Duck Dynasty, Piers Morgan: A Note On Bigotry And Ignorance
"Big-ot-ry: intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself. "
I wanted to write something in response not only towards the recent controversy over Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, but about the attitude and assumptions that surround this issue as a whole. However, I cannot comment on Phil Robertson himself. I have watched about 10 minutes of Duck Dynasty in my life, and as far as I can tell that's about all anyone ever needs. Not my cup of tea. Saying that, I cannot comment on Mr. Roberts Christian faith, lifestyle, or anything else for that matter concerning him as a person; I just don't know.
What I do want to comment on is the issue that this brings up. Due to Mr. Robertson comments on homosexuality and his paraphrasing of Romans 1 and 1 Corinthians 6 a firestorm has followed. A very interesting panel on the Piers Morgan show (1), that included Dr. Michael Brown, Ben Ferguson and Mar Lamont Hill took place. I do want to comment on some of the discussion that took place there.
When your whole position depends upon a particular false form of argumentation, your fall back response is to hide this inconsistent form of arguing with accusing others of doing what you yourself are in fact doing. This is easy to see; turn on any news panel, discussion, or informal debate and you will see this all the time.
Piers Morgan is a prime example of this form of argumentation. He is one of the worst thinkers out there, but sadly is highly representative of the secular mindset that this type of argumentation espouses. Logic nowadays is thrown out the window, and in its place we have emotion. We have presuppositions that are assumed, and as soon as those presuppositions are about to be challenged, the emotional rhetoric comes out.
I've said it before and I'll repeat it till our society gets it. We need to be extremely careful when we use certain words. Words have meanings, and when we use those words (void of their meaning) and in situations where they do not truly apply, we lessen the severity of the meaning and we dilute the impact of what the word means. Homophobia is one of those buzz words. Homophobia exists, there are people out there who are 'homophobes' who attack and kill homosexuals out of ignorance. But when we go around accusing everyone who disagrees with homosexuality a 'homophobe' when they simply express a differing opinion, we dilute the severity of people who actually are homophobic.
Bigot is another one of those words. These are catch-phrases that we see used far too often. These words are used not in their actual context, but thrown out in the context of emotional fervor and zealousness. Used in situations devoid of their actual meaning and original intent.
These buzz words when used improperly allow people to disregard evidential and rational argumentation. They allow people to disregard respectful dialogue and instead resort to name calling and school yard bullying tactics. This type of dialogue is far too common for the modern-secular zombie who is bombarded with this type of argumentation and simply accepts it as profound. In our post-modern society we are no longer taught how to think, rather we're taught what to think.
As soon as you derail the 'what' of the argument, this type of dialogue comes out. The insults, name calling, and buzz words flow like a tap. Buzz words pour and rational, reasonable, consistent, dialogue is thrown by the wayside.
Pierce Morgan during the interview and forum about the Duck Dynasty controversy is a prime example of what I'm describing. If you listen to the interview itself (which I will include bellow) you will see a prime example of actual bigotry and ignorance, but not from the Christians on the panel, but from Piers himself. The simple fact that you cannot disagree with his opinion or you become a hate monger and a bigot.
Piers, in the first few minutes shows his complete arrogance and ignorance of the discussion at hand and of the Bible itself. Piers reads a quotation of a section of a sermon by Mr. Robertson, what he totally misses is that the quote is not in fact Phil Robertson words, but those of Paul in Romans 1. A fact that Piers completely ignores or refuses to acknowledge.
Phil Roberts quotes Romans 1, and Piers Morgan accuses him of being a bigot and hateful for it. I would go so far as to say that Piers Morgan is doing no more than expressing his own blatant, bolded, bigotry in that statement. What is a bigot? As I've quoted at the beginning of the post; a bigot is someone who holds an irrational, uninformed, ignorance-based opinion and will not examine the other side of the argument... that is exactly what Piers expressed in that interview.
Piers had no idea what he was talking about in regard to Mr. Robertson quoting Romans 1. Yet he is absolutely certain of his own opinion on someone elses. Piers shows his inability to reflect upon his own worldview, its relationship to other world views; and its foundation, defensibility, and ramifications.
A person who is reflective, recognizes their own traditions, presuppositions, biases, and has the ability to understand the ramifications of the conclusions that that worldview holds. The one thing that Piers Morgan never seems to be able to do in discussion is show his reflectivity in dialogue.
But I am not writing this post simply against Piers Morgan, Piers works as the example to what is happening far too often on our society. Logic and consistent forms of dialogue are no longer seen in the marketplace of ideas. I encounter this all the time during my university studies and in conversations. I disagree with Islam or Judaism and am called an "anti-semite" and an "Islamophobe". I give a rational, logical, biblical response to homosexuality and all of a sudden I am "homophobic."
No attempt to combat my arguments with mirrored logical responses. Simply throw out a buzz word and, whala! No need to argue any further... your oponent is now a "bigot", all you have to do is to keep calling them that, never realizing that by ignoring their view you are in fact exercising bigotry - and your job to think is over. No need for thinking, reasoning, or anything close to it.
Language becomes a tool void of definition. It is the emotional impact that packs the punch. The words are what they are concerned about, not the meaning or the truthfulness of the words but the words themselves. I use the Pierce Morgan clip as an example, because it frightens me to hear this, not just from my fellow students at school, but from the mouths of those that they listen to. When language is used void of context, never substantiated, but thrown out like a weapon.
Our culture has been so diluted in their thinking process that we've once again been told what to think rather than being told how to think. Because of this, they are completely vulnerable to this type of shallow argumentation.
I try to bend over backwards to try and be honest when I write about others' worldviews. Secular, religious or otherwise, when we intend to make statements and assumptions about someone elses beliefs we need to be hyper aware what it is they believe exactly. And when we are attacked for giving an opinion and labelled a "bigot", "hatemonger", or any other catch phrase, all that is being done is encouraging a circle of true societal ignorance and practicing definitional bigotry.
Read George Orwell's 1984. Read C.S. Lewis' That Hideous Strength because these books, these authors, in the post WW2 era recognized the dangers of "progressive" "enlightened" rulers. Rulers who change and utilize the meaning of language to their own benefit, to their own use.
What I have realized is that people are not concerned about truth, consistency, and logic in their arguments any longer. People are concerned with impact and emotion. Words having meanings, some words have stronger meanings than others.
Hold fast to your opinions, convictions and beliefs. Use words to portray truth and honesty to substantiate yourself. Use words logically and with rational response. Use words consistently within their definitions. And substantiate the words you throw out to others.
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set your free." - John 8:32
(1) Piers Morgan clip regarding Duck Dynasty controversy
Matt Walsh's response to Duck Dynasty
A Christian Perspective On Homosexuality, Part 1
A Christian Perspective On Homosexuality, Part 2
Islam & Christianity, Part 1: Introductions