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  1. #136
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    If same-sex attraction is not the product of biology, then there are a lot of very strange results from genetic studies:
    Let’s get some facts and perspective on the issue. Evidence from independent research groups who studied twins shows that genetic factors explain about 25-30% of the differences between people in sexual orientation (heterosexual, gay, lesbian, and bisexual). Twin studies are a first look into the genetics of a trait and tell us that there are such things as “genes for sexual orientation” (I hate the phrase “gay gene”). Three gene finding studies showed that gay brothers share genetic markers on the X chromosome; the most recent study also found shared markers on chromosome 8. This latest research overcomes the problems of three prior studies which did not find the same results.

    Of course, environmental factors do interact with genetics. But there is no strong evidence that I'm aware of against a biological origin for same-sex attraction.

    Condemning people to hell for being 'fornicators' and urging them to repent is one thing. But Folau also included a separate condemnation of homosexuals, implying that even homosexual children are condemned to hell. What sin are they supposed to be repenting?

  2. #137
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    Folau’s faith compelled him to shout a warning: repent

    Tone deaf to the electorate Bill Shorten came down on the wrong side of this debate in the election campaign. Ignoring section 116 of the Constitution, which says there shall be no religious test for public office, Shorten demanded to know where Scott Morrison stood on the “gays/hell” issue. This blunder won him no friends (apart from the inner-city crowd, who were already on his side).

    For Rugby Australia this is a lose-lose debate. The religious test they applied to Folau’s employment looked so unfair to him that he bypassed their internal appeal process as pointless and announced his intention to test them in the courts. So Rugby Australia now will either lose the court battle or lose its major sponsor. It has already lost its best player.

    This is no storm in a tea cup: this is central to Australia’s character as a nation and raises three questions:
    ● Why should there be penalties for defending classical Christianity?
    ● Why do the rights of one group trump all other rights?
    ● What is the actual content of the view he is defending?

  3. #138
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Is Folau actually attempting to defend the indefensible view he is espousing, or is he just transmitting it? I haven't seen him give any philosophical explanations of how it could be right for an all-good deity to send people to Hell over their sexuality or indeed for not believing in that deity.

    The Daily Telegraph is reporting Folau's father told Folau that he (Folau) would go to hell if he deleted the offensive material, because this would be disowning the words of the Lord. If this is true then a shame we can't just sack Folau's father who seems to be yet another addition to the pantheon of overbearing Australian sports parents, and would be a fine candidate for sending to hell if such a place actually existed.
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  4. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by idledim View Post
    Folau’s faith compelled him to shout a warning: repent ...
    For Rugby Australia this is a lose-lose debate. The religious test they applied to Folau’s employment looked so unfair to him that he bypassed their internal appeal process as pointless and announced his intention to test them in the courts. So Rugby Australia now will either lose the court battle or lose its major sponsor. It has already lost its best player.
    If they win the court battle - assuming there is one - why would they lose their major sponsor? And there is no religious test being applied to Folau.

    As even the Coalition agrees:
    On Thursday, Porter was asked about calls for greater protection of Israel Folau – who said homosexuals go to hell – and the religious freedom issue. In reply, he warned that public commentary was in danger of “conflating two very different ideas”. “The question as to whether or not what we would intend to do in a religious discrimination bill would prevent that sort of contract, would depend on all of the terms of those particular individual types of contracts,” Porter told 6PR radio.
    “But what I would say is that we’re not necessarily in the business in government of trying to prevent individuals privately contracting the terms of their employment in a fair and balanced and reasonable way with their employer in a range of circumstances.” “We would define an attribute which is religious adherence and expression, and then put into that act a range of circumstances where it would become unlawful for people to discriminate against a person based on that attribute.”
    If extremely well paid people can't be stopped from making statements that could damage their employer, then they won't be employed in the first place. That would be a lose-lose situation!

