Sunday, January 19, 2014

An Open Invitation to Phil Robertson

I need to share the thought I had while watching the red carpet leading up to the Golden Globes on Sunday.  One of the nominated movies is 12 Years a Slave and I would love to watch it but I just don't know if I could make it through the brutality. It is about a free black man from upstate New York who is abducted and sold into slavery and ends up in...Louisiana.

I want to suggest to Phil Robertson to watch this movie.  I think it might give him insight into why the people he worked alongside never complained about anything.  I believe that what he described in the article was his truth. Yet, it is a truth than needs enlightenment.   What he said about gays and blacks in the article and in other video pushed a core button in me.

"I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once," the reality star said of growing up in pre-Civil-Rights-era Louisiana. "Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I'm with the blacks, because we're white trash. We're going across the field ... They're singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, 'I tell you what: These doggone white people' — not a word!"  From Yahoo TV article.

Just from watching the previews of 12 Years A Slave, one understands that a slave kept his mouth shut to try to survive.  The movie's time frame was pre-Civil War and the time Robertson mentions in the article was pre-civil rights which was roughly one hundred years later but many behaviors learned to survive in slavery, perpetuated to survive pre-civil rights.

His statements and the support for him by Christians really got into my craw.  I know why it bothered me so much because I use to fear what was different from myself as well.  I am a white heterosexual woman with a husband and two daughters who comes from a very small town in South Louisiana and was exposed to very small churches and several denominations of Christianity.  I use to fear what was different from myself, well, I feared everything for that matter.

Coming from such a small town, I needed to open myself up and educate myself and I have done so during the last two decades.   I have listened to interviews, watched documentaries and movies of gay and transgendered persons.  I identify more with what some gay people say than with what Phil Robertson spews as Christianity because more times than not a gay person has had to dig really deep to be who they are because of the cost of coming out.  I can spot people who speak their authentic truth from the core of their being because they always speak love.  Not judgement but love.  Humans judge because they need to feel better about themselves.  I truly understand that.  Been there, done that.  And as I'm working to free myself from my own self judgement, the judgement of others falls by the wayside.

What Phil said was not the truth of Christianity.  And the most important point is that I can have an opinion about this.  It is not held liable by the far right.  The Bible cannot be taken literally.  There are inconsistencies all over and passages that promote rape, killing, etc., etc.  The Bible was used to support slavery.  Not to mention picking and choosing the verses we cling to.   I look at the whole message of the Bible.  Love others as you love yourself. Jesus said nothing about homosexual behavior.  Nothing.  His message was LOVE.

I think Phil still judges himself.  This is my humble opinion of a man I've never met but just heard some of his story.  I have spent the last five years doggedly studying compulsions and addictions.   Compulsive behavior like Phil's past drinking and drugs, is present in a person until one is ready to go deeper to find out why the compulsion is there.   A lot of people will unconsciously move to a new compulsion to avoid looking into what the core issue is.  I think his new compulsion is Jesus. Looking at your core issue is painful but also enlightening and freeing.  Learning to love yourself for who you are is freeing.  And if you dig deep enough, the divine unconditional love is there.

So when Phil is ready, I will go to the movie with him. And guess what?   Twelve Years a Slave was filmed in Louisiana.   How much more down home could that be?

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