First off, I’d like to say that I’m a huge fan of Duck Dynasty and love their Christian values. I’m also a fan of free speech. You’ve probably heard that A&E fired or suspended Phil Robertson recently after he did an interview where he expressed his personal view on homosexuality.

I don’t want to start a debate on Christians and homosexuality. I do however like what pastor Perry Noble said in his blog:

“There are people in this world who are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and who really do deal with same sex attraction.  If I could personally sit down with everyone who would categorize themselves in one of those ways I would communicate four things to them.

#1 – I am SORRY for the way you have been treated by the church and by people who claim to be followers of Christ.  There is no excuse for those who hold up signs that say “God hates fags” or who use insensitive phrases such as “that’s so gay.”  The way many of you have been treated is detestable to me, but even more than that, I believe it is detestable to Jesus–and I sincerely ask for your forgiveness.

#2 – You matter to God!  He loves you, created you in His image and has AMAZING plans for your life…and His plans are always so much greater than our plans.

#3 – You matter to me!  Recently, I preached an entire message in our church dealing with this subject (here’s the link) and in preparing for that message I spent hours with a group of people who identify themselves as gay in order for me to better understand how to communicate what I truly felt need to be said…but in a way that showed compassion and care. “ Read the rest of his great blog post HERE.

“The church that the Robertson’s attend and where Phil Robertson is an elder, White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ in West Monroe, La., has received hundreds of phone calls from fans across the country, said Mike Kellett, the senior pastor.

“It seems to me people are tolerant of views except Christianity,” Kellett said. “I don’t have anything to say about the wording in it. I would express things differently, but that’s Phil.”

The Robertson’s are part of Churches of Christ, a conservative denomination of 13,000 U.S. congregations that says “God remains consistent in His condemnation of homosexuality as He does for all other sins.”

Members of Churches of Christ generally believe that God reserves sex for a marriage between one man and one woman. A&E is free to do what it wants with the show, Kellett said. “It’s a free country,” Kellett said. “We’re not a protest kind of people. We don’t go out in front of people’s office with signs.”

Southern Baptist leaders Russell Moore and Al Mohler, as well as advocacy groups such as Alliance Defending Freedom and the Family Research Council, also came to Robertson’s defense, saying he should not be suspended for voicing his views.

“Free speech is endangered species; those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ & taking on Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing personal opinion take on us all,” tweeted former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.” Read more from Religion News Service HERE.

Albert Mohler had some wise words about why would Robertson agree to an interview with GQ Magazine and cautioned him to be careful how he addresses sensitive topics. But Mohler makes a great point:

“Another interesting parallel emerges with the timing of this controversy. The current issue of TIME magazine features Pope Francis I as “Person of the Year.” Within days of TIME’s declaration, Phil Robertson had been suspended from Duck Dynasty. Robertson’s suspension was caused by his statements that homosexual acts are sinful. But Pope Francis is riding a wave of glowing publicity, even as he has stated in public his agreement with all that the Roman Catholic Church teaches, including its teachings on homosexual acts.

Francis has declared himself to be a “son of the church,” and his church teaches that all homosexual acts are inherently sinful and must be seen as “acts of grave depravity” that are “intrinsically disordered.”

But Pope Francis is on the cover of TIME magazine and Phil Robertson is on indefinite suspension. Such are the inconsistencies, confusions, and hypocrisies of our cultural moment.” For more from Mohler, read HERE.

Others are more fired up and bashing A&E for their taking away Robertson’s right to free speech. Matt Walsh had some harsh and sobering words for A&E that you can read HERE. I agree with Walsh in that when you take on Christians and their values, you can expect a battle and a huge showing of support (like we saw with Chick-fil-A). You can see this as in a matter of 24 hours, the ‘Boycott A&E’ Facebook page got over one million likes. Wow!

My guess is Duck Dynasty will get pursued by other networks that care about good ratings more than a small minority of people that have no idea what tolerance is. USA Today’s article said, “The ‘tolerance’ society demands from Christians really is silent compliance.”

The question is: Who needs whom more? I think A&E needs Duck Dynasty (their best show), far more than the millionaires starring in Duck Dynasty need A&E.  Do I feel sorry for Phil Robertson? Not necessarily. He’s a millionaire and has a great life. These are first world problems. I only take issue with the people that scream tolerance for their lifestyle, but offer none to people that disagree with them or hold to a conservative theological viewpoint.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with how A&E has treated Phil Robertson? Do you think he should be silenced for speaking out about his personal religious beliefs? Do you think Duck Dynasty will remain on A&E?

*** Here is the official statement released from the Robertson family.

*** Special note: The Stand with Phil Robertson Facebook page now has more likes than the A&E Facebook page. I have a feeling A&E will regret their actions.

Greg Atkinson


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