The Wrap published a post Wednesday titled, “‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Phil Robertson Delivers Another Anti-Gay Rant: ‘Horrible Diseases Follow Immoral Conduct.’” The only problem with that headline is that the story doesn’t even come close to supporting it.
Nor does the actual audio of Robertson’s comments.
If you listen to the full recording (it’s embedded in the Wrap piece), Robertson never once mentions gays, lesbians or any kind of sexuality. It’s obvious Robertson is talking about the wages of promiscuity. Robertson’s comments were made on the Tony Perkins radio show.
God says, “One woman, one man,” and everyone says, “Oh, that’s old hat, that’s that old Bible stuff” — and I’m thinking, well let’s see now; a clean guy — a disease-free guy and a disease-free woman — they marry and they keep their sex between the two of them. They’re not going to get Chlamydia, and gonorrhea, and syphilis, and AIDS. It’s safe.
Now To me, either it’s the wildest coincidence ever that horrible diseases follow immoral conduct, or, it’s God saying, “There’s a penalty for that kind of conduct.” I’m leaning towards there’s a penalty toward it.
That’s not a transcript of the full audio clip, but it’s the gist of it. And if you listen to the full audio, sexuality in no way enters into Robertson’s comments in any way.
The idea that disease is a form of punishment for bad behavior is not the sole position of some Christians. Some environmentalists have warned for decades that deforestation will release deadly diseases. In a brilliant serio-comic rant some years ago, the late George Carlin suggested AIDS was a rebuke from a “higher order” to fight the sin of human over-population.
The author of the Wrap piece, Greg Gilman (who might not be responsible for the headline), also claimed falsely that Robertson’s GQ comments from late last year were anti-gay.
Phil Robertson — the “Duck Dynasty” star who was briefly suspended from the A&E series after bashing gays in a GQ interview – once again has uttered more than enough words to offend not only the entire LGBT community, but people suffering from any number of debilitating diseases.
Like much of the MSM did when the comments were released, describing what Robertson told GQ as “anti-gay” is either libel, anti-Christian bigotry, or simple ignorance. This is what I wrote at the time about that non-troversy:
If you look at the full context of what Robertson said, including the quote about loving one another that the media is going out of its way to not report, how can the media claim that Robertson said homosexuals are going to Hell? Or that he singled out homosexuals? Or that he compared homosexuality to bestiality.
If Robertson compared homosexuality to bestiality, he also compared adultery, drunkenness and greed to bestiality — and no one is arguing [he did] that.
You can only claim what the left and the media are claiming about Robertson [is true] if you are lying, and it is just a fact that through the act of omission and commission, the media are lying.
Phil Robertson is anti-sin, believes we should all love one another, and believes we can all be saved through the grace of Jesus Christ.
Only the media and the left could be offended by that.
In the left’s zeal to claim Christian scalps (and they want Robertson’s bad), they usually only end up revealing their own bigotry, ignorance, or mixture of both.
Just before I was about to publish, Gilman was good enough to send me this email. This is his response in full:
Headlines are out of my control, however, I don’t disagree with it. Robertson repeatedly says “one man, one woman,” suggesting one man and one man, or one woman and one woman, is “immoral conduct” which will lead to disease, or a “penalty” from some magical guy in the sky.
He does not say the word gay, you are correct, but I think you’re missing a clear allusion to his obvious, and repeated, anti-gay sentiment expressed in his analysis of deadly, infectious diseases.
You could argue I’m looking for something there that isn’t, just as easily as I could argue you’re turning a blind eye to another example of Robertson demonstrating his homophobic views, as well as a fundamental misunderstanding of reality.
How I interpreted his comments is in no doubt influenced by his previous discussion of homosexuality, which demonstrates an undeniable disapproval of the sexual orientation. In this particular case, there is no question in my mind that he was pointing toward homosexuality as “immoral conduct,” along with premarital sex and adultery. Of course, he didn’t use the latter two terms either.
This is a helluva stretch to blare out a headline that accuses someone of being anti-gay, but for the sake of argument, let’s say the interpretation is correct. Gilman apparently believes that “magical guy in the sky” some of us call God is homophobic. If quoting the Bible is homophobic, God is homophobic.
Like he did in the GQ article, Robertson is not criticizing gays as human beings, he is talking about behavior — he is talking about biblical sin, which does include homosexuality.
I would agree that singling out homosexuality as a biblical sin is a form of bigotry — a cynical and obscene use of Christianity as a weapon against a specific group of God’s children. Even if you accept Gilman’s interpretation of Robertson’s words, though, the Duck Commander is not singling out homosexuality. He is talking about sins committed by heterosexuals as forcefully as he is sins committed by homosexuals.
That’s not bigotry, nor is it an attack.
No matter how you slice it, describing Robertson’s comments as anti-gay is anti-science … and anti-Christian bigotry.
John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC