Izzy Folau’s uneven battleground

Just a few days ago, Australia paused to remember the 100,000 fallen soldiers who died to protect our freedom.

And in just a few hours, we will learn whether you can be banned from playing rugby for Australia for quoting the Bible.

‘Progress’ is just not what it seems.

While most eyes will be on Israel Folau today, I will be watching Kate Eastman SC. She is Rugby Australia’s representative on the tribunal that will hear the case against our nation’s highest profile rugby star.

Kate Eastman SC will be one of the members on the tribunal that will the case against Israel Folau.

Eastman’s decision will have ramifications for all Australian workers. And because of her profile and background (she’s a rock star in the anti-discrimination world), her decision will also set a trend for anti-discrimination matters in Australia.

Most importantly of all, Eastman has been front and centre in drama involving quotations of the Bible before. This is not a novel legal question for her.

Five years ago she represented homosexual activist and serial litigant, Gary Burns, against Victorian grandmother, pensioner and then Katter’s Australian Party candidate, Tess Corbett.

Corbett was facing the former New South Wales Administrative Decision Tribunal for stating (in Victoria) that she did not want gays, lesbians or paedophiles teaching at her kindergarten.

Her barrister, Marcel White, pointed out that if Corbett’s statement was found to be unlawful the decision would effectively outlaw Christian scripture.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported Marcel White’s legal argument this way:

In a 21-page written submission, Ms Corbett’s Victorian barrister Marcel White defended his client’s comments on legal and factual grounds, referring directly to the Bible as supporting evidence.

“This didactic process of bracketing homosexual behaviours with other notorious kinds of immoral conduct has been, not only for politicians, but also for some of the indisputably greatest contributors to Western civilisation’s philosophical understanding of human conduct, a reliably persuasive means of making argument,” Mr White’s submissions state.

“It is no small matter that St Paul of Tarsus, with his foundational Epistles which can easily be said to dynamically shape Australian public and social life to this day … would no doubt be found guilty of impermissible vilification according to the dictates of anti-discrimination jurisprudence as they currently stand…”

Quoting directly from a passage from St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians in which the saint compares homosexuals to thieves, extortionists and other immoral types, [the] submissions state that such comparisons must be acceptable “otherwise every time a witness swears on a Bible in a NSW courtroom they may be implicitly endorsing the republication of St Paul’s brackets in contravention of the NSW anti-discrimination Act”.

As far as things go, the Sydney Morning Herald pretty much got this bit right. I should know. I was in the room.

History will record that Eastman was able to secure a victory for her client on that day.

It prompted Burns to issue a press release containing these words:

Mr Burns said the ruling would go down in case law and prevent politicians from appealing to the Bible to justify vilification. In a written submission last year, a lawyer for Ms Corbett had attempted to use the Bible as supporting evidence.

“Today’s decision will set a precedent for future cases that not only is vilifying homosexuals illegal, but you can’t use the Bible or religion as a valid legal defence,” said Mr Burns.

It would seem that Burns basically believed he had banned the Bible with the assistance of Kate Eastman’s legal expertise.

He later fired off an email to Malcolm Turnbull, boasting:

I’ve taking a Christian bigot in NSW to court for vilification of homosexuals.

This Christian bigot publishes statement’s…using the Bible as a right to unlawfully vilify and demonise homosexuals.

But history will also show that Burns’ joy was short lived. The ruling has gone down in case law but not for the reasons Burns ever imagined.

I was that ‘bigot’ and the High Court eventually ruled that it was unconstitutional for Burns’ complaints against myself and Corbett to have even been heard (unfortunately that has not stopped him or the Tribunal from proceeding with his complaints and I was back in court on Thursday as a result). Burns told The Australian that:

“I’m like a vicious rottweiler. I’ve got hold of his leg and I’m not letting go until the bones and blood are bare.”

Nice.

Now, in a strange twist of fate, Kate Eastman sits in judgement over Israel Folau with the power to revive the practical outcome of her former client’s short lived victory over the Bible.

True, she will not rule on whether the Bible should be banned. Instead, she will simply rule on whether it is lawful to deny someone employment or even the ability to play in a sporting match for quoting from the Bible.

For all intents and purposes it’s the same thing.

Which way will Kate Eastman go?

Eastman, to the best of my recollection, did not address Marcel White’s argument about the Bible. And the Tribunal ignored it altogether. It was probably easier to pretend it away than to deal with it. I’m expecting the same in the hearing against Folau as well.

The elephant in the room will most-likely be white-washed with fancy language, legal jargon and sophistry. But everyone will know, one way or the other, what the practical result will be.

But for any insight into Eastman’s mind we cannot really glean all that much from the now unconstitutional judgement in 2014 and the cases in the higher courts shed no light either. They all focused on jurisdictional questions.

And Eastman’s representation of Burns in that matter should not cloud judgement either. Eastman has also represented clients against Burns, including the Nine Network.

Indeed, back in 2010 she told the Tribunal:

“Mr Burns has a particular sensitised view of these issues … he has reached the point where he cannot step back and look at these issues objectively.”

