The Phil Robertson Scandal!
If you haven’t been on the internet in a week, I’ll try to catch you up quickly about the Phil Robertson Scandal!!!!
If you have been following this mess, skip to the next headline.
Why is This the Scandal to Unite Christians in Umbrage?
Naturally, such comments from a TV personality will be a lightning rod for supporters of the LGBT community.
But why on earth are Christians uniting to defend him? Why am I writing a 2nd blog on the subject?
If we step back and think about it, even if you support Phil, you almost certainly don’t approve of the way in which he made the comments. Best case scenario, you would admit it was unwise to make such comments in GQ. If, a week ago, someone told me that an interview with Phil Robertson was going to be published in GQ, I would have thought to myself, “That’s not going to go well.”
- A public figure being dragged over the coals for making anti-homosexual comments…not news
- GLAAD demanding someone being fired for their words…not news
- The media being extremely intolerant to intolerant words…not news
The Piece Everyone Seems to Be Missing
As I mentioned before, my Facebook feed has been a non-stop stream of Phil Robertson debate the last two days. Buried deep in one of the many battles over Phil, a friend of mine from church made a comment which I think exposes the emotion behind the action:
For the millions of Christians, like myself, we read Phil’s words and, while we didn’t agree with HOW he communicated his message, we agreed with the belief(s) he was trying to communicate.
We didn’t agree with the HOW, but we did agree with the WHAT
However, the discussion in the media and online hasn’t been, “Phil Robertson is a creepy, blunt jerk.” If it had been, the debate would have been over the HOW he stated his beliefs. There certainly has been some discussion on the matter, but it’s hardly the primary topic of conversation.
Instead, Phil was labeled: bigot, discriminatory, anti-homosexual, hate-filled, and vile (This one could apply to the how). All of those apply to WHAT he said.
So, if I agree with WHAT Phil was communicating:
- Does that make me a bigot?
- Do you think I’m hate-filled?
- Am I anti-homosexual?
- Am I discriminatory?
- Am I vile?
If I believe what Phil believes (or something similar), you’re calling me all of those terms.
By defending Phil, I’m defending myself.
I want to be able to state my religious beliefs without being suspended from my job.
I want people to understand my beliefs and not just see a caricature of what I believe.The reason Phil was the person we rallied behind was because he comes off as a down to earth (maybe too down to earth). He wasn’t reciting talking points or rehearsed words. He was just talking and stated somethings in an ill-conceived manner in an ill-conceived interview. Sometimes I do that too.I don’t want Phil being attacked for stating his beliefs foolishly because I don’t want to be attacked for stating my beliefs foolishly
The lesson in all of this, regardless of your position:
BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR WORDS!
- Phil was careless with his words, and the pro-LGBT community went ballistic.
- LGBT supporters were careless with their words, and the Evangelical community went ballistic.
When talking on a subject which is deeply personal and highly controversial, we must be extremely careful with HOW we say things. Likewise, when disagreeing with someone, when you use inflammatory language, not surprisingly, you start a fire.
It’s easy to speak in extremes about celebrities, but we must stop and consider their beliefs are held by people we know. An assault on their character has huge implications for what we’re saying about the people around us.