Some time ago, my brother introduced me to this redneck family in Louisiana called the Robertsons. They make these duck calls. They also have this “reality” TV show on A&E.

Or least “they” used to.

11174Patriarch Phil Robertson made some comments in an interview for GQ magazine that sent some folks into a tizzy. Then A&E effectively fired him and even more folks went into a tizzy. Seems most everyone’s got their feathers ruffled in some way or another.

And most everyone’s upset for the wrong reasons.

First, let’s clarify what Phil said. There are three quotes the folks at GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign have a problem with. In the first one, Phil says he doesn’t understand why someone would be gay.

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.

Then, folks in a tizzy over his words claim the next quote compares homosexuality to bestiality.

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.

And lastly, he looks to four societies without Jesus in which the GLAAD folks say he was equating homosexuals to terrorists.

All you have to do is look at any society where there is no Jesus. I’ll give you four: Nazis, no Jesus. Look at their record. Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them? None. Communists? None. Islamists? Zero. That’s eighty years of ideologies that have popped up where no Jesus was allowed among those four groups. Just look at the records as far as murder goes among those four groups.

GLAAD Spokesperson Wilson Cruz issued a response to Phil’s statements:

Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe. He clearly knows nothing about gay people or the majority of Louisianans – and Americans – who support legal recognition for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples. Phil’s decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors who now need to reexamine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.

People that are angry over Phil Roberston’s comments are either incredibly naive or ignorant.

He’s straight. He likes women. He even explained in a video for I Am Second how he spent his time before he became saved chasing tail, drinking, and doing drugs. Of course he doesn’t understand how a man would be attracted to a man.

Newsflash: Most straight men don’t understand how a gay man is sexually attracted to other men.

I don’t understand how a man can be sexually attracted to another man? Does that make me a homophobe? I think my record speaks for itself.

His second quote is taken out of context in a way that is downright deceitful. Here is the segment of the article in its entirety:

What does repentance entail? Well, in Robertson’s worldview, America was a country founded upon Christian values (Thou shalt not kill, etc.), and he believes that the gradual removal of Christian symbolism from public spaces has diluted those founding principles. (He and Si take turns going on about why the Ten Commandments ought to be displayed outside courthouses.) He sees the popularity of Duck Dynasty as a small corrective to all that we have lost.

“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong,” he says. “Sin becomes fine.”

What, in your mind, is sinful?

“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,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “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.”

He is NOT comparing the act of bestiality with homosexuality anymore than he is adultery. To a Christian, sin is sin. They are all equally wretched in God’s eyes.

At the same time, living without Christ is in and of itself sinful. The four groups he references having no Jesus all suffer as a result in his opinion. He’s not comparing homosexuals to terrorists anymore than he is comparing adulterers to terrorists. In the eyes of a Christian, all who live without Christ are living in sin and will suffer as a result.

I’m honestly quite shocked that anyone wouldn’t expect Phil to say those things.

But there’s one little tidbit GLAAD and many of the articles covering Phil’s comments conveniently ignore. Buried in the middle of the interview are words similar to a statement Phil released after the interview was published. His words represent what I believe true Christian values are.

We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?

Jesus loved all people, even sinners. Christians are taught to live like Jesus. Phil, in pretty plain language said he loves homosexuals, drunks, and terrorists.

It’s almost like they want to deceive us.

And then there’s the Christians up in a tizzy over A&E’s suspension of Phil who are getting it wrong as well.

Yes, Phil Robertson has a right to free speech. However, he does not have the right to force someone else to pay for it. A&E is a private entity and can align themselves with whomever they wish.

Just as Phil has the right to say what he wants, the network has every right to fire him for any reason they see fit.

The Phil supporters decrying A&E for violating his right to free speech are ignoring the very same right to free speech that A&E has.

And I’m honestly a little shocked that folks didn’t think A&E would distance themselves from Phil over his words.

The whole thing reeks of ignorance. Everyone who is in a tizzy is just demonstrating a lack of understanding. They don’t get what it means to have liberty and be free.

Liberty means that you are free to say and do what you want as long as you are not injuring someone else. It also means others are free to do the same. You don’t have to like it. But the minute you limit someone else’s liberty, you give up your own.