Phil Robertson, head of the Robertson family and star of ‘Duck Dynasty’, recently made comments against homosexual behaviour. This resulted (predictably) in public outrage, some calling Phil a lousy human being and so on. I want to look at what Phil actually said:
"There's more there! She's got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I'm saying?" he was quoted as saying. "But hey, sin: It's not logical, my man. It's just not logical".
Phil was saying the he couldn’t understand how a person could be attracted to someone of the same sex, over somebody who is of the opposite sex. Now, before you reply with shouts of ‘homophobe’ and ‘Bible thumper’, please think logically. How many straight men, or women, reading this have looked at someone of the same sex and thought ‘yup, I can see where homosexuals are coming from’? Regardless of sexuality, nobody can understand the thought process of someone of a differing sexuality. I’ve had many homosexual friends who would joke that the find it gross when heterosexuals kiss. That’s not offensive, it makes sense.
The obvious other problem is that Phil called homosexuality a ‘sin’:
“Interviewed for the January issue of GQ, patriarch Phil Robertson was asked to describe sin and replied: "Start with homosexual behaviour and just morph out from there."
I’m not sure if I agree with Phil’s statement, but I cannot believe that homosexuality isn’t a sin. The issue was with Phil expressing a view that comes from his Christian belief. Nobody had an issue with the Robertson’s family beliefs; they had an issue with the fact that Phil had the audacity to voice his beliefs! Rights are now being overlapped, with new rights smothering the old. We’ve always been allowed to say that God exists, and Jesus died for mankind- nobody had a problem with that until recently. It wasn’t until the late 20th century, when homosexual rights dramatically changed, that religious groups found there rights being pushed to the background.
How can one man have a right to express an opinion, but another man not have a right to express opposition to that opinion? Freedom for a minority, not a majority? Yes, that’s clearly the new definition of ‘democracy.’
Do you need more evidence that people had an issue with expressing beliefs? At the end of Duck Dynasty, the Robertson’s would sit around a table and offer up thanks to God in prayer. Phil, being the head of the family, would conclude those prayers with ‘I pray all this through Jesus, amen.’ Editors would cut this part out! They knew they were filming a Christian family, but they were scared that these views may upset Muslim viewers. Yes, you read that. They weren’t worried about the offense it may cause to Sikhs or Hindus, just Muslims. Makes you wonder, if Islam is so peaceful, why are we afraid of offending Muslims? But why is the editing out of the words ‘in the name of Jesus I pray’, so offensive to Christians? Because those very words were a proclamation from Jesus! In John 14:13, Jesus promised to do whatever we ask in His name. To ask a Christian not to do it, is asking a Christian to deny his or her religion. It’s like saying ‘you can pray, but be vague about who you pray to.’ Do we live in a world where we must be wary of what we say in case we offend atheists, or are issued a fatwa by a Muslim cleric? Why, in the last 20-30 years, have we turned into such a pathetic race, that cry and bitch about anyone that disagrees with us? Why do we demand conformity to those that aren’t even a majority?! After all, in a population of 6 billion people, the majority, at 2.6 billion, are Christians. But we’ll oppress the freedom of that majority to practice and express that faith. We’ll also vote for leaders that make light of freedom of speech, by making comments such as ‘the future must not belong to those who insult the Prophet (Muhammad). That quote belongs to the democratically elected Barack Obama, in case you were wondering.
One argument that can be made for the outrage against Phil can be that a man/woman can choose to be Christian, but cannot choose his/her sexuality. This means that the sexuality of men should be beyond reproach, but since one can simply change beliefs then they’re not above scrutiny. Another word, if you don’t like me insulting your religion, don’t be religious. But since religion is based on a personal realization of truth, how can one simply repress it? I cannot deny my urge to proclaim the Gospel any more than I can chose not to be subservient to the Law of Gravity. Both are an undeniable truth to me. We now have militant atheists like Dawkins and Harris, who insinuate the ignorance of theists. The assumption that is made is that we chose to be believers in a divine being, and are just not open to the enlightenment that these new-age atheists have had the privilege of undergoing.
