The world is full of strange contradictions.

Israel Folau was the No 1 rugby fullback in the world a few weeks back.
Then he became Public Enemy No 1.

Particularly around Australasia where sensitivity levels are high and tolerance is low for all manner of things right now.

On April 10 Folau posted on Instagram: "Warning. Drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolaters. Hell awaits you. Repent! Only Jesus saves."


Drunks, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters probably didn't even notice. For that matter, who cares what a rugby player thinks anyway?

As a so-called hate message it hardly spits vitriol. It appears to be a cut and paste from whatever passage of righteous text Folau has been indoctrinated in.

But homosexuals have a right to be offended. Disgusted even.

In general, let's say that religious views on our brothers and sisters born to walk down a path of sexual orientation that isn't straight and narrow-minded, are widely considered to be a little outdated.

Outdated, offensive. And just plain old.

The world has changed dramatically since the times when heads nodded sagely as the list of "who is going to hell if they do not embrace Jesus" was compiled.

I wonder if there was much debate.
And I wonder if Folau has noted the irony of idolaters on that list.

Because that means that pretty much anyone who is a fan of Folau, is going to hell as well. Unless of course, they embrace Jesus.


Idolaters are people who worship idols, who admire "intensely and often blindly one that is not usually a subject of worship".

Like rugby players put on uncomfortably high pedestals by fans and the media.

We don't reject all religious convention, of course.

Here we are on an Easter Weekend having had Good Friday off, endured the inconvenience of nothing being open, lazing about on a 4-day long weekend brought to us by the Good Lord.

There are many aspects of religion we are more than happy to tolerate.

Tolerance is subjective, of course.

One could argue that Folau is a religious man who has a right to express his view. Except that it's not his view, it's the view of the church he respects.

He is repeating the message. And we are shooting the messenger.

Perhaps rather than playing the man, we play the ball and start being honest and open about the fact that it's not Israel Folau's views that we are intolerant of.

But that would be a far harder conversation to have. Far easier to victimise a rugby player, knock him off the pedestal, shoot the messenger.

I can see why idolaters made that list centuries ago.