I really have had a hard time with this one. I really can see both sides to this one and I can also see why both of the main view points on this is completely wrong. I should probably start off by pointing out that I am not Christian, but I am religious. I am Celtic Pagan, and while I don’t want to go too much into my own personal faith here, because it really doesn’t matter in terms of who I am as a person, it scares me that someone claiming to have a faith is being viewed the way that it is being viewed. I have absolutely nothing negative to say about gays of any sort, in terms of their lifestyle being a sin or what have you. I really don’t care what people do in their own homes, and am in no place to judge about sexual propriety. Pat would probably also tell you that I am going to hell as well. To him, or at least to many Christians, all people, of all other faiths, that are not Christian are going to go to Hell. That is what he believes. I understand this idea that even though those were his beliefs that he should have kept them quiet because he represents this other company and that they have a right to fire one of their employees that does not agree with their company line. But this isn’t somebody who is truly representing the company. That is like saying that any of the other reality stars that the A&E network carries represents the network. Mr. Robertson is not their CEO, and really doesn’t represent the company any more than the crazy cat lady from hoarders.
One of the first things that upsets me about this is just how little of an actual argument or a reflection of religious freedom in this country this ploy for attention is. Consider just how much support the Duck Dynasty clan have received since the controversy. The controversy would not have come about if there had not been consequences. I mean really think about the average viewer response had he said what he said, the LBGT movement reacted like we can expect them to, and A&E simply been like, he is a religious redneck with a shotgun, deal with it. Did you really expect him to embrace you? I’m pretty sure that even fans of the show would have thought that was a little harsh, but because he was banned from the show, even if it was just on paper as he was reinstated just before new episodes that were filmed well before all of this so they would include the patriarch, will now be that much more advertised. Because there was a reaction, that was well calculated to make him look like a martyr, sales of the Duck Dynasty merchandise has skyrocketed, and guess who owns all of that. It is not the Robertson family. What would have been an interesting campaign is if fans of the show actually boycotted the show, realizing that even though the t-shirts they were buying had the face of their favorite character, that in fact their hard earned money was going into the very pockets of the villain that fired the man they were trying to defend.
With that being said, once we have established that this is a commercial venture, and is being brought out inorganically to drive a divide amongst people without actually furthering the argument or actual thought, much like how abortion is talked about on campaign trails, not because any political figure actually has a shot in hell to affect the issue one way or the other, unless they are campaigning for a supreme court justice, which of course are appointed. Why do politicians talk about an issue that they have no affect over (I’ve even seen local sheriffs talk about it)? It is because they know that both sides are very passionate about the issue and they know that is a way to endear themselves, and keep the conversation away from they own record, or more complicated issues that most of our population doesn’t properly understand. It is part of division culture, that we have to take sides with very little information, without ever really trying to examine the issues and a way to make them better for all involved.
So what is the religion debate in this country and how do I feel about it? I agree with the first amendment. I think that we as a population should be free to worship as we choose. The problem with that, is that we are a country that is a conglomeration of a lot of different cultures, and there is a huge coloration between the two. I also believe that there needs to be a separation between church and state. It is the only way that a bunch of people from many different faiths can all not hate each other. We have to be reminded of what we have in common, not constantly be forced to deal with why we are different. I personally don’t care how or what you worship, but don’t want to be personally subjected to it. There is a very annoying idea that I read about a lot concerning the founding fathers being Christians that would be rolling over in their graves that children are not allowed to pray in schools, and while I agree that many rights groups have taken things to an extreme, there is a reason for that.
Here is the point that we need to realize. That religion can be offensive. Religion is not PC. Religion, if it intends to answer the question of where it is that we came from and connect that to where it is that we are going after we die, needs to be very, very old. Ideals that might seem antiquated in modern society are the basis for what religion is. While it might seem offensive, or against convention, but I think to put your faith into a religion, you have to take every aspect of that faith. I hate the modern practice of picking and choosing what it is that you believe. So many Christians that I know call themselves Christians, but they don’t believe in the parts that are against modern morals, and for us as a society to expect such convictions is wrong. Religions are a bit racist, passing down old feuds and old societal rules that we can not properly judge without becoming a little bit bigoted for judging.
I recently read a post about the ACLU complaining about prayer for soldiers and how this evil organization was trying to take God away from men in uniform, who “obviously” need it going to war overseas. I seriously doubt the ACLU would have become involved if their had not been some complaints from someone involved. I served in the military and fought overseas. I again am not Christian. I was forced to sit through multiple prayers that were not even thinly hidden to be Christian in origin. The only masking was as to what denomination that was being represented. I would also like to inform you that as of when i got out in 2011, it was against regulations for the Army to hire Chaplains that were not Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Mormon, or Hindu. That means that Pagans, Wiccans, and Buddhists were out of luck if they sought spiritual guidance. I also want you to guess how many times the Jewish, Mormon, Hindu, or Muslim Chaplains were allowed to lead prayer during ceremonies and other mandatory formations. While I fully agree with the purpose of having Chaplains in the military, and that there needs to be that sort of counseling, the existence of systemic bias goes a long way to show the issues with religious rights in this country. Consider marriage in this country. There are many definitions of family in the world. There is the homosexual argument, but think of Polygamists such as in the Mormon and Muslim faiths. Consider that many Pagan faiths do not believe in monogamy. Consider how state laws set up marriages, so that if there is any infidelity that can be proven that the other partner gets a huge pay day. Consider that in terms of immigration, they do not recognize homosexual or poly relationships of any kind. You have to be in a monogamous Christian outlined household. Then you think about the Muslims that live in Michigan, who play the call to prayer loudly, early in the morning. Many non-Muslims have complained. Think about gay pride parades that are almost pornographic. I have a lot of kinky sexual practices, yet I can’t imagine an I like to choke people parade for white heterosexuals. There is something about the majority that scares people. They should just have to deal with everything, and then, there is the backlash that the majority, Christian, white people have in the form of Duck Dynasty. They are a majority of this country, and while you might not think that if you live in a big city on the East coast, there is a lot of room between you and California.
The point is that both majority and minority should been mutually respectful of one another. Both sides need to realize that to be tolerated does not mean that the other side has to like them. That is ok. We don’t need to continually keep picking sides, because the more that we do, the more that we allow ourselves to be used by a system that doesn’t care about us or the issues that they are presenting to us nearly as much as they enjoy controlling us and keeping us divided for their own profit margins.