www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

Future of The Mall -9/21/2014, 6:14 PM

Multiculturalism is a failure -9/19/2014, 9:52 AM

State education rankings -9/19/2014, 9:52 AM

Kobach gone wild -9/19/2014, 9:52 AM

Bias prevents civil discussion of education issues -9/18/2014, 9:35 AM

Immigration is American -9/18/2014, 9:35 AM

Costs to states not expanding Medicaid -9/17/2014, 10:14 AM

Medicare threats -9/17/2014, 10:12 AM

Green fields in northwest Kansas -9/17/2014, 10:12 AM

Consolidation by starvation -9/16/2014, 9:54 AM

School mergers tricky -9/16/2014, 9:54 AM

Hotel tipping -9/16/2014, 9:54 AM

Abuse video revealed nothing we didn't know -9/15/2014, 9:20 AM

Lessons from 13 years ago -9/15/2014, 9:20 AM

The zero option -9/14/2014, 1:31 PM

Why branding ISIS matters -9/14/2014, 1:31 PM

School efficiency -9/14/2014, 1:31 PM

Favors and loot for sale -9/12/2014, 10:10 AM

The 'college experience' -9/12/2014, 10:10 AM

Ellis schools -9/11/2014, 10:10 AM

Hold on, Mr. President -9/11/2014, 9:26 AM

The best bathroom -9/11/2014, 9:26 AM

The day the world stood still -9/11/2014, 9:26 AM

No one can play your part -9/9/2014, 9:55 AM

Playing candidate dress-up -9/9/2014, 9:55 AM

Congress at work -9/9/2014, 9:55 AM

Schmidt is the answer -9/9/2014, 9:55 AM

The liabilities of cannabis use -9/8/2014, 9:21 AM

Downtown decision -9/8/2014, 9:21 AM

Why are red states so far behind? -9/8/2014, 9:20 AM

Taylor's next move -9/5/2014, 10:16 AM

Consider trees to spruce up yard -9/5/2014, 10:15 AM

Washington takes action to reform VA -9/5/2014, 10:15 AM

Umbehr stands out -9/4/2014, 12:25 PM

Leadership education -- it's not a scam -9/4/2014, 12:24 PM

Not supporting Brownback's re-election -9/4/2014, 12:23 PM

A fair fair debate -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Suicide in today's age -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Regulation overreach -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Sharpton, Kobach's common ground -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

In charge of all -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Pocket-book debate? -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Educating voters on education -9/2/2014, 9:33 AM

