Seeing it's the only thing he seems to understand, here's a Bible quote for Israel Folau: "The greedy stir up conflict, but those who trust in the Lord will prosper" (Proverbs 28:25).
Folau's GoFundMe page raised nearly $500,000 in the first day of asking for $3 million to help him battle with evil Rugby Australia. Nearly 6000 people donated after he set up the page with: "Could you make a donation, within your capacity to give, in order to support my action? I have the fight of my life on my hands and every little bit will help. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."
He also says: "I do not believe it is fair or right that I be punished for my religious beliefs."
There're just a few little teensy-weensy things that those who have given Folau money should know:
He reportedly was driving a $500,000 Lamborghini around after Land Rover repossessed one of their sponsored vehicles after he first attacked gays and transgender people.
He has been a top player in league and rugby for 12 years, earning top dollar. He reputedly has a property portfolio worth about A$5m (according to the Australian newspaper) and overall personal wealth of about $7m.
He might be asking for money for legal action now but here's what Folau wrote in a column for Players' Voice last April, after he first clashed with RA: "After we'd all talked, I told [RA chief executive] Raelene [Castle] if she felt the situation had become untenable – that I was hurting Rugby Australia, its sponsors and the Australian rugby community to such a degree that things couldn't be worked through – I would walk away from my contract, immediately."
On GoFundMe is a host of heartbreaking stories, all of them worthier, in my view, than giving the $7m man more money. There are cancer stories, autism stories, people paralysed in accidents needing expensive overseas treatment – it's a cornucopia of community care; people helping people, the homeless, the elderly, children…
And then there's Izzy (the D is silent), helping himself.
You see, he's not being punished for having religious views. In spite of the assumed martyrdom, he's being punished because he used his platform as a rugby star to express his views when RA specifically asked him not to. I mean, come on – freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences.
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The platform is vital – would anyone care what Israel Folau thinks if he wasn't a world-class rugby fullback in World Cup year? If he was just an ordinary joe spouting his beliefs in a sermon at his church, no one would give a big hairy rat's heiny; the media attention he would attract would be zilch, nothing, zero and nil.
All the PR spin accompanying the fundraising was enough to send me looking for some sanity. I'd heard Sydney's Triple M radio set up a competing site, organised "to help RA hire even BETTER lawyers" (a reference to Folau's statement that RA had "an army of lawyers" against him). However, they took it down for reasons unknown.
There's another GoFundMe page, this one set up by the popular Youtube rugby channel Squidge Rugby – trying to raise $3m to counter Folau and donate it to the LBGT charity Stonewall.
Founder Robbie Owen, in his message, says: "If Folau wins, the payout and court fees could well bankrupt the union, which would certainly hurt Rugby Australia. He had previously stated that if it was "God's plan" for him to no longer play rugby professionally, he would accept that and move on. Hence, not only has he lied, he has also made the blasphemous decision to walk against God's plan for him.
"One of the sport's governing bodies [is] taking a stand, and showing that even arguably their nation's highest-profile player is not above consequences for betraying the core inclusive values of the game…If he wants to continue to use his profile and platform to preach hate, Israel Folau picked the wrong sport, because intolerance such as his will never be tolerated in rugby."
Squidge's page appeared a little after Folau's on the same day. In much the same time as Folau raised nearly $500,000, this page attracted just under $3000 in donations.
Seems a bit imbalanced. There are also a few taunts from Folau supporters on Squidge's page, some glorying in the amount of money Folau is raising. Someone called Ralph says: "The fans of love and inclusiveness wanting to raise money to show an individual how much he is hated and that he should be excluded. In our country the rainbow alphabet people make up less than 4 per of the population, whilst some 50 per cent identify as Christian. Get the picture?"
Yes, I rather think I do. I'm thinking of all those folk on the GoFundMe site who deserve donations more than Israel Folau and wondering how that fits in Ralph's Christian world.
Proverbs again (14:31): "Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker but whoever is kind to the needy honours God".