(this is my favorite photo of the Duck Dynasty guys. Willie and Jase on the left!) *via*
If you'd rather not read through all of this (it is incredibly lengthy, I hate to admit), here are some beyond fantastic links to read:
- "The Duck Thing: Is There Another Way?" (my favorite read so far!)
- "What You Believe About Homosexuality Doesn't Matter"
- "How to Respond to the Duck Dynasty Controversy"
- "Dear Kids: What You Need to Know About Duck Dynasty, Justine Sacco, and Christmas"
I actually had to remove myself from this whole situation for a few days. I tweeted a smidge about it, I made a tiny facebook status (and it was more about the Christian response rather than the actual situation), and I wrote pretty much an entire blog post in my notes section of my phone in an effort to not blog about this.
I was texting with Breigh on Thursday night discussing all of it; we're on the same page, the comments are insanely inappropriate for a Christian man to be saying (I'll get to that later), and there's so much we want to say, but should we? Should we add to the over saturated Christian response? Our response is much different than the overwhelming majority on Facebook lately. We do not stand with Phil. (I wouldn't even go as far to say that I stand with A&E either, but that's another can of worms.)
The Bible says that peacemakers inherit the kingdom of Heaven. By voicing my opinion on someone else's opinion, am I a peacemaker? Should my thoughts be heard?
My decision on this was a resounding "yes." My opinion SHOULD be heard. It may be an unpopular religious opinion, sure. But it is my opinion, I am entitled to it, and I'm going to make it known. The reason? Because all of the Christians I am seeing in these past few days are not acting very Christlike in their responses.
First of all, the controversy surround Phil Robertson's interview with GQ has hit pretty close to home for me. I'm ashamed, ashamed, ashamed of my past regarding religion and homosexuality. I touched on it a little bit (here), but in short, I went through a deeply unnecessary holier than thou phase and pushed my (gay) best friend away because of his sin. I told him it was wrong. But truly, it was because I didn't understand. I'm a heterosexual female, how can I even begin to understand the life of a homosexual man in a small town in Missouri? How can I understand the hardships, the ridicule, the emasculation of men the public shoves in their faces with sweeping generalizations.
And I realize - this is probably the same way Phil sees things. He's a 70 year old straight male from backwoods Louisiana, how else did we expect him to respond?
The backlash of his comments were not unfounded or even surprising. You don't say the things he said and, for lack of better phrasing, get away with it. Especially when you say these things to a magazine who, I'm willing to bet, has a very large homosexual readership (you cannot tell me someone didn't at least brief him on that tiny little fact beforehand!).
And then there was a huge outcry when A&E made a (smart) business decision to remove him (not the entire show!) from their programming. To them, it's black and white - it's a business decision, and they are running a business. They can hire and fire at will, and at their own discretion. But dear Lord, the number of Facebook fan pages that cropped up in support of Phil (I STAND WITH PHIL!!1!!!!1) and the insane amount of images being shared about Phil's freed of speech being infringed upon - it was all just so unnecessary.
My former youth pastor (and the pastor at our wedding) tweeted the following:
"It's fine if you 'stand with Phil' ... so do I. But are YOU this vocal when it comes to standing with Jesus?"
I couldn't agree more. Someone sticks up for their faith, there is a backlash, Christians run to support them (we've seen this many times over, most prominently with Chick-Fil-A, and now Duck Dynasty). But what I'm finding from all of this is sickening when you discover that these Christians are rarely this vocal when it comes to the life of Jesus.
I think, sometimes, we mistake supporting public figures who speak of biblical things as standing up for the word of God and for the life of Jesus. This isn't the case, at all. If we are standing up for Christ, we need to do it on a daily basis. Not just when the latest public figure who speaks words you've found in the Bible says something that outrages all sides of the general public.
So Phil says homos just aren't logical (hey, it's biblical, right?!). A&E suspends him for his comments (a fair justification, I might add), and Christians get PISSED.
Jesus comes into the world, a mere baby, lives an incredible life (sin free, amongst the lowest of the low in society), died for YOUR sins (and even for those homos you speak so highly of!), and yet He gets two holidays where we recognize His life and work and then go back to our own lives. And even then, those two days a year are over run by Santa and the Easter Bunny.
Where is the overwhelming gratitude for Christ's life? Where is the outrage that a man died for our sins, and yet we continue to sin every day?! Why are we not THIS vocal when we read our daily bible study... when we hear God speaking to us during our moments of silence, when we stop and think about what our salvation truly means?
Why, instead, are we sitting here, arguing back and forth whether or not our salvation is given to us freely by a man so selfless to die, or if other have to earn their salvation because they live another way than us?
Jesus said that our beliefs would set us apart from the world. That we would be hated, persecuted for our faith. Do I think that when He said this that He meant suspension from a multi million dollar television contract constituted as persecution? No. No way ever. Saying this is persecution of religious faith is greatly, greatly minimizing those who are ACTUALLY being persecuted. There are missionaries in other countries, people who have faith in places where it is illegal to proclaim the name of God. They are being kidnapped, hurt, and murdered for their faith in Christ. Yet, some Christians in the safe comfort of America, where we have complete religious freedom, have the audacity to call suspension from a television show "religious persecution."
I don't understand. My heart breaks for those who have lost loved ones to actual persecution, and have to endure the ignorance that people spew daily. My heart breaks continually, knowing this reaction that A&E's decision has brought about is not how a Christ follower should behave. The back and forth "gay people are bigger sinners than me!" and "they shouldn't be allowed the same freedoms as me!" is not an example of Christlike love. And now, I am beginning to understand why so many ridicule the Christian faith.
I can understand why people are upset.
A whole group of people are rightfully offended by a man's choice of words. Right, his choice of words. Not his beliefs, nor his religious zeal. No. His blatant choice of disgusting words. When you have the gall to use words such as "the blacks" and describing a "woman's vagina" to be much more pleasing "than a man's anus," YEAH, you're gonna get some negative feedback. How could you not?
I'm angry. As a person who simply loves human life - I am angry with his choice of words. As a Christian - I am angry with his choice of words. (Also, saying, "come on dude, it's just not logical" to a gay man is offensive any way you slice it.)
So my question is, where is the uproar for Jesus? Why don't we tweet about His life and His words the way we tweet about how we need to OMGboycottA&E. Why don't we share scripture and words of genuine encouragement the way we share images of a creepy bearded dude with the words "I stand with Phil" attached?
Do you stand with Jesus the way you stand with Phil?
Or do you simply pick and choose what you stand for when the general Christian audience decides that a multimillion dollar company has been wronged?
If you made it this far, thank you.