Some thinky thoughts on Duck Dynasty

Duck Dynasty Season 3

[Editor’s note: Not a book post]

I’ve been a Duck Dynasty fan since the first season, when I would sing the show’s praises to anyone within earshot and foist recorded episodes onto unsuspecting visitors. And while my friends and family feigned a begrudging tolerance for the show — which is too improvised to be scripted and too staged to be reality — I could tell that they weren’t sold, not like I was. “It’s going to be big,” I’d mutter to myself as they shrugged off my over-eager descriptions of Si’s wisdom, or Duck Commander workroom tomfoolery. “Just you wait.”

And I was right. Having recently finished its fourth season, Duck Dynasty is huge. Eleven million viewers huge. Extremely comprehensive Walmart partnership huge. For the same intangible reasons that reality-show predecessors like Jersey Shore and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo captured a certain [ratings-boosting] je ne sais quoi, DD has easily become one of the most popular shows in the country. Which makes it super awkward for A&E that cast member/patriarch Phil Robertson – a crucial DD dispenser of old-timer Louisiana wisdom – made a series of offensive comments in an interview with GQ this week. The crucial excerpts are as such:

“‘Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.’ [Paraphrasing Corinthians] ‘Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.’”

… “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

… ”We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ‘em, give ‘em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ‘em out later, you see what I’m saying?”

Understandably, many people were offended. Many. A&E on Wednesday suspended Phil from the show “indefinitely,” which is a natural knee-jerk reaction, but also kind of like suspending Santa from the North Pole. Whether or not Phil commands the majority of screen time on DD, he is an important element of the family dynamic that makes the show so popular (I don’t buy into arguments that the aforementioned je ne sais quoi is the Robertsons’ read-between-the-lines Christian evangelism). Suspending Phil is like Jersey Shore suspending Snooki, or Honey Boo Boo exiling Mama June. However valid the reasoning, it don’t make no sense.

There are a lot of ways to politicize Phil’s comments: He’s Christian, Southern, a self-proclaimed redneck, and a pretty clear disbeliever in political correctness. Moreover, he’s making a lot of money selling a personality that has now revealed its very real dark side. And as a fundamental believer in LGBT rights, I understand the outrage, I do. But I think what’s being lost is the potential opportunity: For Duck Dynasty, for A&E and – what the hell, let’s get a little grandiose – for America.

One of the central conceits of DD – to the extent that reality shows can have conceits – is that families span generations, and therefore cultures and values. Phil is constantly trying to teach his grandchildren to live off the land — he seems to take joy in skinning captured rabbits (for stew) in front of his grandkids’ wide-eyed friends. He gives his teenage grandson advice on finding the right woman (Phil and his wife Kay have been married for 48 years) and in terse but insightful confessionals expounds on marriage, parenting, and happiness (his new book is literally called Happy, Happy, Happy). Phil and Kay’s children – Willy, Jase, and Jep – each have their own part to play: Willy, a man clearly comfortable in his sexuality, is perpetually trying to improve the family business, Jase would rather be outdoors, and Jep takes his brothers’ semi-sexist ribbing in stride (such as when he agrees to a couples costume with his wife on Halloween.)

In other words: Strip away the frog-hunting and camouflage, and the Robertsons start to look like many families in America, where even the most progressive young adults sit down to dinner with their Gaga-loving kids and patently homophobic parents. Gay rights isn’t a wave that’s spread across the country uniformly, converting entire regions or families at once. It’s a saturation, fueled by a slow and persistent changing of attitudes. And as much as our indignation towards homophobia is appropriate, righteous even, I think we have to stop sometimes and consider whether sacrificing a forthright conversation is worth our [completely legitimate] moral outrage.

Nearly everyone I know has a family member whose opinions are, let us say, uncouth. An uncle who describes women by their weight and breast size, a cousin who wants the welfare program eliminated, a grandfather who begrudgingly describes Obama as “one of the good ones.”  Sometimes we rail against these family members, argue with them about politics and religion, good and evil, as our voices grow slurry with Thanksgiving wine (just my family?). And sometimes we let them slide, choosing instead to wink at our like-minded relatives across the table. “Grandpa!” we might exclaim halfheartedly. “You can’t say those things.”

But we don’t stop inviting them to dinner. Because the de facto reaction to disagreement can’t be banning the outlier from the conversation. Call me a Robertson apologist, but I think A&E has a huge opportunity to open an honest, relatable and non-cutesy (sorry, Glee) dialogue about gay rights in the context of America, which is to say through the lens of a family in varying stages of LGBT acceptance. Because in real life, we don’t all go to school with an 18-year-old gay wunderkind with a voice of spun gold, and we don’t all hang out with a dozen competitive drag queens on the reg. Duck Dynasty appeals because it’s familiar – because everyone aspires to have a tight-knit family whose love for one another is matched only by their witty banter – and I think it’d be okay to leverage that familiarity to nurture a more nuanced response to Phil’s little tirade. You may never convince grandpa that Obama isn’t just one of the good ones, but isn’t finding a way to try kind of the point?

241 thoughts on “Some thinky thoughts on Duck Dynasty”

  1. I too love Duck Dynasty and Phil is one of my favorites on the show. He’s honest and what comes up comes out. I can’t hate him or judge him for that. Everyone loves to take things out of content and harp on the negativity of it. He stated his mind, he didn’t say he hates them he said he hates the sin. Hating someone and hating the sin is two different things. But we as Americans get upset when someone points out we aren’t living Godly or holy. I think the most important that we all fall short and that no one sin is greater than another. He’s a family man and God fearing man and he has a right to his opinion even if it offends you or I after all it this is America

      1. I have been looking for a space to express my opinion about this horrible show. Sorry if I hurt feelings but can you compare a bunch of clowns who, by the way, are not funny, to Yukon Men, Alaska the Last Frontier where what people do and say make sense? I only writing because A&E has excellent shows.

      1. (sorry ) to continue…..they would be homophobic…and thats not true. I’m not homophobic but I wouldn’t be in a homosexual relationship either….I also want eat pigs feet or chicken gizzards but I wouldn’t stop anyone else, if thats what they want. We need to stay out of each others business and take care of our own, thats the way it was at one time until everyone started acting like spoiled children running to mommy and daddy tattle-tailing on each other…it’s time everyone got a life and grew up.

    1. I just started watching DD since A&E reinstated Phil. I didn’t know what I was missing. Thanks A&E for showing me that Phil was a kindred spirit!

    1. He has the right to his opinion, but opinions have consequences. The worst thing you said in your comment is ” he hates the sin”, it makes me feel it is also your opinion. I contend that it is not a sin and if God created everything, then he created gays. How could it be a sin f he intended it to be?

      1. God created everything, yes. He created the earth and the people, he created the good and he did create Satan, who created evil within himself by choosing to turn against God. That is the only thing God did not create. In truth, darkness is simply the absence of light, cold is the absence of heat, evil, the absence of good. Good is God. God is good. When God created man he only gave them one rule, Satan came to them and sin came into the world by mans fall and turning away from God this moment in the garden of Eden. You asked why he “created gays”, he did not create them to be that way, that sin is a result of mans fall. We aren’t robots, he created us for his pleasure, to love us and be loved, so he gave us a choice. If you want to argue “it’s not a choice to be gay” I beg to differ. As it becomes more popular more people crave the attention that comes with it and there is such thing as abstaining from the sin that can be chosen. With all that being said, I still have friends who are gay, I am a Christian and I love them. There are some who claim Christianity as well and I do believe that as long as they believe that God created them and sent his son Jesus to die for their sins, be it that they are gay, they will still go to heaven, because he died for that sin too! Their sin is no different than mine, I just wish not to live a life within what God commands us not to do as much as I possibly can. John 3:16 uses the words “whosever believeth in him” you can put anyone’s name in there because Jesus died for EVERYONE who believes in him! I would like to apologize for my terrible writing within this piece as well due to the fact I am on my phone and it’s quite hard to reread and write.

      2. I’d quite like to argue about it not being a choice. It’s not as if I flipped a coin. Neither is homosexuality becoming popular as you put it, it may appear that way to you only in that people are more confident coming out these days (despite continuing opposition). It is certainly not something people do for attention as you believe, people who crave attention usually wind up appearing on reality tv shows. Oh.

      3. I appreciate your convictions, but “craving attention” is not why gay people come out. Honestly, that’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard. I rarely respond to the religious fanatics, who hate gay people… because it’s like teaching a cow how to roll over… you will get know where! I do wish you the best, and hope someday your heart changes, because at the end of the day, it’s about LOVE!

      4. Comments agreeing with the opinion of Phil, are entitled to their opinion, regardless of how uninformed it is. And it is completely uniformed. Homosexuality is innate ; not chosen.It is about who one has the propensity to fall in love with , rather than specific sex acts. The religious right assume what gays may do sexually; if anything. Your love for an entire segment of humanity is conditional….”just as long as they believe…” Beliefs, BTW, don’t make anyone a better person. Ones behavior does. Conservative Christians constantly stand in judgement of others ; despite admonitions not to. And they breathtakingly claim to speak on behalf of a deity that religions describe as omnipotent, omnibenevolent, & omniscient. Beliefs have consequences, & the consequences of anti-gay bias has are consistently ; violence, bloodshed & murders. From a legal standpoint, the right wing must accept that freedom of religion does not include the right to deny, diminish, or eliminate; the rights of others. Far worse than agreeing with Phil, are those who fully support the anti-gay laws passed in Russia. Check the news reports. The expected consequences are already in evidence , with a significant increase in anti-gay violence, & several murders. And who is behind all this? One of the major Christian organizations in that part of the world; the Orthodox church.

      5. I think it’s interesting how people who stick to their conventions are deemed “religious fanatics who hate gays…”. The man has a right to his belief system and to live his live accordingly. I do agree the comments were harsh and there is no way to defend the words he used. That doesn’t mean that the message he poorly attempted to convey isn’t valid. I wish he would’ve been more gentle and certainly more respectful. But there again, the fact that he is a public figure catapulted this into a major deal. How many of us have family or friends who feel similarly, as the blog author mentioned? It’s just easier to attach a stranger on social media. And I also question how many people are truly unset with what Phil Robertson said and not just using it as yet another excuse to attack Christianity…God, to be more direct.
        Although I don’t agree with everything in the blog, I certainly think it’s very good. Thanks for sharing.

      6. The Bible is a sacred work, not a weapon of hate. When it is used to condemn people or things you choose not to understand, or do not have the capacity to understand, that is the real sin. Some hide behind a great work to condemn others because they have no rational premise to stand behind. It’s no accident the one passage never cited by the holier-than-thou is “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” When The Good Book’s teachings are perverted in the service of blind prejudice and wanton ignorance, the malicious interpreters are not honoring God. They are playing God.

      7. God also created child molesters. Many child molesters will say that they cannot help but be attracted to children. They were “born” that way. Does it mean that it is “okay”? We are all full of sin and have our own demons to battle. People try to force gays and acceptance of homosexuality down people’s throats. I am so sick of it. Why is it a crime for me to agree with something that the Bible tells me?

      8. Equating homosexuals with pedofiles? Are you serious? Two people having sex with each other is not a crime – the hate and fear you are spewing out is.
        Less than 100 years ago you would be in exactly the same shoes that homosexuals are now. You were a women, second class citizen, you have no say, you had no rights, you were chattel. There are many places today were that still holds true. What would you be doing right now if someone hadn’t made everyone believe that women were real people as well.
        Is homosexuality a choice or is it hardwired into the system? Who knows, maybe it is both – what difference does it make. We are all people, we all deserve the same love, respect and rights.

        Is it a crime for you to believe what the bible tells you to do? When was the last time you had pork? Do you have any tatoos? The clothes you are wearing – only one type of fabric I hope. Shellfish.. the list for this goes on and on. Do you blindly follow the entire bible or just those parts that appeal to you?

      9. Are YOU serious….. equating women’s rights with homosexuality. Women have always had a place in society. Women have had less equal rights in the workplace, now they have more.BTW many homosexual men like young men,boys. Unfortunately I have heard about some of these cases happening personally. And despite what people are ordered to do via pop culture politically correct lines pedophilia is a crime and criminals don’t have many rights. What you are saying about the bible makes me think that you have never read it. No pork and tattoos concern Jews and Muslims, not Christians. We Christians may have a lot of rules (of course causing wars between) but I don’t think that we can compare to the Jews. Not eating pork or separating dairy really does not apply today because we are better at keeping our food clean. Tattoos I agree should not be used, we shouldn’t mark up our bodies. But nothing about this for Christians. We only care about what was handed down from god not from men which are most of the rules in organized religion.

      10. I find no Scripture or other reason to believe that God created child molesters. God’s creation was perfect, but part of perfection is the will to choose. With the Fall, man turned constantly toward Evil. Such is the source of such depravity as mentioned by Phil Robertson and here, as well.

      11. Did God create serial killers? If yes, then Ted Bundy was just living a lifestyle. If serial killing is a sinful individual choice and not a God -created “orientation,” then why isn’t sodomy subject to the same controls ?

  2. I don’t watch the show but I’ve been reading a lot about the brouhaha and agree with your point. Everything can be an opportunity to learn and grow. I concur with EB’s comment: well said.

  3. Wow. I love the way you framed this. Also, I find it somewhat funny when people are outraged by comments that come from obviously conservative icons. When everything with Chick-Fil-A went down I couldn’t help but wonder what people expected from an old, white, southern born Christian man. And I feel the same wonder here. If you know anything about the show, this shouldn’t come as a big surprise. I’m a little amazed it took this long for it to happen, to be honest. But thank you, for putting your voice out there in a way that encourages dialogue and not extremism.

  4. There’s a difference between a public figure and a family member. Sure, we don’t banish grandpa from the dinner table for spouting off antiquated ideas about sexuality and race, but he doesn’t have a public platform that we are providing. This guy has a show on A&E. He represents their network. If they don’t like what he is saying, they have every right to pull him from the air.
    This incident has already opened a dialogue in A&E’s response and the media coverage. Forcing that conversation into the show wouldn’t be a more nuanced response, it would come off as gimmicky and false.
    The DD guy has the right to say whatever he wants, but becoming a public figure means that he has to deal with the repercussions of his statements, including being suspended from his job.

    1. 1) I never said A&E didn’t have the right to suspend him, or that he shouldn’t be prepared to deal with the ramifications of saying homophobic things. I just think the suspension is a short-sighted move, and a missed opportunity.

      2) Phil Robertson may, in some ephemeral corporate way, “represent” A&E, but I don’t think it’s too much to ask of Americans to understand the difference between personal opinions and network-sanctioned policies. The Duck Dynasty “platform” is a show entirely centered on the Personality Of Phil Robertson (& Co). Which is to say that suspending Phil Robertson from a show about Phil Robertson, as punishment for stating the opinions of Phil Robertson, is kind of at odds with the entire premise of reality television. It’s like saying the Real Housewives shouldn’t be on TV because they’re too shallow.

      2) I agree that this has sparked a dialogue, but I disagree that A&E couldn’t have continued that dialogue on the show. I’m not saying they should have a dedicated sit-down on camera to “talk about gay stuff,” but I do think witnessing a candid (and probably inevitable) conversation between a traditional Chrsitian grandparent and his progressive grandchildren would be provocative, honest and not at all gimmicky. Glee is gimmicky. Modern Family is gimmicky. A regular(ish) family discussing different interpretations of their faith? That could be productive.

      1. The crux of it is that I don’t believe that conversation would come about candidly, in this family or in many families. In my experience change comes to more families through a quiet acceptance of the lives and loves of the younger, progressive generation, more so than through conversation.
        And I think viewers are savy enough to know that at the end of the day, A&E controls the content on Duck Dynasty through the creation of story arcs and editing. The conversation on LBGT rights may not be seen by viewers as inevitable, but forced but the network.
        Honest and respectful conversation between people with differing opinions is a wonderful thing, but I just don’t think it can happen on most realty TV shows anymore.

      2. (And how could anyone not love Drag Race? It’s the very best of all the competitive reality shows out there!)

  5. There are opinions like Empire Strikes Back is overrated.
    Then there are asinine comments, which with any of the smallest amount of thought by a rational person, that person will realize is damaging. Likening same-sex attraction to bestiality, alcoholism, adultery is damaging and writing it off as “just an opinion” is letting asshat get away with asshatery.

    1. The literal definition of opinion is “a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.”

      1. Of course, but downplaying it as “just an opinion” or “uncouth” is downplaying that this person is causing other people harm.

      2. I agree and disagree. Do I think homophobic attitudes are harmful? Of course, and I don’t mean to suggest otherwise. But I don’t think saying “You with the harmful views, shut up and go away” really does anything to encourage dialogue, and therefore progress. There are a great many Christians who believe the things Phil believes, and shuffling them off with a “You’re an idiot” isn’t, to my mind, the most productive way to respond. It’s definitely an appropriate and justified way to respond, but perhaps not the most productive.

      3. I agree that encouraging dialogue would in most cases be preferable and productive. I think that a lot of the conversations on the interwebs have been encouraging in their respectful tone and content. It would be nice if your idea having teachable moments on DD, but maybe after something more than a non-apology statement from Mr. Robertson was issued.

  6. Such a thoughtful framing of what is such a divisive issue (in our house, anyway.) I personally hate most all of these ‘reality’ shows, which, as pointed out here, are nothing even close to reality and are scripted to appeal to the audience it’s targeting, but my husband is a huge fan. I’ve seen way more of DD than I care to. But I agree that A&E’s suspension of the patriarch of this family doesn’t make much sense. Besides bringing out all the looney tunes militantly posting on their FB pages and boycotting advertisers, it inflames the anti-LGBT far right and causes more harm to the progress made. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  7. You expressed this wonderfully. Phil has his freedom of speech. He’s a redneck from Northern Louisiana. I’m not making excuses for him, just looking at the reality of the situation.
    A&E is a business. They need to make money from their sponsors and make their sponsors comfortable. Nothing makes people more uncomfortable than a bearded redneck talking about sin. As a business, they made the right move to shut him down until otherwise.
    As a media response, it makes me happy to see LGBT issues holding a heavier weight. This is another example of America slowly evolving.

  8. I agree with you for the most part. God forbid my father should ever sit down for an interview with GQ! Sure, Phil has freedom of speech. Likewise, A&E has the freedom to do what they wish. Remember Paula Deen?

    What bothers me is not so much what the man said but some of the so-called Christians’ reaction to it. Instead of vehemently defending a racist (btw, I believe you left out his remarks about blacks), homophobic bigot, why don’t they go out and volunteer or donate to charity during this Christmas season?

    Anyway, I just hope Duck Dynasty goes elsewhere, and A&E brings back Intervention and Hoarders, so I’ll have something interesting to watch on TV for a change.

    1. Being a Christian does not mean you have to accept behavior that you feel is wrong. Being a homosexual goes against NATURE. To disagree with that, is you simply trying to make something sinful “acceptable” by society so that you do not have to feel bad or compelled to stop such behavior.

      1. Being a Christian also does not mean that you have to be a homophobic bigot. The Bible says a lot of things besides homosexuality are abominations, wearing braids, associating with menstruating women and dogs, for instance.

        I think the point of the post was to illustrate the flip side of Phil Robertson’s view of “hate the sin, love the sinner.” In this case it would be “hate the bigotry, love the bigot.”

    1. Well they’re certainly ignorant, but I think there’s a slightly nuanced distinction between the two: When he’s talking about homosexuality, Robertson is clearly basing his beliefs on the Bible (or his interpretation of it), and actual tangible homosexual people aren’t a part of the equation because it doesn’t seem like Phil knows any.

      When he’s talking about black people, he seems to be basing his entire understanding of pre-Civil Rights black America on the people he waved to from his farm. It’s like saying, “women love being subservient; after all, my wife’s never complained.”

      But my fundamental point still holds. It’s unfortunate that Robertson thinks what he thinks. (Though it’s worth noting that the idea of black people being “better off” without welfare has been embraced by people far more relevant to American policy than Phil Robertson, including our most recent Republican presidential candidate.) I just feel that the dialogue generated by his statements – if we can suspend a little bit of outrage ONLY in the interest of productive discourse, and if we’re willing to include Phil in that dialogue despite his remarks – could be a good thing.

  9. I see your point about having an honest dialogue and maybe doing something to open the minds of the older folks and less tolerant members of our species. I, however, have to think of what I would do based upon my years in management. If I have an employee and the employee is elderly and calling the other employees “monkeys” and “lazy burritos” and I blow it off as “being old timer Bill being an old guy”; well, at some point someone may look to me and say, “What did you do about this?”. Then the problem not only rests on Bill but it rests on me.

    A&E has to show some actions of responsibility.

    I am sure at some point he will be back. They brought Dog back and he was the star of the show.

    1. Bravo…well put. We all have a responsibility to interject when hatred threatens to fan the flames of ignorance and backward, hurtful thinking and actions.

  10. Entertaining, but one false premise: You write, ” Gay rights isn’t a wave that’s spread across the country uniformly, converting entire regions or families at once. It’s a saturation, fueled by a slow and persistent changing of attitudes. ” Getting fired by A&E is the “fuel” that brings about the slow and persistent changing of attitudes.

    1. I disagree. I think dismissing someone for their view — however backwards that view is — is the reaction least likely to change their attitude.

      1. Kira…I agree with you. I should have been more specific. What I meant was calling out that homophobic and misogynistic redneck in public by firing him helps communicate to the masses that some attitudes are hurtful and small-sighted and helps fuel the greater awareness, thus accelerating change. I have no doubt that this hillbilly won’t change. Think bigger picture.

      2. Sure, A&E had to do *something* and suspending him is the logical move. I don’t fault them for it.

        But what do we think change and progress are if not people like Phil — or people slightly more or less ignorant than Phil — altering their opinions? Saying “this hillbilly won’t change” is the attitude I find problematic. Everyone knows good people with bad opinions, and the seismic shift in gay rights hasn’t come from us saying “fuck those people;” it’s come from those people being persuaded that they were wrong, either by pop culture or personal experience or simply time and the room it gives us to review our perspective.

        Do I think Phil is going to be marching in the Pride parade next year? Probably not. But for me, gay rights will never be pervasive until we find a productive way to converse with the people whose opinions we are least inclined to accept.

      3. History is replete with examples of hate mongers who the rest of the world tried to reason with. If you want to sit down with him and gently nudge him into a “new awareness” great! Have at it. The rest of us are quite content to pull the forum out from under him until he realizes that the platform A&E enriched him and his clan with was not an open invitation to reach out and bitch-slap the gay community. A&E realized that and made the appropriate call. This isn’t a free-speech issue – he and his ilk are welcome to spew their venom in any fashion they see fit. And the rest of us are free to respond accordingly. Tolerance of intolerance is intolerance.

    1. I ❤ this sentiment — and I don't care how snooty that makes me sound. I wouldn't know a think about this show if not for all the merchandising involved with it littering virtually every shop.

      1. *High fives Jason.

        Television is where commercials lurk, which are often even more damaging to the psyche. Watching television but “ignoring” the commercials is like frequenting a seedy brothel but “ignoring” the scorching herpes that comes along with it.

  11. I think that it is good to keep having the conversation. We seem to forget that humans are dynamic. Every gay person thinks differently just like straight people, that is the nature of people. One statement or one tweet or one preference doesn’t define us. I’m sorry that political parties want to group everyone who fits a description into a group only concerned with one issue; able to be bought with one stance, but it’s not how we work. I know some gays who favor gay marriage, but are more concerned with getting a job at the moment. So the conversation is good and this article articulates that very well.

  12. I get the sense that some of the more conservative commentators (not here, but in general) who are defending freedom of speech weren’t defending the Dixie Chicks’ freedom of speech when they said they were ashamed of being from the same state as the President.

  13. I do believe 100% that this is about freedom of speech.
    When one person is quieted we all are.
    You don’t have to support his beliefs, I don’t but I do believe he should be able to speak openly.

    Yesterday coming home from my outlaws we stopped at Cracker Barrel for a pee break. People couldn’t buy the Duck Dynasty merchandise quick enough now that they changed their decision.

    As for myself it was a Chunky bar that landed me in the line.

    1. It is not about freedom of speech no one is saying he can say those thing A&E are just saying he can’t be a part of their brand if he says them. he is not being prevented from speaking he is being punish for breaking a contract where he agreed not to act in a manner that would damage the brand he was employed by

  14. I hope you’ll visit my blog to read my thoughts about the “Duck Dynasty” Media Spin, Phil, and A&E. I feel GLAAD, who uses the MEDIA to get their voice heard, took that GQ article and spun it to attract the MEDIA, who JUMPED and ran with distorting a Christian Man’s views, and who is blowing one mans convictions, biblical values out of proportion. Great Post! I’m a new Fan and follower! *Catherine*

  15. I don’t think could be any real dialog with the Robertson’s about Gay and Lesbianism, they already made up their minds. Maybe since DD folks are so close minded they should switch over to a Christian network and let more open minded folks watch A & E and other similar networks.

  16. I’ve never seen Duck Dynasty and probably never will. And I’ve never read GQ magazine and probably never will.

    With that as a backdrop, I will say that there is a BIG difference between being the head of a family and expressing views at the dinner table and being a TV celebrity. There’s a BIG difference between being a “redneck from Northern Louisiana” and the interviewee for a GQ article.

    Sure, this is America, freedom of speech, the First Amendment,yada, yada, yada. But what an average Joe says to his family, or even what a relatively unknown blogger posts in his or her blog, is entirely different than the bigoted, offensive rantings of a popular “TV star.”

    Whether he likes it or not, and as ridiculous as I think it is, this guy is influential and his words carry weight. Do you remember when Don Imus referred to the girls’ basketball team at Rutgers a bunch of “nappy-headed ho’s”? He was an entertainer and a “shock jock,” but as soon as he said that, sponsors abandoned his radio program and CBS Radio was quick to fire him. His was an attempt at being funny, albeit a poor attempt. Robertson’s comments were in no way intended to be funny.

    I’m all for free speech, which permits me to express my opinion that Phil Robertson is a total asshole. Yet the Christian community has come to his defense, is coming up with all kinds of excuses for him, or, as you are, being a “Roberson apologist.”

    I don’t think people should be defending him, making excuses for him, or serving as his apologist. I think they should be loudly and publicly condemning him for being racist, homophobic, small minded, and bigoted. And I think A&E has every right to fire his ass.

    1. The Christian community is coming to his defense because MANY Christian people believe what he believes. So while condemnation is the easy and 100% justifiable path, conversation is – to my mind – more productive, and the approach that stands a chance of actually effecting change.

      1. I don’t disagree that conversation is more productive, but it’s very telling that “MANY Christian people believe what he believes.” If that is what many Christian people believe, they’re not being very Christian, are they?

        Based upon the teaching of Jesus, do they think that’s what he would have believed?

    2. The problem is that there are many that totally agree with his comments. I do not feel ashamed in saying that I believe homosexuality is a sin. Why should I? The Bible blatantly has it written that “man shall not lie with man”. How is that difficult to understand? I don’t have to make excuses for what I believe. I should be able to believe what I wish. If homosexuals have the right to openly declare themselves, I sure as hell should have the right to openly oppose what they declare. To say that I do not have that right or that I am “wrong” would be hypocritical.

      1. You misunderstand me. I was not telling you not to feel the way you feel or to not to openly express or oppose homosexuality or gay marriage. You can feel and say whatever you want to feel and say. But you’re not a TV star. You were not interviewed in a national magazine. You’re just a blogger expressing a personal opinion, as am I.

        I don’t really care what the bible says, but if you do, that’s fine. Whatever floats your boat. I do understand what the bible says about homosexuality. But the bible also says that eating shellfish is an abomination and that anyone who eats shellfish should be put to death. People should be put to death, according to the bible, for working on the sabbath, for being gay, for cursing their parents, for not being a virgin on their wedding night. Do you believe that as well? Hey, it says so in the bible.

        Believe what you want to believe. Don’t make excuses for what you believe. But why not give everyone that same freedom to be who they are and to believe what they believe? You say, “If homosexuals have the right to openly declare themselves….” What about blacks? Do they have the right to openly declare themselves? What about atheists? Jews? Muslims?

        Phil Robertson is a bigot, a racist, a homophobe. Are you also one? You must be because you’re apologizing for him, making excuses for him, and saying that a lot of Christians feel the same way. But don’t claim that you and all the other Christians who feel the same way as Robertson are good Christians when you condemn…when you hate…a whole group of people because they’re not like you or because the “infallible” bible says so.

        Do you believe everything you read without question? Are you a totally uncritical thinker who accepts every word in the bible, a book written not by god or by Jesus, but by men years after Jesus’ death?

        Maybe you should start paying less attention to the words in the bible and more attentions to its lessons.

  17. I think this was a great post and I like how you laid things out very rationally. That being said, the quotes you used lacked the context he put them in. He didn’t just start spouting homosexual hate speech out of nowhere, in the interview he was commenting on his view of the degradation of American culture, which in his mind included homosexuality. A lot of Christians hold that opinion of homosexuality. I don’t feel like he said anything no one has heard before from a Christian, so I don’t really understand where everyone’s outrage is coming from. Unless he is committing hate crimes, I think we should leave him and his outdated opinions as is. I don’t understand why this whole mess is such a big deal.

  18. I am a Christian. I believe in God and the Bible’s take on sexual immorality, which involves fornication and adultery, not just homosexuality. So, I’m sick of people singling out one of the three. God created all of us, but we ALL have boundaries to live by. This is not new doctrine to anyone. I don’t watch DD or Fox News or Bill O’Reilly and I’m a registered Independent. I would really appreciate it if more Christians expressed their views with more respect to the people their talking about. No, I don’t agree with their view, but no, I’m not going to smear them either. Instead of pointing out someone else’s lifestyle so often, we need to look in the mirror at our own sins and handle that.

      1. Slavery was never condoned in the Bible, though it explained how slaves and slave owners should behave. With stoning, it was the law, not only for women, but men as well. It wasn’t put in place for people to take delight in killing someone else, but to send a message of how serious an offense committing a sin is. The punishment could also be seen as a deterrent. “Farming,” I’m not sure what you mean by that. Now, when Jesus came, He changed the covenant. Sin is still sin, but no more stoning people to death. No more sacrificing animals at a temple. No more going to the priest to speak to God on your behalf. He suffered and died for everyone’s sin. We can go to God directly on our own. So, His birth is a big deal. It’s good news for everybody. I am forgiven.

      2. Deut. had farming prohibitions.
        As for the rest, you are exactly why I dislike debating with evangelicals. I find myself wanted to retaliate point by point which makes me sound like I’m evangelising my faith Which I would never do. if you genuinely believe homosexuality is a sin, fine but it is not your place to do anything about it if you are right we will be punished in due course . why commit the sin of arrogance, of false witness and of bitterness by evangelising something that is clearly against Christian teaching. Your g-d sat with tax collector and adulteress woman he washed the feet of sinners I doubt he wanted his follower to lambaste them

      3. If it makes you feel any better, I get along just fine with my homosexual friends and professors. We don’t agree on everything, but we have mutual respect for each other.

      4. there is a difference between respect and common courtesy you should not mistake the two. if you equate Homosexuality with bestiality, as the man started this debate does, you do not respect you fellow students or your teachers. I have never met I gay, bi or other who would call someone who say such cruel things, or defends someone who says such hateful things,at friend. I am certain that gay, bi or other acquiescences do not respect those opinions.

      5. I know what you mean. The comments about “bestiality” from Phil are cruel and incorrect. The reason that I replied in the first place is the share my disagreement with these aspects of Phil’s comments. If I spoke to “any” of my friends like this, we wouldn’t be friends. I must add, I’m not nice & respectful because I’m a Christian. I’m nice & respectful because that’s the type of man I want to be.

      6. However, we are not constantly being told that we should accept stoning women. If I was to say something about stoning no one would care. “Tolerance” is being shoved down our throats by people who no longer want their behavior to be considered a sin.

  19. I love your take on this issue. I touched on an element of this in a post that I penned a couple of days prior & I took some heat from some folks on social media about it.

    As for the appeal of Reality TV, i cannot wrap my head around the concept for the life of me. And in lieu of this “controversy” I feel vindicated, I’ll stick with my History Channel programming.

    I think the biggest sin is minding other people’s business.

  20. This seems like an advertising scheme to me. Look how many people are now talking about the show. I’ve never even watched the show before and am now commenting on it. This article isn’t even from this year. Sounds fishy to me.

  21. I am happy to say I have NEVER seen it and until your post I didn’t have a clue what people were posting about. I don.t watch tv. I don’t waste my precious time on such trivial bullcrap. However, I want you to know that your article is very well written and I truly do appreciate a good read 🙂

  22. I think you make some wonderful points. I wonder if the issue isn’t, really, “our expectations.” Do we honestly expect all reality TV shows or public personas to be PC? Then all of our neighbors? All of our coworkers? And if not, they each should be financially punished for what they say or believe? Just me, and I may be wrong, but I like it when people are themselves. However they are. While Phil is a poor spokesman for equal rights (a job he never auditioned for), he is authentic to who he is–a redneck, Bible-believing, older Southern man. This is what A&E was selling.

