I started this blog with the intent to write about serious issues and not comment on the stupid culture war items in every news cycle. But I can't let this one go.
As many people know, a reality television character on a show called Duck Dynasty made some controversial comments about homosexuality and racial segregation in the January issue of GQ. Today the A&E network suspended the reality TV star indefinitely.
Within moments, many evangelicals and fundamentalists were atwitter bemoaning the oppressive persecution they face daily as the majority religion in the freest nation in the history of the world. Their elites, who are without exception upper-middle and upper class white men, love to play the victim card. In my view, too few people call them out for nurturing and perpetuating a bizarre, ridiculous, and delusional persecution complex.
"Christians silenced," they tweeted incredulously.
Give me a break.
Very few of them took care to distance themselves from Phil Robertson's implication that state-mandated segregation was good for African Americans. The ones with legitimate positions in the Religious Right Jobs Program had to at least condemn some of Robertson's language as "crude" or "inartful." But they all seemed 100% convinced that he was suspended for affirming traditional values. Unfortunately, the media played along, bolstering their delusional persecution complex. They twisted news headlines declaring "Duck Dynasty Star Suspended over Anti-Gay Remarks" into outraged tweets claiming "Duck Dynasty Star Suspended for Saying Homosexuality Is a Sin."
Thus, the fundamentalists and evangelicals completely ignored Robertson's likening of homosexuality to bestiality. It's not clear to me whether this is because A) focusing on the comments that were actually offensive eviscerates their ability to portray the rebuke as being over holding traditional views and/or B) they actually believe that homosexuality is morally equal to (or worse than?) sexually molesting barnyard animals.
Conveniently for them, we can't criticize them. They wear it as a badge of honor and believe, as always, that they are being relentlessly persecuted by God-hating secularists. They apply Jesus' words in Matthew 5:11-12 to themselves. I hope they enjoy their reward in heaven, but I also hope they understand why many of us will be glad not to spend eternity with them.
Someone needs to tell these folks that their persecution complex is bizarre, ridiculous, and delusional. Not to mention intellectually and spiritually lazy.
Phil Robertson wasn't suspended for agreeing with 140,000,000 Americans that homosexual expression is a vile sin. Surely it had more to do with his crude, ignorant anatomical comparisons and equating homosexuality with bestiality. And perhaps for saying that blacks were better off under Jim Crow. So some of these people who think defending Robertson helps their witness for the Lord need to realize: When you celebrate someone who thinks being gay is akin to raping barnyard animals and that segregation wasn't that bad, don't be surprised when people think you're an ignorant jerk. They're not rejecting Jesus. They're rejecting you.