I meant to write about this last weekend when it was still fresher in the news, but what the hell? The man's still around. He's going to run his mouth again. I guess I feel compelled to write about Phil Robertson's (the "Duck Dynasty" patriarch's) latest rant because I have to express how sick it made me feel.
You probably heard. He went on a disgusting diatribe about an atheist family getting raped, mutilated and murdered to make his point that only people who believe in God (and I'm sure he means the white evangelical Christian god) have any sense of right or wrong. There was a fire and brimstone-like cruelty to what he was saying, the way he was saying it, almost like he was hoping hell would rain down on this imaginary atheist family.
I do believe in God, not the cruel, wrathful, genocidal god Phil does, but I do believe He exists in the universe. I just decided, after years of personal torment and struggle, that God is love. But that's my belief. I'm not going to deny the dignity or humanity of someone who doesn't believe. I'm not going to say anyone who is an atheist or agnostic is devoid of a moral compass or a sense of right or wrong.
When I hear this hate rant, I think of all those people on Facebook who liked the "I stand with Phil" page after he caught backlash for saying disparaging things about gays in an interview with GQ. (Oh, no gays in that magazine, I'm sure.) Something about the way people - many of whom I went to church with - liked that page stuck in my craw.
I could never like something that makes a bigot out to be a martyr. It would be like condoning the mean things he said, like saying I agree with him. And I don't. I don't want to be anything like that guy and I'm damn sure not raising my kids to be that way.
Did all those people standing with good ol' Christian Phil approve of the way he talked about blacks too?
"We’re going across the field.... They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”
Like blacks in pre-Civil Rights Louisiana would've uttered a word of complaint to a white person. That was enough to get a black person lynched. Not like the racists needed much reason. But yeah, all their negroes were happy. Ol' Pastor Phil said blacks were better off before they had Civil Rights, that welfare is a worse form of slavery than the real slavery they endured -- you know, where they were kidnapped, beaten, whipped, chained up, separated from family forever, raped, tortured, dismembered and burned alive. Oh, but that wasn't as bad as having to accept public assistance to get some food.
I figure if a person is prejudiced against one group, he'll probably be prejudiced against another. Christian Phil doesn't like gays, is condescending toward African-Americans and now we hear him speak violently of atheists. Phil has a habit of demonizing anyone who doesn't share his views. A few days after unleashing his blood-splatter fantasy (at a prayer breakfast nonetheless), he made news for saying liberals are worse than Nazis.
Pastor Phil thinks people who feel strongly about civil liberties, education, equal rights for everybody, social safety nets to raise all ships and achieving peace over war are worse than the murderous perpetrators of the most horrific tragedy the world has ever known.
Phil isn't the only one. Not even the only to resort to gruesome imagery. Not by a mile. There's the Colorado state legislator who said a woman's rape was part of God's curse on America for legalizing abortion. Phil's grotesque hate-rant just got to me.
I remembered all those people and their "I stand with Phil" pages. Well I don't stand with Phil. I no longer go to church with any of them. Many of them are good people and I wish only good things for them and no ill will. I didn't give up on God or Christianity. I just couldn't abide belonging to an organization in which people promoted hatred.
I'd just had enough.