If you own a facebook account and are friends with anyone with an opinion, you have surely seen articles floating around about how A&E has “indefinitely suspended” Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty. My liberal* friends give the virtual thumbs-up to these posts because it’s about time someone acted on the bigotry and discrimination they find in Robertson’s statement and with anyone who agrees with him. My conservative* friends post about how hypocritical and how much of a double-standard there is in censorship in the media.
My response? Christians need to stop playing the victim. What Phil Robertson said and perhaps more importantly how he said it was completely ridiculous. I was embarrassed for him and I was embarrassed to think people may think because I identify myself as a Christian, I think the same way he does. In fact, I think we should be grateful to A&E for putting the kibosh on Robertson making ridiculous, foundation-less and tactless claims in the name of being a Christian.
Robertson said in an interview “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.” Congratulations, Phil. What we have discovered here is that you are in fact a heterosexual male, and have no idea what a homosexual male desires. It seems to me that if you think what this person is doing is wrong, so wrong in fact that they are going to hell, you could help and encourage them instead of making fun of them. Further, last time I checked no sin can enter heaven. Whether that is “adultery, idolatry, prostitution, homosexual acts, greed, drunkenness, slander, swindling” or the choice sins you and I struggle with daily, Mr. Robertson.
It’s also very interesting that I’ve found those standing up for Robertson like to highlight the suppression of his “Biblical beliefs” but ignore his statements about the Jim Crow south. Perhaps he is telling the truth when he says “I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’ — not a word!” But that is like expecting a Polish Jew in the early ‘40’s to tap a German soldier on the shoulder and say “Excuse me sir, we do not appreciate our living conditions and the laws that have been imposed on us. You doggone Nazis.” Just because you don’t see or experience something yourself, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
My point in all of this is that persecution has existed and will always exist. If you have chosen to follow Christ, He made it very clear that it would not be rainbows and butterflies but that you will have to pick up your cross and carry it. With that being said, not everything in the media relating to Christianity is a cross. I challenge you to really look at these situations of “persecution” (ie. a man making ignorant statements about sin, Obama moving the offices of the Vatican Embassy, etc.), analyze and assess the situation from both sides, and then you can come to an informed conclusion about how we as Christians should, if at all, act.
Let’s remember to be charitable and competent when speaking about our beliefs and convictions.
*I use these very general terms simply to make a distinction between two extreme viewpoints, not to place anyone in a box or divide the human race.