Wednesday, December 18, 2013

My Two Cents on Phil Robertson.

A quick warning before you continue, my Christian friends: This will make you mad. You might not like this. Particularly if you are a fan of 'Duck Dynasty.' You have been warned. How about we call this an experiment in First Amendment acceptance, shall we?

Okay, now that is all clear...

I have a confession to make: I have never seen an episode of A&E's 'Duck Dynasty.' I do not understand the fascination with 'Duck Dynasty.' Alright, that part's not true. I do understand the fascination with 'Duck Dynasty.' The Robertsons are openly Christian. We sure do love when we have some great Christian things to obsess over, don't we? In fact, it sometimes can even feel like Christians are almost obligated to love these things. Things such as: Kirk Cameron, Jesus Culture, WWJD bracelets, and Bible verses haphazardly plastered over stock photos of sunsets. You might see why I don't openly share my not watching of Duck Dynasty. Perhaps it is a good show. I generally don't like reality shows, unless it's Pawn Stars. Pawn Stars is just fantastic. 

Back to the matter at hand. As I have not seen an episode of 'Duck Dynasty,' I thought I would look into the show a bit. From Wikipedia, I learned that the show has attracted (at least at one point) 11.8 million viewers. That makes 'Duck Dynasty' the most watched non-fiction cable broadcast in history. I also learned that the opening theme is ZZ Top's "Sharp Dressed Man." Hmm.

So...a lot of people like 'Duck Dynasty.' 

Now, about what happened. One of the Robertsons, Phil, did a GQ magazine article. In the interest of full disclosure, I have not read this article. In fact, I cannot find this article anywhere and I am under the assumption that it has not actually been published in entirety. I am also aware that internet news reports love twisting and turning things for the sake of getting clicks. That said, here's what I know. At some point in the interview, Robertson said: 

"everything is blurred on what's right and what's wrong ... sin becomes fine,"

I can agree with that. As a long time Christian and a Biblical student (for credentials) I can see where he is coming from. The magazine, however, asked for more. Boy, did he ever give it to them.  

"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,"

Oh Phil. Please tell me you didn't fall for that trap. Your show is in its fourth season. You've been an outspoken Christian the entire time. How did you not see that coming? There is not a news media outlet on the planet that does not want to catch a Christian on the homosexual topic. It isn't all bad though, Phil. Joel Osteen just recently managed to navigate that situation just fine. I'm sure you were just taking the chance to show some love to some people that might not see your show. Right?

"Don't be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers -- they won't inherit the kingdom of God. ... Don't deceive yourself. It's not right."

Well...okay. I can still follow you here. I mean, technically this was Paul advising the church in Corinth to make sure they weren't swayed from the Kingdom by the sin around them, but that must mean you were encouraging Christians like me to not stumble or compromise our beliefs, right?!

"It seems to me, a vagina -- as a man -- would be more desirable than a man's anus," he said. "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."

No. No no no no no no no. 
This is where I officially lose my sympathy. Here's why.

'Duck Dynasty' is in its fourth season. Fourth. There is no way these men have never done an interview before. There is no way they have never been advised to choose their words carefully. There is no way that Phil Robertson, or any of the Robertsons for that matter, are not aware of the icons that they have become. Icons, in no small part, due the large Christian following of the show. It's also worth pointing out that this show is generally considered a family-oriented show. I understand each episode begins with a prayer. That's pretty awesome. Now, one of these icons just went off about how desirable a woman's vagina is. Really let that sink in.

As a someone who came into the world on the tail end of the Millennial generation, I've already encountered many instances in which I have had to address homosexuality. After prayer and study, what I've learned is this:

Your feelings on homosexuality directly relate to how you view sex.

What I mean is this-if sex is just something humans do, whether we are just like the animals or not, you generally find yourself on the accepting side of this debate. However, if sex has a spiritual side to things, then you see sex differently. Christians probably should fall under this category, as it says in 1 Corinthians 6:15-20,

Don’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never! And don’t you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, “The two are united into one.” But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.
Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself,for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.  

In case you were wondering, I do believe that there is a truly spiritual and sacred component to sexuality. That is why I am also not of fan of where Robertson went with his comments. That does not sound like someone taking sex seriously. Now, I'm not saying we shouldn't talk about sex. In fact, we need to do more of it. However, we need to view sex as deeply spiritual, not just a desirable thing God happened to give us. If anything, Robertson's comments echo that of my high school classmates, glorifying the achievement of 'scoring,' while I struggled enough with making sure I didn't see that compromising image on the internet.

You know who else takes the topic of sex very seriously? Homosexuals. They are defined by their sexuality. We all are defined by something. For every Christian who gets persecuted or mocked by what defines them (Jesus), that which a homosexual is defined by is constantly mocked or made offensive to them (sexuality). Sometimes, I can't help but wonder if Christians have done it to themselves, basically burning any potential bridge that could bring more people the love of Jesus. We downplay sex as just a "thing," and then tell people they are going straight to Hell for that very "thing!" Case in point: Robertson paraphrases 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, but in his usage, he gives no hope! What if he were to use a different verse in the same context, say, Romans 3:23-24? Nothing is being compromised, but we're sharing love, not just condemning. 

Honestly, after that he should have just shut up and changed the topic.  

Keep in mind, I'm a Bible believing Christian, just like Phil Robertson. I am very sad that Phil doesn't get a chance to make things right before A&E does damage control for their PR. The Robertsons could have used this chance to reach people they might not have with 'Duck Dynasty.' I pray that this also does not cause the family -or those that work on the show- grief, as that would be tragic. I'd hate to see a show tank that so many people loved. I'd hate to see people have to find work. I'd hate to see bridges burned.

Perhaps we Christians get a little excited about our celebrities. 

Except Kirk Cameron. Kirk Cameron is the man.

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