‘They want to silence the debate’
RADIO host Alan Jones has fired up over the Israel Folau furore, telling the Gold Coast Bulletin that the 'vocal left' were trying to shut down debate. But he says one development has shown a major change is taking place.
The conservative identity told said Folau's sacking by Rugby Australia in the wake of controversial social media posts was "ridiculous".
He accused the "vocal left" of "banning people and silencing people" who hold dissenting views.
"Are people afraid to speak out? You bet they are. That's what the left try to do. The left don't want a debate, they want to silence the debate," he said.
"They want to shut people down."
Jones defended the devout Christian footballer - who's raised ire in recent days as he fundraises for a legal fight against Rugby Australia - as merely "quoting the bible".
Folau's most recent Instagram post, and the one that derailed his sporting career, warned "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters" that "hell awaits you".
Jones said it was "nonsense" to highlight one element of the broad post as a targeted attack on gay people.
"Poor old drunks though, didn't even get a mention (in the media), did they?" he said.
"It's nonsense. (Israel's) just quoting from the bible and a man is entitled to practice his faith.
"Some will say 'well hang on, I don't agree with what Israel has said, but I certainly agree that he's got a right to say it and a right to be in the public space and challenge people's views'.
"What Israel is being found guilty of is being articulated in churches by pastors and parishioners every week of every year.
"(Israel) reads the bible, he articulates the bible and he quoted the bible and he gets rubbed out."
Folau launched a GoFundMe page to fund his legal campaign against Rugby Australia, but $750,000 was refunded to donors after the site found the fundraiser promoted discrimination.
The Australian Christian Lobby then intervened and supported Folau in a new campaign on the Australian Christian Lobby website, which drew more than $2.1 million in two days before it was paused.
Jones said it showed "the majority are now prepared to stand up and take on the minorities".
Many have been critical of Folau's fundraising efforts, including former Waratahs teammate Stephen Hoiles.
Hoiles said he was "sickened" the millionaire sportsman was raising funds from the public after breaching his contract - particularly when sick children on the site desperately need a helping hand.
Jones will appear alongside Tweed councillor James Owen and Liberal Party Federal Vice President Teena McQueen at a Take Back Tweed dinner on July 19.