Should Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson be allowed to quote the Apostle Paul?
In a recent and very good book, John L. Allen comes to the judgment that “Christians today indisputably are the most persecuted religious body on the planet.” He concludes that “the transcendent human rights concern of our time is this rarely noted persecution.” In the affluent and comfortable West, we take for granted a tolerance that is not shown Christians in Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria or Eritrea, much less North Korea.
Yet the war against Christians exists here at home, too. It is not as ugly, but it exists, and with it Americans have witnessed an amazing reversal in our history. After all, this country was originally a Christian country. It was a refuge for all Christians, and, as the years passed, all Western faiths — eventually, all humane faiths. America became a land of religious tolerance. Given the intolerance toward Christianity that we see in America today, possibly it is time for Christians to rethink this tolerance. Possibly, tolerance can go too far.
Now Mr. Robertson strikes me as an amiable sort. He was not urging the banishment of homosexuals or prohibition against drunkards. He was only citing Scripture in saying that he does not expect to see them in heaven. Maybe he will, and doubtless he will be surprised. Yet Americans are protected by the First Amendment to utter such views in public, are they not?