If I read the Bible, and see that it accurately describes man’s nature, and the world’s state, I would note it as being accurate in those two areas. I would then have to look at the historical evidence of the death and resurrection of Jesus. I would look at the Bible’s prophecies about Israel, and how each had been fulfilled, and so on, and then declare this document to be truth. I didn’t just wake up one morning and think ‘wow, Jesus rose from the dead!’
Once I had decided that the Bible was true, I could no longer deny the existence of God, since He was the core truth being proclaimed throughout. Jesus called Himself ‘The’ Truth, which means that He is the highest concept of Truth, but also the foundation of which that Truth is built upon. To accept the Bible’s in depth analysis of man’s nature and the world’s state, and then deny God, would be to be in turmoil of a vicious circle. So I can see how Phil declared Jesus His Lord and Saviour. But what the world is asking of Phil is to be half in, half out. You can believe in an omniscient God, but you cannot agree with, nor voice the same opinion that God has on homosexuality.
Did Phil say that we should hate homosexuals? No. He certainly didn’t claim that God hates homosexuals either. All he stated was that, according to his beliefs and supported by scripture, homosexuality is wrong. Society, and especially Christians, loves a two-dimensional God. That’s why we like some good ol’ love preaching. ‘Hey God loves you’ and ‘Jesus loves you’- never really offends. But when you get into the totality of God’s nature- that same God that loves everyone also hates sin. And demands payment for that sin- it hits the fan. We’re all sinners, but God loves you. God provided a way out at the Cross, because God loves you. The Cross is the only way, but God loves you. God wants you to change, He wants you to be more, because God loves you. That’s what offends people. The idea that a divine being dare judge man! The belief that there’s still something higher, purer, more complete than man, after all we’ve accomplished. The idea that we are not the masters of our fate, or the captains of our souls. This is where people get ticked off.
When people call me ‘spaztic’, I don’t cry for new laws of protection. When Christian rights are oppressed at an alarming rate, I don’t call for a re-writing of the laws. It wouldn’t happen anyway. Homosexuals are appeased because of the way that society has treated them in the past, and so are trying to cleanse that history by giving new rights at breakneck pace.
What if Phil wasn’t a Christian, but a Muslim? Would there still have been public outrage at these comments? Let’s remember that Phil bases his lifestyle of the teachings of Jesus, to ‘love one another’, and so forth. But if we take the law of the Qur’an, which is the legal document for the majority of Muslim nations, what does that say about homosexuals? Well sunshine, it certainly doesn’t say to love them. Ibn al-JawzI, the writer of one of the Hadiths recorded that Muhammad cursed sodomites, and recommended the death penalty. In fact this is the punishment for homosexuality in the majority of Islamic nations. So we have Jesus, who never dismissed the acknowledgement of sin but to love in spite of it. Then we have Muhammad, who instigated a law that survives today- kill homosexuals.
The reason that the Bible, and men proclaiming it’s truth like Phil Robertson, are under attack is quite simple. Education. Being a Western nation, we’re all taught basic Christian beliefs, so it’s easy to attack them. How many don’t know the core tenants of the Christian faith? So people attack it, because they don’t like it- fair enough. But they won’t attack Islam, they’re too lazy. After all, Islam means ‘peace’ and not ‘submission’, because Muslims say so. Islam supports freedom, and doesn’t encourage killing non-Muslims, because Muslim apologists say so. Who needs to read the Qur’an? But the Bible! That’s pure evil, right?
We’re on a slippery slope of a dangerous contradiction. You are free to be religious, but no free to be expressively religious. You are free to worship, as long as it doesn’t offend minorities. You are free to proclaim the Gospel, but not the parts that may offend others. A freedom that is based on conditions that emasculate the core point of that freedom is no freedom at all.