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About the lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) community

Part 2:
2000 to 2003: Anti LGB comments by Phil
Robertson, star of the Duck Dynasty TV program:

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This is a continuation from the previous essay

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About this essay:

Phil Robertson is the star of the Duck Dynasty reality TV show. He is famous among some people and infamous among others for having made quite a few anti-LGB statements. Some are listed below, along with typical responses that might be given by members of the LGB community, secularists, or members of liberal faith groups.

Unfortunately, copyright laws do not allow us to show some of his long statements in this essay. So we will paraphrase them.

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Phil Robertson comments about the LGB community, with possible liberal responses added. (Cont'd):

  • 5. Phil (paraphrased):

    "It is obvious that the human race will not continue without procreation by men and women. Jesus said in Matthew 19:4-5:

    'And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female. ... For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?'

    That is what marriage is all about."

Response:

    • Procreation does not require a full women and a full man:
      • One does not need a woman and a man to create the next generation. All that is needed are women and a supply of sperm. All the men on Earth could suddenly die. As long as sperm is available from a stored sperm bank, a new generation can be created.

      • Ectogenesis researches have created artificial wombs. One successfully took a goat from embryo to near term. It is very probable that artificial wombs will become available for human gestation and used in cases where women are unable to carry a pregnancy to term, or where special monitoring during the embryo and/or fetal stages is needed, etc. Almost all the people on Earth could suddenly die. As long as a sperm bank and ovum bank existed, the next generation could be created.

    • The first chapters of Genesis contain the two creation stories, whose origins have been traced back to earlier Pagan sources. Although Genesis 2:24 says:

      "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh," that is not necessarily how it happened in practice.

      In reality, a man would leave his family of origin and join with his first wife. Then, as finances allowed, he could marry as many additional women as he desired and could afford. The new wives would join the man and his other wives in an already established household. Polygyny -- the marriage of one man and multiple women -- was practiced by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons, until the practice was suspended, a least temporarily, in the late 19th century. It is still practiced by separated fundamentalist Mormon groups which have left and been excommunicated from the main Mormon church.

      There are many references to polygynous marriages in the Bible: Lamech, in Genesis 4:19, became the first known polygynist. He had two wives.

      Subsequent men in polygynous relationships included: Esau with 3 wives; Jacob: 2; Ashur: 2; Gideon: many; Elkanah: 2; David: many; Solomon held the world record of 700 wives of royal birth along with 300 concubines; Rehaboam: 3; Abijah: 14. Jehoram, Joash, Ahab, Jeholachin and Belshazzar also had multiple wives. From the historical record, it is known that Herod the Great (73 to 4 BCE) had nine wives.

      Finally, a man might not make a complete break with his family of origin. Sarai, later renamed Sarah, was the wife of Abraham as well as being his half-sister.

      There were undoubtedly many more men in ancient Hebrew history who were married to multiple women, but never made it into the Bible, so that we do not know their names. Also, there might well have been other men who married their half-sister(s).

      It would appear that the concept of a man leaving his family and forming a new family unit with one wife was not the only type of marriage. It was in fact only the most common arrangement.

      In the many U.S. states where same-sex couples can routinely marry -- 19 as of 2014-SEP -- the typical marriage arrangement appears to follow the Genesis 2 format: a man leaves his family of origin, marries a woman, and they set up a new family unit. However, a small percentage involve a same-sex couple who may be some combination of lesbian, gay and/or bisexual spouses.

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  • 6. Phil: gave a speech during 2010 in which he discussed LGBs:"

    "They committed indecent acts with one another, and they received in themselves the due penalty for their perversions. They're full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant, God-haters. They are heartless, they are faithless, they are senseless, they are ruthless. They invent ways of doing evil." 2

Response: The first sentence in his statements appear to have been derived from the Bible in Romans 1:18-32. The King James Version of Bible translates this passage as:

Romans 1:26-27: "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet."

During the course of my work at this web site and volunteer work at a local distress center, I have met, worked with, and listened to many members of the LGB community. I have found them to be intelligent, caring, loving individuals, who are dedicated to achieving equal rights. Robertson's description is totally foreign to my personal experience.

