The Duck Dynasty Debacle

I shouldn’t blog about this. Branding “experts” have warned me to stay away from topics like this. They tell me to stick with my core topics which I guess would be leadership, motivation and sales. But leaders don’t dodge tough subjects so I’ll just call this a leadership post.

I should begin by saying I’ve only seen a few minutes of Duck Dynasty, ever. I know people who absolutely love it and if you’ll pardon the pun, watch it religiously. I have nothing against it and the very little bit I’ve seen was funny but I’ve just never gotten into it.

I wonder how much “reality” is in this reality show and how much is actually made up. I mean can guys who do so well in business really do and say the ridiculous stuff that happens on every episode?   

Anyway, it’s nothing any of them have done on the show that has gotten them into trouble, it’s what the family patriarch said in a magazine interview. Phil Robertson said, and I paraphrase here, that the Bible has led him to believe that homosexuality is a sin. He said some other typical Duck Dynasty stuff but it was the earlier comment that has caused such a controversy. 

He was immediately and indefinitely suspended by the network that airs his family’s show. He has been ridiculed, pilloried, called hateful and compared with the worst of the human race. 

All this because he expressed an opinion. He didn’t say he hated anyone, didn’t judge anyone, didn’t say anyone was going to hell. He just said what he believed based on his understanding of the Bible. 

The network that has suspended him was well within their rights to do what they did. He said something they didn’t like and they benched him. No problem there; it might be a stupid decision but in the United States businesses make stupid decisions everyday, it’s a right. 

Just like expressing an opinion used to be. Used to be!

Today if you say something that someone or some group doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with you’re labeled a hater, a racist, a bigot, and a left or right wing fanatic. Whether you’re a left or right wing fanatic depends on who you offended, you can’t be both, at least not at the same time. 

I find this whole thing very confusing; this Robertson guy expresses an opinion and is labeled a bigot and hater. The groups calling him these names and in some cases threatening him and his family are doing nothing wrong. Saying what you believe, right or wrong, makes you a bigot. Threatening the person who has the courage of their convictions makes you a hero. 

Folks, there is something terribly wrong with that picture.

Now the network has a debacle on their hands. There is no way to let the guy back on the air without admitting they were wrong to suspend him. It’s not like he’s going to change his views any time soon. So either you let a person you’ve said is a bigot back on the air or you lose your most profitable show. 

I’ll say this for the network, they seem to be sticking to their guns, at least for now. If they put their principles over profits I would commend them for that, even if I disagree with them. I still believe in the freedom of speech that used to be commonplace in the United States.

They are certainly in better shape than the people at Cracker Barrel who pulled the Duck Dynasty products from the shelves and then put them back on 24 hours later. Nice work guys, I guess we know where you stand, well, maybe not. 

Now, here’s where I’m really going to get into trouble. I’m going to express an opinion. Here we go:

I think it’s okay to not like a particular group. I think it’s okay to not eat green vegetables. I think it’s good to think differently than everyone else. I think it’s just fine to express your opinion, even if it’s different than someone’s, or even everyone else’s. Wow, I guess that’s like 4 opinions, I guess I just got on a roll. 

So there you go, I expressed my thoughts and before you rip me for it remember this: if everyone thinks the same then somebody isn’t thinking. 

45 thoughts on “The Duck Dynasty Debacle

  1. Great thoughts…or opinions. I said many years ago that our greatest strength was becoming our greatest challenge: freedom. Freedom in the context of United States implies we must value and respect the freedom of others. However, freedom of divided states or divide people becomes a matter of one’s freedom infringing on the freedoms of another. This was never the way it was meant to be. Thank you for sharing your opinions; I both value and respect them!

  2. megan young says:

    I have been in a heated debate via facebook on this issue since it happened. However, I seemed to not be getting accross to my friends, both liberal, and middle of the road, what I was trying to convey. My Uncle posted this article of yours, and it says everything that I have been trying to say. I however, do watch the show. So, I just want to say, well said, and thank you.

    • Thanks, it does seem to have sparked a heated debate. It’s the “heated” part that causes the problem. Emotions cloud judgment and that’s never good. I’m glad you liked the post. I appreciate your comment!

  3. Kudos for your bravery in occasionally bending the rules!

    The branding experts are probably right, but it’s nice to know that you are a real person, not just a packaged product.

