Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ten Thoughts on Phil Robertson 'n' Stuff

Edit: Since I received a link from a friend on Facebook to a video of Phil Robertson preaching a really hateful sermon about gays and lesbians in 2010, I have a hard time believing him when he says he doesn't judge them.  I invoke the words of Jesus Christ: "You judge by human standards, I judge no person." -John 8:15

Since I am already celebrating the Christmas season by pushing peoples' buttons (see my immediately previous post on same-sex marriage versus polygamy), I'm just going to go for broke and leave this here for y'all: ten thoughts on the whole Phil Robertson-getting-suspended-from-A&E kerkuffle:

1. Getting sanctimoniously offended and subsequently sacking people is something that neither side has a monopoly on.  See also: Martin Bashir earlier this year or Phil Donahue in 2003, both of whom were forced out by the left-of-center MSNBC for offending conservatives.

2. That being said, if I were a gay man, I imagine that I would feel personally very offended at being mentioned in the same breath as terrorists, drunks, and the 'lovers' (if you get my drift) of animals (and as a self-identified ally, I still am offended).

3. What if Robertson had compared Christianity to terrorism, drunkenness, and bestiality instead?  Would you still be so offended at his suspension?

4. The very same amendment that gives Phil Robertson the freedom to say whatever he wants also gives A&E the freedom to associate with whomever they want.  It also does not protect either of them from the social or financial consequences of exercising those rights to expression and association.

5. Similarly, one day after Robertson's suspension was announced, the United Methodist Church officially defrocked Rev. Frank Schaefer for officiating the same-sex wedding of his son.  Considering that both stories are instances of people getting sacked by their employers for their contrary views on homosexuality, if you believe Phil Robertson has been persecuted, then logically, Frank Schaefer has been persecuted as well.

6. Reality television includes a lot of unsavory things that I really wish it didn't.  I still cannot believe that shows like "16 and Pregnant" or "Teen Mom" exist, but A&E's current lineup of reality television tends to skew away from programming like that.  Asking why we tolerate those shows but not his comments is not A&E's problem.

7. The way Robertson partially describes his perspective ("...That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”) is correct in that sexual orientation is not necessarily logical either, but sexual orientation is emphatically not the same thing as sin.  Sexual orientation simply is not condemned in Scripture.

8. Getting a bit lost in all of this is the reality that this is not just a "gay issue."  The letter to A&E was jointly written by the Human Rights Campaign AND the NAACP.  In addition to his comments about homosexuality, Robertson also made comments about the pre-Jim Crow south that were rose-colored at best.

9. Similarly, while Isalmist sects like al-Qaeda are culpable of mass atrocities against humanity, so too are numerous Christian terrorists.  Timothy McVeigh took last rites before his execution.  Eric Rudolph (the 1996 Summer Olympics bomber) is a Christian fundamentalist.  I would no sooner judge the entirety of Christianity by those devils than I would judge the entirety of Islam by violent Isalmists.

10. And finally, on a lighter note: apparently, there is such a thing as gay ducks. (hat tip to Donald Miller for this one!)

Yours in Christ,

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