Crazy election season in Kansas -9/2/2014, 9:33 AM

An erosion of authenticity -8/31/2014, 4:39 PM

Blasphemy, free speech and the 'black mass' -8/31/2014, 4:39 PM

Labor Day -8/31/2014, 4:39 PM

Flexing muscles -8/29/2014, 10:00 AM

Blacks must confront reality -8/29/2014, 10:00 AM

The leadership scam -8/29/2014, 10:00 AM

Green monster -8/28/2014, 10:14 AM

The resurrection of Rick Perry -8/28/2014, 10:14 AM

Senate campaign -8/28/2014, 10:14 AM

Right to be heard? -8/26/2014, 10:08 AM

Over-covering Ferguson -8/26/2014, 10:07 AM

Figuring out the tax debate -8/26/2014, 10:07 AM

An obvious ploy -8/25/2014, 9:29 AM

Not-so-beautiful sunset -8/25/2014, 9:29 AM

Cannabis therapy -- Why bother? -8/25/2014, 9:29 AM

Business climate of Kansas -8/24/2014, 11:39 AM

James Foley: Courage in the face of danger -8/24/2014, 11:39 AM

Festering wound -8/24/2014, 11:39 AM

Big banks settling -8/22/2014, 10:16 AM

Tuition pays for this -8/22/2014, 10:16 AM

College textbook scam -8/22/2014, 10:16 AM

Policing a riot -8/21/2014, 9:45 AM

Evil strikes back -8/21/2014, 9:45 AM

Art appreciation -8/21/2014, 9:45 AM

Abuse of power -8/20/2014, 8:22 AM

Ferguson police arrest reporters for reporting -8/20/2014, 8:21 AM

Don't 'got milk' -8/20/2014, 8:21 AM

Another road map to success? -8/19/2014, 10:05 AM

It's the abuse of power, stupid -8/19/2014, 10:04 AM

Riots in Ferguson, and what they mean -8/18/2014, 9:57 AM

One of billions -8/18/2014, 9:57 AM

The GOP presents: Barack-nado -8/17/2014, 2:08 PM

Media and Missouri: What's going on? -8/17/2014, 2:08 PM

Answer the bell -8/15/2014, 8:58 AM

Get ready for denials -8/15/2014, 8:49 AM

Mental illness -8/15/2014, 8:49 AM

Mindless drones -8/14/2014, 9:27 AM

Can-do attitude -8/14/2014, 9:27 AM

'Poor door' -- a symbol of a truth we all know -8/13/2014, 9:19 AM

Eyeing the Ogallala Aquifer -8/13/2014, 9:19 AM

The slacker congress -8/12/2014, 9:02 AM

CIA vs. Senate -8/12/2014, 9:02 AM

The cannabis conundrum -- we against us -8/11/2014, 8:55 AM

The debate is over -8/11/2014, 8:54 AM

The 'Almost' Revolution -8/10/2014, 3:28 PM

Is cross a history lesson or state religion? -8/10/2014, 3:28 PM

Another downgrade -8/10/2014, 3:28 PM

State economy plays critical role in the future of FHSU -8/10/2014, 2:09 PM

Building on past successes for a stronger future -8/10/2014, 2:09 PM

Will Palin's channel rival Comedy Central? -8/8/2014, 9:25 AM

Western anti-Semitism -8/8/2014, 9:25 AM

Patrolmen without borders -8/7/2014, 10:13 AM

Not a choice -8/7/2014, 10:12 AM

Ebola politics -8/7/2014, 10:12 AM

Too few voters -8/6/2014, 10:03 AM

A special breed -8/6/2014, 10:03 AM

myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
[var top_story_head]

Duck, duck, goose

Published on -12/23/2013, 9:30 AM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

2It's a free country. The First Amendment protects both the tolerant and the intolerant, those who understand the value of inclusiveness and those who spread hate. I'd put Robertson in the latter category. That's my right.

And A&E has the right to fire him, as I hope they do.

Speech is powerful, which is why it gets protection from the Constitution. Robertson didn't go out and attack "homosexual offenders" (offenders, I assume, not because being gay violates the law -- the Supreme Court got rid of that vestige of bigotry in Lawrence v. Texas -- but because they offend Robertson) with a physical weapon, but words can cause just as much harm. Just check out the suicide rates for teens who are gay and lesbian. Telling a teenager they are doomed because they aren't heterosexual is ignorant and cruel.

Change never is easy. On the day New Mexico became the 17th state to allow gay marriage (and the sky hasn't fallen in any of them), Robertson was making headlines for his unabashed bigotry, and the United Methodist church Thursday "defrocked" a Pennsylvania pastor because he officiated at his own son's gay wedding (legal in Massachusetts) and refused to agree to follow church dogma that discriminates against gays and lesbians.

The Rev. Frank Schaefer, who was suspended for 30 days for performing his son's wedding six years earlier, had until Thursday to agree to abide by the United Methodist Book of Discipline, the church's rules and doctrine. Earlier in the week, he made clear in a news conference he would not denounce his son and others who share his sexual orientation.

"I cannot uphold those discriminatory laws and the language in the United Methodist Church's Book of Discipline that is hurtful and harmful to our homosexual brothers and sisters in the church."

Notably, Bishop Peggy Johnson, who leads the church in Pennsylvania and announced Schaefer's punishment, explicitly acknowledged "(s)everal statements in our Book of Discipline are discriminatory (forbidding ordination of homosexual persons, forbidding the performing of same-gender marriages and considering the practice of homosexuality incompatible with Christian teaching)," and these prohibitions, considered in light of the church's stated policy of inclusion, have "led to confusion by many from the outside of the church wondering how we can talk out of two sides of our mouth."

Confusion is a nice way to put it. Hypocrisy, insensitivity and cruelty also come to mind. But according to Johnson -- if not Robertson -- "our LGBT sisters and brothers are of sacred worth regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity." It's just that your father can lose his job if he marries you.

Change never is easy. My favorite section of the Sunday newspaper is "ladies' sports" -- the "weddings section," where once I followed the lives of my friends and now keep an eye out for their children and for my gay and lesbian friends, who tend to be the older couples, marrying for the first time. Who would have thought? I smile when I read the stories of couples my age, together for decades, "tying the knot."

So why are we still debating whether it is "sinful" to be gay? Who is Phil Robertson, reality show star, to tell young men and women who work hard and love God as much as he does that they are "sinful"?

How can the Methodist church openly acknowledge it is talking out of both sides of its mouth and then keep talking?

Schaefer might be a "bad" minister in the eyes of his church, but he is a good father and a good man. Hopefully, this Christmas season, that will be enough. As for Robertson, it took some doing for someone to find a family that makes the Kardashians look like a crowd of sensitive brainiacs, but the "Duck Dynasty" guy did it. No more jokes about Kris and Bruce.

Susan Estrich is a columnist, commentator and law and political science professor at USC.

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos

AP Breaking News
AP Nation-World News

View this site in another language.

Kansas News