On the other hand, I have noticed a lot of hatred and arrogance coming from conservative religious groups. One example of this is to be found in what is now the main conflict in the U.S. between religious conservatives and the LGB community: marriage by same-sex couples. Among the groups leading the opposition to marriage equality are:

  • American Family Association,
  • Family Research Council,
  • Family Research Institute,
  • Illinois Family Institute.

All four have been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as anti-gay groups whose propaganda is so extreme that the Center has classified them as "hate groups." 3

This brings to mind the old saying that when you point at someone with your index finger, three of your fingers are pointing back at yourself.

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  • 7. According to the Daily Mail, Phil said: "Jesus will take sins away. If you're a homosexual he'll take it away." 4
  • Response: There is a widely held belief among evangelical Christians that if a person repents of their sins, trusts Jesus as Lord and Savior, then they will be saved, their sins will be forgiven, and their behavior altered. This belief is partly derived from the Bible passage at 1 Corinthians 6:11. After listing a long list of sins that cause people to be relegated to Hell after death, Paul writes:

    "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."

Many conservative Christians interpret 1 Corinthians 6 as stating that LGBs who are sexually active with members of the same sex will not achieve Heaven after death. However, if they are saved by accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior during their lifetime on earth, then God will change their sexual orientation so that they become heterosexuals, and will admit them to Heaven after they die. For example, David Griffiths wrote:

"...homosexuals can be saved through faith in Christ and can know deliverance like other sinners." 5

However, there is a near consensus among human sexuality researchers and mental health professionals that adults' homosexual and bisexual orientation is not a matter of choice, that it is not changeable, and that it has a cause directly related to the genetic structure and/or epigenetic processes within members of the LGB community,

For 37 years, one conservative Christian group -- Exodus International -- and their affiliates devoted much of their efforts to converting the sexual orientation of lesbians, gays, and bisexuals to heterosexuality. In 2013, to be true to themselves, they were forced to admit that they were quite unsuccessful in their main message. Further, they acknowledged that they had harmed many in the LGB community by unsuccessfully attempting to convert them to a heterosexual orientation. The group did have some luck in persuading clients with a bisexual orientation to simply choose to confine their relationships to opposite-sex persons. However their bisexual clients remained bisexual. They did have some success in persuading lesbian and gay clients to remain celibate, to not seek sexually active relationships with persons of the same gender, and to remain without an intimate partner for the rest of their life. But trying to convert members of the LGB community to heterosexuality was always, or essentially always, unsuccessful.

Many in the LGB community feel that their first step towards mental health is to acknowledge that their homosexual or bisexual orientation is fixed, and to accept it.

Webmaster's note: (bias alert):

During a ten year interval, I experienced hundreds of conversations with lesbians, gays and bisexuals while a telephone volunteer at a anonymous, confidential distress/crisis center. I have exchanged emails with hundreds of them while writing on this web site. A common theme is that they have prayed to God to be converted to heterosexuality -- some for decades. Many have trusted Jesus as Lord and Savior and been saved. But none attained a heterosexual orientation.

It would seem that if Paul was referring to the LGB community in 1 Corinthians 6 that he was wrong. However many theologians believe that Paul was actually referring to sexually abused boys and the men who abused them, and not to lesbians, gays and bisexuals in loving committed relationships. Perhaps that was Paul's intent.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Michael Rothman, "Phil Robertson Defends Anti-Gay Comments: ‘All I Did Was Quote From the Scriptures’," ABC News, 2013-DEC-23, at: http://abcnews.go.com/
  2. Michael Rothman, " 'Duck Dynasty' Star Advises Men to Marry Teenage Girls," Item 7, ABC News, 2013-DEC-31, at: http://abcnews.go.com/
  3. Evelyn Schlatter, "18 Anti-Gay Groups and Their Propaganda," Southern Poverty Law Center, Intelligence Report, 2010-Winter, at: http://www.splcenter.org/
  4. Lauren Moraski, "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson: 'I will not give or back off from my path'," CBS News, 2013-DEC-23, at: http://www.cbsnews.com/
  5. David Griffiths, "2.1. Gentiles are lost sinners (Romans 1:18-32)," at: http://4-11.org/ [No longer online]

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Copyright © 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally published: 2014-SEP-22
Last updated 2014-SEP-22
Author: Bruce A Robinson
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