  23. I don’t watch this show, but I loved your insight on this topic. I’ve followed some of this in the news, and as a gay man, I think it was wrong for A&E to have suspended him. It’s no suprise to me that this man has homophobic mores, the best thing that can come from this is to open dialogue and allow differing opinions room to breathe and be heard. From a gay perspective I’m often shocked that people can hold such generalistic views about homosexuals. As a Canadian, where marriage equality has existed for over ten years, I’m constantly shocked that people condone hatred of any kind and use the Bible to justify their bigotry. It’s also mind-boggling that these same people believe that everyone should live their lives in a way that they deem appropriate. It’s a simplification of a much more complicated, and complex world. However it makes no sense to silent, or even shame these individuals. Open a discussion, allow them to be heard, present an opposing view and let people live. And, if you don’t like what he said about gays, don’t watch the show.

    1. Hello, I am one of those white ,old ,Baptist bible thumpers people talk about when comparing to homosexuals. I am totally against homosexuality as a life style. This has been taught to me my entire life. I have known a few homosexual personally. I remember one friend before I found out about real homosexuals. He was a sweet tender individual. That was 40 years ago and I would like to know how he is doing. I know some close friend with children who grow up a little different. Most if not all of them have chosen the homosexual life style. I still believe it is wrong and you do have a choice.

  24. I have never seen the show but I do know that saying someone is afraid because they disagree with your moral position on something is a childish unhelpful insult. I really don’t know why it is such a go-to label. I wouldn’t call someone who was against murder a murdererphobe (and they might actually have reason to be afraid of the people whose actions they disagree with in that case). But perhaps this particular fellow is actually afraid of homosexuals.

    I have to agree with you that cutesy conversations are not really always all that worthwhile in real life (and we all have/get to live in real life). I often wonder if there ever was a time that didn’t have “political correctness.” I am guessing not. It is interesting when celebrities get fired for espousing certain beliefs publicly. I always wonder if the people in charge are intolerant or if they just have no backbone.

    Would you recommend the show? I keep hearing about it and have been wondering what it was like. Close-knit families are something that I think I could stand to see more of regardless of what walk of life they come from.

  25. Phil Robertson was asked a question, and he gave a honest answer.
    He said what he believes. He did not lie. He had enough respect for others, to let them know what he thinks and where he stands.
    Would people rather have someone tell them exactly what they want to hear, and then say the opposite behind their backs? Regardless of the subject or the choice of words, I find Phil’s straightforward honesty refreshing. In order to have an open and ‘honest’ dialogue about any subject, the first and most important prerequisite is honesty.
    Phil was asked a question….and when he answered that question, he was attacked for telling the truth as he perceives it. What does this say about our society? Is it safer and more acceptable now, to lie?
    That might be a good question to ask a politician.

  26. Very well done!

    I thought A&E’s reaction was censoring. Since when can someone be fired (suspended) for quoting the Bible. We could equate this to someone professing to be gay being fired. 50 years ago it may have seemed that radical. What happened to our society where we are accepting of a gay person but NOT one who lives by the moral values of the Bible.

    This does not mean, of course that those who do not agree with the gay lifestyle hate. I think that is a scary equality. They just don’t agree. If I think having sex before marriage is ok, and you don’t, does not mean you hate me, does it? It may be a silly reality, but it just means we don’t agree.

    And where is the uproar from the drunkards? Why is just the gay and lesbian community up-in-arms? Hate is not the issue here. Our freedom to express ourselves is.

    A&E knew of Robertson’s beliefs when they brought him on. Here in America we still have the freedom to speak our minds no matter how far from society’s norm. When it comes to tolerance, where is the tolerance or respect for those that hold the same beliefs as our founding fathers?

  27. I don’t watch DD, though I have seen a couple episodes. I’m not a reality TV kind of girl, so when I started reading this post I was expecting to abandon it halfway through. But I didn’t. You bring up excellent points at popular culture and the media and the real people who watch it and see parts of themselves/their lives/their families reflected. Interesting that it’s being in effect censored.

  28. That is a very insightful look into it. Thank you for this opinion, one I haven’t seen on the national media nor from the politicians.

    What he said is offensive to me, but I have heard people say this sort of thing so many times in my life that I wasn’t shocked by it. I come from one of the most conservative counties in Oklahoma.

    But what many people who are defending Robertson are failing to understand is this: as a public figure on a reality TV show, your words have consequences. You have a constitutional right to free speech but not a TV show. In the end, some opinions are not for public consumption, especially when you are comparing male/female orifice.

    1. I appreciate your comment. Yes, Robertson is a public figure BUT A&E knew what his views were before bringing him on. Just because one is a public figure, does not mean they have to kowtow to those that don’t share their views. I believe Roberson is within his rights to quote scripture he believes in. What i think is curious, is that people are up in arms over scripture. Robertson did not make this stuff up.

  29. I find it interesting that people say “God created gay people so being gay isn’t a sin”. He also created rapists, murderers, and child molesters. The logic in the “God created them” argument is flawed.
    Then there is the fact that the Bible says God does not approve of same-sex intercourse. The verse quotes by DD’s patriarch isn’t the man’s creation, it’s from God Himself.
    Also, it was stated that other actions, like drunkenness, are also sins. Why isn’t there a national outrage concerning that or liars, adulterers, etc?

  30. What’s the media role? and where’s its morality rule to guide community for what’s right and wrong? Is the media became the voice for immorality behaviors!!!!!

  31. This was a great post on this issue. I also wrote on this issue today. I have a Christian background but my main point was how “Christians” have attacked A&E and gay rights activists. Instead of attacking this issue with pitchforks and strong, hate filled words, fellow Christians should be responding to this event with love and compassion towards both parties.

  32. I do feel this was a well framed argument A&E’s future with the show being extremely problematic having suspended this man who seems central to the show ( i have never watched this , or any ‘reality’ show) but I think everyone has missed the point . HE MUST HAVE KNOW HE WOULD BE SUSPENDED!!! He is not stupid enough to have not read his contract or to have not heard of other ‘celebrities’ who have got into hot water over such statements before. so in essence your argument is void it is not A&E who are preventing mature intelligent dialogue but this man who instead of trying to say” I think this is a sin but let G-d judge” as he tried to end he started with Gay ‘behaviour’ leads to Bestially then went on to diminish homosexuality to one single sex act that a huge proportion of the gay community don’t do. yes believe it or not there are gay men who don’t have anal sex, it is not always compatible or even desired . Gay lovers like all lovers have a great deal more going on then one sex act. I would and have banished member of my family for racism and homophobia. I slapped my nephew at a family party for using a racial slur about a stranger the only time I have ever raised a hand to any of our families children (the word was deplorable and at sixteen he had many inches and pounds on me at the time) I have chastised my 87 year old aunt for declaring the African children she had spent the year knitting clothes for as sweet little golliwogs. I banned my ex’s grandmother from any of our daughter’s functions for her racism ( and his mother was my biggest supporter on this) I have a passionate dislike for evangelical people of any faith. it is such a damaging form of religion it is quite simply pushing your views onto others and calling it an act of devotion it is rude and universality seems to bring out the worst in which ever faith it claims to be spreading. this man is an instigator not a victim

      1. I am confused by your comment I never claimed to be loving, compassionate or forgiving. I believe I am compassionate and loving I have never suggested I am forgiving I hold others to a high standard and my self to a higher I am not one to let a person’s bigotry pass. I have argued religion here but only after others did so first. That is the only time I ever argue religion with others, when they have attempted to force their religion on my first or use it as an excuse to hate.Don’t be mistaken hatred is as exactly what this man was preaching. As for slapping my Nephew I won’t go into details but this was the final act in a deplorable display and had I not slapped him someone else (probably the husband of the woman he insulted) would have hurt him greatly. As for banishing my Daughter’s Great grand mother from my Daughter’s celebrations this horrid woman first criticised me for not “getting rid of it” when I chose not to get an abortion when I found myself pregnant at 16 (go ahead and judge I know you want to) then called Evie by her own name for 3 months. Then refereed to her only great grandchild as the khaki skinned Yid. you may have allowed your child to be in such a poisoned atmosphere but I would not.

  33. I didn’t read Through the comments,,, so pardon if this is a repeat. “Jeb” is really Jep full name Jepson (I believe).

  34. I like Duck Dynasty too! I understand that every one is entitled to their opinion….why is there so much commotion? You probably shouldn’t say things that are openly offensive…especially if you are a person of that status but still…i think everyone is overreacting about this whole thing.

  35. Beautifully said! I felt like you had written down my own thoughts, albeit more eloquently than I could! When I heard about the comments I made a personal choice to boycott DD just like I have boycotted Chik Filet and won’t donate to the Salvation Army. It was my choice because I disagree with anti-LBGT sentiments. However I believe people have a right to believe whatever they want, just like I have the right to disagree with them. Live and let live, that is my humble opinion. Anyway, I really enjoyed reading your point of view!

  36. I don’t watch Duck Dynasty, but I don’t think suspending him was right. He just stated his opinion, which are founded on Christian values. Honestly, if I were his family, I would tell A&E that we aren’t doing the show without our dad. He is a Christian and that’s what most Christians believe, not to mention Muslims and Orthodox Jews. Whether you agree or not, that is what the three Bible using religions believe about gay behaviour.

    1. I simply do not believe that this is what most Christians believe. I am not Christian but I know a great many, I did a theology degree 95% of my class mates were Christians many going on to make religion their life. Not once did I or any of my gay bi or other friends hear things like this said in the theology department no one there was that closed minded on the staff or in student body. the C.U. could be counted on to spew hateful bile but everyone in the department who had joined the C.U. stopped going to meeting pretty quick. the Christian Union has little interest in people who study religion I think that says as much about the CU. and other evangelicals groups as anything else

  37. If we continue to make excuses for hate in the media it will not become apparent to new generations that such backward thinking is not ok. If people were allowed to be openly misogynistic and racist as they once were, on tv and in the media, today, then we would have to question our societies values. Hating gays, blacks, or women is NOT a belief system. It is ignorance, pure and simple. The sheer fact that so much debate exists on this matter is proof we need to be MORE vigilant in policing our media. You liken this mans vitriol being on tv to sitting down to your racist pappys table. It is not the same. My gramps was racist. He grew up in the 50s. We are living in 2013. Time to put the racist old men to bed, not on A & E.

    1. My mother in law is 76 my dad 67 neither of them are racist or homophobic. Both were born and raised in rural farming and mining areas. Both were born the kind poor I can not imagine Both raised in devote Christian house holds. When I informed them I was returning to my grandparents faith (Judaism) both were just happy I had found faith to offer me comfort and strength and my daughter and I Both brought home partners of both genders they have been loving and supportive. Age no excuse or explanation for what is simply hate and religion is even less so.

  38. I’m a lesbian and I am certainly not a fan of DD.. I live in Texas and therefore am not entertained by watching people live the redneck lifestyle, as I have family members who do so. But constantly being surrounded in a place where people view me with the perspective that I am “not natural, a sinner, just wrong, etc,” I can say that I have learned not to expect much in the way of change and understanding from these kinds of people. That isn’t to limit them or label them, although that would be fair given that is what is done to LGBT people, but if others can defend and excuse Phil Robertson, then I can certainly state my low expectations of him. The gray area comes when I wonder what the reaction would have been if he had criticized interracial marriage or women’s right to vote. The social paradigm makes it almost mandatory to be appalled at those things, but gay rights is still in the making. So my question is, do we simply let these people make their comments and continue to endorse them, or do we disapprove to indicate that the times have surpassed this type of behavior? From what I can see, people have yet to expect better than this. Until they do, the only option I have is to give patience and acceptance even when it is not given to me. Depending on your beliefs, that may or may not make me the better Christian.

