The Real Issue With Phil Robertson

Recently, for anyone who actually cares about the views of somebody who spends their life on a reality television show called Duck Dynasty, the owner and operator, Phil Robertson, was put on an ‘indefinite hiatus’ from the show because of his outspoken views on morality in America. I don’t personally watch the show, mostly due to the fact that I don’t find a lot of value in hunting, or camouflage, or hygiene-questioning beards, for that matter. But he spoke about several topics in America that he was sorely wrong on.

Firstly, addressing what he said about gay people, Roberston says in an interview with GQ (the source interview): “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?”

I can’t say that I do see what you’re trying to say there, Phil. What it sounds like you said was something lumping together gay people with drunks and terrorists, which is not only fundamentally wrong, but also morally wrong. What are gay people doing that’s hurting society, outside of biblical beliefs?

Drunks I can see the moral issue with, driving around while under the influence increases your chances of an accident. I get that one. Terrorists, on a foundation-level, bring about their beliefs through violence and intimidation. But how are these two things related to gay people? How are gay people having any actual effect on your life, Phil?

Most likely, gay people aren’t affecting Phil Robertson’s life at all. Robertson says later on in the interview “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prositutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers— they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”  He talks about “being right” as if he somehow has a clue, which brings us to our next point.

He goes on to say that if more people in America turned to God, everything would be alright. He believes that “we ought to just be repentant…” You see, Robertson views the world as if America was founded upon Christian values. But he’s wrong, America was founded under democratic law as a way to separate America from the monarchy overseas.

Interestingly enough, Robertson had to flee the state of Arkansas after he beat up a bar owner and the bar owner’s wife. When asked if Robertson ever went back to apologize, or in his own words “repent”, he said he didn’t. “I didn’t dredge anything back up. I just put it behind me.” That’s rich, coming from him.

Beating up a bar owner and his wife, under governing law (which is the only actual law in America, because religious law has no legal value), he committed the crime of assault. But of course, why would he feel sorry about that? God will forgive him, in his mind, so why should he apologize to the people whom he actually harmed?

Unfortunately, he didn’t stop there. Robertson says: “All you have to do is look at any society where there is no Jesus. I’ll give you four: Nazis, no Jesus. Look at their record. Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them? None. Communists? None. Islamists? Zero. That’s eighty years of ideologies that have popped up where no Jesus was allowed among those four groups.” Again, Robertson is wrong. Did he actually look up American history, or is his perception of reality and society that severely demented?

In fact, John Adams said in the Treaty of Tipoli that “…the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion—…” And Thomas Jefferson, yet another Founding Father, said that our civil rights have no dependance on our religious opinions. In the United States Constitution, under the 1st Amendment, it’s written that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

So this idea that our nation was founded as a Christian nation is fundamentally and legally wrong. And in respect to Robertson’s comments regarding ideologies and societies that didn’t have Jesus, let’s take a quick look at history at some fairly large events that were in the name of Jesus.

The Klu Klux Klan burned down black churches, murdered people, raped women, murdered children, and were essentially terrorists all in the name of Jesus, the Neo-Nazis act and continue to act in the name of white Christian supremecy, the Army of God attacks (mostly fatal) abortion clinics and doctor’s offices in the nation, Martin Luther King was assassinated in the name of white Christianity as well as JFK and Abraham Lincoln.

So all of this really meddles down to: was it wrong for Phil Robertson to say these things? Morally: sure, to some people, others might disagree. Mostly, he was fundamentally wrong in what he described as a nation under God, founded in the name of God. Robertson was also hypocritical to his strange indoctrination in reference to his own violent past, which he doesn’t feel sorry for.

Mr. Robertson, check your facts before you take another interview. And if you’re going to preach about American history, please learn something about it first.

Quotes credited to GQ Magazine.

Ian Proegler

Ian Proegler

Deeply sarcastic and opinionated, mildly nosy, and lover of all things ironic. I write for and about advocacy groups and political news (or scandals, yay).
Ian Proegler
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