September 2, 2014

Saturday Ramblings 12.21.13

RamblerWell, it’s almost Christmas. The women have finished wrapping their gifts with ribbons and bows. They made plates of cookies and fudge. They are gathered around the piano singing carols. The men, on the other hand, have yet to begin their Christmas shopping. “Wrapping” gifts will involve the phrase “paper or plastic?” Their cookies are Oreos—but the Christmas kind, which kind of counts. And they gathered around the iPad and played their favorite Christmas songs. Ah, Christmas at the iMonastery. Me? I’m done with my shopping. Don’t tell anyone, but I bought all of the iMonks Jesus Toasters this year. Are you ready to ramble?

If you really want a great gift for someone this year, I highly recommend the Omega Thinline ESV Bible from evangelicalBible.com. And you’ll probably want to get one for yourself as well. Trust me on this one.

The big news this week had to do with a family that makes duck calls. Apparently this family has a TV show where they sit around and act like a family that makes duck calls. And for some reason people watch this show. Amazing. And so when the “patriarch” of this family came out in a magazine interview with some pointed comments on how he feels about homosexuality, the network that carries this show suspended the patriarch. But perhaps the most amazing thing of all is that this duck call maker was interviewed in GQ. Really. Amazing.

Southern Baptist Russell Moore thinks suspending Phil Robertson is “ridiculous.” Your thoughts?

Speaking of Southern Baptists, there has been a change in the leadership at Cedarville University. Women who once held leadership positions have been shown the door. Oh, “Women can teach but only within certain boundaries.” So anyone wanting to experience a lovely taste of the 1960s, consider enrolling at Cedarville.

United Methodist pastor Frank Schaefer was defrocked this week for refusing to agree with denominational rules prohibiting ministers from officiating same-sex marriages. Schaefer performed such a ceremony in 2007 for his son.

Adam Palmer found this article on The American Scholar. He says it shows Michael Spencer’s prophecy of the collapse of evangelicalism coming to pass. From the article: “[T]he future of the evangelical church as glimpsed from Orange County might be no church at all. Robert Schuller’s brand of worship might just turn out to be nothing more than a spiritual fad. As the generation that embraced it—middle-class, baby-boomer whites flocking to car-based suburbs—dies off, their spirituality dies with them. This is not to say that the church will go away. The Crystal Cathedral still stands. But its name is now Christ Cathedral. And Schuller’s vision of a glittery surface reflecting himself and the suburbs where he preached is gone.”

Mark Driscoll “apologized” for plagiarizing in two of his books. That is, if you consider saying “mistakes were made” an apology.

An interesting study of who actually shares their faith with others. No real surprises here, except for the fact that those in the middle class evangelize less than the rich or the poor. Any explanations for that?

If you read one thing here this week, make it this: Why Christians need Flannery O’Connor.

Harold Camping, the preacher who wrongly predicted when the end would come, has died. I don’t fault him for trying. Hopefully he is now having a really good laugh about it.

Want to take a guess as to what is considered the most annoying word in the English language today? Go ahead, guess. Did you get it right?

Finally, AP pointed out this story where God makes it clear he did not create gerbils. I mean, he thinks they are cute and all. He just didn’t come up with them. Or so says this highly accurate and dependable story.

Happy birthdays were celebrated this last week by Nostradamus; June Taylor; Patty Duke; Alan Freed; Tim Conway; Ludwig von Beethoven; Billy Gibbons; Paul Butterfield; Ty Cobb; Keef Richards; Steven Spielberg; Brad Pitt; Alvin Lee; Irene Dunne; and Alan Parsons.

Well, Keef did it. He made it to age 70. Although he looks about 40 years past his expiration date, Keef just keeps on going. Here is a lovely little Christmas ditty as only Keef can do it. Enjoy.

 

 

Comments

  1. First of all, the Crystal Cathedral was mainline, not evangelical. So using it as one of the bases for the evangelical collapse doesn’t entirely fly. The continuing mainline collapse is a whole other deal.

    Second: Regardless of your views on homosexuality, the way Robertson discussed the subject was nasty. It was loveless, graceless, and fruitless: It won’t win anyone over. If he talked that way about any subject, he’d be unsuitable for TV. So for any Christian to hold him up as a martyr, considering the un-Christlike manner in which he voiced his opinion, shows they’re defending their prejudices. Not Christ.

    Last: Those thinline bibles are nice, but if I’m paying $157 for a bible, it’d better be illuminated. As it is, Accordance on an iPhone is cheaper—and comes with extra translations.

    • Honey Boo-Boo better watch her mouth, that’s all I’m gonna say.

    • “So for any Christian to hold him up as a martyr, considering the un-Christlike manner in which he voiced his opinion, shows they’re defending their prejudices. Not Christ.”

      Precisely what’s at stake is the right to express opinions that YOU judge to be un-Christlike and prejudiced. The relentless bullying and intimidation by the Race & Gender Police and their endless appetite for sacrificial scapegoats (Phil Robertson, Paula Deen, going way back to John Rocker, Howard Cosell, and hundreds more) is utterly frightening, savage, and Orwellian. And IMHO, “un-Christlike.”

      • Nope. Not even close. His right to express an opinion is not at stake at all. He is still perfectly free to give as many interviews as he wants. He can stand on any street corner and say what he likes. What he does not have is a right to be on someone else’s TV show. Just like you and I do not have the right to be on someone else’s TV show.

        • James the Mad says:

          So you would have found the McCarthyism of the 1950′s acceptable as well?

          Yes, I have issues with what was said, but I also have issues with people being bullied off of the air by a special interest group. There is little difference between this and the blacklisting of suspected communists 60 years ago.

          • Klasie Kraalogies says:

            Not even close. Thd speed with which the netwofk took him off seems to indicate aninternal decision. Anyway, if you dissaprove of this, how come you not be protesting against the actions of Cedarville University?

            Anyway, his remarks were base and distasteful. And it wasn’t as if he lost a real job, you know, like J Robert Oppenheimer did when McCarthy got hold of him. That is after he served his country extraordinarily. By the way McCarty also had a thing about gays, trying to root them out. Then we had tragedy of what happened to one of the most brilliant men to ever live on this planet, Alan Turing.

            I’m sorry but your remarks are out to lunch.

          • Marcus Johnson says:

            McCarthyism was a government-supported initiative to suppress and persecute suspected Communists. A&E is not a government agency. Many of those people who were bullied during McCarthyism were not even associated with the Communist party (including many leading members of the NAACP); Robertson did actually say what he was accused of saying. So there’s a big difference.

            Tell you what, on your next work day, tell everyone that you meet as an employee that they’re all going to hell for not accepting the lordship of Jesus Christ. See how long you last at your job.

          • That Christians would defend bullying people who speak Christian ideas isn’t appalling, it’s impossible. Of course, there is something that is called “Christianity” that is nothing but a facade for cultural Marxism. Gender-neutral Bibles, the Episcopal Church, and some of the commenters here are perfect examples.

          • What is going on is almost exactly like McCarthyism. Groups like GLAAD are completely political in nature and are closely identified (actually extensions of) the party currently in power. Suing businesses out of existence and forcing public figures from their jobs for questions they answered on their own time and in their OWN HOME; Anyone who can’t see Black Listing here has a serious problem with perspective.

          • Marcus Johnson says:

            I will concede that GLAAD has some serious problems in terms of the way it responds to perceived microaggressions. Their strategies of late always seem reactionary rather than deliberate, and it always results in someone getting exiled for using a naughty word, which is the worst possible strategy for dealing with homophobia or heterosexism. Personally, when I found out that A&E decided to suspend Robertson after a single phone call from GLAAD, I got more than a little freaked out; no special interest group–regardless of how they fit with my personal political beliefs–should have that kind of influence. But that’s another discussion about the problems with special interest groups, about which I can talk about all day long.

            But wait, I have more problems with GLAAD! Keep reading…

            GLAAD also has a very White-centric approach to its responses, often times overlooking the complex possibility of the intersection of issues of race, gender, ethnicity, faith traditions, socioeconomic status, etc. And they are to the Democratic party what the NRA is to the Republican party. Sometimes, I feel like they are merely replacing the bullish Christian, right-wing conservative hegemony with their own hegemony, which isn’t a solution. So I won’t be sending them a check anytime soon.

            That being said, while there are some points of comparison, the differences between this incident and McCarthyism are still too significant for us to start equating the two, or to drop terms like “cultural Marxism.”

          • First, McCarthy was a Senator, he was not part of a lobbying group. Second, you were subpoenaed to appear before his committee. Third, if you declined his subpoena or refused to answer his questions (taking the fifth) you were thrown into jail for contempt of Congress. Fourth, the blacklist was generated by the Senate committee based on who got called to the committee. Yes, the blacklist was voluntary (to a point) . However, not black listing someone could send execs and or managers o the company to the committee (rinse and repeat). To compare GLAAD with McCarthy is a gross misunderstanding of history and what McCarthy actually did.

            Before you make comparisons, understand who/what/where you are comparing to.It’s important.

          • Marcus Johnson says:

            Thanks, Steve D. +1

          • No. Because McCarthy was an agent of government. The HUAC was a government agency. The government was involved all the way through.

          • @Steve D, I do understand “who/what/where” I am comparing. I think you should too. The difference between what happened under McCarthyism and what is happening now with the para-political extensions of the Democratic party are differences of degree, not differences of kind. What became known as McCarthyism didn’t spring full grown from the womb and If you can’t recognize the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques (ambush interviews) against those who dissent from you politically in order to silence them, then you show little understanding of what McCarthyism really is.

            About the only thing you are correct on is that no one is going to jail, so far they are just losing their livelihoods. But for those of you who scoff at “the slippery slope” argument, Christians are being arrested in Canada and England for speaking out against homosexuality. Oh, but that could NEVER happen here.

          • TPD – do you have proof re. arrests? Links to wire service news stories or coverage by a legit broadcaster?

            It seems like a pretty farfetched claim to me.

          • @TPD Here’s the big difference. GLAAD only had the control over A&E Networks that they allowed to give them. A&E could have easily told GLAAD to go jump in the lake. There would have been some blowback from GLAAD (just like the Christians are doing now). McCarthy threw people in jail, made their lives a legal misery. A&E made a business decision, free from the threat of legal repercussions. McCarthy era media execs were under the threat of subpoena and serious governmental legal harassment. There were a few people in the entrainment business who actually left the country. Some even committed suicide because they not only lost their employment, but were being harassed by HUAC and other government agencies.

            On the other hand, Phil Robertson and A&E are in a business dispute. Robertson has not lost his livelihood, he still is in charge of the duck call company. My bet is that A&E will fold like a deck of cards. Robertson will miss a couple of shows, but will be back for a triumphant return. In the meanwhile, GLAAD will be told that Robertson is sorry for his ignorant comments, there will be non apologies all the way around and Duck Dynasty will get even higher ratings.

