Friday, December 20, 2013

Phil Robertson: "The Almighty gave us this." Debbie Reese: "No. He didn't."

In the many excellent critiques of Phil Robertson's comments about gays and African Americans, I haven't seen anything that pushes back on his "The Almighty gave us this [northern Louisiana backwoods]."

I read that line in the GQ article and, of course, thought "No. He didn't."

That land belonged to Native people.

Does Robertson (like those early Europeans who believed their god had a hand in disease that devastated Native peoples, rendering them and their homelands vulnerable to Europeans who wanted that land) think his Almighty rid the land of the Indigenous peoples of Louisiana so Robertson and his family could have it?

Does Robertson know that the people of the land he's speaking of have their own belief about how that land came to be? I used have on purpose because, contrary to popular misconception, Indigenous people are still here and some of them are in Louisiana where Robertson is from.

Does Robertson know the history of the property (assuming he owns property in Louisiana) for which he has title?

I don't watch the show or pay any attention to it, but perhaps I should, given the size of its audience. Heading over, now, to see their list of episodes.


Anonymous said...

I read it more as God gave land to people, not a specific plot of land to a specific family/group. I wonder if understanding it that way would change your feelings about his comments? Thank you for your thoughts.

Debbie Reese said...

In your response, and I'm pretty sure in his way of thinking about it, there is one god, and its a Christian one.

My point is larger than just his individual plot of land.

It is the idea that there is ONE god, and that the proper way to write his (yes, his) name is with a capital G.

The history of that way of thinking/believing has wrought a great deal of destruction on peoples who have their own god(s) or goddess(es).

I think it fair to speculate that Robertson would heap all manner of derision on the tribes that have sanctioned same sex marriage.

Elizabeth said...


I think you're spot on.