4. Israel Folau began a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for his legal battle with Rugby Australia about his sacking from the team concerning his Instagram post. GoFundMe was able to raise over AUD 750,000 for his legal defence before his campaign was shut down.
    “We are absolutely committed to the fight for equality for LGBTIQ+ people and fostering an environment of inclusivity,” GoFundMe’s Australian regional director Nicola Britton said. (from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-24/israel-folau-gofundme-campaign-deleted/11240354)
    Note the inclusivity for gays not for Christians.

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