SURRY HILLS, New South Wales (ChurchMilitant.com) - A mere days after GoFundMe suspended the account of terminated Rugby Australia player Israel Folau, another crowdfunding site managed to raise vastly more money in far less time.
Whereas GoFundMe collected 760,000 Australian dollars (about $530,000 U.S.) never remitted to Folau, Australia Christian Lobby (ACL) took under three days to collect 2 million Australian dollars.
The situation echoes similar circumstances surrounding the crowdfunding campaign for Fr. Paul Kalchik, a Chicago priest forced into hiding by Cdl. Blase Cupich after publicly burning a gay pride banner.
As reported by Church Militant, Kalchik's GoFundMe campaign raised $16,000 on his behalf before the crowdfunding site shuttered the account on the grounds it violated its terms and services. A subsequent funding effort conducted on the Funding Morality platform netted the priest $40,000 less than 17 hours after launching, eventually reaching more than $100,000.
I am incredibly thankful for the Australian Christian Lobby, which has not only come to my defence in the media, but generously established a website to receive donations on my behalf.https://t.co/1a8AgesY0f— Israel Folau (@IzzyFolau) June 25, 2019
According to the BBC, Folau's GoFundMe campaign raised the equivalent of $530,000 to cover Folau's legal fees after he was fired earlier in May for a social media post stating his traditional Christian beliefs regarding homosexuality and other sins.
The crowdfunding site shut down the account Monday and refunded donors' money, however, after determining Folau's stated cause violated its terms and standards.
Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) took up Folau's fundraising cause earlier this week, attracting 1.8 million Australian dollars by Wednesday afternoon.
The Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNPC) government watchdog agency is contemplating whether to investigate if ACL fundraising for Folau violates Australian laws overseeing nonprofit charities.
As reported previously by Church Militant, Folau was fired in May for sharing a New Testament quote on social media in a direct response to a fan's specific question concerning his opinions on homosexuality.
He responded by quoting from the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (6:9–10), which reads: "Do you not realize that people who do evil will never inherit the kingdom of God? Make no mistake ̶ the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, the self-indulgent, sodomites, thieves, misers, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers — none of these will inherit the kingdom of God."
In his own words, he added: "Those that are living in Sin will end up in Hell unless you repent. Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him" before quoting Paul's Letter to the Galatians:
"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these , adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." (Galatians 5:19–21 KJV)
Folau, a Protestant, is suing Rugby Australia and the New South Wales Waratahs for breach of contract.