Listen, I don’t want to talk about this. Bringing up divisive issues like this causes a lot of problems without hope for any solutions.
And yet I’m still here.
I woke up at 5am this morning, ready to write everything. I didn’t realize that everything would involve an article about a guy who hunts ducks – the guy who, as of yesterday, has been the centerpiece of a disastrous debate with disgusting battle lines being drawn.
Christians versus LGBT.
A battle that shouldn’t even be happening, but it is. Phil Robertson is at the center of it now, and I don’t really know or care how he feels about it. It’s happening.
We’re going to breakdown the ideology at play here.
GQ interviewed Phil Robertson, star of A&E’s (massive) hit show “Duck Dynasty.” During the interview, Phil made some comments about homosexuality that sparked headlines…and his eventual dismissal from the show.
“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.”
And that’s not all.
“It seems like, to me, a vagina — as a man –would be more desirable than a man’s anus. 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.”
Hold on, he’s not done.
“The Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”
Shortly after these comments went public, Wilson Cruz of GLADD came out with this statement:
“Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe. He clearly knows nothing about gay people or the majority of Louisianans — and Americans — who support legal recognition for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples. Phil’s decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors who now need to reexamine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.”
Afterward, Robertson shot back.
“I myself am a product of the 60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior. My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together. However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.”
I read this story all at once and was instantly curious. How are people reacting to what just went down? As I stated earlier, Robertson has been dismissed from A&E indefinitely. I wondered how everyone would react.
I took to Facebook first. I had a feeling that after a day of processing this, people would have thoughtful, insightful opinions. Not really.
Most of the comments were divided. Sure enough, my LGBT friends were celebrating A&E’s decision. My religious friends, on the other hand, were strictly standing with Robertson.
Interestingly, my Christian friends who are either LGBT or support LGBT rights were split down the middle. I wondered why.
I then moved on to Twitter. After all, no news story is complete until you read the wittiest comments about it. Again, the Tweets were split down the middle. Half of the Tweets I saw supported Robertson while the other Tweets were deriding him.
And almost every single person bringing this issue up mentioned this: “Freedom of speech.”
Oh and: “Everyone has a right to their opinion.”
Some people even took it a balanced step forward: “Everyone has a right to their opinion, including who they hire and fire.”
I liked that approach (at first) because it was fair — not that word again — and could be the solution to this Christian vs. LGBT nonsense that’s been blasted since Chick-Fil-A. But something didn’t add up.
You see, my initial response to this entire situation was quite opinionated: Great, if I say something about this, the thought police might get me too.
I thought this because after reading Robertson’s comments, I didn’t interpret them as hateful at all. I didn’t even think of this as freedom of speech, just freedom of religion. Why would your religion cost you your job?
Thinking further, I couldn’t find anything Phil mentioned about equality or condemning people who are LGBT. Just a man’s perspective on a question he was asked. A man who has always purported himself as Christian.
He even clarified that he would never treat or disrespect someone for being different. He just doesn’t agree with the lifestyle because it conflicts with his religion.
One of my friends is a gay Christian named Brandon Ambrosino. He’s a great writer who went to the same university as me, and he made a statement that went viral recently about how being against gay marriage doesn’t make you a homophobe.
As a result, there was a significant backlash against him, with people calling him a homophobe. It was remarkable.
Christians vs. LGBT. If you’re not with us, you’re against us. And it goes both ways (no pun intended).
Why are Christians mad, then? Why are they siding with Robertson? I think it has less to do with freedom of speech and more to do with freedom of religion.
They’re mad because a man lost his job over his faith, which wouldn’t be acceptable in almost any other context. Can you imagine if a man was fired for being Muslim? Or an Orthodox Jew? Both religions speak out against homosexuality, so where does it end?
Of course, the LGBT community would say that it doesn’t matter what religion you are, and they’d be right. But would this have been news if the religion was different?
Let’s be fair. Christian organizations have been pretty notorious for firing individuals over their religion, citing the same thing as A&E. Businesses don’t want to be associated with beliefs and opinions that don’t align with their own.
Freedom of speech doesn’t mean “freedom from consequences.” Just look at all of these people who got fired for something they said on Twitter.
But there’s a line between hiring practices and discrimination. A&E isn’t firing someone over insensitive remarks. They’re firing someone who is outspoken about their religion, and that’s what has Christians ticked off right now.
Hold on though. If you’re a Christian, and you’re angry about this issue, calm down. The LGBT community has every right to celebrate this. Phil’s comments may not have been inflammatory to you, but they fly in the face of individuals who fight every day for equality in their lives.
Do I believe Phil deserves this backlash? Let’s do an experiment. Let’s switch around the words in these statements:
“Start with Christian behavior and just morph out from there. Talking to imaginary friends, trying to brainwash this woman and that woman and that woman and those men…Don’t be deceived. Neither the bigots, the zealots, the hypocrites, the liars, the greedy, the extremists, the fanatics, the deceivers — they won’t inherit a good life. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
“It seems like, to me, science would be more desirable than faith. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! Science has got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, religion: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”
That would offend a lot of Christians, wouldn’t it? Guess what. It happens every day. People berate Christians all the time, but who loses their job over it?
Now, if someone added that Christians should be harmed or considered unequal to others, then they would rightfully come under fire for those comments. But we hold the LGBT phenomenon to a different standard, and it’s just not honest.
You can say that it’s OK because the LGBT have been marginalized for years, while Christians have been the majority for a long time, but that’s not honest either.
It’s not intellectually honest or even morally honest. If you really want equality, then you have to be held to equal standards.
Again, I have no problem with someone who is happy about Phil Robertson losing his job over this. I would be happy too if a person who disagreed with my lifestyle was taken down a notch. But I’ve had enough of people throwing words like “bigot” and “intolerant” around to anyone who doesn’t perfectly agree with their opinions (or what’s politically correct).
Let people be. Christians and LGBT need to be the communities that get along, and this petty bickering and media circus needs to end.
Dan Cathy doesn’t like homosexuals? Move on. Gay people don’t like the chicken restaurant you frequent? Get over it.
Save the energy for issues that are actually affecting people, like how homosexuals are banned in Iran, and how people are killed for their religion all over the world.
It’s just not logical for us to fight anymore, my man.
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