I don’t read GQ. OK, I looked at it once when I was teenager. I was in the doctor’s office and Johnny Depp was on the cover I may have ripped out some pictures of Johnny Depp and shoved them on my purse, but since then, my life has been GQ free.
I also don’t watch “Duck Dynasty.” Partly because I got rid of cable, but even before that I didn’t watch the show. Honestly, I don’t get the fascination with a bunch of backwoods hunters who are millionaires. My friends tell me they’re Christians, therefore it’s a great show. The local Bible bookstores AND Walmart carry “Duck Dynasty” merchandise, so I suppose the show has bridged the great gap between the sacred and the secular.
That is, until that GQ interview. You know the one I’m talking about–the one where Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the family, spoke out against homosexuality and made some ignorant comments on the Civil Rights era. Now Robertson has been suspended from A&E, the network which broadcasts “Duck Dynasty,” because the A&E execs are outraged by Robertson’s view.
Really?! The family prays at the end of every episode and speak at Christian conferences. Is A&E and the rest of the world really so shocked that evangelical Christians don’t support homosexuality?! I don’t want the show and I’m not surprised; I don’t understand why anyone else is.
What does shock me is the way Robertson expressed himself.
According to this CNN article, Robertson used some pretty crude language to describe homosexual relationships. I am appalled at his language, but perhaps that’s why people like him, perhaps they like his frankness…until Robertson says something they don’t agree with. Then he’s a “racist redneck homophobe.”
I have learned that everyone won’t agree with me…and I’m [mostly] OK with that. But how dare Robertson express a belief that goes against popular culture’s view of what’s “right.” Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion as long as he or she goes along with the majority view. Oh, we say we value diversity and individual beliefs, but we don’t.
Instead of wondering whether or not Robertson may have been misquoted or if his words were taken out of context (though it appears they haven’t been), many are ready to tar and feather him while screaming for equality! As a former journalist, I know I would always look for the best quotes from interviews to tell the story of my interviewee. However, I am a stickler for context and dislike sensationalism. As a public figure, Robertson should keep a closer reign on his tongue.
But Robertson has every right to say what he did.
If we really value free speech and want to preach tolerance, then we need to agree to disagree with others. I have friends who support gay marriage and friends who don’t. I have friends who think I’m a fanatical Christian, others who think I’m a nice girl, and others who share my beliefs. Even among my church family, we have different views on theology, politics, and relationships. But I don’t just stop being friends or talking to people with whom I disagree. If I did, I wouldn’t have left with which to talk.
I am offended by Phil Robertson comments, not just because some what he said was ridiculously ignorant (yeah, I’m sure the blacks loved Jim Crow laws.) Note my sarcasm.) But does a man who calls himself a Christian, a reflector of Christ, need to actually name private parts to make a point? Does his foolish talk really have to affect what others will think of me as a Christian? This is what I find the most disturbing because I am nothing like Phil Robertson. It hurts me that other Christians have to deal with someone who put his foot in his mouth. We will find the grace to forgive him because that’s what Christians do–make mistakes and are forgiven. Though some mistakes (or sins) have consequences, like Robertson’s suspension from A&E. His suspension probably has little to do with his tone and more about his comments regarding homosexuality.
I won’t be tuning in to “Duck Dynasty” any time soon, especially now that Robertson has been suspended and many are questioning the future of the show. I won’t buy their merchandise or sign a petition to try to get A&E to reverse their suspension of Robertson. Yet Phil Robertson has a right to say what he wants, though I don’t like his tone. So do what I did, change the channel and watch something else. Don’t preach “tolerance” and then condemn someone because you disagree with his or her beliefs because seems rather intolerant, don’t you think? But you have every right to be offended.