Sunday, December 22, 2013

Nobody asked for MY opinion

     I've written and discarded several thousand words you will never read on the opinions expressed by Phil Robertson.
     Writing always helps me sort out my thoughts.
     Deleting my creations helps keep me humble.
     Besides ...
nobody asked for my opinion. 
     That's different than Phil Robertson. The magazine formerly known as Gentleman's Quarterly sent Drew Magary all the way to West Monroe, Louisiana, to ask for Robertson's opinion.
     Specifically, the self-described milquetoast suburban WASP  reporter asked the duck-calling bristle-bearded church elder: "What, in your mind, is sinful?"
     Robertson answered in a way that was crude and awkward at first, but more thoughtful and compassionate if you followed him past the sound bite that has America fixated. (Read it for yourselfbut be forewarned: the writer's language is much more vulgar than anything you've heard from Robertson himself.) Ahove all, he was honest, uncamouflaged, and unfiltered. Instead of a script, he tried to follow scripture.
     Answering an opinion question is not a hate crime. It should not be a firing offense.

     I wish that Robertson had not started with with the predictably explosive example of homosexuality. Among all of humanity's shortcomings, I don't think that's the one that tips God's scales.
     But how would you have expected Phil Robertson to answer that question?
     How would you have answered it?
     What, in your mind, is sinful?
     Before any of us casts the first stone, we need to wrestle with that bristly question ourselves.
     When Robertson tried to explain sin, he shot from the hip and misfired at first. He waded into a moral bayou and a scatological briar-patch where I wasn’t comfortable, either.
     But his last words on sin were as profound and on-target as the question itself: “Don’t deceive yourself.”
     Deception—whether from self or Satan—is the root of sin.
     If Robertson had answered the question any other way, he would have been deceiving us.
     And if we think Phil Robertson is the problem, we are deceiving ourselves.

     Nobody needs to be offended by redneck honesty or genuine Christian testimony. If you don't want to hear what Phil Robertson has to say, don't ask. Tune him out. Change channels. Ruin his ratings.
     But whenever we have the urge to silence someone, we might be wise to listen instead.

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