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December 24, 2013

Comments

Good piece. I agree with you on Robertson and this writer's screed. But be careful:

"No one except Jesus is exempted from these chapters. No one."

Romans 1-3 talk about personal sin. A newborn has no personal sin, nor does a mentally handicapped/retarded person. Catholics also believe Mary was preserved from personal and original sin.

Romans 5 gives us the argument for original sin, which we all are under. God Bless and Merry Christmas!

"A newborn has no personal sin"??? But they do fuss and fume a lot. It's because they haven't learned how to cuss yet.

About the Duck Dynasty controversy against the lobby gay I want to make some comments:

1)If you express your thoughts regarding gay people and you disagree with their behavior in the public square then you will be destroye by the media.

2)If a public figure like an actor, singer, philosopher etc., make some hateful comments regarding the Christians nobody will care.

Even if the comments of Phil Robertson were made with more respect or politically correct he would be destroyed any way by the media.

Suppose that Ellen Gegeneres or Oprha Winfrey made some comments against Christianity or Christians, no body will care about it.

Bloomberg National Poll
Conducted by Selzer & Company. Sept. 20-23, 2013.
N=1,000 adults nationwide. Margin of error ± 3.1.

"Do you support or oppose allowing same-sex couples to get married?"

Support 55%
Oppose 36%
Unsure 9%

It would be interest to graph those statistics over the last 20 years and for the next ten or so years.

Homer Simpson: Aw, you can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. Forty percent of all people know that.

As a Christian, where should we take our lead?

Scripture or public opinion polls?

Grace aborts Justice, and therein is offensive to us.

Justice aborts Grace, and therein is offensive to us.

Love delights in Justice, in Grace, in E Pluribus Unum, as these find singularity.

The two-sided singularity of Deuteronomy 28:63 speaks of all that is Actuality, from the Timeless Immaterial to the bitter ends of Time and Physicality. The singularity of such is found yet again manifested in Love's Ransom, wherein perfect Justice, void of Grace, and, perfect Grace, void of Justice, are found, though many, in but the singularity of One, high atop that Hill, where we spy Love's Eternally Sacrificed Self, poured out, and this for His beloved, you and I and us.

Sam,

You can see 'Opinion over time' in the US for the last ten years here.

The chart next to that, labelled 'Percent that say legal, by age', will give you an idea of what the future holds - I couldn't find an actual chart of the future. :)

Happy Christmas,
Ron

So I guess the lesson we should get from the example of Robertson and Ron's poll is that any time 55% of the people believe something it is OK to fire the 36% that don't. That way it'll keep the 9% who are unsure in line.

Indeed, I'm sure that the movement in the polls that Ron links has nothing at all to do with the fact that expressing views contrary to the gay agenda has been, for quite some time...long before a majority of people believed in gay marriage, as good a way of committing career suicide as you could find.

Make people afraid to express an opposing view and Shazam! Your view gains in popularity.

It's so nice to see our society 'opening up'.

Public opinion polls tell you about public opinion.

They do not tell you about whether the public is right.


I don't know all the reasons public opinion has changed the way it has.

There has been the suggestion that some have tried to influence it.

If this is true, well, I'm just shocked.


Saying X can get you fired.

Saying not-X can get you fired.

That's all fine.


Mr Robertson is, of course, as free as anyone to say whatever he wants.

Mr Robertson is also free not to sign up with A&E.

But Mr Robertson can't demand that the producers of the show employ him regardless of what he says.

My guess is that, in the end, Robertson will be re-instated. But that's because he is worth millions in his own right and needs A&E a lot less than A&E needs him. Robertson actually can demand that the producers of the show employ him regardless of what he has said.

People with less clout are, of course, more-or-less helpless victims to the PC thought police.

As for 'poor victim of the powerful anti-gay agenda' that Ron linked...no cigar and not even close.

