Last December, we saw a cultural showdown unfold before our very eyes. On one side stood Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the red-neck, millionaire TV stars that the country has come to love as Duck Dynasty. On the other side stood the network that gave them their platform, A&E.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know the essentials of this showdown already, but let me provide a brief recap: It all began when GQ Magazine, a publication not known for its delicate sensibilities, ran an interview piece on Robertson Sr. They sent a reporter to spend the day with the Duck clan, shooting, boating and getting a little mud on his shirt in the process. As usual, Phil was not shy about sharing his faith and the moral foundations of it, specifically relating to sexuality. When the interviewer asked Phil point-blank what he considered to be sinful, Phil sketched out various deviant behaviors, beginning with homosexual activity. He also shared what we might call his own perception of the natural light on the matter. His chosen form of expression was a bit too frank to be quoted on this site, and it was hardly what anyone would call a fully fleshed-out case. But it was a clear, concise summing-up of God’s created order for sexuality, expressed as only Phil could express it. “It’s not logical my man. It’s just not logical.” You can read his remarks in full here, though be advised, the writer uses some casual foul language.
At the same time, Phil was brutally honest about his own promiscuous past, making it crystal clear that it was by God’s grace alone that he himself had received forgiveness. At the end of the interview, he eyed the reporter and offered his condensed version of the altar call:
If you simply put your faith in Jesus coming down in flesh, through a human being, God becoming flesh living on the earth, dying on the cross for the sins of the world, being buried, and being raised from the dead—yours and mine and everybody else’s problems will be solved. And the next time we see you, we will say: ‘You are now a brother. Our brother.’ So then we look at you totally different then. See what I’m saying?
The interviewer walked away amused, bemused, and sheepishly envious of the freedom he saw in the Robertson family’s lifestyle. Phil went back to his life and quietly continued serving his community. But, as we all know, the mainstream media hears what it wants to hear and disregards the rest. Within a few days, the mad, mad world of political correctness was going haywire over Phil’s supposedly outrageous, bigoted comments about homosexuality. The ghouls from GLAAD had an offended spokesperson on the ground stat. Liberal talking heads the nation o’er were shocked, shocked at the Duck Commander’s blunt statement of heterosexual preference and his conviction that homosexual behavior is sinful. Such comments, naturally they assumed, would be perceived as patently unacceptable in any civilized society. A&E agreed, and they made the stunning decision to suspend Phil from the show indefinitely.
It didn’t take long for them to regret it. Continue reading