Friday, December 20, 2013

Duck Dynasty and the Phil Robertson Dilemma

My facebook feed is one Phil Robertson post after the other, and fact is: my facebook feed says more about me--my particular circle of friends, my interests--than it does about society. (Everyone's facebook feed is unique.)

Many of my facebook friends love Phil Robertson and Duck Dynasty (if you don't, I beg your patience just a moment longer), and no surprise. I've lived in the south most of my life, and many of my people are camo-wearing Baptists. The Robertsons are reality stars to whom my people can relate, and many of them are riled up over Phil's suspension.

They're posting about the First Amendment. They're criticizing writer Drew Magary, GQ, and A&E. They're wondering why it seems like people in the LGBT community can say whatever they like without consequence. They're wondering why it seems like Pat Robertson (of The 700 Club) can say whatever he likes without consequence. They're wondering all sorts of things, and I had to walk away because my head hurt. I felt like a bunch of people were yelling in there.

Here's what I think. Again, wherever you stand, I beg your patience. I think--just like every other Christian I've ever met, including myself--Phil is a sloppy servant of Jesus. Jesus has used Phil, anyway, and will likely continue to do so. Phil will be able to reach people whom others can't.

Phil may have just rendered himself useless in terms of reaching unsaved African Americans and unsaved people in the LGBT community. At least, if I were African American or of a non-heterosexual orientation, I can assure you: it would be over between Phil and me.

I can almost hear some of you saying: "But Phil was just speaking to his experience in Pre-Civil-Rights-Era Louisiana." Okay, but Phil's experience was pret-ty durn limited to have made such a blanket (ignorant) statement about an entire group of people to which he doesn't even belong.

And I can almost hear some of you saying: "But Phil was just speaking out about sin, and a sin is a sin." Okay, but what I know for sure is that--even if a sin is a sin to God--a sin is not a sin in society, or among people. People are comfortable comparing one sin to another (homosexuality and bestiality, for example) so long as they're guilty of neither, but are you personally willing to place yourself in the same category as a baby rapist because you experienced a fleeting moment of jealousy over your sister's new purse? Be fair.

Perhaps you're thinking: "But Phil wasn't comparing. He was just listing sin." Okay, but I can see easily how people in the LGBT community would perceive differently. Can't you?

Regardless of Phil's intentions--and I'm willing, personally, to give him the benefit of the doubt--he was sloppy. He allowed the interview. He said what he said. And you know what? People will and should be held accountable for what they say and how they say it. Phil's neither dead nor in prison. He has a lot of money, a loving family, a huge fan base, and (regardless of his sloppiness) the love of the Lord. Phil's First Amendment rights don't guarantee his permanent reign as a reality star, but you know what? He'll be okay.

And I'll tell you something else: if Phil loves the Lord as much as he says he does, he doesn't want his predicament to detract from your celebration of Jesus's birth. Get Phil off your pedestal and put Jesus up there; He won't let you down. A human will, and every time.

8 comments:

  1. Brandee, I gotta tell you that your post seems like a little drop of sanity in an ocean of generally insane arguments.

    I've watched the emotional FB posts with mild amusement that everyone would see this as such a huge major issue. Frankly, I half expected something like this from the first time I watched Duck Dynasty. I get a kick out of the show and I like the Robertson family, but it was almost guaranteed, as they gained fame, that some unfiltered comments would cause a big stir, at some point.

    On both my blog and FB page, I'm usually pretty selective in what I say, on what topics, and how I phrase things. Sometimes I say something wrong, even then.

    It's not that I mind tackling controversial issues. If I minded I wouldn't have posts with titles like, "Divorce is Sin...Says Who?"

    BUT, I try to keep my controversy to topics that I feel God has led me to try to make a difference...and that I am prepared to defend and/or accept repercussions. Because controversy does yield repercussions...some things are worth it and some aren't.

    Like you said...Phil was sloppy in what he said and how he said it, regardless of what he meant...and that led to controversy, which has repercussions. It just does...whether or not anyone thinks it should...

    Thanks for adding a drop of sanity...

    Have a blessed Christmas with your beautiful family!

    ReplyDelete
  2. YES!
    i think it has pointed out a huge huge problem with Christians: We are isolationists. The comments he made were from a narrow life experience. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I sort of doubt he has any friends who are homosexuals. It is SO EASY to be coarse and hurtful when you don't put a face on the issue. I think this is a call to us, as Christians, to go out and make friends with people who aren't like us. It will be messy. It will be uncomfortable. It will be what God has called us to do.

    ReplyDelete
  3. also? It's my general rule that I don't support you if you use potty talk. It is something I am against.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Annie Watson GislasonDecember 20, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    This: "but are you personally willing to place yourself in the same category as a baby rapist because you experienced a fleeting moment of jealousy over your sister's new purse? Be fair." and This: "Get Phil off your pedestal and put Jesus up there; He won't let you down. A human will, and every time. " are just two of the many reasons I love you and your heart.

    ReplyDelete
  5. You have such a loving and kind heart. God bless you, my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This really was one of the best (if not the best) thing I've read on the internet on this whole thing. I haven't really known what to say (as I am big free speech person, a big put your money where you want your support to go person, but I am also a please don't say ignorant things person, please don't make all Christians with certain beliefs look like a certain stereotype...) So I've pretty much kept my mouth shut (shocking, I know!) Love your heart and your insight, Brandee!

    ReplyDelete
  7. you have such clear perspective. love you on this day, and ever. merry christmas, my girl.

    ReplyDelete