Wednesday, 9 May 2018


Recently in the rugby union world one of the big stories in Australasia at least is of the off-field sort which has caused a lot of controversy.

Israel Folau is a star in three different types of football in Australia, rugby union, rugby league and AFL (Aussie Rules).

He has just recently married one of the stars of New Zealand sport, Maria Tuta'ia.

A few weeks ago, lets say that Israel Folau "divided" opinion by saying that he believed that gay people should go to hell. He suggested because of his christian upbringing that he was taught to think like that.

This divided opinion in that some believed he had the right to express any opinion because he lives in Australia which has free speech while others suggested that it was hate speech and that people who are gay are not gay by choice. You can't control who you are attracted to.

For the record, I am with the side of people who support the gay community as I realise that it is out of the individual's control but I don't believe that it is hate speech. I just think that Folau is a little misguided and should listen to Sir Michael Jones.

I live in Tokyo, Japan and it seems every Sunday I get woken up by "protests" by right wing nationalists. I used to live next to the Russian embassy and now I live next door to the American embassy and as you may expect, those two countries are targets of the right wingers.

I don't have a problem with the person's right to protest, in fact in some cases I wish that both New Zealand and Japan would do it more, like the French. It seems that French people protest at a drop of a hat or am I just stereotyping?

The problem I have with these right wingers is their aggressive hatred of the foreign countries especially China, North and South Korea, Russia and America.

As I said, I have no problem with protesting but when it comes to hatred, that is where I draw the line.

The Japanese word for patriotism is 愛国心 (aikokushin). Lets have a closer look at these characters. The first character () means love. The second character () means country while the last character, () means heart or spirit. So patriotism in Japanese literally means the spirit of love for one's country.

Lets look at this word again, LOVE, COUNTRY etc. Why does patriotism mean to most people to hate other countries? Why have these people turn this around? I don't get it. It is not 嫌外国心(hate foreign country spirit. This is a word that I made up.). It is 愛国心. By all means promote and love the things that make this country great, but what is the point in abusing and yelling and waking us all up under the ruse of 愛国心?

It is all very well having your own opinions and that is great but if you are going to spread hate because of it, that is ridiculous

Don't hide behind the Bible or don't hide behind patriotism. As Sir Michael Jones said look at it through love and respect and guess what, you will get love and respect back。

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