To my fellow Christians,
I’ve never been a fan of Duck Dynasty. Let me just admit my bias right up front and start there. I watched the show once – well before all the controversial headlines – and I would rather walk barefoot through a forest of Legos than be subjected to watching it again. But people have different tastes, and I understand that. And when you find a TV show or an artist or a public figure who you can relate to in some way, it’s a powerful thing. I think as a Christian, there’s something particularly alluring about seeing a fellow believer in such a prominent way in mainstream society. And I understand that too.
Hey this is a cool! This guy’s on this popular quirky reality show, and he’s a strong believer! What a nice change of pace!
I think we all want to feel we belong to something larger than ourselves. We want to feel that we FIT somewhere. So when someone like Phil Robertson comes along, with his beard and his ducks and his “good biblical values”, people desperately latch onto him….. and they hold on so tight that they can’t even see what it is they’re grasping.
Oh how ardently people defend him!! But what I’ve come to realize is that it’s not HIM they’re defending so much as the idea of the Christian ideal that they (mistakenly) think he represents. We should encourage and support and defend the rights of those who are putting themselves in the public eye as a representative of Christ-like behavior. Absolutely.
The problem is….. his behavior is pretty much the antithesis of Christ-like love. I’m literally embarrassed that Christians are so steadfastly standing behind this man, hailing him as a role model for Christian values. I have to ask, because I just cannot understand, even a little bit….
Seriously? THIS guy? THIS is who you choose to hold up as an ambassador of our faith? THIS is how you want to represent Christianity?
Honestly, it’s no wonder that so very very many people are turned off by religion.
This is a crass, vulgar, hate-filled man who made graphic comments about what kind of sex gay people must be having, as well as comparing homosexuality to bestiality and stating that AIDS was God’s punishment for immorality. This is not Christ-like!! (In case you’re wondering, you can find out what Jesus actually had to say about homosexuality here.)
He blames STDs on “beatniks and hippies.” Sex apparently is a very big issue for him, as it’s something he rails about often.
And most recently, he recounted a graphic, disturbing hypothetical story (pulled from his own imagination, for reasons I fail to understand) about atheists getting raped and murdered in their home.
Again, I have to ask: THIS GUY?
Now, I’m one of those rare Christians who doesn’t believe that homosexuality in and of itself is a sin (and honestly, even if I did, I have better things to be concerned about then who someone else is attracted to) but even if we disagree on that, can we agree that vulgar and hate-filled rants aimed at gay people are not the answer?
I have many atheist friends whom I love dearly, and I don’t think it’s my job to convert them. (I think it’s my job to LOVE them, and to live out my own faith to the best of my ability) But even if we disagree on that, can we agree that graphic fantasies about raping and murdering entire families of atheists are not the answer?
Can we agree that if we’re really going to represent Jesus, we need to start with LOVING people, instead of damning them all to hell?
Can we agree that if we’re going to hold someone up as a role model for our faith that it should be someone who models kindness, and grace, and actual love towards mankind?
My fellow Christians, I think we need to take a collective step back, and take a good long look at what it is we’re doing, how we’re representing Christianity, and who we’re hailing as our heroes. For me, I’ll look to Jesus for my example. But if you need a human example, there are people out there to emulate. There are kind people, loving people, people who use their platforms to spread positivity, not hatred.
I ask you though, in all sincerity, to stop looking for them on Duck Dynasty. Stop telling yourself (and others!) that Phil Robertson’s words or actions represent the true nature of Christianity, because they do not. He doesn’t represent the God that I know. He doesn’t represent the Jesus that I know. He doesn’t represent any of the loving, giving Christians that I am privileged enough to call friends.
The state of American Christianity has gotten so far off the mark that I don’t even know that it is fixable anymore. I see the worship and admiration of people like Phil Robertson, and I genuinely fear that we’ve lost our collective heads all together.
Let’s bring humanity – and some common sense! – back into our faith. Let’s give a little more effort towards “loving your neighbor as yourself”, and a WHOLE LOT LESS credence to sad, confused reality stars who are bent on persecuting others.
Fed Up and Frustrated