December 23, 2013
Posted by on
As this Duck Dynasty thing remains inexplicably in the news, the most important lesson we should take from the whole affair is that many American Christians profoundly misunderstand Christianity. People have been arguing about whether Robertson’s statements were offensive or involved free speech, but nobody seems to recognize how deeply unchristian they were.
The Bible isn’t about homosexuality. I don’t believe that there’s much of a case to be made on biblical grounds that homosexuality is a sin, but in this case it doesn’t really matter. The Bible isn’t a book about sexuality in general; that’s not the message. What’s important is love – loving God and loving your neighbors as yourself. This is the most important thing. In a meaningful sense, it’s the only thing, greater than faith and greater than hope. Comparing homosexuality to bestiality, racist revisionism about how happy black people were before the civil rights movement, crude talk about the relative merits of different kinds of bodily orifices (and let’s not even get into what this says about the value of women for this man): this is not love.
When asked to explain the law, Jesus said to love God and your neighbor. When pressed for further explanation, he used a hated social outcast as an example. American Christianity has not only followed the example of the Levites and the priests, it gets mad when their views are even criticized.