Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Problem Is Not Phil Robertson

When news of A&E's suspension of Phil Robertson started coming out, I was annoyed by the surprise that he said something bigoted.  The guy is pretty open about his Christian beliefs.  Surely, A&E knew he held those beliefs.  Especially since those beliefs are not even that uncommon among Christians.

Since the suspension, the Christian Right have been falling all over themselves to defend Robertson and attack A&E.  I think Beth Presswood put it best.
I can't stand these dudes.. but I also can't stand people who act like this is shocking and not standard Christian doctrine.
Well, Presswood got it second best.  No one has yet topped God.
Of course it's not all Christians.  But it is part of their doctrine, and it's the majority of the Christian Right and their voices in media.  Sarah Palin wasted no time defending him.  And the comments from her fans back up my point.

These are from just a bit of what was in a small section of that one post by one right wing icon.  From the comments in a post from a right wing acquaintance, was something special.

The scary part is that I've interacted with extreme right wingers to know that isn't just this guy.  That craziness is quite common.  As is the cluelessness that led the guy to follow that comment by linking to Rage Against the Machine.

This shit is not rare.  Hate from Christians is commonplace.  Phil Robertson is not the problem.  He's merely a symptom of a much larger problem.  But he's also a great, public example of the problem.  This is good opportunity to put a spotlight on the fact that Phil Robertson's views on homosexuality are both common and wrong (even if his departure has been planned for months).  As Steven Olson (blogger at Carl Sagan's Dance Party & co-author of Unbelievable History) put it,
A lot of people are reacting with a lack of surprise on Duck Dynasty's bigotry. The thing is, it's still important to talk about it. When we shine a light on the examples of bad behavior in the public sphere, it gives us a chance to convince more people to begin treating others with respect.
And these aren't fringe views. This is mainstream conservatism. Politicians who were nearly president have been defending this or saying the same exact things.
We have work to do, and calling out a famous beard guy is an effective way to do it.

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