/ Israel Folau -- again

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Coel Hellier 25 Jun 2019

To defend free speech is to defend speech one disagrees with.  So, as I see it, Israel Folau should be allowed to promote his Christian theology on his twitter feed without being sacked by Australian Rugby as a result.  Yes, he's a star player, but he's also entitled to his private views and employer should respect that.

We've discussed this extensively, but some updates:

Folau filed a case against Rugby Australia and Rugby New South Wales at the Fair Work Commission, saying: "Every Australian should be able to practise their religion without fear of discrimination in the workplace".

He launched a drive to raise money for a legal challenge on the GoFundMe website.   But, after it raised 750,000 Aussie dollars, GoFundMe pulled the webpage and nixed the money.    

OK, so "GoFundMe" is a private organisation that can do that, but I'm getting increasingly concerned that "infrastructure" companies are increasingly thought-policing what attitudes and ideas they'll allow to be promoted in the public square.    Patreon and Paypal are others that have nixed funding to people they disagree with.

The GoFundMe explanation is that they don't allow "promotion of discrimination or exclusion". Fair enough, but Folau did not promote or call for discrimination against or exclusion of anyone.  He has not said that gay people should not be allowed to play rugby, nor that they should be treated less favourably. 

All he's done is offer theological advice ("repent") and express opinions about what happens after death.  Well, Christians do that.  Surely we can tolerate such opinions?

Indeed, the people who are in favour of "discrimination and exclusion" are those who want to exclude people like Folau who openly state their Christian opinions. 

So, after the nixing of the GoFundMe, an alternative fundraising page by the Australian Christian Lobby has now raised over 1,000,000 Aussie dollars and climbing fast. 

If that many people either defend Folau's views or don't defend his views but do defend his right to express his views, then it would seem to me that we're better off overall if he is allowed to say his piece without Australian Rugby getting huffy.

All that is required is for Australian Rugby to adopt their Voltaire hat and state: "Folau does not speak for us and we do not share his opinions; but in a free society we accept his right to his opinions".  

I don't think that Aussie Rugby would actually suffer if they simply said that, but accepted him as a player, tolerating his expression of his personal opinions. 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-48740811

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-48753566

(Sorry Jon, you and I are destined to disagree!)

29
La benya 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

It’s not a question of religion. It’s a question of contract. He was told and contracted to not do what he did. He did it anyway. His contract was terminated. Simple! The fact that it was religious in nature is a red herring.

As for the rest, as you say they’re private companies and are free to call a closet homosexual-raving loony- happy clappy- burn all the gays knob head... a spade (or whatever the saying is)

3
galpinos 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Does your opinion change if he wasn't "promoting christian theology" but posted "anti-gay" comments as an atheist?

the sheep 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Bollocks, he used his interpretation of the bible and took sections of it to post anti gay messages. He got warned for it once by Rugby Australia, did it again and got the sack. 

3
Coel Hellier 25 Jun 2019
In reply to galpinos:

> Does your opinion change if he wasn't "promoting christian theology" but posted "anti-gay" comments as an atheist?

No, not really, my opinion stays much the same, namely that we should have a right to express personal opinions in a personal context and that employers should not regard that as their business. 

4
Mike Stretford 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> To defend free speech is to defend speech one disagrees with.  So, as I see it, Israel Folau should be allowed to promote his Christian theology on his twitter feed without being sacked by Australian Rugby as a result.  Yes, he's a star player, but he's also entitled to his private views and employer should respect that.

> We've discussed this extensively, but some updates:

We did. You just wouldn't accept that he was using his employment status to further what should have been private views, on a very public platform. Obvious to almost everyone else and no point discussing it with you if you're going to claim black is white.

> So, after the nixing of the GoFundMe, an alternative fundraising page by the Australian Christian Lobby has now raised over 1,000,000 Aussie dollars and climbing fast.

I really hope Israel and and the ACL have a change of heart and that money goes to a genuine good cause.

Post edited at 11:25
4
Coel Hellier 25 Jun 2019
In reply to La benya:

> It’s not a question of religion. It’s a question of contract. He was told and contracted to not do what he did. He did it anyway. His contract was terminated. Simple!

But its not that simple: society has increasingly developed employment legislation, restricting what sort of contracts and rules employers can enforce.  

17
La benya 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

He chose to enter into that contract. No one forced him. He wanted the $4m and signed up to the terms and conditions. 

I wouldn’t claim freedom of speech if I told clients at work they were going to hell for drinking, fornicating or being gay. I would be sacked.  

La benya 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Sorry, I missed your point. 

Being told not to say certain things is not an unfair contract. Especially if you’ve gotten away with it and been warned before

the sheep 25 Jun 2019
In reply to La benya:

> He chose to enter into that contract. No one forced him. He wanted the $4m and signed up to the terms and conditions. 

Which shows what a hypocrite he is too. Wants to keep his millions and asks others to fund him. Seem to recall something about rich men getting into heaven and camels passing through the eye of a needle in the bible! 

galpinos 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> No, not really, my opinion stays much the same, namely that we should have a right to express personal opinions in a personal context and that employers should not regard that as their business. 

Is there not a point at which personal opinions, expressed via social media, can be classed as affecting the reputation of the individual's employer and as such gives the employer a right to take action?

The point of free speech is that people have a right to say what they want, it does not give them the right be immune from the consequences of expressing those opinions.

wbo 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:he got booted off 'GoFundme' as they don't allow fundraising for gaybashing. Employment contracts are not so different, especially if you're employed as a publicity device.

1
Stichtplate 25 Jun 2019
In reply to the sheep:

> Which shows what a hypocrite he is too. Wants to keep his millions and asks others to fund him. Seem to recall something about rich men getting into heaven and camels passing through the eye of a needle in the bible! 

Not just that he’s a hypocrite over, after all, he’s he’s quite happy telling people they’re going to Hell for being the way his God made them, while at the same time more than happy to work on the Sabbath.

...did I say hypocrite? I meant to say transparent homophobic wankpuffin.

3
Coel Hellier 25 Jun 2019
In reply to La benya:

> I wouldn’t claim freedom of speech if I told clients at work they were going to hell for drinking, fornicating or being gay. I would be sacked.  

How about if you didn't tell clients at work, but merely said so on UKC?

Post edited at 12:35
8
Coel Hellier 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> You just wouldn't accept that he was using his employment status to further what should have been private views, on a very public platform.

Not at all. I do accept that.  I just don't see it was wrong.  People are entitled to personal views, even if those personal views are more likely to be noticed if the person is well known.  

> Obvious to almost everyone else ...

Obvious to me also.

4
Stichtplate 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> How about if you didn't tell clients at work, you merely said so on UKC?

I’d imagine the vast majority of Folau’s twitter followers are his clients, ie. rugby fans.

Coel Hellier 25 Jun 2019
In reply to galpinos:

> The point of free speech is that people have a right to say what they want, it does not give them the right be immune from the consequences of expressing those opinions.

If you take that literally, then a ten-year jail sentence for criticising the government is not a restriction on free speech -- people indeed have a right to criticise the government, it's just they are not immune to the ten-year jail sentence. 

So the whole issue here is whether someone has a right to express personal opinions on their personal twitter feed without being sacked for it.

4
the sheep 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> So the whole issue here is whether someone has a right to express personal opinions on their personal twitter feed without being sacked for it.

In this case no he didnt have the right to do so as it contravened his contract. He was warned about it once so was aware of the consequences. Did it again and was fired. Simple really. 

1
WB 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

a personal twitter feed seems rather pointless...

galpinos 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> If you take that literally, then a ten-year jail sentence for criticising the government is not a restriction on free speech -- people indeed have a right to criticise the government, it's just they are not immune to the ten-year jail sentence. 

Ha, you are of course right, my statement was somewhat open! However, being kicked out of the government for critiquing the government on social media doesn't seem that unfair. Folau's case is affected by the fact the social media platform he has is mainly due to his job, his employers are struggling to kick homophobia out the sport and he is visibly undermining that effort. I would imagine in a similar scenario, I would be in trouble with my employers.

> So the whole issue here is whether someone has a right to express personal opinions on their personal twitter feed without being sacked for it.

The answer, from most responses here, seems to be, "not always".......

Timmd 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Not again. As somebody who can seem to rail against the evils of religion, you seem peculiarly strident in your defence of his ability to promote homophobia within a religious framing?

Potential Scenario: Oz rugby fan walking along who is on the point of the sexuality spectrum to mean they feel confused (bi but hasn't explored it). Reads Israel's tweet on his phone - this stirs certain emotions in him and then he sees a gay person and says 'fucking queer'.

Well done Israel (and Coel for supporting him). :-/

The above is how life actually happens - this isn't about something abstract.

Post edited at 13:12
6
Mike Stretford 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Not at all. I do accept that. 

Fine, not as I recall it but it was a long thread. So you believe anyone can use their employment status to further their private views, against the wishes of their employer.

> I just don't see it was wrong.  People are entitled to personal views, even if those personal views are more likely to be noticed if the person is well known.  

Of course he's entitled to his personal views.... they asked him to stop posting the stuff on his employment based twitter account (the one with a profile picture of him in his work uniform, changed now). They didn't try to force him to go to equality training for re-education!

Another one for you in the news today

https://metro.co.uk/2019/06/24/disabled-granddad-sacked-asda-sharing-billy-connolly-sketch-facebook-10049859/

I'd have more sympathy for this chap but he went and put 'Asda' on his FB page. 

Post edited at 13:13
Joe79 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I think the premise of your point is another fine example of confusing freedom of expression with freedom from consequence. You're right that anyone should be able to enjoy freedom of speech without sanction from the state. But as others have pointed out you cannot expect to say what you please whenever you please without any consequence to your professional life or personal relationships. The purpose of freedom of speech is to stop the state using its monopoly on violence and coercion to police individuals' thoughts and conversions. It is absolutely not to enshrine the concept of freedom of speech without consequence in all institutions and personal relationships, that would just lead to anarchy. 

He absolutely has the right to express his views, but likewise he must face any commercial consequences which come from doing so. While I'm uneasy about twitter mobs hounding people from their jobs, I think what you're proposing is socialism for bigots, freedom of speech (as granted by the state) has nothing to do with it. 

Post edited at 13:31
2
Coel Hellier 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> So you believe anyone can use their employment status to further their private views, against the wishes of their employer.

Yes, more or less. As opposed to anyone who, owing to their employment, is a "name" that the media would recognise, not being allowed to state their personal opinions. 

> Of course he's entitled to his personal views.... they asked him to stop posting the stuff on his employment based twitter account (the one with a profile picture of him in his work uniform, changed now).

It wasn't an "employment based" twitter account, in that it was not provided by or controlled by his employers.  It is indeed the case that the majority of his followers would have been so owing to his rugby employment, but it was still his personal twitter account.

> Another one for you in the news today

Thanks!  That does seem wrong.  I think we need employment law protecting the stating of views on non-work matters on non-work social-media accounts.

3
Coel Hellier 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Joe79:

> The purpose of freedom of speech is to stop the state using its monopoly on violence and coercion to police individuals' thoughts and conversions.

It's always been wider than that, back to J.S. Mill's "On Liberty", which discussed how wider society treated controversial speech, not just state suppression of speech.

If one can be sacked by an employer for personal speech that is nothing to do with work and which is not against any law, then that is very much a society that does not support free speech. 

2
Mike Stretford 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Thanks!  That does seem wrong.  I think we need employment law protecting the stating of views on non-work matters on non-work social-media accounts.

It's really simple, you keep the social media non-work by not mentioning work and not having your profile picture as you in work uniform. 

Poor ASDA guy just messed up . Israel knew that if it was really a personal account he was using he'd have a fraction of the followers he did, so no audience for his views.

The New NickB 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

“Private views” being the key part of your statement. I was employed to “represent” the Australian Rugby Team, in more than one way.

Coel Hellier 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> It's really simple, you keep the social media non-work by not mentioning work and not having your profile picture as you in work uniform. 

I don't think that merely mentioning work is enough to turn a personal account into a work account.    

> Poor ASDA guy just messed up . 

It depends on what the mentions of ASDA were.  If they were just causal mentions of his employment then I don't think that gives ASDA cause to sack him.  Plenty of people might mention their employment in a casual and personal conversation.   

If someone meets a group of people down the pub, and as part of conversation mentions who they work for, and then five minutes later tells a Billy Connolly joke, should that be a sackable act?  No, I don't think so. 

I think that employment-protection law needs to be updated to protect people like this ASDA employee. 

1
Mike Stretford 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> I don't think that merely mentioning work is enough to turn a personal account into a work account.    

Images of you working, including profile picture in work uniform. Advertising work tools. That's more than 'merely mentioning'. It was a professional account.

> It depends on what the mentions of ASDA were.  If they were just causal mentions of his employment then I don't think that gives ASDA cause to sack him.  Plenty of people might mention their employment in a casual and personal conversation.   

Agreed the details aren't there.

> If someone meets a group of people down the pub, and as part of conversation mentions who they work for, and then five minutes later tells a Billy Connolly joke, should that be a sackable act?  No, I don't think so. 

It depends on your share setting and who you have friended. If anyone can see it, it's a public broadcast, not a chat in the pub.

Post edited at 14:01
Coel Hellier 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> It depends on your share setting and who you have friended. If anyone can see it, it's a public broadcast, not a chat in the pub.

But so what if it was a public setting?   In the same way, anyone could have wandered into the pub and overheard the conversation.

Are we really moving to the idea that:

(1) If you ever mention your employer on social-media; and (2) if you ever say anything that anyone could regard as offensive on that same social-media (or even some other social media?), then your employer can summarily sack you?  

I'm just amazed that, after a century of gradually increasing employment protections, people seem happy with this! 

1
the sheep 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> (1) If you ever mention your employer on social-media; and (2) if you ever say anything that anyone could regard as offensive on that same social-media (or even some other social media?), then your employer can summarily sack you?  

> I'm just amazed that, after a century of gradually increasing employment protections, people seem happy with this! 

Using the specific example of Folau, as the thread was started about him. Yes he is a representative of Rugby Australia, on his social media and what he does elsewhere in life. The same applies to professional sportsmen across the board. If they are found doing something that diminishes the reputation of the organisation/club they represent there is a punishment.

In this specific case it is not about religious freedom or freedom of speech. He posted on more than one occasion homophobic messages and has tried to dress them up as part of his christian faith. The man is a bigot and is trying to weasel his way out of the punishment that has rightly been given to him.  

3
Timmd 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

No, it's a situation where somebody who tweets something which undermines a minority while representing their country should keep in mind that they (should also) represent minorities too - which need only go as far as not saying anything against them, meaning that he did something he shouldn't have done.

Post edited at 14:51
Mike Stretford 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> But so what if it was a public setting?   In the same way, anyone could have wandered into the pub and overheard the conversation.

Nah, it's a public broadcast, the whole world can see it.

> I'm just amazed that, after a century of gradually increasing employment protections, people seem happy with this! 

There's some pretty shitty erosion of worker right going on the moment but this ain't one of them.

The problem is people attitudes to social media, too many think it is a chat down the pub as you do. It's not, the whole world can search for you and see what you've posted. 

None of that applies to Israel, he knew exactly what he was doing and had been warned. 

Timmd 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

Indeed he had. I'm sure attacks like this happen in Australia like the do here, too.

https://metro.co.uk/2019/06/23/gay-men-assaulted-children-knife-homophobic-attack-10031713/?ito=social&fbclid=IwAR2dn4i1BEbfnjDnXhlYquUU1cPcq2o-eoPzlcAlgrwEUp5VACp5WyXEP2s

Coel is intelligent enough to see the potential for tweets like Israel's to foster the sentiment behind such attacks, and to understand the responsibility public figures and role models like Israel have to not add to what problems of homophobia already exist.

Post edited at 16:04
TheDrunkenBakers 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

The problem, as I have stated on this topic before is nothing to do with freedom of speech. Its a contract, plain and simple. If I posted racist or homophobic comments on, say, LinkedIn I would be found, no doubt, of bringing the business into disrepute and I sign up to not doing that in my contract. Probably fired too, without compensation.

Stichtplate 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> I'm just amazed that, after a century of gradually increasing employment protections, people seem happy with this! 

I’m amazed that you see freedom of speech as not just sacrosanct but also as a right to be protected from any consequence. Why does freedom of speech trump the freedom of organisations and individuals to react? Why should freedom of speech be more important than freedom of action?

I think I posed this question to you three or four times on the last thread with no response.

Joe79 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I agree that there should be a place for controversial speech and society should be robust enough to tolerate it without shouting people down or saying ideas are beyond the pale as is too often the case at the moment.  But your broadening of the right to freedom of speech without consequence to relationships other than that between the state and the individual doesn't survive impact with reality, as it inserts an absolute right into a complex situation that would unreasonably trump other important considerations. 

For instance if an Instagram influencer came out with a similar comment on a personal (non-work) facebook page which then got posted more widely and lost a load of followers who no longer wished to be associated with such a person. They would consequently get paid less / nothing to endorse products. I presume you wouldn't think they had some right to compensation for loss of earnings? Live by the sword, die by the sword? 

Sportspeople are essentially paid to sell advertising. Ability is crucial to this, but image is important too. For cyclists say, seeking to secure a first contract, having a good following on social media etc. can give you an edge on someone who is better but socially inept or for that matter a bigot that no one has a good word to say about. as they can get the brand to more people. Similarly ageing superstar footballers well known to the public can command much better salaries than equally capable younger players without one. If you are no longer someone that brands want to be associated with, it not a surprise if they reassess whether they want to pay you when they are legally able to do so. 

There is a contextual difference between Folau's situation and the ASDA case. While I think it is reasonable that companies paying millions of dollars to be associated with a personality may want some get out clause if the 'talent' starts saying bat sh*t crazy nonsense that is not in keeping with their supposed 'values'. However, it is unreasonable to require someone on minimum wage to live their live outside of work in accordance with some bland corporate values.  

I appreciate that your somewhat dogmatic liberalism may not find much place for context, but it is relevant. Also more generally people should stop claiming to be the righteous heirs to Voltaire or Mill just because they gratuitously and deliberately offend people for publicity. They should accept they are just a bit of a d*ck and that if someone doesn't want to book them to speak at an event and pay their expenses its not the ending of their right to free speech, but rather another individual exercising the equally important rights of free will and freedom of association. 

Post edited at 17:26
Timmd 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Joe79:

This is the only instance I can think of where Coel is supporting the rights of religious people to judge what other people are doing, normally he seems to be of the point of view that there's no place for religion to comment on wider society. I'll readily stand corrected if I'm wrong.

Post edited at 17:36
Coel Hellier 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Timmd:

> ... normally he seems to be of the point of view that there's no place for religion to comment on wider society.

Where have I ever said that?   I fully support the right of religious people to promote their religious views.  I merely ask for the right to reply. 

1
Coel Hellier 25 Jun 2019
In reply to the thread:

It has been pointed out on Twitter that ASDA itself sells the very Billy Connolly DVD that the gentleman posted a clip of on his Facebook page.  So if him doing that might "bring ASDA into disrepute" then how come ASDA is not bringing itself into disrepute by selling the very same DVD? 

There are also suggestions that the only mention of ASDA on the Facebook page was that the gentleman had filled in the "works at ..." part of the profile. 

If so, this sacking is ridiculous.  We need an update to employment law to uphold the right to a private life not under the jurisdiction of employers, and we need to outlaw vague "bring into disrepute" clauses.  The employer should be required to show actual harm to their business (say, a substantial drop in takings at the store that gentleman worked at) before they're allowed to sack someone over it. 

1
Coel Hellier 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Why does freedom of speech trump the freedom of organisations and individuals to react?

Individuals should be allowed to act, but businesses and employers should be more restricted. That's what employment law and civil-rights legislation is all about.   

[Thus, for example, an individual person could legally discriminate against black people by refusing to be a customer of a shop that employed black people as customer-facing staff -- not a laudable thing to do, of course, but within someone's legal rights; whereas a business or employer, quite rightly, could not do anything such.]

> Why should freedom of speech be more important than freedom of action?

Freedom of speech is the most important freedom in society. It underpins all other freedoms. 

Just imagine major businesses deciding, say, to sack any employee who, in their private life, expresses a pro-Brexit opinion, on the grounds that this might "bring the employer into disrepute" -- or, if you prefer, imagine them sacking any pro-Remain employees.

Well, if ASDA can sack someone for putting a Billy Connolly clip on their Facebook page, why can't an employer sack someone for being pro-Brexit/pro-Remain (delete one to taste)?     Yet, if we allowed that sort of thing, the whole basis on which society works would begin to unravel. 

3
Coel Hellier 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Joe79:

> For instance if an Instagram influencer ... lost a load of followers ... I presume you wouldn't think they had some right to compensation for loss of earnings?

No, since individual customers have a right to follow who they please, buy from who they please, etc. 

In this thread I'm discussing the actions of businesses and employers, which are generally taken to be much more restricted than those of individuals (see previous comment).

> If you are no longer someone that brands want to be associated with, it not a surprise if they reassess whether they want to pay you when they are legally able to do so. 

I'm with you on the issue of sponsors.  If sponsors chose to drop Folau over his remarks then ok.   That's rather different from Aussie Rugby doing it.  The Aussie Rugby team does not generally pick players based on whether they would by attractive to sponsors, they generally pick the team they think most likely to win.  So, they should stick to that.   

> ... that if someone doesn't want to book them to speak at an event and pay their expenses its not the ending of their right to free speech, but rather another individual exercising the equally important rights of free will and freedom of association. 

Well sure, I agree with you on that, completely.  But that's very different from both the Folau case and the ASDA case.

2
Pefa 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> So the whole issue here is whether someone has a right to express personal opinions on their personal twitter feed without being sacked for it.

If this "someone", was a labourer on a building site then he wouldn't be a "someone" he would be a no one.So it's not about anyone or "someone", at all it's about specific people in specific jobs.

You say personal twitter feed as if it was kept private when I believe twitter feeds can have millions of the public as followers.

You can't resist having a wee troll can you Coel? 

Coel Hellier 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> You say personal twitter feed as if it was kept private when I believe twitter feeds can have millions of the public as followers.

Personal as in pertaining to that person, not to the business. 

"personal" definition: 1. relating or belonging to a single or particular person rather than to a group or an organization ...  (Cambridge English Dictionary). 

> So it's not about anyone or "someone", at all it's about specific people in specific jobs.

Such as people who work in an ASDA store?

> You can't resist having a wee troll can you Coel? 

Nope!

1
Stichtplate 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Individuals should be allowed to act, but businesses and employers should be more restricted. That's what employment law and civil-rights legislation is all about.   

Yep, and Rugby Australia acted within the law, so what's your issue?

> [Thus, for example, an individual person could legally discriminate against black people by refusing to be a customer of a shop that employed black people as customer-facing staff -- not a laudable thing to do, of course, but within someone's legal rights; whereas a business or employer, quite rightly, could not do anything such.]

Yep, someone could do that but if they then broadcast about their bigotry to thousands on social media then they'd be idiots if they expected their actions to be consequence free.

> Freedom of speech is the most important freedom in society. It underpins all other freedoms.

Maybe in your world Coel, but I'd take freedom of action and freedom of thought over freedom of speech. Nobody in civilised society is a stranger to self censorship...can you imagine the average workplace, wedding or Christmas party if everyone was continually spouting off about what they thought of each others lifestyle choices?  

> Just imagine major businesses deciding, say, to sack any employee who, in their private life, expresses a pro-Brexit opinion, on the grounds that this might "bring the employer into disrepute" -- or, if you prefer, imagine them sacking any pro-Remain employees.

You need to get out a bit Coel. Work for the Civil Service and you're banned from political campaigning. Work for the military or the emergency services and how you conduct yourself in public or on social media is extremely restricted. Lots of businesses and organisations put restrictions on their personnel's private lives.

> Well, if ASDA can sack someone for putting a Billy Connolly clip on their Facebook page, why can't an employer sack someone for being pro-Brexit/pro-Remain (delete one to taste)?     Yet, if we allowed that sort of thing, the whole basis on which society works would begin to unravel. 

Try an experiment then. Spend a week criticising complete strangers for their personal characteristics (as Folau has done), except don't do it from the safety of a Twitter account, do it to their faces and see how quickly things unravel for you. Then come back and tell me how complete freedom of speech underpins the basis of how society works.

Timmd 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Where have I ever said that?   I fully support the right of religious people to promote their religious views.  I merely ask for the right to reply. 

I stand corrected. 

elsewhere 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> I'm with you on the issue of sponsors.  If sponsors chose to drop Folau over his remarks then ok.  

So ok for sponsor to protect their business by dropping somebody but not for Australian Rugby to protect their business by dropping somebody.

Coel Hellier 25 Jun 2019
In reply to elsewhere:

> So ok for sponsor to protect their business by dropping somebody but not for Australian Rugby to protect their business by dropping somebody.

It's very different. A sponsor can select which sports star to put in an advert for all sorts of reasons, such as picking someone with good looks, a la David Beckham.  A national sports team should not do that, they should pick on ability. 

Anyhow, I see no actual evidence that Aussie Rugby would be harmed by making a statement as in my OP and continuing to select him.  Is there any such evidence? 

1
elsewhere 25 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> It's very different.

No. Players, teams and sponsors are all engaged in various aspects of buying/selling media rights without which professional sport would barely exist.

> A sponsor can select which sports star to put in an advert for all sorts of reasons, such as picking someone with good looks, a la David Beckham.  A national sports team should not do that, they should pick on ability. 

Your thinking.  Obviously not theirs. 

> Anyhow, I see no actual evidence that Aussie Rugby would be harmed by making a statement as in my OP and continuing to select him.  Is there any such evidence? 

Why would you expect evidence of discussions with players and sponsors?

Post edited at 23:17
r0x0r.wolfo 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Imagine if you were gay and one of your colleagues at work came up to you and told you to cease your homosexuality and apologise to their sky god. 

If that's not at least a written warning I'd be amazed. If the person had several strikes to their name it certainly could lead to dismissal.

Religion isn't a free pass to do whatever the hell you want. You can't go around killing infidels and you can't go around telling homosexuals that they'll burn in hell without consequences. One will see you shot on sight the other might get you sacked after several warnings from your employer.

Religious freedom ends when it starts impinging on the freedoms of others. Wear a little hat to work, fine. Tell everyone they're blasphemous as you serve them, you're not going to last long in any job. 

The really sad thing is that for male team sports homosexuality is extremely taboo. Now ontop of the usual homophobic locker talk, you also have to deal with religious tw*ts asking you to beg for forgiveness.

Coel Hellier 26 Jun 2019
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

> Imagine if you were gay and one of your colleagues at work came up to you and told you to cease your homosexuality and apologise to their sky god. 

That "at work" is the crucial part of sentence.  Is there any suggestion that Folau initiated such conversations in the dressing room, the training pitch, or otherwise at work?   If so, yes, he should have been told to desist. 

Again, however, a twitter feed is only seen by those choosing to follow it. 

4
TobyA 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Again, however, a twitter feed is only seen by those choosing to follow it. 

I'm sure you know that is not how twitter works, with algorithmic "trending" promotion, hashtags and so on, let alone taking into account how media sources quote tweets all the time.

His account was not private, so he was speaking as a public figure in the public square.

Again, you seem to miss what a position of privilege you are in as a (I presume) tenured academic where academics famously say what they want on any subject and don't expect any comeback - all well and good. But it's not like that in loads of other fields. I put pictures of (pretty much solely) nice views of hills, sunsets, climbers and bikes (sometimes climbers in the sunset, or bikes in the sunset!) on my instagram, but I was still asked by my employer to make the account private, I don't think that's unusual at all in teaching. I know other professions where people either don't have any social media, or have to make it quite anonymous out of personal security concerns. 

DubyaJamesDubya 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

And as a public figure that could be any fan of rugby?

Coel Hellier 26 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> ... but I was still asked by my employer to make the account private, I don't think that's unusual at all in teaching.

Isn't it, though, a fairly big problem for society if increasing swathes of people become unable to participate in societal conversations such as politics, Brexit, climate change, plastic in the oceans, etc?

I agree that in many professions employers do indeed try to control employee's personal social-media activity (probably they are being way over-cautious), which is why I'm suggesting updates to employment legislation to prevent this. 

We are in a new era of social media, where how society treats it has not been fully worked out.   Things like the ASDA case suggest that we need some society-wide rules.

A rule protecting employees would also help employers.  At the moment they tend to over-react in order to placate twitter mobs or even just potential twitter mobs.  If the law prevented them from doing so then that protects them from twitter mobs. 

the sheep 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Again, however, a twitter feed is only seen by those choosing to follow it. 

