I Stand With Phil

Political correctness is a disease. Language, that which “correctness” seeks to exploit, allows men to fight oppression by expressing their beliefs; without it, slavery will flourish. George Orwell said as much in 1984: “By curtailing frivolous and ‘fighting’ words, the Party seeks to narrow the range of thought altogether, such that eventually thoughtcrime will be literally impossible. The same goes for disruptive or subversive behavior.”

Limiting language gives the destroyer great power; he decides what may or may not be said. In doing so, he suppresses rebellion — that is, movement away from the “acceptable” — before it begins. For if men cannot express opposition, they cannot possibly oppose.

This is where we stand. Our language has changed. In today’s world, religious Americans say what cannot be said. Those who loudly profess their faith in secularism are crowned heroes and applauded to the ends of the earth; those who oppose it are pilloried and humiliated in every possible way. Phil Robertson is just the latest victim in a series of tragic character assassinations perpetrated by those who would rather shut up a movement than argue against it.

For context’s sake, allow me to share Phil’s statement, by which he answered the following question: What, in your mind, is sinful?

“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. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers — they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

To begin, I must dispel three misconceptions. First, Phil did not say homosexuality and bestiality were the same thing; rather, he asserted that both acts, homosexual and bestial, were sinful. Most Christians share this belief; Pope Francis, named Person of the Year by The Advocate, an LGBT-interest magazine, is one of them. Second, Phil did not say being gay was a sin; he said homosexual behavior — that is, homosexual acts — were sinful. Third, Phil did not single out homosexuals, as most reports suggest. In answering GQ’s loaded question, he identified a myriad of sins: adultery, prostitution (unforced, mind you), and sexual infidelity, to name a few. With those misunderstandings taken care of, let us move on.

Christianity has espoused the sinful nature of homosexual activity for thousands of years. As such, it should come as no surprise that Phil Robertson, an evangelical Christian (78% of whom say engaging in homosexual behavior is sinful), thinks homosexual acts are immoral. Interestingly, his words shocked the media. GLAAD, an LGBT advocacy group and clearly an expert on Christian doctrine, responded with the following:

“Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe. He clearly knows nothing about gay people or the majority of Louisianans – and Americans – who support legal recognition for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples. Phil’s decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors who now need to reexamine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.”

There are so many things wrong with this statement I do not know where to begin. First of all, despite what GLAAD may want to think, most Christians agree with Phil. Second, he did not push “vile and extreme” stereotypes on anyone. Last time I checked, a view shared by 45% of Americans does not qualify as “extreme.” Further, Phil’s opinion is not “vile.” Does he support discrimination? No. Does he have “disdain” for LGBT people and families? No. Is he “anti-gay”? No. Does he hate homosexuals? No. He disagrees with their lifestyle, nothing more, nothing less. Don’t believe me? Take it from him:

“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?”

And more:

“I myself am a product of the 60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior. My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together. However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.”

Unfortunately, Phil’s case is not unique; Christianity faces fierce scrutiny every day. Words like bigot, homophobe, intolerant, and closed-minded are frequently used to describe people who uphold traditional Christian morality.

Do not be fooled: the media’s all-out assault on Phil Robertson is nothing new. In modern America, many Christians cannot speak out without being shouted down, literally and figuratively. Their views, as GLAAD so eloquently illustrated, are considered vile, extreme, evil, and bigoted.

The media’s hypocrisy infuriates me. Had Phil told GQ he did not believe homosexuality was sinful, GLAAD would have anointed him king. He would have been a hero, sponsors would have fawned over his name, and the media would have loved him to the end. Instead, Phil spoke his mind. For that, he was booted from his own TV show, sacrificed in the name of political correctness, and tossed aside by the network his program made millions.

Though some argue the nature of Phil’s remarks (his comments, some of which I omitted, were sexually explicit) forced A&E’s hand, the network’s statement is clear: “We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs [] His personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community.” A&E suspended Phil for his beliefs, plain and simple. If that is not political discrimination, I do not know what is. 

I am sick and tired of the double-standard Christians face every day. They cannot express their faith without being insulted, shouted down, and trivialized. In the America I know, the people would not stand for it. Unfortunately, political correctness killed that spirit. Our language is changing; Phil Robertson is just its latest victim.