The (Shreveport) Times has devoted much space to the issue of the views on race and homosexuality of a member of the TV show Duck Dynasty. Most of the articles/views are thoughtful and contribute to the discussion. But it seems to me that there are two main aspects that make the views less complete. One is ironically shown by the accompanying article by Prentiss Smith in the same issue (12-29-13) and its Conversations space devoted to Free Speech v. Business. He gives the history of being black in America from slavery to today, with his family as the example.
It is usual that someone that is anti-gay is also a racist. While Phil Robertson/Duck Dynasty may not think of themselves as racist—the fact that they can not understand how much progress has happened and how much better life is for black Americans SINCE the end of Jim Crow proves they are out of contact with the real world. And to those who are scared by hearing the (religious) views of Robertson and Duck Dynasty, I say, get a life—where have they been if they have no clue to how things have changed, for the better, for LGBT Americans since the movement to gain civil rights for homosexual Americans began in 1950.
What is not being honestly discussed is that it is religion that has made some citizens second-class—and despite the work of Dr. King, et al., the main enemy of getting equal rights for black and homosexual Americans was and is the church and its misuse of the Bible. And religious leaders of most churches from the time of slavery to today have pushed their views not only in the pulpit but into laws making all Americans “believe” as they do. In a sense religion takes away freedom of speech and choice from citizens, and businesses, not only by intimidation but by putting their ideas into laws.
The question is, and the new Pope is part of the discussion, what will happen to churches/religion when once again their main agenda is lost and our nation is a more perfect union because the majority of good Americans ignore the lies of the church/religion? How sad, for Jesus, that those claiming to be His followers are the obstacles that work against a great nation fulfilling the dreams of its founders.