            There are real problems in this world. A business dispute between an employer and employee shouldn’t be taking up this much of our energy.

          • @Steve D – I don’t know how much plainer I can be. Of course this is different. As I said, what is happening is different in degree but not kind. The term “McCarthyism” refers to a political strategy and doesn’t require a recreation of the exact same historical circumstances. What these political groups are doing meets the DEFINITION of McCarthyism. Look it up.

            @ Numo – I was typing a longer response but my wife called me downstairs for the our family tradition of watching Polar Express. Don’t know what happened but when I came back up the response I typed was lost in the ether. Maybe the spam filter got it since it had a few links in it. In short: Over the years I have read a number of news stories since I get daily news feeds. I don’t have the time or desire to go back and find them again. But here is the latest one I remember seeing. The incident is related by HuffPo, although I think I first saw it in the UK Telegraph. If you are interested you can look up others yourself. If not, oh well.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/07/05/american-preacher-arreste_n_3549537.html

          • @TPD From Dictionary.com:

            McCarthyism
            1. the practice of making accusations of disloyalty, especially of pro-Communist activity, in many instances unsupported by proof or based on slight, doubtful, or irrelevant evidence.
            2. the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism.

            GLAAD had evidence of their accusations (it was publicly published by another party), they did not use unfair investigative techniques, there were no accusations of disloyalty. What they DID do was try to restrict SOCIAL dissent and SOCIAL criticism. Robertson was not in office or running for office. He was not a political player. He was a TV personality. Hence, the accusation of McCarthyism is inappropriate.

            I imagine that they threatened a boycott of A&E and their other holdings since they didn’t agree with Robertson’s statements. I believe that is the exact same strategy that many Christian organizations use. Family Research Council is presently boycotting stores for the simple offense of stores not using the words “Merry Christmas” enough. So, by extension, does that mean that FRC uses McCarthy’s techniques?

            British law is not quite the same as American law. For instance, there is no Constitutional guarantee of free speech. Free speech is considered to fall under Common Law. It is not enshrined in the same way as it is with our Bill of Rights. For instance, there are exceptions for incitement to hatred of racial, religious hatred and terrorism.

            It is very unfortunate in the country that we often do not understand the rights that we have and how different it is from countries in the rest of the world.

          • >”GLAAD had evidence of their accusations (it was publicly published by another party), they did not use unfair investigative techniques,”

            They took an ambush interview and even then they distorted and put the worst possible spin on his comments.

            >”there were no accusations of disloyalty.”

            They accused him of being unchristian and even implied he was un-American.

            >”What they DID do was try to restrict SOCIAL dissent and SOCIAL criticism. Robertson was not in office or running for office. He was not a political player. He was a TV personality. Hence, the accusation of McCarthyism is inappropriate.”

            Wake up friend. This is THE hot-button political issue. It’s allll politics. There is no distance any longer between Washington and Hollywood.

            >”It is very unfortunate in the country that we often do not understand the rights that we have and how different it is from countries in the rest of the world.”

            Our legal concepts are based, for the most part, on English law. If it can happen in Canada and England, it can happen here. The Constitution is constantly being reinterpreted and the inherent legal tensions are constantly being readjusted. Our rights aren’t as absolute as you seem to think.

            But to your credit, you do have that condescending tone of yours tuned to perfection.

          • TPD – thanks for the huffpo link. I did a search and couldn’t find much other coverage , UK tabloids like the Telegraph excepted, and even there, the info. was pretty minimal.

            I suspect the guy might have been making a public nuisance of himself. Beyond that, words like his are constantly used by people who bully, harass, beaten(and kill) gay people. How can you be certain that his words weren’t causing intense emotional distress? Dealing with all the confusion, pain (etc.) that comes when young people are coming to grips with sexual orientation can be like hell on earth.

            If someone constantly maligned you for *your* sexual orientation, how would you feel? Multiply that x1,000,000 and you *might” come close to an estimate of the numbers of people who suffer due to hurtful comments, harassment and slurs.

            Sometimes it’s better to listen to the personal stories of others as opposed to hitting them with the “clobber passages.”

          • What almost everyone is missing here is that this whole deal is mainly about business, not free speech, McCarthyism, etc. A&E (which used to have programming worth watching), saw what happened in the Paula Dean deal with sponsors jumping ship. They could not have that. So, this temporary suspension holds them at bay. And Phil is fine. In fact, he and everyone wins. And stop with giving A&E credit for their courageous stand. Are you kidding? In the next few days they are running a Duck Dynasty marathon. Sounds like they’re really broken up over this.

      • Feels like you skimmed right past the “regardless of your views on homosexuality,” as I began. That includes those who hold homosexuality to be a sin. My beef isn’t with that. It’s with Robertson’s crudeness.

        And Robertson doesn’t get a free pass from rebuke simply because the Race & Gender Police are likewise graceless.

        • @ KW
          He used the terms “vagina” and “anus.” I would assume you are finding those terms crude? What terms should he use to describe body parts used in sexual activity?

          • Remember the Rachael Held Evans controversy of what happened when SHE used the word “vagina”?

    • Was Schuller an evangelical? I always thought his theology was a cross between Norman Vincent Peale positive thinking and Leo Buscaglia Dr. Lovism.

      • flatrocker says:

        Which touches on the problem.
        Evangelicalism is what we define it to be in the setting we’re in at this moment.
        Don’t like it this week? That’s ok, we’ve got a new product coming in the next.

        • Well, as an outsider to evangelicalism, I never thought of Schuller as one. Nor did I think of him as a mainline churchman, though he was RCA, I believe.

          • flatrocker says:

            As an outsider as well, I’ve never been presented with a comprehensive definition of what Evangelicalism actually is and, by consequence, why Shuller is “off the reservation.” And even if that definition could be crafted, who would it be that speaks with monolithic authority to make such a declaration?

      • True — I grew up RCA and was a member until 2 years ago and my family is 3 generations RCA. We may have decidedly conservative pockets, but we’re not very evangelical. Going from Northwest Iowa (Robert Shuller grew up 20 miles from my hometown and his brother preached in my church when we were between pastors) to an evangelical college was a culture shift that I didn’t expect. It’s similar at times, but worlds apart at others.

        The fall of the Crystal Cathedral might mean a lot of things, but I don’t think it’s a sign of the coming evangelical collapse as Michael described it.

        • More a sign that a church defined by the popularity of it’s lead pastor may not survive the aging, death, or downfall of said pastor.

      • Make up your mind as to who is more evangelical after you watch this brotherly parley between Schuller and Billy Graham …
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axxlXy6bLH0

    • K.W., the Crystal Cathedral is a perfect illustration for the collapse of evangelicalism, if you define the evangelicalism of the 1970′s forward as being mainly defined by the church growth movement. Schuller may have been mainline in affiliation but he held conferences regularly that featured evangelical pastors and leaders who preached the gospel of “growing your church.” Add to that his media savvy and marketing prowess, and he represents the movement perfectly, regardless of his actual connection to a mainline denomination.

      He was Joel Osteen before Joel Osteen.

      • Perhaps that’s where our definitions diverge: “Mainly defined by the church growth movement.” I have a wider definition, which mainly has to do with individual salvation and the practice of evangelism—something I didn’t see Schuller practice a lot. (Although I know he did it; I remember one particular revival which broke out in 2007 after Evel Kneivel gave his testimony.)

        I see the Crystal Cathedral as an odd aberration: A mainline megachurch, which attracted people in part because of the way it reached out to evangelicals. Although Schuller kinda reached out to everybody. Like you said, he had that marketing prowess. Remember those Hour of Power TV ads in the ’80s which had Sammy Davis Jr., who was so not a Christian, stating, “I live for that Hour of Power”? He didn’t care how he got his audience—which was either shrewd or compromising, depending on who you spoke to.

        • Your comment about Sammy Davis Jr. is uncalled-for, imo.

          He converted to Judaism.

          • numo,
            I don’t understand why the reference to Sammy Davis Jr. was uncalled for, iyo. I thought he converted to Judaism in the 1950′s, long before those ads in the 80′s, which would underscore exactly what K.W. Leslie is saying about Schuller reaching out to everybody without much concern about theological issues or religious affiliation. I don’t remember the TV ads. Am I missing the bus here?

            As far as I can remember, Schuller avoided topics like sin and redemption as if they were dirty words, and instead focused on the same stuff the New Agers did around the same time: human potential, only he covered it with a thin veneer of tepidly traditional God-talk.

          • I think your wording about him being “*so* not a Christian” could have been better put. It struck me as a thinly-veiled antisemitic statement, though I realize I may well have misread you. If that’s the case – my bad/apologies.

          • He sympathized with Archie Bunker, so I doubt he would be easily offended.

          • WHO sympathized with Archie Bunker, Wexel?

          • Robert F – sorry for any confusion there (re. who said what).

          • Sammy Davis, Jr. He even appeared on the show to explain how he saw Archie as basically a good man.

          • I said Davis “was so not a Christian” because everybody knows he was a Jew.

            I thought we all knew “Christian” is not an automatic synonym for “good.”

          • KW – ask some Jewish people about what they hear from some gentiles. Things can turn ugly fast. I grew up with folks who went through that, and even in the supposedly enlightened 70s, they *still* had people calling them things like “dirty Jew bastard.”

            Hatred is, unfortunately, persistent, and antisemitism is still a very real problem today.

      • CM,
        On the basis of most of your criteria, many popular New Age gurus should be considered evangelicals.

    • K.W., there isa big difference between the Bible on an electronic device and the Bible printed on high-quality paper bound in incredible goatskin leather. I read my Bible on my tablet or phone much of the time. But I also love holding a finely-crafted book in my hands. Both are good.

      • No disagreement from me. I’m quite fond of my print bibles. I’m just nearly always on my computer bibles.

      • Just curious, Jeff: why the ESV instead of some other translation?

        • The Omega Thinline is only available in ESV. But you can find other great Bibles on their site in a variety of translations.

          My favorite from them is a KJV. I just sit and hold it when I need some comfort …

    • @ KW
      So using the terms “anus” and “vagina” is “unChristlike?” Should we use toddler language or slang instead, such as, “hoo hah” or something?

      BTW a point I mentioned on TWW blog is that homosexual activists themselves came up with the strategy of halting public frank talk about what homosexual sex acts entail so as to win over straights (this approach is discussed in the homosexual propaganda book After The Ball).
      So, maybe it’s good that this Robertson guy came right out and talked about one possible homosexual sex act in frank terms.

      • That’s the problem: “One possible homosexual sex act.” Robertson was speculating. It wasn’t about the language he used. It was the fact the man has been imagining what happens behind closed doors, then condemned his imaginings.

        I don’t know you. If I were to sit back and imagine what you do, how is that appropriate. If I were to condemn you for what I imagine, how is that right? What basis do I have for my imaginings?—the gossip I’ve heard from other people who likewise invent depraved scenarios? The facts about what some people do, which I can indiscriminately apply to all people because I want to imagine it of all people? For in the end it’d be my depravity behind the entire scenario. Not fact.

        My brain has no business going there. I’m supposed to think on whatever things are good, edifying, and beneficial. I’m supposed to share Christ with these people, not condemn them for what I imagine they’re doing. I’m supposed to defend my right to share Jesus, not defend my right to say “vagina” and “anus.” Of course I can say those words; I have freedom of speech. But what good does it do?—and if that’s not the question we care about, that’s what makes us un-Christlike.

        • @KW – From the way you’re writing it sounds like you haven’t read the GQ interview. Phil R wasn’t gossiping, speculating, or condemning in what he was saying. He was accurately referring to a common sexual activity between homosexual men. And if you are offended by what you perceive as vulgarity then you should know that your Bible is far more graphic it what it describes than anything Phil R said. You may not notice much of it since most English translations have been sanitized (i.e. mistranslated) so they would be more palatable to good Christian folk.

          • It’s a common heterosexual activity – and a whole lot of gay men don’t do it.

          • @Numo – OK. There are those with homosexual desires who don’t engage in anal sex, but there are many who do. So what’s your point?

            And also, unless you are a homosexual, please stop acting like an expert on the issue. Because there are some of us here who have first-hand experience with both sides of this.

          • Perhaps there are more people here who know what’s what than you’re suggesting, TPD. I don’t mean that as sarcasm; just a statement of fact.

            The practice is hardly unique to gay men, is currently widespread among American teens who’ve taken abstinence pledges, is a preferred sexual practice (by men, not by their female partners/spouses) in large parts of the world – both as a primitive sort of birth control and because a lot of men just plain like it.

            The thing is, people from those countries don’t talk about it with very many outsiders, but health care workers certainly are aware of what goes on.

            My father was in the Merchant Marine from 1945 til the mid-1980s. In order to try and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, his company was very proactive withscreening, testing, etc. The questions were *extremely* personal and included very specific questions about where each man had gone and what ports he’d called in during the course of his career, as well as lists of sexual practices. See, someone who did x in y port could easily be infecting God alone knows how many others visits to brothels which are also patronized by who knows how many hundreds/thousands of other men in the course of any given year. And *they* could become HIV+ and pass it along to their wives, girlfriends (and sometimes, other men). The converse is true re. unprotected piv or pia sex with a woman in any port who was HIV+ and likely unaware.

            The spread of HIV/AIDS among black and Latino women in this country, beginning in the mid-80s, is also something that gets overlooked, in the media and -sadly – per health care prioritization.

            Fwiw, i’m a straight woman, though i’m not sure it matters much in this discussion. You might be aware of the growing prevalence of anal sex among straight people in the US – or not, but the fact remains that it is not and never has been unique to gay men.

          • And of course, I don’t know what most sexually active American gay men know firsthand – how could I? But that doesn’t mean that I – and others like me – are uneducated and totally unaware of things, either.

            I think it’s odd that you would suggest that, given that so many people have lost friend/brothers/fathers to AIDS over the years – and also that lots of women married to gay men (or formerly married to gay men) have had to deal with potential – and actual – exposure to HIV and possible infection.

            After all, one time is all it takes…

          • Agree on the graphic language being “sanitized” by English translators – in spades. My all time favourite, because Mark Driscoll scoffs at original language, is the scene in Revelations where Jesus appears to the Apostle John. He lists off various parts of Jesus and what they look like. In that list, Jesus has nursing breasts. Squeamish English translators translated them into a “Sash” across his chest/breast, but never nursing breasts. So Mark D., using the English translation talks about Jesus looking like a MMA fighter in Revelations and bragging about how he never uses Greek. I laugh all the time at this. Some day he will find out what Jesus looks like in all his Glory. Could get interesting.

          • Loo – Well, it does say “paps” in the KJV, but I had no idea that MD was so … unaware. ;) Very funny “exposition” on his part; typical of his whole approach, which usually makes me crazy. But this time, it really is humorous, albeit unintentionally!

  2. RIP Harold Camping

    For anyone interested, the world ended a year ago today or did you forget.

  3. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    Southern Baptist Russell Moore thinks suspending Phil Robertson is “ridiculous.” Your thoughts?

    You mean Weirdbeard himself, A&E, the Southern Baptists, reality show drama-rama, or the latest episode of Culture War Without End, Amen?

    I shall let Frank N Furter speak for me:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXPCsaO_55o

  4. Marcus Johnson says:

    I agree with Moore; firing Robertson was ridiculous, although not for the same reason that Moore believes.

    They hired Robertson and his family to act like backwoods rednecks, as a distorted caricature of a heavily stereotyped subculture of White America. So why should he get fired for being what they paid him to be?

    Even if they had some lofty intention of political correctness, I just don’t see how silencing an ignorant bigot fixes bigotry or racism. I would give him as much air time as possible, let him talk until his whiskers fall off, maybe even devote a couple episodes of the show to him dealing with the fallout of his statements. That, to me, seems like responsible, “reality” show programming.

    • … and they asked him his opinion. He answered honestly. Had he answered dishonestly then he would be lying. If you don’t want to know, don’t ask the question.

      • MelissatheRagamuffin says:

        +1

      • Marcus Johnson says:

        Oh, I totally agree that he was set up to look like a dumb redneck. However, A&E didn’t hire him because he was a thoughtful political commentator, so I’m wondering why they suspended him (and, let’s face it, he’s basically about to get fired) for being exactly what they paid him to be.

        • Wrong! He is NOT about to get fired. This is the most popular cable show in the history of TV. Do you really think A&E is willing to give up millions over some moral stand? Please.

      • +1, too.

    • Marcus – Why, pray tell, do you call Mr. Robertson an “ignorant bigot?” Does it make you feel better about yourself? Nice judgment, dude! Whassup with that?

      • Marcus Johnson says:

        Should we take his quote that homosexuality leads to bestiality? Or his subsequent comment that Black people enjoyed slavery?

        And my statement doesn’t affect how I feel about myself. I can reach that conclusion as easily as I can that two and two equal four.

        • Klasie Kraalogies says:

          Amen

        • Marcus, he did NOT say that homosexuality leads to bestiality, and he did’t use the word “enjoy.” STOP slandering this Christian. He is my brother in Christ.

          • Marcus Johnson says:

            How can I possibly misquote or twist what he said? He clearly said that Black people were “happy” under Jim Crow. Part of his statement also claimed that, “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men. Don’t be deceived.” So explain how that he didn’t make the statement that “homosexual behavior” doesn’t morph out into bestiality.

            And you need to quit throwing around this term “brother in Christ” like it’s the balm that soothes all wounds. Nothing about Robertson’s statement reflects Jesus Christ. If you want to call him your brother, be my guest, but you two are not “brothers in Christ.”

          • Marcus, under a plain reading of your quote above, it sounds like he also said that homosexuality leads to heterosexual adultery. So either he’s really stupid, or you have to not obsess about his general sentence structure. To me, it sounds like he’s talking in general about all kinds of sexual conduct that does not seem to him to be scriptural and/or what he thinks of as physio-logical.

            He also localized his statement about Jim Crow, saying he did not personally see it causing pain among the blacks that he knew. Maybe he didn’t get around much, but it’s his perspective.

          • Marcus, I think he was giving a definition of sin–not that homosexuality causes other sins. He gave homosexuality as his first example of sin, but that does not imply cause.

          • Marcus Johnson says:

            Steve, I’m going to go with the conclusion that he’s really stupid. But he said that “things morph out from there,” which suggests that he believed that the things he stated afterward like bestiality, adultery with other women (huh?) and homosexuality again (the circle of life?) all morphed out from “homosexual behavior.”

            And again, I’m not arguing that he’s not entitled to his statement (something which his supporters just don’t seem to get); I’m just labeling the statement about homosexual behavior as stupid, and the statement about blacks as evidence of racism. I don’t think he’s a hateful or violent person, but I do think he was cornered into a place where he ended up revealing his lack of ignorance.

        • “Should we take his quote that homosexuality leads to bestiality? Or his subsequent comment that Black people enjoyed slavery?”

          Wow. Go read the original GQ article. You will discover that you can’t quote him as saying either of those things. In regards to Homosexuality he did exactly what Paul did, he lumped it in with a lot of other sins committed in a sinful society. And regarding pre civil-rights African-Americans, he said that the ones HE WAS AROUND were godly and therefore happy. That is completely different from everyone “enjoyed slavery.”

        • He also had highly disparaging words for the Japanese (“Shintos”), women (“vaginas”) and the Lord alone knows who all else i’m forgetting.

          But his words about black people seem more egregious than the rest to me. I mean, what planet has he been living on, to blithely ignore the KKK, the struggles of the Civil Rights movement, the murders of Merger evers and Martin Luther King (there are so many more names that could be added), Jim Crow laws, the refusal to register black people as voters, sexuaul assaults on black women (check the book titled The Dark End of the Street), and so much more?

          IMO, he’s a racist and quite bigoted in general, and absolutely unapologetic about it. How that squares with Jesus’ two greatest commandments, I cannot even begin to fathom.

          This guy seems to be relying on his celebrity status to protect him from being called on his hurtful words. And meanwhile, the whole controversy is a PR bonanza for the show and for A&E. I wouldn’t be surprised if his PR people told him to go ahead and let it fly during that interview.

          • “He also had highly disparaging words for the Japanese (“Shintos”), women (“vaginas”) and the Lord alone knows who all else i’m forgetting.”

            When someone talks about Nazi’s being bad they aren’t using Nazi as a slandering term for all German people, they are saying Nazi’s were bad. That is exactly how Phil used “Shintos.” And by talking about anatomical parts he was not referring to all women as you-know-what. Your point about him being deliberately blind to the plight of his African-American co-works has some validity. Sad thing is, you are sticking a similar log in your own eye by choosing to view his comments in a deliberately distorted fashion.

          • he is appallingly ignorant of other religions, as his “shintos” comment shows. Most japanese are Buddhist but also have Shinto in the mix.

            There’s more to this world and its people than xtianity, and basic understandings of other world religions (including those practiced by US citizens) would go a LONG way toward helping avoid statements like the ones he made.

