From the Braver Institute
Over the years I have heard many times about how we all should be more open-minded and tolerant of other people and their views and opinions. I agree with that. I do my level best to respect the thoughts and the opinions of others and while I may not agree with them – maybe even strongly disagree with them – I believe that they are entitled to their view.
What strikes me as odd, though, is a fairly large number of people who claim to be open-minded and tolerant of others and who beat that drum incessantly seem to be the very ones who need to be more open-minded and tolerant. It would appear that these people have a double standard. They are open-minded and tolerant as long as what they are being open-minded and tolerant of is something that they agree with, which is very much the opposite of what they are preaching.
The moment another person makes a statement or expresses an opinion that the “open-minded” opposes the name calling begins and these “open-minded” people do everything they can to shut the opposing viewpoint down.
The most recent example of this has been the flap raised by the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender crowd over an article in GQ magazine about a guy named Phil Robertson. Phil is a Louisiana duck call manufacturer who happens to have a reality show called Duck Dynasty on the A&E cable network. I have never seen this show, but it is apparently a hit.
In this article, Phil stated his belief in the Bible. He expounded on what the Bible says is sin and gave some of his personal opinions. He stated that homosexuality, among other things, is sinful according to the Bible.
While his statement didn’t seem to bother anyone else the Bible says is sinning, it didn’t sit well with the LGBT activists and they were quick in their open-mindedness to condemn what Phil said as homophobic hate speech.
I subscribe to GQ magazine and I have read this article word for word and Phil did say these things, but if you read the whole article you get a different picture than the bit that the press has taken out of context.
I have also read the Bible and it does in fact say the things that Phil says it does. This isn’t my opinion and it isn’t Phil’s opinion, it is there and he was pointing it out.
I have yet to see a case where this subject is brought up and the person who takes offense at what the Bible says can show where it says something to the contrary. If someone could point this out to me I would certainly like to see where it is written.
Anyway, it is not up to me to judge nor do I have any desire to do so.
A consequence of the GQ article is that the A&E network knuckled under the pressure from LGBT groups and has taken action against Phil and suspended him from the Duck Dynasty show. This caused an uproar from many of Phil’s supporters but I stand behind the network’s right to do such a thing.
Personally I think it is a mistake for them to suspend him, but it is their network and it is their show and I am open-minded enough to support their right to make this decision.
Being open-minded and tolerant of others doesn’t mean I have to agree. I suspect that I wouldn’t agree with most people I know, nor they with me, but if I surrounded myself only with people I agreed with, what a closed-minded world that would be.
(Since this piece was written A&E has retracted their suspension of Phil Robertson.)
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Waye Braver can be contacted on Facebook or by email at email@example.com. Visit the Braver Institute at www.braverinsitute.com.