With the recent incident with Phil Robertson essentially getting kicked off the show Duck Dynasty, a lot of blame has been thoughtlessly thrown around. For those who don’t know, Phil Robertson made some comments in an interview basically saying that homosexuality is a sin. Previously, he had said that black people were happier before and didn’t ask for the civil rights movement. These comments made A+E come to the conclusion to indefinitely suspend Robertson. (Click here to read the Huffington Post article.)
Some people are siding with the TV network, A+E, while others side with Phil Robertson. Others disagree with Robertson’s comments, but also disagree with the suspension.
I know many people are voicing their opinions on this “issue” right now, so I’m going to try to avoid simply stating my opinions but turn the situation on its head and hopefully share some new perspectives.
First of all, Phil Robertson said that homosexuality is a sin. This is a true statement, as validated by scripture:
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
However, it is important to notice that homosexuality is not the only sin labeled as unrighteous in the above verse. Idolaters, adulterers, and thieves are also included. I think that perhaps Phil Robertson singling out the homosexuals like he did was maybe not the most edifying thing to say. His comments about the black people who were “happier” before the civil rights movement was also perhaps not the most tasteful thing to say in light of the readiness of our culture to label such comments and mentalities as racist, narrow-minded, and old-fashioned.
Don’t get me wrong here. I think it’s wonderful when people stand up for what they believe. I applaud those who do. At the same time, I hope Phil Robertson truly believes in what the Bible says, as he claims to, and recognizes that he too is a sinner and just as guilty as those who practice homosexuality. For example, the “off-color” (as Huffington post puts it) language that Phil used to express his opinions were probably not God-honoring, just as the practice of homosexuality is not God-honoring.
I’ve seen some people express their concern that by suspending Robertson, A+E violated his 1st amendment rights. This is incorrect. A company has the right (legally) to fire an employee. The government is not the one standed up against Phil, a private company is. First amendment rights still intact. In addition, he was free to speak, and he spoke. No one prevented him. Now he is just having consequences for his actions, not a loss of liberty. Was it the nicest thing A+E could’ve done? No, probably not. It also was probably not the smartest thing to do, considering that Duck Dynasty is their most widely watched show.
Perhaps if Phil Robertson didn’t agree with A+E policies, he wouldn’t have agreed to be in their show. We need to remember that Robertson is a contracted employee, and the face of A+E. The company wants, and rightly so, their face to represent what they believe. I don’t agree with their policies, and don’t necessarily want to sign a contract with them because of that. But the Robertson family agreed to be on their TV show, and that’s just fine, but they need to be prepared for any consequences that may come with that.
All in all, I don’t think there’s really an controversy to discuss. A+E essentially fired one of its employees because it didn’t like what the employee said. This happens all the time and is fine. Maybe not the most courteous thing to do, but still, fine. Phil Robertson expressed his views on a particular sin and an event in history that are controversial and lots of people didn’t like it. I don’t see how this is any different from any other recent “news story.” Everyone has their sin issues, and I don’t think Christians should become disunified because of people on TV either sinning or pointing out the sins of others. If anything, our constant struggle with sin and our common Savior should unify us, not the opposite.
What are your perspectives on the whole situation?