If you were one of the 20,000 people “who donated to Israel Folau’s bogus fundraising campaign” then you are a hard-core homophobe. At least, that’s what Claire Harvey, the deputy editor of the Sunday Telegraph thinks! According to Harvey, she is the only true believer, whereas everyone else are just religious pretenders. As Harvey writes:
Here’s the truth: I’m more of a Christian than Israel Folau is. I’m more of a Christian than anyone at the Australian Christian Lobby — and I don’t even go to church.
I say you professional Christians are all fakes and phonies, and you’re riding out the last pathetic wave of bigotry because you know deep down that if you said what you truly think about gay people you’d be sacked, too.
Well, at least this deputy editor of The Daily Telegraph didn’t do what Peter van Onselen, a contributing editor for The Australian, did when he made the outlandish claim that the term ‘hell’ wasn’t mentioned in the Bible. It seems like the editorial standards in Murdoch are starting to slide just as they have within Fairfax.
But not only does this non-churchgoing “Christian”—surely an oxymoron if ever there was one—think that she’s spiritually better than everyone else, but Harvey also says that she’s:
Not sure why he singled out gay people, by the way, out of all the other minorities represented by the acronym. If I were transsexual or intersex (or queer or asexual or +, for that matter) I’d be slightly offended Israel’s twisted version of religion thinks that I’m less deserving of rejection.
Well, if Harvey attended a church service occasionally, though, then she’d realise that the answer to her question is pretty straight forward. Significantly, the meme which Folau posted was a paraphrase of not an Old but New Testament passage, i.e. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. And in it the apostle Paul specifically addresses men who have sex with men.
What’s more, there are two different Greek words which are used: Firstly, ‘arsenokoitai’ which refers to the one who ‘penetrates’ another man. And then secondly, ‘malakoi’ which refers to the passive partner sexually. Hence, the reason why Folau referred to homosexuals—and not also to those who are transsexual or intersex—is because he is stating what the Bible actually says.
But Harvey is still not done. Because not only does this ‘super Christian’ not go to church nor read the Bible, but she also makes the following egregious accusation involving identity politics.
This so-called “silent majority” who gave money to Israel, I suspect, is exactly the same white, privileged middle-class group of people who claim that they are presently being discriminated against and suffering oppression when they try to express their religion.
Wow. So, not only are the 20,000-odd people who contributed to the financial campaign for Folau “hard-core homophobes” but we are also “white, privileged [and] middle-class”. Well, I guess if you’re a deputy editor then you can write anything you like. I wonder how Harvey would respond to comments such as the one by Mervyn who wrote:
Interesting Claire, how is my homosexual son a homophobe? after all he and I both donated money.
Boom! Or as my kids would say, “Drop-the mike…” However, then Harvey goes for the full ‘postcolonial’ over-reach which would make any left-leaning gender studies department proud, stating:
A small cohort of rich white humans, apparently jaded by generations of unquestioned privilege, have endured about 20 years of being required to share, and have stacked on a preschool-worthy tantrum about it. They’re now attempting to colonise discrimination for their own exclusive use.
It shouldn’t really surprise me that Harvey thinks this about the 20,000 ‘Quiet Australians” who donated their hard-earned cash to stand in solidarity with Folau regarding the issue of free speech. Because Harvey has articulated elsewhere that her beliefs are anything but theologically orthodox. As Harvey wrote in another article for The Daily Telegraph:
Jesus, in my understanding, wasn’t about sin and hellfire. That’s the wrong Testament entirely. The power of Jesus’ message, whether he was a real human being or just an extended metaphor (and I’m not entirely sure, but I don’t think it matters), was that love trumps hate every single time.
But once again, Harvey is grossly mistaken, especially on the subject of God’s judgment. A quick word search of the Bible demonstrates that the word ‘hell’ is used fourteen times in the New Testament with thirteen of those references being found directly on the lips of Jesus.
The word hell is only ever found on the lips of Jesus. It is found fourteen times in the New Testament and thirteen of the fourteen are on the lips of Jesus. Which is so contrary to the kind of nonsense you can read about in the newspapers, “Jesus would never go about speaking about hell”. In fact, nobody but Jesus was speaking about hell.
Even more serious, however, is Harvey’s questioning as to whether or not Jesus “was a real human being or just an extended metaphor”. Once again, this is where Harvey could really benefit going to church and reading the Bible. Because the New Testament is emphatic that this particular truth is absolutely crucial. As the apostle John writes in 1 John 4:2-3:
This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
All of which is to say, Harvey’s judgment upon the Australian Christian Lobby, as well as everyone who has financially supported Israel Folau—whether they identify as being religious or not—says more about herself than it does about anyone else. Because as Harvey writes:
In the case of Israel, their figurehead is a bloke who got himself sacked for failing to adhere to a basic condition of employment: that he not use his fame to vilify and belittle other human beings.
What a Christian.
But maybe Harvey should reflect on the word of Christ Jesus Himself, especially in His Sermon on the Mount. For as He says in Matthew 7:1-2:
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Ironically, Harvey has committed the very sin which she has accused Folau and his followers of making. Namely, she has vilified and belittled the 20,000 people who have contributed to his campaign. Not only that, but she has misrepresented the teaching of the Bible as well as the person of Jesus Christ Himself.
All of which is to say, maybe Harvey should reconsider what is involved in her role as the deputy editor of The Daily Telegraph. Because whereas Folau has repeatedly said that he was motivated by love for those whom he was trying to reach, Harvey appears to be doing precisely the opposite.