Thursday, December 19, 2013

All Around the Web - Phil Robertson

In case you haven't heard, Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson has been suspended by A&E for recent remarks he made to GQ Magazine about homosexuality. This has led to an Internet firestorm especially among Christians who feel it is another example of liberal censorship. In light of this, I am posting a special edition of All Around the Web devoted exclusively to the issue.



CNN - CNN Exclusive: Pastor defends 'Duck Dynasty' star




Albert Mohler - You Have Been Warned—The “Duck Dynasty” Controversy
Christians will recognize that Robertson was offering a rather accurate paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10: “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.”

To be fair, Robertson also offered some comments that were rather crude and graphically anatomical in making the same point. As Magary explained, “Out here in these woods, without any cameras around, Phil is free to say what he wants. Maybe a little too free. He’s got lots of thoughts on modern immorality, and there’s no stopping them from rushing out.”

Phil Robertson would have served the cause of Christ more faithfully if some of those comments had not rushed out. This is not because what he said was wrong; he was making the argument that homosexual acts are against nature. The Apostle Paul makes the very same argument in Romans 1:26. The problem is the graphic nature of Robertson’s language and the context of his statements.
The Apostle Paul made the same arguments, but worshipers in the congregations of Rome and Corinth did not have to put hands over the ears of their children when Paul’s letter was read to their church.

Russell Moore - Duck Dynasty?
Admittedly, A&E didn’t hire Robertson to be Charlie Rose or George Will. They hired him to be comedic and sometimes shockingly homespun. Now, I thought his reported anatomical comparisons were ill-advised and crude. But that doesn’t seem to be where the controversy lies.

The comments that seem most offensive to people are his moral assessments of sex outside of conjugal marriage, which were more or less just a recitation of the Apostle Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 6. As Christians, we believe that Jesus is lord over sexuality, and he says that sexuality is expressed rightly only in the marriage of a man and a woman. That’s not new. We also think we’re all sinners, and that God calls us all to repentance. That’s not new either.

We’re a divided country on sexual issues. That’s why every news cycle brings more controversy. Why not engage one another, and have the debates in a civil fashion, without attempting to silence one another. I don’t agree with David Letterman’s views on divorce and cohabitation, but I don’t want him suspended for voicing them. I’ll bet I don’t agree with MTV’s Nev Schulman of the popular Catfish show on sexual ethics, but it wouldn’t put me in the fetal position under the table to hear him voice them.

Let’s have the sort of cultural conversation that allows us to seek to persuade each other, not to seek to silence one another with intimidation. That’s what real diversity is all about.

Joe Carter - Duck Dynasty Star Fired Over Remarks on Homosexuality
Why It Matters:  Earlier this week state Senate Democrats in New Jersey pulled from consideration a bill that would write gay marriage, already legal in New Jersey by court order, into the law books. The reason: the bill contained religious exemptions.  Loretta Weinberg, the Senate Majority Leader, said she pulled the bill after pressure from an LGBTQ legal group, Lambda Legal.
"They don't want any kind of religious exemption, so out of respect for that, I will (pull the bill)," Weinberg said. "There's a disparate group of people and it's hard to follow what they want, so I'm following Lambda Legal."
The decision by New Jersey Democrats and A&E are similar. When pressured by LGBTQ groups, organizations and politicians will choose to silence Christians who oppose the normalization of homosexual behavior.

Many Christians have assumed that they would be allowed reasonable exemptions and accommodations based on religious liberty. But LGBTQ activists have made it clear (and have said so from the beginning) that unconditional acceptance of homosexuality is the only option. Normalization and public support, rather than mere legal recognition, is the end goal.

Religious believers who think they can avoid the issue are deluding themselves. While we may not have a hit reality show that we can get fired from, we will be pressured in numerous ways to make it clear that we will not speak or act publicly in a way that supports the biblical view of homosexuality. The objective of the activists is to marginalize Christian views on sexual norms until they can be outlawed in the public square. Many Christians have already and will continue to gleefully work to ensure this becomes a reality. But for faithful Christians, allowing our biblical witness to be silenced is not an option. Like Phil Robertson we must all say, "My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together.

Trevin Wax - Why Suspending Phil Robertson Will Backfire
Every now and then, you hear about Christianity’s tainted past: the banning of books, the suppression of free speech, and the burning of heretics.

Nowadays, Christians are the cultural heretics. If you believe what the Bible teaches about homosexuality, your public platform may be in danger. No matter that Pope Francis, the Dalai Lama, and every imam in Turkey believes the same thing. We’re for free speech, until it offends someone. Then we pull the plug.

It’s a bizarre sort of reverse McCarthyism: “Do you now or have you ever thought homosexuality was a sin?”

Who’s next? Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar?

I just read yesterday about Mayor Bloomberg’s decision to start a website that would feature news and views from all over the political spectrum:
At a dinner for columnists at the Palm, the mayor promised not to censor anyone, assuring them that they could, within limits—one of which was advocating against a woman’s right to choose—write whatever they wanted.
So, apparently, a writer can say anything without fear of censorship. Just not the heretical belief that it’s mean to dismember and extract unborn humans from their mother’s wombs. Pro-lifers need not apply.

The Weekly Standard - Jindal: 'Messed Up Situation When Miley Cyrus Gets a Laugh, and Phil Robertson Gets Suspended'
Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal criticized the suspension of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson by network A&E.

“Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana. The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with. I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV. In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views. In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended," said Jindal in a prepared statement.




National Journal - Actual Politicians Respond to 'Duck Dynasty' Star's Comments About Genitals
"Free speech is an endangered species," Sarah Palin wrote on Facebook on Wednesday night. "Those 'intolerants' hatin' and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us." Palin's "intolerants" doesn't refer to the guy who went off on gay people to a major American magazine. It seems to refer to A&E for suspending him.

But it's not just Palin. "Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana," said Gov. Bobby Jindal in a statement Thursday. "The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with." He goes on:

I don't agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV. In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views. In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended.

We're really almost done with this year, but why not get one last mention of Miley Cyrus in a serious press statement from a guy who has considered running for president? It's also our recollection that Miley Cyrus's twerking never said anything about how gays are doomed to eternal damnation. And, as Josh Barro writes at Business Insider, "No clause in the First Amendment establishes a right to star in a reality show on A&E regardless of what you say to GQ about vaginas and anuses."

Thabiti Anyabwile - Duck Dynasty and the Twisted Ironies of Our Current Sexual Politics
Watching from the distance of a Caribbean island, which is not to be confused with watching from an impartial distance, several ironies surface for me.

1. It’s ironic that a “vulgar” rejection of certain sexual acts cannot co-exist with visual and verbal sexual vulgarity itself.

2. It’s ironic that “vile” remarks are rejected while the vile acts they describe are celebrated.
3. It’s ironic that an end to the censorship of certain sex acts should be accompanied by the use of censorship.

4. It’s ironic that one’s job can be taken away because of their view of human sexuality while sexual orientation is protected against job descrimination.

5. It’s ironic that young girls can parade themselves as hyper-sexualized beings on major awards shows and older men be vilified for graphically expressing their sexual interest.

6. It’s ironic that “wisdom” on the side of normative sexual ethics requires the use of rhetorical restraint while “tolerance” of deviant sexual ethics includes acceptance of rhetorical abandonment, recklessness and provocation.

For more:
5 Reasons Why I Love Duck Dynasty
About Ducks And Faith: The Men of Duck Dynasty Talk About Their Faith
Duck Dynasty on Jimmy Kimmel
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