I couldn’t agree more.

So that sheds no real light either.

But the fact that Kate Eastman once claimed that her dream job was to work at the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, now known as the Australian Human Rights Commission, does not fill me with confidence.

If I was a betting man, I’d throw money on a wager that Izzy Folau will be done and dusted today. It’s likely he will need to double down on the courage he’s already shown if he’s going to see this thing through.

I’d also be betting that after today, more people will find themselves in legal hot water for quoting from the Bible or the Catechism.

But I wouldn’t have to bet that those who fought for this nation are shaking their heads and wondering what it was all for. I deployed three times. And this Anzac Day, as I marched at the local RSL service, I did wonder what it was all for…

*****

The caption on this image at the Australian War Memorial website states:

But Beach, New Guinea. May 1945. Army Chaplain, the Reverend Father John Aloysius Morgan, Senior Roman Catholic Chaplain of the 6th Division celebrating mass prior to members of the Division embarking for the assault on the Wewak Peninsula. His driver batman, Private Leo Franklin, holding a bible and wearing a light coloured shirt, is standing to the right rear of Padre Morgan. Bishop Morgan later became Chaplain General of the Australian Army.

Author: Bernard Gaynor

Bernard Gaynor is a married father of eight children. He has a background in military intelligence, Arabic language and culture and is an outspoken advocate of conservative and family values.

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18 Comments

  1. The good natured, ‘I just want my freedom from religion’ Australian pagans are at a loss as to how to oppose the Victim Status guerrillas who lead the Long March through all Australian institutions for the worldwide Communist Revolution. Their friendly, helpful efforts to inspire these cadres with common sense, plain reason, human empathy, understanding and the basic norms of natural order and human relationship all fail when dealing with persons who are possessed by ‘evil spirits who go about the world seeking the ruin of souls.’

    Like the jolly, stay at home Hobbits of the Shire who are trying to understand and cope with Black Riders from Mordor, they don’t get that shriek, that insatiable appetite to destroy the good, the noble, the decent, the beautiful and all the organic , ethnic expression of nation and culture. They might recoil from the single focus of the Great Eye and its devouring powers; they might retreat from the shadow being cast over all the day-to-day Hobbit activities, but they don’t get this whole other (non-material) plane of existence under which we are passing.

    The popes (before Vatican Council II) understood it and named the Communist ideology / praxis as this most “iniquitous plot” and those who would be leading it as “driven to overthrow the entire order of human affairs and to draw them [the people] over to wicked theories and confuse them with perverted doctrines.” (Pope Pius IX. Nostis et Nobiscum. 1849.

    Mike Pence the VP of the US gets it in his address at Liberty University : ” Some of the loudest voices for tolerance today have little tolerance for traditional Christian beliefs” Not only is it demanded of Christians, they tolerate speech and behaviour that opposes their faith, it is demanded that “they endorse [it] and bow down to [it] as idols.”
    https://www.catholicleague.org/vice-president-pences-truthful-address/

    As one of the vectors of the worldwide Communist Revolution, Islam, which (in theory at least ) opposes the immorality warned against by the Apostle Paul (and Israel Folau)- gets a pass from our Political Commissars and the guerrilla leaders. As long as the Grand Mufti maintains silence on these points, they can keep their taqiyya in place for those who are leading the charge against the European heritage, its nations and Christianity in terms of Communist ideologies : racism, feminism, homosexuality / transgender sexual revolution and (of course) climate alarmism as ” the international disaster key to unlock the New World Order ” (Mikhail Gorbachev.

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  2. I have watched most of Mr Folau’s Easter Sunday sermon: Like the biblical Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, Israel Folau is under no illusions as to what “fiery furnaces” may await him – He knows that not even his Saviour, the Son of God was immune from crucifixion and the indignity at the end of a series of illegal, unjust trials.

    Those whose fondest imagination is that “there’s no Heaven” are Hell-bent on making life a living Hell-on-earth for those annoying people who keep reminding them that there is actually a real place called Hell…

    If they have called the Master of the house “Beelzebub”… [St Matthew’s Gospel 10:24-33]

