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Folau reveals Christianity's faultlines

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OPINION: For many Christians, Israel Folau has become the talisman in the fight for religious freedom.

This week, some Australian Christians rallied behind Folau's legal battle against Rugby Australia, stepping in when the rugby star's GoFundMe campaign was shut down. On its first day, the new campaign raised more than A$1 million (NZ$1.04 million) in donations – and counting.

Some Christian leaders have urged Australia's newly re-elected Coalition government to make religious freedom protections a priority in the wake of Folau's sacking by Rugby Australia.

There's even been talk among some conservative Coalition MPs of pushing for a "Folau Law", or a new statute that would exempt religious beliefs from employment contracts.

* 'Folau's law': Aussie MPs push for bolder action in a 'new dawn' for religious freedom
* Religious freedom surprise vote winner in Australian election
* Israel Folau: What I wish I could have said before he took to Instagram


The debate is a perfect storm of race, religion, sport, politics, sex, law and rights. But for me, neither Folau himself, nor his personal faith, are the issue.

Certainly, I find his use and interpretation of the Bible cavalier and uninformed, disturbingly indifferent to its impact, and strikingly incurious.

But beyond those issues, the question that warrants exploration is why he has so galvanised portions of the Christian community around him.

For many, it doesn't seem to matter how he's used or interpreted........

© Stuff