    Quote Originally Posted by idledim View Post
    [This is no storm in a tea cup: this is central to Australia’s character as a nation and raises three questions:
    ● Why should there be penalties for defending classical Christianity?
    ● Why do the rights of one group trump all other rights?
    ● What is the actual content of the view he is defending?
    There are no penalties for defending 'classical' Christainity. Folau can say whatever he wants (subject to other free speech restrictions, of course!), but RA doesn't have to employ him. And the 'one group' we are talking about are vulnerable children, who definitely deserve special rights.

  5. #140
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    If they win the court battle - assuming there is one - why would they lose their major sponsor? PB

    Who said they would? The article I linked argues that they will either lose the court battle or their major sponsor.

  6. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by idledim View Post
    If they win the court battle - assuming there is one - why would they lose their major sponsor? PB
    Who said they would? The article I linked argues that they will either lose the court battle or their major sponsor.
    It still doesn't make sense to me. Either/or implies two opposing outcomes - for example, Australia will either lose their cricket match with Afghanistan or they (Australia) will win (ignoring draws, etc). In the Folau case, if RA loses the court battle, they will also (probably) lose their major sponsor, so the sentence should have an "and" not an "or" in it.

  7. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Byrom View Post
    It still doesn't make sense to me. Either/or implies two opposing outcomes - for example, Australia will either lose their cricket match with Afghanistan or they (Australia) will win (ignoring draws, etc). In the Folau case, if RA loses the court battle, they will also (probably) lose their major sponsor, so the sentence should have an "and" not an "or" in it.
    I suspect, viewed pedantically, your'e right - it's not clear. To be clear: the intention is to communicate that RA is in a lose-lose-lose situation!

  8. #143
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    There are no penalties for defending 'classical' Christainity. Folau can say whatever he wants (subject to other free speech restrictions, of course!), but RA doesn't have to employ him. And the 'one group' we are talking about are vulnerable children, who definitely deserve special rights. (PB)

    I am not comfortable with either of these assertions. In the first place, if an employer doesn't hire someone because they are defending 'classical' Christianity, it is obvious that the penalty for defending classical Christianity is not being hired. I suppose you also feel, if you feel like appearing consistent, that there are no penalties for being a practising homosexual - and that just because an employer doesn't have to hire practising homosexuals it doesn't mean that there are no penalties for the practising homosexual.

    It is also a gross misrepresentation of what Mr. Folau actually said, which was a broad-based paraphrase of the repentance message in Corinthians, to say that he was targeting vulnerable children. It's also (still) a leap of faith to assert that vulnerable children are made less anxious by banning Israel Folau. There are many psychologists who think that RA's treatment of the Folau case is more likely to result in increased anxiety.

    As a Christian, I assume Mr. Folau understands that he is not at liberty to keep his thoughts to himself. As Kel Richards noted in the article already linked:

    The problem is that Jesus ruled out that option when he said: “Everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)

    So according to Jesus there is no such thing as private Christianity — there is only whole-of-life Christianity (public and private). Being a Christian means speaking about it. The Christian faith is part of our community and not a private matter.


    Where the rubber hits the road in this matter is on the question of why the rights of homosexuals to not be offended should trump the rights of Christians to be as Christian as Jesus commanded.

  9. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by idledim View Post
    There are no penalties for defending 'classical' Christainity. Folau can say whatever he wants (subject to other free speech restrictions, of course!), but RA doesn't have to employ him. And the 'one group' we are talking about are vulnerable children, who definitely deserve special rights. (PB)

    I am not comfortable with either of these assertions. In the first place, if an employer doesn't hire someone because they are defending 'classical' Christianity, it is obvious that the penalty for defending classical Christianity is not being hired. I suppose you also feel, if you feel like appearing consistent, that there are no penalties for being a practising homosexual - and that just because an employer doesn't have to hire practising homosexuals it doesn't mean that there are no penalties for the practising homosexual.
    But RA did hire Folau, and paid him a considerable amount of money! However, in order to earn that money, he was required to do certain things. When he failed to do what his contract required, he was sacked. If he was a car mechanic, for example, there wouldn't be an issue because nobody would care about his beliefs.

