23 December, 2013

Please Stop Yelling and Start Listening

I fear my "left-wing radical liberal" card is about to be revoked.  I'm also treading Biblical waters I don't understand.  But I'm genuinely hoping someone can help me understand what the HELL is going on in this country right now.  Here's the question I'd most like answered: why are the so-called open-minded left-leaning people all up in arms over the now infamous Phil Robertson interview in GQ?

Apparently I'm supposed to be offended by Robertson comparing homosexuality to bestiality...and also adultery, greed, drunkenness, and slander.  OK, the bestiality thing - I guess if I was gay that would really piss me off.  But seriously - let he who hasn't committed one of those sins call for the first boycott.  Since the media is pulling quotes left and right out of the article, I'm going to do the same:

Then he paraphrases 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.”
“We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?”

Anyway, what *I* interpret there is "love the sinner but hate the sin."  Am I so off-base there?  As far as I can tell, Phil has just as much of a problem with me going out for too many drinks after work as he has with gays.

Is the problem with him calling homosexuality a sin?

I think the big problem that we all have decided that our own interpretation of the Bible and the sins it includes - be it not eating pork, not having sex strictly for the purpose of procreation, not getting tattooed, not having gay sex, or not gossiping - is the only correct one.  And somewhere along the line we have decided the only way to convert others to our point of view is to scream at them that they are wrong until they relent and agree with us.

Duck Dynasty is a guilty pleasure of mine.  It's silly and staged, but at the end of the day the show has heart.  It's about an extended family who, though they usually think each other are doing things the wrong way, love one another.  Every episode ends at the family table with a pre-meal prayer of thanks and not a request for the salvation of the rest of us sinners.

Phil Robertson thinks that being gay is icky.  His quote about anal sex? Well, you can read it for yourself.  But he's not advocating any anti-gay legislation, hate crimes or even "pray the gay away" activities.  He's saying, if I'm allowed to interpret one more time, "I think homosexuality is wrong, but that's their eternal problem, not mine."  I personally think hunting is icky.  And while the Robertsons eat what they kill, their vast multi-million dollar empire rests on folks who I'm certain only kill for sport.  Is that a sin?  Who am I to judge?  I'm pretty sure I commit at least one sin a day, and I'd be willing to bet you do as well.  And I'm also willing to bet that we each judge someone whose life choices don't align with our own at least once a week, if not once a day.  What's the damn difference?

Frankly, Robertson's thinly-veiled racism in the same article was more offensive to me than his opinion of various sins.  And yet the NAACP doesn't want to re-educate him.  GLAAD seems to want Phil Robertson to change his moral compass to one that they find more palatable.  "Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil's lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe," said GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz. "He clearly knows nothing about gay people..."

Where were the lies?  I've read the article fully through twice, and I have found nothing but opinions likely shared by a lot of people in his demographic.  And what do "true Christians" believe? 

I'm not saying he's right.  But I think that rather than scream and shake our fists and threaten boycotts every time someone makes a statement we disagree with, perhaps we should ALL step back and consider things from their point of view first.  Maybe we should look deeper than the quotes pulled for the evening news or the memes posted on Facebook.  Maybe we should stop our pearl clutching that an old Louisiana redneck Bible thumper said something offensive.  Maybe we should take a second to sit our kids - or nieces or nephews or neighbors - down and have a heart-to-heart about how we are all God's children, and if God is willing to love us despite our shortcomings, then we should be willing to extend grace to those around us as well.

OK...I know that many of you disagree with me on this.  Can you tell me why?

1 comment:

mamajoy said...

This is a similar list of sins from the first chapter of Romans, beginning at verse 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents.
We're all on the list, and everything listed carries a death sentence.