Not the case at all, I dont have a Twitter account and do not follow anything at all to do with Folau. Yet I am aware of his postings via reports on news and rugby sites.

Andy Hardy 26 Jun 2019
In reply to WB:

> a personal twitter feed seems rather pointless...


In this world of 'influencers' the personal brand for sportsmen and women has never been more lucrative. Which I think is where the boundary between 'personal' and 'prfessional' has become blurred. Rugby Australia want his followers, and pay him $x partly for access to those followers. If his personal views expressed via his personal twitter feed are in contradiction to those of RA he shouldn't have signed the contract / taken the money.

Coel Hellier 26 Jun 2019
In reply to the sheep:

> Yet I am aware of his postings via reports on news and rugby sites.

But that's only because people treat his views as things to freak out over.   We, as a society, seem to have got into a highly censorious state of mind about opinions that differ from the orthodoxy.  We should all just relax and accept that people have a diversity of opinion, and that diversity of opinion is one of the glories of society. 

If people just accepted that, rather than adopting a "Something Must Be Done" censoriousness, then you would not have heard about Folau's tweets, unless you had personally chosen to follow him. 

4
TobyA 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> But that's only because people treat his views as things to freak out over.  

Because he's a public figure saying something publicly. Presumably he thought he might save a soul or two by doing it, he wanted people to know what he believed. 

> We, as a society, seem to have got into a highly censorious state of mind about opinions that differ from the orthodoxy. 

Being aware of things happening elsewhere is not the same as more of those things happening elsewhere. Basically you're getting het up over stuff you read on twitter, whilst actually in western democracies people have more freedom of thought and freedom from physical harm than at any point in history.

DubyaJamesDubya 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> But that's only because people treat his views as things to freak out over. ..

Duh!

Coel Hellier 26 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> Because he's a public figure saying something publicly.

But the vast majority of what public figures say publicly does not get reported.  It's only when people think: "hey, we can freak out over this, maybe get someone sacked!" -- which seems to be the default mode of reacting nowadays. 

> ... whilst actually in western democracies people have more freedom of thought and freedom from physical harm than at any point in history.

"Physical harm" yes, though rather unrelated to this thread.  Freedom of thought? Well yes, in the grand scheme of things, but I do worry that we're starting to go a bit backwards over the last decade or so. 

Would something life Life of Brian get made today? Or would enough people freak out that everyone else would capitulate to them?  Or people just not go near it as too controversial to contemplate?  As for a hypothetical Life of Abdul, well ...

3
the sheep 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> But that's only because people treat his views as things to freak out over.  

I think it is quite right that his view point on the subject of gay people should be challenged

Harry Jarvis 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> But the vast majority of what public figures say publicly does not get reported.  It's only when people think: "hey, we can freak out over this, maybe get someone sacked!" -- which seems to be the default mode of reacting nowadays. 

Your firs sentence is not compatible with the second. If the vast majority of what public figures say publicly does not get reported, then that would appear to be the default. 

The only times when people 'freak out', to use your somewhat hyperbolic terminology, is when someone says something controversial and potentially offensive. And it would be strange if controversial views such as Folau's were not challenged. 

Post edited at 11:21
Coel Hellier 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> Your firs sentence is not compatible with the second. If the vast majority of what public figures say publicly does not get reported, then that would appear to be the default. 

That's the default way of not reacting, as oppose to the default way of reacting.  .

> The only times when people 'freak out', to use your somewhat hyperbolic terminology, ...

Not as hyperbolic as the idea that Folau's twitter feed matters sufficiently to make an issue of it! 

3
Stichtplate 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Not as hyperbolic as the idea that Folau's twitter feed matters sufficiently to make an issue of it!

Says the man who started a thread about it—Again. So we can go round and round over the same ground—Again.

I fully support Folau’s right to spout whatever nonsensical crap he likes (within the law). I also support Rugby Australia’s right to sack him (within the law).

Coel Hellier 26 Jun 2019
In reply to The Thread:

A topical JandMo cartoon! 

http://www.jesusandmo.net/comic/billy/

<titter>

(as opposed to twitter)

1
Timmd 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Not as hyperbolic as the idea that Folau's twitter feed matters sufficiently to make an issue of it! 

Given his position within Australian society (at the time of his tweet), it's about something more than one person's right to tweet whatever they like. For an intelligent seeming person, I'm genuinely surprised at your position.

How far is it from somebody who represents the country in sport tweeting that gay people should repent or go to hell, to the Birmingham school protests against children being taught that same sex relationships exist?

https://news.sky.com/story/angela-eagle-in-tears-as-she-tells-lgbt-protesters-we-are-not-getting-back-in-the-closet-11748929?fbclid=IwAR2RV-2ve2zjqdVv5MUTUBKj8NBpiu5jUJ8InZz-HTPC3OBe_1SlMeqB4Bo

You might want to read ponder this link. ( For the short of time, lesbian MP in tears over the school protests, and says 'we will not go back in the closet').

If you can't join the dots between his tweet as a role model or somebody who represents OZ, the Birmingham school protests, a lesbian MP being such affected and attacks on same sex couples, I'd be very surprised. 

Post edited at 13:31
Coel Hellier 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Timmd:

> How far is it from somebody who represents the country in sport tweeting that gay people should repent or go to hell, to the Birmingham school protests against children being taught that same sex relationships exist?

I don't think that one should try to win such debates by preventing the other side from speaking.  As I see it, religious people should be allowed to speak their mind on such topics.  But, yes, the school should stand firm and not give way to them.   And, as I've said before, too many politicians are being way too cowardly in not supporting the school. 

Timmd 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier: 

> I don't think that one should try to win such debates by preventing the other side from speaking.  As I see it, religious people should be allowed to speak their mind on such topics. 

But in the face of religious conviction (like Israel's tweet) , certain debates are unwinnable, meaning that when somebody representing the country is insinuating that to be gay or lesbian is sinful - bad, wrong, evil, unwholesome, unnatural, unholy, etc, what other recourse is there*?

* Towards allowing space within OZ society for sexual minorities....space away from/freedom from the people who represent them saying they're inherently wrong.

Post edited at 13:53
Coel Hellier 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Timmd:

> But in the face of religious conviction (like Israel's tweet) , certain debates are unwinnable, ...

Doesn't actually follow, since even religious people can change their mind.  (Indeed, in over recent decades in Western countries, large swathes of religious people have changed their minds about the acceptability of being gay; there are even quotes by CofE bishops claiming to have been the ones promoting civil rights for gays!)

> ... meaning that when somebody representing the country is insinuating that to be gay or lesbian is sinful - bad, wrong, evil, unwholesome, unnatural, unholy, etc, what other recourse is there*?

Why do you need a "recourse"? Why can't we just accept that some other people think differently?  We all need to get along in society, and part of that is surely tolerating diversity of opinion!   

>  * Towards allowing space within OZ society for sexual minorities....

You allow such space in the usual ways, a mixture of adovacy and equality rules.  But you don't then need to impose uniformity of opinion by sanctions! 

> ... space away from/freedom from the people who represent them saying they're inherently wrong.

People should not expect or demand the "freedom" to have everyone else agree with them and never offer the opinion that they are wrong!     

That other people might disagree with us, even on matters we regard as fundamental and important, is just one of those things we accept as being part of a tolerant and peaceful society. 

Accepting disagreement, and putting in place mechanisms to deal with it (such as elections and accepting the outcome of elections) is the way modern societies work.  

Do you really think, for example, that religious people should not be allowed to say that atheists are wrong and will miss out on heaven?   Or that atheists should not be allowed to say that religious people are wrong and that they'll be nothing other than worm food? 

Post edited at 16:41
1
Offwidth 26 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

There is no such thing in the UK as academic tenure (very unfortunate in my view and we are the only major developed state where that is the case for Profs) and even if there were tenure this would these days normally only apply to the role: the ability to spout deliberately offensive nonsense repeatedly in public on a subject away from ones expertise, as a clearly identifiable University academic employee, without risking some form of disciplinary action, would not be guarenteed; and saying anything illegal (like incitement to violence) would still likely lead to being sacked. As things are I've known of UK academics in cases worse than the man at Asda: as such our pal is not privileged, he is just lucky so far. Most academics live in the real world and accept that foolish public comment as a clearly identifiable employee can have unfortunate consequencies; just like most in professional sports know full well the business can be more important than winning.

I see this growing modern fashion of oddball academics (usually off their own specialist subject) pushing Libertarian freedom of speech ideas, as very much an ideological political attack on the sensible limits in the modern social liberal state, in the face of all the evidence of the benefits of these limits that currently exist in the UK and most of Europe (just compare us to the US). Such ideology aids and abets extremist popularist views: the links from Peterson through Bannon to Trump (and now Boris) is what we can expect to grow if we follow such ideology. I see it as more dangerous than that of the religious 'crazies' as their ideology is not about to take power in a western state.

3
Timmd 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Doesn't actually follow, since even religious people can change their mind.  (Indeed, in over recent decades in Western countries, large swathes of religious people have changed their minds about the acceptability of being gay; there are even quotes by CofE bishops claiming to have been the ones promoting civil rights for gays!)

> Why do you need a "recourse"? Why can't we just accept that some other people think differently?  We all need to get along in society, and part of that is surely tolerating diversity of opinion!   

> >  * Towards allowing space within OZ society for sexual minorities....

> You allow such space in the usual ways, a mixture of adovacy and equality rules.  But you don't then need to impose uniformity of opinion by sanctions! 

> People should not expect or demand the "freedom" to have everyone else agree with them and never offer the opinion that they are wrong!     

> That other people might disagree with us, even on matters we regard as fundamental and important, is just one of those things we accept as being part of a tolerant and peaceful society. 

> Accepting disagreement, and putting in place mechanisms to deal with it (such as elections and accepting the outcome of elections) is the way modern societies work.  

> Do you really think, for example, that religious people should not be allowed to say that atheists are wrong and will miss out on heaven?   Or that atheists should not be allowed to say that religious people are wrong and that they'll be nothing other than worm food? 

Right, so in your eyes, the freedom of people with a public role who represent the nation to tell lesbian and gay people that they're going to hell, trumps that of gay and lesbian minorities not to be told they're going to hell - not to be painted as lesser than straight people by public figures essentially, even if this helps to foster homophobic sentiment. At least I know where you seem to stand now.

Can you point out where you've been critical of the homophobic Muslim parents protesting in Birmingham by the way, link your post(s) to this thread? I just want to make sure that it isn't the case that the only time you 'haven't' been critical of Islam/Muslims on here, is when they've been homophobic.

Post edited at 17:55
Coel Hellier 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Timmd:

> ... trumps that of gay and lesbian minorities not to be told they're going to hell ...

Yes.  I don't think we have a right not to be told we're going to hell. I think freedom of expression allows religious people to say that if they so wish.     I think we get into big problems if we don't allow people to say such things. 

> At least I know where you seem to stand now.

After multiple statements of it on multiple threads!

> Can you point out where you've been critical of the homophobic Muslim parents protesting in Birmingham ...

I have indeed criticised them, and criticised politicians for not defending the school, on previous threads.  I'm not sure if the threads are still extant (Down the Pub threads get auto-deleted). 

3
Timmd 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Yes.  I don't think we have a right not to be told we're going to hell. I think freedom of expression allows religious people to say that if they so wish.     I think we get into big problems if we don't allow people to say such things. 

It's homophobia cloaked in religious sentiment, though, because the same verse condemning homosexuality also condemns the wearing of mixed fibres, but when have mixed fibres being worn ever been condemned in the same tweets - sentences - utterances and what have you? Not at all, nada, never in a month of Sundays.  I reckon we'll have to agree to disagree, when speech/tweets by a public figure risks fostering hatred against a minority group for something inherent in them which is entirely harmless, to me that's where the line needs to be drawn.

Edit: Or, if not a line drawn, 'a conversation' had within that society.

Post edited at 18:30
Graeme Alderson 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Timmd:

I wonder what Folau does when he sees that Nigel Owens is the ref. Presumably he stands by his beliefs and refuses to play.

Post edited at 18:35
1
Timmd 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

It could be fun if people kept asking if he was wearing mixed fibers, before raising his inconsistency next to his tweet. 

I think I only give people so much room to be unreasonable in, before I'll settle for bugging them.

Post edited at 18:50
Coel Hellier 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Timmd:

> It's homophobia cloaked in religious sentiment, though,

Yes, it quite likely is.  But still, religious people should be allowed to display their phobias (and we should be allowed to deride them in consequence).  We should not prescribe an approved ideological line and demand that everyone in the public eye must pay lip service to it.  That's how the Soviet Union, North Korea, etc, operate. 

> ... the same verse condemning homosexuality also condemns the wearing of mixed fibres, but when have mixed fibres being worn ever been condemns in the same tweets ...

Well never, religious people do indeed pick and choose.  You don't have to persuade me of the cluelessness of religious utterances. 

But, on a similar topic, it's interesting that Folau's notorious tweet actually condemned: "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters". 

Would he have got into any trouble at all if he'd stuck with 7 of those and omitted the gays?

2
Timmd 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

He'd have possibly just been laughed at if he'd omitted gay people?

Post edited at 18:51
Coel Hellier 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Timmd:

> He'd have possibly just been laughed at if he'd omitted gay people?

So why can't we just laugh at him when he includes gay people?

Coel Hellier 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> Such ideology aids and abets extremist popularist views: the links from Peterson through Bannon to Trump (and now Boris) is what we can expect to grow if we follow such ideology.

You're getting to be a loon Offwidth.   Defence of free speech is mainstream, and still supported by many on the (sensible, liberal) left (as opposed to the loony, authoritarian left).  Here, just for example, is Kenan Malik: https://twitter.com/kenanmalik/status/1143881768216518657  (I'd forgotten about the case that that piece is about). 

5
Timmd 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> So why can't we just laugh at him when he includes gay people?

Because of the more vulnerable position within society gay and lesbian people still have as a minority. 

Post edited at 19:29
Pefa 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Yes, it quite likely is.  But still, religious people should be allowed to display their phobias (and we should be allowed to deride them in consequence).  We should not prescribe an approved ideological line and demand that everyone in the public eye must pay lip service to it.  That's how the Soviet Union, North Korea, etc, operate. 

Yay! Yes some people need to be taught not to be racist, homophobic, etc and then punished when they persist. I mean why not let everyone go around verbally abusing each other all over the place as a model society. 

1
Coel Hellier 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Timmd:

> Because of the more vulnerable position within society gay and lesbian people still have as a minority. 

Of that list, thieves, atheists and idolaters would also be minorities, wouldn't they?  (Not sure about adulterers and fornicators.)

A more serious point is that, if we're worried about violent assaults on gay people, what can easily make people angry is not even being allowed to express their opinion.  Thus shutting down Folau could easily lead to anger, which might find an outlet.  In the other hand, if people are at least able to express their view and be heard, that often mollifies them, even if they don't prevail. 

Again, the demand that everyone must pay lip service to the same approved ideological line does not seem a good thing.

3
Coel Hellier 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> Yes some people need to be taught not to be racist, homophobic, etc and then punished when they persist. I mean why not let everyone go around verbally abusing each other all over the place as a model society. 

So your model society has thought police, informants and re-education gulags?

And you have entire "freedom" to toe the party line, with CCTV checking to see if you don't? 

4
Timmd 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Of that list, thieves, atheists and idolaters would also be minorities, wouldn't they?  (Not sure about adulterers and fornicators.)

I hardly think there's a comparable history of oppression, jailing, violent assault, killing and medical 'cures'. Edit: Continuing into modern times.

> A more serious point is that, if we're worried about violent assaults on gay people, what can easily make people angry is not even being allowed to express their opinion.  Thus shutting down Folau could easily lead to anger, which might find an outlet.  In the other hand, if people are at least able to express their view and be heard, that often mollifies them, even if they don't prevail. 

It 'can' do, or it can turn other people towards similar points of view.

> Again, the demand that everyone must pay lip service to the same approved ideological line does not seem a good thing.

Why is it ideological? The lack of immorality in being lesbian or gay would seem to be self evident, as much as apples falling from trees eventually hitting the ground. The ideology is that there's something wrong with it which is addressable by some kind of salvation, it seems to me.

Post edited at 19:58
2
Pefa 26 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> So your model society has thought police, informants and re-education gulags?

Oh yes,hundreds of years of racist slavery, class war against the workers and promotion of wars, imperialist barbarism, promoting and creating fascism and spreading religious extremism that enslaved women and divided people can't be changed overnight so re-education is naturally required. Sorry but what is thought police? 

> And you have entire "freedom" to toe the party line, with CCTV checking to see if you don't? 

You confuse me there as there was no CCTV in Soviet Union or socialist peace Camp. You are thinking of the British and American capitalist police state. 

1
pasbury 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Sounds like someone using the ‘free speech’ spiel to justify being a wanker.

Both of you.

Post edited at 00:21
3
Coel Hellier 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Timmd:

> Why is it ideological? The lack of immorality in being lesbian or gay would seem to be self evident, as much as apples falling from trees eventually hitting the ground.

Issues of moral values can never be "self-evident" in the way that factual issues are.  Morals are always rooted in human values, not in facts, and different people can have different values.  (This is why there is a range of political opinions and always will be.)

Now, on this issue, I agree, I don't see anything immoral about same-sex relations, so I would support gay marriage etc and think that Folau is flat-out wrong.  

But, I'm also deeply wary of attempts to impose particular values society-wide by disallowing anyone from dissenting or expressing their alternative values.

the sheep 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> I wonder what Folau does when he sees that Nigel Owens is the ref. Presumably he stands by his beliefs and refuses to play.

Shame Nigel will never ref him at international level. Would love to see him pull a rainbow card from his pocket and send Folau from the pitch for being a tw*t!

Coel Hellier 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> I wonder what Folau does when he sees that Nigel Owens is the ref. Presumably he stands by his beliefs and refuses to play.

Why on earth would standing by his beliefs necessitate refusing to play?

Has he ever said that gay people should not be on a rugby pitch, or that straight people should not take to a rugby pitch alongside gay people??

Pan Ron 27 Jun 2019
In reply to pasbury:

> Sounds like someone using the ‘free speech’ spiel to justify being a wanker.

> Both of you.

Charming.

People happen to believe there might be a bigger issue at stake, one that impacts not just gays but everyone (freedom of speech, separation of the public and private, employment protections), that there is at least a debate to be had.

And making that case makes them a wanker? 

Consider yourself to uphold liberal values eh?

3
Coel Hellier 27 Jun 2019
In reply to the thread:

From @NatSecSoc: "We're in touch with Brian Leach, who was sacked by Asda for sharing a comic sketch mocking religion. He's currently appealing against his dismissal internally and we're exploring whether legal options may be available to him."

Timmd 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Issues of moral values can never be "self-evident" in the way that factual issues are.  Morals are always rooted in human values, not in facts, and different people can have different values.  (This is why there is a range of political opinions and always will be.)

Yes, I know all that,  the general yard stick for humans seeing things as immoral, however, tends to be when they cause harm to  eitherthemselves or other humans, and no harm is caused within consenting same sex relationships, as much is clearly self evident, I would contend, unless one goes off into realms of religion. 

> Now, on this issue, I agree, I don't see anything immoral about same-sex relations, so I would support gay marriage etc and think that Folau is flat-out wrong.  

> But, I'm also deeply wary of attempts to impose particular values society-wide by disallowing anyone from dissenting or expressing their alternative values.

It's not about values, though, it's about what unarguably happens to be reality - that being gay or lesbian is equally as harmful as being straight is, which is why we have reached this point of acceptance for same sex love and relationships, though not in everybody unfortunately, which is why sexual minorities can need some measures of protection still, which in this case Israel being told to do one after his tweet.

Post edited at 11:53
La benya 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> > It's homophobia cloaked in religious sentiment, though,

> Yes, it quite likely is.  But still, religious people should be allowed to display their phobias (and we should be allowed to deride them in consequence).

The consequence was he was fired  he was allowed to say his piece (the post is still up in fact) and he was handed the consequence of being a bell end.

why is that so hard to understand?

Pefa 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Issues of moral values can never be "self-evident" in the way that factual issues are.  Morals are always rooted in human values, not in facts, and different people can have different values.  (This is why there is a range of political opinions and always will be.)

Not so. Moral values are facts as are human values and as such are self evident. 

> Now, on this issue, I agree, I don't see anything immoral about same-sex relations, so I would support gay marriage etc and think that Folau is flat-out wrong.  

> But, I'm also deeply wary of attempts to impose particular values society-wide by disallowing anyone from dissenting or expressing their alternative values.

If they are morally wrong and can perpetuate wrong views that have contributed to untold suffering for hundreds or thousands of years then why allow it? Just so some backward very ignorant person has the right to continue to spread hate that has and continues to causes so much suffering? That's insane. 

Postmanpat 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Timmd:

> Yes, I know all that,  but something entirely harmless isn't going to be thought of as immoral in any sense, unless one is peculiar. 


  That is factually wrong. It's been thought immoral in the sense of, well, being immoral by millions of people for many centuries in many different places. Within their societies, in their time, it was considered the opposite of peculiar to hold this view.

  For the sake of clarity, I agree  with you that it is not wrong or immoral. In the context of world history I would suspect that this might make us peculiar.

Post edited at 11:46
Timmd 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

See my edit.

Coel Hellier 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Timmd:

> the general yard stick for humans seeing things as immoral, however, tends to be when they cause harm ...

Well I would agree with you ...

> ...  and no harm is caused within consenting same sex relationships,  ...

And again, I would agree ...

> ... unless one goes off into realms of religion. 

Well exactly.  Religious people don't necessarily see it your way. They conceive of morality being more about doing what their god tells them.  Now, I do not agree with that, but surely we can't just disallow religious people equal standing in society and disallow them from promoting their views?

Nearly all tyranny starts from the moral certainty that one's own moral views are the right ones, and sufficiently obviously right that one has, not only the right, but the duty to impose them on society at large.   Thence tyranny. 

> It's not about values, though, it's about what unarguably happens to be reality

OK, so religion is "unarguably" wrong and we're right to adopt moral values based on that "unarguable" fact, and thence impose them on society? 

What happened to tolerating others, including religious people?

> ... which is why sexual minorities can need some measures of protection still, ...

Nobody needs "protecting" merely from encountering views that differ from theirs!     Nobody needs "protecting" from hearing about religious views, however batty and however immoral we might regard them.   

Again, what happened to tolerance and a diversity of opinion?  Why has that been replaced by a requirement to agree with and pay lip-service to the majority opinion? 

2
Coel Hellier 27 Jun 2019
In reply to La benya:

> The consequence was he was fired  he was allowed to say his piece (the post is still up in fact) and he was handed the consequence of being a bell end.

> why is that so hard to understand?

I am arguing about, not whether that *was* the consequence, but whether, in a free society, it should have been the consequence.

Why is that so hard to understand?

1
Coel Hellier 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> Moral values are facts as are human values and as such are self evident. 

Virtually no-one who has thought about morality agrees with that.   More or less no moral philosophers would agree.

> If they are morally wrong and can perpetuate wrong views that have contributed to untold suffering for hundreds or thousands of years then why allow it?

See my previous post about tyranny.  Nearly all tyrants (starting with Stalin, Hitler etc) reason like you just did, that they themselves are moral, that others are immoral, and that they're wrong to just accept this, and that they have a moral duty to impose the "right" views.

Since there are no "moral facts", no one is "morally right" in any absolute sense, we are merely proceeding on our own values, and other people's values can be different, and we should have enough humility to realise that our way of thinking might not be the best one.

1
Timmd 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Well I would agree with you ...

> And again, I would agree ...

> Well exactly.  Religious people don't necessarily see it your way. They conceive of morality being more about doing what their god tells them.  Now, I do not agree with that, but surely we can't just disallow religious people equal standing in society and disallow them from promoting their views?

> Nearly all tyranny starts from the moral certainty that one's own moral views are the right ones, and sufficiently obviously right that one has, not only the right, but the duty to impose them on society at large.   Thence tyranny. 

> Alright, so explain to me how there is room for subjectivity in being gay or lesbian being immoral, where there is any 

> OK, so religion is "unarguably" wrong and we're right to adopt moral values based on that "unarguable" fact, and thence impose them on society? 

> What happened to tolerating others, including religious people?

> Nobody needs "protecting" merely from encountering views that differ from theirs!     Nobody needs "protecting" from hearing about religious views, however batty and however immoral we might regard them.   

> Again, what happened to tolerance and a diversity of opinion?  Why has that been replaced by a requirement to agree with and pay lip-service to the majority opinion? 

Look, it's not about values or moral judgement, it's about facts. If you'd allow space in society for this, why not space for black people to be called less than human, too? How about you engage a gay person in conversation and see how receptive they are about the idea of them not being immoral is a 'value judgement' as opposed to a fact?  See what kind of reception you get.

A fact is a fact is a fact is a fact, gay people are not immoral, and they're a minority which still needs an element of protection.  You can frame a counter argument however you want, but it doesn't change the 'fact' that it's not immoral to be gay or lesbian. 

How would you know what the experience of being gay can be like, in talking about nobody needing protecting? Do you know what it's like to have somebody sneer as you walk past, to be called a fucking queer, and to have people become different after finding out about that aspect of you? You should try finding out more before pontificating on the internet. There's the examples up thread of a '12 year old' being found to have been using a knife against a gay couple in Liverpool....and you say nobody needs protecting?

You're being rather obtuse about this.  I'm out of this thread...

Post edited at 14:34
La benya 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

It’s hard to understand because you’re conflating freedom of speech issues with consequences of being a douchebag. 

He was and is free to say whatever he wants. The rest of the world including his employer are free to not have to listen to it. 

Pefa 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Virtually no-one who has thought about morality agrees with that.   More or less no moral philosophers would agree.

Kant, Buddha, jesu.... Nah BS. 

> See my previous post about tyranny.  Nearly all tyrants (starting with Stalin, Hitler etc) reason like you just did, that they themselves are moral, that others are immoral, and that they're wrong to just accept this, and that they have a moral duty to impose the "right" views.

Wow wow wow! 

Did your history lessons begin from 1928? You do know that there was such a thing as history and "tyrants" long before 1928 do you? Because it doesn't appear that you do, I mean you for some ridiculously weird reason don't include Churchill or Chamberlain in your list of tyrants, very strange behaviour indeed. 

> Since there are no "moral facts", no one is "morally right" in any absolute sense, we are merely proceeding on our own values, and other people's values can be different, and we should have enough humility to realise that our way of thinking might not be the best one.

Again another wow wow there, you mean because you say "since", does not mean it is so, sorry to break the bad news there. 

Post edited at 14:47
1
Coel Hellier 27 Jun 2019
In reply to La benya:

>  It’s hard to understand because you’re conflating freedom of speech issues with consequences of being a douchebag. 

By that reasoning one can shut down any "free speech" simply by saying: "by saying that are being a douchebag".  If you're not keen on free speech, why not just say so?

> He was and is free to say whatever he wants. The rest of the world including his employer are free to not have to listen to it. 

.... by not following his twitter feed.

5
TobyA 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Virtually no-one who has thought about morality agrees with that.   More or less no moral philosophers would agree.

Which bit of what she said are you disagreeing with?

From a meta-ethics perspective utilitarianism and Aristotlean virtue ethics are both moral realist positions, i.e. moral facts exist as mind independent 'things'. 

Coel Hellier 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Timmd:

> A fact is a fact is a fact is a fact, gay people are not immoral, ...

Well no, there are no "facts" about what is or is not immoral.  Moral judgements are value judgements that people make based on their own value system, and people have different value systems. 

> You're being rather obtuse about this.

You should try reading some moral philosophy.  The stance that I'm taking on morals is a mainstream and accepted one.  It's not just me, and I'm not just being obtuse. 

Life would indeed be easy if: (1) there were objective facts about what is or is not immoral, and (2) we had a reliable method of discerning these facts.  But there isn't, no moral philosopher has ever made that idea work.

What happens is that people try to promote their own ideas about what is moral by declaring them to be unarguable facts, and thence they get intolerant and thinking that they are right to impose them on others. 

4
Coel Hellier 27 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> From a meta-ethics perspective utilitarianism and Aristotlean virtue ethics are both moral realist positions, i.e. moral facts exist as mind independent 'things'. 

But of course they don't work.  No-one has been able to make a utilitarianism meta-ethical system actually work.   The reason is that it requires a utility metric, and the only way one can get one of those is from human value systems, no-one has ever managed to derive one from facts or reason.     (If you managed that you'd instantly be a famous philosopher, lots have tried.)

