Earlier this week, a man who is featured on an entertainment show called “Duck Dynasty” made some disparaging remarks about the gay community while referencing Bible passages. A 64-year old Louisiana man who was born in some place called Caddo Parish, Phil Robertson is apparently the father figure on this show and is known for speaking his mind about things. I imagine most people with newly found celebrity like to spout off about religion & their beliefs and so…when GQ came calling? Robertson continued to do what he does. He didn’t jump around on a couch or wear a see-thru bra (thankfully) or pull out a roll of marijuana and smoke it in front of the reporter. No…he went on some kind of gay rant where he then followed it up with a quote from the Bible.
I’m not going to lie…I haven’t read what he said. The reason I know what I know about this topic is because it was all over social media on Thursday with everyone from the far left to the far right commenting about it. I, on the other hand, took a different approach and posted the following…
“I know, I know…I should totally be up in arms about what some Duck guy said about being straight or gay or something. I dunno. Am I a bad person if I don’t care? #LackOfInterest”
This in return sparked some interesting comments from friends and family who DO watch the show or, at the least, believe in the First Amendment and took to either side of the debate. Unfortunately, this also sparked a fire under a friend of mine and who responded with this…
“Your gay friends wish you cared.”
In response to this I stated…
“I do care about my gay friends. I do not care about what some guy on a tv show has to say about what he believes. What he believes is HIS problem. MY beliefs and my families are what is important to me. I hope that’s ok.”
For many reasons, this entire exchange has been bothering me for days. It wasn’t so much that what I said was wrong, but it was my lack of appreciation for what so many people have gone through in their lives that has been bothering my conscience. Looking back on this, I realize that my head was in the right place, but my heart must have been completely turned off that day. Despite my insistence that I don’t care what this tv guy had to say, the truth of the matter is…if it affects one of my friends, it affects me.
I have many friends. I have friends who are straight. I have friends who are gay. I have friends who are African-American, Asian, Korean and from New Mexico. I have friends who have disabilities, friends who are elderly. I have friends who I prefer to communicate with at a distance and I have friends I wish I saw more frequently. I have friends who live in other countries that I will probably never see again but I consider my time with them to be important in my life. I have met people from different affluences in life. I know rich people, poor people, middle class people. Because of this, I can’t say that I ever think of putting anyone into a category. When we start to break it down into who belongs in which category, whether it’s ethnic, sexual preference or based on income, then when we lose sight of who we are.
WE are human. WE are strong and fragile at the same time. WE work to make our lives better and WE love those who are among us. I don’t see myself as someone who sits apart from everyone else. I see myself as a part of a larger master plan. Unfortunately, I don’t really believe that MY take on life is what everyone else sees and that’s ok. I’ve never understood so much of the way our world works. It’s a shame really that there is so much hate and bigotry and anger. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we all could just see the big picture and work for a coherent goal? One that doesn’t involve money or power. A goal that included acceptance and appreciation of one another?
But all of this goes for nought if I don’t defend those that I feel have been slighted. For someone of higher profile to come out in a national magazine and basically use the Bible as a crutch for his particular beliefs about an entire culture is wrong. The first thing the Bible should teach is acceptance and love for one another. You can spout off as many passages as you want. You can know verses like the back of your hand. You can go to church every single day of your life. But if you don’t believe the OVERALL message of the Bible? Then you have no right quoting it. The Bible is, in its essence, a book about the love that our God and his son, Jesus, has for ALL of us. It was written hundreds of years ago. It is a very particular piece of work that can, and often is, misinterpreted. It is MY belief that we are ALL created equal. So in that regard…I do NOT care what someone says about something that he knows nothing or lacks understanding about. How would HE know what it’s like to stand for the love of someone, even if an entire culture is against him? How would he feel if an entire community came to HIS door and spouted hateful things, following them with Biblical verses about naiveté & hatred? I imagine Phil would feel secluded and scared and angry.
This isn’t about Phil Robertson. This is about standing up for one’s beliefs and doing what is right. And what is right is for you to believe what you want, but in the end, we’re all just people. We love who we love. We don’t decide. It happens naturally and I have to believe that God would want that. God wants us to love and to be loved. And he wants us all to just get along. I have to believe that or else I have no faith. And I WANT to have faith in my fellow man & woman. But I refuse to judge anyone on their skin, their religious beliefs, their nationality or what they do in their own home. What others do with their lives is only for them and that, in OUR country, is our inalienable right.
There are MANY Phil Robertson’s in the world. Most of them never get interviewed by GQ or have their own tv show. Just because you’re famous doesn’t give you the right to open your mouth and say angry things. THAT is what I believe. And that is what I will be sticking to when I end up at the Pearly Gates.