In case you have not already heard, there has been a recent controversy between the TV show “Duck Dynasty” and their host A&E. A&E has decided to suspend Phil Robertson indefinitely from the show, one of Duck Dynasty’s beloved stars, for stating that homosexual behavior is sinful during an interview with GQ magazine.
Read the entire interview here. I recommend reading the whole interview before jumping on the Phil-bashing band wagon.
There are so many sides to this story I want to address, that I do not even know where to begin.
First things first:
Lets be honest for a minute, please. If you’re gay, you are gay.
I should begin with saying, I actually am not an avid Duck Dynasty follower and I haven’t even seen a full episode of the show. I have seen a few short videos of Phil’s testimony, though, on I am second. I do see all the Duck Dynasty gear in almost every store I walk in, so I have gathered the show is quite popular. After looking into all of the hype over the past month, I have come to the conclusion the Robertson family seems to be made up of good people, and they are quite funny I have to add. I will probably go back and watch all of the seasons now, to see what I have missed.
Now on to the pressing issue.
Did Phil Robertson blatantly state that all GLBT’s (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) are going to hell? Did he, in fact, include in his interview some of the “vilest and most extreme statements uttered against LGBT people?“ Some have gone as far as stating, “He (Phil) clearly knows nothing about gay people…”
I want to break this down to see if there is any support for the offense so many are taking against Phil’s statements.
To start, let me address one of the most common things I keep reading. Some people are under the notion that Phil basically said being gay is a sin and they are going to hell for being that way. Phil was simply asked what he viewed as sinful and paraphrased Corinthians.
“9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” -1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Here, Phil does not paraphrase what he thinks is sin, he paraphrases what the Bible and God say are sin. Phil believes in the Bible, but the words in context are not his original thoughts. Contrary to what people want to acknowledge, the Bible is very clear about what is considered sin, all throughout, but all sin is considered equal to God.
And here is where I need to be clear: We are all sinners, and yes, that means me too. I struggle with sin every day, but when you come before God and repent with a sincere heart, God graciously forgives. However, if you are knowingly committing sin and do not repent from your ways, then no, you do not inherit the Kingdom of God. Again, those are not even my original thoughts, they are in the Bible!
One thing I am having a hard time understanding is if you are a GLBT and do not agree with the Bible saying homosexuality is a sin and do not identify yourself as a Christian believer, then why is it offensive to be told you are going to a hell you do not believe in? Now, if you are a Christian who is gay and find it offensive when told your lifestyle is sinful then,
- You need to realize you are more than likely being convicted by the Holy Spirit, not the person delivering the truth – no matter how they deliver it.
- You already know what God considers sinful and this just so happens to be your weakness. Thankfully, God is gracious and patient with us all.
- There is no excuse for Christians to rate sin on a scale from 1 to 10, so stand firm in knowing your sin and my sin are equal in God’s eyes, but repentance is still key.
Final decision: No, Phil Robertson did not condemn homosexuals to hell. He even stated for GQ, “…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.”
Whether you have seen every episode or only parts of some, you quickly realize Phil Robertson is an honest, outspoken man. He is pretty straight to the point and does not beat around the bush. This being said, he was pretty open in his statement about why he prefers women over men.
“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.” -Phil Robertson
Here is where I have to laugh.
The dude literally used the English words for female and male body parts and that is considered “vile” and “extreme”? He said why he would prefer a vagina over an anus – that is it. He didn’t go into explicit detail or paint an obscene picture. Sometimes, people need to just accept a statement for what it is and not run off with it.
The GLAAD organization complained that Phil’s statement was “outdated” and “stereotypical.” Lets be honest for a minute, please.
If you’re gay, you are gay.
Lets just call it what it is, it is not stereotyping. As for being outdated, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary still defines gay as, “sexually attracted to someone who is the same sex.” So what? Phil doesn’t understand why a man would prefer another man over a woman; he is straight, what do you expect? This being said, I feel confident in saying, the GLAAD group got a little trigger happy with their statements. Phil was not “pushing” his beliefs on the GLBT community in hopes to slander their way of living.
“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.” – Phil Robertson
Final decision: No, Phil did not use some of the most vile and extreme statements against the GLBT community. He used modern English words to explain why he would prefer a woman over a man. Sometimes it is better to take a step back, take a deep breath, and see things for what they really are.
Moving on – Again.
The last statement I would like to address is the fact that the GLAAD organization claims Phil, “clearly knows nothing about gay people…”
I think the issue here is people like this assume Phil knows nothing about gay people, when in actuality this had nothing to do with the initial interview with GQ. He was asked what he considered sinful, not what he understood about the community as a whole. We also need to open our eyes to the fact that Phil did not quote the Bible to say homosexuality is the ONLY sin. The Bible verse he was paraphrasing lists multiple things God considers sin. I don’t see the murderers in prison in an up rise because Phil Robertson thinks their actions were sinful.
Come on guys, I think we need to be a little more rational when it comes to controversial topics, but especially this one in particular.
Final decision: None of us know how much or how little Phil understands about the gay community. If that were the actual question I am sure Phil would not hold back his knowledge.
Here are some of my concluding thoughts:
- A&E has the right to air the shows they see fit. Phil was under a contract with them and if they feel he is not representing their network effectively, then yes, it is their right to take him off the show. This is fine, but what I think followers find confusing is Phil Robertson has never hid who is and has always stood strong in his beliefs. This holds true for the Duck Dynasty family as a whole. A&E knowingly allowed the show on their network, open to the fact that the family’s lives are contrast to the norm. Even though duck hunting is their passion, God is what they center their lives around. My question is this: Did A&E think they would be able to “edit” the family’s religion and think that would go unnoticed? And second, that is great that A&E supports the GLBT community, but why are they so quick to dump Phil Robertson for supporting his beliefs?
- Lets keep in mind, Phil Robertson’s identity is not rooted in the A&E network. This dude has a way bigger calling in his life and more important things to do! I would like to think he has not lost any sleep over this issue.
- Lastly, no matter your stance on this issue, no matter your lifestyle, and no matter how many times someone has misrepresented the Christian community, Christians LOVE gays! If you think other wise then I am sorry to tell you, but just because an extremest told you you were going to hell for being gay does not mean all Christianity is condemning you to hell. Like wise for Christians, just because there are extreme supporters for the gay community, they are not bad people. They are loving and should be treated in a God honoring way.
Remember, lets Live.Love.Learn. from each other and do it in a loving way!
“And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins.” -1 Peter 4:8 NKJV