Of Speech And FaithStigl
By Harriett Ford
The duck call does more than honk. Duck Dynasty Commander Phil Robertson, 67, is making noise that demands a new definition for the terms “freedom of speech” and “freedom of religion”—a definition free from extremist labels of “intolerance,” “political correctness,” and the right not to be offended.
The hugely popular (and profitable) reality show now has a questionable future because patriarch Robertson dared to quote a passage of scripture from I Cor. 6:9-10, expressing his personal faith in God's word. Because this passage does not condone homosexuality, Robertson is accused of making “vile” comments.
When did Christians lose the constitutional right to freedom of speech and the freedom to give voice to their faith without being labeled intolerant or vile?
“Whether I said it, or someone read it, what's the difference?” Robertson commented during the subsequent media storm. “It's not my word, it's God's,” he might have added.
Pro-gay organization GLAAD describes the quoted passage “vile.” Christians across the nation find this remark deeply offensive. They do not believe they have the right to re-interpret God's word, regardless of Obama's “evolving” opinion and the current push for cultural acceptance of gay marriage. Would the same group describe passages from the Islamic Koran as “vile” and not expect an outcry of offense? Are the adulterers, idolaters, drunkards, swindlers, and male prostitutes (also not condoned in the quoted verse) equally as offended? Is it also a “vile” hate crime to describe these behaviors as sin?
The position of the Christian faith has always been that God loves the sinner and hates the sin. Yet today, it is increasingly unpopular in this culture to label any behavior as sin. Granted there are always extremists who do not act in love toward others. Stupid behavior is what makes us human. However, it is the prayer of sincere believers that God will unite us in love, not in hate. That includes reaching out to the “sinner” to offer the hope of eternal life.