1
Offwidth 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Oh goody... I get to play 'One up-Malikship' as well as pointing out your sometimes  highly selective choice on word definitions... in the link below being very clear he thinks Bannon's views are odious. He also said plenty of rude things about Peterson (a man who claims freedom of speech but really struggles with many of it's modern forms)

https://kenanmalik.com/2018/09/10/why-debate-bannon/

Modern European liberals mostly defend freedom of speech with certain bounds.. I wouldn't call you a loon for your views on this but you are fairly extreme (more so than Malik the Marxist, who regularly defends the right to offend but doesn't feel the need to exercise that offence to prove the point, that you seem to). 

Coel Hellier 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> I get to play 'One up-Malikship' ... in the link below being very clear he thinks Bannon's views are odious. He also said plenty of rude things about Peterson

So what? He may well be right on those things.  Your point?

> Modern European liberals mostly defend freedom of speech with certain bounds.. I wouldn't call you a loon for your views on this but you are fairly extreme ....

I don't agree that my view is extreme, certainly by long-standing liberal and historical standards. 

Edit to add: My view is that something like Life of Brian is an entirely acceptable form of commentary on religion, and that no-one should lose their job or be sanctioned for something of that ilk, and that similar applies to all other religions.   That is hardly an "extreme" position. 

Post edited at 15:17
1
Pefa 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

>.... No-one has been able to make a utilitarianism meta-ethical system actually work.  

Due to conflicting old empires embracing these basic moral codes and turning them into immoral codes and warring against each other which has nothing to do with intrinsic morality followed by one empire and everything to do with being the most brutal. 

La benya 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

But no one shutting him down. That’s what you’re not getting. 

Hes got the choice of saying what he wants, which is his right, but having to live with the consequences and not doing that.

it can’t be simpler and countless people have said much the same to you but you’re not listening. You’ve got it in your head that you have the mora high ground and you’re right (which is fair, why would you argue if you didn’t) but you’re causing the discussion to go round in circles because you’re position is flawed and you can’t see. 

Offwidth 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Of course you don't agree as you seem blind to others' views (making your liberalism pretty questionable).  My earlier post was in essense a complaint about libertarianism dressed up as liberalism (and the direct links of Bannon to Trump and Boris), being dangerous to modern social liberal states, for which you acused me of being a loon. That seems pretty extreme to me and follows on from past extreme positions on Islam etc.

Post edited at 15:20
Coel Hellier 27 Jun 2019
In reply to La benya:

> But no one shutting him down. That’s what you’re not getting. 

FFS, they're restricting his employment in the only thing he is good at!   That sort of sanction amounts to "shutting down" free speech.

> it can’t be simpler and countless people have said much the same to you but you’re not listening.

No, you're not listening to the reply.  Which is that "free speech" means the right to speak without that sort of sanction. 

5
Coel Hellier 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> ... for which you acused me of being a loon.

Well trying to present defence of free speech as being far-right is pretty silly.  Traditionally it has been the centre-left who have been keenest on free speech, and the right who have been less keen (since such speech was used to criticise the establishment and call for reform).   If some right-wing voices also support free speech now then great.    That does not make defending free speech an "extreme" position, as you are trying to maintain. 

La benya 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

So his right to free speech trumps the companies right to protect his reputation and extending that their right to feee speech (wanting to only present messages that align with their values)? That’s ridiculous. 

Its also not a sanction. It’s a function of his contract which he freely signed up to. I am listening but I, and others, have said the same thing over and over again in response. A response which is wifey accepted, apparently not by you though. You are free to say what you want without being censured by the state but you are not free from consequences derived from (in this instance) a contract.

I've tried. Many times now. You’re boring and this will be my last. 

1
Coel Hellier 27 Jun 2019
In reply to La benya:

> So his right to free speech trumps the companies right to protect his reputation and extending that their right to feee speech (wanting to only present messages that align with their values)?

Yep. And that's because we distinguish between messages put out by the company and messages put out in a personal capacity by someone who happens to be an employee.  we should not hold a company responsible for the latter.

> Its also not a sanction. It’s a function of his contract which he freely signed up to.

And for the 36th time, I am discussing what **should** be allowable in a free society, and am suggesting that such employment clauses should not be allowed, and that we should have a right to personal speech on social media that is not the employer's responsibility. 

> I've tried. Many times now. You’re boring and this will be my last. 

OK, no problem.  I have given the above replies many times, if you'd cared to read them, rather than re-hashing for the umpteenth time. 

3
elsewhere 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> And for the 36th time, I am discussing what **should** be allowable in a free society, and am suggesting that such employment clauses should not be allowed, and that we should have a right to personal speech on social media that is not the employer's responsibility. 

Denying economic freedom to those who wish to sign a sponsorship contract that is made more lucrative by inclusion of enforceable reputational damage clauses.

Post edited at 15:54
Coel Hellier 27 Jun 2019
In reply to elsewhere:

> Denying economic freedom to those who wish to sign a contract that is made more lucrative by inclusion of enforceable reputational damage clauses.

Lots of employment law restricts the freedom of action of employers, and restricts what sorts of contracts are enforceable in law.  That's nothing new.

Would you, for example, support the right of a worker/employer to agree a contract for half the minimum wage? 

And, by the way, I've still not seen anyone even attempt evidence that Aussie Rugby would suffer "reputational damage" if they simply tolerated Folau's personal tweets.

2
Offwidth 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Two separate issues, hence the paragraph split. The first point is the alt-right utilise freedom of speech to spread lies and hate. On the second point, as Malik says, everyone defends free speech, the question is how big is the 'but' that follows. In most western Europe the but is a pretty big thing for most liberals but not for you (nor Malik to be fair but unlike you he is no ideological thug causing offence for the joy of it).

A liberal is someone willing to respect or accept behaviour or opinions different from their own and is open to new ideas. You (like Peterson), seem locked in and illiberal to me, despite grand claims.

Post edited at 16:13
2
elsewhere 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Lots of employment law restricts the freedom of action of employers, and restricts what sorts of contracts are enforceable in law.  That's nothing new.

> Would you, for example, support the right of a worker/employer to agree a contract for half the minimum wage? 

No, but contracts that say you must deliver what you are paid for can be reasonable. In the case of a professional athlete they are paid to build the reputation and brand value (or sales) for the sponsor. 

Reputation & brand value - it's nebulous stuff but it's what the sponsor is paying for. On the other side of the coin, reputation and brand value is the nebulous product the player & governing body/team are selling to a sponsor.

> And, by the way, I've still not seen anyone even attempt evidence that Aussie Rugby would suffer "reputational damage" if they simply tolerated Folau's personal tweets.

Why would you expect sponsors or governing bodies to provide evidence of nebulousness such as reputational damage & brand value?

Post edited at 16:29
Stichtplate 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> And, by the way, I've still not seen anyone even attempt evidence that Aussie Rugby would suffer "reputational damage" if they simply tolerated Folau's personal tweets.

Their reputation would suffer with me and, I’d imagine, lots of others who’ve commented on this thread. That’s evidence.

Where’s your evidence gays wouldn’t suffer reputational damage / physical assault as a result of Rugby Australia offering Folau’s tweet no censure and thus helping to normalise the opinion that gays deserve what they get ‘cos even God wants them to burn in Hell’?

Mike Highbury 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> And for the 36th time, I am discussing what **should** be allowable in a free society, and am suggesting that such employment clauses should not be allowed, and that we should have a right to personal speech on social media that is not the employer's responsibility. 

F*ck, shit, I agree with Coel. 

How do I cleanse myself?

2
Coel Hellier 27 Jun 2019
In reply to elsewhere:

> In the case of a professional athlete they are paid to build the reputation and brand value (or sales) for the sponsor. 

I've already said that sponsors are different from the national team.   A sponsor can choose who to sponsor based on all sorts of things, such as good looks etc.  I would have no problem with a sponsor choosing not to pick Folau over this.  A national team, however, should pick players based on sporting ability and picking the best team. 

Coel Hellier 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Their reputation would suffer with me and, I’d imagine, lots of others who’ve commented on this thread.

Really? So Aussie Rugby's reputation would suffer with you if they simply said (as in my OP):

"Folau does not speak for us and we do not share his opinions; but in a free society we accept his right to his opinions."

Fine, you're entitled to that, but I suspect you're in a minority and that most people would shrug and think fair enough.  Many would laud them for it. 

1
Coel Hellier 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> On the second point, as Malik says, everyone defends free speech, the question is how big is the 'but' that follows. In most western Europe the but is a pretty big thing for most liberals but not for you ...

Well let's consider the last time Parliament passed a law on such matters, about ten years ago now.   They explicitly included a "protection of freedom of expression" clause that reads:

"Nothing in this Part shall be read or given effect in a way which prohibits or restricts discussion, criticism or expressions of antipathy, dislike, ridicule, insult or abuse of particular religions or the beliefs or practices of their adherents, or of any other belief system or the beliefs or practices of its adherents, or proselytising or urging adherents of a different religion or belief system to cease practising their religion or belief system."

Which means that Parliament clearly regarded it as acceptable to: "dislike, ridicule, insult or abuse" any religion "or the beliefs or practices of" that religion. 

And that pretty much covers anything I've ever said.  So my position is the one in line with Parliament's intent, and thus it's not sensible to label it "extreme" -- unless, that is, one has been well trained by Islamists to do their bidding and try to implement a de facto blasphemy law.

> A liberal is someone willing to respect or accept behaviour or opinions different from their own and is open to new ideas. You (like Peterson), seem locked in and illiberal to me, despite grand claims.

Nice attempt to implement a blasphemy law there Offwidth, using the tactic of vocally deploring anyone out of line, but it won't work with me. 

1
Stichtplate 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Really? So Aussie Rugby's reputation would suffer with you if they simply said (as in my OP):

> "Folau does not speak for us and we do not share his opinions; but in a free society we accept his right to his opinions."

> Fine, you're entitled to that, but I suspect you're in a minority and that most people would shrug and think fair enough.  Many would laud them for it. 

How about the second half of my post, since you're the one who started asking for evidence...

Where’s your evidence gays wouldn’t suffer reputational damage / physical assault as a result of Rugby Australia offering Folau’s tweet no censure and thus helping to normalise the opinion that gays deserve what they get "cos even God wants them to burn in Hell’?

No comment, no evidence or just couldn't give a stuff?

Post edited at 17:44
elsewhere 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> I've already said that sponsors are different from the national team.   A sponsor can choose who to sponsor based on all sorts of things, such as good looks etc.  I would have no problem with a sponsor choosing not to pick Folau over this.  A national team, however, should pick players based on sporting ability and picking the best team. 

You write as if the national team has no commercial interests in PR, reputation & branding.

The national team has commercial interests.

This is reflected in the commercial contracts they sign with players.  

Post edited at 17:59
Coel Hellier 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Where’s your evidence gays wouldn’t suffer reputational damage / physical assault as a result of Rugby Australia offering Folau’s tweet no censure and thus helping to normalise the opinion that gays deserve what they get "cos even God wants them to burn in Hell’?

First, that's not what Folau said, and the opinion he did express is already "normal" in the sense that around a billion or more religious believers believe it. 

Second, Aussie Rugby putting out the statement I suggest would not "help to normalise" any such opinion. 

Third, as for "reputational damage" to gays, well, sorry, in a free society we have to accept people expressing their opinions on such matters.  That's religious freedom.

Fourth, Folau has not in any way called for violence towards or discrimination against gays.   It shouldn't be acceptable to sack someone just on a hunch that perhaps their statements might lead to violence.

Fifth, where's your evidence that gays won't suffer physical assault as a result of your comments on this thread?  

4
Coel Hellier 27 Jun 2019
In reply to the thread:

There's an interesting article on this here, including the statement:

"Castle put in a process that ensured that Folau would be sacked for his social media tweets, even though there was nothing in his contract relating to his use of social media." 

And in addition, suggestions of hypocrisy from the main sponsor, Quantas, who pressured Aussie Rugby into sacking Folau, and yet Quantas code-shares with Etihad, when:

"Gulf carriers like Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways are consistently hostile towards the lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender community. The LGBT community is barred from employment of any kind at these three companies."

https://www.theroar.com.au/2019/05/20/israel-folau-has-been-unfairly-hounded-out-of-australian-rugby/

1
Stichtplate 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> First, that's not what Folau said, and the opinion he did express is already "normal" in the sense that around a billion or more religious believers believe it. 

Firstly, he said they were destined for Hell. I’m assuming he wasn’t thinking they’d be popping down below for a spa day.

Secondly, who’s this billion? The Catholic and Anglican churches no longer ascribe to homosexuals being Hell bound. Westboro Baptist Church share Folau’s beliefs but I think their current congregation stands at about 39.

> Second, Aussie Rugby putting out the statement I suggest would not "help to normalise" any such opinion. 

Perhaps you should suggest it to them rather than me. I’m quite happy with them sacking him.

> Third, as for "reputational damage" to gays, well, sorry, in a free society we have to accept people expressing their opinions on such matters.  That's religious freedom.

Hmm...I’m quite happy with people having freedom of expression (as Folau undoubtedly has). I’m also quite happy with Rugby Australia having the freedom to sack him. By my count that makes me twice as supportive of freedom than you are.

> Fourth, Folau has not in any way called for violence towards or discrimination against gays.   It shouldn't be acceptable to sack someone just on a hunch that perhaps their statements might lead to violence.

come on Coel, look at history hundreds of thousands have been tortured into conversation to Christianity and often executed to stop them from backsliding. The justification? Why it was a kindness when compared to the eternal torments of Hell.

> Fifth, where's your evidence that gays won't suffer physical assault as a result of your comments on this thread?  

I’ve already provided one lot of evidence. You don’t get anymore until you pony up with some.

peppermill 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I just don't get it.

If I were to start spouting pish like that (which nobody would stop me doing btw) on social media, religious connections or not, every professional registration I have and am trying to get would be in jeopardy, if not up in smoke! Why on earth would the powers that be in Aussie rugby want anything to do with him?

Coel Hellier 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Firstly, he said they were destined for Hell.

Which is not "gays deserve what they get" and not saying they should be violently assaulted. 

> Secondly, who’s this billion?

Many Muslims and large swathes of Christians in Africa and other non-Western places.

3
Stichtplate 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Which is not "gays deserve what they get" and not saying they should be violently assaulted. 

Apologies. You’re right. On further consideration I’d much rather be violently assaulted than burn forever in the fiery pits of Hell. That Folau blokes really not very nice. If only Rugby Australia could sack him twice or something.

> Many Muslims and large swathes of Christians in Africa and other non-Western places.

Ahh...so Folau is speaking on behalf of the Muslims now? Whom he also presumably believes are going to burn forever in the fiery pits of Hell. 

Coel Hellier 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> On further consideration I’d much rather be violently assaulted than burn forever in the fiery pits of Hell. That Folau blokes really not very nice.

Well, he doesn't *want* them to burn in hell -- that is indeed why he's so keen to warn them ("don't shoot the messenger!").     He's just misguided and wrong. 

3
Stichtplate 27 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Well, he doesn't *want* them to burn in hell -- that is indeed why he's so keen to warn them 

It’s cos he doesn’t want them to burn in Hell?

Then why on Earth has he chosen just one obscure  Old Testament injunction to warn them about? After all he’s not bothered about shaving his beard, shaving the sides of his head, wearing mixed fabrics, eating shellfish, having a huge tattoo across his chest and working on Sundays...No, he’s fine with ignoring all those bits in the bible. But two blokes having a snog? He’s all over social media telling them they’re going to Hell. 

I’d suggest he’s keen on getting that message in particular across because he’s a massive homophobe and as such the clear thinking people at RA are glad to be shut of him.

Pan Ron 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Then why on Earth has he chosen just one obscure  Old Testament injunction to warn them about?

He's not being any more selective than those choosing to be outraged by his comments, given he has cited the bible to damn all manner of people but only when gays are included does anyone seem to get worked up by it.

5
Coel Hellier 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> No, he’s fine with ignoring all those bits in the bible.

He takes note of much more of the Bible than most Christians;  few others, these days, would bother about "idolators" being bound for hell. 

1
Stichtplate 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> He's not being any more selective than those choosing to be outraged by his comments, given he has cited the bible to damn all manner of people but only when gays are included does anyone seem to get worked up by it.

People tend to get less worked up over being damned for matters of choice than being damned for innate characteristics. 

Its the difference between being mocked for being black and being mocked for having a mahogany spray tan.

Stichtplate 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> He takes note of much more of the Bible than most Christians;  few others, these days, would bother about "idolators" being bound for hell. 

You’re certainly going a long way in his defence. My list of biblical injunctions wasn’t meant to be exhaustive, just long enough to show how much of the bible Folau is quite happy to ignore to suit his own lifestyle choices. He’s not some Puritan, just another muppet hiding behind the bible in order to flaunt his prejudices. A winning strategy that leads the myopic to defend a bigot masquerading as a Christian.

Coel Hellier 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> ... A winning strategy that leads the myopic to defend a bigot masquerading as a Christian.

So you think he's merely "masquerading" as a Christian?   That's not the sense I get of him** ( https://twitter.com/IzzyFolau ), but you're entitled to your assessment. 

Edit: See also:  http://www.starobserver.com.au/news/national-news/israel-folau-defends-bible-comments/168049

And: https://www.playersvoice.com.au/israel-folau-im-a-sinner-too/#6wBBYLkRAOVAIVWU.97

.. and indeed the article I linked to above.

Post edited at 09:14
1
Stichtplate 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> So you think he's merely "masquerading" as a Christian?   That's not the sense I get of him ( https://twitter.com/IzzyFolau ), but you're entitled to your assessment. 

Since you’re so happy to investigate both his character and his motivations, why do you think he’s so determined to indulge himself in so many activities banned in the bible but go well out of his way to damn gay people? This is especially puzzling to me since neither the Catholic nor Anglican churches (the two most prominent Christian churches) damn homosexuals to Hell.

...and please, no more canards about persistent antediluvian attitudes elsewhere. Folau lives in First world Australia, not Third world Africa and I very much doubt he’s following your earlier, bizarre assertion, and speaking for the Muslims!

Edit: OK, had a look at your links. On twitter he's begging for money, the next two he's spouting about standing up for the teachings of Christ (Christ's teachings on homosexuality perhaps only exist in Folau's copy of the bible?), some guff about not judging others (telling people they're going to Hell seems a little judgmental, no?) and some bollocks about loving thy neighbour. The third link is lovely with a nice photo of Folau showing off his huge chest tattoo...Leviticus 19:28 "nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord.” Taken together none of your links explain why Folau has chosen to take a few things in the Bible to heart but ignore far more.

Post edited at 09:38
Coel Hellier 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> ... why do you think he’s so determined to indulge himself in so many activities banned in the bible but go well out of his way to damn gay people?

I'm not going to make any claims about such views being self-consistent and sensible -- as I see it every religion is non-sensical and rarely self-consistent.    But note that it is *you* singling out the issue of gay people here, not Folau (again, his tweet included it as one of 8 "sins").

> This is especially puzzling to me since neither the Catholic nor Anglican churches (the two most prominent Christian churches) damn homosexuals to Hell.

Sheesh, but sorry, you could brush up on your acquaintance with Christianity as it is across the world.

First, Catholicism teaching regards gay *acts* as sinful (though not the orientation per se, it requires gay people to be celibate).

Second, Anglicanism (while notable in the UK, and there's a clue in the name) is not that big worldwide.  

Third, Anglicanism has nearly split in two owing to the Western parts accepting gay lifestyles, while the African parts (now the more numerous in numbers) flatly reject that acceptance. 

Fourth, Folau comes from the Pacific Islands, where the version of Christianity is, let's say, somewhat more "traditional" than in a UK wishy-washy CofE church. 

Fifth, that "more traditional" Christianity is actually the dominant Christianity worldwide nowadays, judged by something like church attendance, given that hardly anyone goes to church any more in many European and other "Western" countries. 

So, overall, no, it's wrong to say that Christianity nowadays regards gay sex as acceptable. I'm willing to bet that a poll of Christians worldwide would have a majority agreeing with Folau.  (And note that Folau's tweet, with mentions of fornication and adultery, was clearly referencing the act, not the orientation.)

> no more canards about persistent antediluvian attitudes elsewhere. Folau lives in First world Australia, not Third world Africa

And was brought up in the Pacific Islands. 

> ... I very much doubt he’s following your earlier, bizarre assertion, and speaking for the Muslims!

Sigh, I didn't say he was "speaking for" Muslims, did I?  I said that many would share his opinion on this. 

[E.g. On a poll of **British** Muslims: "when asked to what extent they agreed or disagreed that homosexuality should be legal in Britain, 18% said they agreed and 52% said they disagreed, compared with 5% among the public at large who disagreed. Almost half (47%) said they did not agree that it was acceptable for a gay person to become a teacher, compared with 14% of the general population."   And the fractions would be higher for Muslims worldwide. ]

1
Coel Hellier 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

>  he's spouting about standing up for the teachings of Christ (Christ's teachings on homosexuality perhaps only exist in Folau's copy of the bible?),  [...]  Taken together none of your links explain why Folau has chosen to take a few things in the Bible to heart but ignore far more.

Yes, actually they do, but to see that one has to know a bit about Christianity.   

It is entirely normal in Christianity to distinguish between the Old Testament (pre-Jesus) and the New Testament (post-Jesus).  The stuff you quote from Leviticus is OT, and it's common to disregard the OT.  The whole point of being a Christian (as opposed to a Jews) is that Jesus updated and improved the "revelation".  This distinction is standard theology.

As for your sarcastic: "Christ's teachings on homosexuality perhaps only exist in Folau's copy of the bible?", well the Letters of Paul (New Testament) are considered to be inspired by Jesus and to be authoritative about post-Jesus teachings.

And the bit Folau explicitly points to is in 1 Corithinians (a letter by Paul in the NT):

"Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." (King James translation)

That passage is the basis of Folau's tweet, and it is actually consistent with mainstream theology for a Christian to regard that as authoritative while disregarding the OT. 

1
Postmanpat 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

 I am the Lord.” Taken together none of your links explain why Folau has chosen to take a few things in the Bible to heart but ignore far more.

>

   Maybe you should put all this in some context:

1) His original tweet wasn't particularly aimed at homosexuality. It was also aimed at "drunks, fornicators, liars, adulterers, thieves, atheists, and idolaters" i.e it was just a cut a paste list of types considered sinners by many forms of Christianity.

2) Folau is of Tongan extraction (homosexuality is illegal in Tonga), was brought up a mormon (which until recently regarded homosexuality as an "apostacy" and still demands chastity of homosexuals), and has for some time been member of the pentocostal church which worldwide regards homosexuality as a sin.

  The point of all this is not to say that he is correct in his views.

It is that that we are all products of our upbringing. He has been steeped in these beliefs from the day he was born. To call him out personally on the inconsistency of his Church's interpretation of the Bible is ridiculous.  One can call out virtually any Church, synogogue or mosque on their selective interpretation of their religious texts. (No doubt Coel would!)

  Essentially what is happening is a clash between the liberal values of "modern" Australia and religious values of evangelical Christianity (in this case Tongan Christianity). Folau is caught in the crossfire.

2
Stichtplate 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> I'm not going to make any claims about such views being self-consistent and sensible -- as I see it every religion is non-sensical and rarely self-consistent.    But note that it is *you* singling out the issue of gay people here, not Folau (again, his tweet included it as one of 8 "sins").

You certainly like people to repeat themselves. I singled out homosexuality because it's the only one of the 8 'sins' that's an innate characteristic, not a choice.

> Sheesh, but sorry, you could brush up on your acquaintance with Christianity as it is across the world.

Do enlighten me.

> First, Catholicism teaching regards gay *acts* as sinful (though not the orientation per se, it requires gay people to be celibate).

I didn't say they didn't regard it as sinful, I said that the Catholic Church is no longer condemning people to Hell for being gay.

> Second, Anglicanism (while notable in the UK, and there's a clue in the name) is not that big worldwide.  

No, just the third largest Christian communion, after Catholics (see above) and protestants in general.

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

> Third, Anglicanism has nearly split in two owing to the Western parts accepting gay lifestyles, while the African parts (now the more numerous in numbers) flatly reject that acceptance. 

Folau isn't African and he doesn't live in Africa.

> Fourth, Folau comes from the Pacific Islands, where the version of Christianity is, let's say, somewhat more "traditional" than in a UK wishy-washy CofE church. 

You're still not explaining why his more "traditional" beliefs allow him to work on Sunday (just one example of his self exemptions) but get all sniffy about the inherent sexual preferences of others.

> Fifth, that "more traditional" Christianity is actually the dominant Christianity worldwide nowadays, judged by something like church attendance, given that hardly anyone goes to church any more in many European and other "Western" countries. 

Again with the 'worldwide'. He doesn't live 'worldwide', he lives in Sydney.

> So, overall, no, it's wrong to say that Christianity nowadays regards gay sex as acceptable. I'm willing to bet that a poll of Christians worldwide would have a majority agreeing with Folau.  (And note that Folau's tweet, with mentions of fornication and adultery, was clearly referencing the act, not the orientation.)

Fallacious argument. 'Worldwide' beating you're children is still seen as acceptable, this isn't an excuse for Brian in Wigan to regularly take a strap to little Johnny. A person's standards of action aren't judged on 'worldwide' norms, they're judged on the norms of the community that they are a part of.

> And was brought up in the Pacific Islands.

And? You don't seem to be particularly forgiving of Ahmed brought up in the Balochistan transposing his values to Bradford. Why is this an acceptable defence in Folau's case??? 

> Sigh, I didn't say he was "speaking for" Muslims, did I?  I said that many would share his opinion on this. 

And I still don't see the relevance of a Muslims beliefs when considering those of a Christian.

> [E.g. On a poll of **British** Muslims: "when asked to what extent they agreed or disagreed that homosexuality should be legal in Britain, 18% said they agreed and 52% said they disagreed, compared with 5% among the public at large who disagreed. Almost half (47%) said they did not agree that it was acceptable for a gay person to become a teacher, compared with 14% of the general population."   And the fractions would be higher for Muslims worldwide. ]

Again with the Muslims!

1
Coel Hellier 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I singled out homosexuality because it's the only one of the 8 'sins' that's an innate characteristic, not a choice.

The sin here is the sexual act (a choice) not the orientation (the innate characteristic).  It's similar to condemning fornicators, when the desire to fornicate is also an innate characteristic.

> No, just the third largest Christian communion, after Catholics (see above) and protestants in general.

Anglicanism might be "third largest communion" but that's only because Protestantism is split up into many different communions.

> Again with the 'worldwide'. He doesn't live 'worldwide', he lives in Sydney.

This "worldwide" stuff started because I said that a billion people worldwide would agree with him, and you questioned that. 

> You don't seem to be particularly forgiving of Ahmed brought up in the Balochistan transposing his values to Bradford.

I would not want Ahmed sacked merely for publicly stating mainstream Islamic beliefs.   As I've said oodles of times: they should be free to voice their beliefs; others should be free to criticise or ridicule them.  

You do realise that you're effectively saying that quoting from the New Testatment (Folau's tweet has basically a paraphrase of that Corinthians verse) is now a sufficient social faux pas that an employer can sack you for it?   So this is effectively saying that openly being a traditionally-minded Christian is no longer acceptable in Western society?

I thought I was pretty anti-religion, but sheesh! 

3
Stichtplate 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Yes, actually they do, but to see that one has to know a bit about Christianity.   

> As for your sarcastic: "Christ's teachings on homosexuality perhaps only exist in Folau's copy of the bible?", well the Letters of Paul (New Testament) are considered to be inspired by Jesus and to be authoritative about post-Jesus teachings.

> And the bit Folau explicitly points to is in 1 Corithinians (a letter by Paul in the NT):

> "Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." (King James translation)

> That passage is the basis of Folau's tweet, and it is actually consistent with mainstream theology for a Christian to regard that as authoritative while disregarding the OT. 

Explicitly not Christ's teachings, which is what I wrote, and also not nearly as clear cut as you're trying to make out. There is considerable debate on both the translation and interpretation of the relevant texts.

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

Coel Hellier 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> You're still not explaining why his more "traditional" beliefs allow him to work on Sunday (just one example of his self exemptions) ...

Gospel of Mark:

"One Sabbath, Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, "Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?" He answered, "Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions." Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."

Happy now?

1
Coel Hellier 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Explicitly not Christ's teachings, which is what I wrote, ...

And as I replied:

"... the Letters of Paul (New Testament) are considered to be inspired by Jesus and to be authoritative about post-Jesus teachings."

1
Stichtplate 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> The sin here is the sexual act (a choice) not the orientation (the innate characteristic).  It's similar to condemning fornicators, when the desire to fornicate is also an innate characteristic.

