I must admit I’ve never watched “Duck Dynasty,” but this brouhaha over A&E’s suspension of the show’s star, Phil Robertson, for his remarks on homosexual behavior in an interview with GQ has little to do with “gay” issues and everything to do with thought and speech control — and the left’s intolerance.
Robertson first expressed, in admittedly vulgar terms, his incredulity that some men find other men more attractive than women. Fine. Call him insensitive, but it’s hardly a debatable point that heterosexuals don’t quite grasp the allure of homosexuality.
But that doesn’t seem to be his offending statement. When he identified homosexual behavior as a sin, he might as well have robbed a bank on live television. But when he cited the New Testament book of 1st Corinthians as including homosexuality in a list of sins, he had past the point of no return. He’s outta there.
Of course, this isn’t a violation of Robertson’s First Amendment rights, because the censorial actions emanated not from the government, but from a private company, which is not constitutionally barred from doing what it did.
Constitutional issues aside, we are witnessing a profound display of leftist intolerance, and they need to be called on it. Some in the gay activist community demanded Robertson’s head because of his “hate.”
GLAAD spokesman Wilson Cruz said, “What’s clear is that such hateful anti-gay comments are unacceptable to fans, viewers and networks alike.” Robertson’s removal “has sent a strong message that discrimination is neither a Christian nor an American value.”
Discrimination? Who discriminated against whom? Did Robertson call for any action against homosexuals? Did he engage in any discriminatory action against gays? Or did he just voice an opinion that GLAAD finds contemptible?
Robertson, on the other hand, was the subject of discriminatory action. He was suspended for voicing his Christian beliefs.
The American left — actually, it’s a global phenomenon — is increasingly intolerant of opposing viewpoints, while holding itself out as the exemplar of tolerance. I’ve mentioned before the defiance of one university administrator, who defended her suspension of a professor for making available to her students a magazine article that reportedly was critical of homosexual behavior. “We will not tolerate the intolerable,” she said.
Similarly, I just read a tweet from CNN’s Piers Morgan, which said, “Just as the 2nd Amendment shouldn’t protect assault rifle devotees, so the 1st Amendment shouldn’t protect vile bigots.”
That’s leftist tolerance in a nutshell. They demand tolerance, but they exhibit intolerance. Far from tolerating certain Christian views, the Obama left obliterates the conscience rights of Christian health care providers. Moreover, the tolerance they demand doesn’t mean allowing everyone his point of view. It means you must accept as equally valid every idea they command you to accept — and reject your own ideas and values if they don’t meet their approval.
So many of us rail against the left’s encroachments on our economic liberties but ignore their equal assaults on our religious and cultural liberties. Some economic conservatives insist that social conservatives keep our powder dry on social issues: Live and let live. Don’t worry about the culture wars. We are headed toward national bankruptcy.
That’s true, but they were telling us to shut up before Obama took us over the fiscal cliff. Besides, Republicans will never muster a winning coalition by relegating pro-life Christian conservatives to the back of the GOP bus.
As many are now belatedly realizing, the option of sitting out the culture wars is increasingly closed to us if we value our liberties, as we conservatives claim we do. Despite all of its sermonizing, the militant left will not live and let live. They demand uniformity of thought, and those who dissent from their PC standards are to be shunned and silenced.
The left is outraged that someone like Robertson would be so judgmental as to call homosexual behavior sinful. Yet they are, in effect, condemning as sinful those who express this opinion.
They are the ones being judgmental and are projecting that characteristic onto those who disagree with them. The irony is that Christians who agree with Robertson aren’t acting as judges. Rather, they happen to believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and that it defines certain behaviors as sinful. They even admit to engaging in some of these behaviors themselves, recognizing that they are not exempt from the Biblical pronouncement that we are all sinners.
No, Christians don’t believe they are the arbiters of sinful behavior, but that God is. But we’re approaching that time — we already may have arrived — when the belief in certain scriptures will be deemed intolerably sinful and the believer outcast as a hater.
Gay activists have redefined hate to mean disapproval of certain lifestyles or practices, but in reality, if there’s any hatred going on, it’s from the activists toward the Christians who don’t agree with them.
Christians and other social conservatives must fight for their beliefs and rights in this culture and quit foolishly believing their liberties will survive if they sit passively on the sidelines.
David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book, “The Great Destroyer,” reached No. 2 on the New York Times best-seller list for nonfiction.