Last night, Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson was suspended by A&E! The star of the ratings giant for A&E has been pulled for the foreseeable future.
As soon as the interview became public, GLAAD decided to chime in calling his words “vile,” accused him of “lying,” and claimed that he did not represent true Christianity (which was interesting because I’m not sure they get to decide what true Christianity is).
Not surprisingly, online media exploded in coverage of the story, and most quickly to point out how offensive his remarks were.
- LA TIMES – Called his words inflammatory
- New York Daily News – Claims he equated homosexuality to bestiality
- Huffington Post ran this title on their front page, “‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Makes Shockingly Vile Anti-Gay Comments“
- The Radar Online – Implies he’s homophobic for stating his preference for women parts over man parts.
In the wake of the brewing controversy, A&E released the following from Phil:
“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. However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.”
This wasn’t good enough for Entertainment Weekly, who commented on his remarks as follows:
If you step back, what exactly is the controversy? What was unexpected in any of this?
Think About It
- An evangelical Christian stated he believes homosexuality is a sin…not news.
- An evangelical Christian voiced concern about the possibility that cultural acceptance of homosexuality could lead to more things being considered acceptable…not news.
- A heterosexual male stated that he prefers girl parts to boy parts…not news.
- Phil Robertson stated his opinions bluntly and with proper medical terms…not news.
A Culture in Transition
Louie Giglio was selected to give the prayer at President Obama’s second inauguration. That was until scandal broke! It was revealed that Giglio had made anti-homosexual remarks…20 years prior. I’ve been listening Giglio for about 10 years, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard him bring up homosexuality. I would guess that I’ve heard over 50 of his sermons. That’s 50 hours of him talking, and I have no recollection of it ever coming up in a major way. However, when he was announced to give the benediction, some watchdog group for the LGBT community tracked down a 20 year old sermon that referenced homosexuality. Not wanting to get wrapped up in a scandal he didn’t start, Giglio backed out of the prayer. The only reason anyone even knows about this long lost sermon is that the LGBT watchdogs tracked it down.
There has been a massive pendulum shift in our culture over the last 15 years.
When Ellen DeGeneres and her character were revealed to be lesbian, it was an enormous scandal which eventually ended the series. A TV show starring one of the most likable TV personalities of the last 20 years ended its run due to connections to homosexuality. At the time, there truly was a bias against homosexuals. We were fine with adulterers, drug users, and the sexual immoral, but there was a stigma against homosexuals; society singled them out as unacceptable.
Now the pendulum has swung the opposite direction. If anyone with a national platform doesn’t explicitly support the LGBT community, they are labeled as vile, anti-gay, and homophobic. I’m not arguing that we should return to the pre-21st century way of doing things, but it seems the pendulum has swung very far in the opposite direction.
What Phil Didn’t Say
- I’m afraid of gay people…so he’s not homophobic
- I hate gay people…so he’s not a bigot
- I’m disgusted by gay people…so he’s not really being vile
What he said was that he believed homosexuality was a sin. He listed off many other things he considers sins as well. Many of those things, he would assign to himself. He himself is an adulterer. He was a drunk. He would call himself a wicked sinner. He’s not standing on a pedestal looking down, he’s identifying himself with others as a sinner.
Here’s the Problem
- He was labeled vile
- He was labeled a homophobe
- He was labeled a bigot
- He was called not a true Christian
- He was called a liar
- GLAAD rallied to have A&E pull the show
- GLAAD rallied to have the shows ads pulled
- Phil released a statement where he explained he loves all of humanity
- Phil’s apology was called contradictory
- A&E pulled Phil from the show
What do you think?
Here are more thoughts on the controversy:
If you liked this post, here is a previous post I wrote on Duck Dynasty, WHY I LOVE DUCK DYNASTY!