Sunday, December 22, 2013

Duck Dynasty: Religion is no excuse for bigotry

"Duck Dynasty" patriarch and reality TV star Phil Robertson recently said in response to a question during a magazine interview about what, in his mind, is sinful, "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."  Mr. Robertson ignores the fact that bestiality is certainly possible and probably more prevalent among heterosexuals than homosexuals; he simply equates homosexuality with perversion without offering any evidence or ethical reasoning other than his own admittedly bible-based moral code. 

This blind obedience to a primitive moral code is not unique or rare; many religious fundamentalists such as Sarah Palin, a former candidate for Vice President, voiced their support for Mr. Robertson.

Palin wrote, "Free speech is endangered species; those 'intolerants' hatin' & taking on Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing personal opinion take on us all."

This is pure hypocrisy; Ms. Palin has no problem criticizing others with whom she disagrees.  She offers no First Amendment excuse for them when she does so.

Palin and Robertson are both also under the misconception that religious belief allows one to be unethical towards others, in this case, homosexuals.  Religion is no excuse, however. If your religion condones unjustified bigotry, it is a bigoted religion.  Also, the First Amendment does not shield one from criticism of one's religious beliefs - indeed, the First Amendment protects the rights of all to criticize religion or anything else.

Hopefully, at some point, enough in society will come to choose an ethical approach in their lifestance as opposed to merely hiding behind belief and obedience; that is when real moral progress will be made.

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