            As for Nazisim, I agree with him that it was and is evil, but he is blithely ignoring the blatant racism that’s a core belief of both the original Nazi party and all the neo-Nazi movements around the world. Not only are these groups anti-semitic, they hate people with darker skin (a caricature of a black musician was used for the posters advertising the Nazi Party’s official exhibition of so-called “degenerate art),; Roma – aka gypsies – were interned and died in places like Dachau and Buchenwald; same for gay people. *Nobody* was immune when it came to Aryan supremacy – not even gentil Germans with heart conditions, developmental disorders and much more. See Robert J. Lifton’s book titled The Nazi Doctors for more exhaustive detail than any sane person can stomach…

            The even more sickening irony is that GErman eugenics were based on the most radical branch of that pseudo-science – which came from here. Yep, the USA.

            The historical record is full of detail, if you want to look into it. It’s very different than what you’re maing it out to be.

          • make that “gentile.” My keyboard is acting up today.

          • As for his comment about vaginas (and no other aspect or attribute of women, physical or otherwise), I can’t view it as anything other than crude, ignorant and a slightly sanitized version of what he would probably say off the record.

          • He also bektraysn his ignorance re. sexual orientation, along with any number of other things – very much including the fact that sex between male lovers does not automatically equal anal sex. A lot of gay men don’t -and won’t – do it. Full stop.

          • Wow.. when you are in a hole, stop digging. Nazis were a specific political party with specific political aims. Shintoism is a religion that is over a thousand years old and which has many believers today. If you REALLY want to claim that using the two terms is equivalent, then you need to do some reading.

          • Donalbain – i’m referring to the quotes in the GQ interview of Robertson. He mentioned Nazis and “Shintos” in the same breath, while using them as examples of non-xtian philosophies/ideas that inevitably lead to destruction.

            Read the piece and see for yourself, OK? I’m not going off on a tangent; his comments about Japan and its people will likely never hit the mainstream media coverage of this farce.

          • Yes, he said a staggeringly offensive thing about Shintoism. I know that. What I don’t understand is why you are defending him.

          • Donalbain – I’m not!

            sheesh. Have you actually read the comments I’ve made on this thread?

        • Marcus – I suggest you read or re-read the article, because Mr. Robertson didn’t compare homosexuality to beastiality nor did he say that blacks enjoyed slavery. He did, however, lump himself into the “I’m a big ‘ol sinner saved by the Grace of God” (my words) category. You need to ask Santa for some “happy pills” or, at the very least, some Christmas cheer. God Bless. :)

          • Marcus Johnson says:

            I never claimed that Robertson compared homosexuality to beastiality; I did say that he said that homosexuality led to beastiality (he used the term “morph from there”).

            And I will concede that he did not claim the Black people he knew enjoyed slavery. He said that they were happy under Jim Crow. I’m sure there are some men in Afghanistan who would claim that women love living under the rule of the Taliban, too.

            And the “I’m a big ol’ sinner thing” does nothing for me. It’s an “aw shucks” statement that doesn’t even begin to justify what he said.

            I’m a little too old to believe in Santa, too, and plenty old enough to know that Robertson’s statement, although not really grounds for his suspension in this particular situation, cannot be spun to mean something innocuous.

      • I see him as a rather clever and sophisticated bigot.

    • That Other Jean says:

      Robertson wasn’t fired, he was suspended–no doubt until A&E decides whether they will lose more money by keeping him off the air and offending some people or letting him back on and offending others. Certainly, Robertson has the right to say whatever he wants to; what he does not have the right to do is to escape the consequences of whatever he says. If more people boycott the show than support him, he’s out– not that I expect that to happen. It’s all about the Benjamins, not free speech or political correctness.

      • Marcus Johnson says:

        Absolutely, Robertson cannot escape the consequences of his statement. But A&E shouldn’t escape, either. If they are really interested in “arts and entertainment,” then they should keep the man on his show and deal with the reality of the show they created, rather than run from it.

        • If A&E cared about arts and entertainment, they would get rid of the schlock they run now and go back to the way they began, with things that were worth watching. Same with TLC.

    • Have you read the interview, or only heard what OTHERS have reported on it?

      • Marcus Johnson says:

        Yes, I read the interview. What’s your point?

        • If you read the interview, why do you misquote and twist what was said? To achieve some vulgar political goal you would do this to me brother in Christ?

        • Marcus Johnson says:

          I haven’t misquoted anything. And it’s a little childish of you to think that I’m doing this “to you.” It’s a discussion post; grow some thicker skin.

          • Everyone behave today. Santa is watching.

          • Wow. All I can say after reading comments here is that there are some people at iMonk as graceless as they claim Robertson to be.

          • Marcus Johnson says:

            That comment isn’t intended to be mean in any form, but seriously, the whole premise that I’m misquoting and twisting to satisfy a personal political goal is pretty insulting. We should be able to discuss this without labeling each other as subversive demagogues intent on bringing back McCarthyism. It’s a cheap rhetorical strategy, and I’m not down with it at all.

  5. Once again “reality” TV is revealed as the farce it is. A little reality raises its head — eg, not everyone thinks like Hollywood — and the networks go running to their mothers. Marcus has a good point.

  6. Richard Hershberger says:

    The Duck Dynasty story is fascinating: not for what is being said or by whom. That is all drearily predictable. Rather, for what is being discreetly left unsaid.

    There are three Duck Dynasty stories, but we are only hearing one: One of the Duck Dynasty guys said anti-gay things, and people are reacting to this, and other people are reacting to the reaction.

    The story we are hearing very little about is that he also said he also said racist things. We are hearing very little about this? Why is this? I think it is because we have a cultural faux-consensus that everyone agrees racism is bad. Therefore pointing out that someone is a racist is considered beyond the pale of civil discourse. This is true even if the observation is based on that person’s words and actions. In this formulation, nothing short of standing on a street corner shouting the “N” word can be called racism in civil society, and anyone using the “R” word will be shouted down. Because of this, anyone smart enough to avoid shouting the “N” word can spout pretty much any racist drivel he likes and be immune from criticism. In the case of the Duck Dynasty guy, it was of the ‘they were happier and better off under Jim Crow’ variety, which in turn is a refinement of the smiling slave who loved his master calumny. This is viciously racist, but said with a fake smile and retaining enough deniability to allow for an act of injured virtue if anyone is so crass as to point out the racism.

    The third story is from about a month ago, and therefore so many news cycles back that it is off the radar of the short-attention-span theater press. The family signed a marketing deal with a winery, and this got them uninvited from any engagement by an Evangelical organization. This led to massive complaints about the suppression of their free speech rights. Oops! No, it didn’t. None of the people complaining now let out a peep then. Matthew 7:5.

    • Richard Hershberger says:

      Edit: The family signed a marketing deal with a winery, and this got them uninvited from *an* engagement by an Evangelical organization. I now return you to your regularly scheduled comment.

    • +1

    • Marcus Johnson says:

      Excellent points, Richard. The dominant voice of the LGBT movement has historically been very White male-dominant, so it is easy to see how the patently racist stuff he said could be overlooked.

      • A study I read from Penn State demonstrated that the very vast majority of homosexual men are upper income white males, and I usually see this reflected in their reactions to things. It is a helpful skew to keep in mind during dialogues of this type.

        • There are a *lot* of black, Latino (etc.) gay men in the US, but they’re largely invisible to most of the people who write these kinds of studies and surveys. A lot more of them are closeted, too, which skews the data tremendously.

          The thing is, mainstream media also ignores these guys, except for publishing sensationalistic stories about men on the down low.

        • The most *visible* gay men are whiter and upper-income, but again, these studies/surveys seldom deal with a diverse group of people (economically and per ethnicity).

    • A direct quote from the article: “Phil On Growing Up in Pre-Civil-Rights-Era Louisiana
      “I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field…. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.””

      Ignorant, possibly, but racist? Only in the eyes of the privileged white middle class “enlightened” crowd.

      If you read the whole article it is apparent that the author is way over the line biased against the “culture” of the white, southern and rural white man of the post WW2 generation.

      • Marcus Johnson says:

        As well the author should be: post-WWII White, Southern, rural culture was to the black man what the Taliban is to a woman living in Afghanistan. Why shouldn’t the author be biased against that?

        And what definition of “racism” are you using? Were you waiting for Robertson to drop the “N” word, advocate for Jim Crow, put a burning cross on a Black man’s lawn? Granted, those would all be more overt racist actions, but racism is not always hateful or violent; it always starts with willful ignorance.

        • Nice of you to generalize a whole demographic sample, including fellow believers.

          • Oscar, are you aware of the history of the Southern baptist Church’s foundings?

            so very many of the adherents of slavery, Jim Crow, the KKK and more have been “good ‘Christian’ people.”

            Very much like the Afrikaaner regimes in South Africa being totally intertwined with their version of the Dutch REformed Church.

            it’s all very ugly and quite wicked.

        • Marcus Johnson says:

          It’s not a generalization of a sample of people; it’s a statement about the culture. And yes, Christian institutions were just as much a part of the oppression that Black people faced in the South. Everything I have written about that era so far comes with the support of a general consensus among researchers. The generalization, if you want to call it that, isn’t wrong if it’s true.

      • Richard Hershberger says:

        “Ignorant, possibly, but racist?”

        Absolutely, and viciously so. It is the racism of infantilization; of “The darlings, I love ‘em, but they can’t be trusted to run their own lives. They need a firm hand, and really are happier that way.” There are in fact people whom I love, but don’t trust to run their own lives and so provide a firm hand, knowing that they really are happier that way. They are my children. They are aged four and six. If I have to treat them the same way in twenty years, I will have failed as a parent. Treating blacks as if they were children is a centuries-old strain of American racism. That it is presented with the sincerity of the concern troll doesn’t make it less vicious. It merely makes it less honest. Oh, and what do you do, however reluctantly, when your child misbehaves? You punish him, of course. It is a short step from infantilization to the flaming cross and the noose. I’m not saying Robertson keeps a white hood and a rope in his closet, but he is saying the same things as did those in the lynch mob. That alone ought to be enough to give pause to him and anyone listening to him.

        • “It is a short step from infantilization to the flaming cross and the noose. I’m not saying Robertson keeps a white hood and a rope in his closet, but he is saying the same things as did those in the lynch mob.”

          I was actually interested in your argument until it Jumped the Shark there.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          Absolutely, and viciously so. It is the racism of infantilization; of “The darlings, I love ‘em, but they can’t be trusted to run their own lives. They need a firm hand, and really are happier that way.”

          Don’t we have Christian Celebrity megapastors/homeschool gurus saying the same things about women?

    • Phil R said that the pre civil-rights African-Americans HE WAS AROUND were godly and therefore happy. That may be an ignorant statement but it isn’t a racist statement. Oh, but I forgot, nowadays “racism” is defined as anyone who doesn’t participate in acceptable Groupthink. He MUST be an evil man.

      • Marcus Johnson says:

        Actually, TPD, “racism” is not defined that way; it’s just some folks’ way of dismissing a real conversation about racism in America.

