Duck Dynasty: The third rail of contemporary culture

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duck dynasty

Oh my, it has hit the fan.

Phil Robertson ignited a firestorm of criticism that engulfed him following a GQ interview in which he spoke about his views on what he believes is immorality. That interview has resulted in his Robertson’s suspension from the show “Duck Dynasty.” A sample of what he 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.”

They take their religion seriously:

And then, of course, there is their faith, which plays no small role here. During the family’s initial negotiations about the show with A&E, Jase told me, “the three no-compromises were faith, betrayal of family members, and duck season.” That refusal to betray their faith or one another has been a staple of every media article about the Robertson family. It’s their elevator pitch, and it has made them into ideal Christian icons: beloved for staking out a bit of holy ground within the mostly secular, often downright sinful, pop culture of America.

And they’re not shy about it

“We’re Bible-thumpers who just happened to end up on television,” he tells me. “You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”

The interviewer pushed on and asked Phil what he considered sinful and opened Pandora’s box:

What, in your mind, is sinful?

“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,” he says. Then he paraphrases 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.”

Then he added something important and germane:

“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?”

Hang on to that.

The reactions were swift. Robertson was suspended from his show by the A&E network, something of such apparent import that even the NY Times took note. And here we’ll being to examine how this event is being framed:

Mr. Robertson, who travels the country preaching, graphically denounced gay sex in the magazine and called it a sin.

They made it sound as though Robertson singled out homosexuality as a sin. He didn’t.

There was outrage, complete with misrepresentation. From Eric Sasson at the WSJ:

After an interview appeared in GQ in which he equated homosexuality to bestiality, used a quote from Corinthians which likened gays to “drunkards” and “prostitutes,” and questioned the “logic” of gay sexual practices, Phil Robertson has been suspended indefinitely from A&E’s hit show, “Duck Dynasty.”

Other than Phil being suspended, none of that is true. There was soul searching:

I’m reminded of something Bill Maher said during the height of the Paula Deen controversy: “Do we always have to make people go away?” I think the question applies in this situation, too.

Why is our go-to political strategy for beating our opponents to silence them? Why do we dismiss, rather than engage them? One of the biggest pop culture icons of today just took center stage to “educate” us about sexuality. I see this as an opportunity to further the discussion, to challenge his limited understanding of human desire, to engage with him and his rather sizeable audience—most of whom, by the way, probably share his views—and to rise above the endless sea of tweet-hate to help move our LGBT conversations to where they need to go.

GK Chesterton said that bigotry is “an incapacity to conceive seriously the alternative to a proposition.” If he is right—and he usually is—then I wonder if the Duck Dynasty fiasco says more about our bigotry than Phil’s.

But that was only the beginning. Duck Dynasty is the most popular program in cable history and golly do people feel strongly about it. Duck Dynasty fans took to the interweb quickly. A “Boycott A&E” page was set up on Facebook and it has generated 750,000 “likes” as of last count.

The hits were coming so fast that the administrator of the page was suspended for 12 hours. Among the comments:

“I am going to buy a duck call from Duck Commander. I have never owned a gun or gone hunting in my life,” Watson L. Clark stated.

Teddy NeSmith said: “I stand for the U.S. Constitution and the 1st. Amendment, Phil can say anything he wishes about his religion.”

At least one sponsor is standing behind Phil Robertson.

The statement of Robertson’s hiatus released by A&E said this:

“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. His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community.”

OK, that’s fine, but let’s have a look at some of the suggestions A&E has offered to the Robertson’s. Following alleged complaints about references to God and guns Phil told A&E:

“God and guns are part of our everyday lives [and] to remove either of them from the show is unacceptable.”

According to a post 93.1 The Wolf put in their Facebook page, Phil also said: “If we can’t pray to God on the show, then we will not do the show.”

In April Robertson said that on the one hand A&E bleeped out words to make it appear the Robertson’s were using vulgarities when none was being used and on the other hand wanted them to stop referring to Jesus.