Just bollocks Coel. Folau didn't condemn the act.

Folau's religious views became a subject of controversy in April 2018, when a follower of his instagram account asked him what God's "plan for homosexuals" was, and Folau replied: "Hell.. unless they repent of their sins and turn to God.

> Anglicanism might be "third largest communion" but that's only because Protestantism is split up into many different communions.

I put Anglicanism after Protestantism, not before it.

> This "worldwide" stuff started because I said that a billion people worldwide would agree with him, and you questioned that. 

Yes, and I'm still questioning it's relevance.

> I would not want Ahmed sacked merely for publicly stating mainstream Islamic beliefs.   As I've said oodles of times: they should be free to voice their beliefs; others should be free to criticise or ridicule them.  

> You do realise that you're effectively saying that quoting from the New Testatment (Folau's tweet has basically a paraphrase of that Corinthians verse) is now a sufficient social faux pas that an employer can sack you for it?   So this is effectively saying that openly being a traditionally-minded Christian is no longer acceptable in Western society?

Folau wasn't paraphrasing anything in the NT and you can get sacked for spouting loads of stuff from the bible, it's quite a nasty book.

 St Paul's advice in 1 Timothy 2:12, in which the saint says: "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, she must be silent."

Psalm 137: "Happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us / He who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks."

Peter 2:18: "Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel."

Try spouting any of that shite from behind a till in Tesco and see how long it takes for your p45 to arrive.

> I thought I was pretty anti-religion, but sheesh! 

Apparently you're anti quite a lot of stuff.

1
Stichtplate 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Gospel of Mark:

> "One Sabbath, Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, "Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?" He answered, "Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions." Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."

> Happy now?

Ahhh... so multi-millionaire Folau is compelled to work Sundays lest he starve.

1
Coel Hellier 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Just bollocks Coel. Folau didn't condemn the act.

> Folau's religious views became a subject of controversy in April 2018, when a follower of his instagram account asked him what God's "plan for homosexuals" was, and Folau replied: "Hell.. unless they repent of their sins and turn to God.

The "sins" are the acts, not the orientation, so yes he did condemn the acts.

> Folau wasn't paraphrasing anything in the NT

The tweet: "Warning, drunks, homosexuals, adulteres, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators, hell awaits you, repent, only Jesus saves"

... can indeed be regarded as a paraphrase of:

"Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

> Try spouting any of that shite from behind a till in Tesco ...

Which is on the job.  Not a personal twitter feed. 

1
Coel Hellier 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Ahhh... so multi-millionaire Folau is compelled to work Sundays lest he starve.

You're floundering around hopelessly now.  That NT verse attributed to Jesus: "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath" is widely considered among Christians to have relaxed the OT instructions about the Sabbath.   

Again, you're condemning mainstream Christianity.  Which is fine, I'll happily join you in many contexts, but I don't regard spouting mainstream Christianity on a *personal* twitter feed to be a sackable offence, nor a reason for ostracism.  

[PS The "Sabbath" being talked about was Saturday, not Sunday, anyhow.]

3
Stichtplate 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> The "sins" are the acts, not the orientation, so yes he did condemn the acts.

> The tweet: "Warning, drunks, homosexuals, adulteres, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators, hell awaits you, repent, only Jesus saves"

Homosexuality isn't an act, it's an innate characteristic. He condemns homosexuals.

> ... can indeed be regarded as a paraphrase of:

> "Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

No where does it mention either of the relevant words 'Hell' or 'Homosexual'. This passage is explicit in condemning actions, not orientation. So no, Folau's statement can't be regarded as paraphrasing St Paul.

> Which is on the job.  Not a personal twitter feed. 

Folau is a public figure, working as an entertainer in the public eye and as such his Twitter account is another part of his job. Something that's made clear to absolutely everyone in prominent or news worthy occupations. He's just another in a long line of public figures who's come a cropper due to his actions and beliefs being wildly out of step with his public. 

1
Coel Hellier 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> This passage is explicit in condemning actions, not orientation. So no, Folau's statement can't be regarded as paraphrasing St Paul.

You're being picky about one phrasing, without considering the wider context.

> Folau is a public figure, working as an entertainer in the public eye and as such his Twitter account is another part of his job.

Well I don't agree with that last bit, and I don't agree that being "in the public eye" removes ones rights to a personal life and to promote ones religious opinions.

Anyhow, the basic mistake Folau made is quite clear: instead of tweeting his tweet as a Christian, he should have tweeted it as a Muslim.   Then no-one would have dared criticise him or sack him.  It would have been kid gloves.

How many of the protestors outside Birmingham schools have been sacked by their employers?  

2
Stichtplate 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> You're floundering around hopelessly now.  That NT verse attributed to Jesus: "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath" is widely considered among Christians to have relaxed the OT instructions about the Sabbath. 

More widely regarded as relaxing the Sabbath on grounds of necessity rather than convenience.

> Again, you're condemning mainstream Christianity.  Which is fine, I'll happily join you in many contexts, but I don't regard spouting mainstream Christianity on a *personal* twitter feed to be a sackable offence, nor a reason for ostracism.

Mainstream Christianity as practiced in Folau's neck of the woods, is extremely relaxed about homosexuality. 

> [PS The "Sabbath" being talked about was Saturday, not Sunday, anyhow.]

PS, The Roman Empire were running on an 8 day week at the time of Christ and the injunction is against working on the Sabbath, which for modern day Christians is which day Coel...?

Coel Hellier 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> More widely regarded as relaxing the Sabbath on grounds of necessity rather than convenience.

No, not really, the "Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath" is interpreted as saying that the Sabbath instruction was made for our benefit, to release us from drugery, if we had to work every single day.  Thus it is akin to employment legislation mandating a certain number of holidays as minimum.

If the instruction is there for our benefit (as opposed to us being obligated to obey the rule for its own sake), then we can relax it if it benefits us. 

That's no different from working on a rainy bank holiday in order to take time off to go climbing when it is sunny, as opposed to feeling obligated to take the bank holiday as holiday. 

2
Stichtplate 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> No, not really, the "Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath" is interpreted as saying that the Sabbath instruction was made for our benefit, to release us from drugery, if we had to work every single day.  Thus it is akin to employment legislation mandating a certain number of holidays as minimum.

> If the instruction is there for our benefit (as opposed to us being obligated to obey the rule for its own sake), then we can relax it if it benefits us. 

> That's no different from working on a rainy bank holiday in order to take time off to go climbing when it is sunny, as opposed to feeling obligated to take the bank holiday as holiday. 

Yeah, that's the position of mainstream Christians (you know, the ones not casting homosexuals into the fiery pits of Hell). Folau has aligned himself with the more conservative and evanagelical churches who hold stricter views as to observing the sabbath. You mention Folau's Mormon upbringing in defence of his views. The Mormon's eschew working the sabbath unless the work is of a critical nature (eg hospital staff).  Chucking a ball about hardly counts. So my point stands, Folau's very choosey about the bits of the bible he takes any notice of.

Coel Hellier 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> So my point stands, Folau's very choosey about the bits of the bible he takes any notice of.

Fine, he is, so what? All religious people are. 

Anyhow, for all those defending the sacking of Folau, how about something closer to home:

Mustafa Malik, Labour Party councillor and Assistant City Mayor of Leicester.  

Declares that he is "Trustee and Management Council Member" of the "Islamic Centre Leicester".

Now, if we consult the website of the Islamic Centre Leicester we read:

"The Quran and Ahadith are explicitly clear about the forbidden nature of homosexuality. Suffice to say the story of Lut’s people and their terrible punishment is not mentioned once but several times in the Qur’an.
People can overcome homosexuality by change in their environment. They must change it and their lifestyle. They should sit with the people of Allah and engage in deep thought in Allah’s perfection, wisdom and creation."

Happy everyone?  Will there be a campaign for his sacking?   Or crickets? 

If it's to be crickets, kid gloves and (not even) barge poles, what's the difference between him and Folau?    (Ha, ha, silly question! We all know that the difference is.)

Post edited at 12:55
3
Stichtplate 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Fine, he is, so what? All religious people are. 

> Anyhow, for all those defending the sacking of Folau, how about something closer to home:

> Mustafa Malik, Labour Party councillor and Assistant City Mayor of Leicester.  

> Declares that he is "Trustee and Management Council Member" of the "Islamic Centre Leicester".

> Now, if we consult the website of the Islamic Centre Leicester we read:

> "The Quran and Ahadith are explicitly clear about the forbidden nature of homosexuality. Suffice to say the story of Lut’s people and their terrible punishment is not mentioned once but several times in the Qur’an.

> People can overcome homosexuality by change in their environment. They must change it and their lifestyle. They should sit with the people of Allah and engage in deep thought in Allah’s perfection, wisdom and creation."

> Happy everyone?  Will there be a campaign for his sacking?   Or crickets? 

> If it's to be crickets, what's the difference between him and Folau?    (Ha, ha, silly question! We all know that the difference is.)

Well firstly he’s an elected official so if enough people find him objectionable, the levers are in place to oust him.

Secondly, what your quoting isn’t something Malik wrote on his twitter feed. It’s something put out by an organisation Malik belongs to. Personally, I’d find it a bit unreasonable if people took offence with me cos of something the BMC had published. If I’d written it, then fair cop.

Thirdly, why on Earth does everything in your world revolve around Muslims? You keep bringing up Muslims at every turn. Folau isn’t a Muslim!

2
Coel Hellier 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> It’s something put out by an organisation Malik belongs to. 

... and is a Trustee of and on their Management Committee.

> Folau isn’t a Muslim!

The common theme is religions and their attitudes to being gay.

Post edited at 13:09
1
Postmanpat 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

  Why are you so anti-multicultural values?

6
Stichtplate 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Why are you so anti-multicultural values?

I’m not against values based on their origin. I’m against values based on their impact. I think people should be free to say and do what they wish, within the bounds of law. That includes Folau’s right to spout and RAs right to sack him. Those are my values, multiculturalism doesn’t come into it.

Stichtplate 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> ... and is a Trustee of and on their Management Committee.

> The common theme is religions and their attitudes to being gay.

There is very little common theme between Folau making a very personal comment on his personal interpretation of Christian values, and Malik belonging to an organisation that has published a blanket statement.

Pefa 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> You do realise that you're effectively saying that quoting from the New Testatment (Folau's tweet has basically a paraphrase of that Corinthians verse) is now a sufficient social faux pas that an employer can sack you for it?   So this is effectively saying that openly being a traditionally-minded Christian is no longer acceptable in Western society?

> I thought I was pretty anti-religion, but sheesh! 

When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again."

Exodus 21: 7-8

Deuteronomy 25:11-1: If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.

Slaves, be subject to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and equitable but also to those who are perverse." (1 Peter 2:18)

3 quotes from the new testament that no one in their right mind would quote these days, just like the one about gays and idolaters etc. 

So does this fact mean -" So this is effectively saying that openly being a traditionally-minded Christian is no longer acceptable in Western society?"

Sheesh

Post edited at 13:54
Postmanpat 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I’m not against values based on their origin. I’m against values based on their impact. I think people should be free to say and do what they wish, within the bounds of law. That includes Folau’s right to spout and RAs right to sack him. Those are my values, multiculturalism doesn’t come into it.

>

    Essentially you want to  deny people with "other" cultural values the right to espouse them. You can and have explained why you want to deny them this right but that doesn't change the fact that you want to deny them and therefore are anti multiculturalism.

   Clearly the RA has a legal right to sack Folau.

3
Pefa 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Fine, he is, so what? All religious people are. 

> Anyhow, for all those defending the sacking of Folau, how about something closer to home:

> Mustafa Malik, Labour Party councillor and Assistant City Mayor of Leicester.  

> Declares that he is "Trustee and Management Council Member" of the "Islamic Centre Leicester".

> Now, if we consult the website of the Islamic Centre Leicester we read:

> "The Quran and Ahadith are explicitly clear about the forbidden nature of homosexuality. Suffice to say the story of Lut’s people and their terrible punishment is not mentioned once but several times in the Qur’an.

> People can overcome homosexuality by change in their environment. They must change it and their lifestyle. They should sit with the people of Allah and engage in deep thought in Allah’s perfection, wisdom and creation."

> Happy everyone?  Will there be a campaign for his sacking?   Or crickets? 

> If it's to be crickets, kid gloves and (not even) barge poles, what's the difference between him and Folau?    (Ha, ha, silly question! We all know that the difference is.)

Good point. But has Malik spread that specific message on social media? 

Coel Hellier 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Clearly the RA has a legal right to sack Folau.

I'm not sure that's fully clear.

(I know little about Aussie employment law, and don't know what was in his contract; but he's presumably had some legal advice before launching his million-quid fund-raiser to sue them.)

1
Stichtplate 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

>     Essentially you want to  deny people with "other" cultural values the right to espouse them. You can and have explained why you want to deny them this right but that doesn't change the fact that you want to deny them and therefore are anti multiculturalism.

No, as I’ve said repeatedly. People should have the right to say what they like. If their publicly stated positions are in direct conflict with those of the organisation that employs them or offers them registration, then the individual concerned shouldn’t be surprised that there comes a parting of the ways. This is why anti-vaccination doctors ate struck off, racial segregationist police officers dismissed and pacifist fighter pilots sacked. It’s not the advent of Big Brother and the thought police, it’s simply organisations seeking to protect their integrity, reputation and ability to perform.

>    Clearly the RA has a legal right to sack Folau.

so what’s your point?

Post edited at 13:58
Stichtplate 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> I'm not sure that's fully clear.

> (I know little about Aussie employment law, and don't know what was in his contract; but he's presumably had some legal advice before launching his million-quid fund-raiser to sue them.)

yeah, he’s presumably sought legal advice and concluded he doesn’t want to risk his own cash in the endeavour.

Postmanpat 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> so what’s your point?

  That what has been established is an environment in which only a certain set of values, those espoused by a particular element of society, is considered acceptable to articulate.

 This is not generally done by the imposition of blasphemy laws but it is done by the sort of contracts that RA has introduced. The creation of blasphemy laws has been subcontracted, in this case to a national sporting body. Effectively anybody who doesn't adhere to this particular set of values, and for obvious reasons this will often include people from minority cultures, have been told, "we won't ask, you don't tell".

  You seem to desperate to make this about Israel Folau and paint him as a "bad" person. In reality he probably represents many thousands of athletes (and others) with religious or cultural convictions all over the world. They are not "bad". They come from different cultures.

  Obviously Folau's mistake was to articulate the convictions that he shares with millions of co-religionists. Well, to ban him from his profession for that may be a necessary evil to protect current liberal secular values, but lets not pretend that it is not restriction of free speech on many many people, often those in minority groups.

Post edited at 14:28
2
Stichtplate 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   That what has been established is an environment in which only a certain set of values, those espoused by a particular element of society, is considered acceptable to articulate.

It's not an 'environment' it's a corporate position. There are are multitude of employment opportunities Folau could pursue where no one would give a stuff about his views.

>  This is not generally done by the imposition of blasphemy laws but it is done by the sort of contracts that RA has introduced. The creation of blasphemy laws has been subcontracted, in this case to a national sporting body. Effectively anybody who doesn't adhere to this particular set of values, and for obvious reasons this will often include people from minority cultures, have been told, "we won't ask, you don't tell".

Society has always sought to curtail the freedom of the individual in favour of communal values. It's a sunny day out, I might want to parade up and down my front garden naked while pumping sweary rap music out of my stereo. Neither act would result in physical harm to my neighbours but I'd, quite rightly, be expecting a visit from the boys in blue. Societal norms you see.

>   You seem to desperate to make this about Israel Folau and paint him as a "bad" person. In reality he probably represents many thousands of athletes (and others) with religious or cultural convictions all over the world. They are not "bad". They come from different cultures.

I'm not 'desperate to make this about Folau'...it's in the thread title.

>   Obviously Folau's mistake was to articulate the convictions that he shares with millions of co-religionists. Well, to ban him from his profession for that may be a necessary evil to protect current liberal secular values, but lets not pretend that it is not restriction of free speech on many many people, often those in minority groups.

He said it (despite being asked to desist) in the hope of impacting on society, he's said as much himself...wanting to save the sinners etc. Well he's had his impact on society and now society is impacting right back at him. Fairs fair and all that. What's the problem. Folau has his free speech, plenty of cash, no restrictions on his liberty. He's hardly been cast into the Gulag for re-eduction.

Post edited at 14:49
Mike Stretford 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Obviously Folau's mistake was to articulate the convictions that he shares with millions of co-religionists. Well, to ban him from his profession for that may be a necessary evil to protect current liberal secular values, but lets not pretend that it is not restriction of free speech on many many people, often those in minority groups.

We don't need to pretend... because it isn't. 

I am currently wearing a company polo shirt. If I went delivering Labour leaflets wearing this I would get in trouble. That is not a restriction on my free speech, it's a condition of employment I have entered into. I can swap the shirt and I'd be fine. 

Folau could have had a SM account with no reference to his job.... but then he'd have no followers to evangelise to.

Stichy made a similar point and you completely ignored it because you are desperate for it to be about something else. 

Postmanpat 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

  I haven't "ignored" the point. I acknowledged that the RA were (probably) within their legal rights to sack him (for breach of contract).

 Is it your argument that Folau's twitter account is in some way an official outlet in the same way that your polo shirt is an official uniform. I can see a picture of him in his aussie team shirt. Are you arguing that if that he were not there he should be allowed to espouse his views?

1
Mike Stretford 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   I haven't "ignored" the point. I acknowledged that the RA were (probably) within their legal rights to sack him (for breach of contract).

It's not the same point. the point is an employer has a right not to be associated with an employees view.

>  Is it your argument that Folau's twitter account is in some way an official outlet in the same way that your polo shirt is an official uniform. I can see a picture of him in his aussie team shirt. Are you arguing that if that he were not there he should be allowed to espouse his views?

No mention of the job, no pictures of him at work ect..... the same rules that most of the rest of us live by. Then yeah he can say what he wants. Obviously he wouldn't have the followers, and he couldn't use the account for his sponsorship deals....... life's full of these dilemmas innit?

Postmanpat 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> It's not the same point. the point is an employer has a right not to be associated with an employees view.

> No mention of the job, no pictures of him at work ect..... the same rules that most of the rest of us live by. Then yeah he can say what he wants. Obviously he wouldn't have the followers, and he couldn't use the account for his sponsorship deals....... life's full of these dilemmas innit?

  So you believe that he should be free to espouse his views without fear of being fired but only on the basis that there is no reference in whatever mechanism he uses to do this to his Job?

1
Mike Stretford 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   So you believe that he should be free to espouse his views without fear of being fired but only on the basis that there is no reference in whatever mechanism he uses to do this to his Job?

On social media yes. The practical implication of is that the account is then easily spoofed, and nobody knows what's genuine.

Postmanpat 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

Do you know if this is RA’s position?

1
Mike Stretford 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

I've no idea but it is a standard policy most employers have, including my own. I like it, as it works both ways. No interest in what I get up to outside work as long as it doesn't involve them.

Coel Hellier 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> There are are multitude of employment opportunities Folau could pursue where no one would give a stuff about his views.

Such as working in a menial job at ASDA? 

1
Stichtplate 28 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Such as working in a menial job at ASDA? 

I was thinking more along the lines of employment without a high public profile or without involvement in protecting the wider community. 

...but Shock,Horror. A Menial Job At ASDA!!!

Post edited at 21:01
Pan Ron 29 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

I think the point there is certain jobs get reserved for people with certain political beliefs. And equally, if his views are that odious and harmful, does he even deserve a job at Asda - surely he doesn't?

Stichtplate 29 Jun 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> I think the point there is certain jobs get reserved for people with certain political beliefs.

Yeah, I believe they’re quite hot on that with some jobs. Leader of the Conservative party say.

>And equally, if his views are that odious and harmful, does he even deserve a job at Asda - surely he doesn't?

Does anyone deserve a job at ASDA?

Post edited at 10:38
Offwidth 29 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

France takes a stand .

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/29/french-online-hate-speech-bill-aims-to-wipe-out-racist-trolling

As per the article Germany already has a much stricter law ...tough to police but mainly chasing down posts from extreme right groups.

https://www.dw.com/en/germany-dozens-of-raids-over-online-hate-speech/a-49080109

1
deepsoup 29 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Such as working in a menial job at ASDA?

Context for what (I presume) Coel is getting at regarding a menial job at ASDA:  http://www.jesusandmo.net/comic/billy/

Offwidth 29 Jun 2019
In reply to deepsoup:

I think the concern was more with the use of the word 'menial'.

The infamous cartoons have the three H's that Coel's posts sadly lack, in pushing back agaisnt conservative religious orthodoxy: humanity, humilty and humour. Where social liberals will knowingly smile, Coel is working out where to use them next as a weapon. 

1
Coel Hellier 29 Jun 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> I think the concern was more with the use of the word 'menial'.

So Offwidth is criticising my word choice yet again?

"Menial", Oxford English Dictionary: "(of work) not requiring much skill and lacking prestige".

Seems to be an appropriate word for the role at ASDA that the disabled grandfather was sacked from, no?  

No doubt Offwidth will accuse me of taking a "selective" definition (the above was the first Google hit), as he often does, though he usually can't then substantiate his whining.

The point, of course, was Stitchplate's suggestion that in a non-high-profile job "no one would give a stuff about his views", which is then refuted by the sacking from ASDA for the utterly innocuous act of linking to a Billy Connolly snippet. 

> The infamous cartoons have the three H's that Coel's posts sadly lack, in pushing back agaisnt conservative religious orthodoxy: humanity, humilty and humour.

Here we see Offwidth doing the bidding of his Islamist masters by disparaging anyone who is disrespectful towards Islam.  He's doing their work for them: trying to establish a blasphemy law by any means from social opprobrium to agitation for legal sanctions.

PS I note the absence, on the thread, of condemnation of the Assistant Mayor of Leicester.

4
Stichtplate 29 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> PS I note the absence, on the thread, of condemnation of the Assistant Mayor of Leicester.

You start a thread about an Australian professional rugby player and you're upset that no one's mentioned the assistant mayor of Leicester? Are you for real?

Coel Hellier 29 Jun 2019
In reply to The Thread:

And here's an illustration, from Sri Lanka, of how "hate speech" laws will always be misused:

"Following pressure from an ultra-nationalist Buddhist group, police have arrested award-winning Sinhala novelist Shakthika Sathkumara ... for insulting Buddhism"

"Ahungalle Jinananda, a Buddhist monk working for the Buddhist Information Centre, urged the police chief to explicitly use the ICCPR act to arrest the writer in February. Jinananda claimed that his work was in clear violation of the act which was established to prohibit "advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence"."

And his "crime"?  He wrote a short story that "contained indirect references to homosexuality among the Buddhist clergy".  In other words they're using "hate speech" laws to impose blasphemy prohibitions. 

https://www.tamilguardian.com/content/sri-lanka-novelist-arrested-insulting-buddhism

Also: https://www.englishpen.org/campaigns/sri-lanka-release-award-winning-writer-shakthika-sathkumara/

Edit: Yep, may as well have a go at Buddhism for a change! 

Post edited at 20:32
1
elsewhere 29 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Folau has not been subject to hate speech laws. It is the contract he signed for branding, exposure and pr services that he has apparently broken.

Coel Hellier 29 Jun 2019
In reply to elsewhere:

> Folau has not been subject to hate speech laws.

True, but Offwidth brought up hate-speech laws ...

... threads can evolve you see!

> It is the contract he signed for branding, exposure and pr services that he has apparently broken.

Do we know that for a fact?  Can anyone quote the relevant clauses?   At least one article (linked above) denies there is any such clause.

1
elsewhere 29 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> True, but Offwidth brought up hate-speech laws ...

> ... threads can evolve you see!

> Do we know that for a fact?  Can anyone quote the relevant clauses?   At least one article (linked above) denies there is any such clause.

For at least the second time, I ask why would we know private or commercially sensitive information? What planet are you on?

1
Coel Hellier 29 Jun 2019
In reply to elsewhere:

> For at least the second time, I ask why would we know private or commercially sensitive information?

You're the one suggestion that he has breached the "contract he signed for branding, exposure and pr services".

Post edited at 21:01
1
Coel Hellier 29 Jun 2019
In reply to The Thread:

It seems that the issue is not about specific clauses in Folau's contract, but about Aussie Rugby's "code of conduct".

First, this code contains things like: "1.2 Be a good sport, displaying modesty in victory and graciousness in defeat."  It's hard to see anyone being sacked for violating that one, or to see it standing up in court; that seems more aspirational than a hard rule. 

On social media there is:

"1.7  Use Social Media appropriately. By all means share your positive experiences of Rugby but do not use Social Media as a means to breach any of the expectations and requirements of you as a player contained in this Code ...".

The fact that the first half of that sentence is about "experiences of Rugby" could be construed as implying that the second half of the sentence applies only to things directly related to rugby.

Then we have:

"1.3  Treat everyone equally, fairly and with dignity regardless of gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, cultural or religious background, age or disability. Any form of bullying, harassment or discrimination has no place in Rugby."

Hmm. There is no suggestion that Folau has bullied, harassed or discriminated against any other player or specified person.  Nor is there a suggestion that he has been unfair to any named person nor treated them without dignity.          I don't really see his theological opinion as violating that. 

So really we're down to:

"1.8  Do not otherwise act in a way that may adversely affect or reflect on, or bring you, your team, club, Rugby Body or Rugby into disrepute or discredit. If you commit a criminal offence, this is likely to adversely reflect on you and your team, club, Rugby Body and Rugby."

The first sentence is one of those vague, broad, catch-all clauses that I think should not be allowed. The second sentence seems to imply that that cause is about things of criminal-offence seriousness. 

So, as I see it, there is certainly no clear-cut violation by Folau.

The above is set against Australian law, which says:

"Section 772 of the Fair Work Act says that an employer must not terminate an employee’s employment for one or more of the following unlawful reasons: ... , religion, political opinion ...".

Now, as discussed above, Folau's tweet is pretty much a paraphrase of a Bible verse.  There is an arguable case that sacking someone for tweeting a paraphrase of a Bible verse amounts to sacking someone for expressing their religion. 

So, overall, this is not clear cut. 

Post edited at 21:27
5
elsewhere 29 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> You're the one suggestion that he has breached the "contract he signed for branding, exposure and pr services".

That seems like a  more obvious suggestion than that his employers or sponsors haven't taken legal advice.

Also I find it difficult to believe payments for branding, exposure and pr aren't covered by a contract that mentions branding, exposure and pr.

However I claim no facts or evidence for my assumptions about how legal disputes and sponsorship contracts work.

Post edited at 21:21
felt 29 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> "nor men who have sex with men." (King James translation)

Pull the other one.

Coel Hellier 30 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

And on the perennial issue of what sort of commentary is acceptable in society, a cartoonist has just been fired for a rather trenchant cartoon regarding Trump:

https://crooksandliars.com/2019/06/canadian-cartoonist-fired-after-his-trump

(Don't bother pointing out that the newspaper was within its legal rights; yes, likely it was, the issue is whether we as a society regard this sort of commentary as normal and usual or not.)

1
elsewhere 30 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Newspapers have freedom of speech on who to publish.

Good cartoon, entirely normal. As is the opinion and comment following political slant of newspaper proprietor who has freedom of speech to do that.

How would you change that freedom of speech?

Post edited at 09:21
Offwidth 30 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

My islamic overlords tell me to say that the proprietor owns the paper so can choose to publish who he likes under the employment contracts utilised ( the cartoonist was freelance so could not be fired). They thank you for distracting the public as they are worried that liberal nations, although damaged, need more such ideology such as yours to bamboozle them, so they don't start to fight back against state support for the powers of their ultra wealthy pals to exploit citizens on their mutually beneficial behalfs. Care must be taken to hide abuse of power behind freedom of speech complaint and other red herrings. They tell me to thank you for your continuing campaign against UK newspapers chosing not to publish Jesus and Mo without redaction: such behaviour is highly dangerous, they say we need to remove such censorship on the one hand  to inflame the faithful, and on the other, to break down western civility and encourage tensions. They tell me they can provide a huge list of other developing countries so called 'abusing' freedoms to try and bamboozle and divide the people of the west, and hide the fact its mostly about money and power.

Post edited at 11:41
1
RomTheBear 01 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

As usual, you seem confused about free speech.

Free speech doesn’t mean you get to keep your job if you embarrass your employer on Twitter.

Post edited at 20:26
1
Jon Stewart 01 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

(Sorry Jon, you and I are destined to disagree!)

I should have thought so.

