Phil Robertson: Making the Church of Christ Proud

Phil Robertson: Making the Church of Christ proudPhil Robertson: making the Church of Christ proud.

So let me get this straight (no pun intended):

One Church of Christ University, Pepperdine, has one of their law school professors, Richard Peterson, become the poster child of the “Yes on 8” campaign to ban same-sex marriage, and then after the school tries to claim they don’t take sides on political issues, watches their law school Dean, Ken Starr, lead the legal appeal after Prop 8 was struck down by the courts…

and now…

Phil Robertson, who attends the White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ in West Monroe, LA, and whose son, Willie, attended another Church of Christ University, Harding, makes graphic comments condemning gays in God’s name.

Can we honestly say we did NOT see this coming???

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The Boy Scouts Have Made the Correct Choice

Boy Scouts to allow gay youths to join

A member of Scouts for Equality holds an unofficial knot patch incorporating the colors of the rainbow, a symbol for gay rights. (Via CNN)

An excellent decision (finally) was made today by The Boy Scouts of America, yet another institution in decline (membership in Boy Scouts has declined by about a third since 1999), but one that has now left behind the discriminatory social practices of yesteryear and has joined our modern, egalitarian, American society.

It is a decision that is sure to cause religious fundamentalists to bemoan the continued erosion of their previously enjoyed haven of religiously-protected bigotry.

Excellent choice!

In response to Jim West’s “narrowly concerned” spittle

A Haredi man spits at a passerby.

In response to Jim West’s continued, passive-aggressive attempts to defend his oppression of the civil rights and privileges of same-sex couples by taking every chance possible to turn any news story into a shot against those who support marriage equality, here’s my response to his latest rhetorical spit-curse in the direction of those whose blogs he feels ‘to narrowly’ focus on the defense of the rights of same-sex couples. (And it is a spit-curse: an unprovoked shot at those with whom he disagrees on a certain issue while routinely passing by a completely unrelated topic. Some Haredim do it to tourists in Jerusalem; Jim does it to other bloggers online.)

Jim wrote:

Today’s term:  ’Narrowly concerned‘.

Narrowly concerned: n. a person who is terribly concerned for ‘marriage equality’ but totally silent about the deaths of 1000 Bangladeshis.

My response:

I’m guessing it’s because no one rallies to the defense of the Bangladeshi sweat shop owners, advocating to suppress the rights of the sweat shop workers. No one calls the near slave-like conditions the “natural order” of business in a capitalistic society, and no one argues that calling for workers’ rights is “angry advocacy” by quoting passages instructing slaves to obey their masters, parables teaching workers to work for their agreed upon wages (Matt 20), and instructions for women to remain silent.

EVERYONE realizes that this is a tragic situation and EVERYONE is calling for reform and punitive action to be taken against those who oppress these women, UNLIKE those who oppose marriage equality, who grasp for reasons to continue to deny gay couples the civil rights and privileges their oppressors enjoy.

The reason you don’t see a fight over this is that people are smart enough in THIS scenario to realize that one group is suffering under oppression/lack of civil justice, unlike same-sex marriage, where there are still people (believe it or not) who think that it’s OK to oppress another group because either their religion or their tradition (usually as the result of religion) tells them to do so.

CAN YOU IMAGINE someone rallying to the defense of the Bangladeshi sweatshop owner? CAN YOU IMAGINE a scholar arguing that these women “had it coming” because “they knew what they were getting into”, while quoting Matthew 20:13 over and over and over again, claiming it’s the “revealed” word of God. Because THAT’S what those who oppose same-sex marriage look like to the now majority of Americans who support marriage equality for same-sex couples.

That’s probably why. It’s easy to condemn the universally condemnable. It’s much more difficult to stand up for the oppressed minority and condemn the establishment. If I’m going to be “narrowly focused” on a blog (as if I have the free time to “report” redundantly on and condemn everything in the news as some do), may it ever be in defense of those who must fight against a bigoted populace AND the religious authorities who empower and perpetuate their oppression.

Methinks Chris Broussard WANTS to get fired

Chris Broussard

Chris Broussard

Methinks ESPN’s Chris Broussard WANTS to get fired. Following Chris Broussard’s declaration that newly-out gay NBA player Jason Collins is “not a Christian,” which I discussed yesterday, we have this interview where Broussard argues on the New York-based Power 105.1 “Breakfast Club” radio show, that gays can be saved if they ask for God’s forgiveness.