Ron's link leads to that jerk who took it upon himself to rudely harangue the woman at the drive-through window at Chick-Fil-A. The woman handled the jerk with such incredible class and dignity that it revealed the 'man' as the small-minded troll that he really is.

And that's why he was fired, for being a jerk, not because he was pro-gay. Had he been filmed while similarly being a jerk about getting the spicy chicken when he ordered the regular, and had that video gone viral, he would have been just as fired.

Now, returning to Duck Dynasty, does Robertson have a legally binding right not to be fired by A&E for having the views he has?

No, of course he doesn't. And I don't think he should have any such right or that anyone thinks he should.

At the same time each and every one of us has the right to say that A&E is in the wrong for firing him. Individuals and groups of individuals can be have in shockingly immoral ways while not even coming close to illegality. And everyone has the right to express their outrage over the immorality of those actions. In particular, everyone has the right to conclude that A&E is being run by politically correct pea-brains. And so forth.

Love’s Ontology:

The inhumanity and abuse which ex-gays are faced with is troubling, even disturbing, even offensive. Martin Luther King Jr. accurately analyzed the status of, the experience of, all that is minority in his brilliant descriptive of the sorts of dehumanizing disenfranchisement which societal groups suffer should they be defined out of humanity itself by majority groups peddling their particular narrative of deceit. Ultimately the experience of every-man’s humanity rises to the surface, victorious.


Inside of Immutable Love’s embrace we find, coherently, that in fact both changed ex-gays and unchanged gays are found inside the walls of Love’s embrace, and those who only love our dear friends who are unchanged gays and yet continue to reject, even hate and silence, our dear friends who are changed gays, ex-gays, and continue to seek to oppress and ridicule those dear gay friends of ours who seek change, as well as those dear ex-gay friends of ours who have changed, are themselves the inhumanity which the human spirit has always sought freedom from. Such exclusivity and discrimination always, eventually, comes down on the wrong side of history.

Any narrative which must depend upon lies, upon deception, and upon violence to sustain its influence in society has, history is teaching us, time and again, come down on the wrong side of history, of humanity.

An ex-gay had died, and, it is interesting to note the reaction of his gay friends as they sat by. I'm not sure they were really his "friends", though. That he was atop his death bed seemed to them an irritation, as, at his death, he could no longer offer to them what their narrative, built on un-truth, needed. He left his world having had (in the past) an appetite for the male, and, having, years later, changed, truly, and, upon leaving our world, enjoyed, wanted, the female, and with children having been born out of such amalgamations. That his “friends” sat by his death bed hoping he’d make a last-minute announcement that his ex-gay status had been, all along, autohypnosis, and, upon his death, betraying a visible disappointment that such never materialized, is not merely offensive, but is actually frightening.

The hatred which this reveals is troubling and speaks of a kind of illness in both motive and narrative in those who react this way, as if the man’s life was just a bit for their story, and not a human being, but rather a mere non-person. Clearly this is not the reaction which most of our dear gay friends have at such a deathbed of an ex-gay friend, but, as Christian’s must be introspective in motives, so too must those who find such an interior set of emotions at the sight of such ex-gays. A motive check is called for. Will we embrace reality, or, will we seek a false-narrative which secures power even if such disenfranchises a minority which we feel threatened by?

Will we invite everyone to the table, or, only the “statistical majority”? Will we only permit this dear minority of ex-gays to the table if they agree to wear a name badge with red lettered shame stating, “My Name Is Liar”? Martin Luther King Jr. spoke quite descriptively of such institutionalized power-plays, and fought, on the side of right, against them. As Christians we must not return hate for hate here, but we must instead do as Immutable Love does and embrace all people and let dignity win out. “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” (Pastor Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Man’s violence against , oppression of, and silencing of the human spirit’s thirst for hope, of Love’s Truth, can only end up sounding like a kind of ill-tasting incoherence, as history has taught us that, “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” (Pastor Martin Luther King, Jr.)