    Still pondering the situation. Some initial impressions:

    I was disappointed when some companies terminated their relationships with Paula Deen because she told the truth about long ago making a then-socially-common derogatory comment about an entire class of people. We’ve ALL said things we regret. And we will again. She sincerely apologized.

    In 2011, gifted designer John Galliano lost highly lucrative employment with Givenchy and Christian Dior after making unusually harsh anti-Jewish comments. He may not even believe what he said, but everyone knows that those who turn mean under the influence of alcohol should not be around others when they imbibe. He apologized.

    Just a few days ago, Justine Sacco lost her lucrative job with IAC for a tweet about AIDS, Africa, and race. Another drug or alcohol-fueled career fatality? The tweet seems more silly than serious. She also apologized.

    If Phil Robertson had instead replaced gays with African-Americans, Jews, Native Americans, or women – all groups Christians have also denied legal rights to in the USA’s past, BTW – would there be less sympathy for keeping his job under freedom of expression?

    Based on multiple celebrity’s faux pas, if you want to be aligned with a corporation, don’t express a
    negative view of a class of people and expect to maintain that relationship. They need you, them, and their products to be associated with positive public perceptions.

    I can’t find the author or exact words, but someone once said,

    ‘Everybody screams for justice. But in our own cases, we want unlimited mercy.’

    Warm regards.

  4. M says:

    Think of this on the flip-side: Just as he has the right to express his opinion, others have it well within their right to disagree with that opinion and criticize him for it. If he’s going to express his opinion which is likely to upset many, it’s really not that surprising that he’s going to take plenty of heat for it. He’s also a celebrity and it really should be no surprise that he would face a backlash from something like this as (for example) gay marriage is slowly getting legalized across the country. I have zero to no sympathy for him.

    Personally, I’m only bothered by this for two reasons: it has spun out-of-control and it seems to have been portrayed as a first amendment issue. I find that appalling and it will only lead to more misconceptions of our already and misunderstood constitution.
    As it’s been mentioned by you and in the commenters, if you say/do something controversial publicly, you’re very likely to get fired. This is just like the teachers who posted racy photos on Facebook, Justince Sacco, and any other politician who has said something they later regretted. This is nothing new.

    My other issue points to something bigger: We have a media firestorm about a guy from a -reality show- about an ultra-rich family that sells hunting merchandise that said something in a men’s lifestyle magazine. Jesus Christ, Is that what we’ve come to? Is this really worth all the online debates and flaming, the lame and trite “I SUPPORT PHIL” photos on Facebook, and heavy coverage on a 24-hour news cycle? Try explaining the news coverage regarding this issue to someone from another country and not get embarrassed.

    Just my 2 cents.

    • Ha, I agree with you. The news coverage is amazing, especially when you consider the incredibly important stuff that no one covers or covers in the last 15 seconds of the “news.” Wouldn’t it be fun to look back on this whole thing 100 years from now and see how those people are laughing at us 🙂

  5. Jaaay says:

    Free speech means the government cannot censor you or penalize you for saying certain things. And there are plenty of limits to free speech. But, there is no government involvement here. So, this is not a free speech issue.

    It’s not ok to not like other groups. In order to dislike a group you have to make assumptions and generalizations about that group (you have to do this because it is essentially impossible to meet every person in a particular group, which would required to make an informed opinion); then decide if you can accept or tolerate the characteristics that you assumed or generalized about that group. Assumptions and generalizations are usually not based in fact and are unfair.

    Here is the Merriam-Webster definition of prejudice: “an unfair feeling of dislike for a person or group because of race, sex, religion, etc.; a feeling of like or dislike for someone or something especially when it is not reasonable or logical.”

    I’m not calling you prejudiced. I don’t know you to have an opinion about you or call you anything. But you’re certainly laying a solid foundation for justifying prejudice. And we know that prejudice is as AFree speech means the government cannot censor you or penalize you for saying certain things. And there are plenty of limits to FS. But, there is no government involvement here. So, this is not a FS issue.

    It’s not ok to not like other groups. In order to dislike a group you have to make assumptions and generalizations about that group (you have to do this because it is essentially impossible to meet every person in a particular group, which would required to make an informed opinion); then decide if you can accept or tolerate the characteristics that you assumed or generalized about that group. Assumptions and generalizations are usually not based on fact and are unfair.

