I have a confession to make: I am a Duck Dynasty fanatic. I love the show. I have a t-shirt. Although I know they are very, very different from me and my world outlook-politically, religiously, culturally-I think they are wonderful people. While I know they subscribe to a much more conservative form of Christianity than me, they seem sincere about their faith, and they love people.
So I’m very, very disappointed to see the comments from Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the family, on homosexuality.
Now, let me preface this by saying that I never had any doubt in my mind that they had traditional views on gay marriage and the gay lifestyle. No matter my strong disagreement, I never had any illusions about the Robertson’s, and anybody who is acting shocked is being intellectually dishonest.
The problem here is the disgusting and unnecessarily graphic rhetoric on display here. This is the exact thing that turns so many non-Christians off about our faith. The Robertson’s, as high profile Christians with a very public platform, have a elevated duty to present our faith in it’s truest sense, no matter their personal feelings about homosexuality. Christianity is about love and acceptance of others, regardless of their perceived “sin.” (Note that I DO NOT believe homosexuality is a sin; I am merely making a point for those who do.)
I know the Robertson’s do much good work compelled by their faith. But all of that work becomes obscured when one of them makes this kind of hateful comment. It’s disappointing, to say the least. And it’s not how we should practice our faith in the world.
Here’s how I approach this issue. While I believe homosexuality is not a choice, the idea of choice is beside the point. We need to ask two questions. One, does a person’s homosexuality cause an outward harm to other people, or society as a whole? Really, is a monogamous, loving relationship between two men more damaging than multiple divorcees? And two, if a homosexual has a honest relationship with God and lives life as true to that relationship and where it leads them as possible, then who are we to judge? Even if you believe homosexuality is a sin, if that person is communing with God and leading a Christ-centered life, then whatever internal choices they make are between them and God.
It’s disappointing to see this from such an outspoken Christian, and does a real disservice to spreading message of love that Jesus preached to us.