The Australian Christian Lobby is responding to today’s settlement between Israel Folau and Rugby Australia regarding his dismissal over a religious message posted to social media.
“We trust that this sets a clear precedent for every bureaucrat, manager, or person in a position of power, that they cannot ruin someone’s career because they don’t like what they believe,” ACL Managing Director Martyn Iles said.
“Every week, the ACL advises ordinary Australians facing exclusion or needing legal support due to their beliefs. They are not famous like Israel Folau, but their religious freedom is just as important,” Mr Iles cautioned.
“We look forward to the federal government producing reforms that prevent taxing and drawn-out legal processes like this in future,” Mr Iles hoped, “People of all faiths need clear protections to speak openly about their beliefs. It is wrong for them to be silenced by the fear of litigation or lawsuits by activists.”
“The true meaning of inclusiveness, diversity, and tolerance is to accept differences, including differences of faith and belief,” Mr Iles noted, “Rugby Australia was nothing but exclusive and intolerant of Israel Folau’s Christian beliefs, something acknowledged in part by their joint statement with Israel Folau today.”
“It is disproportionate in the extreme to end someone’s career simply because they have said something controversial,” Mr Iles concluded, “Israel Folau’s case was everyone’s case, demonstrated by the huge outpouring of financial support from so many Australians. The ACL was vindicated for enabling his fundraising effort. For all those who value freedom, this is a welcome result.”
The Australian Christian Lobby wishes all parties well for the future.
In response to media enquiries, ACL Managing Director Martyn Iles has said: