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Yeah. I’m that guy — the guy who frustrates a lot of church people because I’m apparently too liberal on this issue. Having said that, I think it’s ridiculous that Phil Robertson’s comments on homosexuality are being blown up as big as they are, and I especially think GLAAD is out of line. [Read original story here.]
I don’t know about you, but I’m sick to death of the hysteria surrounding this issue. Both the far-left PC monitors and the “Christian” reactionaries need to chill. (The quotes around the word Christian reveal my discomfort with how this is usually handled in the Christian community.)
Phil simply stated his (ignorant) opinion. People may not like it, but he didn’t smear the gay community, and in fact framed his comments specifically as his own personal opinion.
A&E has certainly milked this family for all they are worth (rewarding the family very handsomely, of course), exploiting every second of whatever-it-is people see in this show (I have never watched it.) The show is what it is because of the people it features — their lives, quirks, and — of course — their particular way of living out their faith. Though there are few things I have in common with Phil Robertson, I support his right to continue to do what this whole family does that has made the show famous, which is simply to be who they are — hillbillies. Which is not to suggest A&E does not have the right to fire him if they choose, as hypocritical as that would be.
It seems GLAAD could hardly be more hyperbolic and wrong in their 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,” GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz said in a statement. “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.”
It is far from the case that Christians are united in approval of homosexuality, which Cruz implies when he says Robertson’s beliefs fly in the face of what “true” Christians believe. If you wish to be enlightened on how varying are the views on this topic among people who consider themselves “true” Christians, check this out.
As for the “lies” Mr. Cruz refers to, those would be what, precisely? Phil Robertson’s personal opinion, which he claims to be nothing more? Calling this a lie would be like saying I’m a liar for expressing my preference for thin crust pizza over thick crust. It’s simply my opinion. If you call me a liar for saying it, then you reveal your control issue, not any issue on my part. Cruz’s statement comes from the height of political correctness. Even Robertson’s more distasteful comments are not “lies,” since there is no reason to believe Robertson intended to deceive anyone. In fact, what is most disturbing about Robertson’s comments is that he is not lying at all. He actually believes this stuff.
Furthermore, Mr. Cruz is obfuscating. The gay community itself, for years, has pushed for gay marriage on the grounds that even if you don’t believe it’s okay to be gay, at least you should grant people their civil rights. Now that gay marriage is moving forward across the country, Cruz tries to connect support of same-sex marriage with a “true” Christian view. It is perfectly legitimate for a Christian to support same sex marriage for legal and civil rights reasons, despite believing homosexuality is sin. I have been pushing Christians for a long time to do exactly this, drawing a line between what one believes personally and the way a pluralistic society should function. Regardless of one’s personal beliefs on the issue of homosexuality, people should have a legal right to marry someone they love. Period. On this there should be no argument.
Would I have said what Mr. Robertson said? Nope. Do I believe what Mr. Robertson believes? Well, to the extent that I decidedly prefer women, I suppose so, but that’s where the similarity ends. Do I agree with his theology? I do not. But A&E should know exactly what it’s getting with this family by now and suspending him is hypocritical. It’s clearly a PC, hot-button issue and that’s exactly what bothers me. This overreaction suggests we’re now at a point where it’s not okay simply to live and let live, but the mere opinions of some people are now trying to be punished and suppressed. I think that’s a shame. Phil Robertson can believe what he wants to, and no one will ever be the worse for it.
To be honest, I don’t like some of the company this opinion puts me in, but so be it. And for the record, I do find Robertson’s comparisons of homosexuality to bestiality and terrorism revolting, not to mention fantastically ignorant. It’s the kind of stuff I’d expect a hillbilly to say.