What startles me is the theological ignorance and the inconsistency and irrationality of his argument that immediately becomes apparent when he begins to elaborate his views on homosexuality, AND his misunderstanding of the relationship between the Hebrew Bible (Christian Old Testament) and the New Testament. Gone are thoughts of Jesus in Matt 5:17-19, where he says:

Matt. 5:17  “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
Matt. 5:18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
Matt. 5:19 Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Rather, we see a textbook example of the theological fallacy of Christian “Replacement Theology,” where Christians feel that the NT “trumps” the OT, but only in places they want it to. So while Broussard points out Peter’s vision of the “unclean” animals in Acts 10 is used to dismiss kosher regulations banning unclean foods, he uses the abolition of this one regulation to dismiss all other Old Testament laws…at least those he doesn’t consider to be “moral” laws.

If it sounds confusing, it’s because it IS confusing and makes no sense.

At one point, the hosts even say, “You sound like the white guy who says, ‘Hey, Im not racist. I got black friends’.”

Here are some transcripts I made from the interview:

Broussard:

“All of us fall and stumble, and I have fallen and stumbled many times since I’ve been a Christian, but I always, you know, repent and ask God for his forgiveness, and, you know, I’m movin’ forward from there. I think that’s the mark of a Christian. And I think if a person…that…

Stumbling and falling while you’re tryin’ to live for the Lord is different than goin’ out huntin’ for sin. You know, I’m goin’ out and gettin’ into it tonight. I’m gonna be mad if I don’t get into any sin. So… you know, I’m tryin’ to make you to accept my sin life. I don’t care what God said, I’m just livin’ like this. That’s different than a person who’s sincerely strivin’ to live the right way and stumbles, legitimately falls. Get back up. Get on your path. You’re forgiven. And let’s keep tryin’.”

Host: “What exactly does the Bible say about homosexuality?”

Broussard:

“It says it’s a sin. First Corinthians chapter six verse nine says fornicators, homosexuals, robbers, thieves, adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of God. It goes on to list a few other things. Romans chapter one says it’s unnatural. Obviously the Old Testament talks about it bein’ wrong…”

Host: “Well Chris, Deuteronomy 14:8 condemns the eating of pork, but I bet you love bacon.”

Broussard:

“I sure do, man, I sure do. But, you know, the Old Testament dietary laws don’t apply in the New Covenant. Acts chapter 10, Peter, you know, talks about that as the Lord revealed it to Peter, so all of the Old Testament laws, there’s 613 laws in the Old Testament that they had to follow under the old covenant. We’re under grace. We don’t have to follow all of those 613 laws to have peace with God. But the moral covenant, because it’s outlined in the New Covenant, the New Testament, as I said, First Corinthians six, Ephesians, Romans, Galatians chapter five, talk about the new covenant still following the moral code of the Old Testament. So the moral laws of the Old Testament that we were taught still apply, but not eatin’ shrimp, and wearin’ blended cloth and fabric and things like that.”

So wait, because ONE of the laws (dietary) are trumped in the NT, ALL of the OT laws are dismissed? And who distinguished the ‘moral’ laws from the…well, what do we even call the ‘non-moral’ laws of the Old Testament?

This is one of the most ignorant, uninformed understandings of the Hebrew Bible I’ve ever heard. (Actually, I’ve heard worse, but…) Note how Broussard says, “We’re under grace. We don’t have to follow all of those 613 laws to have peace with God.” Note he said we don’t have to follow all of them…just the ones he wants to continue to enforce, like condemning gays.

But it gets worse:

Broussard:

“I’m married seventeen years. Never cheated on my wife. But man, I’ve been tempted. You know what I’m sayin’? I mean, I cover the NBA. I see beautiful women all the time. I’ve had actresses throw me a little rhythm. But I gotta resist. I gotta fight against temptation. And that’s the life of a Christian. That you fight against the temptation. And if you stumble and fall, then you get back up, you repent, you ask God for forgiveness, and you move on. And I think that applies to homosexuals as well. If a person who’s a same-sex attracted, you know, is sincerely tryin’ to live for the Lord, and they fall, and they fall in the same-sex relationship or act, and they, they is really tryin’ to serve the Lord, they repent, and they ask for forgiveness, and they keep trying to serve God and they fall time and time again consistently, I believe that person is a Christian.

