I have been watching from afar the whole Phil Robertson drama. His comments about homosexuality got him suspended from his show Duck Dynasty by A & E, but the backlash A & E received from followers of the show and those who hold like religious-based views caused A & E to capitulate and retract the suspension. I say I have watched from afar because I just cannot bring myself to give more than five seconds of my attention to anything that is Duck Dynasty related. I know the show has millions of fans – so does Honey Boo Boo – but I just cannot get into either one of those shows. I don’t dislike any of the folks involved, but they are not for me.
I wasn’t surprised by Phil Robertson’s point-of-view. From the little bit I know about him and his show, he has strong, conservative religious views and such views are typically quite unapologetically anti-gay. I was surprised though at the lack of savvy and couth in his comments given the level of his exposure in popular culture.
A summary of what he said in that GQ interview (per Cavan Sieczkowski of The Huffington Post):
“It seems like, to me, a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus,” Robertson told GQ. “That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”
“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong. Sin becomes fine,” he later added. “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.”
Those were fightin’ words to the LGBT community. A & E wasted no time taking swift and decisive action in response to the reaction from the LGBT community. But the ultimate clamor of religious and Duck Dynasty supporters caused A & E to reverse its suspension. The whole thing has become its own reality TV drama.
Here is the thing, I spent some of my educational years in Catholic school, but I am by no stretch of the imagination a religious scholar. I am at best a thoughtful child of an all-knowing and all-loving God who is not afraid to question why God, who creates beings in his (or more likely “her”) own image, would make any mistakes with his/her creations? If sexual orientation is genetically determined (which I believe it is – and if you don’t believe it is try being the opposite of what you are now and you will see that I am correct), then you must believe it is intended by God. Even if you are of the mind that sexual orientation is a choice, please tell me why you believe it is a sin to be homosexual. Is it the bible that is underpinning this belief? Because you know that the bible, even though it is a bestseller, is rife with inaccuracies and contradictions, right? You know it is, at best, a general statement about being good to each other in a changing and ever-evolving world, not a step-by-step manual on how to conduct our every activity, right? You understand that God doesn’t live in those pages, but instead lives in the humanity that surrounds us, right? We are the children of God – we are a part of the divinity we seek.
As such, I feel compelled to ask the question that Brian McPherson’s controversial song from 2004 asked, “What if Jesus was gay?” If you missed this little ditty a decade ago you can hear it here (note, some may find it offensive or sacrilegious – or both). The question of the sexual orientation of Jesus has been addressed from time to time by journalists. My favorite pondering came from Melissa Webster in a Huffington Post article posted on December 21, 2012 wherein she postulated about McPherson’s query:
“…raises an interesting question: What if Jesus was gay? We’re talking about a single, 30-something-year-old Jewish man surrounded by 12 other men who worshiped him and followed him everywhere during a time in cultural history when Jewish men at that age would have been married with kids. Yet, Jesus and his disciples were all single and well past the traditional age of marriage, walking around like their own Chippendale’s dance troupe just making the rounds. It isn’t much of a stretch to imagine that Jesus was single, because he was, shall we say, a friend of Dorothy’s, walking on water and rescuing lost souls notwithstanding.
And if this were true, if that one simple change in Christian dogma were believed, taught as a possibility and considered as one of many interpretations in a book full of contradictions, would it change for the better the entire course of the debate, fostering tolerance, acceptance and inclusion? Or would Christianity disappear forever, leaving Jesus flapping in the wind as just another snake-oil salesman who betrayed the “straight” masses, marked as the greatest sinner of them all with a front-seat ticket to Hell? What would intolerant religious folks do if they no longer had this one thing to hate?”
I find Melissa’s comments thought-provoking. How would those who view homosexuality as against God’s design change their position if they learned Jesus was gay? Would Jesus be considered less of a prophet, would his life, death, and resurrection have had less value if he was gay? Would they think less of God for creating his/her only son as a homosexual?
Could it be that Jesus was more effective because he was gay? Was that part of God’s design? Does God even care about sexual orientation at all? Is homosexuality just a sin in the minds of the homophobic, or is it really a sin against God? Indeed, what sexual orientation would we attribute to God? Or is he/she above such urges of the flesh?
My relationship with God leaves me with the core belief that my responsibility while on earth is to love and care for other souls, to be reverent to my divine maker, and to do unto others as I would have them do unto me. I do not think God is too happy with all the judging some folks do under the guise of religion. I think God is going to have some stern words for those folks when they arrive back in his presence.
But who am I to speak? I am only a simple child of God and I am hardly the diviner of truth, justice, and the American way. At best, I am trying to honor the message that I believe the most omnipotent being would offer to a human race that is at its core strikingly similar – love and be good to one another. I hold this to be true even if you do have a reality TV show that I choose not to watch. So carry on Phil Robertson, but do yourself a favor and think about how you would react if Jesus was gay, because the day may come when you find out he was. 😉
My name is Justin. I'm an educated professional award-winning writer, editor and journalist. I have more than 10 years of experience writing, editing and formatting articles, personal essays, and most especially college and graduate school papers so I love to write about it. I am an Iowa native and [...]