01 02 03 400 Things: Changing the World One Comment at a Time 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Changing the World One Comment at a Time


No doubt you’ve heard that PhilRobertson of Duck Dynasty fame has been suspended from the popular A&E series for expressing his views on homosexuality. It’s quite a stance A&E has taken on behalf of the gay community, but it’s not a surprising one at all. I’m actually more surprised by the people who are surprised than I am by what actually happened.

But this post is not about whether A&E should have suspsended Phil. (Disclaimer: I DO like Phil and Duck Dynasty; it’s a funny show, and the Robertson men are all eerily similar to my Dad in so many ways.) This is about all the gobbledy-goop that floods the world wide web in response to a move of this sort.
When a news story breaks online, it is customary for readers to post their comments. We live in a Facebook world where quick, witty comments that are devoid of actual information are the fashion. This exhausts me. Reading comments on websites makes me want to run to the nearest bookshelf and grab a good book to wash the unintelligible mish-mash out of my brain. I feel like I need a shower - - no, a detox bath, to brush my teeth, and have an intelligent conversation with my 5-year-old, who makes more sense than the general populace.
I think our culture is pretty rotten. I also believe Christians can impact the culture for good and for change. But in order to do this, we have to be able to speak effectively and give the crowds a reason to agree. If they can’t read what we are typing, or understand what we are saying, or if we are full of hypocrisy or hatred, we will have no impact.
Take a look at this comment on A&E’s Facebook page (bleeped):
A&E u guys should be ashame of yourself. The only *@#$ reality show that my family and I can watch with no cussing, &*$ shaking, morals, and teach there family and other what respect is. It is SUPPOSE to be a FREE COUNTRY but for CHRISTIANS people ITS NOT ANYMORE. Christian have to watch what they say but other people can say WHATEVER the HELL they want to say about Christians. REMEMBER JUDGEMENT DAY is coming soon and i don't think you IDIOTS will be ready for what GOD have to say that day. I WILL NEVER WATCH A&E AGAIN. WILL be taking your WHACK $%# station off my satellite.
Ignore, for a moment, the horrendous grammar, spelling, and creative punctuation. This person also speaks as if she is a Christian, but stoops to name-calling and threats of hell and damnation. She claims to want a family show with “no cussing,” etc. (ahem) and then cusses! She’s pretty much shot down any chance she had of getting her point across.
Sadly, this kind of comment is SO normal online.
I guess these comments are the equivalent to texting a bunch of friends over a table of McNuggets and fries at the local Mickie-Dee’s. Just say what you think, try to say something funny or shocking, and move on. There’s very little substance, not to mention facts or common sense.
So when I finally come across a well-worded, intelligent comment I want to put a big gold star on it and say, “Well done, sir!” or “Way to use your noggin!” or something like that. The real thinkers out there are so few, I want them to know they’re appreciated.
If you only have a few lines to contribute to a story, or better yet, want to make your voice heard, there are a few things to remember. For illustration purposes, I’ve borrowed some more actual comments from A&E’s Facebook page in response to this Phil Robertson story.
#1.  Be clear and to the point.
         "  My family and I have watched a lot of A&E programming over the years. We have appreciated your variety and balanced programming. Now, I see you are not only wanting to censor the members of the Robertson family, you are now suspending Phil Robertson for answering questions about his beliefs. He has every right to do this. Just because it does not appear politically correct, doesn't make it wrong. Liberals do not receive this treatment. They can say whatever they think and live however they want to in front of our children and society and are protected. I say give a voice to the majority and help us protect our values. 
[VERY CLEAR:] As a result of your decision to suspend Phil Robertson, my family will no longer watch your channel. I will also be contacting my cable provider to let them know that my family want A&E removed from the standard cable line up. [POLITE:]  Please reconsider and bring Phil back on the show with his family in a timely manner. Thank you for taking the time to read my view.
#2 State your feelings, coupled with facts.
·         Suspending Phil Robertson indefinitely for expressing his opinion?! Really?! [FACT:] Everything about the Robertsons, including their beliefs, values, and opinions, are what made Duck Dynasty the phenomenon it is today. And aren't you profiting from those same beliefs, etc? People tune in to watch this show because they like what this family represents, and yet you are going to suspend the man for the very same morals that draw viewers in???
·         Your recent suspension of Phil Robertson just shows how much your network does not support the Christian family atmosphere, which has made the show so popular. I hope the rest of the family joins Phil and takes the show to another network because my family will no longer watch any A&E programming. From what I read regarding his comments, hate and bigotry was not mentioned.  [FACT:] He just stated his beliefs regarding what the Bible teaches about homosexuality.
#3 Use complete sentences and proper grammar. I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH.
·         Your resent actions towards phil Roberson after his GQ comments is to say the least sad and outrageous you had no problem with him or his believes when he was making you millions but just because they are some having a fit and causing a little problem and it wont be for long be cause these kind of people have no morales or mindset to last but for a while so since you was so quickly to jump on the band wagon just to smooth things over in stead of supporting phil I am like so many others I am contacting to boycott your tv channel and all of your programs I hope that you as a company will see the error in your judgment and support phil if not my only hope is that you are cut from the air I know Aleast you will be from my home as well as others thank you
Okay, this person just lost me. You see? It’s one loooooooong sentence! This is why language arts instruction is so important, Moms! Do you want to be the joke, or the one who makes a valid point? The A&E people are probably rolling their eyes…
#3 Don’t preach. Just share your personal beliefs as what they are: personal beliefs.
·         Duck Dynasty made A&E very popular. It is no secret that the Robertson family are Christian [PERSONAL CHRISTIAN BELIEF:] and the Bible is clear on it's stance on homosexuality. We are very disappointed that you would suspend someone for voicing their Christian beliefs. We will be boycotting your entire channel until you give the respect for religious views. Christians deserve respect and the right to an opinion just as much as the homosexual community does.
Actually, Christians don’t “deserve” respect. See below. But we need to remember that our beliefs are not the world’s beliefs, so trying to argue with non-Christians using scripture is just ineffective.
·         hope and pray that Phil stands firm!! I'm so tired of people thinking that they can change what the bible says just to suit their needs. We Christians should not be punished just because we state our beliefs. [OOPS – biblical error; see John 15:18-19] I thought that we as Americans have freedom of speech without having fear of retaliation!? A&E, I hope you get your act together and rethink your punishment of Phil because I think that most of the fans of Duck Dynasty watch because of their strong faith. Phil, we Christians support you!!
Actually, Christians have been punished and persecuted throughout history for their beliefs. Jesus warned His disciples that this would be the case. America is not special in that sense. Don’t get me wrong. I believe America is special. I love it. I love our freedom, and I try pretty hard to keep it. That doesn’t mean that the Constitution can protect me or any other Christian from religious persecution.
So, what would YOU say to A&E? What should you say? What will you share with your social media audience? If you just want to rant, then any ol’ comment will do. But if you want to impact the culture, think carefully, speak clearly, and stick with the facts.

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