I challenge any scientist, educator, business person, celebrity, politician, astrologer, physicist - anyone actually - to explain to me how life can work for life itself - for every human being and the earth - without each of us placing conditions on our expression and demands.
Every day I wake to the sound of a world screaming with anger and intensity about equality. Shouting for justice. Demanding a fair go for everyone!
And then I read the media reports covering the trial of Jack de Belin and Callan Sinclair.
If ever the media could be accused of bias and a complete lack of equality one would need look no further than the daily reports on this case.
Before I move more deeply into this discussion, I would like to do three things.
Firstly, clarify that I know the de Belin family. I am great friends with Jack de Belin’s mother.
Secondly, I would like to point out that I know of no one more committed to a world of genuine equality than myself.
And finally, I would like to define equality.
The Oxford Dictionary defines equality as:
the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities.
The reporting on the aforementioned case has not for one second found itself in a ‘state of being equal’.
Nor has the content of the reporting given equal status, rights and opportunity to the expression and story of both parties.
Equality is not something that plays favourites. It does not succumb to any temptation that may exist to slip into a state of bias.
Even when that temptation consists of economic gain and profit through ‘click bait’ journalism.
And it most certainly does not bow to trends, popular opinion or the preferences of the self-righteous.
These are the enemies of equality.
Because they are destructive of it.
Equality lies in a place far beyond the motivations driving the reporting in the case I refer to here.
When we examine what equality actually means it has never been clearer that it is not equality our world values and stands for.
It is selective equality.
And as such, not equality at all.
Equality does not work on a case by case basis.
I will cite several examples relative to the case I mentioned earlier to give substance to this point of view.
One article, published by Australian Associated Press(22.4.2021) referenced the defendants as, ‘the footballer, 30, and Sinclair, 23’, and their accuser as, ‘the then 19-year-old’.
This has become a common approach by the media to describing the ages of those involved in the case, giving the current age of Sinclair and de Belin. And leaving the woman’s age as it was when the incident occurred.
All of a sudden, a man in his thirties has slept with a teenager.
Or, as is more often reported, ‘the alleged rapist’ and the ‘victim’.
I wonder how many people have ever read these words and wondered, what if there was no rape?
And what if there was no victim?
Or if the victims were the accused?
I mean to offend or disrespect no one here, but I know personally of two cases where the accused in similar cases – I refer here to the case and make no inference to what did or did not happen in this instance - were the victims.
From the very first play made by police in this investigation, Jack de Belin – and Callan Sinclair - have been denied ‘a fair go.’
Or, equal status, rights and opportunity.
Unbelievably, no notes were taken in the initial 90-minute interview with the woman. This is a stock-standard procedure in any investigation. Like a doctor washing their hands before a surgery.
Not only that, the woman’s friend, who would become a key witness in the trial, was allowed to be present during the interview.
To top it off, the same investigator who conducted the interview wilfully lied under oath to the court, perjuring himself.
I have only touched the surface of what are the many inequalities that exist in both the police investigation and in the reporting of the incident and trial, by the media.
I’d ask, based on these facts, if you believe Jack de Belin and Callan Sinclair have been given a fair go at any point, and from any party involved, following that unfortunate night.
But I don’t have to.
The answer is clear.
And it’s not me who has revealed this to the world.
It is the police.
And it is the media.
And they have told us this through their actions and through their bias.
They have revealed their true character through their actions.
Does the need to write headlines that sell – click bait -justify biased and unfair reporting?
I don’t really care – the fact such reporting is biased and unfair, remains.
Journalism, on far too many occasions, is no longer about the truth.
If it ever was.
It’s about promoting journalists preferred version of the truth. And the version of truth widely spouted by the media in this case, has a singular motive.
Get de Belin!
I mentioned at the beginning of this article that I know the de Belin family.
This is true.
And these situations are devastating to those connected to both parties – whichever they belong to.
It affects friends and families, but particularly mothers.
Jack de Belin, professionally, is an NRL player, who plays for the St George Dragons.
He has represented his club, state and country in the sport.
Now, remember, the dignity, love and respect we extend to others has nothing to do with them, and everything to do with who we are.
It is not the way of love in the human experience to expect others to meet our expectations as to what a loveable human being is or isn’t.
Love understands the human experience as flawed and imperfect and throws its blanket over everyone.
If we deem another’s life as inadequate, and undeserving of love and respect, this is us being self-righteous and judgmental.
Sadly, in our world, this remains our collective default setting.
This truth does not reflect what people say, but rather, what people and organisations do.
Truth is not spoken when it comes to the love and respect we extend to others.
It’s revealed in the love and respect we extend – or do not extend – to other human beings…no matter what they have done.
Our world often shouts, ‘be yourself’ and ‘be authentic!’
But then crucifies people when who and what they express is not to our liking.
You don’t get it both ways.
Don’t claim an unconditional love for humanity, and then hate and judge the humanity of another.
Our humanity is either sacred, or it isn’t.
You don’t shit on something that you believe is sacred.
You can say it’s sacred. Even post words to this effect on social media. But if you mistreat it, it’s not.
At least not according to you.
Take the NRL for example.
You don’t have to look far to hear the NRL trumpeting about its commitment to inclusivity, community and respect for all.
And to be protective of the mental health of its community members.
They spare no opportunity in letting the world know what they stand for.
But do they really stand for these things when put to the acid test.
Remember, these qualities when practised, deliver what they promise. They don’t expect perfection, because in a human world these things have no genuine benefit when reserved only for the virtuous and perfect.
If ever these qualities get to exercise their true power, it’s when they are extended to those the self-righteous disregard and exclude.
What good is inclusivity, love, respect and compassion when reserved only for the people that meet our expectations and standards of perfection.
