Australian footballer Israel Folau, a devout Christian, quoting Corinthians, warned on social media that “drunks, homosexuals, adultery, liars and fornicators will end up in hell unless they repent. Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him.” A number of questions arise.
First, these remarks are totally consistent with the Bible (and the Koran) so why the uproar?
Second, why did the critics, including the Prime Minister, solely complain about the reference to homosexuals? What about us drunks and fornicators? Doesn’t she care about our pain?
A few of us on Twitter have been comparing scores for how many of the eight criteria for entry to hell we meet. Folau’s tweet said that hell awaits drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters. I qualify on between five and a half and six and a half of them!
I can understand journalists concentration on homosexuals as few are whereas make no mistake, the vast majority I’ve known are drunks, adulterers, liars and fornicators to various degrees, so too heaps of MP’s. A double-standard here methinks.
This whole episode is a classic pack-hunting media contrivance. I have difficulty believing a single drunk, fornicator, homosexual, adulterer or liar reading Israel’s remarks gave a damn. He’s entitled to express his religious beliefs as much as I for example am, to continue pursuing my life-long mockery of religion.
I think mockery is the best response, not outrage that a devout person believes various things are sinful and sins lead to hell.
Mind you Israel should be careful here for he could be in for a shock when he reaches heaven and meets Jesus, at least if Hugh Montefiore, the former Bishop of Birmingham is correct. In 1967 Hugh, a respected academic, in a lecture to churchmen at Oxford University, suggested Jesus was a homosexual. Subsequently, numerous theists and scholars have put forward the same proposition.</p>
So, when big strapping Israel finally meets Jesus in heaven, rather than the expected greeting it could be, “Ithwail, lovely to thee you.”
The argument by Bishop Montefiore is quite interesting. He says that Jesus did not know he was the Messiah until he was 30 years old. He was celibate all his life so Montefiore asks why was he celibate up until age 30? Back then men were celibate either because they could not afford to marry, or there are no girls to marry or because they were homosexual. So Montefiore thinks Jesus being homosexual is the most logicial answer, and explains why he identified so much with the poor and oppressed.
Israel deserves Christians’ admiration for his absolutism rather than picking and choosing what suits him. The downside is when he does finally bowl through the Pearly Gates, he might find heaven a rather lonely place. Far better to get stuck into a bit of fornicating and end up with the rest of us in Hell. It promises to be quite a fun place, putting aside the racket of non-stop screaming coming from Catholic clergy being boiled in vats.