"I sought among them for a man that might set up a hedge, and stand in the gap before me in favor of the land." Ezekiel 22:30

Friday, December 27, 2013

What's Lost in all the #StandWithPhil Drama

Well, that didn't take long.

Phil Robertson is back (even though he never really left) after the "controversial" remarks he made while being interviewed for GQ.

It only took 1.5+ million "likes" on the facebook page "Stand With Phil Robertson", more than 250k petition signatures, and not even ten days of "indefinite hiatus" from the hit show Duck Dynasty for A&E to reverse course and announce that the show will proceed with the Dynasty patriarch. Plus, no taping of the show occurred during the week-and-a-half period, so the show won't be missing Phil at all because of this little exercise.

Isn't this a wonderful example of the free market at work?

Kudos to the Robertson's for sticking together as a family and not backing down to enormous outside pressure.

Shame on A&E for cow-towing to interest groups pushing a radical, anti-family, anti-faith, anti-God agenda.

Now that the roller-coaster-like ride is more or less resolved, it's highly appropriate to reflect on the situation and see how it all developed. 

If you know me at all, or are a consistent reader of this blog, it's no surprise that I agree with Phil Robertson - at least in principle. My Catholic faith and my reasoning inform me that homosexuality - just like inappropriate heterosexuality - is sinful. Sex has a purpose. That purpose is to bring a man and a woman together in a unitive and procreative union. ANY sexual activity lacking this dual purpose is contrary to God's will and the beauty of His design for man and women.

Is such a viewpoint really that radical? I don't think so.

Disagree with me and you disagree with Biblical teaching and 2,000 years of Catholic tradition.

None of what I've said implies hatred for anyone who espouses anything else. Nor does it condemn anyone who is living in sin. It also in no way asserts that I, or anyone else, have not fallen into sin myself. However, a spade is a spade. Sin is sin. Jesus said "he who is without sin cast the first stone"; but Christ goes on to say to the adulterer:
"Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, from now on do not sin any more.”
He doesn't say "keep doing what you're doing. It's wrong, but I don't care." He doesn't refrain from judgment, but Jesus does refrain from condemnation.

I digress.

Phil Robertson said basically the same thing as I've written here. I heard someone say that he pretty much just quoted the Bible. It was the Louisiana Standard Version of the Bible, but the Bible nonetheless. So, like I said, I don't disagree with Phil on principle. Where I disagree with him is in how we went about saying it.

I won't put his exact words on my blog, but in case you don't know, I'll simply say he uses some biologically accurate terms in a way I would not. Just because we believe something is sinful, wrong, or "illogical", does not mean we can be crass, uncouth, or undignified in our speech. Lost in all the controversy about what he said, his suspension, and the Cracker Barrel response (and re-response) is the simple fact that Phil Robertson made true statements in a very undignified fashion.

We (the millions who watch the show or agree with what he said) can chalk it up to his southern roots, his Louisiana, backwoods way of life and give him a pass. Or we can clearly say we agree with Phil, but not the way he said it. Because there is a difference. Class shouldn't disappear just because you're from Louisiana, New York, California, or Missouri.

The bottom line is, class and dignity matter. If we are going to claim the moral high ground, we need to do so with class and dignity. Otherwise, we aren't much better off than anyone else.

I #StandWithPhil, but I also expect a lot more from him.

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