Israel Folau fundraiser shut down by Australian Christian Lobby

Toe ta'ofi e feinga pa'anga 'a Folau' toe pa'anga $1 miliona pea a'usia 'a e tāketi'. Oku pehē 'e he kautaha Kalisitiane ACL ne 'anautolu 'a e uepisaiti ko eni ne feinga pa'anga ai 'a Folau te nau ki'i taimi he hano toe tali ha tokoni kae 'oleva ke fakapapau'i ko e fiha ko ā e fie ma'u totonu ki he totongi fakamole ki he 'eke fakalao 'a Folau'.

A campaign to raise funds to support ex-Wallaby Israel Folau’s legal stoush with Rugby Australia has been “paused” after donations topped $2 million.

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), which set up the fundraiser on its website, said the flow of donations since it was opened on Tuesday had been “overwhelming”.

More than 20,000 people had donated more than $2.2 million by Thursday morning (AEST).

The campaign has been labelled “GodFundMe” by some, after the ACL swooped in to replace an earlier campaign on GoFundMe that was also taken down by the platform for breaching its service guidelines.

“Your overwhelming support means that Israel Folau has raised enough money for now,” the ACL said in a statement on its website.

“ACL, Izzy and everyone involved is humbled and grateful. We are hitting the pause button. But if the case drags on and Israel needs more support, we will re-open this campaign.”

The ACL said the fundraiser not only showed there was support for Folau but a “great movement of quiet Australians have found their voice.

“This cannot be ignored.”

The same statement asked for Folau supporters to pledge their financial support to Folau in the future, should the former rugby star’s legal costs rise above the war chest already raised. “If you would like to pledge your support below please do and we will be in touch when the need arises,” the statement said.

Folau said last week Rugby Australia has already made it clear the governing body “will divert significant resources to fight me in court”.

ACL managing director Martyn Iles on Wednesday night assured supporters the money raised will solely be used to meet Folau’s legal costs.

It comes as a poll of more than 120,000 readers on found 53 per cent of people believe Folau should be funding his legal battle out of his own pocket, having received salary payments in excess of $10 million throughout his sporting career.

“All money raised will only be used for costs associated with ­Israel’s defence,” Iles told The Australian.

“The money will never go to Israel personally and it will not be used by the ACL for other purposes.”

He said in a video released on Tuesday night Prime Minister Scott Morrison must make a stand on the issue when parliament resumes next week.

Israel Folau speaks at The Truth of Jesus Christ Church in Sydney.

Israel Folau speaks at The Truth of Jesus Christ Church in Sydney.Source:Facebook

“Israel’s case is every Australian’s case,” Iles said.

“Thousands and thousands of quiet Australians have donated generously to Folau’s legal defence fund and many of them are the same quiet Australians who stood up for the religious freedom at the federal election only a month ago.

“Izzy’s treatment speaks volumes about the challenges facing our society.

“The activists don’t just want to silence Israel Folau, they want to make an example out of him. They want to make it very clear that for people of faith, and people with beliefs that fit outside the narrow band of political correctness, there is no place for them …

“It’s time for our politicians to lead. It’s time for Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese to outline in detail how they will protect people of faith and the important principles of freedoms that are raised by Israel’s case.

“This sort of public lynching is unacceptable in a supposedly tolerant and ethnically and religiously diverse country like Australia and our politicians cannot simply wash their hands like Pontius Pilate.”

Folau wanted to raise $3 million for his unfair dismissal case, which he believes amounts to discrimination on religious grounds.

Israel Folau with Australian Christian Lobby managing director Martyn Iles. Picture: Facebook

Israel Folau with Australian Christian Lobby managing director Martyn Iles. Picture: FacebookSource:Facebook

Folau is seeking $10 million in damages from RA and wants his multimillion-dollar contract re-instated after it was pulled by the association.

RA took issue with a social media post by the committed Christian in April that was condemned as homophobic.

Folau had paraphrased a Bible passage saying “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters” would go to hell unless they repented.

“To those who have criticised me, I bear no ill will towards you. You have every right to express your own beliefs and opinions,” he posted on Instagram.

It comes after Sydney radio host Alan Jones on Thursday morning urged listeners to support Folau as his anticipated legal dispute with Rugby Australia is “one of the defining cases of our time”.

Speaking on his 2GB show this morning, Jones said: “We should all be doing our little bit because Israel Folau is fighting the battle for all of us.

“These are essential freedoms… it’s a bit like the Mabo case, these are significant changes that must be made to the way we run our society if we are free and democratic,” Jones said.

— with AAP


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here