Okay. So I have watched maybe 10 minutes of Duck Dynasty in my entire life. I’m not into hunting or camo, and every time I see the show, I’m overcome by an obsessive need to pull out a heavy-duty razor. So I was a bit puzzled to find bearded guys all over my Facebook feed Thursday morning.
If you’ve known me in any capacity for long, you likely know my beliefs on the relationship between Christianity and homosexuality. I threw my little thoughts into the Oreo debate and the chicken fight. And honestly, it’s just really depressing to watch so many Christians rush to defend a wealthy reality television star when there are so many more worthy causes for indignation and focused energy.
So, here are a few words from my fellow bloggers that resonated with me today:
This is NOT about the first amendment. Oh, and let’s reexamine our definition of persecution, shall we?
From Think Progress:
Robertson is a free man. He has not been arrested for his beliefs. He could continue to say whatever he’d like and, given the current media frenzy, it would probably be quickly published in many other places. Robertson could even take to his own website and publish whatever he wants to say, and individuals could share it through social media the world over. His freedom of speech has been in no way encumbered.
A&E, as a company, enjoys constitutional protections as well, and is under no obligation to provide a platform for messages it disagrees with.
From Word of a Woman:
Make no mistake, Phil’s rights as an American were not violated. Just because you are free to say something without government reprisal or imprisonment does not mean what you say is free of consequences.
From Matthew Paul Turner:
Because one of their beloved, Duck Dynasty‘s Phil Robertson, is being persecuted y’all. Yes, PERSECUTED! No, he’s not being held hostage by Bible-haters somewhere in Southeast Asia. It’s worse than that. The eldest member of America’s favorite reality TV family has been suspended indefinitely by A&E! I know, right? This is some serious prayer chain fodder for sure…
…Can we–members of the American Church–all just calm down for a moment and look at ourselves? Because we look ridiculous. We look foolish. And worst of all, some of us sound downright ignorant. Because how we respond to events like this matters—ducking matters!…
…Your support of Phil and Phil’s messages, whether you mean it this way or not, is hurtful toward other people. And that should matter to us. Why? Because we are the ones who proclaim the grace and mercy and love of Christ. And Christ cares about those who are offended by Phil’s speech….
Ummm, Phil also said some really ignorant things about black people. While we don’t always (or never) agree on homosexuality, haven’t Christians pretty much decided that racism = bad?
From The Atlantic
Contrary to Robertson’s assumption, his single experience in Louisiana—however true it may be—doesn’t tell us anything about the realities of the Jim Crow South…..He may envision a Jim Crow South where blacks were treated well and sang happy spirituals all the day long, but this is not the South many African-Americans knew in this era.
I don’t even know where to start with this one. Comparing black people to white trash is cringey, but suggesting that black people were happier during segregation? That because Phil never heard a black person publicly complain BACK IN THE ERA OF LYNCHING means that they must have been satisfied with the state of things? This is so racially tone-deaf that it reminds me of the time Paula Deen romanticized the slaves as being “like family”. Not to mention, the subtext of his remarks is that black people nowadays are entitled, unGodly, discontented welfare recipients. So when I see people as “standing with Phil” based on their Christian values, I really have to ask . . . how does an apologist for our country’s ugly Jim Crow legacy represent Christian values?
Y’all, I’ve had people suggest that Phil’s comments aren’t racist because they express his reality. And since I wasn’t there to personally ask black people in the segregated South if they were happy and content living under Jim Crow, then how do I know they weren’t all cheerful times? How do I know they likely weren’t sitting around giving thanks for life as second-class citizens? Ummm….because I’ve studied a little history, perhaps? Here’s a little review if you want to understand a bit more about the era Phil recalls so fondly.
“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once,” the reality star said of growing up in pre-Civil-Rights-era Louisiana. “Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field … They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’ — not a word!”
Robertson continued, “Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”
Oh Phil. Of course a black person wouldn’t have voiced any honest feelings to you. News flash! You are white. And while you may not have personally witnessed any mistreatment doesn’t mean it wasn’t happening. I’ve never personally witnessed murder, meth manufacturing, domestic abuse, or a gang initiation, but that doesn’t mean I’m ignorant about the existence of such things. When white people romanticize racial history, we discount the reality of the atrocities that occurred and attempt to suggest black consensus with racist policies at that time. We can’t put rose-colored glasses on while looking at the past to make ourselves feel better. Phil, I can somewhat understand these viewpoints early in your life, since they were the prevalent beliefs of your immediate society at the time. But dude, it’s been a few decades. We know better now. Maybe it’s time to get with the times on this one, eh?
There are so many MORE things that deserve our righteous anger and impassioned defense.
From It’s Almost Naptime: