Veteran religious activist Fred Nile collapsed dramatically shortly after giving a speech to Christian protesters outside the Channel 10 bureau in Sydney on Saturday.
The 88-year-old member of the New South Wales Legislative Council joined more than a hundred protesters who demonstrated against a controversial clip broadcast on The Project last month.
He gave a short speech, praising the crowd for the gathering, before his wife, Silvana Nero, delivered a longer speech, calling on Christians in Australia to stand up for their rights.
However, the event took a dramatic turn when, shortly after his speech, the anti-gay rights spokesperson collapsed in the sunlight.
Veteran activist Fred Nile collapsed dramatically shortly after giving a speech to Christian protesters outside the Channel 10 bureau in Sydney on Saturday.
The 88-year-old member of the New South Wales Legislative Council joined more than a hundred protesters who demonstrated against a controversial clip broadcast on the project last month.
Christian groups were holding hands and praying as they held pictures of Jesus during the demonstration
Protesters and police rushed to provide assistance to the stricken politician, putting him in the recovery position and calling an ambulance.
He was helped and walked to his side and seated in a chair, appearing to be without serious injuries as protesters prayed for him.
He was then taken away in an ambulance with his wife at his side.
Christian groups have been protesting on Channel Ten every week, following the broadcaster’s outrage after comedian Robin Kay made an offensive joke about Jesus on The Project last month.
The comedian was speaking about the hate he receives from the public—and Christians in particular—for being gay and wearing drag clothes when he joked, “I love Jesus. I love Jesus.” I love any guy who can nail it for three days in a row and come back for more! ”
Rev. Nile gave a short speech praising the crowd for the gathering, before his wife delivered a longer speech, calling on Christians in Australia to stand up for their rights. Then it collapsed (pictured)
Speaking before the protest, protest group Christian Lives Matter said its “five goals” for the demonstration included “canceling the project entirely.”
“We unite to pray for the conversion of those who mock our Lord,” they said in a Facebook post.
They are asking for a “sincere public apology on air, on all of their websites and a written media statement signed by project management”, as well as not to air the show during Catholic Holy Week and Orthodox Holy Week.
The group is also asking for “a guarantee that mockery of any religion will never happen again and will be taken off the air” if any of their demands are not met.
Christian groups were protesting against the broadcaster after comedian Robin Kay (pictured) made an offensive joke about Jesus on the project
Attendees were holding hands and praying during the protest – including NSW Member of Parliament Fred Nile (standing in hat) before his dramatic collapse
One protester named Joe told Daily Mail Australia: ‘When I first realized what was said I was surprised it was on the mainstream media.
I am more disappointed than angry. Anger is a strong word because anger is associated with hate. We do not hate people who are born as they are. Everyone got the idea wrong.
Everyone should be able to meet and work together.
Everyone does what they want in their own life. Just leave it at that. Leave it there, leave the debt out, leave the kids out of it and everyone respect each other. This is how it should be.’
Another attendee, Murray, told Daily Mail Australia she was “very disappointed by what happened”.
We feel like our values and morals are just shattered, especially when they say that while the kids are awake. It was very gratuitous.
“We need to all stand up and say ‘enough is enough’.”
It couldn’t go any further, we all believe in Christ.
If we follow God’s law, are peaceful, and do no harm to anyone, why do people come to harm us?
This is our question.
Absolutely 110 percent, Robin and the project should make an apology.
“The apology that was broadcast is not enough. It was a mockery.
A third protester, Michael, said the protest was about “basic human decency and respect”.
I think what Robin said was hate speech.
We truly believe, we are followers of Jesus and anything that is disrespectful, disrespectful and insulting should be called out.
The demonstrators carried pictures of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, as well as banners reading, “Forgive them, Father, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Some of the attendees held crosses while others carried slogans saying, “Disrespect for Christ is not cool.”
“We all talk about love and respect other people’s beliefs. This is the main message here.
I don’t think they necessarily need to be punished. I think that is the wrong word to use. We just need a sincere apology.
I truly believe that the media should be impartial and respectful of people’s beliefs and differences. Proactively promoting this kind of rhetoric is divisive.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority received hundreds of complaints from the public after the vulgar joke.
Presenters Walid Ali and Sarah Harris apologized for the crude joke the day after it was broadcast.
“During an interview last night, our guest told a joke that we know is deeply and needlessly offensive to a lot of you,” Ali said.
We want to acknowledge the specific offense caused to our Muslim viewers and especially our Christian viewers.
“Obviously, I understand how deep that abuse was.”
Harris, who burst out laughing after the joke, also joined in the humiliating apology.
A large NSW police presence was seen at the protest outside the Channel 10 studios in Sydney
“Live TV is unpredictable, and when this happened in the final few moments of last night’s show it took us all by surprise, there wasn’t much time to react in any thoughtful way,” she said.
In a statement to Daily Mail Australia earlier this month, the ACMA said it had received 203 inquiries.
It is not clear how many other complaints have been received since then.
Neil has served as a Member of the Upper House of the New South Wales Parliament almost continuously since his election in 1981 and is the longest serving member of the House and He has been at the forefront of moral campaigning in Australia for over 50 years.
Crosses – along with cross necklaces – were common among protesters
He has advocated bans of casinos, brothels, and pornography, attempted to reduce drinking and smoking, and urged police to crack down on organized criminals.
He condemned homosexuality, opposed extramarital sex, and every year prayed to God that heavy rain would fall on gay and lesbian Mardi Gras.
The right-wing politician also called for banning Muslim immigration.
In 2017, he was denied a US visa to attend Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration because it was deemed a ‘security risk’.
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