Yes, another person has put something on the internet about the Duck Dynasty/A&E feud.
In short, I believe there is shame on both sides.
On the one hand, even atheist lesbian activist Camelli Paglia would agree that A&E’s decision to ban Phil Robertson was both hypocritical and fascist:
“I think that this intolerance by gay activists toward the full spectrum of human beliefs is a sign of immaturity, juvenility. This is not the mark of a true intellectual life. This is why there is no cultural life now in the U.S. Why nothing is of interest coming from the major media in terms of cultural criticism. Why the graduates of the Ivy League with their A, A, A+ grades are complete cultural illiterates, etc. is because they are not being educated in any way to give respect to opposing viewpoints. There is a dialogue going on human civilization, for heaven sakes. It’s not just this monologue coming from fanatics who have displaced the religious beliefs of their parents into a political movement. And that is what happened to feminism, and that is what happened to gay activism, a fanaticism.”
In other words, a lot of gay rights activists can’t stand to hear their opponents talk, and would rather shut down the conversation, betraying the roots of their own politico-social movements.
On the other hand, there are three things conservatives must remember about Phil’s comments and their consequences to his media presence:
1) It had nothing to do with the 1st Amendment and the right to free speech, other than the fact that everyone was practicing it freely.
This was not a government action. This was a television station with a contract that said to a man, “we are displeased with what you said and what it represents. We are ending our contract.” He had the freedom to speak, and A&E had the freedom to choose who to have on TV and not have on TV. Absurd as their decision was, they had the right to make it, just as much as he had the freedom to say what he said. Considering his free speaking schedule, his right to speak wasn’t really infringed. It was in GQ that he made his comments, not on DD.
2) What Phil “suffered” as a result can hardly be called “persecution“. Phil was not fed to lions, beaten with rods, or even given a fine. He was told he wouldn’t be showing up on a TV show any more that showcases his millionaire lifestyle and unique family. In fact, A&E received plenty of death threats defending this man whose faith is backed by millions of Americans who are currently sharing this faith with one another in America without the government hurting them. To call events like this “persecution” is to insult those who have and still do undergo real persecution for their faith.
3) Outside the show, and on more than one occasion, Phil Robertson has done more than just “speak what the Bible says about homosexuality” and colored his comments with off-colour remarks.
He has demonstrated a pattern of comments that have nothing to do with what the Bible says about homosexuality, but instead reflect his private views, which sometimes have included crude comparisons, gross misrepresentations, and over-generalized rhetoric. He has given many people the impression that in Christianity homosexuality is wrong because a woman’s vagina “has got more to offer,” has insinuated that homosexuality naturally leads to bestiality, and has labeled homosexuals as “ruthless” and “full of murder.” Is it accurate to summarize his expressed views on homosexuality as “Biblical”?
In the same GQ interview, Phil expressed incredibly ignorant views about blacks, implying that because he never saw a black person mistreated during segregation, that blacks never were mistreated, and that they “weren’t singing the blues”. Blacks were singing the blues. It’s called The Blues, and it’s been around since before he was born.
The Robertson family did release a statement admitting that his comments were crude, but the crudeness of his words are part of what he said, and therefore we cannot assume A&E made their decision merely because he “said being gay is wrong.” I know that he is an older man who is a product of his time, and he is among many good Christian men who nonetheless give in to crude, ignorant, hurtful comments towards homosexuals, blacks, and other groups who have acquired a different role in society in years past. But this means we should hesitate to “stand by” their words when their words aren’t exactly seasoned with salt, or even full truth. It doesn’t mean we’re “backing down from the truth.” It means we’re practicing and encouraging discipline of speech.
I do believe Phil Robertson loves homosexuals as much as anyone else he comes across. But he hasn’t always sounded convincing, and being a man in the public eye, he should consider how he expresses both the truth and his own opinions. I say this as a fan of the show and an admirer of the family’s faith.
There’s truth, and then there’s commentary. Let us season the speaking of both with salt. Maybe we’ll be “persecuted” less for doing so. And maybe, when we are truly persecuted for speaking the truth with salt-seasoned words, we will be able to say that we are sharing in the suffering of Christ for sharing Christ with a lost and wandering world.
So don’t let this turn into a media war. That’s exactly what Satan wants.
Now, I hate to end a post with Satan, so let’s think about what Jesus wants.
For all of God’s sinners to come home. Let’s give them a reason to come home, and show them the home worth coming home to. That home wasn’t built by camo-wearing duck callers with flaws just like any other fully human family. It was built by Christ.
I wish that our conversation over homosexuality would go something more like this.