But that’s why I said yesterday it’s about unrepentant sin. There’s a difference. Am I repenting, or am I just saying, ‘Yo, this is how I am God, I don’t care what you say. I don’t care what your word – I’m not even askin’ for forgiveness. How you gonna be forgiven if you ain’t even askin’ for it?”

Then Broussard continues:

“The question is your heart. Add you know that. Are you really tryin’ not to fornicate, not to sleep with that girl over and over again. Because God…the Bible says God is not mocked. God ain’t no punk. You ain’t no punk. I ain’t no punk. None of y’all punks. If I come to you and I say, ‘Yo man, I wanna be in covenant with you, I wanna be your boy. We cool.’ But behind your back, I’m goin’ out time and time again and dissin’ you and doggin’ you on purpose, but when I see you in your face, I’m like, “Yo man, you know, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry man,’ but I don’t really mean it, then, you ain’t gonna go for that once you find out the truth because you ain’t no punk. You ain’t mocked. And it’s the same thing with God. We created in his image. So if we ain’t punks and gonna fall for that, then he certainly ain’t gonna go for that. BUT, if I’m your boy and I sincerely mess up. I just happen to do something wrong against you and you know I’m really sorry, and I’m like, ‘Yo man, my bad. I ain’t gonna do it no more, dog. I’m sorry,’ then you’ll forgive me in many cases, and it’s the same with God.”

Again, this is an example of theological dilettantism.

So, in Broussard’s mind, it’s OK to sin again and again and again heterosexually, and if you ask for forgiveness, you’re OK, because “God knows your heart”, and you’re “his boy”. BUT, if your sin is homosexual and you sin again and again habitually, and you ask for forgiveness, then you’re “not God’s boy”, because “God ain’t no punk”. And since homosexuals are always “goin’ out huntin’ for sin,” they aren’t asking for forgiveness, so they aren’t Christian. Because “God ain’t no punk” and “God is not mocked”. But if you’re straight, and you “ain’t gonna do it no more, dog,” then God will forgive you (“in many cases”).

Now I’ll ask again the larger question:

  • What does ANY of this have to do with Jason Collins announcing he’s gay in the NBA?
  • How is a theological conversation and condemnation a topic for discussion for ESPN?
  • And why would ESPN want THIS conversation about the condemnation of homosexuality entering into the conversation about a professional policy of tolerance for different sexual preferences in the NBA?

Why won’t Chris Broussard shut up about this? Perhaps because he knows it’s coming. And if he’s getting fired, he wants to portray ESPN as firing him for his religious beliefs, and not for his lack of professional discernment between those personal religious issues of faith, and those professional issues of policy. He knows he’s about to get fired, so he’s positioning himself as a martyr. And that will play and gain some traction among the most conservative Evangelicals in the country, who are always looking for a Christian martyr they can point to and say, “See, there is religious intolerance toward Christians in America.”

Yes. Religious intolerance in America. Against Christians. Of course.

By the way, at one point in his rambling toward the end of the interview, Broussard even talks about people who aren’t Christian using “condoms and strap-ons”, which elicits a audible sigh (“Ah, yeah…OK”) from a female host in the studio. Don’t miss that one.

ESPN might tolerate a mistake, but I don’t think they’ll tolerate an evangelist talking down to NBA fans.

Even the show’s hosts, who did an excellent job demonstrating patience throughout the interview, and asked some smart questions, tried to cut him off at the end of the interview. ESPN will do the same soon.

Maury has “You are NOT the Father”, so Chris Broussard should have a segment on ESPN called, “You are NOT a Christian!”

Maury Povich has special episodes of his Maury Povich Show called, “You are NOT the Father,” where men learn via paternity tests whether or not they are the father of a child, usually with the humiliated mother sitting there in the studio.

This travesty of American television gave me an idea following Chris Broussard’s declaration that newly-out gay NBA player Jason Collins is “not a Christian,” saying,

“I don’t believe that you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle…if you’re openly living that type of lifestyle, then the Bible says, ‘you know them by their fruits’, it says that, you know, that’s a sin, and if you’re openly living in unrepentant sin…I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God, and to Jesus Christ, so I would not characterize that person as a Christian, because I don’t think the Bible would characterize him as a Christian.

Chris Broussard sat there on television and said that someone who claimed to be a Christian, really isn’t a Christian, because he disagreed with him doctrinally.

