The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 5, 2014

How things are understood?

The Daily Item

— Though I’m not particularly interested in Phil Robertson from a TV viewer standpoint, I have been following the issues being raised by the maelstrom. I have read the social site comments in your paper, most favoring Mr. Robertson, not unexpectedly, considering the majority demographic of the area. I have read Michael Smerconish’s observations in his column and now consider the points nearly all raised on every side.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the Bible does have strong words concerning homosexual activity, it has strong words about many topics, and anybody is free to expound on them.

But there is an issue which I have not yet seen addressed. It concerns Mr. Robertson’s later statements in attempting to clarify the comments initially made during the interview. His words are, “We let God sort ‘em out later, you see what I’m saying?” with “’em” being short for “them.”  

You see, he says “them”, not “us”! He excludes himself from the “sorting,” the judgment, as if he’s already “in.”

It is precisely that attitude, that smug, “We’re right, you’re all wrong,” religious right commentary which repulses people away from even considering finding the love which Jesus preached.

Much has been debated about what Jesus wrote when he scrawled on the ground during his “Let’s stone the adulteress” — “You cast the first stone” encounter. I tend to believe it was something like, “We don’t stone anymore, we forgive.” But, that’s me.

I’m not saying compromise your beliefs, but consider accepting that the “New Covenant” brought about a whole new handling of the sin issue as Jesus showed here.

This is America, believe what you want, preach what you want. But, perhaps it is a good idea to step back and see just how things are coming across.

James Swartz,