    Quote Originally Posted by idledim View Post
    It is also a gross misrepresentation of what Mr. Folau actually said, which was a broad-based paraphrase of the repentance message in Corinthians, to say that he was targeting vulnerable children. It's also (still) a leap of faith to assert that vulnerable children are made less anxious by banning Israel Folau. There are many psychologists who think that RA's treatment of the Folau case is more likely to result in increased anxiety.
    I don't think that he intended to target vulnerable children. But that was the effect of his speech. And since he refused to stop doing so, even after this was explained to him, he didn't leave RA much choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by idledim View Post
    Where the rubber hits the road in this matter is on the question of why the rights of homosexuals to not be offended should trump the rights of Christians to be as Christian as Jesus commanded.
    The question is whether children should be protected from speech (even well-intentioned speech) that may harm them.

    EDIT: Just to be clear, I think that the Folau issue is essentially a contract one. He freely signed his contract, and then broke it. In my opinion, the only issue that a court will rule on is whether RA followed the correct procedures and made the correct decision - religion will be irrelevant. And the Coalition is never going to give workers the right to simply ignore their contracts (once signed) on religious grounds, although it may protect them from religious hiring discrimination.
    Last edited by Patrick Byrom; 02-06-2019 at 05:14 PM. Reason: Formatting and clarification.

  10. #145
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    Just to be clear, I think that the Folau issue is essentially a contract one. He freely signed his contract, and then broke it. In my opinion, the only issue that a court will rule on is whether RA followed the correct procedures and made the correct decision - religion will be irrelevant. PB

    Folau has grounds for legal claim against religious discrimination, say experts

    ... an employee from any state can make a claim against dismissal under the Commonwealth Fair Work Act 2009 alleging discrimination under section 772 on the grounds of religion. Rugby Australia said Folau was an "employee" of Rugby Australia and the NSW Waratahs.

    Mark Fowler, an adjunct associate professor of law at the University of Notre Dame, said that Folau, as an employee, could argue he was sacked on the basis of his religion under the Fair Work Act.

    Mr Fowler said that a court was yet to consider whether comments such as those made by Folau could amount to vilification or discrimination at law and that the code of conduct would be read as subject to the protections from religious discrimination within the Fair Work Act. He said that his case would also rest on whether Rugby Australia could successfully argue that its action was not based on Folau's religion.

    "A court may undertake an exercise in balancing what Mr Folau has said with the action against him on the basis of his religious belief," Mr Fowler said.

    "On what is publicly reported, it would seem hard to say that the action Rugby Australia is proposing is not because of his religious belief."

    Maurice Blackburn principal lawyer Kamal Farouque agreed Folau could make a claim of alleged unlawful termination on the basis of his religion under the Fair Work Act. He said other arguments might also be made depending on the wording of his contract.

  11. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Byrom View Post
    EDIT: ... And the Coalition is never going to give workers the right to simply ignore their contracts (once signed) on religious grounds, although it may protect them from religious hiring discrimination.
    It seems that I got that part correct :
    The government is set to disappoint backbench MPs who have called for a law to protect “religious freedom”, with the attorney general confirming it will present a “basic” bill to prevent discrimination. On Wednesday Christian Porter told Radio National the proposed Religious Discrimination Act will “follow the basic architecture of discrimination bills” by defining religion as a protected attribute. The comments appear to rule out demands for a broader bill to give a positive right to express religious opinions even where they breach employment codes of conduct, as occurred when rugby player Israel Folau claimed on social media that gay people go to hell. Coalition members who have publicly pushed for that option include Kevin Andrews, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and Barnaby Joyce.

  12. #147
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    Mark Latham stands up for religious religious freedom against christophobes

    Mark Latham to move a motion protecting religious freedom and condemning Rugby Australia
    Caldron Pool, 6 June 2019

    Mark Latham is today expected to move a motion protecting religious freedom and condemning Rugby Australia for their treatment of Israel Folau.

    The One Nation MP will also ask the NSW Parliament to condemn Rugby Australia for redefining the Bible as a form of vilification and ‘hate speech.’

