Preaching to an Intolerant Choir
Israel Folau is known for being one of the best rugby players in Australia. Folau is also a practising Christian who isn’t afraid to give his opinion and express his religious views. He has been under fire recently – to the point of being accused of hate crimes – for publicly stating that homosexuality is a sin.
Wayne Smith, of the Australian, complained that Israel Folau should stop ‘preaching’ if he wants to keep playing football. Former rugby player, George Gregan, agreed and suggested that it is inappropriate for Folau to put his beliefs on a huge platform – despite those beliefs being shared by millions of people, of many diverse religious persuasions. Gregan:
“That’s my concern with this. Let’s talk football. Those beliefs that you talk about, keep them to yourself. I don’t see there’s a need to be putting it on a huge social platform because it takes away from what he is: a great rugby player.”
Um, isn’t the MCG a ‘huge social platform’?
With this as a backdrop, you could imagine my surprise when my young sons returned home from their first football match on Friday night and told me about the pre-game entertainment.
The AFL, in a gesture of breath-taking hypocrisy, had allowed drag-queens to entertain families at the MCG.
How is it that drag-queens entertaining families aren’t ‘preaching’ the LGBTI message, but a Christian professing Christian belief is roundly condemned?
The match was sponsored by beyondblue, an organisation formed to raise awareness about mental health problems among Australians. For some reason, beyondblue thought it would be helpful to present a performance from “Priscilla the Musical” as the pre-game entertainment, to promote the message of ‘inclusivity, acceptance and fun.’
For those who are unfamiliar with the movie, Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, is an Australian movie from 1994 featuring the misadventures of a troupe of drag-queens as they drive through the Australian outback. The movie was rated 18+ in several countries and included a scene with a naked older man in a bathtub inviting a young boy to touch him. The movie has been made into a musical that is now touring around Australia and is likened to a drag-show on steroids.
Tolerance, Acceptance and Mateship
Michael Cassel, producer of Priscilla the Musical, had this to say about the decision:
“Underneath all of Priscilla’s glitter is a message of tolerance, acceptance and mateship, which is why we’ve joined with the Hawks to put mental health in the spotlight at the beyondblue Cup. Hopefully our performance will not only put a smile on people’s faces, but give them the confidence to speak up about mental well-being.”
However, as we’ve come to expect from the LGBTI activists, this tolerance only goes one way – even among sportsmen and women. The ‘acceptance and mateship’ message was looking pretty scarce in this tweet by former Wallabies player, Clyde Rathbone:
It has become painfully clear that Australia’s best rugby player is a religious lunatic bent on self-immolation. As the ARU thumb through their ‘Inclusion ‘Policy’ they would do well to heed @Ayaan‘s insight that “Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice.” https://t.co/QPLgles9lj
— Clyde Rathbone (@ClydeRathbone) May 9, 2018
A religious lunatic? For simply disagreeing with a current view on the nature of homosexuality? With one fell swoop, the sporting world has proven that their inclusion policy does not include Christians.
Mixed Messages from beyondblue
Assisting those suffering from anxiety and depression is a noble cause, and beyondblue has done a good job of reducing the stigma associated with these conditions. However, as with many other fashionable causes, beyondblue has jumped on the LGBTI bandwagon.
It isn’t immediately obvious how promoting cross-dressing can help those suffering from mental health problems. Perhaps beyondblue is suggesting that people with gender dysphoria are more likely to endure anxiety or depression? [Actually, transgender people DO experience these symptoms at a higher rate than the general public. But I’m not sure if Christians are allowed to mention this.] Perhaps the message is that it’s impossible to find happiness when we leave science behind and cross into the world of delusion.
Or maybe one of my same-sex-married commenters has it right when he predicts an increasing persecution of Christians:
Editor, The Freedoms Project
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