Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Are You Standing Up for the Right Ideals?

I know I shouldn't be wasting my precious brain cells on the Duck Dynasty debacle, but I have been thinking a lot about the public reactions.  It seems this whole mess was just a publicity stunt on behalf of A&E.  Sure they preemptively punished Phil Robertson for making some rather heinous statements in order to avoid offending certain groups of people, but then they turned around and made money off the controversy. Once they saw the profit in that, they changed their minds pretty quickly.   That's television I suppose.  I don't blame them.  You do what makes money.

What bothers me is how many people out there supported Phil Robertson and why.

"It's his Constitutional right to say whatever he wants," you cry.  Yes, I agree with that 100%.  He is entitled to say whatever he wants without fear of repercussions from the government.  He had no repercussions from the government either.  He wasn't fined.  He wasn't thrown in jail.  The government left him alone.  It was his employer, a private enterprise, that punished him.  It was the public who censured him and called him out on his bigotry.  Just because we have free speech in this country doesn't mean your're excluded from any sort of criticism, nor does it keep you from losing your job in the private sector if you offend your employer or cause him to lose money.

It's not the free speech advocates who bother me.  The people who really get under my skin, who make me weep for the sorry state of humanity, are the ones who say they support Phil Robertson for standing up for his Christian values and moral convictions.

Can someone please tell me what is so moral about these Christian values?

It's funny how some people consider homophobia to be a moral value.  Robertson made a very false equivalency of homosexuality to all kinds of tyro harmful acts like adultery and murder.  If gay people are fighting for their right to legally marry, the whole argument that homosexuality leads to promiscuity kind of falls apart, wouldn't you say?  Gays are no more likely to commit murder than straight people.   Gay people are just people like everyone else.  They just happen to want to have a different sort of sexual relationship than most of the population.  These relationships can be as loving and committed as any other relationship.

How have gay people ever harmed Phil Robertson?  What personal injury have they committed against him?  Despite doing nothing to Robertson, he has no problem saying hurtful things about them?

Would someone tell me what is so moral about this?  It hardly exemplifies the Golden Rule. 

We need to redefine morality.  The problem with people like Phil Robertson is that they define morality only by what's in the Bible  Should we base our morals on the contents of a thousands of years old book written for and by ancient desert dwellers whose life and culture is nothing like what we have today?  If so, why do you pick and choose the morals you choose to follow?  Many of the "morals" in the Bible would be reprehensible today, such as stoning adulterers, owning slaves, or marrying your rape victim.  The Bible prohibits pork and tattoos.  I'm sure the cast of Duck Dynasty eats bacon and they do have tattoos.  They probably wear blended fabric in their clothes regularly (but at least they stick to the rule about not trimming their beards). 

Rather than ask yourself, "Does the Bible say it's wrong?" why not ask yourself, "Is what I am doing or saying hurting another person?" Ask yourself, "What are the real world (as opposed to the next world) repercussions if I do this?  Will anyone be harmed?"  That's what Phil Robertson and his supporters don't get.  He is so obsessed with dogma that he doesn't truly see the repercussions of his words and actions.  He can't look behind his own narrow view of the world.

If you believe that Phil Roberston and the Duck Dynasty clan truly deserve to be lauded for "sticking to their convictions", I'd like you to take a long look at what you're saying.  Is dogma more important than kindness?  I truly hope that the answer to that is no.

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