A Duck Dynasty Revelation
Today I was reminded of the whole Duck Dynasty controversy over religious views articulated in a way people found offensive.
My daughter is doing Girls on the Run, a confidence and self-esteem building program for grade school girls based around a 5K training regimen. I picked her up from practice and asked her what the lesson was today. "Gratitude," she said.
Holding my breath a bit, I asked: "Well, what did you say?"
"My pets and family," was her reply. "In that order?" I asked. "No," she said. "Family, friends, pets." She paused and then said: "I was going to say God but I thought I shouldn't."
I immediately and completely understood why. Then I wondered when I will grow out of this fear of expressing my beliefs and how I can teach her to not be afraid to express hers.
I was visiting my in-laws with my husband and children over the holidays and we attended church service there to hear my father-in-law play the piano. The sermon was entitled "And So the Battle Begins" and the segue into it was that hub-bub over the Duck Dynasty drama. How the patriarch had been asked his views on a particular topic, and expressed his views in a crude manner.
I don't know the specifics but do know that his views were based on his religious beliefs. The seemingly immediate backlash against him by the network relayed a zero-tolerance stance until an outpouring of support shifted the tides and the network welcomed him back onto the show. I guess ratings really do rule.
The pastor at my in-laws church tied this into an ongoing battle that Christians have always faced: A battle where belief and faith in God and Jesus Christ aren't enough. One must be prepared to publically state what it is one believes in and why. One must be able to go to "battle" over these beliefs.
And this is how it's always been. But living in a secular world, we often abandon or fail to even have our own set of consistent, non-changeable truths in favor of popular opinion or popular culture. Or we feel ashamed or afraid of offending those who don't believe the same. We want to people-please too much, and at what expense?
Before we went to that service, as timing would have it, I was commenting on the Duck Dynasty drama at breakfast; that I was interested in what seems to be a "closeting" of Christianity. Why is it that there is a certain shame associated with Christian belief, Christian values?
I think it may have at least something to do with fundamentalism - not every Christian takes the Bible literally or believes any fellow human knows how to do that correctly. And not every Christian who talks the talk walks the walk, which is irritating and off-putting. Other Christians struggle with the human translation of a divine revelation. Me? I feel that any kind of "us" versus "them" mentality deserves some distancing. Can't we all just get along? At least you and me, that is.
But the bigger issue I see here is the issue of hiding one's beliefs, hiding one's true self. The negative implications of this are profound. In terms of health and wellness, I have often written about the health costs of hiding one's true nature. One's spirituality is no small matter in what one's true nature really is. I advocate for global and universal freedom - this includes you and whatever you believe. It includes me too. And, yes, it includes that guy from Duck Dynasty. Our health (mental, physical, spiritual) depends on it.