Israel Folau’s social media rant on Thursday produced exactly the sorts of responses we’ve come to expect from our hypersensitive politicians. Not to mention corporate leaders afraid of offending any of their thin-skinned customers.
Folau’s rant displays ignorance, arrogance and hostility. But the mainstream is widely missing the mark on its response. Which is to simply write Folau off as an ignoramus and get on with your day.
On Instagram Folau proclaimed that hell awaits ‘drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters’.
That’s a rather sweeping condemnation of much of Australia’s citizenry. Yet in a sign of the politically correct nature of our times, it was Folau’s mention of homosexuals that drew the greatest condemnation and headlines in the mainstream press.
Never mind the poor atheists, drunks and fornicators.
New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern proclaimed, ‘I’m particularly mindful of young people who are members of our rainbow community, there is a lot of vulnerability there.’
Free report: Australia’s right to free speech is under attack! Discover how a select group of Australians want to stifle your fundamental right to speak your mind — and what you can do to help turn the tide.
Scomo labelled Folau’s post as ‘terribly insensitive’
Prime Minister Scott Morrison also sounded off. He said Folau’s social media attack on homosexuals was ‘terribly insensitive’.
Leaping onto the politically correct bandwagon, Rugby Australia said it would terminate Folau’s multi-million-dollar contract unless he can explain his social media post.
And the AAP reports that the NRL has already ruled out welcoming him back to the code.
Addressing ABC News on Friday, Morrison said:
‘I thought they were terribly insensitive comments and obviously that was a matter for the ARU and they’ve taken that decision… It is important that people act with love, care and compassion to their fellow citizens and to speak sensitively to their fellow Australians.’
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten agreed with the prime minister.
Speaking to reporters in Sydney, Shorten said:
‘There is no freedom to perpetuate hateful speech. Some of the comments which have been seen are far closer to hateful than I think appropriate for what people should be doing on social media.’
Superficially, both Morrison and Shorten are correct.
People should act with compassion and speak sensitively, not just to their fellow citizens but to citizens of all nations.
But that doesn’t mean everyone will do so. And it’s not the government’s role to attempt to police what views people can and can’t share.
When witless individuals like Folau choose to spew their vitriol over social media the best bet is to simply ignore them. Or perhaps even pity them.
Free Report: Australia’s right to free speech is under attack! Discover how a select group of Australians want to stifle your fundamental right to speak your mind — and what you can do help turn the tide. Download now.