I have a few of my friends who aren’t understanding that the media is mostly taking the Phil Robertson article out of context. So, I have decided to write this article in good faith. I do not mean to step on anyone’s toes or get into full scale arguments, I am to only write my own opinion. As always, I am open for discussion as well. I am all for LGBT rights and freedoms, just as much as I am for freedom of religion and speech. I do not agree with everything Phil stands for, I do however agree that he has a right to his own opinions, as do all of us.
First, yes, A&E did know who Phil was before he was hired. Yes, A&E did know what type of things Phil has said about his religion on the show and off. Video of him preaching against homosexuality was filmed in a CHURCH. A place where religion is PROMINENT. He wasn’t rallying on a side corner against anyone. He was exercising his freedom of religion in a church setting. He is also exercising his freedom of speech, but to me that is a shitty (excuse my language) argument. We all can say freedom of speech and then say very hurtful things.
Second, if you think our freedom of religion is not a basic human right, you have got to be kidding. Our freedom of religion is very important to many people who all have different beliefs here in America. I see it this way: as long as they aren’t sacrificing or causing harm to others, why not let them practice as they will. I would not classify myself as a religious person, however, I think everyone has a basic right to practice how they choose. If they didn’t, we would strip ALL religions away, or only have one. To say you can’t believe in what you believe, I think that is wrong.
Third, many quotes were taken out of context by the media. Some weren’t really, but we’ll get to that. Phil Robertson NEVER compared or equalized homosexuality to bestiality. PERIOD. The interviewer asked, what is considered a sin, and he started stating a list of things. He didn’t say they were of equal sin. In the next paragraph or so he states, “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?” This states he does not “hate” the LGBT community. He thinks it is a sin in accordance to his religion but he never used the word hate. He also thinks he can’t judge them, and it is God’s job to do that. Sounds just like any other super religious man to me. Even A&E admitted they are bible-thumpers.
Fourth, some of the things he said were a little rude, but I don’t think he meant any hate by them. Like the V vs A comment. That being said, he is trying to conceptualize why people are homosexuals, and he can’t. It is that simple. Honestly, I think many straight people wouldn’t understand when trying to actually conceptualize. It is also a very one sided comment, he only thinks of homosexual males. Homosexual females love vagina. While being one-sided to only looking at male homosexuals, it is obvious he is trying to understand why, trying to put himself in that situation… Of course it is going to seem wrong to him, he is straight and isn’t attracted to men… It’s like having someone like a food that you don’t, and you say, I don’t get how you can eat that… He just said it a little more rude than that. (Can you tell I’m trying to be light hearted?)
Five, to hate on the duck dynasty patriarch, who prays at every meal at the end of the show, who has been known to be a religious man even before A&E came into the picture, and who has only exercised his human right of answering questions in an interview or preaching in a church, yet, to not hate A&E as a whole for supporting them even WITH knowing all of it, is wrong. If you hate Phil for what he said, or what he stands for, then you should hate A&E because they hired him KNOWING that.
Six, I am all for LGBT rights, and I do not come to Phil’s side because I appreciate what he said. I’m on Phil’s side because it is every persons right to answer questions about the faith they follow. It is every person’s right to preach in a church for the religion they follow, if preaching is a part of it. And in other faiths, they have a right to pray to whatever god, or to meditate in search of a higher existence, etc. That right should always be there. And so, you will find if you look, LGBT people coming to Phil’s side, saying he has a freedom to answer a question posed by an interviewer. He can state something as a sin, and that he doesn’t understand why they would be homosexual anyway, and in the same sentence say but it it is not his right to judge, it is God’s. In fact, he even says he loves them, unlike the westboro baptist church who constantly spreads hate.
Seven, if you didn’t want the answer why ask the question? We all knew what would come from a question about sin to a religious person such as Phil. He follows his faith completely. So, it’s simple, don’t ask if you don’t want the answer.
Finally eight, he’s a 67 year old who is completely set in his ways. Seriously people, what did you expect?! (As I try to be funny… ) It is also stated in the article, “One look from a stranger is all he needs to delve into the story bank and dole out his sermon. You can stop and listen for a bit, and then move on if you like. So even though he’s rolling, I change the subject. ” I mean, you really don’t have to listen to him preach if you don’t want, either.
You can read the whole GQ article here: http://www.gq.com/entertainment/television/201401/duck-dynasty-phil-robertson and I recommend giving it a read instead of reading all the blogs and articles about whether or not it was wrong or not. This way, you can make your own decision on what you read. Stay informed from the source, that is my only recommendation.
My point in this article is only to write my opinion. If you do not agree, or if you agree, is no matter to me. I read the article, did more research on what the media has been saying or spinning, and have made my own decisions. I encourage you to do the same. (But, for real, it is important to stay informed not just on this topic. The media is there to always spin things in ways to get viewers. Please do your homework from the source of the information before listening to other articles only quoting the main one. This is a lesson not just from this controversy, but for the future).
EDIT: I would like to make light as to why I’m thinking Phil has been suspended because of his religious beliefs. When A&E suspended him they issued this statement: ”We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty,” the network said in a statement Wednesday. “His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.”
The words “personal beliefs” means that this is what they had issues with. Instead of the rude way he said things in the article and how he went about the question, A&E has prosecuted him for his “personal beliefs,” and I think it’s safe to say beliefs are usually religious.
A&E should really think about how they come off sounding in statements made and in articles. Wording is everything when it comes to news and media. I would honestly say my opinion would be different if he was suspended for his coarse language instead of his “beliefs.”