Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Practiced Art Of Blatant Intolerance

This one will be controversial. I hope it stirs open, honest discussion. There will be some, I'm sure, who believe that because I support Phil Robertson's right to voice an opinion that I must hate the gay and lesbian community. Nothing could be further from the truth. And that's the point of this post.

Phil Robertson, the outspoken head of the family on "Duck Dynasty", a very successful reality show on A&E, has been suspended from the show for comments he made to GQ Magazine concerning homosexuality and his own personal and religious beliefs.

Robertson, who is a self-described Bible thumper, believes homosexuality is wrong and is in direct contradiction to the Bible and God's teachings. But because he expressed those views in a public forum he has basically been kicked off the show.

"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 A&E network said in a statement.

"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 gay and lesbian rights group GLAAD was quick to criticize Robertson for his comments and called on A&E to take action.

"Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil's lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe," said GLAAD rep Wilson Cruz. "He clearly knows nothing about gay people or the majority of Louisianans – and Americans - who support legal recognition for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples. Phil's decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors who now need to reexamine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families."

My post today isn't about whether or not homosexuality is wrong. It's a very complex subject of discussion and can be emotional on all sides. And my personal thoughts on it won't change anyone's mind one way or another. No, my post is about tolerance and intolerance. The definition of intolerance is: "unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behavior that differ from one's own." There is a huge difference between accepting someone's views, beliefs and behavior and agreeing with or embracing them.

Wickipedia defines acceptance as: "a person's assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it." Most people in the world, including Phil Robertson, accept the views, beliefs and behavior of others. What choice is there? It's real life and it's not going away. But there is nothing in the definition of acceptance that says "agree with or embrace that reality, process or condition." It's not intolerant to disagree with someone or something based on your own personal or religious beliefs.

I didn't see anything in Phil Robertson's interview that said he was trying to change anyone. I saw a man who expressed his love for God, his love for all people and his belief in the Bible. In today's liberal society Phil Robertson's beliefs are labeled "intolerant" even though they in no way meet the definition of the word.

In Robertson's own words: “I myself am a product of the 60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior,” he said in a statement sent to a local Louisiana TV station.

“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.

"However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.”

His last sentence no doubt will be used by GLAAD and others to justify their beliefs and contradict him. And regardless of what some might want you to believe - voicing an opinion, such as Robertson did in an interview, is not disrespectful. He didn't name any names or single anyone out. He voiced his ideas and beliefs. And in this country, at least for now, that's freedom of speech.

And let me get this straight in my head...  GLAAD is making a blanket statement about what true Christians believe? I can't help but wonder where their spokesperson got that authority. It seems in their eyes you're only a "true Christian" if you accept and embrace whatever they believe and if you don't you're either not a Christian or you're intolerant. Or both. (I wonder when they got the authority to decide who and who isn't a Christian? And does God know about it?)

I see intolerance here. I see intolerance for anyone who voices disagreement with liberal beliefs. I see intolerance of a man who disagrees with certain aspects of society that he believes go against the teachings of the Bible. I see intolerance by a television network of a man who has helped to make them millions of dollars. They knew who they were hiring. They knew about the family's strong religious beliefs. And even though they tried to stop the family from praying at the end of the show, (because some groups may be intolerant of it) they recognized the financial loss if the family refused to be a part of the show anymore.

It's the liberal left that's intolerant. It's a practiced art. They scream at anyone who disagrees with them, calling them names and trying to make them back down, all the while pretending they are the ones who accept and embrace anything. They accept and embrace pretty much anything - except those who disagree with them.

Personally, I hope the Robertson family rallies around Phil and tells A&E they quit and to go suck eggs. Duck eggs to be exact....

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