We See the Duck We Want to See
by chris_sanchez
 View from the Pew
Dec 23, 2013 | 3220 views | 5 5 comments | 276 276 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you are aware of recent remarks made by Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame.  The media has made much of Robertson’s comments, at least they have made much of a few of his comments made in the interview.  As one would expect these days, social media exploded with many expressing their outrage against Robertson and many others expressing their support, most sharing their thoughts without making any effort to actually read the interview in question.  Honestly, I wish I could say this is surprising.  It is not!

Rather than being content to accept what others are saying about what Robertson said in the interview in question, I decided to go and actually read the GQ interview, all three pages, myself.  Yes, Robertson paraphrased 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 in the interview (see page 2).  And yes, he also offers a short list of sexual sins just prior to doing so.  Some reporting would have the folks believe that Robertson singled out homosexual behavior and compared it with bestiality.  Reading the remarks in their entirety AND in context clearly indicates otherwise. 

In fact, just two paragraphs before, Robertson tells Drew Magary, the author of the GQ article, the following:

“You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”

That is hardly the sentiment of someone singling out anyone in particular.  Several paragraphs later, Robertson says:

“We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?”

Surprised?  I wasn’t!  I expected the reporting to reflect bias, that is why I went and read the interview for myself.  Before typing another comment on Facebook, or Twitter, or on a blog such as this, go read the entire GQ interview.  Seriously, go read it!  Mr. Magary presents an honest view of his time with the Robertson’s for this interview albeit laced with a bit of profanity (you have been warned).  Magary’s treatment of Robertson strikes me as fair and respectful.  His choice of language notwithstanding, he delivered a balanced article to the readers of GQ.  All in all, pretty good journalism.

A fair reading of the GQ interview clearly shows a man who is committed to his faith, understands the nature of sin and forgiveness, and sometimes is a bit more graphic in his choice of descriptive language than he perhaps should be (he is, after all, a television star followed by millions of people).  Still, even after reading the interview, people will see the duck they want to see.  Out here in the pews, it seems that a lot of folks are trying to use this and other controversies to redefine “Christian” to mean things it does not.  Christians are not hate-filled bigots; that includes the Duck Commander Phil Robertson.

Christopher is a doctoral student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  He is also a graduate of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary of Liberty University where he earned the Master of Religious Education. He also holds MBA and BS degrees. A former resident of Powder Springs, Christopher and his family now reside in Woodstock.  Christopher blogs regularly at www.chris-sanchez.com. 

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December 29, 2013
Denying equal rights to anyone based on YOUR religious beliefs is called "bigotry".

Chris, you and Phil R. and the majority of the self righteous Christian right wingers would deny equal rights to those who love each other, just because they are the same sex.

December 29, 2013
@Chris S.: The bible does not give anyone permission to be coarse. The bible does not give anyone permission to ignore propriety.

What I have seen since living in the bible belt, many christians, like you, somehow derive permission from the bible. If it's written in the bible it must be correct and true.

If I stood in Marietta square wearing a sign stating, "Jesus was a whore master", would you support my freedom of speech?

I do indeed have a problem with christianity, as I do with ALL religions. Religion and the associated rule books were not handed down from on high. Religion was developed by mortal men, in order generate control, keep the masses afraid of the dark, then absolute control can be had.

What many christians forget, Jesus loved all people.

The bible being the corporate policy handbook of christianity does not give you or Phil R. permission to be insulting.

Too many people seem to reduce the gay lifestyle to sex only, that includes Phil R. Has Phil R. or you ever considered that the LGBT community has a work life, a social life, they have pain, they have joy, they have families, they celebrate holidays, they have hobbies and yes, some are practicing christians? Do you or Phil R. reduce hetero lifestyles to sex only?

December 28, 2013
Lib - I was hoping Sanchez would explain to us why it is so-called Christian leaders in Cobb haven't demanded expansion of Medicaid in Georgia. Not a peep from him or any of the other high profile ministers or pastors.

I can't say I am surprised. It's easier to defend some TV show character's silly opinions than do something meaningful for 650,000 poor Georgians who have no access to healthcare.
December 27, 2013
Phil Robertson is talking trash about our LGBT community while wrapping himself up in a self-righteous cloak of Christianity.

Two faced! Not a surprise for many who call themselves Christian.

I have been atheist most of my life and it is not two faced.

I have been told that Jesus loved all people.

Chris Sanchez is excusing the comments and core beliefs of Phil R., which is also not a surprise.

The self proclaimed Christians are so ready to condemn the actions of another who they don't agree with, but they also say that God will judge, more two faced rhetoric.
December 26, 2013
That anybody on God's green earth would care one iota about what some backwoods TV goober thinks speaks volumes about how low the public discourse has sunk. The GQ article noted the Robertson clan keeps Fox News on their TV 24-7. That's all you need to know about how this churlish lout forms his opinions.

And by the way, you can't eat duck you shoot in the swamp unless you hang it for days until it's borderline rotten. Nice.

I'd pay to see Billy Jack kick Phil Robertson's ass.
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