Repentance, reconciliation and Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson

Jerod Clark

December 19, 2013

Thank you, Jerod, for this helpful approach. What is saddest to me is that as soon as A&E announced the suspension, we KNEW this would be the response of the Christian community. Right now 3 of the top trends on Twitter have to do with this, including #StandWithPhilRobertson. Where is the genuine dialogue in that?

My fear, though, is that dialogue is hard to come by on either side. Voices such as yours are silenced or ignored, to my deep sadness. I explore that a bit more in my post on the subject: http://www.quaerenda.com/phil-robertson-culture-wars-and-infinitelyloved/

December 19, 2013

In the same interview, he also said this about growing up in Louisiana:

“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field.... They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

Facebook blew up about the homophobic comments, but this is at least as offensive.

Adam Shields
December 19, 2013

Christian blogs keep saying they are not going to actually quote what he said. But isn't that part of the problem? If you won't quote what he said, then it was probably not something he should have said. So some Christians feel attacked, but almost no one would defend his actual words (not to mention the part Kari is quoting).

Why aren't we talking more about Jesus saying we should be as wise as serpents and gentle as doves? If Phil was wise he would not have agreed to the interview in the first place. It was a hatchet job. If he was gentle he would have not used the language he used.

I am tired of defending Christians for bad behavior just because part of what they said was also right. We can say things that are true without being offensive and I wish we would do that much more often.

Ty Woznek
December 19, 2013

The Bible points to truth & conduct. That said, Phil's issue is being inarticulate. Our culture's issue is being illogically sensitive. I read an article from one LGBT writer demonstrating this situation demonstrates their bigotry more than "ours."

When things are polarized no one is listening. GLAAD is acting just as poorly as they accuse Phil of doing.

That said, I don't think Phil was /is being racist. I think that is people reading way too much into what he said. I don't think Phil was spewing hate. I think people are taking him out of context. Part of context is where the speaker is coming from.

1) This whole fiasco is overblown.
2) The thesis of this article is great! We need to be peacemaking not dividing. And peacemaking doesn't mean watering down what the Bible teaches.

December 20, 2013

"Love the sinner but hate the sin," has to be one of the most destructive slogans Christianity has ever coined. While pious sounding, such ambivalence always results in evil actions toward those targeted. The church did the same with Jews for centuries until it ended up with the Holocaust. Somehow the church needs to find a way to remove all ambivalence with respect to same-sex partners. I don't know what that will look like, but ambivalence is not the answer.

Josh Larsen
TC Staff
December 20, 2013

There is another interesting element to this interview that's related to Jerod's point about reconciliation. The interview refers to an incident in the 1970s when Phil Robertson "had to flee the state of Arkansas after he badly beat up a bar owner and the guy’s wife. Kay Robertson persuaded the bar owner not to press charges in exchange for most of the Robertsons’ life savings." When the interviewer asks Robertson if he ever apologized to the bar owner and his wife after he turned his life around, Robertson says no and offers this: “I didn’t dredge anything back up. I just put it behind me.” Based on this interview, Robertson seems interested in repentance - he repeatedly calls for it from others - but not so much in reconciliation.

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