Friday, 20 December 2013

Duck what?

In the interests of full disclosure, we don't get Duck Dynasty over here. At least not yet, and not as far as I know. It seems to have got some Americans in a right tizz.

First of all, people claiming to be Christians spouting homophobia should be no surprise to anyone. No doubt they're basing it on Leviticus but unless they're queueing up to stone people who work on Sundays to death, it's really the last refuge of people who want to blame someone else for their own bigotry. You can just find gay people icky all by yourself, you know. You don't have to blame it on God. You're trying to abdicate responsibility for your own feelings. Most of us non-Christians can see that. It's okay. You're allowed to feel that way. But where I lose sympathy with you is when you try to limit other people's rights on the basis of some 2,000-year-old ramblings. Many of the Christians I know are kind, thoughtful people who understand that it's not for them to judge anyone's choices or lifestyle. They are good, compassionate people who don't feel persecuted by gay rights. If your Christian lifestyle is so fragile that two men you've never met and never will getting married causes your whole framework to crumble then you have far bigger problems than same-sex marriage.

I did see an article on Facebook earlier where the writer, standing up for Mr Robertson's right to free speech, which I wholeheartedly uphold, proudly announced he was deleting people's comments if they disagreed with the writer. To see how they liked it. Wow. What the writer was probably too blinkered or stupid to understand is that the other side of free speech is free listening. Too many people interpret the right to free speech as the right to never be disagreed with about anything ever. If you don't want people to disagree with you, don't splash your article all over Facebook. I could turn comments off on this blog (not that it's exactly a hotbed of debate) and wander around thinking you all get my genius and nobody in the whole world disagrees with me and I'm right about everything. It wouldn't be true but I would be free to think that. Inviting people to comment then censoring them because they disagree with you doesn't make a point - it just makes you look like a petty, giggling fool with no courage of your convictions.

For me, Mr Robertson's comments about gay people aren't really so much of a problem as his disgusting observation that black people liked being slaves. None of the frothing anti-gay comments and complaints about the network have touched on that. Leviticus also advocates slavery of course, but nobody seems to want to touch that particular comment with a bargepole. They can't have it both ways. Either eat kosher, sell your mixed fibre clothing and execute people who touch pigskins, or accept that one sentence in one book written thousands of years ago cannot be used to justify oppressing people. And if anyone does think black people liked being slaves, then perhaps the network can divert the funds used to make Duck Dynasty to a recreation of the journey slaves took to America, and everyone who thinks it was all a big laugh can volunteer to join in.

No comments:

Post a Comment