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by Peter Moskos

December 22, 2013

Are you with Phil Robertson? Or David Bahati?

Phil Robertson is the suspended star of Duck Dynasty.

David Bahati is the Ugandan parliament member sponsoring the Anti-Homosexuality Bill known as “Kill the Gays.”

Guess who said what (answers below):

1) “To me, this exposed the level of intolerance that is inconsistent with American values. But as you know it also strengthen my resolve to carry on a cause that I think is right and just. My resolve is still intact.”

2) “My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together.

3) Homosexuality “is un-[American/African] because it is inconsistent with [our] values, of procreation and of the belief in the continuity of family.”

4) “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

5) “When an anal organ is used for things it’s not supposed to be used for, it’s hazardous. I don’t need to be taught anything beyond that.”

6) “It seems like, to me, a vagina -- as a man -- would be more desirable than a man’s anus,”

7) “We need to turn to God if we have sinned. That is the view of myself as a Christian. But that is not something that is agreed by others, but I hold that view that [homosexuality] is sin and written in the Bible. I cannot change the Bible. And I really want to encourage American Christians and God-fearing people to stand up for what they feel is right.”

8 ) “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.”

9) “I’m more convinced than I was so many years ago that this evil is real and needs to be fought. But we must say that we don’t hate them, we hate the sin in them.”

10) “Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong. Sin becomes fine.”

11) “I am a God fearing person…. We hope it is a learned behavior that can be unlearned.”

12) “If you simply put your faith in Jesus … dying on the cross for the sins of the world, being buried, and being raised from the dead—yours and mine and everybody else’s problems will be solved. And the next time we see you, we will say: ‘You are now a brother. Our brother.’ So then we look at you totally different then.”

13) “We are a God-fearing nation, we value life in a holistic way.”

14) “I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. … I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

15) “Don’t remind me that you took me as a slave. Don’t remind me that you took our resources to enrich your countries. Don’t tell me you’re more superior than I am. You have funded us for over 50 years – have you changed anything? These activists are agents of imperialism and we’re not going to take it easily. They are agents of colonialism. How can you continue to act like slave masters?

16) “All you have to do is look at any society where there is no Jesus. I’ll give you four: Nazis, no Jesus. Look at their record. Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them? None. Communists? None. Islamists? Zero. That’s eighty years of ideologies that have popped up where no Jesus was allowed among those four groups. Just look at the records as far as murder goes among those four groups.”

17) “Americans believe in freedom, human rights, in the freedom of expression and also tolerance.”

18) Our “family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”

19) “There has been a lot of spin, a lot of negative propaganda... It is important that we tolerate one another, listen to on another, understand the background of on another, and respect one another.”

20) “I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.”

21) “I do not hate gays. I love them.”

22) “Why don’t we go back to the old days?”


odd numbers (1, 3, 5, - 21): Ugandan MP David Bahati
even numbers (2, 4, 6, - 22): suspended Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson


Andrea said...

I'm glad I don't know either one personally, but I would point out that one is an entertainer expressing his views, and the other is a politician apparently attempting to impose his views on others. That, to me, is a significant difference. It's also entirely possible that the whole Duck Dynasty thing is just a publicity stunt. I'm not going to watch to find out. :-)

PCM said...

Yes. I'm all for free speech.

I wanted to point out the similarity between what these two God fearing self-proclaimed Christians and interpreters of the Bible say because many conservatives are defending Phil by saying they are “with Phil.” Would they say the same thing about David? I hope not. But it's not easy to tell these two apart.

This isn’t about free speech but whether Phil’s beliefs are acceptable or unacceptable in polite company. I think Phil can say whatever he wants. Just as can David. But I’m not “with” either.

Based on the horrible things they’ve said, both Phil and David are both ignorant men who don’t understand the religion they profess to believe.

Those who are “with Phil” should understand what they're “with.”

Mordanicus said...

I don't care who made which statement. The world would be better without any of these people, at least without their opinions.

Lenard Neal said...

There is a LOT more to this than what your post infers: the Ugandan "govt" is in a very real relationship with the The Family, the re-organized 'Children of God', a very well-funded group that is bringing in huge amounts of money into Uganda. The 'orphanages' in Uganda are Family compounds, based in Italy. This sounds ridiculous, but it's not. Check it out. I grew up in an Independent Fellowship of the Children of God, and tracked a fundraiser across the world on a bicycle challenge. Uganda's campaign against 'gays' is being funded from. mostly, Naples, IT, by 'The Family. Do some research. You are over-reaching in your analogies.

PCM said...

Actually, no. I know exactly what my post infers. Because it's my post.

I know a little about "The family" (not much, mind you). Couldn't care less. That's your point. Not mine.

Lenard Neal said...

Perhaps I implied?

And, really, I meant what I said: the influence is much more serious than most people, possibly not you, may know. The comparison is not apt.

Some homophobic hick, and Uganda, are not the same. This is a dumb post. You are better than this. Uganda is in the grip of a very serious political crisis at the hands of a subversive NGO group; your disinterest in their work makes no difference to me. 'Duck Dynasty', a stupid, 'Murrrican' show, is in the grip of a dumb hick who can't think at all. These things are not the same.

I'm not letting you do this. These comparisons are not apt. Do some more research. Homophobia and intolerance has degrees; and Uganda is NOT a comparison with 'Duck Dynasty'.

The Ugandan campaign is far more serious than this.

PCM said...

No. I think you misunderstand me.

But my last comment wasn't actually not well thought out. Sorry for that.

