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December 22, 2013

God, Faith, Phil Robertson & Duck Dynasty

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/god_faith_phil_robertson_duck_dynasty/

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I have sat back and watched the fall out of Phil Robertson sharing his opinion about homosexuality, until now. I am not a gay man, nor am I a Christian, but I am a woman of faith, a believer in tolerance, and a decent human being. I live my life with faith, I do not judge religion, and I do not question how people interpret the bible.

Religion, in my opinion, brings great joy and great sorrow to mankind. We hate and judge based on interpretations of a book. I understand it, or rather have accepted the fact that I will never understand it. As a Jew I am judged as being not religious enough, or too religious, or not interpreting the bible correctly by those of my own faith.

Phil Robertson told GQ in part: “It seems like, to me, a vagina -- as a man -- would be more desirable than a man’s anus. 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. 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.”

Important to note that Mr. Robertson did not only comment on homosexuals, but those who participate in bestiality, adulterers, prostitutes, the greedy, alcoholics, thieves, and those who slander. He was interpreting the bible according to his Christian beliefs, and did not discriminate against only gays, but many different groups of people.

Do people think that the gay community is watching Duck Dynasty in droves? Is it the top reality show amongst Jews? Hookers? Crooks? I am a reality television junkie and I have never watched an episode of Duck Dynasty. Not because I have anything against them, or don’t wish them success, it is simply not my thing so I don’t watch.

Was Mr. Robertson wrong to share his opinion is such a public forum? Maybe. As a celebrity does he need to be careful? Yes. Does he share these opinions every time he goes to church? Yes. Why is everyone in such an uproar that a devout Christian is interpreting the bible in the same way as others who practice Christianity at the same level?

Here’s a reality check people: lots and lots and lots of people do not believe homosexuality is something God believes in. I could argue they don’t know God, but why bother? Nothing we say will change their minds. I’m not saying to ignore the hate, simply pointing out that the hate exists and not everything needs to be a battle on this scale.

A&E suspended Mr. Robertson for his offensive remarks but continued to air old episodes. They also said he would be in shows airing in January. Cracker Barrel pulled products with Mr. Robertson’s image, then brought them right back. Money talks and the Robertson family makes a lot of money for a lot of people. The hypocrisy in the suspension stinks.

GLAAD spokesman Wilson Cruz said: "What's clear is that such hateful, anti-gay comments are unacceptable to fans, viewers and networks alike. By taking quick action and removing Robertson from future filming, A&E has sent a strong message that discrimination is neither a Christian nor an American value." Really? All the suspension did was upset the millions of people who watch, many with the same beliefs.

My religious beliefs do not always match up to my beliefs as a decent human being. Many will agree with me, many more will not. I believe that God, my God, wants people to be happy, safe and whole. Who they love does not matter as much as the love does. My God does not judge but rather embraces all who have faith, no matter what the faith.

I don’t actually think God only embraces those who embrace him. God does not have selective love. He does not have anything to do with what happens on earth, but simply offers a place to go for comfort, strength, faith, and peace. I do not agree with Mr. Robertson and to be honest some of his beliefs scare me, but God bless him and his faith.

What Mr. Robertson said was offensive to me as a human being. It hurt my feelings. I have friends who are gay, friends who are hookers, and I know adulterers, crooks, and many slanderous people. Some of them may not make it to heaven but it won’t be because of who they sleep with or love. Trust me. Many Christians are headed to hell friends.

I was not a fan of Duck Dynasty before this started and I am not suddenly interested in watching. I don’t pretend to understand how offensive his statements were to the gay community, and I am not making excuses for Mr. Robertson. My feelings about him personally are ones that I will keep to myself, which is what he should have done.

It may not be my place to comment since he did not attack me personally, but as a woman of faith it would be unkind for me to not say to Mr. Robertson that while we have different beliefs and interpretations of the words of God, I believe in your right to hold onto your beliefs. One of life’s blessings is the freedom to keep the faith.

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