Although I am certainly unafraid to voice my opinions about issues on the social media sites from time to time, I usually like to keep my mouth closed when it comes to politics or the disparagement of other groups or people, but this whole Duck Dynasty business has been bugging me, and it's not for the reasons you might think.
I realize some of you will disagree with me on this topic as well, and I’m completely okay with that. In fact, my parents were always ones to befriend people who had differing viewpoints from theirs, it allowed them to see the world differently and not have such a narrow viewpoint of the world around them. So if you think I’m wrong, that is okay. I think that’s partly what bugs me about Phil Robertson. I admire the guy and his family for their openness regarding their christian faith. More people need to be like that when it comes to that, however I have to disagree with his comments as someone who professes a belief in Jesus Christ as well for a couple of reasons.
First of all, A & E has every right to suspend their employee (because that’s what he is) for making comments like that. Think about this for a minute, if someone you worked with made homophobic or racist remarks at your job, in social media, or in any public arena, you better believe that person would likely run the risk of losing his/her job. He represents the A & E television network every time he speaks to the media whether he likes it or not. They aren’t a rotary club, and they have a reputation to uphold. People are running to his defense as if he was standing up for his religion, and his rights to the first amendment were being infringed upon. The first amendment was for protection against the government, not the Arts & Entertainment Television Network.
Secondly, and most importantly, whether or not you view homosexual behavior as a sin, there is absolutely nothing christian in what he said. How does comparing gay and lesbian individuals to sexual deviants and saying blacks were happier under Jim Crow Laws standing up for one’s religion (seriously? how would you really know not being black yourself?)? Christ’s gospel was never about disparaging others and judging them and condemning them to hell for not practicing your standards. This is the farthest from Christianity possible! When asked by a judgmental lawyer, who was attempting to condemn Jesus to hell for not practicing lawyer’s interpretation of the gospel, asked “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?” Christ responded “And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” He then went on to give the parable of the Good Samaritan, a story about a jewish man who was beaten and left for dead on the way to Jericho. Several people walked by him and did nothing. Samaritans, who were neighbors of the Jews and hated by them, so much so that they (the Jews) would travel around the Samaritans’ city rather than through it play the most important part of the story. A Samaritan man treats this injured and robbed Jew, puts him on his donkey, takes him to an inn, pays for his recovery and everything he needs. Christ then asked the lawyer to “go and do thou likewise.” (Luke 10)
If we as those who profess to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and live accordingly wish to live His gospel, we need to love our neighbors as ourselves. Just because we decide to love people we may not agree with on everything doesn’t mean we’re implicitly accepting of their choices. Nor does it mean we're judging them with a fake smile and lip service either. Ask any good parent out there with children who are addicted to drugs or on some other path to self destruction whether they love their children less for their choices or path in life, and you know they still love their children unconditionally. Most of the time, these people need to feel accepted for who they are and know they are truly loved by those around them no matter what. That’s the teachings of Jesus Christ.
However, we need to let this whole “gays are not born being gay” attitude that in some way justifies people’s rejection of them. It’s not healthy. It’s like saying blacks are dark skinned because their ancestors were cursed by God. Neither of these perceptions are true. I feel that one major reason God makes everyone different to give us a greater capacity to love and to understand others. We are not better than others because we think, believe, act or look a certain way. It’s easy to make such blanket statements about people we never associate with. What would Phil Robertson say if one of his children were gay? Would he still have that same viewpoint? I sincerely hope not.
To summarize, we’re better than this. Christianity isn’t holding people accountable to the teachings of the Bible who don’t profess a belief in it. Be a neighbor to your friends regardless of whether they pray to the same God or not, are attracted to the opposite sex or not, or have different skin color or not. If you truly love God, love your neighbor. I’m done.