So who made a more hate filled statement?: 'Duck Dynasty's' Phil Robertson or Obama senior advisor John Podesta?

Do I think that a guy sleeping around with multiple women as being on the same level as bestiality?  Hardly.  'Duck Dynasty's' Phil Robertson probably says something that could upset a lot of different people.  To me the strange thing is that those who believe in a consenting adult being able to do whatever he wants seem to be the most offended.  So here are the statements that Robertson made to GQ when he was asked about what he thought was a sin.
Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.” . . .
“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.” . . . 
By the way, how is what Robertson point any different than Pope Francis would say?  Yet, Pope Francis is Time magazine's Man of the Year.  But compare that to John Podesta's statement about Republicans.  This is from Politico:
Podesta, whose official mandate includes enforcement of numerous executive orders on emissions and the environment, suggested as much when he spoke with me earlier this fall about Obama’s team. “They need to focus on executive action given that they are facing a second term against a cult worthy of Jonestown in charge of one of the houses of Congress,” he told me. . . .
Which statement is most offensive?  It at least seems to me that calling some akin to a mass murder is worse than concerns about who someone is having sex with.  Remember Democrats constant refrain during the Clinton administration that it was just about sex?

Secondly, Robertson was asked about what he thought was a sin.  It may bother some people that the Bible views a man sleeping around with many women or homosexuality as sins, but there is a lot discussion about "hate" that seems inaccurate here, especially since Robertson has gone out of his way to say the standard hate the sin but love the sinner line.

Larry Taunton has a very useful discussion about all this at The Atlantic:
Robertson spoke in explicit terms of the homosexual and heterosexual options available to men and concluded: “She’s [i.e., women in general] got more to offer.” But he didn’t end there. Robertson suggested homosexuality is a sin that could lead to sexual anarchy, the nadir of which is bestiality: “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there.”  (He did not actuallyequate homosexual behavior with bestiality, as many have been saying, and tellingly, his catalog of sinful sexual behavior also included heterosexual promiscuity.) . . .  
Robertson wasn’t expressing “his personal views,” but principles that are intrinsic to his religion.  You see, Robertson didn’t simply attack and disparage the sexual preferences of a minority, as Alec Baldwin recently did in a hateful rant. No, Robertson’s opinion—couched as it was in scriptural references that suggest he not only owns a Bible, but also reads it—reflects the teaching and practice of historic Christianity and, by extension, the opinion of a sizable portion of the American public. Indeed, according to a June 2013 Pew Research Center survey, roughly half (45 percent) of Americans polled said they believe homosexual actions are a “sin.”  
In an apparent effort to convince this demographic that homosexual actions are not sinful, GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz said Robertson’s views are not Christian. The strategy here seems to be “divide and conquer”—separate Robertson from his religion and let public opinion do the rest. . . .
There seems to me a third point.  Podesta is a senior advisor to the president of the United States.  Robertson is someone who is on a TV show.  In addition, Robertson's TV show focuses heavily on his Christian values.  Yet, the calls for Robertson being fired were overwhelming.  Where are the similar calls for Podesta to resign.  For Robertson, the calls for his removal were almost instantaneous and covered extensively by everyone from Time magazine, Fox News, Mediate, the Hollywood Reporter, and numerous local TV and newspapers.  Searches conducted between 1 and 2 AM on Thursday, December 19th.

Take this statement from GLAD: "Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil's lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe. He clearly knows nothing about gay people or the majority of Louisianans – and Americans – who support legal recognition for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples."  I guess that I am not sure what the "lies" are in Robertson's statements.  Can one disagree with them?  Sure, but where are the lies?

A Google news search over the last 24 hours came up with nothing for Podesta.  A Bing search came up with one hit that is relevant, something from the obscure Patriot Post.

Now Robertson was fired (or put on indefinite suspension, which implies he will only be allowed back if he disavows his Christian views) so that might have generated more coverage.  But groups such as GLAD and others called openly for his firing.  Where are the similar calls for Podesta?  If one is concerned about the coarseness of the political debate, won't Obama be setting an example if he removed Podesta?

Finally, both Robertson and Podesta have issued follow up statements.  Podesta wrote: “In an old interview, my snark got in front of my judgment. I apologize to Speaker Boehner, whom I have always respected."  An "old" interview from just months ago?  "My snark got in front of my judgment"?

Yet, in the same interview with GQ Robertson made this statement: "We never, ever judge someone on who's going to heaven, hell. That's the Almighty's job," Robertson says. " We just love 'em, give 'em the good news about Jesus – whether they're homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort 'em out later, you see what I'm saying?"   Again, I am sure that probably just makes it worse for those from the organized lobbying groups such as GLAD.  

UPDATE: This is pretty amusing, but it gives some insight into the type of person Robertson is.

UPDATE: So what does Jesus and the Bible say about homosexuality?

The entire segment is available here.

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Blogger FZ said...

I agree with you completely, except for this part:

"Do I think that a guy sleeping around with multiple women as being on the same level as bestiality? Hardly."

It may not be as outright sick and perverted, but at least with bestiality only one human being is being desecrated and sinning, but in the other case multiple people are sinning and debasing themselves and the man multiple times. So in that sense it is worse. Although I don't think he was trying to make any specific point either way, I think he was merely listing some of the many sexual immoralities that are out there.

Also, I think you describing the phrase "love the sinner, not the sin" as a 'standard line' is a bit unfair and snarky. It's a heartfelt belief shared by billions around the globe and paves the way for redemption and forgiveness. It is not a "standard line" and to call it such is a bit dismissive.

If you want a standard line, try the typical mindless, idiotic and destructive statement that "consenting adults should be allowed to do whatever they want in the privacy of their own home." And yeah, it is weird how the people who say that are the first to complain in this case.

P.S. As for the crudity of what he said, yeah, it was crude but I see and hear worse vulgarity on network tv at 8:00. If being crude is grounds for firing, 90% of the entertainment industry needs to be fired.

P.S.S. Ironically, I bet there are lesbians out there who agree with his remark about woman having more to offer. ;)

12/19/2013 5:20 PM  
Blogger Tam said...

"Yet, Pope Francis is Time magazine's Man of the Year."

Er, so was bin Laden. And Khomeini. So you never know how they intend that one.

12/20/2013 12:34 PM  

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