Thursday, December 19, 2013

Duck Dynasty: Not So Ducky As Patriarch Canned

This is not the article I had intended to write. Far from it. I am not a fan of so-called "reality" TV. I have enough "reality" in my own life already thank you very much. However, were I to watch this type of programming, I somehow don't see myself watching a show like "Duck Dynasty", and yet here I am writing about it, or rather, writing about one its cast members, the head of the family clan, Phil Robertson. And the reason I'm doing that is what just happened to Mr. Robertson. It seems that the show's producers, A&E, recently fired ("indefinite hiatus" was the official language) because Mr. Robertson made a few comments that the folks in the corner offices over at A&E Network didn't like regarding gays, which he equated with immoral behavior. The comments were made in a personal interview with GQ's Drew Magery (you can read the full interview I provided below).

The 67 year old and former self-admitted Louisiana hellion and family patriarch, Phil Robertson expressed a personal opinion that he didn't like or condone homosexual behavior, not because of some unaddressed bigotry or hatred, but because it conflicted with his upbringing and his personal faith (he considers himself a born again "bible thumper"). Mr. Robertson stated that he thought homosexual behavior was a "sin" and violated the laws of God. He also stated that he thought blacks were better off before the Civil Rights Movement and the advent of the government welfare state. But it was for his remarks about gays which got him canned by A&E.

Folks, I'm as straight an arrow, but I take no issue with anyone regarding their religious beliefs (provided they're not try to forcefully convert or make me comply in some way with their faith or kill me), or to their sexuality. To use a perhaps inappropriate cliché, I have and have had many friends who are gay or bisexual. While it's not my cup of tea, it doesn't change who they are as my friends or as people in general, and who they chose to love or how they chose to love is, frankly, none of my damn business. However, Mr. Robertson has every right to express his opinion without fear of retribution (like losing his job) or censure. He was on his own time and clearly speaking for himself.

To quote that famous line from the movie "Cool Hand Luke", "what we have here is a failure to communicate", and I might add, a failure to simply accept what someone says at face value and leave it alone. I don't agree with what everyone says, and I'm sure many don't agree with everything I say (although I can't imagine why), the fact is that in our society, everyone has the right to their opinion---and their own beliefs---and the right to express them so long as none are threatened or harmed. And we, as fellow citizens have the duty to defend those rights regardless of where we agree with them or not. For when one of us lose that right, be it popular or not, we all will so lose that same right.

Here's the link to the full interview:

What the Duck?


WindDragon said...

Way to go Paul agree 100%

Leslie said...

"Well said Paul!"

Layman John said...

Well said, Phil.
"While it's not my cup of tea, it doesn't change who they are as my friends or as people in general, and who they chose to love or how they chose to love is, frankly, none of my damn business."
This is where I differ, as a follower of Jesus Christ. First, it is my business what direction the culture is headed in that I live in because I have a moral responsibility to God, and then to my fellow human beings, to work toward a more Godly society, as defined by God in His revelation to mankind, the Bible. Of course, by both Biblical mandate and American law, my rightful influence upon other individuals is limited to prayer for them, personal persuasion and collective legislative action which also has righteous limitations, or at least should.
Homosexuality, however, does change who people are spiritually, internally (psychologically), socially amongst the public and relationally with other individuals. Most importantly, this chosen activity or lifestyle changes a person morally before God our Creator, who is both intolerant of every evil and the judge who will punish that evil in this life and the next. When a people become "tolerant" of what God is not tolerant, the people also suffer the inescapable social consequences as a people. God made it very clear, both to His Jewish people and to every nation that first acknowledges then rejects Him, "Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. 25 Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. 26 But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the foreigners residing among you must not do any of these detestable things, 27 for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. 28 And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you. 29 “‘Everyone who does any of these detestable things—such persons must be cut off from their people. 30 Keep my requirements and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am the Lord your God.’” (Leviticus 18)
Consequently, in whatever way America chooses to usurp and override the moral code of God, that way will fail us miserably.
Finally, those who understand homosexuality well know at least two things: 1. Homosexuals do not understand true love in the spiritual Biblical sense. So their claim to love each other is bogus on a spiritual level. 2. Homosexuals have a very deep self-hatred. This is complex in its spiritual and psychological natures, but most real, which makes helping them to overcome their lifestyle, once it becomes that, very difficult. And it is this self-hatred which motivates their innate sense of anger and hatred toward anyone who challenges their acceptance of their actions or lifestyle.
So, the wrong party in this present media conflict is being maligned. God is being maligned, as the author of true morality, while the Satanic perversion of homosexuality is being given place as the socially acceptable view and policy.

Linda Greenwell said...

This seems to be a trend. I think the media is in the process of setting themselves up as thought police, prosecutor, judge, jury and warden.

Steven Gan said...

Dear Mr. Layman, I read your comments and I believe them to be very heartfelt and sincere. I think I can understand how you feel; for hundreds of years in this country and for centuries throughout the world, homosexuality was and is still thought to be sinful, against nature, and a complete contradiction to God's plan. I think I get were you are coming from.

For centuries, those who where Christians, especially he leadership, the popes, the bishops, and the clergy did horrific things to those who did not follow in the Christian faith. The heretics were tortured, brutalized, banished, crucified, and marginalized in every way. The history of the Catholic church is written in blood. It is estimated that during the one hundred years that the Inquisition was in full force (in the 15th and 16th centuries) throughout Spain and its territories, hundreds of thousands of Jews were burned at the stake alive because they didn't except a loving and compassionate Jesus, who was also a Judean Jew, God's only son, born of the immaculate conception, who walked on water and arose from the dead, and who further was de-Jewdiaized over the centuries.

Fortunately over the past couple of hundreds years, the Catholic Church and its daughter religious institutions have more or less ceased their complete brutality. However, one thing that really bothers me is how Christians justified the enslavement of African Americans. Here it is in your Bible.

Leviticus 25:44-46

44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

It was Christians who enslaved the black man and it was Christians at the forefront of segregation. It has been Christians in this country who have continued to use their religious publication to justify bigotry, prejudice, and disenfranchisement of those who have not or do not believe like you.

I think I understand your feelings. As the US becomes a more enlightened society in which LGBT people are accepted and loved for who they are, people like yourself who are very much entrenched in your Bible, are feeling more and more like the minority. This may be terribly frightening for you. The more open and compassionate our society is becoming towards LGBT individuals to have all of the same rights and privileges as you do, the more you may feel as though you are becoming a victim of persecution. I think I get it now.

My only hope for you is that some day you will come understand that LGBT individuals are also God's children and as such, they deserve all of the love and respect that I feel you did not show in your comment.