    This sounds a lot like prejudice. And we know that prejudice is as American as apple pie. Here is the Merriam-Webster definition of prejudice: “an unfair feeling of dislike for a person or group because of race, sex, religion, etc.; a feeling of like or dislike for someone or something especially when it is not reasonable or logical.” I’m not calling you prejudiced. I don’t know you to have an opinion about you or call you anything. But you’re certainly laying a solid foundation for justifying prejudice.

    A&E benched Phil so they don’t alienate people who give them money. Cracker Barrel put Duck Dynasty junk back on their shelves so as to not alienate people who give them money. Each company’s decision is based on the desire to profit. Wanting to profit is as American as… prejudice. Wanting to profit from prejudice is probably the most American thing happening in this whole ordeal.

    • But see, I don’t like people who murder kids…. And you say I have to like them or I’m prejudiced? That’s messed up my friend. There are things and people I won’t ever like and that makes me human, not prejudiced.

      • Jaaay says:

        Well,

        If you’re going to call “murderers” a group, okay, let’s call them a group. If you’re going to dislike “murderers” because of their murderous actions, that’s not prejudice. That’s called “judging.”

        I am not calling you prejudiced. I’m not calling you anything. I am saying that saying it’s ok to dislike a group leads to prejudice.

        If you’re suggesting that murderers and homosexuals are similar because they are sinners, then “…let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” (John 8:7 NLT) My sin puts me in that same group. Your sin puts you in that same group.

        If you’re making that argument, the problem is that the only way to become a murderer is to kill (or to help kill) another human being; when it comes to homosexuality, it’s less straightforward. Do you consider someone homosexual when he commits homosexual acts? Or must he have homosexual feelings? Is it feelings + acts? What if a person has the feelings + act but does not identify as homosexual? Please tell us at what point (feelings, acts or identity) you think it is socially acceptable to dislike homosexual people.

        You’re supposed to love your homosexual neighbor, right? Please explain how you love your homosexual neighbor while disliking him and his group. (Yeah, yeah, you don’t have to like someone to love him. But I don’t think this weak counter argument is what Jesus meant by “‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:31 NLT)

        With all the nonsense happening on our planet (trafficking, slavery, genocide, war, hunger, poverty, etc.) why are so many Americans so concerned about homosexuality?

      • It’s called dislike the sin, not the sinner. It’s possible, especially with super thin skinned people to offend without being offensive.

        Why is it okay for people to condemn this guy Phil while at the same time saying it’s wrong for him to condemn someone else. You just can’t have to both ways…

  6. Steve – Thanks for your post and for not listening to the “brand experts.” There ought to always be room for contributing to a debate without being inflammatory. Your post is that sort of contribution.

    As @Jaaay points out, the “free speech” angle is a bit misguided because this is not a government censorship issue. But, our laws influence our culture – and the principle of freedom of speech is one big example of that.

    The problem with the free speech argument isn’t that it’s wrong. The problem is that those criticizing A&E for violating that principle are only half right. If you’re going to defend Phil Robertson for speaking his conscience (and I would), I think you have to defend A&E for speaking its conscience as well. The argument only gets you back to the starting point.

    The cynic in me says that all of this will blow over. We’re prone to forgive or forget and move on. Phil’s suspension will end. The show will go on. Fans of Duck Dynasty will forget if not forgive the network for the suspension. Fans of other A&E shows will forget if not forgive the network for not firing Phil or cancelling the show.

    The lesson for my kids out of all this is, “Words have consequences.” So, choose them wisely.

    • It is a great lesson for kids, everyone else for that matter. There’s seems to be a lot of “mis-speaking” going on lately. 🙂

      It’s tough to unsay what we’ve already said. As I’ve tweeted in the past, thinking and talking are do things that should ALWAYS be done in that exact order.

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment, I appreciate it.

  7. Jeff says:

    “I think it’s okay to not like a particular group.”

    Sure. Like Jews, blacks and gays, right?

    It’s one thing to dislike what a person or group *does* (e.g. “thieves” or “murderers”), but, as you mistakenly assume in your example in the comments below, but these are not people groups as defined by the basic identity of the persons involved. Rather, these are categories of people acting in a particular way. Disliking someone because of the color of their skin or because of their religious choices or their gender identity is fundamentally different than disliking somebody – or a group – that engages in similar behavior collectively like the Ku Klux Klan or the Nazis. The former is bigotry and prejudice the latter is moral judgment and opinion.

