Bob Katter backs Israel Folau over gays-bushfires comments


But a lone high-profile politician has seen this rejection of the remarks as part of a wave of religious intolerance.

The unusual factor in this case is that many of the critics of Folau’s views are themselves Christians.

This points to the sensitivities that the Government’s religious freedom laws might have to deal with. Even the wide criticism of a publicly stated religious position could be interpreted by some as a restriction of that freedom.

That’s the significance of the dissenting voice from Bob Katter, the colourful Queensland MP.

Israel Folau has sparked controversy once again with his latest sermon.Source:The Daily Telegraph

According to Mr Katter – himself a singular man – we should respect Mr Folau’s certainty that God was punishing Australia for passing laws decriminalising abortion and allowing same-sex marriage.

That was the gist of a sermon former footballer Folau gave to Sydney’s Truth of Jesus Christ Church, and then posted on social media.

The logical extension of this is that the loss of six lives in fires was a direct result of divine fury aimed at individuals – hardly a comfort to grieving relatives and friends.

RELATED: Fiery reaction after Israel Folau links Australian bushfires to same sex marriage

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

Israel Folau, pictured with Australian Christian Lobby managing director Martyn Iles. Picture: FacebookSource:News Corp Australia

Instead of respect, Prime Minister Scott Morrison condemned the sermon for causing “grievous offence”. And he wasn’t alone.

But to Mr Katter, this is all part of the process that saw Cardinal George Pell convicted of child sexual assault, and former Archbishop Peter Hollingworth losing some retirement payments.

“They managed to take out Pell and Hollingworth, and now they are going after the most prominent spokesperson for the Evangelical church,” Mr Katter said today.

He conceded in a statement that he was not a total convert to Folau’s theology, but indicated he accepted some bits without identifying them.

“I may disagree with Folau on some elements of theology and fundamentalism, but the intense persecution that he has been suffering to me is just continuation of the religious persecution that is taking place against Christianity almost everywhere in Australia,” Mr Katter said.

Bob Katter has come out to defend Israel Folau.

Bob Katter has come out to defend Israel Folau.Source:Supplied

And he appeared to give the Greens some parity with God.

“Is this (Mr Folau’s comments) any different to blaming the greenies for the fires? And is there any logic in the greenies blaming the people for the fires?”

Mr Katter did not explain how rejection of Folau’s comments by fellow Christians amounted to the persecution of Christianity.

Most high-profile critics, including the PM, have argued the former rugby union star had a right to his religious views, but urged him to keep them to himself.

This latest batch in particular.

Today Mr Katter gave his statement a big finish: “The great Thomas Jefferson said: ‘I do not agree often with what you are saying, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it.’”

The MP might take it as a sign of persecution were it pointed out the quote is usually attributed to Voltaire.



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