The Israel Folau crowdfunding saga is not about freedom of religion

Israel Folau
Photo: Israel Folau chose to prioritise his conscience over his career. (AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

Dr Simon Longstaff of The Ethics Centre writes about Israel Folau and the fallout from his sacking and the crowdfunding saga. Dr Simon Longstaff says, inter-alia, Religious freedom comes in four basic forms: freedom of belief, freedom of worship, freedom to act in good conscience (which includes freedom from coercion in matters of religion) and finally freedom to proselytise (which includes the right to educate one’s children in the faith). Folau’s case involves the third and fourth of these freedoms.

What Folau believes and how he worships have not been challenged. Rather, he has been sanctioned for what he has done and said — not as a believer, but in his role as an elite rugby player representing Australia. However, can the two roles of “believer” and “contracted player” be so easily separated? That is the question at the heart of this issue.

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Top 10 books about cults

Aum Shinrikyo CultThe word “cult” is used only by outsiders. There is nothing extreme or ridiculous about the Truth if you believe it. In a world of secularity and cynicism we are drawn to the stories of those who live and die with such utter conviction, just as we wonder at how credulous they can be. We feel superior because we believe we could never be drawn in so completely. But the best books about cults lead us, as readers, into understanding just how easily it could happen.
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Pope Francis declares ‘climate emergency’ and urges action

Pope Francis enters Casino IV

Pope Francis has declared a global “climate emergency”, warning of the dangers of global heating and that a failure to act urgently to reduce greenhouse gases would be “a brutal act of injustice toward the poor and future generations”.

He also endorsed the 1.5C limit on temperature rises that some countries are now aiming for, referring to warnings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of “catastrophic” effects if we crossed such a threshold. He said a “radical energy transition” would be needed to stay within that limit, and urged young people and businesses to take a leading role.

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Multifaith Service – World Refugee Day

United Nations LogoShepparton Interfaith Network – in collaboration with the Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District – will conduct a Multifaith Service for World Refugee Day at St Brendan’s Church on Thursday 20 June at 6pm.
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Refugee Week in Shepparton, 2019

Refugee Week LogoRefugee Week 2019 will be celebrated from Sunday June 16 up to Saturday June 22, 2019. In observance of Refugee Week, the Shepparton Interfaith Network in collaboration with Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District will present a Multifaith Service at St Brendan’s Church, Shepparton on 20 June, at 6:00pm. The theme for the service is “The Refugee in Australia“.
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Movie Night: Refugee Week

Human flow - the journey of migrationHuman Flow is a 2017 German documentary film co-produced and directed by Ai Weiwei about the current global refugee crisis. In the film the viewer is taken to over 20 countries to understand both the scale and the personal impact of this massive human migration. It was shot using various technologies, including drones, cameras and iPhones. As part of Shepparton’s Refugee Week observance, Human Flow will be screened for Free at Village Cinemas on 19 June 2019.

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