Three thoughts about Phil Robertson’s suspension from “Duck Dynasty”


A lot of my fellow Christians are upset that A&E has suspended Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty after telling a GQ reporter that he thinks homosexuality is a sin.  They say it is an injustice that a person can be taken off the air “just for making a biblical position,” and that A&E should support Robertson’s right to free speech.


To my fellow Christians: shut up.  Phil Robertson’s suspension from “Duck Dynasty” is not the cause celebre you want to champion.  Here’s why:


1. It’s not a free speech issue.  You cannot say A&E is trumping Robertson’s free speech when it censors him.  The First Amendment right to free speech guarantees no laws will restrict someone’s ability to say what they think.  It does not apply to media outlets like A&E, which are free to air whatever opinions they choose.


When you say A&E should respect Robertson’s free speech, you open yourselves up to a host of problems.  Would you say that the next Billy Graham special should include a lecture from the Metropolitan Community Church about why we should not condemn gays?  No?  Then stop complaining about A&E’s freedom to censor whatever opinions it wants.


If you really want to champion free speech, you should celebrate GQ for posting the interview.  Hold up GQ for being a moral publication that stands rightly on the side of conservative Christian values.  Are you willing to do that?  No?  Then shut up.


2. Robertson equated homosexuality with beastiality.  It’s one thing to say that Robertson was suspended because he cited a biblical position about homosexuality.  But that’s not all he did.  He also suggested homosexuality was like beastiality.


Christians like to equate all sin, as if all sin is equal across the board.  Murder is as sinful as lust and lying.  So if you believe homosexuality is a sin, then clearly it is as bad as other “minor” sins as jealousy.  So when Robertson was asked what else is sinful like homosexuality, he could have said lying.  He could have said lust.  He could have said jealousy.  But he said beastiality.


Let’s be clear: you can hate homosexuality all you want (thanks to the First Amendment: see above), but it is ignorant to lump all behaviors you think are sexually deviant into one pile.  Homosexual sex is not the same thing as sex with animals.  For the record, it’s also not at all like pedophilia, necrophilia, or sex with people dressed as college football mascots.


Are you willing to tell your homosexual neighbor that gay sex is like sex with animals?  No?  Then shut up.


3. Robertson said blacks were happier under segregation.  Christians seem to think the only reason Robertson was suspended was because of his beliefs about homosexuality.  That’s easy to believe: GLAAD did release a public statement condemning his remarks, and A&E’s statement specifically addressed its commitment to its homosexual viewers.


But if Robertson said nothing about homosexuality in the GQ interview, he still probably would have been suspended for saying that blacks were happier under segregation.


Are you willing to tell your black friends to stop complaining about systemic racism and just happily embrace it as they did in the 1950s?  No?  Then shut up!


There’s plenty of injustices in the world for us Christians to fight.  Robertson’s suspension shouldn’t be one of them.

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