In Christ, in Love’s Ontology, we find the embrace of all men everywhere, as churches are but hospitals for all of us, both changed and unchanged, in whatever arena one wishes to foist. William Lane Craig reminds us, “If you find yourself feeling glad when some affliction befalls a homosexual person or you find feelings of hatred welling up in your heart toward homosexual people, then you need to reflect long and hard on the words of Jesus recorded in Matthew: “it will be more tolerable on the Day of Judgment for Sodom and Gomorrah than for you” (Mt. 10.15; 11.24).”

As for those who seek to forbid our dear gay friends even the consideration of change and therein seek to employ institutionalized power to define away a man’s dignity and freedom, or, for those who sink to ridicule and even abuse when faced with testimonies of actual change in orientation as such, uncomfortably, speak of the truth of a very real part of the very real human experience which they fear coming to light, or, who simply employ the statistical majority’s power to wholly disenfranchise this dear minority of ex-gays of simple dignity, well, that kind of hate is simply a part of the problem, simply a part of what will be found, ultimately, on the wrong side of history. A response of hate by the Christian against those who, well, those who what? --- those who employ verbal, institutional, and emotional violence against this dear minority of ex-gays who they feel threatens their own narrative --- an emotion of of distaste, even anger, by the Christian would be justified, for, a mere “feeling” of anger against inhumanity is, to be sure, justified, but any sort of verbal or physical outing of the Christian’s justified distaste of injustice brought out and leveled against a person would be the wrong response, even in simple dialogue. We must speak out, but, we must never diminish the value of anyone, even the oppressive majority who employ a narrative of non-truth, of hate, and who seek to define away the inconvenient minority. We must remember that we are to employ Love’s Means and Ends, which is but Love Himself, and trust, really trust, that Dignity and Love will have the last word as no other anything will, in the end, be found to be on the right side of history.

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.” (Pastor Martin Luther King, Jr.)

It is worth repeating that In Christ, in Love’s Ontology, we find the embrace of all men everywhere, as churches are but hospitals for all of us, both changed and unchanged, in whatever arena one wishes to foist. William Lane Craig reminds us, “If you find yourself feeling glad when some affliction befalls a homosexual person or you find feelings of hatred welling up in your heart toward homosexual people, then you need to reflect long and hard on the words of Jesus recorded in Matthew: “it will be more tolerable on the Day of Judgment for Sodom and Gomorrah than for you” (Mt. 10.15; 11.24).”

WL,

And that's why [Smith] was fired, for being a jerk, not because he was pro-gay.
I did not say or imply that Smith was fired for being pro-gay. Yes Smith is a jerk.

Smith was fired for saying things his company didn't want associated with its brand. The Vante press release...

Vante regrets the unfortunate events that transpired yesterday in Tucson between our former CFO/Treasurer Adam Smith and an employee at Chick-fil-A. Effective immediately, Mr. Smith is no longer an employee of our company.
The actions of Mr. Smith do not reflect our corporate values in any manner. Vante is an equal opportunity company with a diverse workforce, which holds diverse opinions. We respect the right of our employees and all Americans to hold and express their personal opinions, however, we also expect our company officers to behave in a manner commensurate with their position and in a respectful fashion that conveys these values of civility with others.
We hope that the general population does not hold Mr. Smith's actions against Vante and its employees.
And Robertson was fired for saying things A&E didn't want associated with its brand. A&E's press release...
We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty. His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.
Each company says it fired the employee to demonstrate the distance between brand the employee's comments. Neither man was fired just for being jerk.

WL,

Now, returning to Duck Dynasty, does Robertson have a legally binding right not to be fired by A&E for having the views he has? No, of course he doesn't. And I don't think he should have any such right or that anyone thinks he should.

There certainly are people who think he should.

Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, and Bobby Jindal have all said things that indicate that they believe the First Amendment protects Robertson here.

If one of them knows better, then his or her comments are mendacious pandering to a constituency that doesn't.

And that constituency certainly exists. Just look in the comments below any article about the statements these three have made on the topic.