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  3. Israel Folau’s obviously a bible-based and fundamentalist Christian like many Polynesian players. His punishment will be suspension from the Australian Wallabies and the tearing up of his $4 million contract. The problem with his tweet (actually an Instagram meme-graphic) to his 353,00 followers was that it offended and undermined the powerful ideological LGBT rights agenda. The code word for this agenda is “diversity”. What was also noticed was that over 50,000 of his followers “liked” his tweet. Thus, it is considered by the powers-that-be too dangerous to allow him freedom of religious expression, in all the circumstances. Under the code-word “diversity” this orthodoxy rules that homosexuality is not in any way an undesirable attribute in a human being. The bible quote lumped this attribute in with other perceived Christian moral failings such as fornication, adultery, idolatry, thievery, drunkenness, atheism and so on. Only the homosexuals were offended, not us fornicators and adulterers etc. This powerful LGBT orthodoxy rules that a general distaste for homosexual acts in a heterosexual person is in itself a human failing and moral transgression, called “homophobia”. Be that as it may, this case of Israel Folau is so bizarre and so unjust that it may finally cause Australian’s to wake up and realise they have lost their rights to freedom of conscience and freedom of expression. My prediction is that the dispute cannot be settled in the lower courts and it will go all the way to the High Court of Australia over the next few years, and cost a fortune in legal fees. Who knows? It could lead to the bankrupting of Rugby Australia, who put a strange-looking female in as their CEO. She looks like a drag queen, or a fat man with a high voice wearing a dress and scarlet lipstick. Rugby is a man’s game if ever there was one. So why would Rugby Australia not put a retired great rugby player with the right leadership credentials in as CEO? Why instead appoint a dubious looking female as CEO? Yes folks, it’s all about “cultural change”.

    This story is “very big” so there is no need to provide details here: one only needs to enter “Israel Folau bible quote” or similar into Google to get thousands of references. So let us just celebrate Israel Folau’s God-given sporting talent and understand that what we are seeing here is a good man and role-model for ordinary Australians being deliberately sacrificed on the altar of LGBT rights. A clear message is being sent to all Australians that it is no longer acceptable to view homosexuality as anything other that normal and natural. With the adoption of same-sex marriage the rubicon has been crossed. There is now no going back. I voted “no” but not enough Australians voted that way to arrest the “homosexual dictatorship” that has now emerged. This orthodoxy sees normal Christian and mainstream cultural “heteronormativity” not as desirable but as “oppressive” of a minority. Mark Latham, whose schtick is “cultural Marxism” should have some interesting things to say in parliament about the Israel Folau saga. This story will not go away any time soon, mark my words!

    Now rugby lovers – sit back and admire Israel’s sporting talent

    https://youtu.be/Hgqz7hekfaw

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  4. You have written well and have been through the fire yourself. Be strong and of good courage.

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  5. Of note:
    Sydney Shiek Shady Alsuleiman, who is president of the Australian National Imams Council, has spoken of the “evil actions” of homosexuality, saying, “Allah will send on them diseases they have never experienced before, What’s the most common diseases these days, HIV, AIDS, that’s so common, and there’s no cure to it… These are evil actions that bring evil outcomes to our society.”

    He has also said in online videos that females will be ‘hung by their breasts in hell’ and that adulterers should be stoned to death.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shady_Alsuleiman

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  6. Don’t despair, reading the book Folau quotes from, it all works out well for Isreal.

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  7. Meanwhile, Muslim clerics (from this country or visiting) can make the most vile and disgraceful comments (including against homosexuality!) and these sanctimonious “human rights” hypocrites and sundry leftists don’t say a thing.

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    • Absolutely…riles me to the n’th degree

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  8. I remember during the marriage plebiscite Tim Minchin sang, “I still call Australia homophobic” singing those opposing ‘marriage equality’ are “homophobic c . . . s”. The ABC featured the song on the Insiders program. Ho hum.

    Isreal Folau quotes the Bible. All hell breaks lose.

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  9. I am impressed by many of your articles,Bernard.They are obviously prayerfully approached.There are many people standing with Izzey & many praying for the victory. He will surely know that GOD is a high tower,the righteous run into it & they are safe.

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  10. Daniel has been thrown to the Lions ….and you knowcwhat happed thrn !!

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  11. To put it into perspective….the Lake of Fire awaits the enemy

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  12. Stand strong for the Lord. He will help you and will bless you abundantly.

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  13. Israel, Stand strong for God and what He says in His Word.You didn’t offend anyone.So why you syntactic cry? If you lose this contract, God will open another door for you.He is the Lord who created all things.You go to the,courts and preach the Gospel to the tribunal and to the judge.God is with you and so all the Christian world.Be blessed.

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  14. Thanks for the info. You may be right on the probability of Izzy copping it, however based on the times we live in and the continual garbage being thrown at us from heart on the sleeve people and the extreme left, pray is the only answer for helping Izzy in my opinion.
    God’s grace and justice is our heart desire for Izzy and many are supporting him. God can intercede in any situation and l pray that is today.

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  15. Our fake justice system is totally infested with and ruled by anti Chritian(and presumably passionately pro Moslem atheist bigots. Just like the Labor Party. Just like over 90% of the Liberal Party. They don’t like Christianity. They would to see it totally disappear from Australia. And presumably from the world. Moslem fanatics feel the same way. As they recently showed in Sri Lanka.

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  16. They are all arrogant, inner-urban feminists who seem to be on a virtue signaling power-trip.Sorry to use this term but a spade is a spade .

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  17. I hope Folau has the determination to see this through to the end. The ARU if they loose, would be on the brink of financial ruin.

    I find it interesting that its these white middle aged women who are just so aggressive, vicious & unhinged (maybe something to do with the “change”) that drives them to be so horrible.

    This is toxic feminism & socialist insanity all rolled into one.

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