So, if ESPN is comfortable with its basketball analysts passing judgment on the religious claims of professional athletes, then I think ESPN should give Chris Broussard a new segment called, “You are NOT a Christian,” where Chris Broussard gives his ‘personal opinion’ why or why not certain athletes ARE or ARE NOT really adherents of the faiths they claim to follow.

Chris Broussard - You are NOT a Christian!

An invitation to the “You are NOT a Christian” episode of the new “Chris Broussard” show. (A spin-off from the Maury Povich Show)

It would go like this:

  • Jason Collins: because you are gay…you are NOT a Christian.
  • Tiger Woods: because you cheated on your wife…you are NOT a Buddhist.
  • Ephraim Salaam: because you are ‘walking in open rebellion to God’…you are NOT a Muslim.
  • Tim Tebow: because I agree with you doctrinally, you ARE a Christian.
  • But Ray Lewis: because of that whole stabbing thing, sorry, it was a close call, but…you are NOT a Christian.

That way, I don’t need to tune into Pat Robertson’s 700 Club on CBN to learn who really is a Christian and who I should oppose; I just need to turn over to ESPN.

Seriously, is THAT really what ESPN wants its analysts doing on TV? Passing judgment on the eternal souls of professional athletes based upon the analysts’ understanding and interpretation of his personal beliefs?

Chris Broussard - NOT a Christian

As one who has had this happen to him, I can tell you it’s sure to be a hit.

Perhaps God IS trying to tell you something…

NBA player Jason Collins comes out as gay the same day Tim Tebow gets cut from the Jets. Perhaps God IS trying to tell you something…

Jason Collins and Tim Tebow

Jason Collins comes out as gay, and Tim Tebow is out as QB in NY.

UPDATE: BTW, in case you’re asking, the purpose of this post is to examine the idea that God is attempting to “tell us things” when good or bad things happen.

Why is it that some people say that God is “telling people” something when things happen with which people agree? For instance, what is God “telling people” with natural disasters?

Why is it that when hurricanes hit places, or when punishments happen to people you don’t like or don’t agree with, God is suddenly “telling us something”, BUT, when things happen that shatter what we think about how God is supposed to work, then that can’t possibly be God telling us something??

Response to Dr. James Dobson, who blames Sandy Hook school massacre on gays, abortion

Dr. James Dobson (right) with Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum.

Dr. James Dobson (right) with Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum.

For all of you who once respected him, we’ve unfortunately come to witness Dr. James Dobson devolve over the past several years into nothing more than a right wing fundamentalist.

Dobson recently said the following on his morning program, Family Talk, regarding the Sandy Hook massacre:

“I mean millions of people have decided that God doesn’t exist, or he’s irrelevant to me and we have killed fifty-four million babies and the institution of marriage is right on the verge of a complete redefinition.  Believe me, that is going to have consequences too.

And a lot of these things are happening around us, and somebody is going to get mad at me for saying what I am about to say right now, but I am going to give you my honest opinion: I think we have turned our back on the Scripture and on God Almighty and I think he has allowed judgment to fall upon us.  I think that’s what’s going on.” (audio here)

Dear Mr. Dobson,

Please stop. Just stop. Please stop telling us what you think God thinks (which, not coincidentally, happens to be precisely what the Evangelical GOP talking points tell you to think). In fact, please contact Pat Robertson and come to some agreement to retire together, because you’ve both absolutely lost your minds!

There are plenty of quality, good-hearted, kind, loving, and yes, faithful teachers in our public schools, and they give their entire lives to and for their kids (as we’ve recently seen at Sandy Hook Elementary). Why insult them by failing to acknowledge their efforts? Why judge them just because the government won’t let you force non-Christian elementary school kids to pray to Jesus (otherwise known as that maddening drum you refer to as “School Prayer” that you incessantly beat)?

Are you so blind to the thousands of good and loving teachers in our public schools – many of whom are devout Christians! – that you’d say “we’ve” (and therefore, “they’ve“) “turned their backs on God” just because the guy you voted for lost the Presidency?

Will you REALLY blame gays and abortion for the Newtown shootings? Is your God so small, so weak, and so readily obliging that he is somehow forced to abide by US domestic policy? Is your God so childishly petulant that he throws a fit in the form of a schoolhouse slaughter when he’s not honored enough? Not praised enough?

Enough! Retire already. But whatever you do, please stop talking nonsense.

Or, here’s a thought: focus on your own damn family, and stop criticizing mine, you theologically impotent, thoughtless hack.

Sincerely,

Robert R. Cargill

Focus on your OWN damn family.

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