You’re sick of it aren’t you? Phil’s face is EVERYWHERE. I can’t open my Facebook without reading about support Phil or can you believe this guy in my feed. When we heard that A&E had sidelined Phil, I went to read the article. You can find it here. I posted it on my Facebook because other than the language I thought it gave a good view of Mr. Robertson even though the reporter was clearly gunning for a controversial quote on gay marriage.
So, against my mother’s better judgement I’ll put on my hip waders and slink on down into the murk. I know that I’ve read lots of bloggers opinions in the last three days. I wanted to write “What the heck?” on some sites and gives others a solid amen. I realize there is a good bit of hate mail floating around and I’m braced. In the words of my six year-old and thirteen year old, “Bring it! We’re trying to be dauntless around here.” Here’s my take.
I read that article and thought this guy really knows his Bible. I read that article and thought, “Can you imagine Bible studies with addicts in your home like it’s no big deal?” I read this article and thought I really need to study my Bible more than I do right now. I also read the article and thought “Uh oh Phil! They’re going to roast you for that.” In fact, when I finished the article I told Ray that I found some of his off the cuff comments to be vulgar but I was concerned that the comments he made about working fields as a poor white man in Louisiana in the late fifties would be taken out of context. I looked at Ray and said, give it a couple of days. Someone will run with that.
It is a shame too. The article that I read depicted a man that grew up in the south with next to nothing. He nearly ran himself into the ground and then turned his life around with the help of Jesus. Right now, all he wants to do is make sure that everyone knows that if there was a little more Jesus, how much better their life could be. We aren’t talking about that though…Including me.
Arleigh and I were out shopping this afternoon. She looked at me and said, “Mom, I don’t understand. Just because you think the Bible says that homosexual behavior is a sin doesn’t mean you hate gay people right? I think it’s a sin but some of my friends at school are gay.” I knew this day was coming. Arleigh has the innate ability to love everyone no matter what. In loving them, she is a messenger of God’s truth. You get no judgement from her. We are all sinners, let’s just try and get through this together. She quite literally couldn’t wrap her mind around why because Phil quoted the Bible everyone suddenly classified him as evil. Yeah Arleigh, I don’t always understand it either. This is what I told her.
I won’t let her read the article. The language is foul and the reporter was clearly in it for shock value. Here is Phil’s quote when he asked what is sinful.
“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 says. 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.”
Now here’s what it says in First Corinthians 6:9-10 9 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”
Now I grew up in the Church of Christ. It’s the same type of church the Robertsons attend. We are taught to read the Bible as it is. Do not add to it or take from it. I have a hard time sometimes when you start pushing around the long hair, short hair don’t wear earring sort of stuff. One preachers said, “Well those are cultural issues.” Now people are saying that homosexuality is also a cultural issue. Friends, when we are dealing with people’s salvation that is not a row I want to hoe. I tell my kids, I can’t argue with it. It’s for God to decide but I’m going to the best I can to not be any of those things listed in those verses.
Around the time the Chick-fil-a controversy happened, I had a conversation with a friend. I told him I was afraid he would consider me to be and ignorant intolerant because I’m prefer to tow the line. He said he was scared that I would call him an apostate. We still had a civilized conversation about it. I do believe though that some people are so afraid that someone will call them intolerant that it’s just easier to ignore the truth. The Bible is about love, yes I’d say there is a theme there. I’d also say that love without truth is nothing.
When I read this article I cringed at the vulgar and graphic description given of homosexuality. Oh boy! Here we go. I went through college working at a Mom and Pop restaurant. Hunters and farmers rolled in about 4:30 in the morning. Old men including my grandfather would sit each morning and solve world problems over hot cups of coffee. They were white, black, and even Mexican. Every last one of them would have been called a racist under the measures we use today. I can tell you my grandfather was one of them. I know on multiple occasions the same would have been said about him as Phil Robertson. I also know that he judged men on their character. It didn’t matter what the color of your skin was if you were an honest hard worker. So when I read the quote by Phil I wanted to yell, some people aren’t going to understand this.
Here’s the quote:
Phil On Growing Up in Pre-Civil-Rights-Era Louisiana
“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. 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!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”
Here is what I thought he was trying to convey… My memory is of hard work. We worked hard and we were happy. Today there is a air of entitlement and handouts. People aren’t happy.
Apparently others read the context of his words differently, like Kristen Howerton. I read her blog Rage Against the Minivan. I appreciated her viewpoint, took it into consideration. While I agree that we shouldn’t make light of the Jim Crow era, I think this particular quote was a man talking off the cuff in an ATV on his way to shoot something. I think we are reading far too much into it. Only Jesus can know what’s in Phil Robertson’s heart. It does me no good to judge him as a horrible intolerant racist just because of one recollection.
I was probably moved to ramble on about this because of some of the responses to Howerton’s post. In fact I told Ray I was as mad as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. I know what’s it like to have words twisted, taken out of context. They are are powerful as any sword and can backfire faster than a old dirty 42. Phil Robertson is one of those guys who says what’s on his mind. I hope I learn the lesson to carefully choose my words, still supporting my belief but knowing if they are going to be written down and spread globally that I’m very careful how I say it.
So are you sick of Duckmageddon? I say let’s move on and talk about something that really matters…
Can we talk about this?