This afternoon Cameron Kline sent me an open letter he penned to Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson, who, as you surely know, was suspended from his A&E reality show after making questionable remarks about the LGBT community. You may remember Kline from his headline-making moment in 2012 when he returned his Eagle Scout badge to the Boy Scouts of America because of the organization’s anti-gay policies.
Before writing the letter, self-titled “Camouflaging Hate With Love,” Kline dug up another instance of Robertson preaching against homosexuality. He details the moment below:
Last week I would have told you that I was a fan of Duck Dynasty and the quirky Robertson clan. Heck, what’s not to like about their duck-call empire, shockingly long beards and wonderfully flagrant use of camouflage? But after reading GQ’s January interview with Duck Commander Patriarch Phil Robertson, and doing a bit of research, my opinion of the clan has drastically changed.
“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” Phil said in his GQ interview. And a few years earlier when he preached at Pottstown’s Berean Bible Church's Wild Game Supper he said that “[w]omen with women, men with men, 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.”
Phil, as an openly gay man, I’m hurt by your remarks and horrified by your ability to camouflage your homophobic and hateful beliefs with the Bible's teachings, but why not go all the way? If you love the Bible so much, how about adopting some of its other teachings:
- Exodus 21:7 says it’s OK for your sons to sell your granddaughters into slavery;
- Don’t forget to kill your employees and family if they work on the Sabbath (Exodus 35:2);
- And you played football right? Well, according to Leviticus 11:7 you’re unclean because you touched the skin of a dead pig; and
- Don’t forget to throw out that camouflage if it’s made from different threads (Deuteronomy 22:11).
Now, I appreciate the fact that the Robertson family loves God and the Bible, but I don’t understand how they can square their homophobic and hateful beliefs with, according to their apology statement, “ … what the Bible says are the greatest commandments: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart’ and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Right now, Mr. Robinson, you and your family have the nation’s attention. So, let me offer you some words of advice. First, let’s move on together to build more understanding and acceptance for the LGBT community. Second, help us understand how the power of your faith has moved you to become a better man, a better father and a better husband. And finally, like that camouflage that you love so much – and truth be told I own some, too – let’s bring all the colors and perspectives together to truly love our neighbors as ourselves.