        The real definition of “racism” has two elements: the ascribing of certain traits or features to people of a particular racial identity, and the conclusion that those traits make a racial identity superior or inferior, or better suited for an inferior or superior role, than another racial identity. For example, Black people can jump and run better than White people, so they are better at sports.

        Let’s start with a place where we can both agree: Phil’s statement was ignorant. It was ignorant because he assumed that the role pre-civil rights Black people held–an unquestionably inferior role–was one in which they were “happy.” Never mind that, by definition, the blues that developed from Blacks laboring in the fields were a direct reflection on their suffering and oppression. Never mind that he didn’t have to see the lynchings, the substandard education, the constant reminders everywhere that Black people were inferior. He saw the Black people he was around, and assumed they were happy.

        To be fair to Robertson, I don’t believe his statement was hatemongering or advocating for violence. Also, that culture had gone so far to ingrain racism as the norm into Black and White minds that it would almost be impossible for someone to really recognize when they were saying something that reflects a racist mindset. That’s why I don’t personally think Robertson should be fired. I would much rather see him deal with the fallout of his remarks in the context of his show than ascribe to this childish idea of, “You said something bad; now you have to go away so that we never hear from you again.” I find that mindset equally odious.

        • Marcus, you and I actually agree here. We should do something to commemorate this :)

          I would add that part of the reason he thinks his remarks were OK is because he was “white trash” and on the same level as those he worked with. What he fails to recognize is that he could more easily climb out of his situation because of the color of his skin, whereas if the civil rights movement had never happened, his co-workers would be stuck there no matter how smart or talented they were.

          • Marcus Johnson says:

            I would say, “Let’s grab a beer,” but then our conservative folks might want to put us out on an ice floe (just like, coincidentally, they almost did with Duck Dynasty).

        • Brianthedad says:

          This is the fairest analysis of what was said that I have read anywhere.

        • There is nothing like 20/20 hindsight in judging the past while making present views seem prescient.

          • Marcus Johnson says:

            One of the reasons why I firmly believe no one would, in their right mind, choose to star in their own reality TV show. That medium tends to put unwitting people on the fast track to celebrity, puts them in interviews without a net and expects them to speak with the eloquence of a statesman.

            Believe me, Oscar, if you think I’m being hard on Robertson, it’s nowhere near in comparison to the contempt I have for A&E…and The Learning Channel…and The History Channel…hell, I’m just ready to cancel cable right now.

          • YES!

      • Hiding one’s true feelings was one of the few ways to survive during Jim Crow. Being honest (aka “uppity”) could and often did end in lynching.

        • Marcus Johnson says:

          +1 Being happy wasn’t genuine; it was a means of survival.

          • That Other Jean says:

            Very much this. Robertson may have seen only “happy” black people working beside him in the fields, because he was a member, however poor, of the power elite, simply by being white. Whatever troubles his fellow workers had and however angry they might be, they weren’t about to share their problems and emotions with him. I’m old enough to remember the pre-civil-rights South–I never saw unhappy black people, either, but I’m not ignorant enough to believe that they didn’t exist.

    • You’re so right about his racism, Richard. +1.

    • Brianthedad says:

      Agreed there is a social consensus that racism is bad, but pointing out someone is a racist is beyond the pale in civil discourse unless the person is witnessed dropping N bombs on the street corner? Really? I must say then that civil discourse is sorely missing today. You must be surrounded by civil, polite society, because where I live, anyone who makes a public comment regarding or questioning ideas of race, however innocent, legitimately curious, or earnest, faces labeling as a racist in the papers or by the organizations that deal in matters of race. It seems the default response many times.

      even our governor has been labeled racist since he has investigated allegations of financial impropriety at a local HBCU at the request of the previous university president. The accusations of racism have flown non-stop and from those considered polite society. Then again, this is Alabama, and nothing occurs here without the subtext of racism’s past being present.

      • Marcus Johnson says:

        While I agree that the term “racist” is sorely misused, there are cases in which it is an appropriate label. I think the problem is that the word is associated with “bigotry,” “hatred,” “discrimination,” or “violence,” when the term itself does not have anything to do with any of those concepts.

        Brianthedad, I live in a college town, so I see way too many people trying to get into discussions about race, and they are quick to lobby these labels at people who don’t deserve it. Granted, I live in Michigan, so I’m pretty sure the conversations we have up here are significantly different than what they are down there, given our respective states’ histories. Trust me, if you see me use that term, I try to present the working definition, as well as explain why this particular incident fits the bill. No drive-by racist-labeling (and if I do, call me on it, and I will promise to explain myself, just like I did here).

        • Brianthedad says:

          Fair enough. No offense taken, and I hope I didn’t imply I was. I thought the differences in our experiences was interesting enough to note. I am interested in learning from different races and cultures, but the environment is so toxic here, that those conversations can only happen privately after developing long-term, trusting relationships. And often those still retain the minefields.

        • Marcus Johnson says:

          I visit Birmingham once a year for my job, and occasionally I hear of the depth of corruption that plagues that city. It’s almost as bad as Detroit, so I’m not really all that surprised that people aren’t able to engage in an open and honest dialogue about race.

          Definitely agree with you about developing long-term, trusting relationships.

  7. If these guys want to be comfortable in heaven, they’d better ditch the racism, because the Communion of Saints has far more people of color than Euro-whites.

    • Of course, they might feel far more comfortable in hell…but that’s not for me to judge or determine.

    • What did he say that would make you think he doesn’t want people of color in heaven? For that matter what makes you think he doesn’t believe there will be people of color in heaven? He said the black people he was around were godly, and that is probably about the highest praise he gives anyone.

    • I dunno if we’re really gonna have “color” in heaven like we do here. Perhaps the rainbow will be greatly expanded to the point where what seems like “color” to us now will be like black and white compared to the higher dimension of reality that is a perfect utopia.

  8. MelissatheRagamuffin says:

    I don’t think Phil is actually racist. I think he is ignorant. There’s a difference.

    It is easy to be for free speech when you agree with the speech. It’s when someone says something you disagree with or in this case – something you agree with but in a truly obnoxious and offensive manner – that the ideological rubber meets the road. So, ask yourselves boys and girls, if Phil Robertson doesn’t have freedom of speech – do you? What’s coming down the road – you get suspended from work because you were seen coming out of a Catholic Church, and the views of the Catholic church on homosexuality, birth control abortion, women, etc are not the same as your employer’s views?

    IMHO he would have a really excellent EEOC case. It’s illegal to fire someone for their religious beliefs or from expressing his beliefs in his own time. He didn’t spout off on the show. He did it in an interview he was giving in his own time. He did it in response to a question asking HIS views (not A&E’s) about sin. Does he do everything he does now as a representative of A&E? The asked a conservative Christian from the back woods of Louisiana his view on homosexuality. In what parallel universe was his answer shocking?

    • We don’t know what was in his contract.

    • Richard Hershberger says:

      I would be a lot more impressed by the hand-wringing about freedom of speech here if any of the hand-wringers were concerned about his being uninvited by an Evangelical organization for the wine deal. It is utterly fascinating how that disappears from the discussion. In reality, of course, this has nothing to do with freedom of speech. No one has an inalienable right to participate in someone else’s event, or to appear on someone else’s network. Any “freedom of speech” talk is so much hand-waving (which is a need trick: simultaneously wave and wring your hands). Furthermore, both sides of the culture wars do this. It is an attempt to move the Overton window. For myself, moving the Overton window so that racism–even concern troll happy-talk racism–is unacceptable in decent society is all for the best. (For anyone preparing to respond indignantly to the suggestion that anything ought to be considered so unacceptable, think about topics and language you don’t want said around you. Can you really say there are none? No, I didn’t think so.)

    • No.. the interview was not in his own time. He was giving it as part of his duties to promote the show and the brand. The interviewer was accompanied by an A&E PR guy except for a short while which is when Phil went off the rails. This was definitely part of his “on the job” time.

      • I have a sneaking suspicion that his PR person told him to “go off the rails.” The publicity this has brought is likely in the megabucks range – including increased sales of their Christmas CD.

  9. On “Duck Dynasty” lets be honest here. First read the article itself at http://www.gq.com/entertainment/television/201401/duck-dynasty-phil-robertson .

    As for the comment that gays are going to hell, square the accusation (which was a quote from scripture) with Phil’s later comment: “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?”

    The article is dripping with sarcasm and laced with profanity, just the kind of “intolerance” that is unacceptable while discussing racial and sexual and political issues that disagree with the newest societal trope, yet is quite acceptable, even, apparently, hip and laudatory while lampooning a southern, backwoods culture that has fallen into disfavor with the newest urban and “tolerant” crowd, ESPECIALLY amongst the “intelligentsia” in the media.

    A lot of what Phil is QUOTED as saying (we are only given snippets, and viewed through the author’s distorted lens) IS without grace, and in harmony with his background and history, and there is no real defense for his rough statements, but to pile on and agree with the dominant media wisdom (sexist, homophobic, intolerant, etc.) is unfair and NOT in harmony with Christian (as in Christ’s) values.

    I’ve never watched “Duck Dynasty” and I am not a hunter, I am a northern, rust belt, product of a lower class, white family so I have no stake in defending Phil’s world, but I AM struck but the unfairness of the whole media firestorm over that unfair and biased article and I wonder how many people commenting have actually read the article or watched the show.

    • Final Anonymous says:

      Hmmm… I’m afraid some of you have been hoodwinked.

      Phil and his family aren’t simple, ignorant, backwoods hunters… they are highly successful businessmen who are running with this “Duck Dynasty” brand as far as it will take them. A few clicks around Google with take you to their real history, with a bunch of pre-Duck Dynasty photos of normal, beardless, well-off family men.

      Phil is a perfectly intelligent, culturally-aware human being, so he doesn’t get to slide away from his racist comments with the “ignorant” excuse.

      On the other hand, the A&E firing is just as much of a farce. The reality networks play these games all the time. “Real,” “live” soap operas are where the money is these days. The network could care less about morality and political correctness; they are just playing their part in the drama to keep the public’s attention.

      Don’t be fooled. Everyone is playing a part for a paycheck. There is no “reality” in reality TV.

      • Excellent comment, though I’m not sure the A&E suspension is a farce. It is certainly about the money, however. You’re right that they don’t care about political correctness, except as it favors their bottom line.

        What’s interesting in this to me is the conundrum it causes for conservatives, i.e. how hard it is to be both a free-market economic conservative and a social values conservative. A&E’s decision was the perfectly free decision of a company that was calculating their costs based on how the free market would respond to these comments. The free market knows nothing of morality. It only cares about what increases profits. That’s a problem if you want to be a social values conservative too.