"And Robertson was fired for saying things A&E didn't want associated with its brand. A&E's press release..."

Interseting, since Duck Dynasty basically is A&E's brand.

As for Cruz, I think, you'l find on his facebook post on the subject that he never mentions the first amendment. The same goes for Palin.. They do mention freedom of speech and religious liberty, which are also mentioned in the fist amendment. But that is a million miles away from saying that Cruz or Palin argued from the first amendment.

BTW, even though Jindal mentioned the first amendment in his statement, he could hardly be said to be arguing from it. He was doing exactly what everyone else is doing...expressing outrage over the fact that A&E is trampling on Robertson's freedom of conscience.

Not one of them said that the first amendment protects Robertson. That's entirely your distortion.

The fact is that the legal protection that the first amendment provides for free speech and religious liberty is only a small part of the moral scope of those freedoms.

Morally, A&E is extremely vicious for infringing on Robertson's speech and religious freedom's, even though they are not involved in illegality or first amendment violations. Nor should the laws be changed so that business actions like theirs become illegal.

As a society we are faced with the difficult task of balancing the competing freedoms of all our members against one another. And, while sophomores may have pat formulae on the subject ("My rights end at the tip of the other fellow's nose" etc.), none of them will really stand up to a minute's worth of scrutiny. It's a difficult, messy, task that must be constantly revisited.

Right now, the best we can do is to legally tolerate A&E's freedom to abuse their power to fire people...even though we can point to clear cases, like the Robertson case, where they fire for nakedly immoral reasons...reasons that involve an unjust infringement of an individual's conscience. The reason we tolerate that immorality is that, among the alternatives we have to it, such as requiring government approval for all firings, it is the least of the foreseeable evils.

But, fortunately, as a society we have other remedies to A&E's despicable conduct. We can, for example, express outrage over A&E's immoral and stupid actions. We can stop supporting them as a business. We can apply pressure in secondary arenas, as happened with Cracker Barrel.

And when A&E finally caves, which I'm pretty sure they will, we can reward them, by congratulating them for having the wisdom to admit their mistakes, making greater use of their products and so on.

As for Smith (the Chick-fil-a-bashing jerk) he absolutely was fired for being a jerk. Once again, Vante's statement on the Smith firing (excerpted directly from your quote above):

We respect the right of our employees and all Americans to hold and express their personal opinions, however, we also expect our company officers to behave in a manner commensurate with their position and in a respectful fashion that conveys these values of civility with others.
So Smith was fired, basically, for being disrespectful and uncivil. That is to say, for being a jerk.

And you absolutely did imply that Smith was fired for being pro-gay. Again here's an excerpt from your earlier post:

Saying X can get you fired.

Saying not-X can get you fired.

That's all fine.

Now, for this little formula to be relevant to the discussion X must be Robertson's comments must be "X" and "not-X" is where you linked to the article about Smith. X and not-X are opposites, so what are you saying? Smith was fired for being a jerk (or if you prefer, because he behaved in a disrespectful and uncivil way).

And Roberston was fired for what? The opposite? Is it that Robertson is just too darn respectful and civil for A&E's 'bad-boy' image?

Come.On.

You obviously meant to be saying that Robertson made anti-gay remarks and got fired for that, while Smith made opposite remarks (pro-gay remarks) and got fired for that.

But it is simply untrue that Smith got fired for making pro-gay remarks. He got fired for being a jerk. Not for expressing his convictions, but for his disrespectful and uncivil behavior directly to another human being. Robertson, on the other hand, got fired for expressing his convictions.

Here's my 2 cents on all this: we are all sinners and fall short. That much I know is true. I also know this: Robertson et. al. are NOT calling out all of us, they are only calling out homosexuals. They are SINGLING them out. That's what I have an issue with.

The GQ article was done deliberately. Not sure if by GQ or Robertson -- but rest assured he knew exactly what he was doing. He is a brilliant man.

