Embattled rugby star Israel Folau has opened up about the Bible, homosexuality, and sin in a new column.
“I have sinned many times in my life,” Folau wrote yesterday in Players Voice.
He said he was brought up Mormon and reads the Bible every day.
Folau came under fire recently for saying on social media that God’s plan for gay people was “hell” unless they repented.
“In the comments section of [a] post, I was asked a question by somebody about what God’s plan is for gay people,” he wrote.
“My response to the question is what I believe God’s plan is for all sinners, according to my understanding of my Bible teachings, specifically 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10.
“I do not know the person who asked the question, but that didn’t matter.
“I believed he was looking for guidance and I answered him honestly and from the heart.
“I know a lot of people will find that difficult to understand, but I believe the Bible is the truth and sometimes the truth can be difficult to hear.
“In this case, we are talking about sin as the Bible describes it, not just homosexuality, which I think has been lost on a lot of people.”
Folau went on to explain that he doesn’t consider himself homophobic—and to remind readers that he was once on the cover of Star Observer.
“Since my social media posts were publicised, it has been suggested that I am homophobic and bigoted and that I have a problem with gay people,” he wrote.
“This could not be further from the truth.
“I fronted the cover of the Star Observer magazine to show my support for the Bingham Cup, which is an international gay rugby competition for both men and women.
“I believe in inclusion. In my heart, I know I do not have any phobia towards anyone.”
Folau said that many people have told him in person or via social media that they disagree with his views on gay people, but he doesn’t mind.
“I don’t have any issue with this,” he said.
“Every individual in this world is different and we have all experienced things that have shaped us in unique ways.”
Folau avoided sanctions from Rugby Australia over his comments about gay people, though he has reportedly been cautioned about his social media use.