The recent controversy ignited by Phil Robertson of "Duck Dynasty" with regard to comments he made about homosexuality and religion has got the entire country heatedly debating far more than just Robertson's right to free speech and the right to practice whatever religion he chooses. No, it's gotten people debating the Bible and its contents, specifically things Jesus Christ, the Christian messiah, reportedly said and what the Bible says about homosexuality. The Robertson family patriarch said in a bible study at a West Monroe, La., church Sunday that he was just quoting biblical scripture. But was he?
"I am just reading what was written over 2000 years ago," the Daily Mail, who had exclusive coverage of the event on Dec. 22, reported Robertson saying. "Those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom. All I did was quote from the scriptures, but they just didn’t know it. Whether I said it, or they read it, what’s the difference? The sins are the same, humans haven’t changed."
As he spoke at the church gathering, he continued along the same lines as those in the GQ interview that first ignited the controversy. In that interview, which would lead to his indefinite suspension from the A&E network's filming of his hit reality show "Duck Dynasty," Phil Robertson told GQ's Drew Magary that homosexuality wasn't "logical."
"It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus," he said. "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.”
While speaking at bible study at White's Ferry Road Church, Robertson backed up his personal beliefs by paraphrasing the bible.
"Commonsense says we are not going to procreate the human race unless we have a man and a woman. 'From the beginning,' Jesus said [he quoted], 'It is a man and a woman.' Adam was made and Eve was made for this reason. They left their fathers and mothers and united to become one flesh, that’s what marriage is all about."
Jesus Christ, when confronted and tested by the Pharisees (rabbinical Jews) of Judea, reportedly said, according to the biblical book of Matthew, chapter 19, verses 4-6: "He answered, 'Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,' and said, 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and vthe two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Still, quoting Jesus' rehash of Genesis doesn't actually condemn homosexuality, so where would Robertson get the idea that Jesus would be anti-gay. Most who toe the anti-gay line point to Matthew, chapter 5, verses 17-19, where Jesus is quoted as saying, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
But what about what was said in the GQ interview, where the "Duck Dynasty" star placed homosexuals alongside a long list of sinners that included swindlers, idolaters, adulterers, and male prostitutes? He said they would not inherit the kingdom, which we see was mentioned in the book of Matthew as the price of not adhering to "the Law or the Prophets," which was an abbreviation for the laws of Moses and those who provided guidance for conduct. This would, of course, include the proscriptions in the Old Testament book of Leviticus, where homosexuality was labeled an abomination.
Again, it would appear that, although paraphrased, Phil Robertson actually was quoting, or at least paraphrasing, scripture.
From the New Testament book of Galatians (chapter 5, verses 19-21): "Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God."
Say what you like, but it would appear that the bearded hunter of ducks knows his Bible...
But should he have made the comments which many considered offensive and intolerant? Does his first amendment rights to free speech and freedom of religious worship excuse his assault on the sensibilities of the LGBT community? It would appear that he ruffled more than a few feathers with his religion-backed commentary. And yet he maintains that he "love[s] all men and women. I am a lover of humanity, not a hater."
Agree with him or not, Phil Robertson appears to simply want to ensure that everyone gets a chance to get to heaven. And he thinks it can be done by the Christian ritual of being "born again" through believing that Jesus Christ was the son of God and died for the sins of humanity. In fact, he even thinks believing in Jesus can take away the "sin" of homosexuality.
"Jesus will take sins away," he told the bible study group on Sunday, "if you’re a homosexual he’ll take it away, if you’re an adulterer, if you’re a liar, what’s the difference? If you break one sin you may as well break them all."
Still, at the end of the day, simply supporting what one says with biblical references does not substantiate one's position or make it right. And homosexuals themselves undoubtedly have a different opinion on what constitutes sin.
Besides, it is well known to where good intentions pave the way...