  39. LOL I just love how non-christian people tell christian people how to react and what they should be doing with their lives. One thing is clear. His comments were not received with the intent he delivered them. Bigots are on both sides of the isle. And just because a Christian agrees that homosexuality is sin does not mean they are closed minded.

  40. no that is exactly what it means. Sorry but how can you claim to be open minded yet stand there and declare something a sin. I have a degree in this stuff seriously I studied with some really big names in religion and I can tell you with certainty Jesus would have been extremely confused by your point of view. yeah there is an argument he may not have been in favour of gay relationship but most likely because they were a symptom of Hellenistic-Roman living and, being a radical Jew, he was anti-Roman. I won’t spend my time detailing all the ways you’re wrong I will just remind you of a couple of phrases I wish everyone would remember more.
    judge not least you be judged
    let he who is without sin cast the first stone
    both of which can me rephrased into
    it is better to keep quite and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt
    Advice phil should have followed if he didn’t want this backlash which I firmly believe he did

    1. I also like, “go and sin no more,” the final words spoken by Jesus to the adulterous woman in John 8. We can commit ourselves to the pursuit of purity through His Holy Spirit, or ignore the boundaries He defined for our own good and fellowship with Him. These two paths are not equal and they lead to completely divergent places. Be not deceived, we are told; God is not mocked — as a man sows, he shall also reap. Sow to please the flesh and reap destruction; sow to please the Spirit and reap eternal life. Galatians 6:7-8

      1. I am always confused by Christian who quote scripture as fact. seriously I don’t believe the Torah to be word for word truth why are Christian so determined the the new testament is absolutely true. the sensible belief surely is that the gospels are account written by men and agreed upon by men, edited and mistranslated (so many poor translations in the vulgate and the king James) by men. to understand these writings one should surely immerse one’s self in the culture and context in which they were written. A Jewish context and a Roman context too. the Greek in much of the NT suggests a greco-roman context. Everything we know of Jesus suggests he was a devote Jew most likely an Essene, perhaps associated with the Qumran community. I will remind you he was most defiantly a radical, a Jew and a socialist

  41. This “controversy” has been orchestrated by A&E and the DD guy. As we ALL know, controversy sells! If this “controversy” were in fact legitimate, I would be torn with my opinion. I believe in free speech no matter how cheerful, rosy, vile, ignorant, or caustic those words may be. As with many other commenters on here, I’ve never seen an episode of DD. I’ve only read some things here and there about this “controversy.” The DD guy is clearly stating his opinion. And in my opinion, his opinion sounds ridiculous. I don’t want to get long winded on this subject because it’s pointless. I also don’t think that having continued dialogue about this subject will lead to any harmonious outcome. Very simply, people are going to believe in what they believe in. All facets of thinking. There is no rationalizing. Sad but 100% truth.

  42. As far as I am concerned, Phil Robertson has a right to say whatever he wants. And A&E has the right to suspend him when he does. But i would ask all those who say they follow Jesus: What would Jesus say and do? Seems to me that is the thing to measure Mr. Robertson by since he says he is a believer. I don’t think anywhere in the gospels you will find Jesus condemning people other than the Pharisees and Sadducees and rich people. After all, the Pharisees and Sadducees were the church-going people of that day and place.

    Seems to me that Christians are called to be ambassadors of reconciliation. Think St. Paul said that. How are Phil Robertson’s words a message to reconciliation? One moment he is spewing out hate and condemnation, the next he is telling us that he loves everybody and don’t mean to offend.

    One of the things Phil Robertson reminds us of is how insensitive white people were to the plight of their black brothers and sisters in those Jim Crow days. Maybe the reason the blacks he knew during that time were afraid for their lives to speak of their situation. Even as a young boy in Alabama, I knew about the klan. I knew about the fear blacks experienced. Maybe he should be asked why he didn’t see those injustices.

    1. I grew up in the South. As a white child, I saw things that shame me today as an adult. I remember how elated people were when King was shot. I remember how my family reacted then they met their first Jew. They hated Catholics. Things have changed, but insensitive is putting it mildly.

  43. Phil is not just stating his opinion he’s stating scripture. You may not like it but it’s not just his opinion. But I do notice that many try to equate believing something is a sin based on a long used religious book with hate or fear. The assumption the anyone who disagrees with homosexuality is a homophone is weak thinking. I personally don’t care who people sleep with or love but the activist are getting a bit old. Disagreement does not mean we can’t love and live together.
    Note: I’m a devout agnostic. I don’t have a clue about god but I do have many issues with the Bible.
    As to the backlash I think Phil is winning. DD Marathon anyone.

    1. JB, I have to say that an error many try to commit when quoting scripture is to remove the context of the original writing. We act as if Moses, or Paul, or Isaiah were speaking directly to America in the 21st century. Probably most right-wing Christians would have great concern for my immortal soul, but I would say the problem is religion, not God.

      1. I would not disagree. I’m not religious and have lots of issues with the Bible among other religious works.

  44. I love this, and I agree with you 100%. I think DD is hilarious, and they remind me of my family. I also support rights fir the LGBT community. “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

  45. Well we all have freedom of speech for a reason and just because he spoke his mind doesn’t mean they have to take that kind of action. It would be just like saying your gay and getting kicked out of football because those who watch it are uncomfortable. Gay people just may not be able to change who they are because they where made like that for a reason. And there may still be people who don’t support it because they see it as wrong. But those who care less could also help even if it’s stopping someone from picking on them. Just like bullying they should stop because it’s wrong to pick on them.

  46. Reblogged this on 1226blogirl's Blog and commented:
    Well we all have freedom of speech for a reason and just because he spoke his mind doesn’t mean they have to take that kind of action. It would be just like saying your gay and getting kicked out of football because those who watch it are uncomfortable. Gay people just may not be able to change who they are because they where made like that for a reason. And there may still be people who don’t support it because they see it as wrong. But those who care less could also help even if it’s stopping someone from picking on them. Just like bullying they should stop because it’s wrong to pick on them.

    Tell me what you think….

    1. I think that in this country we do have freedom of speech. However, no one has been thrown in jail here for speaking their mind. My boss can fire me for any reason at all – just as A&E can suspend on screen talent for whatever reason they want. Maybe we should put this in the context of workers’ rights.

  47. I have never seen an episode of Duck Dynasty – mostly because I have little interest in reality TV. This might be one of the most even handed treatments of the sudden controversy that arose. We as a country have to stop just shutting people down when we don’t agree with them, and then crying foul when someone does the same to our viewpoints.

  48. Could it be that we are so far gone that when the truth is presented we go in a frenzy? This article was very well written and I can appreciate your point of view, but could it be that your perspective is the out of sinc one. First, reality TV as you stated is not as real as most would like to believe (as you have stated), but when a individual states a truth from the Bible- the book where truth is found- we categorize him as homophobic or out dated. The problem is this is a spiritual issue we are trying to make sense of intellectually without coming to terms with the “truth” of the matter: that the Word of God is about the spirit, but i understand that a lot of you stand on scientific principals and so called humanism progression and any sign of resistance to what mainstream or even professional academia deem as “OK” is demonized. This in truth is funny… saying a man should be attracted or only want a women and how he doesn’t understand same sex attraction is worthy of being removed from his own show is hilarious! He even (in my opinion) quite eloquently expounded on how sin dose not make sense, and how he dose not judge… it is up to God, yet he is removed and secular culture says he hates gays. Love is a spiritual word it is an eternal word that those who don’t understand or choose not accept the truth of the bible will never comprehend. We want to throw it around so carelessly, and when it presents itself as truth we shun it and call it hate. We are walking a dangerous road that leads to a place where up is down and wrong is labeled right and until we receive the true knowledge of Christ (another “word” from the bible) we are going to call darkness light.

  49. Reblogged this on An Earth-Like Planet and commented:
    Good thoughts on this Duck Dynasty controversy. Although our first inclination when we hear ignorant comments is to tell the utterer to shut up, sometimes we should just let them speak and dig their own graves. Racist remarks didn’t disappear from the national dialogue due to a ban; rather, as popular consciousness and thinking about race changed, those who intransigently held on to and vocalized their views received shaking heads and appalled expressions. The racists did not, of course, disappear, but retreated to the family dinner table to utter their remarks, instead of the dais.

    We should default to freedom of speech where possible, and use the power of reason and critique to change minds. The “marketplace of ideas” approach is preferable to thought control. This gives a certain faith to the power of reason, empathy, and solidarity in humankind; it also requires total freedom of information exchange to work. Both sides should be free to disseminate their message, and the hope is that the aforementioned powers will tilt the balance towards support and love over divisiveness and fear. It’s difficult to deny that these have not been achieving victory in the last 60 years of radically free expression: the increasing numbers of supporters of animal rights, gay rights, minority rights, and women’s rights are all evidence to that end.

    However, since we know how faulty the power is, we cannot apply this rule in all cases. For instance, banning the swastika and holocaust denial in Germany was probably a good decision; at some point, the ban needs to be lifted, when association with these ideas is widely seen as shameful and abhorrent. At the same time, the ban should be lifted as quickly as possible to allow people to exorcise those demons through dialogue.

    It’s also important to recollect that A&E was not violating this guy’s 1st Amendment rights. The text is: “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech.” The last I checked A&E was not Congress. This guy is an employee, and they have every right to fire him if he violates the terms of his employment. Furthermore, the easy rebuttal to those who say he has a right to speak is that A&E has an equivalent right to tell him to shut up.

    Despite all that, let them talk under the very critical condition that the other side also has access to the same channels of information. For the gay rights issue, this is finally the case. It was not the case until recently, and as this blog wisely points out, “Gay rights isn’t a wave that’s spread across the country uniformly, converting entire regions or families at once. It’s a saturation, fueled by a slow and persistent changing of attitudes. And as much as our indignation towards homophobia is appropriate, righteous even, I think we have to stop sometimes and consider whether sacrificing a forthright conversation is worth our [completely legitimate] moral outrage.”

  50. I respect his opinion, he did say he is not judging anyone. I have never really watch the show but in Hollywood if you believe in the God of the bible then they crucify you. I glad he is standing his ground on his beliefs but if the show goes offline i wouldn’t be surprised. Furthermore, most of these company and so on who say they support a movement really don’t. A&E can pull the show, just like that, but it makes them too much money.

    1. Seriously? When did you last hear of a Christian being beaten for walking down the street? How many Christian children have been bullied so much they killed them selves? How often are Christians told they are sick, confused or akin to rapists, bestial lovers and paedophiles? Or lets look at it from another angle. How many churches are there across America? How many Christian radio and tv stations? How many Christian members of Congress? How many people profess to be Christian? How many jobs where being Christian is advantageous to the point of necessity? Do not mistake criticism with persecution.

      1. You know why? Christianity is responsible for building societies. It is the foundations for schools, hospitals, community centers, soup kitchens, and many other positive influences on society.

        What has homosexuality brought society? It was the down fall of greek, roman and soon american society. Historically it is a selfish self serving practice that ends in the demise of the social fabric of great nations. Interesting how society and history repeat.