Yes, the Bible is offensive. I just wish we were calling out all of us rather than focusing on one or two groups. Who is calling out the drunkards? The adulterers? The divorcers? Or are those sins now "acceptable"?

Calling out homosexuals in particular is precisely what Robertson did NOT do. He was asked specifically what is sinful...exact words from article: "What, in your mind, is sinful?". He included homosexuality first on the list, but there were also a lot of other items. By doing this he was neither saying that one sin leads to another nor equating homosexuality with any of the other sins on the list. And he clearly was not singling out homosexuality.

@ WisdomLover -

Absolutely right.

But this fact doesn't matter to those who want to accuse him of saying things he never said, or meaning things he did not mean.

Most of the people who are all upset over this haven't even bothered to READ the article itself!

Wyndall, not only does he mention all of those things along with homosexuality, but he also spends more time condemning his own sins than he does on the list they asked him to give.

If homosexuality seems to you to be singled out, it's because that's the only item the media care to make a fuss about--it's the only item Christians are being pressured to celebrate. Don't confuse the media's focus with Robertson's.

Not one of them said that the first amendment protects Robertson. That's entirely your distortion.

No that's not 'my distortion'.

It's not even what I said.

I said the three said things that indicate that they believe the First Amendment protects Robertson here.

Look:

Palin begins her post about Robertson with 'Free speech is an endangered species.'

'Free speech' is very very strongly associated with 'the First Amendment' in our country.

Cruz titled his post about Robertson 'Free Speech Matters'.

And, in his post about Robertson, Cruz said: 'If you believe in free speech or religious liberty, you should be deeply dismayed...'

The combination of 'free speech' and 'religious liberty' is nearly synonymous with the First Amendment in our country.

Jindal said, "I also acknowledge that this is a free country, and everyone is entitled to express their views. In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment."

All three seem to want to sound like they 'believe the First Amendment protects Robertson here'. Your auditory experience may vary.

I will give the three the benefit of a doubt; I will say they mean it.

Nor should the laws be changed so that business actions like [A&E's] become illegal.
You are right there.

In fact, this where the First Amendment actually does come in to this case.

A law that forced A&E to pay Robertson to contradict A&E would deny A&E its First Amendment right to free speech.

Such a law, would be something like the ruling/law that forced that wedding photographer to endorse gay marriage by photographing one. (I think that ruling should be and will be reversed on appeal.)

A&E exercised its First Amendment right when it fired Robertson (and did so again when they rehired him).

You speak as if conscience (morality) and First Amendment right (law) were at odds here.

Robertson must be free to say as his conscience dictates.

But A&E must be free also to refuse to pay him to say it.


Yes, the bible is offensive. That is why it is called the Sword. We've been fully equipped to stand and defend out faith. Ephesians 6:10-18

STR's creeping, crawling commentivorous creature strikes again.

I've got a longish comment responding to Ron's last few that I'll be breaking down.

(Amy: don't bother trying to fish my first two attempts out of spam...It'll give me a chance to make some last minute revisions anyway).

I'm called away for a few minutes. But I'll have something coming up soon Ron.

Part One

Ron:

Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, and Bobby Jindal have all said things that indicate that they believe the First Amendment protects Robertson here.
WL:
Not one of them said that the first amendment protects Robertson. That's entirely your distortion.
Ron:
No that's not 'my distortion'.

It's not even what I said.

I said the three said things that indicate that they believe the First Amendment protects Robertson here.

OK Fine. I'll 'revise' my criticism. None of them said anything that indicates that they believe the first amendment protects Robertson here. That's entirely your distortion. (I'll leave it to others to decide how much of a revision I've actually made here.)

What they did say are words that indicate that they find A&E's trashing of Robertson's moral right to freedom of conscience offensive. Like the vast majority of Americans throughout our history, they love freedom of conscience. A right so important that we've attempted to make laws protecting it.

Part Two

The First Amendment and freedom of conscience are different things you can love freedom of conscience in contexts that are outside the scope of the first amendment.

