By now you’ve heard that the patriarch of the Robertson family has been rehired by the A&Enetwork, and will continue filming “Duck Dynasty”. As an avid Duck hunter, and outdoorsman I am very pleased with the news. However I wasn’t very pleased with his comments. Let’s go back to the very beginning shall we?
Phil Alexander Robertson is the founder of Duck Commander, located in West Monroe, Louisiana. Robertson is an avid hunter as well as a man of God. Phil wasn’t always this way, he claimed. He used to ‘run with the wicked’ as he famously says on the hit TV show. Many look up to Robertson, and enjoy his words of wisdom, but recently a few words were said that would change the way many felt in a blink of an eye.
Drew Magary of GQ interviewed the Robertson family for the January issue. Phil was asked a very simple, but loaded question. “What, in your mind, is sinful?”asked Magary. Phil as honest as he is, answered with “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.” and then followed with “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 followed up his opinion on homosexuals with “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.” Robertson quickly followed that with “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?”
When asked about his earlier years Robertson said this about black “workers”
‘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.’
A&E quickly lashed out with “We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty,” A&E said in a statement to USA TODAY. “His personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community.”
The backlash from the LGBT community was an all out “Off with his head” cry of bigotry.
Glaad (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) immediately released a statement “Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe,” said GLAAD rep Wilson Cruz. “He clearly knows nothing about gay people or the majority of Louisianans – and Americans – who support legal recognition for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples. Phil’s decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors who now need to reexamine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.”
After all of this unfolded, A&E suspended Phil Robertson, and refused to allow him back on the show. A&E then ran Duck Dynasty marathons for three weeks prior to Christmas.
Conservatives from every walk of life came together, and stood behind Robertson. The boycotts against A&E poured in, and the Robertson family quickly become #1 in the media. Every news network had guests, along with friends and family, on their morning talk shows, and pre-recorded segments. Why would such a small man make such a huge impact? Conservatives claimed it was “Freedom of speech”, and others claimed it was because Robertson was a “Bigot” Many claimed that A&E suspending Robertson was an attack on“religious liberty”.
Lets take a minute to think about the term “Freedom of Speech”, or “The first amendment.” While it’s true that you can say what you want how you want in America most people cite the first Amendment as their right to say what they want.
The first Amendment: “Prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.”
A&E suspending Phil Robertson wasn’t an attack on his freedom of speech, and had every right to suspend him due to the fact that he’s under contract with them. The first Amendment only applies if the government is involved. The FCC didn’t tell A&E to suspend Robertson. The attack on Religious liberty was very clear. Like Chick-Fil-A, when someone of status speaks out against LGBT issues, the media and liberal groups call for their jobs. Why is this? I thought that LGBT groups didn’t want to be fired for who they are? Why is it okay for someone to be fired for speaking out on what they believe? It’s a double standard. Unless you subscribe to their thinking then you shouldn’t have a voice at all.
I see both sides. A&E is a private company that is allowed to hire, and fire, who they want, and Phil Robertson is a Godly man who should be allowed to say what he wants to say. It’s very hard to be on both sides, but for me it’s not. I do not like being compared to bestiality, and I do not like being criticized for speaking out about my faith.
I watch “Duck Dynasty”, and I enjoy it. I enjoy seeing God-fearing rednecks teach us lessons on life, and the great outdoors. There is nothing wrong with that.
Phil Robertson’s suspension was lifted on December 27th, 2013, and GLAAD had something to say about it “Phil Robertson should look African-American and gay people in the eyes and hear about the hurtful impact of praising Jim Crow laws and comparing gay people to terrorists,”
“If dialogue with Phil is not part of next steps then A&E has chosen profits over African American and gay people – especially its employees and viewers.”
Everyone has a right to believe what they want to believe, and live the way they want to live. No one is better than anyone else, and in the end we’re all God’s children. When the race-baiting and LGBT mafia stops trying to control what people say, then maybe we can all have an intelligent conversation. Until then we can continue on with the name calling, and loaded questions.
God bless Ya’ll