People are changing their profile pictures to either support or oppose Phil from Duck Dynasty. Let’s maybe pause a moment to think that over….
You know I love the Internet….but wow, I hate the Internet.
Anyway. I think we can agree: Freedom of speech is da bomb diggity. (What? So I use phrases from the nineties. That’s how I roll, yo.)
Today I’ve been thinking, what with all of this Dynasty of Ducks kerfluffle, that maybe what matters most is where these freely spoken thoughts and feelings come from. What’s the point in speaking them? The intention? The core? The things buried deep down in Self that are outing themselves? Do we stop to ask that? Really honestly? About ourselves? Openly…really?
This is what confuses me. I so rarely see Love in the voicing of the views. If it is missing, this Love, then how are we standing up for it? And if it is missing, what is in its place if not self-righteousness?
I want to read a new-ish book called Benefit of the Doubt, Breaking the Idol of Certainty. Maybe I can learn more about why certainty that seems to lack Love bothers me so much. Maybe I can articulate it better after I read that.
I mean, if we are going to have a controversy over a reality TV star and his comments and suspension from his overly-produced and overly-marketed job, and then we’re going to move into the homosexual debate again, then can we be sure we’re thinking? No, I mean really thinking, before talking. I have seen SO MUCH not-thinking and more spewing on Facebook and Twitter today than I have in a long time. And I cringe because I’m a Christian and most of the really awful stuff I see is being posted by Christians proclaiming a “Christian view” on this.
I know so many of you want it to be as simple as some seemingly straightforward bible verses, but it is clearly not that simple. Not just because if it were that simple I would be sitting here with a head covering on and I would be begging for forgiveness because of what we had for dinner last night, but because of the enormity of that Love. Yes that Love is simple in its authenticity, but it is terribly complicated because of its mystery and all the things we’ve accidentally learned that may have mucked it up.
If I had no gay friends and had not spent time digging deep on this issue, I surely hope I would be quiet. And if I felt so certain, I would hope that I could talk about my views with grace. But I do have gay friends and I have done a lot of hard work in learning about what this all means spiritually and yet I don’t join in the debates on facebook or in the comment section on blog posts. And I don’t write this today because I want to argue. I write it with hope that it speaks of a bigger picture, one that stands up for my gay friends who need not more trampling.
We are not quiet.
Instead we are back and forth and we stand opposed. And while we go, we are walking all over fellow humans. Like it’s our job. We think we are talking about “lifestyle” and “hate the sin, not the sinner”, or “homosexuals” and “a community”. But no, we’re not. This is not a package or label, and we are not innocent of hurting those we “discuss”. We are talking about that person and that person and her and him, like. a. job. And while we do it, we belittle and use language that defines someone as Sinner and their Lives as Sin. What if that were you? (Please don’t say you’d be glad to be corrected so that you don’t go to hell or so that you could get right with Jesus. A person can have faith without certainty of All The Things, I assure you. If we were all so sure we would not need to know Him more, and also, we would have too much pride ammo.)
This kind of self-assigned role that voices what it thinks is right and wrong by biblical law seems to have a lot in common with the Pharisees. And then there’s Jesus, who was given a role, assigned to Him by Love and it was all terribly mysterious and too big for us to grasp.
So now I have to ask myself, who is giving me this job, to say all of this right up there and down there? Where is this coming from? What is the goal here? What is at the core of me that is coming up and out, if I am to join in? I need to check myself. Take a breath. Think it through.
WHY. No really. Dare I say (honestly humbly) that today it feels like the answer is Yes and I’m almost certain it’s an Assignment? Because I’ve been having this “talk with God” (which I realize makes me sound crazy, but whatever) and these little things keep happening and these sentences keep coming to mind while I’m just typing along and I’ve never had popular opinions among most Christians anyway, so it’s fine.
So yes, I said it. Freedom of speech and all that. You can say you don’t agree. That’s fine. But can I just ask one favor, of us all? Both sides and sitting there with screens and all kinds of devices that make reacting too easy? Just one small thing?
When utilizing social media, ask yourself,
We’re here, in the land of free speech and reality TV and social media and the home of the brave with hashtags. So we walk back and forth, clickety-click, on whoever we feel like walking on at the moment and then it blows over, leaving its mark on only those we think it is our right to point to as the sign of a fallen world–under our dirty little feet and belittling (intentional or not) comments, under our thumbs and our scrutiny and verses, while we sit firm and certain and just fine.
Kristen Howerton responded more specifically about Phil’s remarks and suspension in her post today.
And here’s an informative and interesting link to The Gay Debate: The Bible and Homosexuality