Your absolutist "free speech trumps all" stance still fails the consequentialist test: it would lead to more suffering than the status quo. Note that the status quo protects meaningful freedom of speech (i.e. the state does not suppress dissent, but social norms mean you can't tweet whatever you like witthout consequence). You would enshrine the right to promote attitudes that legitimise rape (so long as it's not direct incitement to rape, but you're not clear what the difference is) and the abuse of homosexuals, which the status quo regards as taboo rather than worthy of protection. Under your proposed policies, one bigot's right to "free speech" is priortitised over a teenage girl's right to be protected from drunk rape at a party resulting from attitudes boys take on from their role models, or gay/trans kids' rights to grow up without psychological abuse propagated through the media. I think that's a bad call, which is where you get by sticking doggedly to a principle that sounds great at a superficial level but fails when you consider the consequences.

There are competing rights, and you make the call in favour of the bigots whose views cause significant suffering. I make the call in favour of a society with better outcomes, and I have no problem with the sacrifice of sports stars having their "freedom to tweet bigotry" curtailed. It's just not a big priority for me.

So yes, we still disagree on the same arguments about the facts. Or has something changed?

1
Pan Ron 02 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

You are missing a nuance in Folau's tweets and drawing a false equivalency: comparing legitimisation of rape (never acceptable) with condemnation to hell (something that has probably been done to all of us at some point and which we know cannot be followed up on - at least in our lifetimes), and using that as grounds to break a principal, seems wrong.

I think you overlook the detriment to society in threatening 100% of  the working population's jobs if comments made in their private lives, simply quoting scripture in this case and not directly threatening wellbeing, can result in denial of improvement. Theres a creeping trend in this direction and it appears regressive, not progressive.

12
Offwidth 02 Jul 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

That's almost double think!

I think it's perfectly reasonable if religious conservatives want to live in a liberal progressive society, with all its benefits, especially in this case, in a highly paid prestigious job in a company that supports liberal progressive views, they need to take care when they use their position and fame to publicly air their very different personal views, when these would be in breach of clear employment social media policies. So I have way more sympathy here for the consequencies for the man from Asda than Israel. Asda man could claim ignorance and foolishness. Israel was campaigning on behalf of his morals and using his fame to do this and as a clear employee he chose to do this on a purely personal moral position which conflicted with his employer. In contrast, where employees who should be protected, for raising governance, finance or legal problems that have serious implications for many, especially in the case of whistleblowers, the UK is still a good distance from a liberal progressive ideal, normally for very different reasons than freedom of speech. Such employment problems in our society are nearly always about management abuse of power. Whistleblower protections are about mitigating against the consequences following exposure of poor corporate behaviour and the public importance of being free to speak out in such circumstances. Freedom of speech, within employment, needs different protections depending on the nature and importance and legal context of what is being said. These include fairness in the sometimes conflicting rights of employers and employees.

Post edited at 10:09
Coel Hellier 02 Jul 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> I think it's perfectly reasonable if religious conservatives want to live in a liberal progressive society, with all its benefits, especially in this case, in a highly paid prestigious job in a company ...

This sort of reasoning could shut down any public commentary by any employed person in the public eye.   

One could say:  "If socialists want to live in a progressive society ... blah blah"

> ...  when these would be in breach of clear employment social media policies.

We should change employment law so that employers do not have jurisdiction over personal life and personal social media accounts.

> Asda man could claim ignorance and foolishness.

So it is "ignorant and foolish" to post a clip of Billy Connolly on a social media account?   And this is not ok just because he'd filled in the "works at ..." part of his profile?    Is that really the sort of society you want to live in?

> Israel was campaigning on behalf of his morals and using his fame to do this and as a clear employee he chose to do this on a purely personal moral position which conflicted with his employer.

Well yes, he was indeed doing that.  But are you seriously suggesting that no person of any sort of notability is allowed to have personal moral positions and to promote them -- without making them liable to be sacked by any employer that wants to virtue signal?

So, no Premiership footballer is allowed to express an opinion on Brexit, or on who to vote for in the next election, because their employer might have a different opinion? 

This is utterly ridiculous, and undermining the basis on which society works, which is that of a liberal democracy where people are allowed to advocate and promote their opinions.

3
Coel Hellier 02 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> one bigot's right to "free speech" is priortitised over a teenage girl's right to be protected from drunk rape at a party resulting from attitudes boys take on from their role models, ...

But Folau has not called for any sort of violence or maltreatment of anyone.

> ... or gay/trans kids' rights to grow up without psychological abuse propagated through the media.

But if you adopt a rule that teenagers need to be "protected" from any opinion that they disagree with or find upsetting, then that rule can be used to shut down more or less any opinion anyone disagrees with.  

Part of growing up and living in a liberal and free society is accepting that other people have different opinions.  To many on the left these days seem to be adopting the attitude that they can't even live in the same society as people who disagree with them.

> There are competing rights, and you make the call in favour of the bigots whose views cause significant suffering. I make the call in favour of a society with better outcomes, and I have no problem with the sacrifice of sports stars having their "freedom to tweet bigotry" curtailed. It's just not a big priority for me.

Just suppose you happened to work for an employer who was a Christian, ad he sacked you because you'd openly disparaged the views of a Christian and said you didn't care about their feelings or their rights to voice their religion, would that be acceptable in the sort of society you want to live in?

Surely the hard-won direction of employment law over many decades is to prevent employers acting like this and to protect the personal rights of employees?

3
Jon Stewart 02 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Your responses don't relate properly to my position. Whodathunk?

My position is that the status quo is fine. I don't propose any protections for people to be shielded from views they don't like. I don't propose any policy that would lead to Folau being sacked. As I said last time, and you ignored over and over again, I don't particularly support his sacking, I think it's probably OTT.

> But Folau has not called for any sort of violence or maltreatment of anyone.

I didn't claim that. Although I did point out why his views contravene social norms (no bigotry connected to my commercial brand, thanks, it's a bad look). An environment in which homophobia is viewed as acceptable in the media (as it was when I grew up) is detrimental to the lives of gay kids. As such, while I don't think we need any rules that would make Folau's comments illegal, I think it's a good thing that his views are immediately responded to and labelled as bigotry.

Your position, as usual, seems to rest on a wishy-washy, anything goes morality, where a bigoted opinion that leads to bad consequences (homosexuals are an abomination: you will burn in hell) is viewed as equally valid as justified opinion that leads to good consequences (being gay is fine: you're equal). The fact that you're unable or unwilling to make a value judgement and see that these two views don't deserve equal treatment in our society is a little concerning. I can't really envisage the type of society you want to live in: it seems to be one in which public abuse and bigotry goes without any response (bear in mind we're talking about soft social sanctions here, like employment contracts including "don't tweet bigotry" clauses, not legal ones). I can't see how that's better than a society in which racists and homophobes are ostracised for contravening sensible and useful social norms that lead to better outcomes. 

You've never demonstrated what the risk is with the way we operate under these social norms, other than making some vague and fanciful noises about "opinion monoculture", thus implying that there is some value in racism and homophobia that we will miss out on living under the current norms.

> But if you adopt a rule that teenagers need to be "protected" from any opinion that they disagree with or find upsetting, then that rule can be used to shut down more or less any opinion anyone disagrees with.  

I don't propose that rule. You're really determined, as ever, not to respond to my position. Again, I don't think there should be a policy that means Folau should have been sacked. I think an employer (or Patreon or whoever) should be free to say "you're not using my business to promote bigotry".

You're arguing for special protections to be put in place to protect particular forms of expression. I'm arguing for the status quo in which businesses are free to operate in ways that support helpful social norms about equal rights.

If you can make your responses relate to that position, I'm likely to be more engaged and polite.

> Part of growing up and living in a liberal and free society is accepting that other people have different opinions. 

A liberal and free society works under social norms that best deliver freedom for all, regardless of their skin colour, sexuality, etc. That's why those social norms promote the expression of positive views about minorities, and suppress the expression of bigotry.

You don't seem to understand that the freedom of the bigot (which you support) comes at the cost of the freedom of the minorities (which you're happy to sacrifice).

> Just suppose you happened to work for an employer who was a Christian, ad he sacked you because you'd openly disparaged the views of a Christian and said you didn't care about their feelings or their rights to voice their religion, would that be acceptable in the sort of society you want to live in?

I would either sign the contract agreeing not to disparage Christians and keep my trap shut, or not take the job. It's fine.

> Surely the hard-won direction of employment law over many decades is to prevent employers acting like this and to protect the personal rights of employees?

Tweeting bigotry is not a right that required protection.

Post edited at 12:20
1
Jon Stewart 02 Jul 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> You are missing a nuance in Folau's tweets and drawing a false equivalency: comparing legitimisation of rape (never acceptable) with condemnation to hell (something that has probably been done to all of us at some point and which we know cannot be followed up on - at least in our lifetimes), and using that as grounds to break a principal, seems wrong.

I'm arguing against Coel's position that shitty opinions that make society awful deserve protection from social sanctions. Coel's position would mean that an opinion such as "girls who dress provocatively bring rape on themselves, men have natural urges they can't control" would attract protection. It's not equivalent to Folau's tweets, but under Coel's "free speech trumps all" policy, it would be protected the same way.

> I think you overlook the detriment to society in threatening 100% of  the working population's jobs if comments made in their private lives, simply quoting scripture in this case and not directly threatening wellbeing, can result in denial of improvement. Theres a creeping trend in this direction and it appears regressive, not progressive.

My position doesn't threaten 100% of the working population's jobs. I support current employment rights, and I don't think we're all under threat of being sacked, because we have sensible protections in place.

1
Mike Stretford 02 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> We should change employment law so that employers do not have jurisdiction over personal life and personal social media accounts.

We do, have a look at this and read the comment section.

https://www.hrlaw.co.uk/site/infobank/infobankarticle/news_status_update_on_facebook_smith_v_trafford_housing

Factors such as 'share' settings, the actual content and the link to work would be considered.

Reading that and others, a case similar to Foluas would still have led to his sacking over here. He had been warned, his account was open to the anyone to read, and the nature of his account was not personal. You won't agree as you have will not acknowledge those facts (2nd and 3rd), but that is the reality.

Coel Hellier 02 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> As I said last time, and you ignored over and over again, I don't particularly support his sacking, I think it's probably OTT.

Sorry if I attributed to you the opinions of others.  If you think the sacking was OTT then we're likely not that far apart.   Note that I am *not* saying that there are no negatives to allowing Folau's tweets.  I'm saying that, as I see it, the negatives of disallowing them (in the sense of sacking him for them) outweigh the negatives of the speech. 

Those who defend free speech are generally very wary of the harms to society of disallowing open speech, and so tend to allow speech even when they disagree with the speech and regard it as harmful. 

To make a comparison, I think that a lot of anti-vax campaigns are hugely harmful in a very real and direct sense.  But I'd still allow them, since not allowing them would be worse (partly because it would lead to a "what are they trying to hide?" response).  If Folau tweeted anti-vax stuff I'd be strongly against him, but still would not want him sacked.

> I think it's a good thing that his views are immediately responded to and labelled as bigotry.

And I fully accept and support people responding and calling him a bigot.   (My preferred response would be along the lines: "Well, mate, as they say, heaven for the climate and hell for the company", with the implication of not even taking that stuff seriously.)

> Your position, as usual, seems to rest on a wishy-washy, anything goes morality, ...

Whereas I see it as a principled stance!

> where a bigoted opinion that leads to bad consequences ...  is viewed as equally valid as justified opinion that leads to good consequences

Not at all, nothing about my stance says that Folau's opinion is "valid" or "justified".  I'm only saying that a free society should tolerate it    (and note that the word "tolerate" implies that the thing being "tolerated" is a bad thing!). 

> You've never demonstrated what the risk is with the way we operate under these social norms, other than making some vague and fanciful noises about "opinion monoculture", ...

Just look at all the societies where open dissent from prevailing views is not allowed (either by legal sanction, or by social pressure -- the latter can be just as stifling).

> A liberal and free society works under social norms that best deliver freedom for all, regardless of their skin colour, sexuality, etc.

But we can only have "freedom" if we're allowed to openly discuss what is best for society.  If we have people who appoint themselves to the role of allowing what we're allowed to even discuss, then that power will be misused. 

An example is the debate about whether trans women should be allowed to compete in women-only sports.  Surely that is a legitimate  debate that society needs to have? And yet, one side is trying to impose their answer by the tactic of getting anyone who disagrees labelled a bigot and then sacked. 

> I would either sign the contract agreeing not to disparage Christians and keep my trap shut, or not take the job. It's fine.

But hold on, the only reason  that we have a right to dissent from Christianity, the right to not go to church, the only reason we're not obliged to pay taxes to the church, is that people openly dissented from and disparaged Christianity, even at cost to themselves.  (And if they had not, gay sex would likely still be illegal, and you could forget about gay marriage.)  Are you really giving all that up so lightly?

2
Pan Ron 02 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> To many on the left these days seem to be adopting the attitude that they can't even live in the same society as people who disagree with them.

It's been interesting to watch the Andy Ngo assault unfold over the last few days. The huge number of blue-check Twitter accounts, verified journalists and social commentators, essentially saying "assault is wrong....but he was asking for it because he criticised (provoked) antifa" has been an eye-opener.

Breaking principles is all well and good if those breakage are evenly applied. The likelihood of that, as evidenced, is about zero. And the moralisers are blind to it.

3
Jon Stewart 02 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Sorry if I attributed to you the opinions of others.  If you think the sacking was OTT then we're likely not that far apart.  

Absolutely, we're not that far apart and it would be helpful if we can isolate what the differences are.

> I'm saying that, as I see it, the negatives of disallowing them (in the sense of sacking him for them) outweigh the negatives of the speech. 

Sacking Folau doesn't generalise to a threat to free speech, which is why I don't think the negatives you perceive are real. We have free speech (one can argue for whatever policy you like without legal sanction - but not in any context, and not without social consequence); and we have social norms that disapprove of bigotry.

> Those who defend free speech are generally very wary of the harms to society of disallowing open speech, and so tend to allow speech even when they disagree with the speech and regard it as harmful. 

Those who defend free speech at the moment seem to me to be petulant cry-babies who can't deal with the consequences of contravening social norms around equal rights. They seem to be totally confused about what free speech means - they want to be able to express their bigotry without any consequences, and they're not getting what they want. No one is getting locked up for political dissent, and to pretend that being told to stop tweeting bigotry is the same as being silenced by an oppressive regime for political dissent is to piss in the faces of those whose freedoms really are infringed. I think it's pathetic and undignified.

> To make a comparison, I think that a lot of anti-vax campaigns are hugely harmful in a very real and direct sense.  But I'd still allow them, since not allowing them would be worse (partly because it would lead to a "what are they trying to hide?" response).  If Folau tweeted anti-vax stuff I'd be strongly against him, but still would not want him sacked.

Whether or not he ends up getting sacked depends on the back-and-forth between him and the club - I'd certainly expect a response from the club if their star starts tweeting anti-vax, homophobia, racism, legitimising rape, whatever. If that ends up with him getting sacked because he won't cooperate with the club's policies, that's his business. Such views don't need protection in that context. They should be *allowed*, i.e. there should be some context where they can be expressed, but they should not be *protected* in the context of a sports star's twitter feed.

The protection you want seems to serve no purpose - if you want to promote anti-vax or bigotry, you're free to do so, but don't expect to use your position as a rugby star to get your message out. I cannot see the negative consequence of restricting what can be said in the context of a star's twitter feed. 

It is incumbent upon you to demonstrate how such a restriction (bigotry in a sports stars twitter feed enforced by employment contract) is harmful without resorting to a false generalisation about "free speech". There is no threat to free speech, just social restrictions on context. This is how the world works, we can't say whatever we like, whenever we like, without consequences. 

> Just look at all the societies where open dissent from prevailing views is not allowed (either by legal sanction, or by social pressure -- the latter can be just as stifling).

But we live in one where it is allowed. The Folau case shows a social restriction on the *context* in which a certain, bigoted view can be expressed. If you want to promote Christian homophobia, you're free to do so, you just can't do it using your celebrity twitter feed. The equivalence you draw between this and oppression of political dissent is completely false.

> But we can only have "freedom" if we're allowed to openly discuss what is best for society. 

We can. But there are social restrictions on context.

> An example is the debate about whether trans women should be allowed to compete in women-only sports.  Surely that is a legitimate  debate that society needs to have? 

This is being discussed openly all the time. People get upset because it's emotive. Some people behave badly in the course of debate. Where's the oppression of dissent?

> But hold on, the only reason  that we have a right to dissent from Christianity...Are you really giving all that up so lightly?

What do you mean giving it up? Are you creating a hypothetical world in which the authority of the church is enforced through employment contracts on which the church has a monopoly, and then saying that I would acquiesce? I don't see how that's an argument for anything, sorry.

Post edited at 14:01
Coel Hellier 02 Jul 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> The huge number of blue-check Twitter accounts, verified journalists and social commentators, essentially saying "assault is wrong....but he was asking for it because he criticised (provoked) antifa" has been an eye-opener.

Yes, rather perturbing, isn't it?   Walking around with a camera and wanting to report what he sees is regarded as "provoking" antifa to assault.  And this is justified because he has previously criticised antifa. 

It's notable how quickly the idea that "milkshaking" the "far right" is justified has morphed into justifying the assault of  centrist-minded journalists by beating them on the head with blunt objects. 

(PS Will reply to Jon when I get a slightly larger gap between tasks!)

2
Coel Hellier 02 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Sacking Folau doesn't generalise to a threat to free speech, which is why I don't think the negatives you perceive are real.

I argue that there is a general threat to free speech.  First, if we're deciding what sort of rules we want society to operate by we should adopt a Rawlsian "veil of ignorance", that is, we decide the rules without first knowing whether our opinions and moral-standards will be 90% majority ones, or 10% minority ones.   So:

> ...  and we have social norms that disapprove of bigotry.

Yep, and other times and places have social norms that disapprove of all sorts of things that we approve of. 

There are small towns in the American South where, even today, being known to be an atheist would mean that people would not employ you. There are places where being gay would be socially condemned or outright illegal.

You seem to be proceeding on the basis that you are so morally certain that your views are the correct ones, that you are happy for dissenters to loose their jobs or be socially condemned.  The problem is, that's exactly the attitude of those who condemn atheism or being gay or feminism or whatever. 

If you're ok with a society where Christians espousing anti-gay sentiments suffer social sanction, then how about past societies dominated by Christians where atheists and gays and feminists and those arguing for civil rights for blacks got socially sanctioned?    In each case the majority is imposing its views and being intolerant of minorities and dissenters.   Was that wrong of the majority in those instances?

If the reply is simply that you're confident that your opinions are the correct ones, so you're happy to impose those when you can, then ok, but that's what the oppressors in the above societies would have said.  

So it effectively becomes that whoever has a sufficient  majority behind them gets to impose its views and be intolerant of dissenters. 

I'm arguing that history has shown that sufficient numbers of people who were convinced that they were morally right, have later been morally condemned,  that we should all be more humble and tolerant -- and that we should recognise that there have been sufficient times when minority moral dissenters have ended up being regarded as right, that we should value and tolerate moral dissenters even when we are convinced that they are wrong, even when we think that their views are harmful.

2
Coel Hellier 02 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Those who defend free speech at the moment seem to me to be petulant cry-babies who can't deal with the consequences of contravening social norms around equal rights.

Whereas the suffragettes were petulant cry-babies who couldn't deal with the consequences of contravening social norms around male dominance.

And the early gay-rights activists were petulant cry-babies who couldn't deal with the consequences of contravening social norms deploring homosexuality. 

And the civil rights activists were petulant cry-babies who couldn't deal with the consequences of contravening social norms about the place of blacks in society.

And those secular-minded people and atheists who first argued against the stranglehold of Christianity on society were petulant cry-babies who couldn't deal with the consequences of contravening social norms about Christianity.

[Anyone tempted to reply "yes, but those people were all in the right, whereas Folau is in the wrong", please read my previous comment.]

Post edited at 16:03
3
Coel Hellier 02 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> But we live in one where it is allowed. The Folau case shows a social restriction on the *context* in which a certain, bigoted view can be expressed. If you want to promote Christian homophobia, you're free to do so, you just can't do it using your celebrity twitter feed.

So how big a restriction is this?  Presumably, being a notable sports star, there is no context where Folau himself would be entitled to express his views, correct? 

How far does this apply? To every footballer in the Premier League? Every footballer in every professional club?    Anyone who might ever be mentioned in a newspaper?   Or does it extend as far as nobodies who work in menial jobs at ASDA?

Your "no wider threat to free speech" claim seems to be soundly refuted by the ASDA case. 

> What do you mean giving it up? Are you creating a hypothetical world in which the authority of the church is enforced through employment contracts on which the church has a monopoly, and then saying that I would acquiesce?

Yes, there are plenty of past Western societies and indeed plenty of societies across the world today, where one religion is sufficiently dominant that dissent can get you severe social penalties, even setting aside any legal penalties. 

Are you saying that it's not a problem if, in some small-ish town in the American South (maybe a few decades back now) employers won't employ anyone who is known to be an atheist, or known to be openly gay?

2
Jon Stewart 02 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> I argue that there is a general threat to free speech.  First, if we're deciding what sort of rules we want society to operate by we should adopt a Rawlsian "veil of ignorance", that is, we decide the rules without first knowing whether our opinions and moral-standards will be 90% majority ones, or 10% minority ones. 

Good idea. I'm arguing that we set the rules so that those opinions which result in greater suffering are educated away, while those opinions that lead towards better outcomes become dominant. I don't want draconian rules that cause suffering to those who have silly and harmful beliefs, but I do want society set up in such a way that while we accept the difference in opinion, our institutions enshrine the rationalist/utilitarian/liberal morality that I believe in.

In the society that I want to see, we won't treat the anti-vaxers as having an equally valid view deserving of equal respect as medics: they'll be told to come up with good reasons or f*ck off. Precisely the same applies to bigotry: come up with good reasons homosexuals should be treated as inferior, or shut the f*ck up. A rational argument trumps any tradition. There's no automatic right that your views get a good hearing, no protection just in case what you're saying has no rational justification but by some other magical and as yet unseen mechanism turns out to be fantastically useful.  In the society we set up from behind the veil of ignorance, unjustified views that causes harm will get a hard time getting heard. If I end up in the minority with stupid views, then I'll be ostracised and my views will not spread, which is for the good of everyone.

> Yep, and other times and places have social norms that disapprove of all sorts of things that we approve of. 

I agree that there is a crux here around confidence in moral judgements. You seem to have no confidence in yours, to the point that you think it's important to protect religious bigotry just in case it turns out to be right. It isn't right, we've tried it for hundreds of years, people suffered, it's done. We don't need it any more.

I'm all for hearing radical new ideas that we don't have good data on yet. Let's amplify their expression and discuss them freely and openly. But let's not treat religiously motivated hatred of minorities as if it's valuable "political dissent" when we know full well what the outcomes are.

> You seem to be proceeding on the basis that you are so morally certain that your views are the correct ones, that you are happy for dissenters to loose their jobs or be socially condemned.  The problem is, that's exactly the attitude of those who condemn atheism or being gay or feminism or whatever. 

I am certain, and it's not a problem. The argument here is precisely the same as "science is just another religion". It isn't. The reason I have sufficient confidence in the morality of equal rights is because it isn't an arbitrary moral "taste" as you seem to think. It's deeply rooted in a secular/rationalist/humanist philosophy. It's justified. If you can justify your views, let's hear them. If you can't, you can shut the f*ck up. It's really that easy to be right about morality.

> If the reply is simply that you're confident that your opinions are the correct ones, so you're happy to impose those when you can, then ok, but that's what the oppressors in the above societies would have said.  So it effectively becomes that whoever has a sufficient  majority behind them gets to impose its views and be intolerant of dissenters. 

No. If you can justify your view using a good rational argument based on evidence, let's hear it. If you can't, you can shut the f*ck up. That's the rule I want to see imposed, it does not hinge on being in the majority versus being a dissenter. 

Post edited at 17:40
Jon Stewart 02 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Whereas the suffragettes were petulant cry-babies who couldn't deal with the consequences of contravening social norms around male dominance...

I'm not arguing in favour of abiding by social norms *because* they're social norms! I'm arguing that the social norms around equal rights are ones I support because they're well justified. So if you go against a well-justified social norm in favour of some nonsense (which seems to me to be what the "free speech" cry-babies are doing), I'm going to call you a petulant prat when you try to make out you're being "oppressed" for your "political dissent". I think painting bigots as "political dissenters" is laughable.

Jon Stewart 02 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> So how big a restriction is this?

Depends on what the club want to put in their contract. It's up to them.

> How far does this apply?

There's no rule. Again, I'm not proposing restrictions!

> Your "no wider threat to free speech" claim seems to be soundly refuted by the ASDA case. 

I can't see any relevance of the Asda case at all. People, employers and employees, are struggling to make sensible decisions on how to handle social media. For god's sake, don't post anything publicly your employer might take exception to, they'll use it against you!

> Are you saying that it's not a problem if, in some small-ish town in the American South (maybe a few decades back now) employers won't employ anyone who is known to be an atheist, or known to be openly gay?

I really don't understand where you're going here. I support the status quo in which we have employment rights that don't extend to a right to post whatever you like on the internet when it can be connected to your employer. I use UKC because unlike FB, I'm unlikely to get into trouble posting stuff on here since my colleagues won't see it. I also never say who I work for. I just apply a bit of common sense, I don't make a stupid error of judgement and then start whining about infringement of my liberty as if I'm a "political dissenter" being "oppressed". What a joke!

I support protection against discrimination, I don't support protection to post whatever you like online.

Coel Hellier 02 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> In the society that I want to see, we won't treat the anti-vaxers as having an equally valid view deserving of equal respect as medics: ...

Agreed, and I've never described Folau's views as "valid" or deserving of respect. 

> ... they'll be told to come up with good reasons or f*ck off.

But what does that mean?  Does it mean "... or I'll dismiss your views as worthless" (fine), or "... or you're not allowed on the internet" (not fine)?

> Precisely the same applies to bigotry: come up with good reasons homosexuals should be treated as inferior, or shut the f*ck up.

But can you clarify what you think should happen you Folau.  You've suggested that sacking him was OTT, but presuming he continues his twitter posting (perhaps removing any in-playing-strip images, as he has done), should he be allowed to play for Australia and NSW or not?   If he refuses to "shut the f*ck up" should we ignore him and tolerate him, or do we sanction him?   Social opprobrium as a reaction, fine, but can he continue his career as a rugby player or not?

> There's no automatic right that your views get a good hearing,

I entirely agree.  I'm not suggesting anyone need treat his views as worthy of consideration.  My suggestion is just to regard him as a bit nutty and ignore his twitter feed.

>  In the society we set up from behind the veil of ignorance, unjustified views that causes harm will get a hard time getting heard.

But refusing to consider or promote his views (fine) is entirely different from sanctioning him for expressing the views. 

> You seem to have no confidence in yours, to the point that you think it's important to protect religious bigotry just in case it turns out to be right.

Yes, although the bigger concern is that, if we put in place a mechanism to censor his views, then that mechanism will be misused.  Whoever has the power to utilise that mechanism will mis-use it to censor opposition to their own views.  That's already happening. 

> If you can justify your view using a good rational argument based on evidence, let's hear it. If you can't, you can shut the f*ck up. That's the rule I want to see imposed, ...

But do you mean that literally, imposing a rule that someone must shut up if some authority declares that no evidence-based rational argument has been made?

Who gets to decide whether or not a view is evidence-based and rational?    Whoever gets to decide that will misuse their power.

Again, if all you're talking about is how other people react to such a person then fine, that's entirely ok with me -- it's the sacking people and ending people's careers that I'm not ok with. 

2
Coel Hellier 02 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I'm arguing that the social norms around equal rights are ones I support because they're well justified. So if you go against a well-justified social norm in favour of some nonsense (which seems to me to be what the "free speech" cry-babies are doing), ...

In the era when Christian nations made homosexuality illegal, Christians did consider their views to be well justified and they considered the social norm of deprecating homosexuality as well justified. 

Everyone always considers their own views to be well-justified!  That's why they are their views! All of those who resisted the emancipation of women, resisted the civil rights movement, etc, considered themselves to have been well justified in so doing.

You might not agree with their justifications, but they would not have agreed with yours.

1
Coel Hellier 02 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Depends on what the club want to put in their contract. It's up to them.

So any employer can place any restrictions on anything an employee says in their personal life, it's entirely up to the employer?  Really?  Do an employer can decide on a clause "no supporting Labour or socialism; no opposing the Tories" and that's ok, up to them?

