Duck Dynasty Changes the World…?
Star of the American reality TV show Duck Dynasty, Phil Roberston, was recently very publicly vocal about his negative view of homosexuality.
A Philadelphia, Pennsylvania United Methodist Church minister, Rev. Frank Shaefer, was defrocked for performing the wedding ceremony of his gay son. (Full article here)
The discussion has taken the usual polarized tone, with the same ground being covered once again…political correctness…the right to free speech…what the Bible says…
The discussion that had the most impact on me was a blog called “In The Parlor” that suggested what we think about homosexuality doesn’t matter any longer saying:
“The stakes are too high now. The current research suggestions that teenagers that are gay are about 3 times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. That puts the percentage of gay teens attempting suicide at about 30-some percent. 1 out of 3 teens who are gay or bisexual will try to kill themselves. And a lot of times they succeed. In fact, Rev. Schaefer’s son contemplated suicide on a number of occasions in his teens.
The fact of the matter is, it doesn’t matter whether or not you think homosexuality is a sin. Let me say that again. It does not matter if you think homosexuality is a sin, or if you think it is simply another expression of human love. It doesn’t matter. Why doesn’t it matter? Because people are dying. Kids are literally killing themselves because they are so tired of being rejected and dehumanized that they feel their only option left is to end their life. As a Youth Pastor, this makes me physically ill. And as a human, it should make you feel the same way. So, I’m through with the debate.”
I agree completely, so I will not engage in the debate here.
Why write this article then? Because a thought occurred to me…is it possible that this is just another act of the perfection of the Universe?
It seems that the offending act of the marriage was committed in 2007, and was revealed recently when Rev. Frank Shaefer’s parishioner, Jon Boger, filed a complaint with Methodist officials.
My thought moves to Mary O’Leary’s cow…the cow who, in legend, kicked over the lantern that began the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 which destroyed a large portion of Chicago. I think also of Judas, the disciple of Jesus, who betrayed Jesus with a kiss.
Have Jon Boger and Phil Robertson joined the ranks of those who, through purpose or by chance, change the world? Are Mr. Boger, and Mr. Robertson’s Soul purposes entirely different than what we perceive the purpose of their physical beings to be?
Think about it. Not only did getting defrocked not deter Rev. Shaefer, it set his resolve even more firmly. A USA Today article quotes him:
“Schaefer was told to give up his pulpit in central Pennsylvania by Thursday if he cannot support the denomination’s Book of Discipline. But Schaefer, who describes the book as contradictory and biased against gay people, said he will not go quietly.”
“I am actively committing to having those discriminatory laws changed and banished from our Book of Discipline,” Schaefer said. “That’s the only way I can reconcile being a United Methodist at this point.”
“I cannot voluntarily surrender my credentials because I am a voice now for many — for tens of thousands — of LGBT members in our church,” he said then.
CWG tells us that religion is not wrong, just incomplete in its understanding. CWG also tells us that leaving a religion you do not agree with is not necessarily the best solution, and to consider being that voice from within that will create a change of understanding in that religion.
Jon Boger has steeled Rev. Shaefer’s resolve in all of this in a way that might not have happened had this simply slid under the radar.
The “In The Parlor” article referred to above was penned by a person who identifies themself as being a youth minister…and whose mind has publicly moved from the debate and into saying:
“We are now faced with the reality that there are lives at stake. So whatever you believe about homosexuality, keep it to yourself. Instead, try telling a gay kid that you love him and you don’t want him to die.”
When you humanize a theory or a theology, it gets different, and you often find you must change your mind.
Can we, in this New Year, resolve to humanize and personalize the issue…now?
(With true wishes of Peace on Earth dancing like sugar plum fairies in my head…Therese)
(Therese Wilson is a published poet, and is the administrator of, and Spiritual Helper at, the global website at www.cwghelpingoutreach.com She may be contacted at: Therese@TheGlobalConversation.com.)