Let me start out by saying that I am not in the target demographic for A&E’s Duck Dynasty…I am liberal, Pagan, and although I come from a small town, I am not very country. I am also a friend of the LGBT community. For a long time, I actually refused to watch the show because of comments about the “Pagan Holiday, Halloween” made on the show. Most of my friends and family, on the other hand, love the show and so when my 4 year old son decided he loved it as well, I actually set down to watch it.
I found out that it wasn’t that bad and although it doesn’t appeal directly to me, I think the family is a lovely one. So, when I heard the buzz surrounding Phil Roberston’s allegedly “anti-gay” comments, I was surprised. It always appeared to me that the family was a loving one and love doesn’t mesh well with ill tolerance. I had been burned before by judging someone in the media without actually understanding what that person said that was taken as negative. So, I did some research.
Here is what Phil Robertson actually said:
“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong. Sin becomes fine,”
“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men. Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers — they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
He also made some borderline lewd comments about which anatomy he himself prefers but I will spare you those comments.
As a liberal, Pagan friend of the LGBT community, I am trying to be offended by these comments. I mean, that is what I’m supposed to do, right? I’m supposed to be offended by his opinion because it speaks directly against what I believe to be true. That’s how America works, right?
See, I disagree whole heartily with Phil Robertson. I don’t think that homosexuality is a sin or an abomination. I don’t think it’s a choice and I certainly don’t think that the gay community can be blamed for the downfall of our nation. In fact, we have much bigger problems to worry about…like the greed and materialism creating a huge gap between the classes in our nation…but Robertson covered that, too, didn’t he?
There’s a fine line between bashing something and simply having an opinion about it. What Phil Robertson did, in my book, doesn’t constitute bashing. He was simply giving his opinion on things and he did so without using anti-gay slurs or insulting the gay community. He did it with scripture…The scripture he is referencing is 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and it reads:
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (NIV)
Surprised that I just quoted the Bible? Well, I have had this discussion with my largely Christian and conservative family, many times. The main point that I make is that in order to condemn homosexuality, you must also condemn adulterers, the greedy, dunkards, slanderers, swindlers, ect. You can also argue against it by saying that since it wasn’t a teaching of Jesus Christ, it doesn’t “count” as a pentacle of Christian faith.
There are many more arguments against this scripture and the belief that Homosexuality is a sin…I’ve heard it all and said it all. At the end of the day, I just had to accept that some people in this world don’t accept homosexuality. I had to accept that it was okay for someone to have a difference in opinion which counters my own. I had to apply the tolerance I was preaching to the other side.
After all, when we’re protesting in the streets for gay rights, what are we actually fighting for? Are we fighting for the right to have our own opinions on it or are we fighting to change everybody else’s opinions? Because, if we choose the latter, how are we any different than the groups which have oppressed our voices for decades?
See, what I want for the world is equal rights. Now think for a moment about what equality really means. Equality does not mean that nobody will ever question your opinion…it does not mean that one group can shut down the opinions of another group simply because they don’t like it. It does not mean that we persecute Phil Robertson for expressing his faith in his own way.
So, while I disagree with him, I feel okay NOT hating him. I’m okay in letting him express his opinion, even if it makes me cringe a little. I’m sure the cast of Duck Dynasty won’t be inviting someone like me to set down at their dinner table anytime soon but I’m also sure that they don’t hate people like me, either. In fact, Robertson said he doesn’t hate people who are different than him. If he had said he hates gay people, this post would be an entirely different kind of post.
The fact of the matter is that he doesn’t hate gay people…and why are we focusing our anger toward him when we still have the folks of the Westboro Baptist Church running around?