An Open Letter to Phil Robertson
An Open Letter to Phil Robertson
gospel-according-to-phil-gq-magazine

Dear Phil,

I read the article in GQ and to be honest, I feel like the author was trying to make a name for himself by stirring up some controversy. He knew that there would be a huge knee-jerk reaction when he aimed those statements and fired that article out into the public. You were right about him bein’ a good shot. He locked and loaded all the right words and knew damn well the explosion they’d cause.

I’ve been mulling over how to write this all out, because I’m a huge advocate for LGBTQ equality. I try and take every opportunity I can to help educate folks about the LGBTQ community. For what it’s worth, I don’t think you’re necessarily a racist or a bigot; I think you’re probably just a product of Evangelical southern culture.

Our views are shaped not only by our beliefs, but by our experiences.

I know growing up impoverished in the rural south means we are instilled with certain values. There is a certain mindset which pervades southern culture that is often rooted in the worst of evangelicalism. It is the castigation and ostracization of  those we don’t understand. At our best we accept we don’t understand and try our hardest to love others the way Jesus did.

You told the author of the article to put in his article “that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”

I think that’s pretty good advice, well — I’d omit the God part, but that’s just a personal preference. I agree that if the human race loved each other and were a whole lot more apologetic about our failings, everything would absolutely turn around.

Here’s where this gets tricky.

A lot of people had a pretty awful reaction to your statements about what you think is sinful behavior and how it starts with homosexuality, bestiality, promiscuity, and adultery, and rightfully so. Lumping two people that love one another in with folks that love animals a little too much is disgustingly demeaning. For some reason, conservative Christianity makes that comparison because they just don’t understand the attraction and are way too focused on sex rather than the capacity of humans to love one another. It’s ignorance, but ignorance can be cured.

What too many folks didn’t read after that was that you also included the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers. You were pretty clear on what sin was according to your beliefs. You said that you essentially didn’t understand the concept of a man being interested in a man just seemed illogical to you.

That’s okay. That’s your belief and it’s honest.

Never once in the course of the article did you mention that anyone — gay, straight, greedy, drunk, or prostitute should ever be treated any differently than anyone else. In fact you said exactly the opposite.

“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 … We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?”

I think in all the outrage, a lot of folks missed this bit. I think a lot of those outraged folks are forgetting that you can disagree or not understand what someone does and still love them, still forgive them, and absolutely not judge them.

My brother’s boyfriend sent me this:

“Ignorance is not a right, it is a shortcoming. Either a shortcoming on behalf of the individual for not taking the opportunity to be educated, or a shortcoming on the behalf of society for not taking the opportunity to educate the individual.”

You seem to be a bit ignorant in terms of homosexuality, and I’m incredibly ignorant when it comes to living off the land. I’ll make you a deal: I’ll help you understand the LGBTQ community, if you help me figure out why I can’t seem to grow a cactus in the desert.

As long as we don’t hurt folks, or attempt in any way to hold them back in their pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness — I think we’re doing okay. I don’t get the impression that you or your kin would be ones to interfere with those rights. I could be wrong, but I sure hope not.

Sincerely,

An LGBTQ Loving Atheist Who Just Wants People To Calm Down.

 

CamProfileCamicia Bennett: Founder of The Well Written Woman, Florida Native and cerebral creature, she loves her  husband, yoga, red wine, potty humor, swearing superfluously and putting hats on her dog. If given her druthers  she’d be surfing the web and writing randomness from someplace sunny and tropical whilst sipping her favorite  vino. Oh wait, that’s exactly what she does.You can find her randomly sharing her own  brand of slightly pretentious propaganda at her personal blog.

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3 Comments

  1. maria
    Posted December 27, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Wow, you managed to sum up almost exactly how I felt about the whole uproar. I may not agree with his opinions or beliefs, but he has the right to have them and speak them. I also thing that free speech does not mean free of consequences. A&E is well within their rights to back off from him.

    All that said, I’m not sure if the fear that comes part and parcel from that Southern Evangelical upbringing can be separated from the ignorance. I wish it were so. I wish humans could learn to stand back from the things we were told all of our lives were dirty, sinful, wrong, or, ugly and look with fresh eyes, free from the scales of all those past experiences. Look and decide for themselves without the preconceptions provided from a place of fear.

  2. Posted December 24, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    This is exactly true. For some reason, we have lost the ability to have an opinion that is different from others. Thank you for this article!

  3. Posted December 22, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Perfect!

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