Here is the interview:

Robertson hinted at why the editors wanted to delete references to Jesus:

“So I said, ‘Why would you cut out ‘In Jesus’ name?’ They said, ‘Well those editors are probably doing that. They just think that they don’t want to offend some of the Muslims or something.”

It would be illuminating to know who was offended, especially if it turned out to be Muslims who were offended as they share much with Phil Robertson. Islam’s view on homosexuality:

Islamic Shari’ah law is extracted from both the Qur’an and Muhammad’s Sunnah (found in the Hadith and Sira). Islamic jurisprudence are expansion of the laws contained within them by Islamic jurists. Therefore, they are seen as the laws of Allah. You need only look to the rulings under Shari’ah to see the accepted mainstream interpretation of Islam and its commandments to its followers. Homosexuality under this law, is not only a sin, but a punishable crime against God.

In the case of homosexuality, how it is dealt with differs between the four mainline schools of Sunni jurisprudence today, but what they all agree upon is that homosexuality is worthy of a severe penalty.

Mission Islam:

“When a man mounts another man, the throne of God shakes.”

“Kill the one that is doing it and also kill the one that it is being done to.” (in reference to the active and passive partners in gay sexual intercourse)

And just for completeness:

As Salaamu Alaikum! (The peace of God be with you!)

Homosexuality is wrong, a sin, in Islam. Of that there really can be no dispute. See the excellent articles already on-line cited at the end of this article for the citations from the Qur’an. The point of this article is to try to put this into some reasonable perspective.

Sex outside of marriage is forbidden. It does not matter whether it is fornication, adultery, bestiality, pedophilia or homosexuality. Many homosexuals claim they were born that way, they can’t help being homosexual. The truth is that man has an urge for sexual gratification. As rationalizing (more than rational) beings, people will always try to find a justification for any activity which they find enjoyable. As to the claim by some homosexuals that it is genetic, this has been decisively disproven. Studies have shown that children of homosexuals are no more likely to be homosexual than any other children. If it were hereditary, many more of them would be homosexual. In our society, homosexuality frequently seems to result from a failed male role model, a father who is abusive or grossly negligent. Bestiality and pedophilia are certainly natural as well. Every society has men who use children sexually. Everywhere sheep or goats are kept, they are used for sex. So the argument that homosexuality is natural or inborn has little persuasive power for Muslims.

Fornication, adultery, bestiality, pedophilia and homosexuality you say?

So let’s recap. A&E suspended Phil Robertson for his voicing his religious belief that homosexuality is illogical and against his religion and A&E is a strong supporter of the LGBT community and A&E wanted to eliminate references to Jesus as that offends Muslims whose religion believes homosexuality is wrong and illogical.

Makes perfect sense.

A&E has discovered touching the third rail of contemporary culture can have some shocking consequences and right now Duck Dynasty is that third rail.

You have to love it. It’ll be really interesting to see what happens next.

UPDATE

I forgot to include this. There are some at A&E who are not bothered by Robertson’s opinion:

An openly gay couple on A&E’s “Storage Wars: New York” is NOT offended by the homophobic comments made by fellow A&E’er and “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson — telling TMZ, they just feel bad for him … because man ass beats vagina any day of the week. Chris Morelli and Tad Eaton tell us, “We could give a s**t what he thinks … [man ass] is tighter.”

DrJohn has been a health care professional for more than 30 years. In addition to clinical practice he has done extensive research and has published widely with over 70 original articles and abstracts in the peer-reviewed literature. DrJohn is well known in his field and has lectured on every continent except for Antarctica. He has been married to the same wonderful lady for over 30 years and has three kids- two sons, both of whom are attorneys and one daughter on her way into the field of education. DrJohn was brought up with the concept that one can do well if one is prepared to work hard but nothing in life is guaranteed. Except for liberals being foolish.

124 Responses to “Duck Dynasty: The third rail of contemporary culture”

  1. 101

    retire05

    @Tom:

    Yeah, Tom, that was kinda slap in the face of all you progressive mental midgets, who would have a hard time besting an 8 year old, that fills the ranks of the DNC.

