Once again there is a chorus of Christians purporting to speak for me. This time around it is about Phil Robertson and A&E. Phil is just saying what all “true Christians believe”, is what I am hearing EVERYWHERE. I bet you are too.
Nope. Nope. Nope. Simply not true.
And people wonder why John Shore and I think the NALT Christians Project is so important.
Here are my thoughts on the whole kerfuffle:
1. Phil is absolutely free to express his opinion in any way he sees fit.
2. A&E is absolutely free to suspend him for it. (Think about it, would any Christians be crying “First Amendment” if TBN or KLTY suspended one of their on air personalities for giving an interview in which a person expressed an opinion they disagreed with? Probably not. They would more likely say, as they do about Hobby Lobby and contraception, that it is okay because it violates their corporate conscience.)
3. People are free to watch, not watch or not care because that is the free market at work.
4. Make no mistake, Phil’s rights as an American were not violated. Just because you are free to say something without government reprisal or imprisonment does not mean what you say is free of consequences.
5. I cannot speak about this interview and neglect speaking out against the complete ignorance of Mr. Robertson’s statements on race and civil rights.
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.”
Oh my. Seriously? There is so much wrong with this statement.
6a. All “true Christians” do not agree with Phil about homosexuality. Many, many do not and our numbers are growing. I have written and posted extensively on this subject. You can check some of that out here.
7. Phil Robertson is, as we all are, on his own personal journey. I do not hate him. I also do not agree with him. It is my prayer that somewhere along his path his heart will be opened toward his LGBT brothers and sisters, but unless and until it is I am glad that A&E has decided that they will not be a party to telling LGBT persons that they are less than the rest of us. As more and more people stand up in this way, in support of the LGBT community, hopefully there will be fewer and fewer stories like this one by Julie Wood entitled,
Read it and tell me you can remain unmoved.