I *do* know (albeit not well) what is going on in Uganda. Otherwise I would have no idea who David What's His Name is. I was hoping that I could kill two birds with one stone: criticize Phil and also educate people a bit about the horrors that this bastard from Uganda is behind. Trust me, if I wrote a post about the horrors of gay persecution in Uganda without a sensational link to Duck Dynasty, nobody who reads this this blog would give a damn.

My point does indeed have nothing directly to do about Ugandan politics. But it *is* related. My point is that what Duck Dude’s bias is exactly the same as what some religious, The Family bought, homophobic, potential genocidal Ugandan politician’s.

So here is my point. Let me spell it out. Many Americans who are "with Phil" -- and there are many -- actually don't think what he said is that offensive or wrong. My point, to be clear, has nothing to do with him getting fired. I don’t think people should be fired for the beliefs, especially if they may have just said something stupid (there but for the grace of God go I).

And yet this is, in my humble opinion, a great ark-of-freedom-moving-in-the-right direct moment in American cultural history.

On one hand there are lot of American, many of whom are “with Phil,” who think they are good Christians. They hate Obama (for reasons nothing to do with race, of course). And they think America would be better off if we could get back to our god-fearing religious eat-what-you-hunt roots. Some of these people are my dear friends.

I, on the other hand, am a New York liberal, gay-rights loving, Sarah Palin hating, tax and spend, single-payer-health-care-wanting, Obama voting, Democrat. I probably have more friends who are Muslim than friends who vote Republican.

PCM said...

So my point here, and I say this because a fair number of conservative types read this -- and I love them all (you know, hate the sin, love the sinner) -- is that the ideological beliefs they might agree with and not find problematic -- the world-view Phil Robertson expressed, are in fact *exactly* the same beliefs that some Hitler-like middling Ugandan politician believes.

I was hoping to imply that such ideals, as expressed by both these men’s horrible speech, is very similar and thus, in fact, not “American” at all. In this sense I was using David’s “Orientalism” (in the Edward Said sense) very consciously as an “other” to juxtapose with Phil Robertson. Especially to those who might consier Phil a “real American” (in the B.S. Sarah Palin sense of the word).

I wanted people reading this to say, "gosh, these quotes are pretty similar. I can’t tell the two apart!" and then google the Ugandan motherfucker and realize what a bastard he is.

I mean in 2013 American I'd like to think that even the most homophobic Republican doesn't want to execute or imprison for life gay people. That is the point of reflection I was hoping for. Farfetched, perhaps.

Duck Man’s beliefs are not harmless, is what I am saying, because if we let such beliefs go un-condemned, we open the door to representatives passing laws that imprison gay men for life in the name of “protecting our children.” (though mind you America’s current approach to pedophiles isn’t much different from what David proposes)

I think people who compare gay sex to bestiality and pedophilia and present this belief in a biblical context of sin and punishment are opening the door to pogroms of various degrees of horror.

My intention was also to subtly awaken Republicans and other conservative white Americans to the fact (perhaps disturbing to them) that their beliefs are very similar to an idiotic and potentially dangerous low-level Ugandan politician. My point was not minimize the evils of David but raise the alarm of what it means to be “with Phil.”

Admittedly my ultimate goal of my message is rooted firmly in my American identity and has little to do with events in Uganda.

Kyle said...

Who said each of these statements?

"However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me."

"[I want] to kill every last gay person."

So your thought is that nobody can have an opinion that isn't what you believe. I'd say that believing something is bad, but treating that person with respect and not trying to hurt that person is the exact OPPOSITE of Bahati. It's easy to cherry-pick some quotes and make people sound similar in one thing. Should we also be picking out things you say and comparing them to Stalin?

PCM said...

But Bahati says, "I do not hate gays. I love them." I believe him just as much as I believe any homophobe who says he "loves the sinner" and would never ever treat anyone with disrespect.

I agree that Phil has much less chance to act on his beliefs in a way that could affect (kill or imprison) others. I agree they do not represent the same level of risk. But they say and believe pretty similar things regarding homosexuals and their self-proclaimed Christianity.

Please do pick out things I say and compare them to Stalin! You could start by looking him up in the index of my second book.

Lenard Neal said...

You're pretty right. The impulse behind the Ugandan Crisis (which has gone out of all control of it's US Fundie handlers) is exactly the same as Phil, the Duck Dynasty Guy. The thing is, what happened there, versus what happened here? Phil said some horsehit, and got flamed. In Uganda? nothing of the sort happened. There ARE degrees, and I am very, very leery of fear-mongering by any stamp of person. Your post reminded me of a friend's wife, who, while watching a Docu on women in Afghanistan, blurted out, "It's the same as oppression of women in the US!" I laughed in her face, and was told to leave. I was later apologized to, by her husband, a Mexican immigrant from Durango. (true story). Grow a sense of proportion, again. This post was not up to your usual standards. Things are a balance: not a zero-sum game. Here in the US.

Lenard Neal said...


Here's something fun. And I'm NOT self-publicicising.

Kyle said...

Should we be telling all the Muslims that they should not believe anything in the Qu'Ran because there are people who believe the same thing as them who blow up buildings?

PCM said...

No. But I don't mind telling Muslims, just as they tell me, the blowing up buildings isn't Islam.

In the same way I don't mind telling Christians that equating gays with animal fuckers isn't very Christian.

Just because the 9/11 bombers said God is Great in Arabic and were self-proclaimed Muslims doesn't make it so. You can't be Muslim is you don't see the message of Mohammed (peace be upon him) as one of peace.

Similarly, just because you thump the Bible (especially the Old Testament) and say you're a born again Christian doesn't make it so. You can't be Christian if you don't believe and practice the loving message of your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I don't have a problem with Christians any more than Muslims (and believers of other religions, too). I do have a problem with those who selectively and incorrectly use their religious books to justify their prejudices.