  2. 103

    Tom

    @retire05:

    Um, okay. 🙂 So tell me, do eight years olds relentlessly pursue logically flawed arguments out of spite? You really are the most obvious person on Earth. It doesn’t take Freud to see that you’re angry at Aqua because he failed some personal purity test of yours, so you react by relentlessly badgering him over something he’s already patiently explained multiple times. I get the sense you really can’t control yourself, even though some part of you must realize you’re making a fool of yourself.

    Merry A happy secular holidays to you!

  3. 104

    retire05

    @Tom:

    You moron. Why should I be angry at Aqua? Hell, I don’t even know him. Or are you in the habit of getting angry at people you don’t even know and assume everyone else has that shortcoming? If so, you must lead a pretty frustrating life.

    Aqua made a mistake. But like you, Tom, instead of saying “Hey, I just made a mistake.” and be done with it, he came up with some b/s excuse, much like you do when you get backed into a corner. I really was surprised by his position. I gave him more credit than he seems to deserve. You, on the other hand, remain the spineless little weasel you’ve always been.

    A happy secular holidays to you!

    And what secular holiday would that be? Are you working on Christ’s birthday because if you are not going to celebrate a Christian holiday by acknowledging it is all about Christ, you should at least give some Christian the day off.

    So……………………………..

    Merry Christmas to you, Tom. Christ is the reason for the season.

  4. 105

    Redteam

    @Tom:

    so you react by relentlessly badgering him over something he’s already patiently explained multiple times.

    The problem is, he’s explaining something that can’t be explained. No matter how many times he says that an Apple is an Orange is gonna make it turn into an orange. The Adulteress is not going to become a prostitute, no matter how many times Aqual says it unless he finds some way to get her paid for having sex and no one, except Aqua and Father John thinks that’s gonna happen. Actually I believe persons younger than 8 years old should be able to understand that. (well, except for maybe you)

    I get the sense you really can’t control yourself, even though some part of you must realize you’re making a fool of yourself.

    I was gonna comment on that, but Retire pretty well made you look foolish enough, I don’t need to pile on. (though I’m not sure you’d know the difference)

  5. 106

    Tom

    @retire05:

    But like you, Tom, instead of saying “Hey, I just made a mistake.” and be done with it, he came up with some b/s excuse, much like you do when you get backed into a corner.

    LOL, yes, because you’re so gracious when you’re wrong. That’s your defining characteristic: grace in defeat.

    Are you working on Christ’s birthday because if you are not going to celebrate a Christian holiday by acknowledging it is all about Christ, you should at least give some Christian the day off.

    (Retire5 voice) : So Jesus was born December 25th, you’re saying? Prove it!

  6. 107

    Tom

    @Redteam:

    The problem is, he’s explaining something that can’t be explained.

    No, that’s your problem. He’s stated multiple times that he’s talking about his interpretation and that you’re welcome to yours. You and Retire are the ones who foolishly keep demanding proof that doesn’t exist.

  7. 108

    retire05

    @Tom:

    He’s stated multiple times that he’s talking about his interpretation and that you’re welcome to yours. You and Retire are the ones who foolishly keep demanding proof that doesn’t exist.

    Well, maybe you would like to help Aqua out and show us what Bible edition has John 8 calling the woman being accused of violation of the law a prostitute, because that is the debate, no matter how Aqua want to obfuscate and you want to misrepresent it.

  8. 109

    Tom

    @retire05:

    Well, maybe you would like to help Aqua out and show us what Bible edition has John 8 calling the woman being accused of violation of the law a prostitute, because that is the debate, no matter how Aqua want to obfuscate and you want to misrepresent it.

    Uh, no. He never said this edition or that of the Bible states the woman was a prostitute. He wrote, “it is widely speculated that the woman was a prostitute”. Do you not understand what the word “speculated” means? I’m not sure if you’re dishonest or sloppy, but you’re wrong.

  9. 110

    retire05

    @Tom:

    Uh, no. He never said this edition or that of the Bible states the woman was a prostitute. He wrote, “it is widely speculated that the woman was a prostitute”. Do you not understand what the word “speculated” means? I’m not sure if you’re dishonest or sloppy, but you’re wrong.