        • Final Anonymous says:

          “It only cares about what increases profits.” True, which is why I’m not convinced anyone is “fired” yet. Duck Dynasty was A&E’s most profitable show last year. They would only kill it if they thought Phil’s remarks would hurt their profitability, and I think the recent hullabaloos with Chick Fil A and Hobby Lobby proved the opposite. In fact, put the three incidents together, and I think there’s enough of a pattern to drive a semester-long Driving Market Share and Branding Through Media Backlash MBA class…

          Now if A&E did actually fire Phil, it shows they are standing on principle at the expense of profit. Which almost seems like a Biblical teaching…

          • As I understand things the NEXT season is already in the can and ready to air. We’re really talking about things that would be filmed next year and shown a year or so from now.

        • The free market is very moral. It just has its own kind of morality: Egoism. “What’s good for me (and my bottom line) is right,” it says. It’s just a different kind of morality that is fundamentally at odds with the ethos of Christianity, yet was somehow a product of Western Christendom.

          Capitalism is based on the doctrine of man’s depravity: sinful men always act in self-interest, so why not build a system that counts on that to increase society benefiting productivity? It sounds highly utilitarian, but it doesn’t really leave a whole lot of room for virtue to factor in. It would seem that virtue is usually punished under this system.

      • There is no disconnect between native intelligence (as opposed to educated intelligence) and ignorance. You CAN be both, as witnessed by modern media and their views on Christianity.

        • You would be hard pressed to say anyone on that show is uneducated. The only guy on there who doesn’t have a Masters Degree is Godwin. There was even a show about a funny project that Martin was working on in the the course of his post-grad studies. The guys on the show make no bones about admitting that the show is made up of funny skits they come up with and in no way portrays how they really spend their days. And, yes I’m a hunter from Central PA who watches DD and is a big fan.

  10. Randy Thompson says:

    Regarding Harold Camping:
    Well, he finally got what he wanted. The world ended.
    For him.
    RIP.

    And, regarding gerbils:
    I was immediately reminded by a joke I heard years ago (maybe by Bobcat Goldwaithe?).
    Howl do you tell the difference between a gerbil and a hamster?
    A gerbil has more white meat.

  11. I have not watched a single episode of “Duck…” nor do I have any intention of watching any reruns (I assume that’s all that will be available at this point). I find the whole idea of red necks with long hair and beards, wearing camouflage clothing, and carrying weapons of duck destruction a bit creepy. I just don’t get it. Am I the only one? Is there no one else?

    Having said that, what Mr. Robertson said is not surprising for someone from his neck of the woods (literally). I lived in Louisiana from 1963 through 1980 and attended Louisiana Tech in Ruston (30 miles west of Monroe) where the duck thing takes place. In those days I frequented many taverns in Monroe (Ruston was a dry parish; what’s a college boy to do?) and by the law of averages I probably visited the one where he used to serve as a bartender (or bouncer, or both).

    My point is that I know these folks and have a pretty good idea of how many of them think, especially those who profess faith in Christ. The Bible is not just the word of God for them, it is a way of life (interpretations vary, of course). No, I’m not saying they always get it right (less than more, actually), it’s just that it’s an integral part of their value system (why do you think they call it the “Bible Belt”). And since the Bible says that homosexuality is sin (it does, you know, along with all other sorts of forbidden fruits), then by golly we need to express our opinions on this matter or we’re not doing God’s will. Or something like that.

    And many Southerners still disdain Yankees who forced them to rejoin the Union, and especially the Carpetbaggers who came in after the Civil War and forced “Unionism” on them (think of how Jews reacted to Hellenism after Palestine was conquered by Alexander). The two parishes I lived in were called “Lincoln” and “Union”; these were names that the Carpetbaggers forced on them. To put it mildly, they didn’t care much for that back then and many still don’t. And they have long memories (“Yankee Go Home” is not just something they say in Latin America).

    But to say that these folks are close-minded would be hypocritical. The executives at A&E and the gay lobby that supported the decision are just as closed minded; just different world views, that’s all. But I would hope that the one world view every American would agree on is the right to express one’s opinions regardless of how distasteful they be. And yes, I read what Mr. Robertson said–and it was most definitely stated in a most crude manner.

    But shouldn’t freedom of speech apply to the package just as much as the payload? On the one hand, A&E has every right to hire & fire whomever they wish for whatever reason they wish. On the other hand, I find A&E’s capitulation to the thought police even more distasteful than the manner in which Mr. Robertson spoke. And in the end, I believe that A&E is doing more to hurt freedom than anything Mr. Robertson said.

    I thank God that folks back in the 16th century weren’t as tight-a—d as we are now. Luther, a very earthy fellow who stated many things which would make even Mr. Robertson blush, would never have been able to follow through with the Reformation.

    There.

    • Well said. A view not shared by many commentators on this site.

    • I like your analysis. What has happened to Robertson makes me think the Thought Police of Orwell’s “1984″ aren’t far off.

    • Well put, Calvin

    • Calvin,
      I will confess that I jumped in with comments before being adequately informed on the specifics of this story. Mea culpa. Like you, I’ve never watched Duck Dynasty and don’t intend to.

      I do agree with you that freedom to express unpopular opinions is a lynchpin of any free society. I still don’t know the specifics of this story, and truth be told I’m not very interested in finding them out. So, I’ll just retract my comments with an apology to any I may have done injustice to and leave it at that.

      Except for this: the liberty to express our opinions, unpopular or not, is a freedom that deserves to be protected by law and custom. But that does not mean that someone should be required to pay us for expressing our opinions, or should be required to provide a platform for us to do so.

    • I only had a chance to respond briefly this morning before leaving for the day. My thoughts are similar to CalvinCuban…these folks grew up in a specific area, with a specific culture and a specific way of looking at life. I don’t believe there was bad intent, just expressing answers as they know and grew up with. Similar to if you interviewed someone, whether they be black or white, from the working class inner city. The views expressed would be representative of that sub-cultural bubble.

      There are still pockets of this country that are not worldly, that do not try to emulate behavior expressed on the primetime sitcoms, that love their neighbor and yet, when they open their mouths could sound very politically incorrect. That does not mean they are looking to breed hate.

      And from a homosexual perspective, many in this country believe now that the behavior is mainstream, all should just turn and accept the behavior as just another choice to make, but please remember there are many of the older generation or come from strong religous backgrounds that will continue to have a negative opinion on this and that does not make them evil.

  12. “Harold Camping, the preacher who wrongly predicted when the end would come, has died. I don’t fault him for trying. Hopefully he is now having a really good laugh about it.”

    +1

    Hopefully, because of God’s grace, we will all get a chance to laugh at the silly things we did here on earth. I can’t wait!

    • Marcus Johnson says:

      If it wasn’t for the fact that Camping convinced a lot of desperate, unwitting people to donate hundreds, even thousands of dollars to his campaign to spread his false prophecy, only to wind up destitute when his teachings didn’t come to pass, I’d probably be laughing too.

  13. The last time we had a crisis as earth-shaking as this Duck Dynasty one was when they cancelled Star Trek.

    Too bad Harold Camping just died. Everything he would have needed to get the date of the end of the world right this time can be found in the oceans of comment from people who think reality tv is, you know, real.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Think of all the bandwidth that’s been consumed about Captain Weirdbeard shooting off his mouth. Outraged Activists, Outraged Counter-Activists, Outraged Counter-Counter-Activists, Calls for yet another Christianese Boycott, whispers of Homosexual Conspiracy and Thought Police and 1984…

      It might not fit Camping’s numerology, but it might as well have been The End of the World for all the heat it’s generated. And IS generating.

  14. In the same sentence, Phil also lumped in heterosexual fornication with bestiality. Why isn’t the fornication community rising up to demand he be fired for this offense?

    • Exactly. The obvious answer being that fornicators, people who drink too much, etc. all understand that he was listing off a bunch of different sins committed by a sinful society and not necessary saying that one thing must lead to another.

      • Maybe because fornicators aren’t regularly fired from their jobs because they fornicate.
        Maybe because fornicators don’t have politicians saying that they should be put in prison for fornicating.
        Maybe because fornicators aren’t denied the right to marry the person they love.
        Maybe because fornicators are not REGULARLY accused of being rapists..

        • MelissatheRagamuffin says:

          Fornicators are usually encouraged to marry the person they love so they won’t be fornicators anymore.

    • If you can’t see the difference between a community of individuals who have been beaten and killed on the basis of whom it is they happen to be attracted to and “formicators”…well take your phony “faith” and shove it somewhere dark.

      It doesn’t matter. In 50 years it will be as if your point of view never existed. You and the kind of faith you espouse won’t even be a bad dream.

      Enjoy your extinction. The rest of us certainly will.

      • Exactly (and thanks for taking the bait). The difference is, fornicators did not have to collectivize and fight for their right to peacefully exist.
        The gay community did have to do this just to survive, and now that they are politically and culturally ascendant, they are throwing their weight around just like the Moral Majority did in the early 1980s. GLAAD is making religious statements (calling Phil’s statements unchristian) and sending out the same fundraising appeals yesterday to “rise up as a community in times like this”.
        The gay community and the religious right are virtually identical in their exercise of political and cultural power.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          When somebody’s on top calling the shots, they tend to throw their weight around.

          And when they’ve been on the bottom before, they tend to throw their weight around HARD.

          “NEVER AGAIN!” can all too easily morph into “BECAUSE NOW WE’RE GONNA DO IT TO THEM BEFORE THEY CAN DO IT TO US!”

        • Yes, they are exactly the same. Which is why you see so many people in the gay rights movement saying that the people in the religious right should be in prison. It is why you see so many people in the gay rights movement cheering when foreign governments criminalise the religious right. It is why you see so many people in the gay rights movement advocating that people in the religious right should be denied the right to marry.

          Seriously, I HATE this false equivalence.

          • “It is why you see so many people in the gay rights movement advocating that people in the religious right should be denied the right to marry.”

            This is your only sarcastic point that is valid. And only because most want the word “marriage” to retain its traditional meaning of man/woman. From my understanding, most American Christians have no problem with homosexual civil unions as long as they are not forced to participate.

            Regarding the criminalization of either one; both are criminal in various parts of the world and I’m sure there are at least as many homosexuals happy about Christianity being criminalized as there are Christians happy about homosexuality being criminalized. It isn’t false equivalence.

      • Widget said,
        “Enjoy your extinction. The rest of us certainly will.”

        Homosexuals do not procreate with each other, so in a sense, they would go extinct, not the hetero guy who marries and has a kid with his wife. Even should a homo couple adopt there is no guarantee their kid will be homosexual too.

        Homosexuals sometimes beat up and kill hetero people or other homosexuals.
        ‘Gay’ men ‘torture son for child porn’ (Father in story: Carl Philip Herold)

        The rest of your comment was just very weird, I am not even sure how to reply.

        • “Homosexuals do not procreate with each other, so in a sense, they would go extinct, ”

          We (the gays) don’t make gays. The breeders of the world make them. It’s biology.