> I can't see any relevance of the Asda case at all. People, employers and employees, are struggling to make sensible decisions on how to handle social media. For god's sake, don't post anything publicly your employer might take exception to, they'll use it against you!

So any employer can sack anyone employee simply by taking exception to something they've said in their personal life?

So "Boris is a plonker".  "I take exception to that, you're sacked".   Really?

> I really don't understand where you're going here. I support the status quo in which we have employment rights that don't extend to a right to post whatever you like on the internet when it can be connected to your employer.

I think the law on this is actually very unclear.  Things have evolved since the laws were passed.  We need some test cases.

> I use UKC because unlike FB, I'm unlikely to get into trouble posting stuff on here since my colleagues won't see it. I also never say who I work for.

But it would not be that hard for someone to work out who your employer is (you've talked about where you live, what your occupation is, etc, and some UKC people will have met up with you to climb).   Somebody could work that out, then make a collection of screen grabs of what you've said on UKC, and forward them to your work colleagues and your employer, and then broadcast all of this on twitter, trying to create and twitter storm and trying to shame the employer into sacking you.   This could happen even if you've never mentioned your employer on UKC.

This is not fanciful, this is what does happen (not related to UKC as far as I'm aware, but certainly related to other social media).    It's called doxxing, and plenty of people make a habit of it to try to destroy anyone who dissents from their ideology.

Is it ok, in such circumstances, for the employer to sack you for embarrassing them?

1
Jon Stewart 02 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> But what does that mean?  Does it mean "... or I'll dismiss your views as worthless" (fine), or "... or you're not allowed on the internet" (not fine)?

Fair question. It means, "your views are harmful and I will have no part in their propagation". So, there's no censorship as such, but it should be far more difficult to find a way to publish your views if they're demonstrably harmful and nonsensical.

> But can you clarify what you think should happen you Folau...Social opprobrium as a reaction, fine, but can he continue his career as a rugby player or not?

It's up to his employers. If I was them I would have a policy about not bringing the club, or the sport into disrepute, a statement about equal rights values blah blah. Sacking would be the end of the line should Folau not comply. In which case he'd be getting sacked for being an unmanagable arsehole, not for transgressing the social media policy.

I'm not in favour of sacking people for saying the wrong thing on twitter, but if you're just completely unwilling to comply with your employer's policies then you have to find a new job. That's life, it's got nothing at all to do with freedom of speech and (lol) "political dissent".

> But refusing to consider or promote his views (fine) is entirely different from sanctioning him for expressing the views. 

Not when you're his boss and he's making you look like a dick! It comes down to exactly the same thing: this organisation is having no part in promoting your views, so STFU. Oh, you won't comply? It's that way to the job centre.

> Yes, although the bigger concern is that, if we put in place a mechanism to censor his views, then that mechanism will be misused.

It isn't putting in place a mechanism for censorship! The homophobic Christian lot are not a proscribed organisation, it's just that if you want to be a celeb, that's not compatible with homophobic tweeting. You gotta choose which you want to do.

> But do you mean that literally, imposing a rule that someone must shut up if some authority declares that no evidence-based rational argument has been made? Who gets to decide whether or not a view is evidence-based and rational?    Whoever gets to decide that will misuse their power.

All I mean is that if I hear a view which is well justified, then I want to see it defended. If it's nonsense, I don't see any reason to protect its expression. Who gets to decide? Those who run social media platforms, employers, public institutions and policy makers.

I agree that there should be some sort of protected space in which you can talk nonsense and express awful, bigoted views. But the twitter feed of a role model for teenage boys is not the appropriate space. Folau should be free, if he likes, to write a column in Homophobic Christian Weekly (under a pseudonym).

1
Jon Stewart 02 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Everyone always considers their own views to be well-justified!  That's why they are their views!

I've obviously not made this point clearly. The Big Bang, formation of the earth from stardust and evolution of living creatures from simple life forms is well-justified as the story of the origin of the world. It's based on reason and evidence. Religious stories are not well justified, no matter what their proponents think. I am using exactly the same criteria to describe secular humanist/utilitarian morality as well-justified.

If you trust reason to give you the best answers about how the world works, why don't you trust reason to tell you what the best course of action will be?

Jon Stewart 02 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I'm afraid I'm not going to research employment laws to find out what is currently acceptable in a contract and social media policy. I would expect many employers to have a policy which forbids posting racist or homophobic material in such a way that it harms their reputation, i.e. the employee is identifiable as a member of the organisation. And I think such policies are completely fine.

deepsoup 03 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I can't see any relevance of the Asda case at all. People, employers and employees, are struggling to make sensible decisions on how to handle social media. For god's sake, don't post anything publicly your employer might take exception to, they'll use it against you!

The Asda case is a clear example of the employer getting it properly wrong.  He posted a section of a wholly legal DVD by a mainstream comedian bordering on 'national treasure' status.  A DVD on sale in Asda at the time, btw.   Some might find it distasteful and, yes, be 'offended' by it, but he clearly did nothing to bring the company into disrepute - his only actual offence might possibly have been an infringement of Billy Connolly's copyright.

I see he said in some of the coverage that he hadn't been able to afford to join the union (well dur - that's when you *most need* to join the union) and as such lacks the means to contest his dismissal.  Recourse to the law being something only available to people with the personal means to pay for it these days.  As an outspoken Tory it only surprises me slightly that Coel isn't all for that.

Offwidth 03 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

"This sort of reasoning could shut down any public commentary by any employed person in the public eye.   One could say:  "If socialists want to live in a progressive society ... blah blah"..."

If one was a complete idiot. Citizens are subject to state laws but can always campaign to democratically change them.

"We should change employment law so that employers do not have jurisdiction over personal life and personal social media accounts."

A clear sign you are completely clueless about the applicable company law in Israel's case. You can't expect companies to have no legal response when their name is attached by an employee to crap that could do real organisational damage.

"So it is "ignorant and foolish" to post a clip of Billy Connolly on a social media account? " 

Yes, if he is breach of Asda's social media policies (in this case, not knowing the contract details, policies I would regard as wrong or stupidly apllied). The fact the policies shouldn't be in place does not negate the disproportionate individual efforts required to expose this via breaching them.

"are you seriously suggesting that no person of any sort of notability is allowed to have personal moral positions and to promote them -- without making them liable to be sacked by any employer that wants to virtue signal?"

If the complex contracts he has signed are clear making homophobic public comment are not allowed with any association to his employer, yes he can fairly have disciplinary action taken on this. Calling this virtue signalling shows how extreme you are in modern UK political terms.  I can't argue about the fairness of the contract details as I don't know them but such clauses are perfectly normal and the boundaries have been tested in tribunals (some won and some lost).

"So, no Premiership footballer is allowed to express an opinion on Brexit, or on who to vote for in the next election, because their employer might have a different opinion? "

The terms of the contract determine this and most of the above are very unlikely to cause any problems in most jobs. Some people in highly sensitive UK jobs are not allowed to say anything.

"This is utterly ridiculous, and undermining the basis on which society works, which is that of a liberal democracy where people are allowed to advocate and promote their opinions."

As ever a complete denial on how legal limits on freedom of speech can apply in the UK for all sorts of good reasons.

Offwidth 03 Jul 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

The latest real example where freedoom of speech is abused and really means the freedom of rich media owners to orchestrate misinformation and lies on behalf of the super rich: liberal states clearly require improved responsibilities to go alongside such rights (where I think in freedom of speech terms the UK is in the right place overall). I guess some think Israel's case is more important.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/03/land-reform-brute-power-billionaire-press-attacks

Plus another example I don't see the freedom of speech warriors jumping up and down about:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-48166884

Coel Hellier 03 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> The Big Bang, formation of the earth from stardust and evolution of living creatures from simple life forms is well-justified as the story of the origin of the world. It's based on reason and evidence. Religious stories are not well justified, no matter what their proponents think. I am using exactly the same criteria to describe secular humanist/utilitarian morality as well-justified.

While my personal values on these topics would align with yours, values are not things that can be justified.  They're not akin to facts and one cannot justify values from facts and reason. 

Coel Hellier 03 Jul 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> If the complex contracts he has signed are clear making homophobic public comment are not allowed with any association to his employer, yes he can fairly have disciplinary action taken on this

I've actually posted the relevant clauses above. It's the Aussie Rugby Code of Conduct (a public document) that is relevant here, not clauses in his contract -- that is, according to reports in which his lawyer is quoted.

Jon Stewart 03 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> While my personal values on these topics would align with yours, values are not things that can be justified.  They're not akin to facts and one cannot justify values from facts and reason. 

Why not?

Suffering is bad. Therefore the best policy is the one that results in the minimum suffering. 

What's the problem with this argument - where is the value judgment that is not justified from facts and reason? Do you have a problem with the premise, "suffering is bad" and think it needs justifying? I think it's true by definition. 

Utilitarian ethics isn't viable on a personal level because it conflicts with some of our hard-wired instincts (such as valuing family members more than strangers); but it works great for policy where we need to use reason rather than instinct.

Coel Hellier 03 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> It's up to his employers. If I was them I would have a policy about not bringing the club, or the sport into disrepute, a statement about equal rights values blah blah.

The point is that "bringing the sport into disrepute" clauses are hugely vague and subjective.  If you allow them then you allow employers to sack people at will.    In the US, many states do have "at will" employment where employers can sack people on a whim (I was astonished when I found that out!).  

In Europe, we generally have a much higher level of employment protection, and most of us regard that as a good thing.   As I've said, I'm rather amazed that so many are prepared to allow employers to sack people for vague and subjective "we don't like what you said, even though it was not said at work" reasons.

I don't think that the ASDA employee had done anything to bring ASDA into disrepute.  (I do think that, by sacking him, ASDA have brought themselves into disrepute.)

Nor do I think that Folau's tweets brought Aussie Rugby into disrepute (he may well have brought himself into disrepute).  Nor do I think that Aussie Rugby would have suffered reputational damage if they had just decided to tolerate the tweets.  (Your judgement on that may vary.)  It was more about activists (in Aussie Rugby and sponsors) trying to use their power to promote their agenda, than about any actual harm to their reputation. 

Coel Hellier 03 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Do you have a problem with the premise, "suffering is bad" and think it needs justifying? I think it's true by definition. 

Phrased as "people dislike suffering", I'm fine with it, it's true. 

> Therefore the best policy is the one that results in the minimum suffering. 

Philosophers have debated this at length.   There are all sorts of problems when one examines it.  E.g.:

(1)  Is it then ok to kidnap and kill a healthy person in order to harvest his organs to relieve the suffering of 8 people receiving those organs?

(2) Given that "suffering" is so subjective, how do you aggregate it across lots of different people? 

(3) Does an ill granny with 3 days to live count equally with her grandchild, with 80 more years life expectancy?  If you say "yes", what about if the granny doesn't agree and values her grandchild more than herself?

Then there's your own point: "Utilitarian ethics isn't viable on a personal level because it conflicts with some of our hard-wired instincts (such as valuing family members more than strangers); ..."

People have been trying to make utilitarianism work ever since Bentham and Mill proposed it, but they've not succeeded and most philosophers have given up.

Jon Stewart 03 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> The point is that "bringing the sport into disrepute" clauses are hugely vague and subjective.  If you allow them then you allow employers to sack people at will. 

I would think the purpose is to make sure that if someone does something you really can't stand but you hadn't anticipated and explicitly forbidden, then you can sack them for it. A sacked employee can appeal. I also said that that I'd include some sort of equal rights values statement that you'd have to sign up to, i.e. by signing here you agree not be racist or homophobic. I don't see the problem.

Your argument rests on the idea that a requirement to support equal rights is asking someone to sign up to some arbitrary political viewpoint that they shouldn't have to. I disagree. It's signing up to basic human decency, and if you can't manage that then basically you don't deserve a job shovelling shit, let alone one that involves being idolised by millions. Sign up, or f*ck off, is my stance. 

> As I've said, I'm rather amazed that so many are prepared to allow employers to sack people for vague and subjective "we don't like what you said, even though it was not said at work" reasons.

The point is that "we don't like what you said" not because it was politically different to our tastes, but we consider it foul and unacceptable, similar to shouting "suck my cock" in the face of 10 year old girl. It's not the kind of speech that deserves protection. Shouting "suck my cock" in the face of 10 year old girl doesn't deserve protection, and nor does homophobic Christian tweeting. They both fall outside of the agreed social norms that now transcend politics and are merely standards of common decency that we all must accept in order to live in the same society.

> I don't think that the ASDA employee had done anything to bring ASDA into disrepute.  (I do think that, by sacking him, ASDA have brought themselves into disrepute.)

The case was bonkers. Sacked for posting Billy Connelly on FB? It's obviously mad!

> Nor do I think that Folau's tweets brought Aussie Rugby into disrepute (he may well have brought himself into disrepute).  Nor do I think that Aussie Rugby would have suffered reputational damage if they had just decided to tolerate the tweets.  (Your judgement on that may vary.)  It was more about activists (in Aussie Rugby and sponsors) trying to use their power to promote their agenda, than about any actual harm to their reputation. 

It needed a response because without one it would obviously make Rugby appear to be tolerant of homophobia, which according to the social norms du jour, is bringing it into disrepute. Acceptance of homosexuals and non-acceptance of homophobia is not an "agenda". It is how we roll now. Make homophobic remarks and you suffer social sanctions, just like any other form of speech regarded in general as obnoxious and a failure to abide by common decency.

Post edited at 22:31
Jon Stewart 03 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Phrased as "people dislike suffering", I'm fine with it, it's true. 

> Philosophers have debated this at length.   There are all sorts of problems when one examines it.  E.g.:

> (1)  Is it then ok to kidnap and kill a healthy person in order to harvest his organs to relieve the suffering of 8 people receiving those organs?

These kind of examples don't pose any problem, because they haven't been worked through - they're banal. Think through the actual consequences, that is, going beyond only the suffering of the 8 unwell organ recipients, and you'll find the best policy. You've got to count the suffering caused by killing a healthy person, and the fear that results in living in a society where healthy people are killed for their organs. Does that sound like it really results in the minimum suffering? Work through any example you like, considering all the consequences not just the first order ones, and you'll find the best policy. This is what consequentialism is about, not "would you kill one person...".

> (2) Given that "suffering" is so subjective, how do you aggregate it across lots of different people? 

You don't actually do the hedonic calculus, you work through the consequences of different policy options and make a judgement based on which you think brings about the best outcomes, i.e. which you believe reduces suffering most effectively. 

How do you evaluate policy options? Do you just have wishy-washy feelings about which you like best based on your unjustified values, and then say, "I like this one, but I can't justify why". I don't think you'd do so well in a policy job.

> (3) Does an ill granny with 3 days to live count equally with her grandchild, with 80 more years life expectancy?  If you say "yes", what about if the granny doesn't agree and values her grandchild more than herself?

In health policy then this is dealt with by "QALYs", this is exactly how policy is made, because no one hasa found a better way.

> Then there's your own point: "Utilitarian ethics isn't viable on a personal level because it conflicts with some of our hard-wired instincts (such as valuing family members more than strangers); ..."

> People have been trying to make utilitarianism work ever since Bentham and Mill proposed it, but they've not succeeded and most philosophers have given up

Outright wrong. Consequentialism is as alive as any moral philosophy can be. My view is that it doesn't work at the personal level (because of our evolved instincts, ref. trolly problem), but it works great for policy. Above, you just tried to use this as a counter argument for consequentialism/utilitarianism in policy - you just totally ignored what I said!

Post edited at 23:00
Coel Hellier 04 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I'd include some sort of equal rights values statement that you'd have to sign up to, i.e. by signing here you agree not be racist or homophobic. I don't see the problem.

OK, so all employees are required to sign up to a vaguely and broadly worded equal-rights values statement.

But then, someone criticises the fact that hijab wearing is compulsory in Iran.  Someone makes a complaint about "Islamophobia" and they get sacked.

And someone else says that, while they fully accept trans women and wish them well, and recognise that they don't have things easy, that, on balance, no, they don't think trans women should compete in women-only sports.   So someone makes a complaint about trans phobia and they get sacked. 

People will mis-use these things, and will use them to promote their own ideologies.  And then we have sacking decisions made by panicking HR directors trying to cover their arse, or, worse, they the HR directors are themselves activists trying to promote an agenda.

[By the way, Folau denies that he is "phobic" about gays, or that he hates them. His attitude is that we are all sinners (including himself) and he wants to warn people.] 

1
Coel Hellier 04 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> In health policy then this is dealt with by "QALYs", this is exactly how policy is made, because no one hasa found a better way.

Yes, but every time you make such a judgement you're doing it based on your values, on how you want things to be and how you think things should be.   It is not just using reason and evidence.

Of course there's nothing at all wrong with that, it is the only thing we can do, but all I'm saying is that whenever one tries to make such policies basing them on values (and not just reason or evidence) is inevitable.

Offwidth 04 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

One day you might pause in your obsessive ideology and compare your hyperbolic predictions with how things work in practice. As a scientist you should understand the importance of linking theory with evidence. Despite these clauses being very common in modern work there are no mass sackings. I guess in most in cases employees get taken to disciplinary process and are warned at the informal stage or if formal and foundto have breached the rules,  put on timed formal notification (say for a year); and they usually don't do it again.  The Asda case is rare and Asda are rightly getting flack for this. I have little sympathy for Israel.

The university sackings with gagging clauses in contrast are in huge numbers and have massive freedom of speech and academic freedom implications. I'm ashamed of the UK HE sector that this happens at this scale. Given only about 3/4 of Uni's replied to the FOI in the link above its safe to assume over a hundred million pounds was spent on gagging clauses on around 5000 cases in the two year period to this April. The same scandal applies to hospitals, councils, and many other important public sector bodies.

If you really care about freedoms why not stop defending homophobic religious fools and start tackling something that actually matters.

Post edited at 10:26
1
Pan Ron 04 Jul 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> If you really care about freedoms why not stop defending homophobic religious fools and start tackling something that actually matters.

Out of interest, where do you stand on the Noah Carl sacking? 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7014053/Cambridge-don-sacked-accused-publishing-racist-pseudoscience-writings.html

Coel Hellier 04 Jul 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> Despite these clauses being very common in modern work there are no mass sackings.

But then we're early days in the social-media era.  And for every sacking there are a thousand chilling-effect self-censorings, which is equally bad for society.

> If you really care about freedoms why not stop defending homophobic religious fools and start tackling something that actually matters.

OK, so religious freedom doesn't matter in your eyes -- noted. 

2
Jon Stewart 04 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> OK, so all employees are required to sign up to a vaguely and broadly worded equal-rights values statement.

They're not required to - employers in general choose to adopt equal rights policies so that employees aren't allowed to be racist and homophobic. This has been normal for the past 20 or 30 years.

> But then, someone criticises the fact that hijab wearing is compulsory in Iran.  Someone makes a complaint about "Islamophobia" and they get sacked....

Your priorties are all acock. The reason such equal rights policies exist is because minorities have historically suffered discrimination and bullying, the purpose of the policies is to end that and ensure it does not recur. You may be right that there is a risk that such policies could be abused. Such risks have to be balanced against the benefits of creating a culture in which racism and homophobia are unacceptable.

You don't think it matters if employees are racist and homophobic, or at least you don't want policies to prevent it (I'm alright, Jack), but you're terrified of the risk that such policies might be taken too far and people with reasonable views may get in trouble for posting something that's interpreted as discriminatory (I'm not alright, Jack). It's all rather fishy.

> [By the way, Folau denies that he is "phobic" about gays, or that he hates them. His attitude is that we are all sinners (including himself) and he wants to warn people.] 

What he tweeted was homophobic - I don't know why you want to dispute that. You do come across is if your motivation is to excuse homophobia, firstly by framing it as "political dissent" - laughable! - and now by painting Folau's intentions as compassionate. It's not a good look.

1
Jon Stewart 04 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Yes, but every time you make such a judgement you're doing it based on your values, on how you want things to be and how you think things should be.   It is not just using reason and evidence.

> Of course there's nothing at all wrong with that, it is the only thing we can do, but all I'm saying is that whenever one tries to make such policies basing them on values (and not just reason or evidence) is inevitable.

I think there might be some valid philosophical point here, but I'm totally unconvinced it's important.

The point you're missing is that the values I'm proposing are essentially universal, such that it is academic to distinguish them from reason and evidence. I haven't arbitrarily picked values without justification. There might be some philosophical separation between pure reason and the value judgement that the policy leading to the least harm is the best - but so what, it's of no consequence.

The value I introduce (the preference for reduced suffering) is completely consistent with a materialist rationalist world view and can be agreed upon by those who value reason and evidence. The only viable alternatives are non-rational value systems based on "god's will" or an afterlife or other nonsense. I can't think of any other value systems that make sense within a rationalist world view; so there is no practical distinction between reason and evidence and the value system prizing reducing suffering and increasing fulfilment.

Jon Stewart 04 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> OK, so religious freedom doesn't matter in your eyes -- noted. 

Religious freedom is fine when it does not infringe upon the rights of others. When it does (in the case of homophobia), it is immediately binned.

You need to understand that rights and freedoms come into competition, and you're making a choice in favour of the bigots. It's a bad call.

Pan Ron 05 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Religious freedom is fine when it does not infringe upon the rights of others. When it does (in the case of homophobia), it is immediately binned.

Did his statement infringe anyone's rights?

Jon Stewart 05 Jul 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> Did his statement infringe anyone's rights?

Yes. My view is that for gay kids to have equal rights to their straight peers is for them to grow up in a society in which homophobia is not broadcast to them through the TV, radio and the twitter feeds of their sports idols and role models. 

Coel Hellier 05 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> My view is that for gay kids to have equal rights to their straight peers is for them to grow up in a society in which homophobia is not broadcast to them through the TV, radio and the twitter feeds of their sports idols and role models. 

Straight kids don't have that "right" and nor do gay kids.  Sports stars should feel free to broadcast straight-phobia on their twitter feeds if they wish to.

1
Offwidth 05 Jul 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

I know that the Fail article you link is bollocks rabble rousing. Quillette have a much more sensible (albeit rather one sided) article which argues in his defense.. maybe use that next time .... its interesting to see (for the n thousanth time) how terrible a paper the Fail is on such important stories, despite the bad taste left. The decision is described in Wikipedia and the Guardian,  with the employer's side:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah_Carl

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/may/01/cambridge-university-college-dismisses-researcher-far-right-links-noah-carl

He was a Junior Research Fellow who had just been employed on a fixed term post... not a Don. The college panel claim they would not have employed him if they had known his full publication scope and his research collaborators. I guess we will have to wait to see what is the eventual legal outcome is, but he wasn't gagged, just the opposite: he is now a right-wing cause celebre.

He was involved in the Adam Smith institute article that discovered not many academics were conservatives...a no shit sherlock moment, muddling cause and effect.

Pan Ron 05 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

...and no one gave a shit about Folau's rantings until someone noted gays were included.

The norm these days seems to be instituting unequal rights, in the name of equality, but with no indication that the additional rights will ever be rescinded.

Doubly ironic that making the case against special treatment is now declared, in Orwellian fashion, as being anti-equality and not as actually being for free speech.

3
Offwidth 05 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

The self censorship is no different from what is has always been. Employers don't like their name attached to outside controversy.  It's pretty easy to keep work affiliations hidden for most people and when you sign up to the job its normally part of the contract (only the social media aspect is newish in terms of bringing an employer into disrepute)

It is not a religious freedom to be publicly homophobic and expect your employer to ignore that. He is still free to hold those views. 

Pan Ron 05 Jul 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

Opening sentences of the Guardian article;

"A Cambridge University college has dismissed a researcher after uncovering evidence of his collaboration with far-right extremists, with the head of the college apologising “unreservedly” to students for the appointment."

And you say Quillette is one-sided?

This is the same crap that emerged in the Sam Harris v Ezra Klein interview, where Klein essentially said testing for neanderthal DNA should not be conducted if it emerged that black people might have more of it - because that would make the research racist and fuel for racists. Yet sticking to his guns when it was pointed out that the research indicates whites have a closer genetic connection to Neanderthals.  Basically, if research might come out with an outcome that might be unpleasant, its deemed racist and shouldn't be conducted. Noah Carl falls in to that category.

Jon Stewart 05 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Straight kids don't have that "right" and nor do gay kids.  Sports stars should feel free to broadcast straight-phobia on their twitter feeds if they wish to.

I think that remark is idiotic in the extreme. Straight kids have the automatic right to live free from straight-phobia because it does not exist. This is because around 98% of the human population is straight.

Is this news to you? Did you think that straight-phobia was a real problem? Or do you think that "homophobia" (your quote marks - why?) isn't a real problem? 

1
Offwidth 05 Jul 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

I disagree completely. The Guardian is stating what the College informed them: that the college did uncover links with what they (the college) regard as right wing extremists and that the head did apologise to students. In contrast the Quillette article does not state the employers side nor really deal with the employers rights. Like Coel they seem to put freedom of speech above all else.

The rest on Sam vs Ezra is just abbreviated rambling ...start a thread and raise tthe full issues if you want to debate it.

Coel Hellier 05 Jul 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> It is not a religious freedom to be publicly homophobic and expect your employer to ignore that.

Many people would say that yes it is.  Indeed, most people would have said that, until pretty recently.  And at the moment we're rather lacking any case law to say for sure. 

Your stance that religious freedom does not entail the right to say that gays are going to hell rather guts the whole concept of religious freedom and free speech.  You're close to saying that anyone who wants to be employed does not have those freedoms.

1
Coel Hellier 05 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Straight kids have the automatic right to live free from straight-phobia because it does not exist.

OK, "straight phobia" doesn't really exist, but phobia of human sexuality, including straight sexuality, does exist in many religions. 

And it existed in Folau's tweet.  Here was a sports star and role model telling straight teenagers that fornicators will go to hell.  And yet, I'm willing to bet that nowadays the majority of people fornicate while in their teens.   Does anyone care about Folau's tweets on that? Nope, not at all.    About the strongest response to Folau would be "what century are you in?". 

So, given that straight teens get told this stuff by Folau and others, and given that you explicitly asked for gay teens to have "equal rights to their straight peers", I was just taking that literally. 

What you mean is that you want *extra* rights for gay teens, you want them to have greater protection.    (In the same way that you don't give a stuff about protecting Brexit-supporting, Tory-voting white males -- you've said so -- but you do want protection for non-white immigrant communities.)

> Or do you think that "homophobia" (your quote marks - why?)

I only put quote marks around "rights" in that reply, where they indicated that I don't accept that there is any right to not encounter offensive opinions from religious loons (or anyone else).

2
Stichtplate 05 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

To repeat the point yet again; Folau has the right to broadcast whatever god bothering shite he wishes. RA has the right not to employ someone they find objectionable and unmanageable.

The only people advocating to restrict freedom on this thread are you and Pan Ron.

1
Coel Hellier 05 Jul 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

>  In contrast the Quillette article does not state the employers side nor really deal with the employers rights. Like Coel they seem to put freedom of speech above all else.

It is almost unheard of for anyone to be sacked from a fixed-term 3-yr postdoc or fellowship (at least, not for any academic issue). Nearly always they would simply let the contract run out and not renew it. 

> but he wasn't gagged, just the opposite:

You seem to regard not being employed as a rather minor inconvenience. For most people, being made unemployed or being made to completely change careers, are rather big issues. 

For anyone interested in this case, his own defenses of himself are worth reading: see https://medium.com/@NoahCarl (3 or 4 of the pieces out of the last 10 are about this).

He does seem to have been a victim of systematic misrepresentation by the students who campaigned to get him sacked.   For example:

A Cambridge student newspaper quoted from the independent report by Sir Patrick Elias, comissioned by the college. The quote is:

"The Elias report also notes that “it is obvious, even a cursory reading of some of [Carl’s] papers, that many are racist and Islamophobic and that the methodology is inadequate and often confuses correlation and causation”

What the Elias report actually said was:

"First, it is said that it is obvious, even on a cursory reading of some of his papers, that many are racist and Islamophobic and that the methodology is inadequate and often confuses correlation and causation. [...]  I should not be taken to be accepting that if the papers had been read in full and in isolation, they would have been seen to be self-evidently racist or Islamophobic. That seems to me to be a highly contentious claim."

That's rather different.  The level of dishonesty that seems par for the course on the far-left these days is rather breathtaking. 

Coel Hellier 05 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> RA has the right not to employ someone they find objectionable and unmanageable.

Actually, that's not true.  If an employer had an objection to black people, they would not be allowed to refuse employment on such grounds.  

And, notably, religion is also a protected characteristic (in both the UK and Australia). 

And in the UK you can't just summarily sack someone for finding them "objectionable", you can only summarily sack them for gross misconduct. 

1
Stichtplate 05 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Afraid not. If I insisted on posting the sort of crap Folau has, I’d be sacked. In all likelihood I’d also lose my registration for behaviour likely to bring the profession into disrepute. And rightly so. I still be free to say it though.

Some jobs you can’t have visible tattoos, some you can’t dye your hair, some you can’t engage in political campaigning, some just insist you’re in the office on time, many have social media clauses. Most jobs impose restrictions on your behaviour. If you can’t live with the restrictions, find a different job. 

Edit: you’re right on the ‘summarily sack’ bit, but then Folau wasn’t summarily sacked was he.

Post edited at 20:10
Jon Stewart 05 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> OK, "straight phobia" doesn't really exist, but phobia of human sexuality, including straight sexuality, does exist in many religions. 

> And it existed in Folau's tweet.  Here was a sports star and role model telling straight teenagers that fornicators will go to hell.  And yet, I'm willing to bet that nowadays the majority of people fornicate while in their teens.   Does anyone care about Folau's tweets on that? Nope, not at all.

Have you thought about why people care about the homophobia, but not about the anti-fornication? Do you think it's arbitrary?

There are consequences to homophobia that do not apply to anti-fornication rhetoric. Consequences I've explained in detail, but which you're determined to ignore.

> What you mean is that you want *extra* rights for gay teens, you want them to have greater protection.

Total lack of understanding. Heterosexual teenagers have automatic protection; there is no risk of abuse. I'm think gay kids should be at precisely the same level risk, i.e. none. I'm asking for equal rights, and you're trying to argue against it.

Pan Ron 06 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> The only people advocating to restrict freedom on this thread are you and Pan Ron.

Big Brother has spoken.

1
Offwidth 06 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Its only unheard of as no one is listening. Most academic jobs have probation and a few percent dont make the grade at that point and all academic grades have been sacked from jrf to VC

I don't regard losing a job as an inconvenience, just the opposite. I'd like to see the fuss made about Carl happen for all academics who lose their job when this is for reasons that would struggle to stand up to public scrutiny. Gagging clauses normally cover the backs of management making bad decisions. 5000 odd in the last two years. Thats an average of around 20 a year per institution. 

The level of dishonesty on the far left in SWP terms has always been breathtaking. My arguments with Pan Ron have always been that throwing back hyperbole and exaggerating their power isn't the way to deal with them (I've spent nearly 3 decades opposing them in academic unions).

Coel Hellier 06 Jul 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> Gagging clauses normally cover the backs of management making bad decisions.

Isn't it a bit inconsistent to not care about free speech when it is pretty irrelevant to ones job (e.g. Folau's tweets) but to want free speech by an employee (or recent ex-employee) about their employer's management decisions?

Surely, the more unrelated to the employer something is, the more free we should be to talk about it?

1
wbo 06 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier: your fundamental mistake in this whole thread is that you think the only thing his employment entails is what he does on the pitch.  It isn't - he's a publicity machine 

And not all publicity is equal.  

wbo 06 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier: your fundamental mistake in this whole thread is that you think the only thing his employment entails is what he does on the pitch.  It isn't - he's a publicity machine 

And not all publicity is equal.  

Kemics 06 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

You do know free speech isnt an absolute? For example you have the right to free speech but not to be a holocaust denier. Part of the restrictions on free speech (in uk law at least) is that you cant say something designed to cause distress. I.e tell people who have an inherent characteristic that they are going to burn in hell for it. 

 Found this quote "Under Article 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998, “everyone has the right to freedom of expression” in the UK. But the law states that this freedom “may be subject to formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society”.

No gay bashing i imagine forms one of those restrictions. 

1
Coel Hellier 06 Jul 2019
In reply to Kemics:

> You do know free speech isnt an absolute?

Why yes, for examples laws about libel and incitement to violence, criminal conspiracy, etc. 

> For example you have the right to free speech but not to be a holocaust denier.

No, in the UK you have every right to be holocaust denier and to openly state that if it's your opinion.

> Part of the restrictions on free speech (in uk law at least) is that you cant say something designed to cause distress.

There is no law that says that.   (Well, there are public order offences, which might apply in some circumstances, but there is no general law saying you can't say something designed to cause distress.

> I.e tell people who have an inherent characteristic that they are going to burn in hell for it. 

There is no law saying that either!  You, Kemics are going to hell for sin of being born with two eyes and two legs.**   

>  Found this quote "Under Article 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998, “everyone has the right to freedom of expression” in the UK. But the law states that this freedom “may be subject to formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society”.

Note the "... necessary ..." in a democratic society. That's a fairly high hurdle.

> No gay bashing i imagine forms one of those restrictions. 

There is nothing illegal about saying that gays are going to hell, sorry! 

**Obviously I'm making a presumption here, apologies if you're weren't! But it makes the point that it's not illegal to say that.

Coel Hellier 06 Jul 2019
In reply to wbo:

> your fundamental mistake in this whole thread is that you think the only thing his employment entails is what he does on the pitch.  It isn't - he's a publicity machine 

Some roles, such as team captain or spokesman are indeed about publicity.  But merely playing in a side is not necessarily.  And do you really think that a national team should pick based on who is sponsor-friendly, as opposed to on sporting ability?

Coel Hellier 06 Jul 2019
In reply to the thread:

Martina Navratilova in The Times today, on whether trans women can self-ID and compete in women's sports"

"But I do know that if we do self-ID as the only determining factor, that’s the end of women’s sports as we know it. Maybe not now, maybe not 15 years from now. But 50 years from now, yes.”

Also:

"So I’m going to upset somebody, no matter what I say. For me, this has been about fairness for women and girls. That’s who I am and, by the way, I left a communist country because I couldn’t say what I wanted to say without repercussions. Now, if people attack me, it is what it is.”

Just wondering, would people on this thread regard it as ok if a current Wimbledon player said this, or can she say it only because she's in retirement?  Or should she still not say it whatever (which is what many in the trans lobby would say)? 

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/martina-navratilova-on-wimbledon-and-why-she-wont-be-silenced-in-the-trans-sport-debate-h5sw8bm2x

Stichtplate 06 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Some roles, such as team captain or spokesman are indeed about publicity.  But merely playing in a side is not necessarily. 

I take it that you don't really keep up with modern sports. How individual players are monetised, marketed and commercialised. You do know all professional teams and most big name players employ their own PR. Surely you aren't so naive as to think personal image and any publicity a player garners is just incidental to the actual game? If it was all about merely playing in the side and not the individuals image then why the hell would signed shirts and poster be on sale at ridiculous prices.

>And do you really think that a national team should pick based on who is sponsor-friendly, as opposed to on sporting ability?

Yeah, I think part of being picked for a National side is the ability to represent your nation without insulting and alienating a huge section of the population. But don't take my word on the importance of image in rugby, how about the words of the boss of Sale Sharks after it was hinted they might be interested in recruiting Folau...

And Sharks boss Diamond told SunSport: "We don't want to be associated with that. I don't think we would look at him. There are certain things where everyone is worth a second chance. But if you carry on saying it, then it doesn't read right."

But I think that you know all this stuff. I doubt you'd be defending Folau if he was campaigning to have the age of consent put back to 12 or if he was saying the law against raping your spouse should be repealed. Most people accept that society (note society, not the law) imposes its own strictures on what is and isn't acceptable to spout off about, its just you think homophobia is acceptable and most posting on this thread don't.

elsewhere 06 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> And do you really think that a national team should pick based on who is sponsor-friendly, as opposed to on sporting ability?

Only if they want to be paid professionals rather than unpaid amateurs.

Sponsor unfriendly = unpaid amateur.

Kemics 06 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Yes, sorry you're right. He's not done anything illegal. I was thinking perhaps it qualifies as hate speech but suggesting someone is going to hell, is a kind of third party threat at best i suppose.

Ultimately he's a brand ambassador for a company that doesnt want to be associated with public bigots, so he lost his job. The company can continue to put out a pro-LGBT message and he's free to continue his entirely legal proselytising on social media. 

Post edited at 21:27
Pan Ron 07 Jul 2019
In reply to Kemics:

Dont you see it as a little bit sad that it seems accepted he us a 'brand ambassador' first, "rugby player" second?

Worth a read, to see just how far this viewpoint is working it's way in - now his wife is being targeted for supporting him, and even GoFundMe wont allow him.  He's essentially Benn de-personed for quoting scripture.

https://quillette.com/2019/07/05/the-uncertain-boundaries-of-corporate-morality/

Phil Venn07 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Who cares about this? Personally I've got better things to do than give a shit some rugby player's views. Perhaps you have too much time on your hands. Try a bit of climbing and less chin wagging and may find that you'll be a happier person for it.  XXX

2
Pan Ron 07 Jul 2019
In reply to Phil Venn:

You're clearly a bundle of fun.

Kemics 07 Jul 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

It's not about being something first or second. He's a rugby player and brand ambassador. If someone is a bus driver, arguably driving a bus is the most important. But if they start telling all the passengers that the gays are going to hell, well, probably going to lose their job. Because that person is a bus driver and works in customer service. It's no different to someone who crashes the bus all the time. Even if they are really good at the bus driving or really good at rugby. 

Edit: ultimately i think it's sad that his wife and him are suffering. They are both victims too. The only villian is the church peddling nonsense. And even the clergy are only passing on their own misinformation. It's a cycle of abuse and maybe confronting these issues in public is a way to break that cycle. 

Post edited at 08:21
Offwidth 07 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

Of couse Coel doesn't know anyone actually involved or with real expertise : he has always been a purely theoretical polemicist so cold at times its almost like he is playing a reverse Turing test game. He always has a point, he justs stretches it way too far and seems to me to force fit evidence to meet ideology, just like the religious nuts he despises.

I'm glad he brought up Martina: she did a good BBC documentary which looked very honestly at the subject of trans and intersex sports issues as they affect womens sport (including the social media storm around what she said). The I Player link is at the bottom of the BBC sport news item attached.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/48777660

In the meantime, there is more bad news about those who exploit freedom of speech to promote race hate and violence:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/07/christchurch-mosque-killer-ideas-mainstream-social-media

Post edited at 11:29
1
Phil Venn07 Jul 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

I am.

Pan Ron 07 Jul 2019
In reply to Kemics:

I'd accuse certain individuals, who realise they can raise hell by being outraged, of being villains as well.

Folau is entitled to a private life which can live publicly. He does not belong to Rugby Australia 24/7 and they could just as easily have distanced themselves from his comments with a "our organisation and sponsors vehemently disagree and operate contrary to Folau's views, etc etc, but stand by his right to give them". Instead we have a debacle and an unnecessary culture war.   

I don't think homophobes are becoming any less homophobic as a result of scripture now being banned.

Offwidth 07 Jul 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

As bad as those who, offended, exaggerate the effect of some others expressing their freedoms of speech to be offended, and in this completely ignore the legal context. Israel chose to do something contractually dumb to use his fame get across his extreme religious views.

In the meantime, on averege 20 UK academics a year per University are dismissed with a gag where we have no idea if vital offense is appropriate and the volume of far-right instigated illegal hate speech intended to incite violence, increases daily.

1
elsewhere 07 Jul 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> In the meantime, on averege 20 UK academics a year per University are dismissed with a gag

Dismissed or voluntarily with go an NDA?

Gossip I've heard is that dismissals are very rare compared to voluntary redundancy or voluntary early retirement.

20 per year per university would mean maybe 20 percent of academics are dismissed during their career.

Post edited at 15:21
Offwidth 07 Jul 2019
In reply to elsewhere:

There are way more 'voluntary' academic redundancies in the sector than those who leave gagged. Most who leave an academic role are on fixed term contracts that end, a smaller number on failed probations, but still (although things haven't been so bad in recent years) the odd department does gets rationalised or closed. The next few years look anything from bad to armagedon.

These gagging clauses are usually non standard arrangements that arise from individual disputes (usually disciplinary related) that management don't want to be public. Yes 2500 per year is just over 1% of academics employed (currently just over 200, 000 according to Univeristies UK data) and given an average academic carreer will be over 20 years that would be equivalent to 20% on average if the scandal is not stopped. I'm not aware of any data on the full annual redundancy rate in Universities that includes RAs, RFs etc ending fixed term posts, and those who have been rationalised (that this data is hard to find is a scandal in itself),  but that WILL be a much bigger number still. As an example, on a similar percentage basis, I can talk to my departments. I've been unlucky with departmental closures in the middle of my career (given the lack of UK protection for STEM, from the late 90s, in the face of declining home numbers) but in my 35 years over 100% of equivalent full time staff numbers (compared to my current department size) have been made voluntarily redundant from departments I've worked in when I worked there; about 30% equiavlent of fixed term posts ended and staff left (who would have preferred to have had another contract extension) only about 10% equivalent left in dispute (all won a pay off and were gagged... this was unusual back then, but then again so was the mess), fortunately things have got better/luckier ...the most recent forced departures were around 2010.

Life as a UK academic is pretty tough these days: it takes many years of education to get in and the first few contacts are normally fixed term. KPIs are getting harder by the year and bureaucracy always seems to increase. A lot of the damage to academic freedom I've seen is because too many are just too tired to fight for it. We are also the only major western economy without tenure for Profs. It was glorious when I started work in my Poly... departmental closures were unheard of, people on my current grade were paid the same as MPs and only needed to work 4 days a week and rarely out of term time. No one had student debts. Housing was cheap. The pension was excellent. There was no email. 15 years later the squeeze began and STEM deprtments stated to close but at that time people took voluntary redundancy averageing 5 years pension enhancement. Right now the effective SSR has doubled since I started and enhanced pension years on redundancy is unheard of. I simply cannot in good faith recommend an academic career to a bright graduate unless someone feels it is their clear vocation... the exact opposite of what I would say when I started.

Post edited at 16:57
Jon Stewart 07 Jul 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> Dont you see it as a little bit sad that it seems accepted he us a 'brand ambassador' first, "rugby player" second?

The world is a capitalist shit heap. Please don't tell be you blame "the left" for this.

There is an optimistic view: society has changed is from one in which homosexuals are rejected and forced underground, to one in which religious bigots are treated this way. The are good reasons to support this change: for a start, unlike the religious bigots, homosexuals cannot simply read a few books, realise that they are wrong and change their ways.

> Worth a read, to see just how far this viewpoint is working it's way in - now his wife is being targeted for supporting him, and even GoFundMe wont allow him. 

I don't see any reason his wife should have been attacked; but I can see why GoFundMe didn't want to be instrumental in raising cash for a rich guy to fight a pro-bigotry court case.

> He's essentially Benn de-personed for quoting scripture.

No. The homophobia was the issue - if he'd said "I hate dirty faggots" that would have got the same (or worse) reaction. If he'd said "love thy neighbour", he wouldn't. By using the phrase "quoting scripture" rather that "posting homophobia" you're implying that the fact he's quoting the Bible lends some validity to his remarks.

Do you think that religiously justified homophobia or racism should be treated the same or differently to simple abuse? Do you think the hoo-ha would be any more fair had he just posted "I hate dirty faggots"? (Incidentally, I hate religiously justified homophobia more than simple abuse).

Post edited at 21:05
Coel Hellier 07 Jul 2019
In reply to Kemics:

> I was thinking perhaps it qualifies as hate speech but suggesting someone is going to hell, is a kind of third party threat at best i suppose.

Contrary to popular supposition, there is no law in the UK against "hate speech".

Coel Hellier 07 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

>  I doubt you'd be defending Folau if he was campaigning to have the age of consent put back to 12 or if he was saying the law against raping your spouse should be repealed.

I'd support his right to say such things.  I'd also disagree with him.    

In order to make laws we need to discuss the pros and cons of the laws, and people need to be able to argue for and against them.  I don't see why rugby players are not allowed to participate in that. 

Coel Hellier 07 Jul 2019
In reply to Kemics:

> But if they start telling all the passengers that the gays are going to hell, well, probably going to lose their job.

The better comparison is if he acted the professional while driving the bus, and only talked about gays going to hell in his personal life, such as down the pub or on social media. 

1
Jon Stewart 07 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> I don't see why rugby players are not allowed to participate in that. 

They can. Just not in a context that humiliates their employer. 

Coel Hellier 07 Jul 2019
In reply to the thread:

Worth a read -- and this is one of the reasons why I consider it important to allow more or less anyone to dissent from prevailing orthodoxy:

"Stonewall’s LGBT Guidance is Limiting the Free Speech of Gender Critical Academics"

[...]

"But that’s the thing about freedom of speech: you tend not to notice it being curtailed until it’s your speech that’s being restricted. And that will only happen when you think or say something at odds with what those in authority want you to think or say. The nature of social conformity is such that, for many people, this doesn’t happen very often. In contrast, one would expect it to happen reasonably often to academics. Challenging prevailing orthodoxies is surely part of their point. Yet, in practice, there’s a climate of intolerance around gender-critical thought, with academics either being censored by others, or self-censoring for fear of professional consequences. Stonewall’s close ties to universities, vaguely worded and punitive-sounding university policies, and general prominence as a political lobbying group, have led to a situation in which academic interrogation of Stonewall’s ideas and policies is condemned as a transphobic act.

"In this febrile atmosphere, a vocal minority of students, well versed in university procedures, has become trigger(ed)-happy when it comes to issuing complaints against academics they perceive to be transgressors. Equally, some academics—although #notallGenderStudiesProfs—are apparently happy to describe gender-critical views as attacks on vulnerable members of the trans community, not as intellectual challenges to ideas or powerful institutions. University administrators are often slow to protect gender-critical employees from harassment and, in some cases, terrifyingly quick to believe that such employees are bigoted.

"I recently put out a call, asking UK academics for their personal testimonies about their experience of hostility to gender-critical thought. Tales poured in: . . ."

https://quillette.com/2019/07/06/stonewalls-lgbt-guidance-is-limiting-the-free-speech-of-gender-critical-academics/

Andy Hardy 07 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

So your support for him is that he challenges orthodoxy? In what way is Israel challenging orthodoxy? Do you think that he came to his views on the likelihood of gays getting to heaven as a result of independent thought, or is he parotting nonsense instilled in him by religion at an impressionable age?

Jon Stewart 07 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

You seem to be categorising non-acceptance of homophobia as an "authodoxy" alongside some academic viewpoint on gender that I have neither the time nor inclination to understand.

The fact that you seem to view these perspectives with equal suspicion is concerning. I think it's reasonable to embed in institutions non-acceptance of homophobia as given. It's just basic decency equivalent to refraining from telling young girls to "suck my cock". These are "authodoxies" that we don't need to challenge. I can agree that a controversial and very modern academic theory about gender should be freely criticised (which can't possibly be an "authodoxy" since I don't know anyone who understands it let alone accepts it). However, I don't think there is anything to be gained by transgressing basic decency.

I do wonder how strong your grasp is on what most of us consider to be basic decency, given that you categorise it alongside obscure academic theories in social science. 

Post edited at 22:55
Offwidth 07 Jul 2019
Pefa 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

https://quillette.com/2019/07/06/stonewalls-lgbt-guidance-is-limiting-the-free-speech-of-gender-critical-academics/

This issue is all over social media atm in fact I just had a bit of a bust up with someone the other day on fb about the fact the Scottish government have postponed this new self IDing law. The person I was debating with was saying its terrible but I disagreed as I don't see why anyone should just be able to say they are the opposite sex and then after 3 months they are. It seems ridiculous to me as I think they should go through all the medical procedures to change physically etc before any such declaration is allowed legally. Basically I think it was fine the way it was and there is a new dangerous trend here that has gone too far.

There is a very unusual spike in young people saying they are non-binary or some gender of half a dozen or gender uphoric instead of the old traditional gender dysphoric. I think this is a fad, a fashion a trend and many well meaning people who genuinely care about these people have been caught up in it and by trying to help them have not only made matters worse for these kids but for genuine gender dysporic people and potentially other women. 

I have a few theories on why there is a spike, that involve untreated childhood abuse/ dissociative states and peer parenting and this must be addressed but the point made on here is about freedom of speech. 

There are a lot of feminists, religious types, red neck types who are pretty nasty to this whole matter and happy to call people who have this condition all manner of unsuitable and deliberately insulting things. Which is why we have these new curbs to try and stamp this out but it is now at the stage where it has gone too far and there is a serious backlash just because of people being too well meaning and not knowing where to draw the line. 

The trouble with her article though is she doesn't define who is transgender and who isn't she just uses this umbrella term which makes it hard to understand exactly who she is referring to. I think this whole debate has started because of this trend that isn't genuine and medical practitioners are too quick to diagnose gender problems rather than look deeper into other causes. I agree  that there has been a railroading through of hastily made bad policy. And anyone who disagrees with how far these bad policies has gone is being unrightfully sanctioned, so I'm with her 100% on that in fact this whole self IDing matter has and is doing more harm than good but is a symptom of a dangerous fashion trend and medical practitioners need to address it now then we can stop it which will then let us discuss it without sanctions. 

Post edited at 02:05
Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> So your support for him is that he challenges orthodoxy? In what way is Israel challenging orthodoxy?

Orthodoxy: "... is adherence to correct or accepted creeds, ..." (wiki)

He is quite clearly not adhering to accepted creeds on this issue. No-one gets sacked for stating orthodox ideas, so the fact that he is sacked for saying it pretty much tells us he is out-of-line with orthodoxy.

Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I think it's reasonable to embed in institutions non-acceptance of homophobia as given. It's just basic decency ...

I would agree -- within the institution.  That means that while at work you accept people and act with that basic decency. 

My disagreement here is that I then think that people have a right to a private life, including stating their opinions on social-media, and that the employer should not have jurisdiction over that.

And, as I see it. Folau's twitter feed was more about his personal life than an at-work activity (even if he did have a profile picture of himself in a team strip; simply alluding to work on social media is not enough to make it an at-work activity).

> I can agree that a controversial and very modern academic theory about gender should be freely criticised (which can't possibly be an "authodoxy" since I don't know anyone who understands it let alone accepts it).

In that case you've not kept up with trends in universities. There are whole departments devoted to promoting this stuff (usually called "dept of gender studies" or similar) and related ideas.   It is sufficiently orthodoxy that challenging it is regarded as heresy and can lead to calls for you to be sacked, banned from conferences, expelled from editorial boards, et cetera. 

Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Blogger/reporter explains why he has decided to self-censor on Twitter.

https://www.gspellchecker.com/2019/07/london-pride-signs-and-twitter-storms/

Post edited at 08:56
neilh 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I see there has now been a court case - as discussed on R4 Today- about a homophobic conservative Christian thrown off a  professional social services course at Sheffield Uni becuase of his alleged homophobia- where the uni has now had to back track and let him back in.Basically the guy said professionally he would not discirminate. There was no evidence to suggest he would.

Even had Peter Thatchell saying that this was reasonable.

Kemics 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Orthodoxy: "... is adherence to correct or accepted creeds, ..." (wiki)

> He is quite clearly not adhering to accepted creeds on this issue. No-one gets sacked for stating orthodox ideas, so the fact that he is sacked for saying it pretty much tells us he is out-of-line with orthodoxy.

Or you could use the actual definition of orthodoxy - following or conforming to the traditional or generally accepted rules or beliefs of a religion, philosophy, or practice. ....so his quoting scripture is the definition of orthodoxy. 

And given that in australia when they voted on gay marriage, only 2 years ago, 40% of the country wanted to keep gay marriage illegal - it suggests there is still a significant trend for people against homosexuality. 

You're playing a discussion whack-a-mole and you just move the topic as soon as people point out your contradictions. It seems pretty clear the only thing you have a problem with is people being gay. 

2
Andy Hardy 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Kemics:

>[...] It seems pretty clear the only thing you have a problem with is people being gay. 

To be fair, he's not keen on Islam either.

Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Kemics:

> Or you could use the actual definition of orthodoxy - following or conforming to the traditional or generally accepted rules or beliefs of a religion, philosophy, or practice.

Yep, and "generally accepted rules" in Western nations today is fully accepting of being gay.  It is that orthodoxy that he is dissenting from. 

> ....so his quoting scripture is the definition of orthodoxy. 

Yes, that is certainly orthodox among some variants of Christianity, but it is no longer the current orthodoxy in wider society.  Again, the fact that he's sacked for not conforming itself implies what the dominant orthodoxy is.

> It seems pretty clear the only thing you have a problem with is people being gay. 

Sigh.  The idea of a principled defence of free speech, even for speech one disagrees with and deplores, just goes over your head, doesn't it?

1
Kemics 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

And seemingly the idea of the consequences of words, their impact and inclusivity within sport goes over yours? 

Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Kemics:

> And seemingly the idea of the consequences of words, their impact and inclusivity within sport goes over yours? 

Nope, I'm fully aware of the impact of speech.  That's why free speech matters! Duh!

As I've said repeatedly, as I see it, any harms resulting from speech such as Folau's are outweighed by the harms of not allowing speech such as Folau's.  That's because, if we have such censorship mechanisms, then they will always be misused. 

Kemics 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

He's entirely free to say whatever he wants. The consequences of his words mean that he is unsuitable to hold the position of a brand ambassador for a company whose core values promote inclusivity. I think that's where this has basically boiled down to. 

elsewhere 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

>  That's because, if we have such censorship mechanisms, then they will always be misused. 

So a church, newspaper or sponsor should not censor who preaches, writes or gets publicity for them?

Great. I look forward to preaching at St Paul's Cathedral in my Adolf Hitler outfit and writing about it in the Daily Telegraph tomorrow whilst keeping my Coke sponsorship. 

Post edited at 12:28
Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Kemics:

> The consequences of his words mean that he is unsuitable to hold the position of a brand ambassador for a company whose core values promote inclusivity.

I don't think that a rugby team's requirements on that front should go beyond inclusivity within rugby.

Folau has never said anything against inclusivity within rugby (inclusivity in heaven is a bit beyond Aussie Rugby's remit, wouldn't you think?). 

Indeed, by refusing to include Folau, Aussie Rugby are going against their own inclusivity values, aren't they?

Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to elsewhere:

> So a church, newspaper or sponsor should not censor who preaches, writes or gets publicity for them?

Nope, and that's not what I said, is it? 

elsewhere 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Nope, and that's not what I said, is it? 

So why does Rugby Australia lack the free speech rights of a church, newspaper or sponsor to censor who preaches, writes or gets publicity for them?

Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> ... about a homophobic conservative Christian thrown off a  professional social services course at Sheffield Uni becuase of his alleged homophobia- where the uni has now had to back track and let him back in.Basically the guy said professionally he would not discirminate. There was no evidence to suggest he would.

Interesting case of thought-police over-reach.  The university thought-police were not pronouncing on whether he could practice as a social worker, they wanted to deny him even the right to study for a degree!

>  Even had Peter Thatchell saying that this was reasonable.

Peter Tatchell, to his credit, has a long history of supporting free speech (even speech he disagrees with).  For example, he supported the bakers in the gay-cake case. No doubt that means it is "pretty clear that he has a problem with people being gay".**

**This is sarcasm. 

Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to elsewhere:

> So why does Rugby Australia lack the free speech rights of a church, newspaper or sponsor to censor who preaches, writes or gets publicity for them?

The key words are "for them".  The church can choose who preaches, writes or makes a statement for them.  Aussie Rugby can decide who speaks for them. 

The issue is whether Folau has a right to a personal twitter feed where he is not acting as their spokesman and not speaking "for them". 

elsewhere 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> The key words are "for them".  The church can choose who preaches, writes or makes a statement for them.  Aussie Rugby can decide who speaks for them. 

And aus rugby can decide who gets publicity for them. 

> The issue is whether Folau has a right to a personal twitter feed where he is not acting as their spokesman and not speaking "for them". 

But it did get publicity for them which conflicted with his job of keeping sponsors happy.

 I look forward to preaching at St Paul's Cathedral in my Adolf Hitler outfit and writing about it in the Daily Telegraph tomorrow whilst keeping my Coke sponsorship BUT STATING I ACT IN A PURELY PRIVATE CAPACITY.

Post edited at 13:04
Andy Hardy 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> The issue is whether Folau has a right to a personal twitter feed where he is not acting as their spokesman and not speaking "for them". 

As I pointed out about 200 post ago, in the age of influencers the boundary between personal and professional is getting increasingly blurred. Assuming that the contract between AR and IF states that he can't write what he likes, then he has effectively sold his right to 'free speech'. If he doesn't like the restrictions, he shouldn't have taken the money. Is that really so hard to get?

Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to elsewhere:

> I look forward to preaching at St Paul's Cathedral in my Adolf Hitler outfit and writing about it in the Daily Telegraph tomorrow whilst keeping my Coke sponsorship BUT STATING I ACT IN A PURELY PRIVATE CAPACITY.