    Uh, OK, rainmain; speculated by WHO? Aqua linked to one site where the AUTHOR, not the Bible, said the woman MIGHT HAVE BEEN a prostitute, due to no man being accused along with her.
    But if you have a list of Biblical scholars who claim the woman was a prostitute, and not an adulteress, which are not necessarily one and the same, then, by all means, list them.

    Talk about sloppy, Tom. Perhaps you should have read all of Aqua’s links before you went off half cocked like the cheap gun you are. But hey, feel free to continue to show just how clueless you are.

  10. 111

    Redteam

    @retire05: I think that Aqua probably really doesn’t understand how ridiculous his argument is. He lost before he opened his mouth, then he doubled down on it because he didn’t want to be wrong. Then along came jones, slow thinking jones and doubled down on the last place, after the race was over. These two characters must have an inferiority complex that they are trying to lower and are still digging.

  11. 112

    Redteam

    @Tom:

    You and Retire are the ones who foolishly keep demanding proof that doesn’t exist.

    Proof that doesn’t exist? But you’re determined to prove something that there is no proof for. Well, I guess that’s logical for some.
    ROFL

  12. 113

    retire05

    @Redteam:

    I think that Aqua probably really doesn’t understand how ridiculous his argument is

    Yep.

    And of course, Tommy Troll came back to defend the indefensible. Poor Tommy, always on the losing end of the debate.

    We have a saying where I come from; a day late and a dollar short. That’s Tom to a T.

  13. 114

    Ditto

    This thread is turning into the most ridiculous pissing contest yet.

    How does it really matter if the woman was a prostitute or an adulterer, when the real focus by Jesus was on her condemnation by hypocritical also- sinners.

    Merry Christmas and God rest ye merry gentlemen.

  14. 115

    Redteam

    @Ditto:

    How does it really matter if the woman was a prostitute or an adulterer,

    Good question Ditto, how would YOU answer it?
    Let’s see……say you have a married daughter that happened to go astray one time.. or you had a daughter that was in the business of selling herself…. which would you prefer? Both may be sins, but one ‘seems’ a little worse than the other, to me…….

    Pissing contests can be interesting, sometimes…..

  15. 116

    Richard Wheeler

    @Redteam: Suppose your wife slept with your neighbor and enjoyed herself immensely Planned on going back on a regular basis.
    Do you think it better if she got paid for her services? Maybe get some paid referrals?

    Ditto is right—It’s a ridiculous pissing contest you and your sidekick are engaged in. Aqua had the good sense to step away.

    Merry Christmas

  16. 117

    Redteam

    @Richard Wheeler:

    It’s a ridiculous pissing contest you and your sidekick are engaged in. Aqua had the good sense to step away.

    So you decided it was time for you to jump in?
    Answer the question as originally asked, then we’ll start changing the scenario.

    Besides, you enjoy pissing contests, don’t you?

  17. 118

    Redteam

    @Richard Wheeler:

    Suppose your wife slept with your neighbor and enjoyed herself immensely Planned on going back on a regular basis.

    Are you saying that would change the definition of her actions? Wouldn’t it still just be adultery?

  18. 119

    Nanny G

    Jesus went after the “scribes and Pharisees,” who concerned themselves with the tithing of little things like cumin and dill while ignoring the ”weightier things of the Law.” See: Matthew 23:23.
    That is why I am inclined to think these verses in John 7:53-John 8:11 might really be spurious. (Also see: Matthew 7: 17-20)
    Look what it caused.
    A storm about a jot or a tittle.
    The more important thing is the BIG ISSUE.
    Everlasting Life.

    “““`
    Way back, when Mark Steyn faced a lawsuit in Canada for QUOTING a Muslim imam who was encouraging demographic takeover of the West so as to stave off violence for a bit longer, Steyn’s lawyers made a point that intimidation was as much a threat to free speech as laws on books.
    Today GLAAD is trying to use intimidation to keep people who disagree with them and their agenda from even coming to a debate.
    I note that Phil is perfectly capable of holding his own on a level playing field in a debate of IDEAS with any gay advocate.
    But that is NOT what GLAAD has in mind.
    GLAAD wants him silenced.
    GLAAD wants a big part of his livelihood cut from him and their handmaiden A&E is doing their dirty work for them in that regard.
    GLAAD also wants Phil to at least pretend to take back his own beliefs and promise to never express them publicly in the future.
    GLAAD wants everyone else looking upon this case to think twice about ever expressing similar views publicly either.