Your claim:

The combination of 'free speech' and 'religious liberty' is nearly synonymous with the First Amendment in our country.
Is arrant nonsense. This is underscored by the fact that a lot of people, like Palin, Cruz, Jindal, find A&E's behavior stupid and hateful in spite of the fact that we recognize that they are probably (ab)using their first amendment protection to do it.

See, it is possible to love freedom of conscience, and still to be offended by someone's use of a legally protected form of that freedom to quash a legally unprotected use of the same freedom by someone else.

Part Three

Palin derangement Syndrome afflicts the left. As such, she's actually able in two sentences to say stuff that makes them just go crazy. (Ted Cruz still needs a couple paragraphs.) So, because her statement is shorter, let's just look at Palin's whole 'statement'

Free speech is an endangered species. Those 'intolerants' hatin' and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.
It seems that Palin is simply saying that A&E's actions are an attack on Robertson's freedom of conscience...and they are. She also seems to be saying that they are an attack on all of us...and they are (that's why we are outraged). And she seems to be saying that this sort of activity creates a chilling effect on freedom of conscience...and it does. And that's all she actually said.

What exactly she wants us to do about it is unclear from the facebook post. But in follow up conversations with Hannity and others, it becomes clear that she wants us to do things like write to A&E, prominently wear camoflage, sign the online petition and so forth. In other words, express our outrage. Not to go to court. Not agitate for legal solutions.

Part Four

Now let's turn to this:

A law that forced A&E to pay Robertson to contradict A&E would deny A&E its First Amendment right to free speech.
A law that no one, least of all Palin, Jindal and Cruz, has proposed. The message has, pretty clearly, been: Express your outrage at A&E's trampling of Robertson's freedom of conscience. The message has not been:Make a law.

Part Five

Finally this

You speak as if conscience (morality) and First Amendment right (law) were at odds here.

Robertson must be free to say as his conscience dictates.

But A&E must be free also to refuse to pay him to say it.

Well, what was (until A&E caved as I suspected they would) manifestly in conflict was A&E's freedom of conscience and Robertson's. If there were no conflict, there would not have been a firing.

As a society, we've decided to give broad legal protection to A&E's right, escpecially as a purveyor of information, to hire and fire the people they allow the use of their soapbox. I agree with that (though I wonder what would have happened had Robertson come out as gay and been fired for that reason...had A&E argued that his gayness damaged the rough and tumble brand of Duck Dynasty...which, btw, it would). And most Americans, including Palin, Cruz and Jindal, do also.

And as a society, we've decided that the public, whose freedom of conscience is also given broad legal protection, will use its outrage as a check to those cases where an individual or organization abuses its legally protected freedom to trample on the freedoms of those who do not enjoy such broad legal protection. And that's exactly what happened here. Some things still work in our society. Yaaay!

Fallacy: “Robertson must hate those who have hatred”

In Josh Barrow's view, Phil Robertson must hate gays because he thinks gays (and humanity) have hatred. Can we then conclude that Barrow hates Robertson (and Christians) because Barrow thinks they have great hatred?

Barrow describes his logic, which can be generalized as follows: "A group's "views on ______s are hateful, inasmuch as they are full of hate." But I don't think Barrow would accept this logic when applied to himself, so why does he apply it to Christians?

I can't conclude that Barrow is hateful, but I do think his logic is flawed.

I can't believe it took me a couple days to realize this (as I was waking up actually).

I think WL got to the point I was going to make when he said, "If there were (sic) no conflict, there would be no firing". If Phil Robertson had answered the question posed to him by fully parroting A&E's position, there would be no fury over voicing one's opinion as a "representative" of A&E. He would have had every right, in the eyes of the network, to speak his mind. He never would have been chided for discussing such a volatile subject. But as soon as his opinion (which was sought) was not in sync with the network, he supposedly lost that right. (Had he lied, they would have applauded his answers! So preserving the propaganda is all that mattered to them--that is, until the dollar took center stage...)

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