He writes concerning the Duck Dynasty controversy:
The comments that seem most offensive to people are his moral assessments of sex outside of conjugal marriage, which were more or less just a recitation of the Apostle Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 6. As Christians, we believe that Jesus is lord over sexuality, and he says that sexuality is expressed rightly only in the marriage of a man and a woman. That’s not new. We also think we’re all sinners, and that God calls us all to repentance. That’s not new either.Read the rest.
We’re a divided country on sexual issues. That’s why every news cycle brings more controversy. Why not engage one another, and have the debates in a civil fashion, without attempting to silence one another. I don’t agree with David Letterman’s views on divorce and cohabitation, but I don’t want him suspended for voicing them. I’ll bet I don’t agree with MTV’s Nev Schulman of the popular Catfish show on sexual ethics, but it wouldn’t put me in the fetal position under the table to hear him voice them.
Let’s have the sort of cultural conversation that allows us to seek to persuade each other, not to seek to silence one another with intimidation. That’s what real diversity is all about.
A few thoughts:
1. When a group of people feel have been persecuted in the past, I'm sure it's hard to have any desire to "have a conversation". I think this needs to be acknowledged by non-gay people. Compassion would be in order. Historically, many gay people have been treated very poorly by non-gay people in the majority culture. For gay people, if that music is always playing in the background, the desire to pull up a chair at the table of cultural conversation is greatly diminished.
2. When the assumption is that race issues and sexuality issues are exactly the same, it's a no-brainer that Phil gets fired. If Phil did an interview in GQ magazine and was spouting off about all the n*****s in the south, of course he should be fired from the show! Duh! So in this sense, when many in the gay community see race issues and sex issues as exactly the same, it's easy for them to take the moral high ground. This is not hard to figure out. If I believed that race and sexuality were the exact same thing I'd be first in line with them.
In light of this, I think we need to back the train up a bit and have a cultural conversation about race and sexuality. Are they exactly the same? What are the similarities? What are the differences? At this point though, that conversation doesn't feel safe to me. I fear that if I dared open my mouth and even hinted at the fact that race issues and sexuality issues are not completely parallel I'd be crucified in the public sphere.
3. Michael Kruger responded to the controversy in this blog post. Here is his proposed paragraph on what A&E and GLADD should have said in light of this controversy:
We here at GLAAD were disappointed to hear that Phil Robertson thinks homosexuality is a sin. We disagree. However, we acknowledge that he has the right to hold and proclaim these views, just as we have the right to hold and proclaim our views. If we want Americans to be more tolerant of homosexuality, we could hardly accomplish that goal by being intolerant of others who disagree with us. So, we want to say that we respect and tolerate Mr. Robertson’s views, even though we disagree with them. We hope this attitude of mutual respect can allow for more dialogue and conversation about these important issues.But again, if the assumption is that race and sexuality are exactly the same then the above paragraph is simply unthinkable. We don't negotiate with terrorists and we don't tolerate racists.
4. This broke my heart this morning. I have a black, five-year-old daughter, and I know there is coming a day when I’ll have to explain to her that there are still people in this world that will hate her simply because she is black. Now, unless something changes radically in our culture, I fear that I’ll also have to explain to her that if she dares to hold historic Christian convictions in public, there will be people who will hate her for that too. She could lose a job or worse over her deeply held convictions.
5. We'd all be better off if we spent a bit more time reflecting on this piece from Brandon Ambrosino.
6. The sky is not falling. Jesus is still on the throne. Godliness implies persecution (2 Tim 3:12). We’ll be ok. This life is a mist. This is nothing new and many Christians around the world are persecuted WAY worse than some reality TV star losing his job.
Books by Russell Moore: