I had always thought of myself as a fairly well informed and intelligent person. I spent eight years in college, and have made it my point to learn as much as I can about things that interest me. I watch a variety of cable news shows (except Fox News, for obvious reasons), keep up with several websites that track topics which are important to me, and even get a few magazines delivered to my apartment. Yes, I am one of those rare individuals that still reads magazines. I also enjoy a variety of entertainment television shows.
However, “Duck Dynasty” is not (and has never been) a show that I found terribly interesting. Perhaps because I’ve been a city boy my whole life, and not much into camping and all things outdoorsy. Perhaps because the show seemed to embody a certain air of redneckiness, and a je ne sais quoi of “Deliverance” that I find particularly disturbing.
This is why I was not surprised when my social media was flooded with stories about Phil Robertson, the clan leader, making horrifically homophobic statements that compare homosexuality to adultery, bestiality, alcoholism, prostitution, stealing, lying and terrorism. Oh, and none of us are going to heaven.
The Arts & Entertainment network did release a statement to distance themselves from the controversy. It reads,
“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,” the statement from A&E reads. “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 network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.”
What A&E didn’t address were Robertson’s comments about the African American community. What I perceive to be predictable, he said:
“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.”
Another individual who believes that our African Americans were better off and happier during the Jim Crow era. What a travesty. This embodies everything that is wrong with right wing, conservative camp.
Speaking of right wing conservatives, as if on queue, they jumped right in, showing their endearing support for Robertson and all things homophobic and racist. Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and our good friends at the National Organization for Marriage being the most vocal. The blog, “New Civil Rights Movement” put together the following:
“As news spread last night that A&E had suspended the “Duck Dynasty” dad, Phil Robertson, over his ugly and graphic anti-gay remarks, from Sarah Palin to the National Organization For Marriage to the Westboro Baptist Church, the entire right wing anti-gay hate machine exploded into action.
Vowing to boycott A&E (which, ironically would include and damage “Duck Dynasty”), screaming that Obama instead of Robertson should have been “fired,” and other illogical and ill-thought reactions, the right is clearly out-of-control furious.”
The National Organization for Marriage is circulating a petition on behalf of Robertson, crying about the injustice of it all:
In the interview with GQ, Robertson tells the world why he feels the way he does, and not surprisingly, he credits Jesus for his bigotry. Robertson said,
“I myself am a product of the 60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior. My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together.
“Rush Limbaugh wasted no time adding his two cents, crying, “the long knives are out for Phil Robertson.”
Well, as you can well imagine, the left is hysterical, rather than just let it go. It’s the Duck Dynasty guy. They’re making a huge, huge deal out of it. It’s outrageous. But his views, I mean, folks, they line up almost exactly with the views of the new BFF of the libs: The Catholic Church.
It started when Robertson began to talk about the erosion of morality in American culture in which, “Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong. Sin becomes fine.” When asked to elaborate on what he thinks is sinful, Robertson responded:
“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.”
Robertson returned to the subject throughout the interview. When giving a CliffsNotes version of the New Testament book of 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.”
Talking about forgiveness:
“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?”
And explaining his take on human anatomy:
“It seems to me, a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus,” he said. “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.”
Thankfully, support has been coming in from all corners of everywhere. GLADD was one of the first to comment. Wilson Cruz said,
“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.”
The right wing conservative Christians are forever stating how we liberals, progressives and especially those of us in the LGBTQ community are hopelessly lost. They are the ones who are lost, though. They are wandering around in a cloud of bigotry, blinded by their own sense of self-importance and near total and complete lack of understanding about what Christ taught on love, acceptance, kindness and compassion. I am not only saddened and infuriated by their bold and brazen bigotry toward minorities and the LGBTQ community, but also by their general attitudes toward the sick and the poor, as well as their love of money.
These people have come to embody the worst that Christianity has to offer.