      2. Woodcutter, I have reading suggestions for you firstly. #Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. it is considered to be the greatest and most comprehensive survey of the fall of Rome. still widely regarded after two and a half centuries. but guess what Gibbon believes Christianity is responsible for the fall of Rome. the Hellenistic world underwent it’s greatest expansion under Alexander the great. He had a life long relationship with his male general Hephaestion, the Hellenistic age came to an end with Cleopatra and her heterosexual relationship. Sparta was an extremely successful Greek city where homosexuality was very much a corner stone.
        Homosexuality has done no measurable damage to any society, I suggest any number of books on the reformations across Europe and the thousands of lives lost during the wars that followed. Christian beliefs are costing thousands of lives across Africa right now because of the ban on condoms by the catholic church, there are the crusades, pogroms and the holocaust. the K.K.K. are a Christian organisation. more rapes have been report by priests than by gays. entire cultures across Africa Asia and India have been almost eradicated by Christian missionaries. not to mention the subjugation of woman for centuries in the name of Christian values.
        I could go on and on. but here is the question I always want to ask, If we are made in g-ds image if our flesh is just a shell to hold the divine sparks of G-d that is the image we are created in what the hell does it matter that this flesh is male and falls in love with a male it is just flesh and all flesh is as the grass of the earth transient just a vessel for the souls. and have we not come further than to define our selves by this flesh. I understood the Jesus taught that love was the greatest of G-d’s gifts.

      3. Because he commands us to be masters of our flesh and that sexual sin is an abomination of his authority. Look I get the God is Love stuff. And he loves all people, his grace will cover many people. Many “Christian” people will burn in hell with the other sinful people. I don’t get to judge the world, God will, but he did command me to reveal his words to the world. The world has to accept or reject his words. We all will stand before the throne of judgement for every word we speak and deed we do…no man will judge us. And I like you am glad that man kind will not be the judge.
        Be blessed.

      4. Oh, and I am very thankful for the information you provided. It is very interesting, facts are hard to debate. One thing I would hope you hear. Not all that champion the banner of Christ are Christian…

      5. I agree completely a great many people here claiming to be ‘Christians’ are nothing of the sort. When I was in Uni I spent a great deal of time studying the ‘historical Jesus’ two years of my life three languages over 100 books 8 essays over 30000 words written I know one thing for absolute certain about ‘historical Jesus’ he would want nothing to do with a large majority of Christians

  51. You cannot defend a bigot and a racist without begin a bigot or a racist yourself. I learned that growing up in the South. All of that moonlight and magnolias was at the expense of slaves. For every stately mansion, there were dozens of hovels. The kindest slaveholders still kept people in bondage against their will and homophobia is still hatred. You cannot make it into something it isn’t.

    Mr. Robertson was an entertainer. He was not placed here to judge. He has stopped entertaining. Indeed, he has a right to his opinion and we have the right to turn off the television, just as A&E has the right to suspend him.

    Keep in mind. Martin Luther King was a victim. Paula Dean is not. Mathew Shepherd was a victim. Phil Robertson is not. Hatred isn’t Godly. Hatred isn’t holy. Hatred is a sin.

    1. indeed freedom off speech extends to all and is threatened not by market forces such as A&E’s decision but by legislation and public policy. there is also a case that the general public can use constant and systematic violence to impinge upon someone’s freedom of speech. institutional policy can also be a threat in some cases . but it is hard to argue that here the company certainly asked him to sign a contract that included a ‘morality’ or ‘conduct’ clause. I agree he had the right to say what he did but he must have known this would happen. I do not think he is a victim I strongly believe he wanted this uproar

      1. I think you should read the comments quoted in this article. clearly you haven’t. you should read an article before commenting!

  52. “Duck Dynasty” is just a TV program. Has our lives become so entangled with Hollywood we can’t see what is right or wrong unless it goes though the filter of Hollywood first.? Why should we care if A&E does one thing or the other, if it’s a good show it will survive there or on another channel.

  53. This was wonderfully written. You’ve made an important point and have sought out the best way to use this situation rather than just be angry over it. Personally, I was never bothered by what was said. If I allowed myself to get upset over the opinions of every southern gentleman over 55 I’d not have much time for anything else. You know, like smiling.

  54. I am not sure why the LGBT community care what we as Christians think. If you truly believe that you are not living in sin and that Christian’s are wrong what does it matter what we say. It doesn’t bother me that you think you are right and it doesn’t change my belief. I am not offended that you think being gay is okay with God. Why are you offended if I think it is wrong. My judgment should not be important to you as I have no control over your destiny. The only thing that should be important is what God thinks of you. If the LGBT community is confident that they are in good standing with God then nothing else should matter. Why is it important to get Christian’s to agree? Just a question I wonder about.

    1. Everyone wants to be recognized and respected for who they are. A basic human need, I think and as long as people call you sinful for whatever reason this is denied.

  55. I think I’ve made myself enough of a drunk and a swindler in my life to not be offended at said bible verse, unless a drunken swindler uses it as a reason to hate on gays, or gay drunks, or gay swindlers, or gay drunk swindlering adulterers. Did I get them all, yet? Enough to get my point across, I guess. But yeah, calling people out on their BS doesn’t mean they need to (or should) be banned from the discourse; quite the opposite is the case: dignifying their comments with harsh consequences is a sign of fear and weakness, further empowering their arguments

  56. The right to free speech isn’t just a fundamental American value; it’s enshrined in the first amendment to our constitution. Here is what the First Amendment offers:

    you can say, write or publish pretty much whatever you want, no matter how offensive (with a few exceptions), and the government can’t step in and censor you or put you in jail.

    Here’s what the first amendment doesn’t do: allow you to say, write or publish whatever you want, no matter how offensive, and also entitle you to a giant pay check from your starring role on a cable reality TV show.

    This isn’t exactly Harvard-level legal theory, but many Republicans, Christian organizations and garden-variety tweeters enjoy spouting off about their love of freedom and the Constitution while remaining disturbingly unaware of what the Bill of Rights actually says and means. The right-wing passion for a set of ideals they claim to revere – but remain ignorant of – is not new, but it’s news again. They’re up in arms at the suspension of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson for a series of homophobic and bigoted remarks he made to GQ magazine.

    Professional consequences for bigoted comments, they say, violate the constitutional right to free speech.

    Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal said:

    “Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the state of Louisiana. The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with. I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV. In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views.”

    Yes, everyone is entitled to express his or her views. Not everyone is entitled to keep their jobs, if they decide to express views that are entirely odious and potentially costly to their employer. Certainly the founders didn’t mean “free country” as short-hand for “free to be on the reality show of your choice”.

    Jindal’s argument that liberals are tolerant of everything except intolerance is opposite to the similarly vapid adage “everyone is entitled to their opinion”. Everyone has opinions; but why, exactly, are all opinions deserving of the same deference and respect? Especially when they come from people who can’t tell the difference between promoting tolerance and respect of all human beings, and objecting when someone makes a comment that demonizes an already marginalized group?

    Not one to be outdone when it comes to public idiocy, Sarah Palin jumped in with her creative interpretation of the first amendment. She wrote on Facebook:

    “Free speech is an endangered species. Those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.”

    She would know. By that logic, Palin herself was censored by the American public of “intolerants” when we declined to elect her vice president of the United States, leaving her with only a book deal, speaking engagements and, yes, a reality show to pay the bills.

    Robertson’s HAS made statements were racist and homophobic by any reasonable definition, not just in the opinion of us “hatin’ intolerants”. The homophobia has been getting the most press, but don’t worry, there’s racism as well. When it comes to gay people, Robertson said:

    “It seems like, to me, a vagina – as a man – would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: it’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

    It’s not news to this straight man, that as a straight man, Robertson is likely to be more interested in a woman’s vagina than a man’s anus. How another man’s interest in other men impacts Robertson is beyond me. But (in his reality) apparently it makes other men have more sex with women and also an animal here or there, because sin (as Robertson says):

    “…Starts with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men…”

    Start with a male anus, and next thing you know, you’re screwing every woman on the block, and a few particularly attractive neighborhood goats. No one said bigotry was logical. Robertson continued:

    “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers – they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

    Robertson went on to discuss the cotton-field musicals of happy black people in the Jim Crow south:

    “I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field … they’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, “I tell you what: these doggone white people” – not a word! Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

    Actually, singing the “blues” is exactly what a lot of black people were doing in the pre-Civil Rights era South, but facts aren’t exactly Robertson’s strong suit. Neither, you will be shocked to learn, is his understanding of geopolitical history:

    “All you have to do is look at any society where there is no Jesus. I’ll give you four: Nazis, no Jesus. Look at their record. Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them? None. Communists? None. Islamists? Zero. That’s 80 years of ideologies that have popped up where no Jesus was allowed among those four groups. Just look at the records as far as murder goes among those four groups.”

    If you want to talk about groups that are known for their propensity for killing, you might want to start with Robertson’s home state of Louisiana, which boasts the highest murder rate in the country. And Robertson’s assertions about where Jesus is and isn’t allowed are embarrassingly wrong. But not any more wrong than Bobby Jindal, who – as an elected executive official – one would expect to have at least a tenuous grasp of the bill of rights. Jindal said:

    “I remember when TV networks believed in the first Amendment. It is a messed-up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended.”

    In what golden age of television did networks believe in the first amendment, apparently letting people say whatever they wanted regardless of their network affiliation? Because last time I checked, the major networks won’t even broadcast the word “blowjob” in primetime, let alone open their airways to anything and everything (I wonder, can you even say “anus” on TV?).

    The right to freely speak your mind without government interference is crucial. But few of us are permitted in the course of our employment to say whatever we want without consequence from our employer. Being on a reality show is Robertson’s job. He disgraced his employer by making offensive comments.

    Declining to continue filming someone for a reality television show after they let loose a series of asinine and bigoted remarks in a magazine interview is not “discrimination”, no matter how much Republicans of fundamentalist Christian organizations insist it is.

    These are the same folks, by the way, who cry foul, demand apologies and insist companies pull their ads from major networks whenever Britney Spears moves her butt in a way that stirs their shorts. Gyrating hips? Time for a sex panic. A tirade of ignorance about gay people, African-Americans, Muslims, Shintos and vast swaths of Eastern and Central Europe? Just another day in a GOP where the it appears the leading argument against Obamacare recently is, “That pajama dude in the ad looks like a fag”.

    Robertson is still entitled to say whatever he wants to GQ, Bobby Jindal or anyone else who will listen. He is entitled to do so without fearing imprisonment, arrest, government censure or any other punishment from the police or the courts. Americans are fortunate to live in a country that offers us such openness. Robertson, like any of us, is entitled to the full enjoyment of that freedom.

    What he’s not entitled to is a reality show.

  57. Only know of the show… Haven’t ever watched a whole episode but I do love your post. I liked that you brought attention to the fact that not everyone is politically correct and how we all have a “phil” in our own families. Everyone is entitled to their opinions & religious views. And don’t the people who are judging and pointing fingers want to be able to express their opinions & views freely?

  58. Somethings haywire with a country in which its okay for a group of people to throw perversion at us from all sides and whine and scream when others speak out about it. First amendment okay for some, not for others. Why is it okay for LGBT people to announce their beliefs during the family TV hours, yet when a Christian offers his opinion he’s tossed off the air? These people don’t have any more right to voice their opinions than the Christians do.

