Tolerance Goes Both Ways

            Most, if not all, people have heard the cliché “you can’t have your cake and eat it too.”  That old saying is uttered so many times that some may ignore how profound a statement it is.  It is a statement that epitomizes open-mindedness and tolerance.

            For years, the LGBT community has preached about tolerance, equality and acceptance.  While the world is becoming more tolerant of the gay community and less discriminatory, that same world is becoming less tolerant and more discriminatory towards the religious communities of the world.

            An article in the January issue of GQ on the family behind the reality show “Duck Dynasty” ignited a controversy that when you look at it objectively, epitomizes hypocrisy and a lack of tolerance.

            When asked what he thought was sinful, “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson replied: “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; 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.”

            After making those comments, a “Duck Dynasty” controversy ensued and the backlash was immediate.

            Robertson was temporarily suspended from the show, and later reinstated. 

            Temporarily succumbing to the “Duck Dynasty” controversy, merchants like Cracker Barrel took “Duck Dynasty” products off of their shelves, later reneging on their decision after listening to supporters of the show.

            And many LGBT activists have stated that the Robertson family needs to get in line when it comes to their belief system.

            However, Robertson’s views have been biblical rules since the days of Moses, and protesting his views will not change biblical doctrine when it comes to homosexuality, adultery, bestiality, slander and swindling. 

            At the onset of the LGBT movement, many criticized Christians for forcing their beliefs on them and they were absolutely correct.  No one has the right to force their belief system on anyone no matter how strongly they feel about it.

            However, those same rules should apply to them as well.  Just because members of the LGBT community do not believe that homosexuality is a sin, does not mean they can stop others from believing what the Bible teaches about it.

            The Bible does state that homosexuality is a sin along with a lot of other sins that ALL human beings are guilty of, whether one agrees with that or not. 

            However, people should not be punished for adhering to the doctrine and the rules of their religious beliefs.

            No one in the LGBT community should face discrimination for their sexuality and no one in the Christian community should face discrimination because of their religious convictions.

            Members of the LGBT community should not lose their jobs based on their support of same sex marriage and no Christian should lose their job because of their opposition to same sex marriage.

            Many critics of Robertson have correctly stated that First Amendment protection only means that the government cannot punish you for speaking your mind.

            While that is true, most employers have policies that state you cannot discriminate against someone because of their religion.  Many employers are dangerously close to overtly discriminating against Christians just to pacify one segment of society.

            However, if “equality” for one segment of the population means inequality for everyone else, then that group is not interested in equality, but favoritism towards them and those who think like them.

            Hopefully, the “Duck Dynasty” controversy teaches all people that tolerance goes both ways.  You cannot expect people to tolerate your differences and you do not tolerate their differences.

            We all have our convictions and nothing is going to change that.  I firmly believe that the Holy Bible is God’s inerrant Word and I believe everything in it.  The Bible says man is not supposed to add anything to the Bible nor take anything out.  Nothing is ever going to change my convictions or relationship with Jesus Christ. 

            However, I totally respect the fact that others will totally disagree with that.  It is time for others to reciprocate that respect and tolerance.

            Hopefully the “Ducky Dynasty” controversy will teach us to all be tolerant of others.

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