    • In the case of fornicators and adulterers, society has chosen for some time now to turn a blind eye to these practices. Yes, parents may tell their kids to save sex for marriage and spouses may demand fidelity from their mates (as a Christian parent and spouse I heartily concur with both), but there is no public outrage–not really–over either practice except when a Republican politician or TV evangelist is caught with his pants down (or her skirt up, whichever). Those who claim no allegiance to particular moral values are generally considered exempt from public scrutiny in these matters.

      With regards to pedophiles and bestialitors (not a real word, I understand, but it should be), societal taboos persist hwre and are likely continue to do so (we can be thankful for that), as they are regarded as hurtful to children, detrimental to the welfare of society as a whole, and so on. No “Bed Time for Bonzo” just yet; let us pray it stays that wa–ad infinitum.

      With regards to homosexuality, polygamy, polyandry and group marriage (did I leave anything out? it’s hard to keep up with this stuff!) these practices were once overwhelmingly condemned by society but are gaining acceptance at a rapid pace, even in many churches. The reason is at once simple and complex and I do not consider myself qualified to expound on it beyond the simpler aspects of it, which as I see it, it is that Western societies no longer consider ethical principles–Biblical or Classical–as absolutes; consequently there is no longer a foundation of truth from which to make moral judgments. Where this all leads I cannot say, but the pimple will pop at some point.

      I think I’m starting to get it…perhaps life would be simpler and everything would make more sense if we all grew our hair long, wore camouflage, and walked through the woods with a shotgun blasting ducks.

      • >”Where this all leads I cannot say, but the pimple will pop at some point.”

        It leads me to see how broken the world really is, and it points me to Christ and the cross.

        • Point well taken.

          Yes, I’ve already made the decision to stay focused on the cross, and so we teach our congregation, both the gospel of the cross and the gospel of the kingdom, which we consider to be one and the same gospel.

          But where society heads from now until Christ’s return is another matter entirely. No organism can live in its own waste for long. To add to the pimple metaphor, as the puss must be expelled at some point to prevent further infection and heal the tissue, likewise society must choose to expel its evils in order to heal itself.

          And as a preemptive statement to comments which are sure to follow, I understand only too well that it’s not just abortion and sexual deviance which are evil; poverty, bigotry and other matters of social justice are also evil.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        I think I’m starting to get it…perhaps life would be simpler and everything would make more sense if we all grew our hair long, wore camouflage, and walked through the woods with a shotgun blasting ducks.

        That’s part of the ratings appeal of the guys with the beards and the duck calls.

      • “bestialitors (not a real word, I understand, but it should be)”

        Zoophiles. Or among themselves, just “zoos.”

      • @ Calvin said,
        “Yes, parents may tell their kids to save sex for marriage and spouses may demand fidelity from their mates (as a Christian parent and spouse I heartily concur with both), but there is no public outrage–not really–over either practice except when a Republican politician or TV evangelist is caught with his pants down (or her skirt up, whichever).”

        I know. It’s even more apparent when you were raised evangelical / Baptist Christian, and are still waiting to marry and are still a virgin at age 40+.

        Rarely do preachers mention that fornication (pre marital, consensual sex) is a sin.

        If they mention the topic at all, it is only to remind the audience that “We know you’re fornicating if you’re over 25, and it’s no problem! People are sexual, what are you going to do? Abstaining is too darn hard. Just ask God to forgive you when you slip. Then forgive yourself.”

        Sexual sin is very easily dismissed and glossed over in many Baptist and evangelical groups the last several years.

        I have noticed that Christians today are very lax and accepting of sexual sin, with the Christian feminist and emergents now condemning Christian sexual purity and virginity standards and teachings by way of claiming that they are hurtful, mean, or unrealistic, while your normally conservative Christian bloggers (mostly males) are starting to jump on that ship and say that adult virgins are “prideful.”

        So, here we are with an evangelical church that is largely accepting of sexual sin but who turns on people such as myself who are still virgins in our 40s or older. The sexual sinners are being coddled and pandered to, but people who have actually remained chaste are being run down and put down on Christian blogs over being literally sexually pure.

        I laugh or roll my eyes every time I see Christian ladies age 30 and up cry on other blogs these days about how judged and shameful they feel over having heard sexual purity teachings once in Sunday School when they were 18, because they had consensual sex when they were 16; it’s as though Christians are supposed to drop biblical ethical sexual teachings to soothe their hurt feelings.

        In no other avenue of life would one expect this to happen, like the tax cheater or shop lifter who would beg the preacher to stop giving sermons about honesty and the sinfulness of stealing, because hearing sermons about the sinfulness of stealing makes them feel guilty, ashamed, and bad.

        So yes, out of one side of their mouths, Christians claim to support virginity and celibacy but in truth, they really do not. Christians have accepted that most people will cave in and have sex prior to marriage, or have affairs.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Everybody:

      “FORNICATION” is an Exclusively CHRISTIANESE word these days. NOBODY ELSE USES IT, PERIOD! Once you get outside of the four walls of your Christianese-speaking church, you might as well be saying “Chugaroon Flubba-Flubba.”

      • HUG I can’t believe you said Chugaroon Flubba Flubba on a public site like this. I find that tasteless and offensive.

        :-)

      • I see…

        Hey, I just read Hebrews 13.4 in the new “HUN Version” (formerly, NASB) that,

        “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for ‘Chugaroon Flubba-Flubba-tors’ (formerly, “fornicators”) and adulterers God will judge.”

        :-)

      • Chosen for effect, HUG. My point was that Phil appeared to be (very crudely) paraphrasing some portions of 1 Cor 6, which seems is nearly impossible to read aloud without someone else interpreting it as archaic and hateful.

        • Marcus Johnson says:

          I’m not sure we can make the claim that Robertson was automatically launching into some crude form of Biblical exegesis. That’s a hindsight conclusion that folks make to justify his statement, akin to feminist groups who defend Miley Cyrus twerking at the VMAs as a bold statement of feminine sexual independence.

      • +1, HUG.

      • But Corinthians would lose a certain something if Paul thundered against brawlers, drunkards, and those who get lucky.

      • There’s nothing wrong with the term “fornication” or “fornicate.”

        It’s merely shorthand for saying “having sex before or outside of marriage.”

        • Naw, your gloss overlooks the crucial implication that the act, which might otherwise be thought permissible, is sinful. What other terms are there like that? Usury? Onanism?

          • “Covetousness”: fully legal in this country, archaic- and christianese-sounding, and still sinful.

    • Magnanimous in victory?

    • Steve said,
      “In the same sentence, Phil also lumped in heterosexual fornication with bestiality. Why isn’t the fornication community rising up to demand he be fired for this offense?”

      I wondered the same thing.

      He also mentioned greed, being drunk, idolatry, and a few other sins. I did not see fornicators throw a fit, or members of Alcoholics Anonymous in an outrage. Some portions of society chose to zero in first and foremost on the mention of homosexuality and dwell on it.

      He alluded to hetero fornicators right after the bestiality mention, yet I don’t see hetero people assuming he was lumping them in or equating them to those who practice bestiailty, only the homosexuals took the remark that way, which says a bit more about them than it does about Robertson IMO.

      • Daisy, I spoke too soon. Apparently, Charlie Sheen is now outraged at Phil Robertson, too.
        So, you can disregard my previous observation.
        *sigh*

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        Because the subject of HOMOSEXUALITY(TM) has this strange Mutant Power to make everyone go Screaming Crazy just by its mention.

  15. While the Duck thing is overblown (reality TV? Get real!), I think the larger issue it touches is that many Americans can have widely and firmly held religious beliefs that have been/ are becoming out-of-bounds for public discourse.
    For example, there are many Americans who believe that people who don’t share their religious views are going to hell. However, the extent to which we feel we can/ should openly and civilly state that belief to the larger culture varies widely: from total silence, to picket signs at a stranger’s funeral.
    Somewhere along that spectrum, a line of civility gets crossed. That line is constantly being renegotiated, especially in our entertainment culture which tries to appeal to the widest possible audience.
    I’m guessing the blowback has to do with a perception the line has pushed too far, that those preaching tolerance have become intolerant, and it feels like censorship, even if it is not coerced by a government. Many religious people are sensing a slippery slope, and are clawing their way back to the top of the slope.
    Somewhere along the path from the Enlightenment, liberalism has lost Voltaire’s ideal of defending the right to say disagreeable things.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      And the Zero-Sum rules of Power Struggle have come into play, where the only way to climb to the top of the slope is to push all others down.

  16. Duck Dynasty is a scripted, dramatized entertainment show hosted by paid actors and has no bearing on reality…just like Fox News.

  17. I wonder what Michael Spencer would have made of all this?

    • Better yet, how about Jesus?

    • I would like to think that Spencer might have noticed the ridiculous irony and stupidity of a nation up in arms over the comments of a “reality” actor (can there be such an animal?) that has no bearing on one’s spiritual life while brothers and sisters in Christ are daily being tortured and killed for their faith in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, etc.

      Bread and circuses, distraction. Screwtape is applauding.

    • Might have grown a beard.

  18. Today’s comments make me kind of sad. For a community of “believers,” I see very little “seek first to understand” from folks who should know better, who should know how to show grace amidst disagreement. Instead, about all I’m seeing is “You’re wrong, I’m right, and I’m gonna shove that fact in your face.”

    Can anyone from an opposing view concede any points made by the other side? Is no one willing to say, “I hear what you’re saying…”?

    Is this really what the Internet Monk site is about, being no different than the world?

    • Im not sure what the opposing sides are, really; however, I think everyone agrees that grace with freedom and freedom with grace are good things.

      • Well said, Damaris. What you wrote reminds me of something someone (Augustine? Richard Baxter? Rupert Meldenius, John Wesley?) said,

        In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas,

        or if Your Latin is rusty (my last Latin class was back in 1965, in the 10th grade, at a Jesuit high school; I’ve definitely rusted through),

        In essentials, unanimity; in non-essentials, freedom; in all things, love.

    • The Buddha once said, “The first step on the path to enlightenment is to avoid becoming a fool among the company of fools lost in the thicket of opinions…”

      I should have taken his advice

  19. MelissatheRagamuffin says:

    I can’t pay $150 for a Bible. Sorry. Plus, I personally, prefer either NIV or NRSV-CE. Though I do use ESV for reference.

  20. Klasie Kraalogies says:

    Of course, Robertson might have clauses in his contradt with A&E that led to their action against him. Anyway, George Takei made fun of the whole thing. But the way some here are carrying makes one thin there is some sort of gay speciall forces that took him out. Tinfoil hats and all that. I have seen Christians defend unloving comments so intensely in a loooong time. Rather sad.