    1. The difference is when “LGBT people to announce their beliefs” their beliefs are
      ‘we are not freaks or perverts just normal people in loving, or not, relationships’

      as opposed to the Christian response which isn’t
      “I disagree, this is sinful I believe g-d will judge you” which would be a fair response if that is your belief
      it is
      ‘you sick perverted child and animal abusers. you are ruining my country my life and my marriage just by kissing a person of your own gender, I hate you. you should not be allowed out of the cage you should be kept in because you’re dangerous. G-d hate you see here he told me and because I believe that is what he said a bit in a book written by man translated at least twice before I got my hands on it No matter that other things got way more column inches like love, forgiveness and charity (such as giving a significant part of my earning to charity but never mind that I need a LCD TV to watch shows he would approve off only) all this gives me the right to try and make sure you have no voice you are not represented in popular media as anything but perverted, sick or confused. Oh you don’t like that but I am talking about g-d who hate you so there I am right because I said so”

  59. Phil’s belief is firmly rooted in the truth of the Bible which is the true word of God wether this secular society believes it or not. So far no one has been able to prove this so called antiquated but relevant book wrong. Whether adultery or other sexual sin, it must be repented of.

  60. Okay I’m going to say interesting here and that’s about it. Opinions are like assholes and we all have them. I have tried to conduct my life guided by intelligence and logic. I know right from wrong. But this concept everyone talks about regarding gays stumps me when people say we have choices to decide upon, and being gay or at least engaging in same sex relationships is purely choice, and not due to being born that way. Where the hell is the medical profession on this subject? Anybody want to join in and give your ideas as learned people? I also think we are the best in the world on double standards in this country. Paula Deen anyone? What happened to her? Michael Jackson, pedophile, loved by millions and millions Yes he was a great performer so he gets a free ticket for his actions? Tons of people love DD. Yipppeeeee! Sorry I don’t think it’s worth watching. But if you like it knock yourselves out folks. I want you to be happy. Because when you are happy you have less time to do things to piss people like me off. Please keep busy.

  61. I agree with the writer that and this could have been a fantastic opportunity “to open an honest, relatable and non-cutesy dialogue about gay rights in the context of America”. I also agree that “the de facto reaction to disagreement can’t be banning the outlier from the conversation”. Freedom of speech must be defended. Phil Robertson has every right to his views and every right to say what he likes.

    However, the fact remains that, A&E do not owe Robertson a living and they have every right to remove his funding and platform if they feel his views and message contradict those that the network wishes to espouse. Some may counter that Robertson didn’t mention these comments on the show. However, it is hard to decouple his views in an external interview and his onscreen presence. Phil can keep doing and saying what he likes, just without A&E’s money and production team.

    It is a shame that we missed a chance for a real dialogue on gay rights. I believe this is what A&E should have done:

    1) Given A&E’s concern regarding Phil’s comments, they should have called him in immediately and asked him to clarify his statements (and done nothing public prior to this – except perhaps saying that this is what they were doing).

    2a) If he retracted or mitigated his statements (to A&E’s satisfaction) then they should have required him to issue a public apology statement.

    2b) If he didn’t retract or mitigate his statements (and he has every right not to do so). They should have pulled the show, as they did BUT also, issue a public statement explaining that they felt Robertson’s views were unacceptable, not in line with what A&E wants to project and that they do not feel his views can be decoupled from his appearances on one of their show. They respect his rights to think/say what he does, but are not obligated to provide the money/platform for doing so.

    In this way, Phil’s rights to freedom of speech, expression and religion are safeguarded, A&E’s position is clarified and everyone understands what is happening and why.

  62. I don’t watch the show but it’s a nice relief (his words) from the all too common shite. Why is it common? You have to open your eyes first. I stand with phil

  63. Reblogged this on Me, Myself, & I and commented:
    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Duck Dynasty! I was quite upset when I heard that Phil wouldn’t be allowed on the show because of a comment he made expressing his views. I find it quite ironic that the US claims to be a free country yet suppresses those who freely say what is on their minds. However, I guess sometimes things DO need to be monitored. But I don’t think this was a big of a deal as people are making it. WHATEVER THOUGH! Read this article because it’s interesting. To me at least.

  64. i like the show aswell but have only watched a couple o’ episodes being lazy with the telly.
    you make some very insightful points on how a culture progresses and yeah, we’ve all got at least one relative with outmoded or outrageous views 🙂
    and America does have the Freedom Of Speech so whether he is right or wrong, he has the right to express his thoughts 🙂 personally i think that Gays should have the right to marry, let them be judged after they die, if there is a Judge 🙂 nobody’s perfect 🙂
    thank you for a cool read and my favourite DD dudes are the laid back brother and the crazy uncle 🙂

  65. I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that everyone is making such a big deal over this. There is no such thing as freedom of speech anymore. His words weren’t vicious, it was an opinion. He is a religious man, and in the bible it is a sin. If this is the case then why not cancel every religious show, or documentary on television? People have expressed their views on cultures that have men married to more than one wife.. So why is that opinion okay not to agree with it, but then something like this there is a huge uproar? It’s insane, and angers me.

  66. Some people enjoy watching compulsive hoarders, eaters, people with unusual eating habits, Honey Boo Boo, people with huge families, people with multiple wives, hillbillies, swamp rats, people who wander around acting weird while chasing Bigfoot or ghosts, but never finding anything and of course we all know Gilligan’s Island had more reality in it and Green Acres was a lot more entertaining. I think it’s the same lure that sideshows used to have: people enjoy watching those who are crazier and worse off than they are so they can feel that, thank God, they’re normal. If that works for them, than I can say nothing. But I know a secret they evidently don’t know: They’re normal all right, but that’s nothing to brag about. Normal is to be at least a little bit weird. I’m weird too. I’d rather watch reruns of Green Acres than any of these reality shows. Luckily Dish has favorites lists and former educational channels A&E, TLC and of course non-educational channel OWN are not on mine. Even a formerly educational channel like National Geographic has been cut off.
    As the Chinese emperor once said, “This too will pass,” but boy, it’s not passing fast enough for me!


  68. Freedom of speech is often cited here as a right the Duck Dynasty Patriarch is permitted to invoke – just so. Yet, it is wrong to assume this right is without limitation. One may not slander in the US; nor may one incite violence and use the protections of free speech to defend themselves from rightful prosecution. Has ‘Phil’ breeched these restrictions. No, likely not. Yet, with the right comes responsibility. As well, while not a condition of its exercise, care should be taken in the use of free speech; lest one is misunderstood. I don’t believe there is any misunderstanding in the message this representative of the Dynasty communicated regarding homosexuality. Like his statement, agreement or disagreement is a point of view, as is the basis for his viewpoint in the first place. That others ‘share’ this belief lends it no more credence than those whose beliefs differ. There is however the law. Which in this case certainly has not been broken, in the US at least. Though, having seen the effects of anti-gay bullying, the promotion of such supportive notions seems – if not an incitement – the foundation upon which such violence might be justified. I’m not at all sure this is something ‘Phil’ would condone; yet, he may have inspired some behaviours he’d rather not have occur. Time will tell.

  69. I wasn’t surprised by his comment. I was surprised that anyone thought he had a different opinion. I love DD, but I know that what he said is only the tip of the iceberg. There is much more of that below the surface . . .

  70. DD could have just moved to another tv station. I mean they have what, 11 million viewers?! I’m glad A&E finally got start and unsuspended him. I mean seriously guys? You can’t just do that.

  71. I’m a Christian, gay, military and even voted for Romney hahah. I’m not going to lie and say it’s been black and white for me by any means. I’m still on a faith journey and really a journey into my new openness. The church has done a poor job at defining what they consider homosexuality. In the gay community I’d say we mostly define homosexual as one who is attracted to the same sex (sexually active or not). I think the church or people like Phil are talking about gay sex. They really struggle separating the two. Long story short, when we understand that society and the church are speaking two different languages on the subject, it’s simple to see why we fail to have any meaningful or uplifting dialogue.

  72. I’m glad Phil spoke up against sin. His paraphrase of Corinthians and saying that God is the one who is going to judge us really is what upset people. The Bible is clear that homosexuality is a sin, and while you may reject the Bible, God will still hold everyone accountable for their sin such as homosexuality (but also divorce, adultery, lying, theft, etc.) However, if you are a Christian, Phil’s comments shouldn’t offend you, but if you are offended just know that like Phil said, God will do the judging, but it is the duty of Christians to stand up against the darkness and to be the salt that purifies everything it touches.

  73. Very well said! Whether one agrees with what he said and what he believes, it’s his right and he should not be punished for it. His comments were in response to a question he was asked in an interview. Don’t ask the question if you are going to be mad at the answer. You can hate the act without hating the person and I think that’s where most people fail in understanding. I have always been, and will continue to be, a DD fan.

  74. Reblogged this on My Own Little World and commented:
    I believe the issue is not what he said, how he said it or whether he should change his belief. I think the issue is he has a right to his beliefs and when we take that away we take away the foundation of America.

  75. I enjoyed this piece you wrote. I am a huge fan of the Robertson family. I was sad to hear that they where suspending him. Of course they reinstated him back onto the show. It all comes down to money and the face that they where losing ratings cause of it. I really think that it was uncalled for them to put him on a hiatus.
    Everyone is titled to their own opinion. I think the fact that he is christian and said those things is why they jumped at him like a pack of wolves. I truly don’t see what the big deal was. If anything it seemed like they where trapping him into that ordeal. He was doomed if he did or did not answer. If it was anybody else I wonder if they would of done the same thing to him or her.

  76. Guy was reprimanded for voicing the same views that the target audience has, and the station did it because they don’t want to be associated with it. I don’t see what the big fuss is anyway, they make animal calls. So what? I wouldn’t watch a show about a family that makes stethoscopes, and those are more interesting than duck calls.

  77. I greatly appreciated your post. It’s nice to see other people expressing actual ideas and not just blind social outrage, which I believe has become the flavor of the day.
    As a conservative, I tend to agree with Phil, if not always with the way he says what he says. I think the big thing is that if we are going to prize diversity in our country, we must also espouse a diversity of opinions (so long as those opinions do not lead to vandalism, lynching, and so on). The fact is Phil gave an answer he believed in to a set of questions he was asked. The LGBT community knows the struggle over saying what you believe to be right in a world where it is unpopular, and so there ought to be at least some understanding. What confuses me is the shock, (he is, as you said, a self-proclaimed redneck) and the need to take things out of context (Piers Morgan suggested that Phil said all African Americans were always happy before civil rights, while Phil only said he had been around and worked with happy African Americans before civil rights). I am all for voices being equally heard, and everyone has a right to their own opinion. And some of us will always be wrong, but you’d think we would have learned to live with that by now. To quote a wise redneck, “I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.”

  78. We’re not going to get anywhere with this “idealogical revolution” concerning homophobia, misogyny, discrimination, etc. if we don’t show people how wrong it is. Allowing these comments to slide because it is currently a “cultural norm” is not going to educate people, it is not going to show people that these comments are not right. A lot of the people who read such comments did not know who Phil Robertson was, and letting these extremely offensive (and premeditated) comments go without consequence is not only belittling to homosexual people, but it also teaches others that these things are okay. We have to start treating homosexual people, trans* people, black people, asian people, latino people, large people, etc. as just that–people. And when you offend a person, it is NOT RIGHT. It warrants penalty.

