Last night, A&E Networks suspended Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson over comments he made to GQ Magazine. Robertson told the publication a gay lifestyle was "just not logical" and went on to group homosexuality with other "sexual sins," including bestiality and adultery.
Those are Phil's thoughts. As we all know, he's entitled to those thoughts. Quite frankly, there's still a bunch of people who agree with Phil. Contrary to popular belief, Phil's views are not limited to the South where he and his family originate. One can find this sentiment very prominently voiced in many global cultures.
Now that Phil has had his say, let me have mine: I don't think being gay is a sin. I do think it's incorrect to make the archaic argument homosexuality is some unnatural action lumped in with bestiality and adultery. And while Phil is granted the beautiful right that is free speech, A&E is a private company — not a government entity — that is also fully within its legal boundaries to suspend his employment for his comments.
If you're gay, I want you to know God loves you. God is not some petty individual sitting in a high tower overlooking the world and holding small vendettas against certain groups of people. God is an all-encompassing, all-loving force.
In opposition to the images you've been flashed most of your life, God is not an old, long-bearded white guy sitting in a cloud callously pointing his fingers at humans over every small mistake. That image doesn't even have a religious backing of any kind so far as I can gather from most major spiritual texts.
No, God is an infinite power that widely shapes our world through compassion. If you're partaking in that compassion and living your life in a way that benefits you and your fellow man, then sexual preference seems rather inconsequential, doesn't it?
And it is. The two most common sayings bound to be produced in times of celebration and strife are "Everything happens for a reason" and "All life has a purpose." I agree. If you're gay, there's a reason for it. You do have a purpose, and that you like the same sex doesn't negate that. Be proud of your mind and body as they are; they're the most substantial elements of your physical make-up. The sexual preference those two elements support is not and has never been unnatural. It'spart of your spiritual purpose.
The easiest response would be to bash Phil. And when you hear a statement from him like, "We just love 'em, give 'em the good news about Jesus — whether they're homosexuals, drunks, terrorists," it's difficult not to cringe. Lumping gay men and lesbians with drunkards and murderers is preposterous, to say the least.
How easy it would be to say Phil is just some backwards Louisiana hick with no understanding of modern civil rights. Truth be told, many gay people raised in the South who left it now sit behind desks in the Northeast or West Coast, verbally condemning the anti-gay sentiment prevalent in the region from afar.
Bashing Phil and where he comes from isn't going to solve anything. As satisfying as it may be socially and intellectually, it's not constructive. Calling him harsh names and annihilating his views would only add fuel to the social media fire currently burning.
See, the truth is, God loves Phil Robertson, too. Again, love is not some highly selective force that denies access based on particular words or lifestyles. It flows through everyone. And while Phil's comments certainly don't have a basis in love, I know he's highly capable of both giving and receiving it.
Our world is never going to become a better place if we start discussions with the perception others are not intellectually and morally on our level. That type of reasoning doesn't come from a basis founded on love.
But love is what God is. And hurtful verbal spats pertaining to a reality TV star who got suspended for comments to a magazine seems to be the furthest thing from love I can imagine.
Yes, God loves gay people. God loves Phil Robertson, too. And thankfully, God isn't so microscopic-minded of a force to eternally make judgments of human beings based on the digital fodder occupying most of our feeds today.