I mean really, it is what it is. He said these things and they can't be taken back. So now that A&E has realized that they make way too much money from the Duck Dynasty franchise to let it go over the things that Robertson said, I figured now would be a good time to weigh in on the whole thing.
First, since I believe in full disclosure, I must "confess" that I'm gay. This shouldn't be a shock to anyone who knows me, or even slightly knows me. So of course that skews things. We are all biased. Even those who say they are not. The other thing that I must "confess" is that I am a Christian. Yes, I am a gay man that believes in God and Jesus and all that stuff. I'm also highly irreverent, so ya, there is that too.
Ok, with all those "confessions" out of the way, lets move on to the stuff Robertson said. Most of the interview wasn't that shocking. Lets just get that out of the way now. Really, it was only a few key parts that has everyone upset, and I do think there is good reason for that. But as I said on Twitter, I really wasn't surprised with the stuff that Robertson said. He's an old, conservative, evangelical man from NE Arkansas. I can't call him a redneck, cus really, I don't know him well enough to know if that stereotype fits. But frankly, I really am surprised it took this long for something like this to happen with the Duck Dynasty guys.
Robertson basically said that homosexuality is a sin. It might be, it might not. A lot really depends on how you take one or two verses in a really old book that's been translated many time. The bible also says a lot of other things are sins, and in fact bible has very few verses that talk about homosexuality and Jesus never condoned it or for that matter even talked about it. The bible talks about helping others more than homosexuality, yet a lot of Christians and other people focus more on homosexuality.
There was an article on Slate.com by Nathaniel Frank titled "Does the Bible Say What Phil Robertson Thinks It Says About Homosexuality?" that did a very good job dissecting the whole Robertson vs homosexuality argument.
Lets go back to the other things the Bible says. Since I love pop-culture, there was an episode of the West Wing entitled "For the Bible Tells me so". In this episode, there is an almost 4 minute part where President Bartlet speaks to a group of what I can only assume are talk radio hosts gathered at the White House for some reception. As President Bartlet starts to address this group, he notices that one person in this group is Dr. Jenna Jacobs, the fictional version of conservative talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger. He then starts to address her and her "views" on different subjects. From this short little almost 4 minute clip we are reminded that not only does the Bible view homosexuality as a abomination (Leviticus 18:22), it allow allows for selling your youngest daughter into slavery (Exodus 21:7), or Exodus 35:2 says someone working on the Sabbath should be put to death. And Leviticus 19:19 is a big one as it says you can be stoned for planting different crops side by side and/or for wearing clothing made from two different threads (I'll give you a second so that you can look at your own clothing, come on, go on).
If the Bible says all of that and a whole lot more, why do we focus on the whole homosexuality thing? Cus it's a hot button issues? Maybe. Cus it makes people "feel" dirty or they think it's dirty? Could be. Cus it causes some people to confront feelings they don't want to think about? Sometimes.
So sure, Phil Robertson said being gay is a sin, but also said more after that. In fact here is his whole quote:
"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."Now I will say something that I'm not sure of, and Robertson doesn't actually make this clear, is he comparing Homosexual behavior to these other things, or just starting with Homosexual behavior and just listing off a lot of other things from there. If anyone gets a chance to ask the man, let me know, cus I'm curious...
He then also goes on to say:
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!Now my mom always told me growing up "Don't knock it until you've tried it". So I guess I could say the same thing to Phil. But then again, I've never tried "a vagina" before, so I guess he could say the same thing to me. Guess we both might have to agree to disagree on that one...
But really, for me at least, it comes down to do I think Phil Robertson hates me or wishes me ill will? Well, I can't say for the first part, but I also believe that he doesn't actually harbor thoughts of ill will for me and thats what it comes down to. I've always said that you don't have to like me and frankly, you can even hate me for being gay, but you must respect me as a human and not turn those feelings into actions. And deep down, while Phil Robertson may not like me for something I frankly have no control over at all (Spoiler alert: I didn't wake up one day and go, you know what would be fun, to fall in love with guys so I can be discriminated against and have people who want to hurt me for it, ya, that will be fun...NOT), I don't think he want's to cause me harm or doesn't respect me as member of the human race.
So lastly (cus I really haven't said enough yet), Phil Robertson has his first amendment rights to say what he believes about this. That's what makes this country so damn great (most days). I respect him and that those are his views on the subject, even if I disagree with him on those views. And yes, A&E has the right to say they don't want him on their TV show. That's their right as content creators. So while he said some very inflammatory things that did hurt a lot of people, I also think this country could use to slow down, and follow what James 1:19-20 has to say:
"This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God"Now I think that is a bible verse that we can all agree on...