Christians need to stop playing the victim: a response to the hullabaloo about Duck Dynasty

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.

Monday? Quick Takes

Our days are so packed here and I have a great love and desire to be present in everything that goes on that my motivation to post blogs is greatly diminishing, so pray that the motivation/time comes back 🙂

Quick Takes of the Week

-Monday we learned that the Pope is resigning. We are all very saddened by the news, as we were just starting to and looking forward to getting to know our Papa Benedetto. At the same time, we are excited to be able to be here for the conclave to experience and welcome our new Papa. As soon as we heard the news, it started to rain and thunderstorm and it was just a very eerie feeling. The thunder rattled the weak windows in our old classroom. Finally, the picture of the lightning striking the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica made the front page of all the newspapers. We are all confident it was the Lord’s way of saying “My Will be done.”

Fun fact: Our professor today, who will be a correspondent for NBC News during the conclave, (say what?) reminded us that our generation has lived with exceptional pontiffs, and that this is an exception in Church history, not the rule. I just took it for granted that we are going to have another rock star Pope, but nothing is guaranteed. We all must pray immensely for Pope Benedict and his successor.

-Tuesday we celebrated Mardis Gras: Italian Style. We had a great feast of rich foods and vino, and our chaplain broke open a giant chocolate egg and passed the pieces around our table of 42. There was even a little prize inside (I think it was a plastic cup?)

-Wednesday we were able to attend the last public Mass Pope Benedict would celebrate. It was packed to say the least. We waited in line and in the Basilica for 5ish hours and were able to get pretty great seats. Before Mass the entire congregation prayed the Rosary in Latin. Little did I know the song “Ave Maria” is the Hail Mary and the “Salve Regina” is the Hail Holy Queen… prayer. Boy I’m learning so much. Everyone was taking pictures and videos on all different types of equipment, nuns standing on chairs to see, Swiss Guards keeping watch, etc. It felt like one big Catholic going away party. Many tears were shed and smiles smirked. At the end we all yelled “Viva il Papa!” while clapping for 5 minutes straight. No one wanted to see him go, yet we were hopeful by resting in God’s will.

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-Thursdays (for now) we have one class and formation nights. The men and women divide up and enter into a time of discussion prayer. The women meet with members of “The Apostles of the Interior Life.” They are a very new community of women who are not sisters/nuns but they do take the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and their apostolate is evangelization to college students—both in the states and in Rome.

-This past weekend I spent in Lucca, Italy. My uncle was born and raised there so I got to spend a lot of time with him and my aunt. It was stunning. At one point I had the sea on my left and the mountains on my right. It was magnificent to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life of Rome, and spend quality time with family. We also got to see St. Zita whose bodywas incorrupt and is now mummified. Awesome.

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On Sunday I went to Mass at San Frediano in Lucca with Santa Zita. It was so cold in there, we could see our breath.

Overall this week I am so thankful to the Lord for everything I have been given- I feel like I might explode. I don’t deserve one bit yet he makes my cup overflow.

**If you are visiting from the WIW Sunday link-up, welcome, and stop by again soon! :)**

What is this wonderful aRoma?

That’s right everyone, yesterday morning I arrived in Rome, Italy to what will be my home for the next four months. I am feeling a ton of different emotions: excited, nervous, overwhelmed but most importantly hopeful (a feeling I have had for the last four months). Hopeful for all that the Lord will do this semester. I feel incredibly Blessed to have this opportunity to study, play, pray, explore, learn, and travel with an amazing group of fellow students. I can’t promise I will be posting a lot of pictures of the sites and scenery, as I have taken the position that it would be more beneficial to me to really soak it in and experience it for myself in person, as opposed to behind a camera screen. I know some of you might be a little upset about this, so maybe I will change the location of my outfit pics to some fun sites; we’ll see. 😉

One of the many amazing aspects of studying abroad in a Catholic program is that we have a chapel and chaplaincy (made up of 2 priests, 4 major seminarians and a group of religious) on site to help with our spiritual formation. Today we had Mass on site in our chapel, but I can’t wait to explore the city and visit the many different Churches for Sunday Mass. We got to briefly tour St. Peter’s Basilica (say what??) today, but I bet I could keep going for the next 4 months and still not really appreciate it all.

This beautiful picture was taken in the garden outside the building we are staying in by the lovely Miss Emily Hoffmann. She’s an aspiring photographer and also my roommate 🙂

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Scarf: Thrifted, Top: Target, Watch: Francesca’s, Skirt: Old Navy, Boots: Target

**If you are visiting from the WIW Sunday link-up, welcome, and stop by again soon! :)**