Dear Phil Robertson,
If you need a god to tell you slaughtering a family and raping little girls is wrong, frankly chances are not even a god could help or save you, or anyone else who may think like you.
In this week’s crazy Phil Robertson, of Duck Dynasty ‘fame’, has shared another nugget of his wisdom with the world, this time about atheists.
At a prayer(?!) meeting in Florida good ol’ Phil decided to share a glorious story of goodwill and morality to make a point of some sort:
‘Two guys break into an atheist’s home. He has a little atheist wife and two little atheist daughters. Two guys break into his home and tie him up in a chair and gag him.
Then they take his two daughters in front of him and rape both of them and then shoot them, and they take his wife and then decapitate her head off in front of him and then they can look at him and say, ‘Isn’t it great that I don’t have to worry about being judged? Isn’t it great that there’s nothing wrong with this?’
‘There’s no right or wrong, now, is it dude?’
Then you take a sharp knife and take his manhood and hold it in front of him and say, ‘Wouldn’t it be something if there was something wrong with this? But you’re the one who says there is no God, there’s no right, there’s no wrong, so we’re just having fun. We’re sick in the head, have a nice day.’
If it happened to them, they probably would say, ‘Something about this just ain’t right.’
There is certainly something about this Phil that’s ‘just ain’t right’.
However, sadly that thing is you …
Of course Phil Robertson is no stranger to controversy and had made equally appalling comments about homosexuality and slavery in the past.
The big question here is how on earth someone who’s this bigoted and ignorant is given a national platform to spew such insanities.
There are of course many incredibly good and decent religious people out there (although I often suspected many of those people would have been very good people even without a religious affiliation).
Nevertheless, Phil Robertson is not one of them.
Religions, including Christianity, have no exclusivity on human goodness, or morality. Believing in a god never has been and never will be a prerequisite for morality, or the only source of human goodness. Goodness and morality are arguably inherent biological and social traits, and nothing more than genetic coding enforced by societal living, that relies on codes of conduct to survive and thrive.
It doesn’t take much brilliance to establish that when living in a society, how we treat people will directly affect how people treat us in return, and by being good to others and collaborating with them, generally we hope to elicit the same response.
There is even emerging scientific evidence of ‘moral’ behaviour in animals. If even apes can tell wrong from right, show empathy and demonstrate the basic components of what we commonly refer to as ‘morality’, perhaps humans can manage the same naturally, without ‘divine intervention’?
‘If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.’
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
It appears though some people may be missing an innate human sense of goodness and an inherent moral compass, and may consequently need to draw guidance from religion in order to fit within what they perceive as society’s expectations. However, a person who lacks such a natural inner moral compass is also highly likely to ignorantly misinterpret, or consciously pervert, the moral foundations of their faith and mainstream society’s expectations to fit their own twisted perceptions of humanity.
I don’t believe for a moment Phil Robertson represents a truly mainstream view of Christian morality, but he represents, and influences, a significant enough number of people to be a serious concern to a civilised and humane society.