Check me out getting all hot-topic political! Actually, I won’t bother with my views on the subject at hand. I have discussed it plenty of times before with people all over the spectrum and it is safe to say that I offend them all and stand alone.
So, what am I going to talk about? Phil.
Meet Phil. Redneck. Hunter. Backwoodsman. Conservative Christian. Beard-growing maniac. I’m talking about Phil Robertson known by the famed Duck Dynasty reality TV show. If you hadn’t heard of him before, surely you have by now.
He was recently interviewed by GQ magazine. (Apparently the ruckus is about a few words he said regarding homosexuality and sin, and not the profanity-laced editorializing of the interviewer. Go figure.) He has been let go from the show as a result of what he said in the interview.
This was Phil's response to being let go! Robertson has issued a statement in response: "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 have to ask a question here. Are we surprised he thinks homosexual acts are a sin?? Really?
He is an individual. That's why we like watching him. No one thinks A&E agrees with his every opinion. His own family members don't agree with his every opinion. So what is the harm of his sharing his opinion on homosexuality honestly and maybe un-popularly? Who cares, really, that a man who was born, lives and will die in the swamps of Louisiana thinks homosexuals are sinning?
But A&E decided to choose divisiveness. They divided the patriarch of the family, business and show from the show. And not quietly! To cover their butts? I don't think so, for a few reasons. For starters, the interview had nothing to do with A&E. Furthermore, the author of the article commends the network for editing the show to keep it apolitical. A&E’s butt is simply not exposed for it to find need to cover it. And finally, watch what happens next, and keep in mind that A&E is in the business of entertainment and publicity.
The conservative Christians react: freedom of speech! Rally behind the good family man! Speak the truth! Rail against A&E, Hollywood and all American society! People preach tolerance until it is an opinion that goes against the liberal agenda. We cry foul! What about our founding fathers? We cry hypocrisy!
The liberals react: here we go again with all the hateful hate talk! Talk about hypocrisy! For a god of love, his people sure are hateful! How can you cry about freedom? You fuss because we are only asking that you keep a civil tongue in your head. Ironic that you want freedom when all you desire is to take away my freedom to live my own life in honesty. You are upset because you can't speak your hate when all I want is the freedom to express my love!
Oi! Haven't we had this conversation once or twice before?
Meanwhile, Duck Dynasty is getting more publicity than they could have ever generated without A&E triggering this Rube Goldman machine of hatred where the parts are human beings.
What upsets me is that so many lined up like good little dominoes and played their parts with beautiful predictability. Did anyone bother to ask what the final goal is? Nope.
This isn’t an honest discussion of the issue. Phil Robertson isn’t being victimized. He knows public opinion is fickle and the show won’t last beyond too many years. He lives a life with a final goal to share the Gospel, not to serve ratings. He doesn’t depend on the show for livelihood and certainly doesn’t live for public opinion. So he doesn’t need ‘defending.’ Gay people haven’t been harmed. Phil didn't say anything that is earth shattering and he wasn’t speaking to people whose minds will be changed based on his words alone. Let me reiterate this. Phil is fine! He wasn’t jailed, fined, beaten or threatened.
Doesn’t this beg the question? What are we defending Phil from? Why does he need defense? If we can calm down and look at this fairly, it may save us from becoming caricatures of Christianity. Either Phil said something wrong, and he should apologize and take his ‘punishment’ humbly. Or he obeyed the prompting of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit will advocate for him (and he should remain humble). Right? Do we believe in this God, or not? Do we need to make it right? Where exactly were we instructed to speak the truth and then control the reactions of the listeners?
John 15 says this:
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have [g]sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. 25 But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’
We aren’t supposed to rely on this world for justice. We aren’t supposed to find love in this world. We are supposed to bring the love. Please read that last bit of verse 25 again. “They hated Me without a cause (emphasis mine).” When we strive to be like Christ, we cannot give cause for the hatred we may receive. Phil did his part. Let us trust God to do His, now.
Let’s review. One guy said something that fell squarely on one side of a divisive issue. That is how it started and should have ended. But it didn’t. He got suspended; his wrist publicly slapped. That is actually what started the frenzy.
Now we need to be critical thinkers. Who started it and what is the desired result? A&E gets free publicity from both sides of the issue and happily pockets their money. A&E are the pot stir-ers, capitalizing on manipulating people to react so predictably. Let’s not be part of the problem. Let’s remember that Phil is fine! Let’s remember that people are watching.
We need to engage our minds and tap into compassion to stop the chain reaction of reactions. Let’s not make this bigger than it is. It is one man, leading one family and speaking what he believes. You believe differently? Go home and hug your kids. Tell them the truth of love as you see it.
(You may choose to point out that I hopped on the bandwagon and helped with the free publicity, but only three people read my blog, so I think I am pretty safe!)
Now, if you still have some righteous indignation and a godly thirst for justice, see what you can do to help people who are actually being persecuted and whose God-given freedoms are in serious jeopardy. Mission India is sharing the Gospel, teaching people to read, write and do math at a fifth grade level, empowering people to support themselves, planting churches and bringing encouragement and support to the downtrodden. And they are getting beaten up, their houses are being burned down and their lives are being threatened. If you think it is wrong to victimize an American millionaire by suspending him in what could only be described as a publicity stunt, what do you think of this? Families striving to get by one day at a time, traveling miles just to get the day’s water, which may or may not be clean.
Perhaps there is a godly fire in you that desires to take action and spread good over the world, but it got misdirected. That’s ok. Adjust your target, and start moving forward. Pray, donate money and research how else you may make an amazing difference in the physical and spiritual lives of countless people living in the shadow of death.
Sponsor a child or give a meaningful gift this Christmas that can bless a family into the coming year. Support World Vision.
Pray for the workers in India, pay for children to go to Bible classes and adults to go literacy classes. Support Mission India.
Help improve maternal/child health and maternity outcomes through education and service. Support Midwives on Missions of Service.
Stop human trafficking by lending your support to the A21 Campaign.
Protect those most vulnerable, those who need your advocacy, whose rights to basic freedom have been completely stripped away. Support Voice Today to end child sexual abuse.
Help homeschooling families who have suffered devastating loss due a variety of tragedies. Support the Homeschool Foundation.
If none of these float your boat, find something that does. There are plenty of people working to bring health, rights and truth to this broken world. Cancer research, patient support, elder care, support for first responders, loving families of deployed soldiers, Bible interpreters, missionaries, Habitat for Humanity, local food banks, local shelters, children’s hospitals. Be part of the good. There is no shortage of need. If Christians would each dedicate the smallest fraction of our money and time to serving these needs, no one would be tolerated for saying all we do is spout hate and hypocrisy. Be blameless, my dear Family.
And if you are still a big fan of the Robertson family, as my own family is, reread his response. He wants people to love God and love each other. Honor his wishes and spread the love.