Tonight in one of his show’s segments, Bill O’Reilly commented on some recent remarks made by Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame. Robertson stands accused of making judgmental statements about homosexuality, commenting that it is sinful. Now I don’t have O’Reilly’s exact words, but his argument ran something like this: Phil Robertson passed judgment on homosexuality, saying it was a sin; The Bible forbids men from judging others, only God can do this; Therefore, Phil Robertson was wrong to make critical remarks about homosexuality.
This left me a bit puzzled. Think about it. Bill O’Reilly argued that Phil Robertson was wrong to say homosexuality is a sin. In other words, Bill O’Reilly judged Phil Robertson, doing the very thing he said we, as mere mortals, have no right to do. For arguments sake, if were we to adopt O’Reilly’s position, we would be forced to conclude one of two things: 1) Bill O’Reilly is God and was right to take Phil Robertson to task, or 2) he contradicted himself in his editorial and owes Mr. Robertson an apology both for his poor logic – his failure to see that his argument applied to his own words, for in criticizing Robertson he engaged in the very activity, judgment, he denied is permitted to men – and for making what are therefore, by his own standards, baseless, unwarranted, and impermissible comments about Robertson’s beliefs.
The truth is, O’Reilly’s argument is absurd. That is to say, it is self-refuting. Neither Bill O’Reilly nor anyone else can avoid making judgments. To criticize another for making judgments is not only unfair, for it asks the impossible, but also of necessity involves the critic in self-contradiction – in condemning another for passing judgment, the he condemns himself as well.
So the issue is not whether we ought to judge the words and actions of others, we all of necessity make judgments every day all the time. The issue is by what standard we make our judgments. Jesus said, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” That is to say, we are to judge based on the Bible, the Word of God. And by this standard, it is right and proper to condemn homosexuality. Further, to remain silent in the face of sodomy and say nothing, is itself sinful. To actively defend it is to call good evil and evil good, and demonstrates a more perverse conscience.