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  • P.D.Jonson

Saturday Sanity Break, 20 April 2019 – How we treat dissidents

Updated: May 2, 2020

The Easter/Anzac Day break is welcome. This includes the most holy days in the Christian calendar, the death and resurrection of Christ. Even agnostics must occasionally wonder how the universe came into being. Is it just ‘there’ or is there an infinity of universes some call the multiverse. Or does our universe eventually fade into near nothingness when it spreads out and cools. What leads to the creation of new universes and how does life arise and organisms as complicated as modern humans arise when it is unclear how modern humans evolved. Many mysteries that may never be solved and even an agnostic must wonder if the stories of religions are as mysterious and incapable of proof or disproof as puzzles about how the universe or the multiverse.

This year, this is followed by the highly moving recognition of Australia’s losses in wars, with its important implied message about avoiding such events if at all possible. Of course, if other nations decide to attack us, and if we are a target we may have the choice of submitting or fighting until we can fight no further. The position of pacifists – ‘we shall never fight – is attractive to some but not the majority. So on Anzac Day we salute those who fought to keep us free. Many deaths, the grief of the loved ones, many alive who paid a massive price in illness, physical or mental, with ongoing grief of their loved ones.

At this time I find myself thinking about people whose freedom of speech or whistle-blowing is a cause of bullying by their employees, in many cases ruining their careers. And certainly lots of anxiety as the wheels of corporate ‘justice’ grind. It is good to see that a judge ruled against the university for firing a dissident who dared to attack the status quo about the state of the Great Barrier Reef.

This issue that most bothers me at present is the problem of free speech afflicting Israel Falau. A fine article by a former Rugby coach, Alan Jones, in the Oz, seems to me to be a wonderful defence of Australia’s greatest Rugby player. I highly recommend his whole article but will pick out some of the most important thoughts, which shall be quoted.

  • Folau stands alone

  • ‘watch the Judas brigade and its mercenary membership line up behind Rugby Australia and spout the party line. Israel speaks from conviction and Christian commitment.’

  • ‘To use a biblical analogy, it is sickening to see these blokes taking their pieces of silver to sell out their former teammate and celebrated player.’

  • ‘How odd that Rugby Australia preaches “diversity” and “inclusiveness” when what they really mean is uniformity or exclusion.’

  • ‘We are talking about a young man who is a dedicated Christian expressing a legitimate view based on biblical teaching. Christians around the world are under siege. It appears now that sanctions of the most draconian kind are being imposed on Christians here who dare to proclaim their faith.’

  • ‘Rugby Australia have already called for punishment, banishment and termination because Folau warned “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolaters, hell awaits you, repent, only Jesus saves … Jesus Christ loves you and has given you time to turn away from your sin and come to him”. This is nothing more than what all Christians are called to do. It is part of the great commission Jesus gave to his disciples.’

Here is a list of articles and commentaries that present many views, not all as positive to Folau.


This whole debate raises important issues about corporate culture. Think about it during Holy week and Anzac day, gentle readers.

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