Israel Folau Has Doubled Down On His Homophobic Comments While Insisting He’s Not A Homophobe
Rugby union star Israel Folau has doubled down on recent comments in which he said gay people were destined to go to hell. At the same time, he has insisted that he is in no way homophobic.
Figure that one out.
Folau, a devout Christian, came under fire earlier this month over an exchange with a follower on his Instagram. Asked what God’s plan was for gay people, the Wallabies player replied “HELL.. Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God”.
After the backlash, he tweeted a bible verse that read “blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely”.
Doesn’t quite fit with Israel Folau’s “I love and respect all people for who they are and their opinions” line from last year. pic.twitter.com/A023XnxRBd
— Ben Coles (@bencoles_) April 3, 2018
— Israel Folau (@IzzyFolau) April 8, 2018
Having clearly learnt nothing from the experience, Folau has now penned a 2000 word essay for PlayersVoice, an online publication he co-founded. And look, it’s… not great.
“Since my social media posts were publicised, it has been suggested that I am homophobic and bigoted and that I have a problem with gay people,” Folau wrote. “This could not be further from the truth.”
“I fronted the cover of the Star Observer magazine to show my support for the Bingham Cup, which is an international gay rugby competition for both men and women. I believe in inclusion. In my heart, I know I do not have any phobia towards anyone.”
In justifying his views, Folau quoted a bible verse that reads “neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor the drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God”.
“I do not know the person who asked the question [on Instagram], but that didn’t matter,” he wrote. “I believed he was looking for guidance and I answered him honestly and from the heart. I know a lot of people will find that difficult to understand, but I believe the Bible is the truth and sometimes the truth can be difficult to hear.”
“I think of it this way: you see someone who is about to walk into a hole and have the chance to save him,” Folau continued. “He might be determined to maintain his course and doesn’t want to hear what you have to say. But if you don’t tell him the truth, as unpopular as it might be, he is going to fall into that hole. What do you do?”
Weirdly though, not everyone was grateful for Folau’s attempts to save gay people from damnation. Or a hole. Or whatever it is he thinks he’s doing.
So Israel Folau says he was on the cover of the Star Observer in 2014 because he believes in inclusion. Spoiler alert: being against marriage equality and believing that gay people are going to hell is entirely exclusive ? pic.twitter.com/Q5e8pvdMvt
— Matthew Wade (@MatthewRWade) April 16, 2018
“My faith is more important”: Israel Folau is prepared to walk away from rugby over his Christian beliefs… pic.twitter.com/P0xKPGhZGB
— Stuart Rowles (@StuartRowles) April 16, 2018
Israel Folau is the perfect example of born again Christians who use the bible selectively. Condemn gays as sinners who without repentance will burn in hell, but ignore passages on tattoos and paying tithe because that’s a little inconvenient on culture and the pocketbook.
— Henry Aho (@drinkingupnyc) April 16, 2018
Folau also wrote that he would walk away from rugby before giving up on his beliefs. To which I say: don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
Feature image via Wikimedia