Open Forum: Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson On Hiatus Over Sexual Orientation Remarks

I do like Duck Dynasty. Most episodes are hilarious. Even though we know they’re acting, it is fun to pretend that all the crazy shenanigans are spontaneous and good ol’ boy fun. And the image of a tight-knit evangelical family praying on air is appealing even while they demand more money for their appearances.

The DD patriarch Phil Robertson is pretty blunt most of the time and he talks about sex on air nearly in the same breath as he thanks God for another good day on planet earth. His bluntness has gotten him into a scrape with the Hollywood types over remarks he made in an interview with GQ.

In it, he waxes crude on the advantages and disadvantages of male and female erogenous zones, happy blacks in pre-Civil rights Louisiana, and his ghostwritten book he has never read (guess that makes him a Christian celebrity).  Probably what got him placed “on hiatus” were his remarks that appeared to equate homosexuality with bestiality and terrorism.  As I read it, he sounded like a lot of evangelicals, which is, of course, a problem we evangelicals have not solved.

Robertson went on to say that he didn’t advocate judging people (even as he did it). In the minds of many evangelicals, especially among the older set, being gay is considered to be a choice. A man preferring males to females is just a sinful choice which is like preferring shrimp to ducks, beardless to beards or terrorism to patriotism. However, we’re all sinners, the thinking goes, and so I can say whatever I feel about your choice as long as I criticize my pre-Jesus choices too.

While that thinking seemed reasonable at one time, it does not come across as a winsome witness in the present day. Whether fair or not, I think Christians should spend some time to learn how non-Christians think about these matters. We should maintain moral foundations for ourselves (hard enough to do), but we cannot insist that non-Christians agree with us or even accept outdated beliefs about the nature of sexual orientation. Like it or not, being gay or straight is not a matter of choosing between competing body parts.  Instead of leading with what he doesn’t understand, perhaps Robertson would have been better off to lead with what he does understand:

“We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job,” he added. “We just love ‘em, give ‘em the good news about Jesus…

Good place to stop right there.

What do you think about the matter? Keep it respectful and clean and discuss in the comments section.

 

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