    In this case, making derogatory comments about homosexual people or black people is a bigoted and prejudiced position, whereas disliking the person who makes such bigoted and prejudiced statements is a moral judgment or opinion. Thus, Robertson’s position is bigotry and prejudice whereas those who oppose Robertson are exercising more judgment and opinion. These are not equivalent positions.

    Also, you understand this issue has *absolutely nothing* to do with free speech, right? He expressed a personal opinion in a derogatory manner after having been advised by his employer to avoid such “hot topics”, and he was disciplined for his insubordination. That’s business. Calling it anything else is ill informed and naive. A&E is protecting their brand. And, make no mistake, so is Phil Robertson.

    Kudos for A&E for taking a moral stand against hateful, belittling, derogatory language toward people some consider “different”. This kind of civility, respect and public discourse is what has allowed America to get along despite being a pluralistic diverse country.

    • You sound kind of hateful my friend. It’s okay to have a difference of opinion, you don’t need to hate someone just because you don’t share their opinion.

      Labeling people who disagree with you as a bigot does not make your opinion more valuable, or right, than anyone else’s.

      That’s where this whole thing went off the rails. I agree, good for the network for keeping to their standards and good for Phil for keeping to his. If one of those two is to be lauded for having principles then they both must be lauded.

      • Jeff says:

        I’m not angry or hateful nor did I say anything out of hate or anger. Not sure why you’re making such accusations. I’m defining terms and applying them as the facts seem to indicate – I’m open to correction on the facts, definitions or their applications (none of which you offer in your reply).

        The fact that you don’t like the application of the terms “bigot” or “prejudiced” to a person in no way means the people applying those terms are hateful – nor that the terms have been applied incorrectly.

        As I articulated in the previous comment, not all groups, ideas or concepts are equal – there is right and wrong; better and worse. You seem unwilling or unable to grasp this – continuing to insist on equating racist commenta with comments condemning racism. They are not morally equivalent. If you continue to insist they are (or offer some rationale why this perspective is incorrect), I’m glad to move on to greener pastures.

        I offered a thoughtful carefully worded perspective under the impression this was a cogent dialogue of folks exchanging ideas – not avoiding answers and calling names. But I’ve been wrong before.

        Peace.

  8. willisturner says:

    There is a valuable lesson here that we can disagree with people and their opinions without hating them. Agreeing to disagree with human dignity and compassion is honourable, but is human dignity becoming an oxymoron? The real issue is corporate people make decisions based on profits and politicians on votes, and that tends to be a knee jerk reaction that doesn’t serve humanity in the long run.

  9. vonmiwi says:

    We’ve become a nation where there’s a population that refuses to accept the truth no matter what and political correctness has been our downfall. I’m not sugar-coating anything in order not to offend anyone, what we need to hear is the truth.

  10. Jen says:

    After reading Jeff’s reply, I find myself confused about exactly how his “facts” and “terms” are being applied. I’m not saying I subscribe to this brand of thinking, but isn’t disliking homosexuals for what they do based on the beliefs of your religion considered moral judgement? The same as if you dislike pedophiles as a group for believing what they do is wrong based on your religious or personal beliefs? And no, I’m not likening homosexuality to peophelia, I’m just trying to state the point that to some religious people, both actions are morally reprehensible, but to mainstream society, one is reprehensible while the other has become commonplace and accepted and people are therefore prejudiced or bigots if they dare speak about their own moral belief that it is wrong. And some might argue that the line would be drawn because thieves, murderers and even pedophiles make the choice to do what they do, while gays are born that way, but science has found mental illness to be common in many criminals, schizophrenia as an example, so is it always a choice? And does that make it right to do something because we are genetically inclined to do so?? According to many religious beliefs, the answer would be no. And certainly religious beliefs, wether they be Christian or Jewish, are not something we are genetically predetermined for. So the only example I can see that might be considered outright bigotry would be hating someone because of the color of their skin, which has absolutely no effect on any actions or beliefs they might personally be subscribed to. So in this situation I would say what draws the line between bigotry and moral judgement just depends on what side of the line your standing on.

    • Great point Jen! Here’s what this boils down to: people are trying to control the thoughts and beliefs of other people. If you don’t think EXACTLY like them, you’re wrong.

      That’s wrong. Phil is allowed to state his beliefs and so is everyone else, it doesn’t make any of them hateful.

    • Jeff says:

      Great thoughts and comments, Jen!

