Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Phil Robertson Does Not Hate You

I'm an atheist. I have views that I firmly believe in. If you asked me questions about religion, history, politicians, hunting, computers, or anything you might decide to ask me questions about, my answers would be beloved by many and yet disparaged by many more.

And yet, as I answer your questions, you will understand a simple truth about me:

I don't care if you don't agree with me. I will still love you and serve you dinner at my table.

Enter Phil Robertson, the poorly-named "patriarch" of the extended family, depicted on A & E's Duck Dynasty. I say "poorly-named" because, as you read the actual article in GQ, you'll see that the family loves this man, and yet he holds no iron grip or sway over them at all. They are all independent-minded individuals, holding similar beliefs, and yet love life like the rest of us do - most of us, anyway.

The problem with the recent hoopla about Phil's words in the GQ article is two-fold:

First, very few people actually read the article, as I have pored over it, and have minimal context to derive their opinions from. Second, in some respects, Phil's words were grossly misinterpreted. 

For example, nowhere did Phil ever equate homosexuality with bestiality or even suggest that the latter was derived from the former. In that quote, he merely listed a bunch of sexual acts that he deems sinful, according to his fundamentalist belief system. Included in that list was promiscuity.

The Religious/Political Right, including the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer DO actually say that homosexuality leads to bestiality and pedophilia. But Phil Robertson is not a card-carrying member of that movement. 

I like the guy. He watches too much Fox News and is obviously misinformed (e.g., he believes Mitt Romney was from Salt Lake City, UT; he thinks cultures that have no Jesus are the only cultures that kill people). He also has fundamentalist beliefs within his religion that dictate his idea of sin. He leaves the cantankerous judgments up to "The Almighty" and prefers to just spout the "Gospel," all the theological doctrines of salvation by Jesus Christ.

If you're gay, Phil does not hate you. If you're black, Phil does not hate you. If you're promiscuous, Phil does not hate you. Hell, if you have sex with animals, Phil does not hate you. He just thinks you need to repent and life will be perfect.

And, in the meantime, while you continue in your sin, he'll take you out into the swamps and hunt the f*ck out of the land with you. He'll serve you dinner and preach at you until you change the subject. His kids will ignore him and play games on their phones.

As much as I may disagree with Phil, I much rather his brand of religion and see a greater worth in winning the war of ideas against the Political/Religious Right. 

Carry on. Phil is not the problem.


  1. Phil may not hurt you, but he said some hurtful, untruthful things. To say that blacks were better off before civil rights is just wrong from several different ways. I get that he's badly informed but he chooses to adhere to his religion without thinking, much less questioning it. His casual bigotry (racial, sexual, sexual orientation, religion, etc.) is the bedrock of a system that has to change, and unless we start and keep calling out these people on their belief systems, it will not change.

    My family is from the Ozarks. They are above the average in education and careers and attitudes and behavior, but there are still a number of them who have never examined themselves. They do what they've learned to do: treat everyone equally, not because they are equal, but because we care about good manners and civilized behavior.

    1. I actually agree with you. Definitely challenge them on their beliefs that they don't carry through to their logical end.

      My point wasn't that Phil's ideas were kosher, but rather they are HIS ideas and can be handled in a different manner than the Religious/Political Right's ideas.

      They, on the other hand, want to force you to adhere to who they are and what they believe. Phil has theological and ignorant notions of this, but he doesn't represent the real danger to all free peoples - the removal of freedoms based on religious belief.