Thursday, December 19, 2013
Something to Quack About
By now most of the free world has heard the earth-shattering news that Phil Robertson, patriarch of the Duck Dynasty clan has been suspended by his television network because he said some things in a magazine interview that they didn't agree with. The blog-o-sphere and twitter-verse have been quacking about it for a couple of days now and a whole lot of people are up in arms on both sides of the issue.
I'm summarizing, but that's the gist of it.
Don't stop reading here - I'm not going to rehash what's been said or get up on my "christian" soapbox about whether I agree with his views or not.
For the record, I do, and I defend his right to express them, but that's a post for another day.
What I am going to say is that I'm more than a little put-off by a few of the words Mr. Robertson used to express himself.
I realize that part of his 'charm' is his down-to-earth, homespun personality. He shoots from the hip, speaks his mind and often, a lot of truth comes rolling out. But frankly, he needs a thesaurus. Badly.
So does the interviewer - I've believe that anyone who feels the need to use a profanity does not have a decent grasp of the English language. (This from a reformed trash mouth, emphasis on reformed. I found my dictionary and thesaurus and started to utilize them.)
Here is a link to the actual article (I won't post the content here, for the reasons stated above, but you should at least have the opportunity to read it for yourself and form your own opinion.)
GQ Interview with Phil Robertson
But I digress.
Phil Robertson is a reality TV star.
Phil Robertson is a REALITY tv star.
For whatever reason, he has been given a huge platform to express his views and opinions and is being paid heartily to do so.
Phil Robertson is an Evangelical Christian.
Phil Robertson is an Evangelical CHRISTIAN.
What he said about homosexuality has a lot of people angry and offended today.
What he said about homosexuality has a lot of people agreeing with him today.
The way he said it, in my opinion, does not represent Christ well.
I feel he used words and phrasing that were rudely put and as a female, and a Christian, it bothers me. I won't say offended, because it really takes a lot to offend me, the pc police drive me crazy. They are too quick to judge what someone says without considering their culture and background.
But I'm bothered because Mr. Robertson has a level of responsibility to represent Christ well - in all things.
His choice of nouns and verbs does not do that.
Simply saying that he would rather be intimate with his wife than with another man would have been sufficient to back up his opinions on sexuality.
Now, don't go saying - "Well, that's Phil being Phil."and shrug it off. Let's think about this for a second.
Mr. Robertson has expressed that he is grateful for the audience he has to share the Gospel and he clearly has a heart for Jesus and the saving grace he offers. His own life story is a testament to that.
However, the book of James in the Bible has something to say about those in authority and the language they choose:
"Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly." - James 3:1
While he's not a teacher in the church - at least not that I know of - he has taken it upon himself to represent Christ and the Gospel to millions. He is an influencer of the highest order and as such, he has the responsibility to consider his words carefully.
Not to censor his viewpoint, he has a right to believe what he believes and share his opinion publicly as do we all. But to simply say it in a way that doesn't include rude language or innuendo.
It's surprising to me that the Christian community has largely bypassed this in rushing to defend Mr. Robertson's right to free speech.
While championing him is admirable, we need to stand up for the right to speak freely, the Christian community also needs to be more mindful of how we are perceived when we speak. We are very quick to find offense in the way we are spoken to and referred to by others and we have to hold ourselves to the same standard. Actually, a higher standard.
While it's of utmost importance to be salt and light, we have a responsibility to speak the truth in love.
Mama always said you win more people with honey than with vinegar.
And that's something to quack about.
With a Courageous Heart,