  79. In reference to the comment “… Opinions are like assholes and we all have them…”, I would like to address this concept of “opinion” in the context associated with “conservative” as opposed to “progressive” news commentary. What I have seen is extremist conservative “news organizations” become an echo chamber for regurgitation of the vomit spewing from the suck of bat-sh*t crazy stupid people (usually in lock step talking points in the “news organizations” that conservatives listen to or watch today).

    Some extremist conservatives today rely on entertainers and propagandists to provide their “news” at the expense of coherent and logical thought. The minimal cerebral discipline of past conservative commentary has deteriorated into empty slogans and reflexive opposition to anything progressive (or anything associated with President Obama). It has been made all too easy for these right-wing fanatics to make up facts and see them ricochet around world as a lie, as opposed to engage in real journalism. I have questioned from the get-go conservative “reporters” continued failing to connect Bush era disasters with their critique of President Obama. Oppositional behavior is the poison in the right’s non-existent critical thinking; they obviously prefer to rant incoherently.

    In my opinion, I cannot see “right-wing media” as objective reporting, because there is no accountability (much less self-criticism) coming from their ranks. I ask you, are the extremist conservatives and their anarchy a sustainable condition? Is austerity for the poor and unlimited wealth for the rich a winning argument? Do people (like Palin, Hannity, or Limbaugh) have anything to offer the rising demographic groups they’ve demeaned for years? I say emphatically – NO! They prefer to continually whine for a doppelganger of Reagan (version 2.0)

    For over 40 years conservatism has sold out to the crazies, peddling hard and soft core racism, homophobia, xenophobia, et. al.

  80. There is no God, no Jesus to judge. It is all based on biology and evolution. This misguided redneck was merely preaching his false beliefs and it happened to create a PR opportunity for A&E that has driven this show even further into the mainstream..

    1. If there is no God then why are there so many devil worshipers/witches in Hollywood? There are so many like these that try to tear down faith. Go ahead and “be gay”, change the nature of nature, destroy the sanctity of marriage, print Time magazine covers for shock value, talk science and dinosaurs and remember fondly your ape days. Neither side has all the answers for God or science. But the people who always push no God and no faith are also the same people pushing satanic behavior, science and hopelessness.

  81. A&E knew Phil’s beliefs when they hired him and they were in the room when the interview took place, so if they had a problem why didn’t they edit it out like they do edit out the name of “Jesus” in their family prayer times and also edit “bleeps” to suggest fowl language? A&E has orchestrated all of this, Phil has said before this came out that the family was contemplating leaving the show because of the editing that is done well after the shows are canned. The Robertson’s are not given the opportunity to view the final cut before the release, which is underhanded.
    Make no mistake it is spoken in the Bible of these unclean things and homosexuality, male and female, is just one of many sins for what must be forgiven and repented
    Romans 1KJV
    25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
    26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
    27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
    28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
    29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
    30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
    31 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
    32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
    Exodus 22:19(KJV)
    19 Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death.

    There is an answer it is that Jesus came to forgive all sin
    1 John 1:9 KJV
    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    Acts 17:29-31 (KJV)
    29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.
    30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
    31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

    It is a golden rule to love thy neighbor, but often people over look the first golden rule
    Matthew 22 (KJV)
    36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
    37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
    38 This is the first and great commandment.
    39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

    If your mind and body is preoccupied with sin how can you show love to God? How is that respect for God? How can you show your love for your neighbor by not living what you believe, and being asked those beliefs not tell them truthfully?
    Maybe people just can’t stand the hillbilly redneck with a master’s degree, who built his own business up from scratch and also openly admits he too battled with sin, can actually know God. He won’t be any less than himself, because he lives his beliefs and won’t sugar coat it.

  82. The negative opinions of others will always make its way out somehow. It’s important to remember that he has a right to his true opinion, just like every individual in America. This was a great post! 🙂

    1. Great point. I don’t agree with Phil’s opinions on this topic but I agree he is entitled to them just as I am mine. It really bothers me that some people are of the opinion that if you differ from their own opinion, you are not entitled to your own or yours is not valid or credible.

  83. OMG girlie, this old woman sat here reading your post and nodding my head. I, too, love DD. I am also a lesbian woman. If you have watched the show at all then you are aware that the Roberson’s are a Bible based family, and unfortunately the Bible teaches the beliefs that Phil was making comments about. His no nonsense approach about his thoughts on homosexuals was no big surprise to me. He has a right to his opinion – just like I have a right to mine. The evolving of the main stream media and American’s opinion as a whole towards homosexuals will be slow moving whether Phil Roberson thinks its a sin or not. I actually think that it (his interview) was a smart move on his part. The Baptist Belt will support him and his product line more than ever now. And you know what? I don’t care! Like so many other things in life – take what you can use out of something and leave the rest. Maybe if I knew the man personally I would feel differently about this? Or if I were forced to be around him daily maybe I would care enough to be offended by it? Probably not. I enjoy his humor. I actually enjoy his show. It makes me think of a modern day Andy Griffin with its moral story lines and love of family. I hate that Phil feels that way, but I knew how he felt before he ever opened his mouth……and so did the rest of America. Now, should I run up on old Phil in the public somewhere, I would hope that he would treat me with respect and kindness. And I would do the same for him. It’s not the end of the world.

  84. I actually grew up in this town and went to school with Jep’s wife. I don’t agree with Phil’s comments or perspective but believe he is entitled to it and should not be suspended from the show. The real problem is that A&E has created a cash cow by show casing the ideals, values, and norms of this family and in a sense, that area of the country.That part of the country is still very conservative in their view points centered around family traditions, religious views, and views on often controversial topics such as race, abortion, and sexual orientation. You have to accept and show case all of it, especially since the entire show is predicated on the ideals of this family. It doesn’t give A&E the right to cherry pick what they desire. With that being said, there are political pressures that A&E must cater to such as advertisers whom likely will not want to be associated with feelings such as Phil’s, because it could cost them potential clients and thus money. There lies the problem and the divide.

  85. I don’t watch DD but my daughter does so when I’m there and it’s on well I end up watching it. Phil is a man who is” socially seasoned” and has had his own beliefs for how many generations now, when he signed the contract with A&E he was not someone else, so why should he be in the show. From what I have seen Phil speaks his mind I haven’t heard a lie from him yet, so why start now. All he said was a comment not a judgement he’s too old school for that he’s a real man.

  86. Your use of “homophobic” is really nothing more than a strawman. You label someone because they said something you don’t like. You set up the strawman and then you tear it down. Truth that homosexuality is sin, spreads diseases, leads to mental disorders and increased suicide makes no difference to you because saying that is “homophobic.”

    You call it intolerance yet you are intolerant of those you accuse of being intolerant. It is post-modern irrationality.

    Essentially what you are doing is cultural revolution. You reject the standard norms handed down to us and want to replace them with a moral relativism. Wanting to retain godly standards of morality is not evil. Letting someone remain in the bondage of his homosexual sin is.

  87. Reblogged this on John Looks Out On Life and commented:
    Yes Chris, I am serious.
    WE ALL HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES. There should be no womens rights, there should be no homosexual rights, there should only be the rights enjoyed by us all.

    “BTW many homosexual men like young men,boys”. I am sure that there are Chris but do not put all homosexual men under the same umbrella as pedophiles because a great many older heterosexual men like young women, girls. Also, is it not the case that the greater majority of rapist are heterosexual men. It appears that you are equating homosexuality to a crime.

    As for my listing of the laws, the original poster said she follows the law as set out in the bible. I was asking if she was following all that was set out or if not, why was she picking and choosing what was to be followed. If the Bible is the word of God, then All of it should apply to EVERYONE.

    We you say “We only care about what was….” who is we? The Christian faith? Which sect do you refer to – Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, LSD, United, Anglican…… All of these groups claim to be Christian and with them all calling themselves a different name, they are all doing something different. Are they all Christian? If not, who really are? If you are going to be so narrow minded to believe that someone different is not due the same rights as everyone else, which brand of Christianity is the correct one?

    Chris, it is attitudes of “you are different, therefore not worthy of respect” that have caused thousands of years of strife and bloodshed on our world. Jesus of Nazareth had no problems treating everyone as equals, why is it that you do?

    1. My statement was clear. I do not need to re-state what I said because either you can’t understand or you do not want to understand. Don’t be so self centered. The world was around a long time before the homosexual lifestyle. You should be happy that in the work place homosexuals are getting preference over heterosexuals. That hate laws have been enacted also for preference.
      As far as Jesus is concerned, I am sure that he would want to collect and redeem as many as he could. But if you refuse to admit that Homosexuality is even a sin then there is nothing that he can do for you (that I can see). Homosexuals used to be stoned and last time I read about Sodom (familiar?) and Gomorrah, well, they met an untimely end.

      1 Corinthians 6:9-11

      Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

  88. You’re so right… I think Phil’s entitled to his opinions and what he believes in,just as much as the rest of us. He’s from a different time and grew up in a place thats built on religion,faith and the Bible as the word of God. Phil’s not the only person that says or feels this way,and to cut him from the show(which he probably could care less about anyway) is like punishing a child for making too much noise,It’s immature and not hurting or changing a thing. If you think the gay community was watching,or were big fans of the show “Duck Dynasty” and this is the first time they’ve heard someone make similar comments, and somehow now they or any of the other 11 million viewers will now refuse to tune in because of it…Well you’re wrong and not a good judge of demographic or target audience ratings and maybe you should control a diff show ,like one of those wedding dress shows that might not have someone thats open with their beliefs or would possibly hurt a viewers feelings during an interview? Uh… He is on a reality show! lets just punish him for being real! I guarantee a majority of the DD viewers,either feel the same or understand why or where he’s coming from,or maybe,value peoples opinions or except Phil’s character. Your actually sending the wrong message by shunning a person over his religion or because he shared his opinions or that he just doesn’t understand or relate to something. Freedom of speech? Land of the free? this is the U.S of A right? If you actually watch the show,you’d know Phil isn’t a bad or hateful person,while I don’t share the same opinions as him and firmly believe,If you live a good honest life,that doesn’t physically harm anyone else and you’re truly a good caring person,then God knows that,and will except you the way you are,especially being he created us all in his image,that includes the Homosexual community or anyone else, regardless of who you love or your beliefs. Opinions,the way you’ve been raised (which in this case,they’re obviously a loving,caring family) is not a hate crime or in anyway promoting hate ,or bad behavior. Stop punishing people in fear of ratings! Ratings will probably drop,now that Phil’s no longer on the show and viewers now know why.

  89. Let God be true and every man a liar…..

    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
    (Romans 1:18)

    Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
    (Romans 1:19)

    For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
    (Romans 1:20)

    Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
    (Romans 1:21)

    Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
    (Romans 1:22)

    And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
    (Romans 1:23)

    Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
    (Romans 1:24)

    Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
    (Romans 1:25)

    For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
    (Romans 1:26)

    And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
    (Romans 1:27)

    And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
    (Romans 1:28)

    Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
    (Romans 1:29)

    Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
    (Romans 1:30)

    Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
    (Romans 1:31)

    Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
    (Romans 1:32)

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