  19. 120

    Richard Wheeler

    @Redteam: Does it matter to you if your wife is getting paid for her adultery?Does it change anything in your eyes?
    As DITTO points out Jesus’ focus is on her “condemnation by hyper- critical also sinners.”
    BTW Why are male adulterers and gigolos not equally scorned?

    Re Duck Dynasty—This guy went way beyond his “biblical beliefs.” in his G.Q. quotes.Don’t agree with him but certainly believe he has the right of free speech.
    Personally, I’d much prefer watching ZZ Top.

  20. 121

    retire05

    @Nanny G:

    Is GLAD concerned that some people got their widdle feelings hurt over Phil Roberson’s statements on sin? No, they are concerned that there are not some people who have been indoctrinated into thinking that their actions are within the bounds of what nature has designed.

    When gays were having sex in the Boston Public library rest rooms, the same rest rooms that were used by children, GLAD was not concerned with the fact that grown people were having sex in a public rest room, they were upset because the police created a sting to arrest those people. You see, for the gay lobby, hooking up in a public rest room, also used by children, should not be an offense that warrants an arrest. Those parents who disagree with that should be required to just suck it up and take their kids home if the kid needs to use the rest room.

    I have pointed out, many times, the goal of organizations like GLAD is not “equality.” They want total, and forced, acceptance, and your religious beliefs be damned.

  21. 122

    retire05

    @Richard Wheeler:

    Re Duck Dynasty—This guy went way beyond his “biblical beliefs.” in his G.Q. quotes.Don’t agree with him but certainly believe he has the right of free speech.

    While you have never said anything about the things Dan Savage says, which go way beyond his “beliefs.” Yet, Savage will continue to appear on CNN and MSNBC, with not a peep from any liberal. Where is your dissent against those who want to force their life style on children in schools, ministers, et al, with the hammer of intimidation?

  22. 123

    Nanny G

    @Richard Wheeler: his G.Q. quotes.

    Note that no one goes after the interviewer of Phil Robertson.
    That would be Drew Magary.
    He wrote:

    I don’t want Phil to think I’m a pXXXy (real word used at GQ source)

    It looks like you could shoot through a goddamn mountain with it.

    The bow is cocked and loaded, just in case a deer stumbles in front of us and we need to do a redneck drive-by on the poor bastard

    And how did talking about the Bible begin?

    Phil is telling me all about the land around us and how the animals are a glorious gift from God and how blowing their heads off is part of His plan for us.

    Phil calls himself a Bible-thumper, and holy shit, he thumps that Bible hard enough to ring the bell at a county-fair test of strength.
    Out here in these woods, without any cameras around, Phil is free to say what he wants.

    Notice that’s all the writer’s words, not quotes by Phil.
    I think the writer deserves more criticism than he has gotten.
    A lot more.

  23. 124

    Redteam

    @Richard Wheeler:

    Does it matter to you if your wife is getting paid for her adultery?Does it change anything in your eyes?

    Don’t see where you answered the original question. That comes first or, since you’ve jumped in for Tom and Aqua, you just want to be wrong also.

    Re Duck Dynasty—This guy went way beyond his “biblical beliefs.” in his G.Q. quotes.Don’t agree with him but certainly believe he has the right of free speech.

    I don’t believe the hit piece in GQ was solely about his ‘biblical beliefs’, believe it was more about him being a Redneck from Louisiana, and that one question was about his biblical beliefs about sin. He expressed them very well without using profanity. I predict he will not apologize for anything he said, I expect that AE network will continue his show with Phil in it. Disappointing the gay crowd.

    Personally, I’d much prefer watching ZZ Top.

    They’re still around?

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