In a recent op-ed piece by Travis Rowley entitled “Duck, Duck, Gays”, Rowley argued;
“It’s the strangest thing. That is, for Christians, out of love for their fellow man, to attempt to spread the good news about Jesus Christ, to evangelize, to try to turn people away from lives of sin so they may realize eternal salvation – only to be ridiculed as hateful.
Of course, this is not how modern liberals perceive Christian activity. Moreover, this is a depiction they refuse to accept.
Agenda-driven liberals are pros at ignoring any evidence or testimony that may challenge the left-wing view of the average Christian conservative – i.e. People who profess not to make any moral judgments at all, but are consistently caught condemning others; people who are supposed to love and forgive. And that’s it!
Liberals prefer Christians to be the pushovers they mistake them for.” (TravisRowley.com, Duck, Duck, Gays).
The column was in support of comments by Phil Robertson regarding gays. Mr. Rowley believes that Robertson made these comments out “love for his fellow man” according to his column.
Mr. Rowley couldn’t be more mistaken. He also seems to ignore Robertson comments on how happy blacks were in pre-Civil rights Louisiana. Really?
Nor could one find a better argument for why Religion, all religion, needs to be diligently removed from public matters.
Discrimination against anyone because of their sexual orientation or race is unlawful. Robertson’s comments, no matter how one tries to ameliorate them, are hateful and harmful. They promote discrimination.
Now, I also concede discrimination against anyone for their religious beliefs is also unlawful. You can hold any religious belief you choose. Hold it privately.
Religion, by its very nature, is discriminatory and exclusionary. One cannot be a practicing, Orthodox Jew and believe Jesus is the Son of God.
One cannot be a Catholic and believe Jesus is not the Son of God.
Each religion has its dogma and tenets that must be followed. If one disagrees with these you could argue they are not fully embracing the religion.
Rowley talks in the general terms of Christians and how, out of their love for their fellow man, they work to turn those in the Gay lifestyle away from a life of sin. These Christians are, of course, conservative.
There are many Christian denominations that openly embrace members of the Gay community, many have ordained openly Gay members as clergy. Are these not the right Christians? Are they also lost? Do they believe the following quote from the same article?
“It’s no secret that Christians believe homosexual activity is sinful. Yet, when Phil Robertson did little more than paraphrase 1 Corinthians 6:9 – a New Testament passage that chronicles several categories of sinners who “will not inherit the kingdom of God” – liberals everywhere began to simultaneously convulse.”
Convulse might be a bit harsh. I found the comments almost funny, as if someone had captured audio along with the popular Wal-Martian images. Until the sound and fury of support for this gained momentum. Then it became frightening.
If we are going to rely on the Bible text as a source of infallibility, there are a whole host of quotes that require some serious explanation. Way too many to list here. But Rowley, and the conservative Christian block prefer to cherry pick the Bible for things that sound nice.
The true focus of most Rowley columns is always the chasm between Liberals and Conservatives. The line in this one that really stood out was one of the last ones;
“The Left is anti-intellectual. The Left is raw emotion. The Left is totalitarian”
I found these to be the most troubling.
Apparently Mr. Rowley never read Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al. (400 F. Supp. 2d 707, Docket no. 4cv2688) (From <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitzmiller_v._Dover_Area_School_District>).
Wherein the misguided, conservative School Board tried to impose the teaching of religion masquerading as science called “Intelligent Design.”
The Judge in the case, described as a conservative appointee on the bench, eviscerated the School Board for its obvious ignorance of science and the intellectual process of the scientific method in the pursuit of a religious purpose. The anti-intellectualism of the conservative movement was thrown open for all to see.
As to raw emotion, the response from the “left” has been one of sound, logical reasoning.
And if Rowley can point out one totalitarian aspect of sound, logical reasoning I’d be shocked.
I would also disagree that criticism of the comments has been exclusively from the “left.” I consider myself to be middle of the road. I believe the response in opposition has come from many quarters. Mr. Rowley likes to polarize everything to an extreme.
The point here is simple. Mr. Robertson is entitled to his beliefs. Mr. Rowley is as well. Whether or not A&E continues the series will likely come down to a financial decision.
None of which matters.
What does matter is when ideas that encourage discrimination justified by any religious tenet are thrown about as a better political philosophy.
If the conservative agenda must, as would seem, include the use of Biblical passages as rational arguments, than it need be willing to subject these to reasoned analysis.
Mr. Rowley, like the many other conservative supporters of Robertson, conveniently twists this issue into an attempt by Liberals to silence religious faith.
He couldn’t have been more wrong.
If some liberals believe they can muzzle all religious beliefs that differ from their agenda, they are sadly misguided.
Keep your faith as you would, and let others keep theirs. What your orthodoxy requires is perfectly acceptable in the sanctuary of your place of worship. But you cannot use that as justification for imposing those beliefs on others in the public forum.
It occurs to me there is some real irony here. Robertson makes a device designed to sound real, sound authentic, sound like a true call. But, if you happen to be a duck (Or Vice President Cheney’s hunting partner), when you get close enough to realize the truth, it doesn’t end well.
It may quack like a duck but it is the Siren’s call of a lie.
Rowley and those like him are using the same duck call approach in their argument.