When Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson made his now infamous claim that homosexuality is one of an assortment of behaviors that he recognizes as sin, A&E suspended him. But his comments align with the Bible and mirror the faith of many Americans.
Nonetheless, A&E quickly released a statement that Robertson’s “personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community.”
Of course, we are now all quite aware that the remarks didn’t reflect A&E’s position on sin, but according to evangelist and author Larry Alex Tauton, Robertson’s remarks are consistent with Christianity and, of course, the Bible. He states that what the Duck Dynasty star articulated “reflects the teaching and practice of historic Christianity and, by extension, the opinion of a sizable portion of the American public.” Furthermore, religion is Robertson’s source of authority and inspiration for his value system.
Tauton writes that Robertson didn’t spew a hateful homophobic rant like Alex Baldwin’s, but that his comments were “couched as it was in scriptural references that suggest he not only owns a Bible, but also reads it.” In fact, according to a Pew Research poll conducted in June 2013, almost half (45%) of Americans agree with Robertson and think that homosexual actions are a “sin.”
In an attempt to undermine and marginalize Robertson’s remarks, GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz said Robertson’s views are not Christian. The painful truth for Cruz’s naïve statement is that in 2010, Pope Francis, Time magazine’s 2013 Person of the Year, referred to gay marriage as “a total rejection of God’s law engraved on our hearts.” Pope Francis continued by saying that gay marriage will harm the family. “At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God.”
But A&E and GLAAD must classify Robertson as a hillbilly with Neanderthal instincts, not someone who has a moral code and a religion that shapes his values. According to Tauton, the problem for them is that once they admit there is a conflict between Christianity and homosexual sex, and some forms of heterosexuality, “they would have to confront head-on the fact that calling for a boycott or pressuring for Robertson’s suspension tells orthodox Christians that their religion is no longer acceptable, and that’s not a very politically correct thing to do.”