My Thoughts on the Phil Roberts/A&E Situation

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Everything about the whole Phil Robertson/A&E/GLAAD situation seems so wrong. Like most everyone, I awoke this morning to my social media notifications and feeds being blown up by the situation between Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, his comments in GQ magazine, and A&E’s reaction in firing him. After reading a few of the headline stories, GLAAD is also involved.

It’s a big ol’ bayou-sized mess, for sure. I simply wanted to use my blog offer my thoughts on the matter. I know this thing probably doesn’t need another voice chiming in, but I feel the desire to do so. For some reason, the words of Jesus in Matthew 10:16 keep coming to mind,

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.

1. Phil, when you were asked what is sin by GQ, you should’ve been more shrewd (knowing your audience) and simply stated that you believe sin is anything that sets itself up against and contradicts God’s standard, and that it ultimately results in death. I don’t think going straight after the homosexuality issue was the wisest thing to do. Also, your comments about race, as well as your “vagina/anus” comment weren’t very tasteful. Again, consider the audience!

Thankfully, I was not in your situation. I believe interviewing with GQ and having this question posed to you was a lose-lose situation for you. I’m sorry you had to endure it, but I respect you for being true to your beliefs. I imagine your fame is as much of a burden as it is a blessing. You seem like a genuinely gracious, humble man, and I hate this is happening to you. Make the most of it by making the most of Jesus in it.

2. A&E, it’s not like you didn’t know Phil was a Christian and held biblical beliefs before his GQ interview. Yet your network has piggy-backed on the success of Duck Dynasty for time now, no doubt making a handsome profit off the Robertsons, plus giving your network ratings bragging rights. I’m sure you also knew the majority of viewers who made Duck Dynasty such a phenomenon were Christians. Why throw him under the bus now?

3. GLADD, I doubt any of you ever watched Duck Dynasty in the first place. I might be wrong on this one, but I doubt it. Like me, you probably heard that DD was a show about a family of bearded men who make hunting products and who regularly talk about God, Jesus, the Bible, and pray on their show. Up til now, you didn’t see Phil or his family or his show as a threat, nor did you feel the need to police them. I’ve read several pundits who are not fans of Phil Robertson who disagree with you that he and his family are “anti-gay,” as you’ve taken to portraying them. Because someone doesn’t believe the way you do, doesn’t make them “anti” you. I’ve yet to hear a Christian describe GLAAD, or organizations like it as “anti-Christian.” You guys need to learn tolerance yourselves.

4. Phil Robertson was within his rights to say what he believes, and he was allowed to. GQ did not censor him. A&E was within their rights to terminate him. That’s how free speech and business both work. My workplace knows I’m a Christian. My employer states that they are inclusive all races, sexual orientations, and religions. They could fire me at any time for expressing my views in a way that they deem is harmful to their reputation or customer base. Heck, if I’ve read and understood my Policy Manual correctly, they could fire me just because they feel I’m not up to snuff. Without warning or my permission. Any employer can do that. So, even if I don’t like that A&E fired Phil Robertson, they have every legal right to do so, just as Phil had every legal right to articulate and express his beliefs in the manner he did.

5. Everyone has the right to express his or her beliefs on this matter. It’s America. However, as Christians, we have to be gracious and wise in how we go about sharing OUR feelings and beliefs. We could call for a boycott, post outrage on social media, etc. all day long (as I’m sure will happen). We could go all zealot on A&E, but something tells me this will work itself out and blow over. I’m not suggesting we be muzzled. However, it’s been a very hard lesson for me to learn over the years, but I’m finally starting to see the value of being bold in meekness, not simply equating “boldness” with being loud and vocal (and mostly annoying). Our main concern is how should we react to this situation (or any situation) in a way that ultimately glorifies Jesus and gives our enemies and critics nary a foothold.

6. Christians, Phil Robertson and Duck Dynasty are not Jesus. Mr. Robertson is a sinner like you or me. He isn’t to be the object of our affection, nor our outrage. Stop putting other fallen creatures on pedestals! We have a habit of doing that, and it isn’t good for us. It never ends well for us.  Don’t turn him into the be all end all spokesman for Christianity. It’s okay to watch his show, like him, pray for him — but don’t idolize him. He isn’t your martyr. He most definitely isn’t your Savior.

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