When I heard the news that A & E had suspended Duck Dynasty, my reaction was not one of shock, but rather I thought “So it finally happened!” The men of Duck Dynasty have never been subtle about their beliefs, and I am really surprised it took this long for something like this to happen. In case you haven’t heard about this, you can read the story here.
What has surprised me is the response in support of Phil and his family. Recently, this picture has been popping up all over the internet:
After reading this, my initial thought was, “So do I! What does this have to do with suspending his show on A&E?” I am in full support of free speech and protecting that right. However, as far I understand it, free speech is a political right. In no way do I see A&E’s suspension as something that is restricting this right. A&E is not the government, and in no way is Robertson being restricted to express his beliefs. A&E, as a company with a large LGBT viewing audience, wanted to protect their interests, so they suspended the show based on what Phil said in GQ.
If I were to make comments about the restaurant that I worked that were bad for business, don’t they have a right to suspend or fire me? Whether people like it not, A&E made a perfectly fair choice and no one’s rights are being infringed in the slightest.
However, what should have surprised me, but didn’t, is how quickly Christians run to protect someone that does not need protection. Phil Robertson is a wealthy man with all the privileges most people around the world only dream about. Should he feel guilty about this? Not in my opinion. However, nor does he need to be painted as a victim. This is a disagreement with valid and legal arguments.
So why are Christians running so fast to protect someone that doesn’t need protection?
I wish I knew.
In the CBS article listed above, it says Robertson’s states his mission is to teach men and women to be together. The biggest issue here for me is that Phil Robertson’s statements do not sound like Jesus. Take the words of Phil Robertson and try and place them in the mouth of Jesus. For me, it’s a round peg and a square hole. There is no way that sounds like the mission of Christ. Christ’s mission is one of acceptance and love, not division and hate. Christ’s mission is one of speaking truth, living honestly, and acting humbly. Christ’s mission is about forgiveness and understanding, not condemnation and division. It is to the abandoned, the poor, the shunned, the marginalized, and the despised. Christ’s mission, as he states in the gospel, is about loving God and loving others. In my opinion, as Christ imitators, this is the only mission to which we are called.