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Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson Suspended for Remarks on Same Sex Marriage
The Facts About Phil Robertson's "Homosexuality is a Sin" Tangent in GQ Interview (From This Gay Man)
I don't often blog in this topic, but I really felt compelled to give some clarity to this issue that has exploded overnight with Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty making remarks about gay marriage that got him suspended from the show by A&E.
First of all, I am a gay man. I feel as strongly opposed to his beliefs as one possibly could. I feel strongly about marriage equality. (New Mexico's addition to the states that have marriage equality was overshadowed by this story, by the way. Celebrate New Mexico's State Supreme Court decision! UPDATE: We just added Utah to the list too!) I feel very strongly about defamation of gay people.
I'm also not Christian. I don't tend to identify as any particular religion, but would describe my beliefs as closest to Hinduism or Buddhism. I do not believe there is a moral conflict in homosexuality. I believe that love in all it's many forms is good and beautiful.
Possible Motive? ;)
What Phil Really Said
Here are some of the nuggets that were in this conversation with GQ that everyone is referring to:
"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."
And when asked what it was he found sinful, he replied, "Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men."
He also paraphrased a Bible quote from Corinthians: "Don't be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers -- they won't inherit the kingdom of God. Don't deceive yourself. It's not right."
After the backlash, he made this statement: "I myself am a product of the '60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior. My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together. However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other."
What This Homosexual Thinks of What Phil Said
Okay... I've randomly ranted with friends about (sorry, ladies) how undesirable I find vagina. Big deal. We have different tastes. Now, I don't go on to say that heterosexuality is a sin, but why would I? This idea that homosexuality is a sin is not uncommon, or new, or akin to hate. Let's review some things that people also think are sinful, and that they don't get a huge backlash about saying so:
- Dressing provocatively
- Eating lobster
- Getting a tattoo
- Cussing, Swearing, strong language
- Celebrating Halloween
- "Satanic" music, movies, and books
- Drinking alcohol
- Premarital Sex
- Birth Control
Do all people who believe any one of these things is sinful (which, for the record, violence is the only one I agree with) hate the people who indulge in these "sins"? No. They're entitled to that belief. A great many people of faith also believe that all humans are sinners. Calling one thing or another a sin isn't a judgment of a person, because they see themselves as equal and see the sin in their own life as well. I've even met people who believe that things like getting a tattoo is a sin, but feel like it's worth the risk and do it anyway. To me, that's like knowing that cholesterol isn't great in your food, but damn that Taco Bell is good! Or even,
"It seems like, to me, Subway -- as a nutritionist -- would be more desirable than Taco Bell. That's just me. I'm just thinking: There's more there! It's got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I'm saying? But hey, unhealthy habits: they're not logical, my man. They're just not logical." [Tweet This]
Phil is actually (dare I say, surprisingly) well spoken, and holds very strong, well-developed, intelligent (if uninformed), opinions concerning faith and philosophy. As strongly as I disagree with the man, I find him to be a rather engaging speaker.
Now, just because someone holds a belief about something that you don't agree with, doesn't automatically make them hateful. Yes, sometimes people are hateful and I can understand people getting jumpy in the context of the history of hate, violence, and oppression towards gay people. But let's get some perspective. Don't be so jaded by the past that you expect to hear much worse than is actually being said.
Final Word on Suspension by A&E
Phil's suspension has absolutely nothing to do with free speech or freedom of expression. He has the right to say whatever he wants, but he also has consequences for his actions, just as any of us would have at our own jobs. If A&E felt that this represented their brand poorly, they have every right to suspend him, and I absolutely support them for doing so.
As for comparisons that I've heard to other public figures saying and doing outrageous things recently- I used to have a job that allowed me to have a green mohawk. Then, I got a job that didn't. Different job, different rules. I have a right to have a green mohawk, and they have a right to decide to employ me or not.
What do you think? (Comments welcome below too!)
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