Saturday, December 21, 2013

What Did Phil Robertson Say About Homosexuals?

If you've been under a rock lately, you might have missed the story where Phil Robertson, patriarch of the Duck Commander clan, was suspended from his own show due to making allegedly "hateful" remarks about homosexuals in an article from GQ.

Let's look at what he actually said and then reflect on what it means for the future of public proclamations of Christianity.


“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.”

What a shocking statement. Phil is saying that, to him, he doesn't get the attraction of homosexual sex. How bizarre for a heterosexual man to make such a claim.

He also seems to be saying that homosexual sex is illogical. This, too, shouldn't be all that controversial. Given that there is a natural biological complementarity in heterosexual intercourse that is completely lacking in its homosexual counterparts, this statement is not all that strange and certainly not hateful. One could probably examine all kinds of animals and logically deduce the functions of their anatomy. Coming up with homosexual practices based on such deduction is a bit of a stretch.

“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong,” he says. “Sin becomes fine.”

[Interviewer] What, in your mind, 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.”

So Phil thinks that homosexual behavior is a sin. I think it interesting that he made a point to say "behavior." This is hardly an extreme view and is consistent with 2000 years of Christianity.

Oh, and he also thinks that fornication, adultery, idolatry, greed, drunkenness, slander, etc. are all sins as well. One would hope that everyone agrees.


“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?”

So Phil acknowledges that sin leads one to hell but that the ultimate arbiter of forgiveness of those sins, regardless of what sins they may be, is God. Including homosexuals.

That is the entirety of his comments regarding homosexuality in this interview.

What did he say that was untrue or hateful? Where is the controversy coming from? If you read the comments themselves, the only thing that really qualifies as controversial is that he regards homosexual behavior as a sin. That is where society's problem with Phil Robertson comes from.

That is why this incident is important. Stating something so simple is now sufficient to threaten one's reputation and livelihood. As has been pointed out in the past by our collaborator Karl and other posts here, basic Christian beliefs are slowly being spun as statements of hate speech. Cardinal Ouellet knows all about this from when he took a stand against murdering babies. It's happening, folks, and the courts are going to be ok with it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. Eventually, though, we're going to be in "shouting fire in a crowded theater" territory.

In the interim, there will be enough fabricated outrage and attempted economic sanctions to make life miserable. I say "attempted" because A&E is about to learn the Chik-Fil-A lesson. Certain groups might have powerful lobbies and loud, shrieking voices, but they are worthless in these types of cases. Do you really think people watching the Robertsons and buying Duck Commander stuff are going to listen to those voices? Did they somehow think that Phil and Family were ok with homosexual behavior? The only people who will be boycotting the show are people who weren't watching it anyway.

So when the Robertsons and their followers migrate to CMT or wherever, with a sweeter deal and just as many (if not more) followers, be prepared to hear about (A) how much money they are making) and (B) how hateful the people are who are helping them make that much money.


bill bannon said...

The picture is darker still when Popes call the death penalty "cruel" ( John Paul II in St. Louis in 1999) despite God giving c.34 of them in the Bible as Cardinal Avery Dulles noted in First Things years ago. So we are doing to Scripture at times what GQ is doing to our belief about gay acts.

Throwback said...

Well, the death penalty can be cruel and illicitly used. Homosexual acts are intrinsically bad. Nothing can make them proper or appropriate. I think that makes for a bit of a difference between these topics.