I'm already sick of the conversation about Phil Robertson's interview with GQ. And yet I'm about to enter it.
I know people are reacting. Some are reacting against Phil and some for. Some are reacting against A&E and some for. Some are reacting because of his comments on homosexuality, some because of his comments about blacks in the pre-civil rights south, some for other reasons.
Mostly what I'm reacting to is the fact that we, primarily Christians who are a mere six days from celebrating the coming of the one we understand to be Messiah, can't have civil conversation but instead have to take side and vilify the other. And we are claiming our Christian roots as our reason for doing it. Meanwhile, we're preparing to welcome the Prince of Peace, the one who built bridges and broke down barriers...but maybe really we're just preparing to eat more food and get more stuff all the while not being changed by the one we claim to worship. And that's the "we" on both sides.
But there's something else here that I haven't heard commented on. (I'm sure it has been commented on...after all, I really haven't read much. Mostly I've just noticed how often the name Phil Robertson has been in my newsfeed on Facebook).
In the GQ article, Phil is quoted as saying, “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes!..." He then goes on to name homosexuality as sin.
Yes, because of my theology and faith understanding, I would take issue with his assumption that all homosexual activity is sinful. But, I want to step back to something else that is startling and disturbing to me...the fact that relationships have been (in this quote and so often in the way we live them out) reduced to sex.
Frankly, as a heterosexual woman I want to be understood as more than a vagina...more than the one who's got "more to offer." As a human being I want to be understood as being a person, not a competition between vagina and anus (or vagina and vagina for that matter).
While people are being outraged about Phil's beliefs on homosexuality, I also want people to be outraged about how Phil expressed his feelings about heterosexuality.
Today all I want for Christmas is for each of us, no matter where we find ourselves theologically or politically or any other way, to look at the other before we speak and remember the humanity that is there and the God that is living in and around each of us. After all, isn't that what Christmas is really about?