Opinion

Israel Folau – The Controversy

Photo: Israel Folau/FB
Diane Sparkes
Written by Diane Sparkes

It seems everyone has a point of view – my own reaction when asked to write about Israel was firstly that I do not know him so how can I say anything unless I speak about how his comments specifically affect the LGBT+ community and those questioning their identity and sexual orientation.


Feeling that so much has been said already, an alternative approach seems appropriate.

Misled by beliefs not by facts – extremely religious people have forever insisted that where LGBT+ people are going wrong is in the way they behave. By using ideas thousands of years old as a guide they forget that being LGBT+ is not a choice – that from all we understand today – it is they that do not understand the truth and refuse to change.

And their words are more inclined toward hate instead of love – after all, no matter what religion, the concept of universal love is surely the highest form of being.

When Israel spoke the way he did it is important for us to recognise the way his religious teachings have conditioned his thinking.  By trying to make those that do not see things the way he does, or believes God the way he does – his comments are seen as hateful. Since the time the bible was written by those who tried to spread Christianities – or for that matter any other religions – word on love. Is it not reasonable to believe that over the last millennia or two – everyone should have got the message “Love not hate”?

Decades of research has now shown the reality that LGBT+ people are born that way. It is not a “Life Style” or a choice. The religious writings used to “justify” these views remain wrong and always have been. Happily, with love as their guide many people have changed their religious ideas – particularly as we come to understand more clearly – the human condition that is known as homosexuality and transsexuality.

Yet still we have groups and individuals like Israel feeling it is their responsibility to keep repeating outdated religious beliefs. In doing so he shows that he knows nothing of the reality – only the erroneous faith-based religious teachings he has learned.

Should Israel continue to speak the way he does there will continue to be reactions by many until those with his religious views come to terms with reality – condeming a group of people based on their sexual orientation, a group who are often already marginalised, cannot be accepted in any form. Young people in particular who are likely to be questionning their role in the society are particularly susceptible to hate speech, particularly by someone with a public personna.

We as a society enjoy the right to free speech  – but spreading ignorance and hatred must be firmly challenged.

About the author

Diane Sparkes

Diane Sparkes

Diane Sparkes is a retired teacher, writer, trans advocate and transgender woman.

GJ Gardner Maxi 8 May – 31 July 2018

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