Everyone is talking about Duck Dynasty’s Phil Roberston and A&E’s suspension of him. What is so surprising to me is the wide variety of comments I have seen, and how many people are quoting the bible to me. As far as a general overview of the situation, my friend Kristen Howerton from Rage Against The Minivan covers my feelings quite well.
What I am pondering is our modern day fascination with holding on to the bible with both hands, gripping so hard that our knuckles turn white. Why quote it word for word as a road map for our lives when the words themselves are so contradictory? And truthfully many of the passages have no meaning in the here and now. Not to mention they were written down long after they actually happened. Doesn’t that leave some margin for error?
I have often said I am not a religious person, but I have faith. I am spiritual. I believe there is a higher power but I am not sure what that higher power is. I look at the bible as teachings left behind to help people understand big concepts. Stories and parables to pass from generation to generation. A collection of poetry to give solace when you need a friend.
Paper and leather that boil down to this: be good to each other.
Jesus taught compassion for others.
And not just as an addendum. Phil continually says hateful things and then tacks on, “but I love everyone!” It just doesn’t work that way.
I personally believe that Jesus would be appalled at the way his words are being twisted and how the bible is being held up as a letter of the law. The rules above all others should be Love. Kindness. Sincerity.
I am finding those things in a surprising place lately, in Pope Francis. This new breed of religious leader is one I will quote, is one I will believe in.
“Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?”