Israel Folau doubles down with new homophobic comments
Israel Folau has launched another attack on gay people and also criticised young people being allowed to change gender during a sermon at his Sydney church.
The former rugby union star described homosexuality as a sin and claimed the devil was behind primary school children being allowed to decide if they wanted to change gender.
"This is what the devil is trying to do, to instil into the government, into this world, into society, and it is slowly happening," Folau said in his Sunday sermon at The Truth of Jesus Christ Church in Kenthurst.
"The sad thing is why a lot of people out there that are non-Christians say bad things about the church, is because a lot of the churches allow those things to happen.
"They say that a man and a man should be able to be married and there is nothing wrong with it. This buys into the theme of pleasing man rather than pleasing God and standing up for the truth."
The 30-year-old's rant was posted on the church's Facebook page.
Folau also criticised modern "westernised" churches and said true believers in Christ "profess him wherever we go".
"Are we too scared because we might be cast out by our workplace or cast out of somewhere because we're not liked or loved by those around us and don't believe the same thing we do?" he asked.
"You might be the only born-again Christian in that workplace, you might feel a bit awkward with your co-workers because they are in the world and you're not. We should feel blessed ... because God has called us."
The former Wallaby's $5 million Rugby Australia contract was torn up last month after he refused to take down an Instagram post which quoted bible scripture and said "hell awaits" homosexuals and other sinners.
Folau has launched legal proceedings with the Fair Work Commission against Rugby Australia and is seeking up to $10 million in damages.
‘People cannot choose their sexuality’
Folau's latest comments come after openly gay rugby referee Nigel Owens hit out at the sacked player, imploring him to understand that people don't choose their sexuality.
Owens, who spoke to AFP last Sunday in Dublin when he refereed at the biennial Union Cup, Europe's largest LGBT+ inclusive tournament, said it was important to understand why Folau and others are so "entrenched in these beliefs".
"He too needs to understand our way of life," said Owens.
"For him to understand pretty much everything listed on that list you can choose and the only thing you could not choose was your sexuality."
Owens said Folau and others who liked his post -- including England star Billy Vunipola -- used antiquated religious beliefs as the reason for their views.
"You have to understand that if the scriptures were written now they would be very different to those written a thousand or so years ago," said Owens.
"If the scriptures were written today knowing that people cannot choose their sexuality then I am pretty sure it would not be on the list."