Surely the troubled, broken and misguided are those most in need of the gifts these qualities have to offer.
It is not love that rejects a human being.
It is judgement.
Love is courageous. It stands by those the world turns against and rejects. And it does this with its head held high, pointing out, through its actions, exactly what it is.
When a person makes a mistake and faces condemnation –whether justified or not – from the rest of the world, no one feels it more than the mother.
And I can speak personally of the immense hurt, pain and suffering experienced by Jack de Belin’s mother.
Believe me when I say she is not naive.
At a minimum, she has had to come to accept her son cheated on his then-pregnant partner.
While his pregnant girlfriend is waiting at home for him to return from a day on the booze, her son is with another woman.
Then, she has to watch on as a questionable – at best - investigation into the allegations made against her son is carried out and absorb the biased and accusatory reporting of the media mentioned and demonstrated earlier in this article.
The emotional battering this inflicted on her mental health was enormous.
One might say, ‘well if her son didn’t do the things he did, she wouldn’t be in this situation.’
But such a statement is not relevant to the message being shared here.
This piece is not about guilt or innocence and it’s not about taking sides, it’s about the love and care I believe should be extended to all human beings in their greatest hour of need, and whether or not ours is a world that actually practises what it preaches.
Catherine de Belin has found this experience hurtful and traumatic – as any mother would.
Just as the mother of the woman involved in this incident would.
There are no winners here, no matter how it plays out.
She was desperate for support.
In her greatest hour of need she reached out to Peter V’landys, chairman of the NRL.
Originally because of everything the NRL stood for. She believed there would be some form of support available to her.
Three times she tried to make contact.
And three times there was no response.
No time to even hear what Jack de Belin’s mother might have to say. Or what she might need.
Perhaps just a, ‘we understand this must be hard for you.’
But not even a, ‘I’m sorry Mrs de Belin, we would prefer not to communicate with you during this process’, came her way.
In this case the values of the NRL remained on their ‘about us’ page on their website. Where they tell the world what they stand for.
When Catherine de Belin needed those values to leave the page they were written on, and enter the world for real, they remained silent.
So, what’s true of the NRL?
What they say they are?
Or what they are?
Again, anyone can practice love, compassion and acceptance when the person being extended them is perfect and admired by the rest of the world.
But when they aren’t?
Don’t measure an organisation’s capacity for love and respect when it’s easy to offer them.
Measure it when it’s most challenging.
When their extension is unpopular. And contradictory to the agenda of the self-righteous.
That’s where the truth is revealed.
And it’s where love towers over hate and judgement.
On the surface, this piece is about Jack de Belin.
But at its heart it is a commentary on humanity and a contemporary society that jumps at any opportunity to destroy a popular or easy-to-destroy target.
What is destroyed, of course, is someone’s humanity.
But in a very human experience it is not the person being destroyed that truly reflects who we are. It is those destroying them.
They show the true ugliness of our world.
They are the ones who kick a human being when they’re down.
They are the ones who fill our world with self-righteousness, judgement and hate.
From the moment that fateful night took place, Jack de Belin and Callan Sinclair have been subject to a questionable investigation and biased and vindictive reporting.
Nothing has been fair about the investigative process from the outset.
And, I suspect, one day, we will know a little more as to why this may have been so.
But rest assured, something isn’t right.
Much of my personal work is spent supporting those the world would prefer to disregard. The people our world doesn’t like.
You know what the major difference is between most of them and the rest of us?
Their imperfections and flaws have been made public. Others know what they have done. So, they are rejected and attacked.
I am of the belief all life is sacred.
And that if it is anyone’s job to report the actual truth without bias, it is the media.
But they can push whatever case they want. And they do!
But don’t mistake this as power.
For it is an abuse of power.
And is representative of the media’s own testimony that we should not extend any genuine consideration or respect to whatever it is they have to say, at times when they are pushing a certain agenda.
Because they aren’t extending these things to the people they write about.
But that’s why our world’s a mess.
It’s a ‘my abuse of the world is okay, but yours isn’t’ world.
What does that leave us with?
An abusive world layered with hate and judgement.
Yes, I believe our humanity is sacred.
Yours, mine and Jack de Belin’s.
And that if we truly desire a world built upon love, equality and compassion, then no one get’s left out.
Sadly, this investigation and trial has shown us just how far away our world is from establishing a genuine foundation of love.
And how ugly we can be, just as long as we have the right target.
In this case…Jack de Belin!
The ‘x’ in this photo, perhaps, marks the most significant place I have ever stood. It most definitely is, when it comes to my own sense of identity and my purpose in this lifetime. I knew this moment was always coming. I was in waiting. It was the moment the identity we refer to as God said, 'You're mine!'.
We were never given free choice by God - or Life - to create whatever lives we desired for ourselves. We could, but if those lives did not reflect the life and teachings of Jesus, or respect God's laws of consent, then our lives are considered by God to be an act of non-consensual abuse. Reality was never ours to do with as we pleased. It always belonged to God. God is 'the life'.
The princes of the world offered God up on a platter and we went for it with a relentless and obsessive enthusiasm. Now, God takes sovereignty over all life, because it’s his.Not yours.Not mine. And not anyone else’s.To be a child of the world – to cash in and profit from its abusive ways - is now formally considered a non-consensual life path.While being like Jesus is no longer religious hearsay and speculation.It is the way.The way to live a consensual life.
God and Jesus are the most exploited and misrepresented identities in the history of life. And often it is those who claim to be faithful who do the exploiting and misrepresenting so they can honour themselves in the eyes of an abusive world. There is nothing more sinister in God's eyes than standing on his shoulders, or the shoulders of Jesus, to impress self-righteous and worldly eyes.
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