      I think we agree that having differences of opinion on whether or not homosexual behavior is “sinful” is an issue of moral judgment. What’s bigotry and prejudice, as I applied those terms, is to talk about homosexuals in a derogatory and derisive way – heaping upon an already repressed and maligned people group additional stereotyping, hateful speech and bullying. In this way, Phil’s religious beliefs are his personal moral judgments that are entirely his – and we can agree to disagree. But the manner of speech that is deliberately or ignorantly hurtful and demeaning to others is bigoted speech we should label as such.

      Consider this: Pope Francis has even more conservative views on sexuality than Phil Robertson, yet his speech about such matters has garnered acceptance and praise even among the LGBT community.

      The difference is that between bigoted speech and moral judgment as I attempted to define earlier.

      • Excellent points Jeff, the basic statement of belief that Phil made probably wouldn’t have gotten him to so much trouble (ok, it may have) but the little “extras” he added – I can see how that would really trouble people.

  11. I think this issue is a difficult issue much like the race issue because we must recognize that this issue comes from a history of mistreatment, ridicule, and even violence upon the Homosexual community. Please try to not misunderstand me but it is often the same difficulty when attempting to talk about racial issues as if slavery and racism isn’t in our history. The point I am attempting to make is that this may never be a non-emotional conversation or issue because the pain of the past is still the pain of the pain of the present. With that said, I hope we can establish a premise as a basis of dialogue.

    1. To not agree with someone’s life style, choices, or preferences does not mean you have a dislike for them as an individual. However history has shown us that unfortunately when it comes to homosexuality both have often gone hand and hand.

    2. Some see homes equality as wrong not because of hate but because of the same reason they see heterosexual pre or extra martial sex as wrong; because it is a part of their belief system. In fact most of the things people view as accepted or unacceptable derive from their inherited or embraced culture (religious, socioeconomic, racial, etc.).

    3. If one wants their values and beliefs to be valued, it is important that they give that same value to the other side.
    4. The KKK have been brought up at times in some of the comments. Being an African male, it took a while to move beyond the pain of the pass and present to understand that they are only in the wrong for what they do that violates law, however they are not in the wrong for what they believe. The difference here is the lack of public acceptance. There are many things that are accepted in our culture that I still see as not acceptable for me. I just read a blog on how pornography is here to stay and is such a norm in our society that the dialog up should move from is it right to how should it be monitored. As common as sex outside of marriage and pornography may be, they will still be view as wrong and unacceptable by many.

    5. I believe there are valid perspectives on either side, however until we stop talk at each other and start talking to each other, it will be hard to walk away with a true appreciation of others.

    6. It is nieve of us to think we can have neutral conversations on topics that have never been neutral to begin with. But yet we attempt to do so because often times what is being said isn’t coming from the same place as the past but from a different future. Take the use of the “N” word among today’s generation, we took a derogatory word and made it a term of endearment. However those who use the “N” word in a way that is saying it’s common fail to comprehend the real pain of the past that was directly associated with the word. In the same way we cannot be ignorant to the pain of the past and the present that has been associated with anti- gay beliefs. However, I do believe that if someone is being consistent with their beliefs and values and don’t demonstrate hate. Then we must allow them to live and act within the grounds of their beliefs. I have close friends who i love who have views and values that I don’t agree with, yet they know I have a genuine care for who they are as people.

    If the true spirit of my sensitivity and consideration on such an issue could be know by you as a reader; it would be very difficult for this comment to be taken as anything more than dialogue worthy of consideration. I appreciate all the comments I’ve read thus far.

    • Jeff says:

      Steve –

      Your point #1 is the critical one that I think many “free speech defenders” of Phil Robertson may be missing.

      Having differing opinions and moral judgment is not only to be expected and accepted, it’s unavoidable! And a mature healthy society tolerates and even lauds those differences as sources of strength.

      What we have to be careful of as a society is allowing people in positions of power to dominate and repress through hate speech and stereotyping people in repressed or less powerful positions. We do that not through force, but by calling out such treatment as bigoted and hateful.

      The Ku Klux Klan once had a position of authority and power. But this has been taken from them because their philosophy has been rightfully shown to be narrow minded, hateful and shameful. Over time, this has robbed them of authority and power and created a better society.

      This same process is playing itself out now regarding society’s labeling and treatment of the homosexual community. Phil’s manner of speech (*not* his religious beliefs or ideals) is what had resulted in the backlash against him. And I think appropriately so. Whereas the Pope’s speech (with equally or more conservative theology behind it) has resulted in an open dialogue about the issue.

      • I guess it proves the point that how you say something is just as important as the something you say.

        I know Phil believes the same today, but I wonder if given the chance, he would say it a bit differently?

      • Good thoughts. I’m not in a position to defend or condemn Phil’s manner of speech but I agree that it’s not just what we say but how we say it that we must be mindful for. I have read many things that fellow Christians have said in the name of politics that have been incredibly insensitive to other even in the Christian community. I am of the belief that there has to be intential consideration by opposing views to understand that if they can be genuine in their views that the person with opposing views can be just as genuine on the other side. As a youth I remember thinking if I believe I’m right, it doesn’t matter how I say it, it’s still right. Boy was I wrong! Again this is not an indictment of Phil but and admittance that we don’t often think that right involves both what we say and how we say it. Again good thoughts Jeff!

  12. I left out an important part of information. I had to grow to understand that every Caucasian that spoke about African Americans values and practices in a unfavorable manner was not a racist. Many were simply expressing the values and opinions they believed to be true. However, among many I grew up with if a white spoke out against blacks for who they were being and how they were living- they were seen as racist point blank. If I offered anything to the contrary I would’ve been seen as a sellout. The point is, in the same way one should not assume just because one does not view homosexuality as right, that it is coming from a place of hate.

    In closing, I would like to say that I really liked how it was mentioned that you valued both Phil and A&E for being true to themselves.

  13. Thank you Steve for having the courage to write about such an issue so for the sake of real dialog!

    “Conflict for the sake of conflict is never beneficial. Conflict for the sake of real progress however, is not only beneficial but essential.”
    -Me

  14. Jaaay says:

    I see what you did there. #jumptheshark

    Steve Keating on December 23, 2013
    “Now, here’s where I’m really going to get into trouble. I’m going to express an opinion. Here we go:
    I think it’s okay to not like a particular group.”

    Steve Keating on December 23, 2013 at 3:53 pm
    “There are things and people I won’t ever like and that makes me human, not prejudiced.”

    Steve Keating on December 24, 2013 at 1:43 am
    “It’s called dislike the sin, not the sinner. It’s possible, especially with super thin skinned people to offend without being offensive.”

  15. You are certainly entitled to an opinion, however I have a hard time reading what Mr. Robertson actually said in the interview and not seeing prejudice toward gays, blacks, and Japanese. These are all groups that have suffered persecution and oppression in our country. The comments he made went beyond just saying “I think homosexuality is sinful”, they compared the behavior to bestiality and terrorism. It doesn’t seem the best way to reach out and show Christ’s love to these communities. And essentially saying blacks were happier under oppression is just cruel. Saying that Japanese do evil because they don’t know Jesus is insane considering all of the wars that have been fought in the name of Christianity. To say harsh critical statements, and then say “but we love everyone” doesn’t make the statements less cruel.

    • I just have a hard time judging what’s in someone’s heart. What he is reported to have said, and seems to have confirmed sure doesn’t sound good but I just don’t have the ability to judge people based on a single interview.

      No matter how he meant it, he would have been better off if he just said he thought it was sinful and kept quiet on the rest. It’s the comparisons that make it so bad but still, it’s impossible to know if he’s prejudiced or just not the kind of guy who doesn’t think about how his words will sound to others.

      • I agree that we cannot judge his heart. I’m sure he is a country boy that was raised to view the world a certain way. That doesn’t make him a bad person, and honestly despite his success, I feel bad for him because he is being judged. However, to use this as a banner to say how we as Christians are silenced because of our beliefs is not wise. The things that were said do not represent what Christianity teaches about much of anything. And when we “stand behind Phil” we are telling the world that this is how we is Christians feel about them and how we view the world. I guess I’m just saddened by the world seeing this and tagging me as a Christian with these thoughts because Christians as a whole have “stood behind” them.

      • I struggle with Christians who “stand beside” or behind him too. It feels like as much a knee jerk reaction as the people who just instantly condemn him.

        If I were working with Phil I would suggest he stick to his Biblical Principles while apologizing for much of how he said it.

      • Then I would say we view the issue very similarly when all is said and done. When I read the post maybe I was jaded by all of the other things I’d read about supporting Phil, and lumped yours into the same category. You have always seemed thoughtful and reasonable, even on issues I didn’t agree with you on. Thanks for your well thought responses however!

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