    The motion states:

    That this House calls on the Government to:

    (a) support the basic human right of New South Wales workers to express political, cultural, and religious opinion in their private time, away from their place of work, without suffering employment penalties,

    (b) support Article 18 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, covering the right of each citizen to have freedom of religion,

    (c) condemn Rugby Australia for its denial of religious freedom to Israel Folau and the edict it has sent to other Christian rugby players that they too are not welcome in the game,

    (d) condemn Rugby Australia for the way in which it has redefined the Bible as a form of vilification and ‘hate speech’, and

    (e) develop leasing practices for its sporting grounds and facilities that ensure all New South Wales residents are eligible to participate in sporting codes and games, and that none are excluded due to their political, cultural or religious opinions.

    During his maiden speech to the New South Wales Parliament last month, Latham said he will use his time in NSW Parliament to push for the protection of religious freedom.
    “The history of the 20th century is full of examples of countries that set out to redistribute wealth and ended up redistributing poverty.”
    “There’s no point blaming the tragedies of socialism on the flaws or corruption of particular leaders. Any system which allows some people to exercise unbridled power over others is an open invitation to abuse, whether that system is called slavery or socialism or something else.”—Thomas Sowell

  13. #148
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    Should it be allowed to preach that ancient Rome culture should be re-established so that that they can throw the Christians to the lions?


    How is it different to the gay wedding cake issue in USA? The boss is the boss and in their domain they should be allowed to do whatever. If the cake bakery can refuse on ideological grounds then why can't Rugby Aust act on public relations grounds? I think the Christians here are being hypocritical. I have not read the thread and if this analogy already mentioned I apologise.
    Zionism is racism as defined by the UN, Israel by every dirty means available steals land and water, kill Palestinian freedom fighters and civilians, and operates an apartheid system to drive more Palestinians off their land

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    Just to be clear, I think that the Folau issue is essentially a contract one. He freely signed his contract, and then broke it. In my opinion, the only issue that a court will rule on is whether RA followed the correct procedures and made the correct decision - religion will be irrelevant. PB

    Israel Folau launches legal action in Fair Work Commission against Rugby Australia

    Israel Folau has launched legal proceedings with the Fair Work Commission against Rugby Australia and the NSW Waratahs for unlawfully terminating his contract on the basis of religion.

    The rugby superstar’s legal representatives said Folau’s firing breached Section 772 of the Fair Work Act, which rules it unlawful to terminate employment on the basis of religion.

  15. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by antichrist View Post
    Should it be allowed to preach that ancient Rome culture should be re-established so that that they can throw the Christians to the lions?


    How is it different to the gay wedding cake issue in USA? The boss is the boss and in their domain they should be allowed to do whatever. If the cake bakery can refuse on ideological grounds then why can't Rugby Aust act on public relations grounds? I think the Christians here are being hypocritical. I have not read the thread and if this analogy already mentioned I apologise.
    The decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v Colorado Civil Rights Commission did not determine what you think it determined. It was a narrow decision and was decided on the procedural ground that the way in which the Colorado Civil Rights Commission handled the case was unconstitutional. 9ABC). Indeed, the Supreme Court was explicit in stating that the decision did not provide the precedent some think it provided, namely: the right to refuse service to homosexuals.

    In the Australian context, the interesting thing about that silly business was that some of the same people who demanded that Christian bakers must be forced to bake wedding cakes for homosexuals were either turning a blind eye when the boot was on the other foot, or supporting refusal of service to Christian customers and harassment and vilification of Christians who opposed same-sex marriage. There was the case of Macphersons in Victoria refusing to print a book opposing same-sex marriage; there was the case of Coopers brewery being boycotted simply for hosting a civilised discussion of the issues; there was the case of Darebin council in Melbourne, advising that they would allow ‘yes’ campaigners to use council facilities for free, but would bar ‘no’ campaigners; there was the case of a young woman's employment being terminated because she said on her facebook page that she'd be voting 'no' because of her religious beliefs; there were many other cases.

    As for your general analogy about Rome: well, it's just as silly as most of your posts - no-one is suggesting that anyone should be allowed to actively incite violence - though the same-sex marriage debate did show that no change in statute was necessary for Christians to be fed to lions.
    Last edited by idledim; 06-06-2019 at 03:14 PM.

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