  21. Klasie Kraalogies says:

    Of course, Robertson might have clauses in his contract with A&E that led to their action against him. Anyway, George Takei made fun of the whole thing. But the way some here are carrying makes one think there is some sort of gay special forces that took him out. Tinfoil hats and all that. I haven’t seen Christians defend unloving comments so intensely in a loooong time. Rather sad.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      American Christians (especially Activists) are VERY prone to Conspiracy Theory, up to the level of Art Bell’s open phone lines at 3 AM. And Conspiracy Theories have a way of consuming all else. Here’s a link to an essay on the subject I came across several years ago —
      “Christians and Conspiracy Theories”:
      http://www.acts17-11.com/conspire.html

    • @ Klasie Kraalogies says:

      Oh no. I do not like conspiracy theories. I hate them, as a matter of fact, but it is (as I said on TWW blog) either disingenuous or naive to believe that there is not a homosexual agenda – because there most certainly is one, at least from the real militant ones.

      The militants started plotting this at least in the 1980s, in a book called “After The Ball.” Google for it, and you will find information about it.

      You can no longer tolerate homosexuality, as in, disagree with it but “live and let live.”

      Oh no, you must celebrate it and accept it and think it’s awesome. If you do not, you will be harassed online, or fired from your job, or, in the cases of some preachers overseas who preach against it, tossed into jail.

      The following was written by an atheist who doesn’t give a flip about homosexuality, but who is none the less alarmed and turned off, at how anyone who dissents from the official party line of homosexuality being groovy is tarred or harassed (including Christians who have religious reservations about homosexuality):
      Quotes of the

      Some homosexuals were totally out in the open about asking – (demanding)- that A&E kick Robertson off the show. There was no “conspiracy,” it was out in the open.

      • Marcus Johnson says:

        Not that it matters, but I totally agree that GLAAD was way out of line in its strategy to get Robertson fired.

        As an advocacy group, if they had only condemned his actions publicly, then they might have my support. Instead, they chose to flex their muscles and, though what I understand to be one phone call, get Robertson suspended. It’s the worst possible strategy they could have taken, and it only replaces a heterosexist hegemonic influence with their own. It’s what I find most loathsome about special interest groups and political action committee; after a while, it becomes clear that they don’t want equality, just power.

        • Klasie Kraalogies says:

          A few nutters do not a conspiracy make. People fail to distinguish between isolated, radical groups/ideas, and the average person. Some atheists , for instance, think all Christians are radical Dominionists, and every priest an abuser.

          I think that Christians of all people would be more charitable in their opinions. But apparently, for many, that is not the case.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            How many hairs does it take to make a Beard?
            And how many nutters does it take to make a Conspiracy?

  22. Oscar
    Thanks for posting the link to the article.
    I lived in Texas for a few years, not that far from Louisiana state line. It seems to me that Robertson is typical for the subculture found in that area. Plain spoken, relatively honest. I may not say things the way he would, but I appreciate that he was trying to be authentic.

    IMHO the guy who wrote the article was more crude than Robertson.

    I am disappointed with some of what I have read here today and the way he has been pilloried as has anyone who even tries a modicum of saying hold on and look more closely, because it appears many have not read the interview.

    I guess the lynch mobs have moved from the south and taken up camp at the iMonastery.

  23. Aidan Clevinger says:

    I’m not saying I believe this, necessarily, but I have to ask: is it necessary for people to “speak the truth in love” according to the standards of “niceness” held up by the 21st century?

    Allow me to explain. Ezekiel records God comparing Israel to a whore who desired to have sexual relations with other men because they have large genitalia. Paul says of his critics that he wishes they would emasculate themselves. Jesus was fond of calling people whitewashed tombs, vipers, and sons of hell. Doesn’t there seem to be something of a biblical precedent for describing sin/sinful behavior in graphic terms? And really, did the Duck Dynasty guy really say anything THAT offensive about homosexuality? He simply said that men ought to be attracted to women. I can’t really object to that. And I think that there are several sins that I commit which deserve to be described in just as, if not worse, terms.

    Remember, I’m not saying I’m with this 100%, nor am I saying that I necessarily endorse every expression of the truth regardless of its tone. I just think that perhaps we read into the Scriptures our own, very cultural ideas about how to be “loving” (which, in our case, means being extremely “nice,” and perhaps refusing to disagree at all) and don’t quite understand that Christians across different cultures and times can express themselves in different ways.

  24. Duck Dynasty is how Jewish media people see Christians in general. Discuss.

    • quote Wexel

      Duck Dynasty is how Jewish media people see Christians in general. Discuss.

      To hit a trifecta of perfection, you should have mentioned Muslims in there somewhere. Or transgendered little people who have OCD. Please be more creative next time.

  25. My final comment on the Phil Robertson controversy (if it makes it past Jeff):
    Marcus – You are a racist. Numo – You, too, are a racist. I make this judgment while knowing basically nothing about either of you. However, you seem to have no problem doing exactly the same thing when it comes to Mr. Robertson. Therefore, I feel quite justified in my conclusion. ( Obviously, I’m being facetious.) Having been a follower of Christ for over 30 years, I have come to the realization that I can better spend my time growing closer to Jesus rather than wasting my time judging others. That being said, here’s a quote from Phil in the GQ article:
    “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.”
    Have a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year! I plan to spend a lot of time thanking God for saving me – a low-down, snake-crawling sinner who is certainly not deserving of the love of Christ. THANK GOD FOR GRACE! I encourage each of you to pass on a little Grace to others this Christmas Season. :)

    • Marcus Johnson says:

      Is that my Christmas present?

      Okeydoke, I guess everyone’s a racist for Christmas.

      Love how this post started by basically slandering people for positions Vinny gave up on attacking, then ended with encouraging people to “pass on a little Grace” (the word “pass on,” coincidentally, being an auto-antonym, that could mean “share” or “refuse”).

      I have a better gift: education. It’s really easy to bristle against the use of words like “racist,” or to use it inappropriately, or to assume that it’s being used in appropriately. How about, for Christmas, everyone look up the word “racism” and see what it actually means? It doesn’t imply hatred, or violence, or a lack of formal education, only an assumption of inferiority or superiority about someone else, based on their racial identity.

      How about taking the time to ask a trusted friend of color what their experience is like? Don’t assume you have all the answers; just listen.

      I’d rather “pass” on your grace, Vinny, yet “pass on” some education.

      • As always the problem of racism is found to be nearly as bad as the real problem, of ponting out that something is racist.

  26. I am thoroughly burnt out on any and all Duck Dynasty / Phil Robertson articles, news, editorials.

    Please, please, no more Duck Dynasty ruminating or pontificating.

    • Four words: Duck Commander Study Bible.

      (You know you want one. You know there’ll be one.)

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Please, please, no more Duck Dynasty ruminating or pontificating.

      Not even the Duck Dynasty Chia Pets?

      (They exist. I’ve seen them. The chia grows from the largest surface area, The BEARD.)

      (And local morning drive-time radio has started using ZZ Top sound bumpers before the latest developments in DuckerGate.)

  27. “Speaking of Southern Baptists, there has been a change in the leadership at Cedarville University. Women who once held leadership positions have been shown the door. Oh, “Women can teach but only within certain boundaries.” So anyone wanting to experience a lovely taste of the 1960s, consider enrolling at Cedarville.”

    Oh, I bet they’ll get classes on how to knot tea kozies and how to be the perfect Stepford Christian Wives.

  28. I am glad Michael Spencer is not here to read the comments plaguing this site today. Apparently everyone is now an expert in dissecting the faith—or lack thereof—-as well as intent and state of grace–or not—of public figures they do not know personally. Regardless of one’s views on Mr. Robertson’s comments, which were an answer to a question, not a spontaneous utterance, the hate aimed at a man quoting scripture~ from other Christians~ is appalling.

    When we all have removed the planks from our own eyes, and every shred of sin from our lives, then we are in a position to sit in judgment of Phil Robertson. It is SO easy to jump on bandwagons and lob grenades from the safety of a keyboard….as if sexual sins, blunt speech, and being uneducated are the ONLY issues facing the world this Christmas season.

    And Jesus wept……

    • Klasie Kraalogies says:

      Pattie, people have been quoting Scropture for all sorts of reasons, good or ill, for a long, long time. Growing up in SA, I saw Scropture used for all sorts of things. The sin of Ham was used to justify white superiority.

      The idea tha one can yank a verse of Scripture out of its Bronze age/Iron Age context to justify whatever hate or dislike or policy it is what you want to justify, is a pernicious one. And when it comes to homosexuality, the bible is ambigious in the NT – but not about gluttony, tribal/racial hate etc etc. That in itself makes the current goings-on quite ridiculous.

      And for the record, I have problems with homosexuality. Just in case someone wanted fo know.

  29. It’s all just a bunch of hype to sell a bunch of T shirts. On either side.

    I should have gotten into the T shirt business a long time ago.

  30. More than 200 comments (mostly about the bearded guy’s remarks about the gays) and not one comment about Flannery O’Connor. Interesting that Jeff cited articles about each, and both articles are written by Russell D. Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention. One of Moore’s ironic quotes:

    O’Connor, elsewhere in her letters, writes of what it means to agonize over one’s sin, to wonder “if your confessions have been adequate and if you are compounding sin on sin.” She concludes that this agony “drives some folks nuts and some folks to the Baptists,” while noting, “I feel sure that it will drive me nuts and not to the Baptists.”

    Those of us who were “driven to the Baptists” can benefit from a book of prayers that remind us that the Christian life is exactly what Jesus promised it would be – the carrying of a cross.

    A good article by Russ Moore. Flannery O’ Connor will be around long after Duck Dynasty has been forgotten.

    • I agree, Ted. O’Connor is high on my “to read” list; sadly, I have not done so until now.

      I also find it highly ironic that someone so prominent in the Southern Baptists would champion the literary work of a Catholic. It wasn’t *so* very long ago – when I was in 5th grade – that, in getting to know one another, a new girl in the neighborhood asked me what religion I was. I said, “Catholic.” She replied, “Well, I go to X Baptist Church and I’m a Christian, but we can still be friends.” ;)

      Dana

      • The new girl could have been a character in one of Flannery O’Connor’s stories.

        She only wrote two novels, both short, but start with one of her stories. Then keep going and get a feel for what addictive behavior (your own, from reading the stories) is like.

        Could be that Russell Moore likes O’Connor because she lampooned baptist religion in the South. And pentecostal. And independent crazies. Maybe he gets a vicarious kick out of that? The SBA won’t let him do it.

        • Could be – wouldn’t be surprised… He’s a bright guy, and keeps from being abrasive about culture war stuff.

          D.

  31. I’ll tune into Trinity Broadcasting, if I ever get the urge to watch Christians acting bizarre in weird costumes.

  32. The posthumous pardon of Allen Turing (code breaker credited for deciphering the Nazi enigma code machine) of the homosexuality charges which likely lead to his suicide puts current events into perspective.