When talking to parents about how to address behaviors in their children, we always tell them to discuss the “behaviors” not the child as a person. “Running around in the restaurant is not appropriate behavior” tells the child specifically which behavior you think isn’t acceptable.
It leaves out the personality of a child, you aren’t telling them they’re a rotten kid because of what they are doing. You are not judging them, but you are instilling your values and telling them what is or isn’t acceptable. Other parents may not have a problem with their kids running around the restaurant but you do and you have every right to teach that value to your children.
Another thing we teach parents is that they should acknowledge their children’s emotions, as no emotions are wrong, but what they do with those emotions can be. We then tell parents it is not their job to “fix” their child’s emotions to make sure they are always happy. Kids can never learn to regulate their own emotions if every time they get upset the world grinds to a halt while everyone tries to please that kid. That only teaches a kid how to control and manipulate through hissy fits.
Discussing behavior you find unacceptable and teaching a child how to control their own emotions rather than allowing them to bully others into being responsible for their emotions – most parents want to practice these skills so that their children grow up to be responsible, mentally healthy adults. So how does this connect to Phil Robertson?
Phil Robertson did NOT make “anti-gay” comments – he made “anti-gay-behavior” comments. He stated his opinion, based on the bible, about a behavior and specifically did not judge the persons practicing this behavior. But that’s not good enough for folks. They are twisting it into being personal, because they are unhappy and want everyone else to make them feel better. But they, along with many in the media, are guilty of doing exactly what they accuse Phil of doing – judging him and his value as a human being, instead of simply disagreeing with his behavior or words.
These same groups who don’t want anything said about them or their behaviors are usually the ones saying vile things against gun owners, country hicks, GOP, Tea-partiers, etc. Those of us who hear these things simply choose to not allow ourselves to be offended. It IS a choice.
We’re told A&E has a right to hire and fire who they want because they are a private business. But why doesn’t that same right to do business apply to the bakeries that don’t want to bake a wedding cake? Remember how all business used to have signs that said, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone”? When did that change?
A&E said Phil’s views “do not reflect” their own. Remember when a lot of TV and radio stations used to announce that the show about to air did not reflect the views of the station owners? Why can’t they all just say that now? Why does everything have to be a fight?
This incident with Phil Robertson may finally be a tipping point, an opportunity to show how far overboard the PC expectations have become. People are tired of being told every opinion they have is wrong if anyone else happens to whine about it. No one is responsible for our feelings except us. It is not up to the rest of the world to screech to a halt to make sure our precious little feelings aren’t hurt and that we feel happy-happy-joy-joy all the time.
Understanding the difference between disagreeing with a behavior and hating a person is the first step to true tolerance.