Est. May 2008

21 December, 2013

What Phil 'Should' Have Said

Didn’t take long for some ‘Christians’ to go after Phil Robertson, did it?  Not for what he said, but for ‘how’ he said it.

Case: Brian Miller, a law student at George Mason, writes:
"It's really important to recognize that standing up for your beliefs in the public square does not require you to be coarse or crass," Miller told The Christian Post. "I know that it's difficult to be a very orthodox and conservative person and not face ridicule in the public square ... but not everything that happens is necessarily worthy of defense."

- and -

"It wouldn't be a compromise of their beliefs or their raw genuine nature to avoid using the words anus and vagina when discussing the most controversial issue of our time," wrote Miller, suggesting that if Phil had showed more tact and awareness of the media outlet with whom he was speaking, the situation might have been avoided.
First point: the moment Phil Robertson said that homosexuality is a sin, it didn’t matter what else he said; note that he also said it wasn’t his place to judge, that God would do the judging, that he and his family and Christians in general were to love everyone and let God sort out the rest.  Didn’t help; he broke the First Commandment of the LGBT Community – ‘thou shalt not say homosexuality is sinful’.

Second point: what, in particular, is wrong with the words ‘anus’ and ‘vagina’?  Those are scientific terms for those particular bodily orifices.  Again, I highly doubt it would have made any difference at all to GLAAD whether Mr. Robertson had refrained from being so ‘graphic’ (or, to quote Mr. Miller, ‘coarse or crass’), but if the use of those words does somehow offend GLAAD-ites, it wouldn’t surprise me, actually: they don’t like the word ‘homosexual’ as a descriptor, even though it’s the proper scientific term.

Third point: I imagine Mr. Miller being one of the disciples of Christ back in the first century, frantically waving his arms and pulling Jesus aside and whispering urgently, ‘Lord, you really shouldn’t call the scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees sons of vipers or hypocrites – that’s coarse and crass and might offend them.’  Or, perhaps, he would have suggested to Paul that he ought not to use ‘coarse and crass’ terms to describe the state of the Corinthian Christians prior to their conversion (see here - just happens to be the same Scripture Mr. Robertson paraphrased), or to describe his own life before his Damascus-Road moment (he calls it bull*** - see here).

As other writers have pointed out, the Bible is replete with very specific, sometimes ‘coarse and crass’ language.  Granted, most of us don’t expect a Christian to normally use language similar to what Mr. Robertson used in casual conversation, but I’d rather hear a Christian used the proper scientific terms than some street-gutter or playground slang – as some ostensibly-Christian (at least they say they’re Christian) preachers of note.

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