The key phrase there is "... at St Paul's Cathedral".  The equivalent would be "... at half-time in a rugby match" or "... in a post-match TV interview". 

Feel free to do the above on your own personal twitter feed. 

Jon Stewart 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> As I've said repeatedly, as I see it, any harms resulting from speech such as Folau's are outweighed by the harms of not allowing speech such as Folau's.  That's because, if we have such censorship mechanisms, then they will always be misused. 

And you're wrong because the fact that celebrities have to abide by common decency in public as part of their job description is not a "censorship mechanism" that suppresses any valuable discussion. 

Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> then he has effectively sold his right to 'free speech'. If he doesn't like the restrictions, he shouldn't have taken the money. Is that really so hard to get?

The issue is whether it is reasonable to say that anyone wanting to pursue a sporting career must give up any right to personal speech.   I don't think they should. Employment law should protect people's right to personal speech. 

Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> the fact that celebrities have to abide by common decency in public as part of their job description is not a "censorship mechanism" that suppresses any valuable discussion. 

Yes it is, since whoever gets to decide what is or is not "common decency" will mis-use that power to suppress valuable discussion. 

elsewhere 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> The key phrase there is "... at St Paul's Cathedral".  The equivalent would be "... at half-time in a rugby match" or "... in a post-match TV interview". 

> Feel free to do the above on your own personal twitter feed. 

So according to you a sponsor should not regard social media as part of a media package to get publicity for them. How very quaint.

Jon Stewart 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Your argument makes no sense. You seem to be saying that there should be no norms of common decency.

Should rugby players also be allowed to tweet "suck my cock" to young female fans without sanction? Should girls be protected against speech or ideas that they might find upsetting? Or is it just religiously justified abuse that's OK because the bible lends special validity and turns a lack of basic decency into "political dissent" deserving protection?

Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> You seem to be saying that there should be no norms of common decency.

No, I'm saying that employees should be protected from being sacked for violating common decency in their personal, non-work activities. 

> Should rugby players also be allowed to tweet "suck my cock" to young female fans without sanction?

Probably not.  

> Should girls be protected against speech or ideas that they might find upsetting?

No they shouldn't.

> Or is it just religiously justified abuse that's OK because the bible lends special validity ...

No, the religion gives it no validity at all. 

Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to elsewhere:

> So according to you a sponsor should not regard social media as part of a media package to get publicity for them.

Nope, and that's not what I said, is it? 

Andy Hardy 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

>  Employment law should protect people's right to personal speech. 

The rub here is the nature of his employment, if he's a "brand ambassador" then he doesn't have complete autonomy, he has agreed to limits on his speech with his employer through his contract. If he was solely paid for his athletic prowess, then you'd have a point, although top sports stars are always going to want to maximise their earnings with sponsorship and being "brand ambassadors"

Jon Stewart 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Indeed, by refusing to include Folau, Aussie Rugby are going against their own inclusivity values, aren't they?

No, because inclusivity is about not discriminating against people because of characteristics they don't control, not about accepting bigoted attitudes (dressed up with religion or not).

You're making an argument against equal rights by pretending that homophobes and homosexuals deserve equal treatment. It's extremely stupid. 

Post edited at 14:01
Graeme Alderson 08 Jul 2019
In reply to elsewhere:

A lot of the professional sports people that I know would be instantly dropped by their sponsors if their social media said something that could be deemed to bring their sponsor into disrepute. Quite a few of them have 2 accounts on a single platform, 1 would be a truly personal account which only their friends are on, and the other would be their publicly viewable/followable account, but it is still a personal account in that the athlete owns it. The twitter account used by Folau was very obviously a 'public' account.

neilh 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Thatchell supported him because there was no evidence he was discriminatory...just an assumption.

Post edited at 14:03
Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> If he was solely paid for his athletic prowess, then you'd have a point, although top sports stars are always going to want to maximise their earnings with sponsorship and being "brand ambassadors"

Suppose he doesn't want the latter?  Suppose he's happy not to go after sponorship to maximise earnings, and doesn't want to act as a spokesman or brand ambassador for sponors, but just to play rugby, is that ok or not allowed?

Sponsors tend to be choosy and pick from a handful of top stars, so de facto teams usually have players not in that category. 

Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> No, because inclusivity is about not discriminating against people because of characteristics they don't control, ...

Not quite, since most non-discrimination policies prevent discriminating against someone owing to their religion.  And yet identifying with a religion is indeed under their control. 

Would you, for example, by happy to drop prohibitions against religious discrimination, and so -- for example -- allow employers to dicriminate against anyone wearing a hijab?   That is, after all, within someone's  control.

Surely the better policy is that employers may only discriminate on things directly relevant to the job,   and theological reflections on who does or does not get into heaven are pretty much outside the remit of most jobs. 

Andy Hardy 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Suppose he doesn't want the latter?  Suppose he's happy not to go after sponorship to maximise earnings, and doesn't want to act as a spokesman or brand ambassador for sponors, but just to play rugby, is that ok or not allowed?

If he didn't want to be a brand ambassador, why sign the contract?

We can discuss ifs and buts and maybes til the cows come home, but the fact is he did sign, breached his contract, was warned, did it again and got sacked. I really don't get how this is a threat to the free world.

Mike Stretford 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Suppose he doesn't want the latter?  Suppose he's happy not to go after sponorship to maximise earnings, and doesn't want to act as a spokesman or brand ambassador for sponors, but just to play rugby, is that ok or not allowed?

He did want the latter. He used his twitter account to advertise rugby boots. He lost 2 sponsorship deals over this. The rugby part of his twitter account was the standard sports star model... he'd get to post official content and intersperse it with adverts. It wasn't a personal account.

Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> If he didn't want to be a brand ambassador, why sign the contract?

> We can discuss ifs and buts and maybes til the cows come home, but the fact is he did sign, breached his contract, ...

See above in the thread. You're making presumptions about this contract. According to his lawyer, it is not about any contractual clauses, it's about Aussie Rugby's "code of conduct", which applies regardless of sponsorship deals. 

Graeme Alderson 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

By signing the contract he would have signed up to the Code of Conduct.

Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> By signing the contract he would have signed up to the Code of Conduct.

So the answer to the question:

"If he didn't want to be a brand ambassador, why sign the contract?"

... is that he signed the contract -- which is nothing to do with being a brand ambassador -- in order to play rugby. 

Kemics 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

But he doesn't have to post homophobic content on his public brand affiliated twitter account?

Edit: and then you'll say "but this is a cruel and usual restriction of his freedom of speech" and ill throw my phone out the window and this endless cycle of moving the goal posts will continue. 

Post edited at 15:37
Graeme Alderson 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Less than 20 minutes ago you accused somebody of making assumptions about the contract and of you go making assumptions.

And yes I can see the irony of my assumption of the Code of Conduct being included in the contract but this is based on first hand knowledge of contracts between athletes and national sports bodies and it being the norm to include references to Codes of Conduct.

elsewhere 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Suppose he doesn't want the latter?  Suppose he's happy not to go after sponorship to maximise earnings, and doesn't want to act as a spokesman or brand ambassador for sponors, but just to play rugby, is that ok or not allowed?

That is OK and is allowed but it is not obligatory for other players.

That's because there is no obligation for other players to join him to "just play rugby" rather than joining teams & governing bodies going after sponorship to maximise earnings.

> Sponsors tend to be choosy and pick from a handful of top stars, so de facto teams usually have players not in that category. 

They sponsor national/international governing bodies too so not even the lowest level of amateur sport is entirely untouched by sponsorship.  

Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

In reply to elsewhere, Kemics and Graeme Alderson,

So, in essence, your position amounts to saying that anyone who wants a career as a professional sportsperson has no right to a personal opinion that they state on personal social-media accounts, but that at all times what they say is under the jurisdiction of their employer. 

OK, if you like that idea then ok, but I don't and don't think that employers should be allowed that level of control (even for well-known sports stars). 

2
Mike Stretford 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> So, in essence, your position amounts to saying that anyone who wants a career as a professional sportsperson has no right to a personal opinion that they state on personal social-media accounts, but that at all times what they say is under the jurisdiction of their employer. 

That doesn't relate to this case.

Graeme Alderson 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

No that is not what I am saying, as well you know. I am saying that if you sign a contract which amongst other things says that you must abide by a Code of Conduct and then you post something on your official twitter account, which is massively linked to your employer, that contravenes what you signed up to, then you should expect consequences.

Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> No that is not what I am saying, as well you know.

Effectively, yes you are.

> I am saying that if you sign a contract which amongst other things says that you must abide by a Code of Conduct ...

And since that's the only way of being a professional rugby player in Australia, you are effectively saying that being a professional rugby player means you lose  your right to express your personal religious opinions or any other opinions, if your employer dislikes them.

3
elsewhere 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> In reply to elsewhere, Kemics and Graeme Alderson,

> So, in essence, your position amounts to saying that anyone who wants a career as a professional sportsperson has no right to a personal opinion that they state on personal social-media accounts, but that at all times what they say is under the jurisdiction of their employer. 

Almost. 

So, in essence,  MY position amounts to saying that anyone who wants a career as a professional sportsperson has EVERY right to a personal opinion that they state on personal social-media accounts, but that at all times what they say is under the CONTRACTUAL jurisdiction of their employer. 

They have every right to state an opinion in public on social media. They also have contractual rights to be paid essentially for generating good publicity. They don't have any contractual rights to be paid for generating bad publicity or being unknown. It does mean at all times they have to be aware that good publicity pays their mortgage and that bad or lack of publicity will damage their income.

That's how the money works in their freely chosen career.

Mike Stretford 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> And since that's the only way of being a professional rugby player in Australia, you are effectively saying that being a professional rugby player means you lose  your right to express your personal religious opinions or any other opinions, if your employer dislikes them.

Nope, but lets's go with this.

If ARU had said he can post what he wants on a personal account with no reference to his employment, would you be ok with that?

Post edited at 17:02
Graeme Alderson 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Whatever. Goodbye.

1
Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> If ARU had said he can post what he wants on a personal account with no reference to his employment, would you be ok with that?

Yes, pretty much.  If they'd limited themselves to "please remove the picture of you in your team strip" then that would have been fair enough I guess. 

Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to elsewhere:

> ... but that at all times what they say is under the CONTRACTUAL jurisdiction of their employer. 

Which is pretty much in line with my summary of your position.  The "contractual jurisdiction" can include vague and broad clauses about generating bad publicity or bringing the game into disrepute, and thus the employer can more or less sack them for any speech at any time that it dislikes. 

Mike Stretford 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Yes, pretty much.  If they'd limited themselves to "please remove the picture of you in your team strip" then that would have been fair enough I guess. 

Numerous pictures, including sponsorship posts. And he couldn't post  the official content. Great we, agree.

As I said to Pat several weeks ago on this thread.... the flip side of that is the account is then easily spoofed, the genuine one only of interest to friends and family. But his is free to express his opinions, same as the rest of us.

Post edited at 17:23
elsewhere 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Which is pretty much in line with my summary of your position.  The "contractual jurisdiction" can include vague and broad clauses about generating bad publicity or bringing the game into disrepute, and thus the employer can more or less sack them for any speech at any time that it dislikes. 

When the upside is getting paid for vague and broad PR services such as good publicity and a wholesome reputation don't complain that the downside clauses for bad publicity and disrepute are equally vague and broad.

It's the vague and broad nature of the business you're in.

It's a bit like objecting to clauses to do with concrete when you are a concrete supplier.

Post edited at 17:38
FatherTed 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

"The twitter account used by Folau was very obviously a 'public' account."
Exactly this.

Israel Folau the 'ordinary Aussie bloke' or Israel Folau the 'lay preacher' would not have over 100,000 Twitter followers. His twitter base is because of his job as an international rugby player. It is not a 'Private Account'. He is publicising his views to a following that he only has because of his employment. Quite correctly, his employer has a say in what he posts.
If I posted homophobic views to my employers customers - I'd get rightly binned.

(As an aside - I'll really miss watching him play rugby... he is a truly outstanding player).

1
Kemics 08 Jul 2019
In reply to elsewhere:

> Almost. 

> So, in essence,  MY position amounts to saying that anyone who wants a career as a professional sportsperson has EVERY right to a personal opinion that they state on personal social-media accounts, but that at all times what they say is under the CONTRACTUAL jurisdiction of their employer. 

> They have every right to state an opinion in public on social media. They also have contractual rights to be paid essentially for generating good publicity. They don't have any contractual rights to be paid for generating bad publicity or being unknown. It does mean at all times they have to be aware that good publicity pays their mortgage and that bad or lack of publicity will damage their income.

> That's how the money works in their freely chosen career.

This mostly. (Ill do it as a quote so there's the slimmest of chances coel reads it again and it sinks in!)

And the reason im comfortable with RA's response is that their code of conduct asks nothing unreasonable. 

Post edited at 17:47
Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Kemics:

> This mostly. (Ill do it as a quote so there's the slimmest of chances coel reads it again and it sinks in!)

It doesn't need to "sink in", I'm entirely aware of it.  I just disagree that it should be allowed.

What it amounts to is that in order to be a professional sportsperson you must sign a contract agreeing to a Code of Conduct, and the Code of Conduct can be as vague, general and catch-all as:

"1.8  Do not otherwise act in a way that may adversely affect or reflect on, or bring you, your team, club, Rugby Body or Rugby into disrepute or discredit."

That's the clause Aussie Rugby will be relying on in the current court case.  It's not even grammatical. 

If people think that employers should be allowed to write clauses like that, and then sack people for the highly subjective act of violating them -- thus driving a truck and horses through a century of progressive employee-protection legislation -- then ok, you think that. 

I don't think that's a fair contractual clause, and I don't think the law should allow it.   I said exactly that way up thread.

It's not that I don't understand the line you're taking, it's that I don't agree with it. 

1
Kemics 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> What it amounts to is that in order to be a professional sportsperson you must sign a contract agreeing to a Code of Conduct, and the Code of Conduct can be as vague, general and catch-all as:

> "1.8  Do not otherwise act in a way that may adversely affect or reflect on, or bring you, your team, club, Rugby Body or Rugby into disrepute or discredit."

Not bringing disrepute or discredit seems quite reasonable to me. I imagine it's kept vague because if you had to include every specific act (knowing rugby players) the contract would be the longest legal document ever in human history.

112.VIIB - No pissing into a bbq on national television

112.VIIC - No sexual relations with animals of any kind. 

112.VIID - No homophobia 

112.VIIE - No eating of thongs (either underwear or footwear) and then vomiting partially digested items onto members of the royal family

etc etc

I think we can agree to disagree   

Jon Stewart 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> No, I'm saying that employees should be protected from being sacked for violating common decency in their personal, non-work activities. 

> Probably not.  

> No they shouldn't.

> No, the religion gives it no validity at all. 

If employees should be able to violate common decency outside work, and girls shouldn't be protected from ideas they might find upsetting, then on what basis should Folau not be allowed to tweet "suck my cock" at young girls, outside work, if he wants?

Why does this speech not deserve protection, but homophobia does? You say it's not religion that's giving validity, so what is?

I'm totally baffled now at your half-baked, inconsistent position. 

Jon Stewart 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Not quite, since most non-discrimination policies prevent discriminating against someone owing to their religion.  And yet identifying with a religion is indeed under their control. 

That's true. My position is that there are very strong reasons why one should not discriminate on grounds of sex, race, sexuality/gender identity, and disability - traits that one does not control.

With religion, there may be good reasons to discriminate, e.g. if adhering to a religion is incompatible with a certain role, or leads to actions that are unacceptable in a given context. However, discrimination on grounds of religion without good reasons is unacceptable - it's bigotry.

> Would you, for example, by happy to drop prohibitions against religious discrimination, and so -- for example -- allow employers to dicriminate against anyone wearing a hijab?  

No, because unless the hijab was causing some problem, this would be religious discrimination without good reason. A niqab, on the other hand, causes problems in any job that requires face-to-face communication: there is no way on earth I would employ anyone wearing one, and if an employee turned up to work with one on they would be told to either remove it or pack their bags. This would be religious discrimination with good reasons.

> Surely the better policy is that employers may only discriminate on things directly relevant to the job,   and theological reflections on who does or does not get into heaven are pretty much outside the remit of most jobs. 

Surely the better policy is for employers to discriminate - or more broadly to act - only where there are good reasons. So if someone's religion has no effect on their work then fine, but if it causes embarrassment to the employer at the level of international media attention, then that's good reason to act. The problem isn't that Folau privately believes gays will go to hell: he wasn't honey-trapped into a covert recording of a private conversation. He's a celebrity and he posted it on twitter. Because homophobia violates common decency, just like tweeting "suck my cock" at young girls, this was extremely embarrassing to his employer. So the employer had good reason to act.

For the millionth time: it's nothing to do with the right to free speech, it's about acting in a way that isn't totally inappropriate to one's job role. He's a celebrity and a role model: part of taking the money for that work entails maintaining common decency on twitter. And it's not a big ask. Hate gays if you want to, just don't post it on twitter. I can't tweet racist abuse and not expect my employer to respond - why on earth should a rugby player be able to tweet homophobia with impunity?

Your case is entirely unconvincing. You just seem to have penchant for bigots who post abuse on twitter.

Post edited at 19:50
Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> on what basis should Folau not be allowed to tweet "suck my cock" at young girls, outside work, if he wants?

What that is suggesting would be a criminal offence; suggesting it could also be seen as harassment; and possibly "obscene or threatening communication"; and possibly against laws about importuning (I'm not fully sure of the law on that without googling).

So, quite a lot of reasons that don't really apply to theological speculations about an after-life. 

Jon Stewart 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> What that is suggesting would be a criminal offence; suggesting it could also be seen as harassment; and possibly "obscene or threatening communication"; and possibly against laws about importuning (I'm not fully sure of the law on that without googling).

If it was just tweeted without reference to any individual, just something indecent like "I want all the world's teen girls to suck my cock" - this wouldn't be harassment or break any law that "gays will burn in hell" doesn't, would it? They strike me as two equivalent examples of violations of decency that fall short of incitement or harassment.

Post edited at 19:57
Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> No, because unless the hijab was causing some problem, this would be religious discrimination without good reason. A niqab, on the other hand, causes problems in any job that requires face-to-face communication: there is no way on earth I would employ anyone wearing one, ...

Here we agree.  Discrimination is warranted if the religion is incompatible with work, in which case there is good reason, but not otherwise. 

> So if someone's religion has no effect on their work then fine, but if it causes embarrassment to the employer at the level of international media attention, then that's good reason to act.

As I see it, Folau's attitudes were not actually causing a problem at work.  There's no suggestion that he had harassed or insulted anyone at work, nor that he wants Aussie Rugby to be anything other than inclusive of gays and to treat them equally. 

There is thus nothing akin to the directly work-related "good reason" of: "a niqab, on the other hand, causes problems in any job that requires face-to-face communication".

The reason for the "international media attention" is thus largely about activists (such as the boss of the main sponsor, Quantas, and some of the people at Aussie Rugby) wanting to make an issue out of it in order to promote their own agenda. 

Post edited at 20:09
Jon Stewart 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> As I see it, Folau's attitudes were not actually causing a problem at work.  There's no suggestion that he had harassed or insulted anyone at work, nor that he wants Aussie Rugby to be anything other than inclusive of gays and to treat them equally. 

But it's completely obvious that his employer was embarrassed by Folau's failure to represent them as an organisation that abides by common decency. How can you possibly say that this "isn't a problem at work" when his employer said "it is a f*cking problem, now stop!".

> There is thus nothing akin to the directly work-related "good reason"

Except that in the job role of celebrity sports star, violating common decency, such as pissing on a BBQ, shagging a kangaroo, or tweeting homophobia all cause extreme embarrassment to the club. Maintaining that this "isn't a problem" is totally absurd: as usual you're clinging to a patently ridiculous position because you lack the humility to back down, and probably no other reason.

> The reason for the "international media attention" is thus largely about activists (such as the boss of the main sponsor, Quantas, and some of the people at Aussie Rugby) wanting to make an issue out of it in order to promote their own agenda. 

What's your evidence? I'm not an activist, I'm just a normal guy with a vested interest in how we deal with homophobia in society. I want to know about it if a role model for teenage boys is promoting homophobia on social media: it's important to me. It's worth reporting. So what you're saying here is bollocks, again. And isn't an "agenda" to rid society of homophobia valid anyway? Labelling it "an agenda" does not invalidate that enterprise.

Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> How can you possibly say that this "isn't a problem at work" when his employer said "it is a f*cking problem, now stop!".

The employer was just virtue signalling, rather than it being an *actual* problem.  And was the employer's reputation really suffering?

> And isn't an "agenda" to rid society of homophobia valid anyway? Labelling it "an agenda" does not invalidate that enterprise.

Sure, it's a valid and laudable enterprise. So is wanting to rid the world of religion.  But that doesn't mean that sacking people for being religious would be acceptable.  Nor would a vague: "your being religious is embarrassing me as an employer, so I'm sacking you".

What would justify sacking from work is a real and actual problem at work that meant someone could not do their job effectively.  Folau played 62 tests for Australia without any indication that he couldn't do his job effectively. 

5
Offwidth 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

How on earth do you have time for this merry-go-round of argument. Are you off sick? My Prof colleagues seem completely driven and hardly ever seem to stop working. 

2
Jon Stewart 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> The employer was just virtue signalling, rather than it being an *actual* problem.  And was the employer's reputation really suffering?

What make addressing homophobia "virtue signalling"? If I were to address racism in my workplace, would that be "virtue signalling" as well, or could I just be appalled by racism and want it stopped immediately because I think it's a violation of basic decency?

To describe an objection to homophobia as "virtue signalling" is to make no argument at all, but instead just uses the language of social conservatives (bigots) to sneer at attempts to promote equal rights. "Virtue signalling" to promote the "gay agenda" is a violation of "free speech". Do you intend to sound like a UKIP youtuber with no grip on the issue, or are you trying to make an argument?

The employer was embarrassed because homophobia violates social norms. Borrowing buzzwords from Breitbart doesn't change this fact. It sounds like you're trying to justify homophobia by discrediting attempts to address it.

> Sure, it's a valid and laudable enterprise. So is wanting to rid the world of religion.  But that doesn't mean that sacking people for being religious would be acceptable.  Nor would a vague: "your being religious is embarrassing me as an employer, so I'm sacking you".

No one got sacked for being religious. He got sacked for being homophobic, and refusing to stop. Again, you're seeking to use the religious justification to lend validity to the homophobia. You know that's nonsense just as much as I do, so don't do it.

> What would justify sacking from work is a real and actual problem at work that meant someone could not do their job effectively.  Folau played 62 tests for Australia without any indication that he couldn't do his job effectively. 

And then he tweeted homophobia and embarrassed his employer. Part of the job role of a celebrity sports star is to abide by common decency. If he tweeted racist abuse, he'd get sacked. If he tweeted sexually abusive messages, or promoted rape, he'd get sacked. He tweeted homophobia, and following warning, was sacked. You're not arguing for anything worthwhile by trying to claim that celebrities should be at liberty to violate basic decency by being racist, homophobic or abusive with impunity. It's total nonsense.

Post edited at 21:48
1
Coel Hellier 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> If I were to address racism in my workplace, would that be "virtue signalling" as well, or could I just be appalled by racism and want it stopped immediately because I think it's a violation of basic decency?

Again, note the "at work" there.  A company should indeed clamp down on racism in its workplace.  But if that company then puts out an advert deploring racism in wider society, that would be "virtue signalling".   Lots of companies do that sort of thing nowadays. 

2
Jon Stewart 08 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Again, note the "at work" there.  A company should indeed clamp down on racism in its workplace. 

And when you're famous, what you do in public is your work. That's what being famous is. Furthermore, most employers will place an obligation on you not to embarass them on social media, just because it's in their interests and it's not unreasonable. There's loads of stuff I wouldn't post on twitter because as a professional working with the public, it would be inappropriate.

This idea that a celebrity should be able to post homophobic, racist or sexual abuse on social media doesn't have any value or justification. It's rubbish, and I think you've completely wasted your time with this lengthy, confused and completely unconvincing case for it.

Coel Hellier 09 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> And when you're famous, what you do in public is your work. That's what being famous is.

I guess this is where we fundamentally disagree -- to me, the concept of personal free speech is sufficiently valuable that I don't regard even famous people as having lost it, and as relinquishing control over anything they say to their employer. 

Your doctrine also leaves open the question of how famous one needs to be before your employer has that control. 

1
Stichtplate 09 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> I guess this is where we fundamentally disagree -- to me, the concept of personal free speech is sufficiently valuable that I don't regard even famous people as having lost it, and as relinquishing control over anything they say to their employer. 

Where we fundamentally disagree is that you think personal free speech is a real thing. It isn't. It's myth, a complete fiction. If an individual adopted a strategy of saying whatever they thought in any given situation they'd quickly discover that they were unable to maintain any semblance of familial relationships, let alone personal or professional. Society has always imposed strictures on free speech. Without them society couldn't function. I agree that the law shouldn't be involved and in this case, it isn't.

1
Jon Stewart 09 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> I guess this is where we fundamentally disagree -- to me, the concept of personal free speech is sufficiently valuable that I don't regard even famous people as having lost it, and as relinquishing control over anything they say to their employer. 

> Your doctrine also leaves open the question of how famous one needs to be before your employer has that control. 

Incorrect. I pointed out that it's a normal requirement in employment to comply with a social media policy. I have to - I can't post racist abuse on twitter (as Jon Stewart, optometrist) without my employer responding. In fact, my regulator would then step in and I'd be threatened with losing my license to practice.

This is because we have a consensus that racist abuse is unacceptable. It's not suppression of "political dissent". It's perfectly reasonable that employers - and professions - protect their reputation against those who cannot abide by basic human decency.

The difference when you're famous is that any violation of decency has far greater consequences.

Your argument is that society would be better if social media had more abuse, bullying and discrimination in the name of "free speech". You haven't shown that alongside this negative content, something valuable is being suppressed, so that the balance is in favour of increasing the bullying and abuse. I cannot see any advantages to allowing employees, famous or not, to post abuse of minorities online. Their freedom to do so simply is not valuable in its own right, because the consequences are negative and are not outweighed by other advantages. 

Coel Hellier 09 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I agree that the law shouldn't be involved and in this case, it isn't.

Well it is now, given that Folau is suing under Section 772 of the Fair Work Act:

"An employer must not terminate an employee’s employment for one or more of the following reasons, or for reasons including one or more of the following reasons:  [...] race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family or carer’s responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin; ...".

Folau will point to the "religion" bit and say that all he did was quote scripture in paraphrase. 

Against that, Aussie Rugby will point to the Code of Conduct clause:

"Do not otherwise act in a way that may adversely affect or reflect on, or bring you, your team, club, Rugby Body or Rugby into disrepute or discredit."

2
Jon Stewart 09 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Folau will point to the "religion" bit and say that all he did was quote scripture in paraphrase. 

His argument is that the Bible lends legitimacy to the homophobia he posted, and his speech should be protected for that reason. Do you support that? 

Coel Hellier 09 Jul 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Some more on the legal stuff:

"That conflict, between an employer’s right to impose standards of conduct on its workers and an employee’s right to religious expression, has never been properly tested in court.

"There simply isn’t a precedent to tell us how far Folau’s rights go in this scenario.

" “We don’t really have any case law specifically dealing with it, so the question for the court is going to be: is it encompassed within the protection of religion that a person is therefore able to say whatever they think, or quote from the Bible in any way that they like, publicly, in the way that he has done here?” Prof Forsyth said."

Also:

"Sydney barrister Jeffrey Phillips SC, who specialises in ­employment law, told The Australian that:

"“If it be the case that sponsors, or even the government, has placed any pressure on Rugby Australia to terminate his contract, then that raises prospects of interference with contractual relations and aspects of Australian competition and consumer law, in particular, section 45D dealing with secondary boycotts,” he said. “For example, if Party A places pressure on Party B to stop Party C providing services to Party D, that is a secondary boycott. This is not too dissimilar to when renegade trade unions like the CFMEU placed pressure on employers not to engage with contractors who have non-union labour.” "

And just to add:

"Folau, who has since used ­social media sparingly, yesterday took to Twitter to defend gay rights activist and actor Magda Szubanski. “I totally agree with @bairdjulia — please stop the anonymous online attacks on @MagdaSzubanski who has entered this debate very respectfully,” he wrote. “She is entitled to express her views — let’s all have this important discussion with love in our hearts.” 

5
the sheep 09 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

This thread seems to be going nowhere at the moment. So I'm just going to say as a matter of personal opinion I'm very glad Rugby Australia have kicked him and his homophobic views out of the game 

2

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.