I woke up with the need to poke the bull today. Apparently I have no sense. I thought I wasn't going to wade in but I was wrong. Ha! If you aren't aware of the controversy, stop here and click the link way down below...then come back.
I am a fan of the show "Duck Dynasty." Before it came out, people who knew the Robertsons were all over the media talking about how embarrassed they were about how the area they lived in was going to be portrayed by the show and how mortifying the family is with those awful beards! Those same people have changed their tunes and most are probably getting DVD sets of the show for Christmas. I grew up not too far from where the duck people live. They feel like family to me. Though we are in different states, the culture is very similar, especially to the Southeast Texas culture in which I was raised. Rednecks are apparently a confusing people. We can love you and disagree with you. We value faith and family yet church better not run into the Cowboy game or the Christians will leave. Literally. Church will either be empty the opening morning of deer season or filled with camo clad worshipers on break between stand times but who still love Jesus. Rednecks like to shoot whatever is available with whatever is available. Shotgun, rifle, bow and arrow, whatever! They also love to fish. It's a little different, I get that. I also love it. So I'm not completely unbiased here. I know a lot of Phil Robertson types and I love every one. But I also love a lot of people I disagree with on these issues that have been presented by Phil and sometimes struggle to be who I am without compromise, yet never hurt another soul on purpose. It's a delicate balance even for me and I'm not a public person. I can't imagine if I was constantly on the record! Oh the horror! Some of my most interesting conversations have come from people on the other side of this particular issue from me. Respectful conversations where both sides seek to understand. We all want to be understood.
Here's how I see the whole Phil Robertson/ A&E controversy. I see it so very differently than most everyone else, of course. I like to be different whenever the opportunity presents itself. So let me start with:
1) Phil Robertson is a man of the Word and refuses to compromise his values or mind his tongue if he feels it compromises his morals. I know this isn't the first time he's said these things. We've all seen the videos circulate, as have the good people at A&E, who haven't said a word up until now, and the good people at GQ who knew what they were getting too. This is just the first time he said them to a mainstream reporter with an agenda who was licking his chops. Phil reminds me a lot of my daddy who was less preachy but certainly not too worried about what you thought of him. "What other people think of me is none of my business." If the whole world turned on him, his inclination would be to go hunting too. Actually, he probably wouldn't ever know. It's the culture in that area of the world. Phil is from my parents generation and they say what they mean and mean what they say. He has never pretended for a minute to be anything other than what he is...a sinner saved by grace and hoping for the salvation of everyone else but also a redneck man from the backwoods of Louisiana. From everything he has ever said, he hates no one. He grew up poor and has what most would consider to be a scandalous past himself. He is grateful that Jesus saved him from his own sinful ways and desires that for everyone. That is the ONLY reason he agreed to do the show in the first place. But for me, that really doesn't play much into the situation here.
2) A&E is a known entity with a particular audience. Willie is sharp. The Robertson's knew what they were getting into with A&E. They signed a deal with the devil. (It's a saying, y'all! I'm not saying that they are the actual devil! Y'all get it, right?) A few years ago, if you accidentally clicked on it after abut 10 pm, you learned that the "Arts" part of their name really meant "Porn." They were a liberal network with a liberal audience until "Duck Dynasty" came their way and gave them an unexpected surprise hit with a large conservative and evangelical audience for the show. That large conservative and evangelical audience only watches one show on their roster. The show has never been a good fit with their real audience, but the money flows and so A&E had choices to make. They chose the beards and all that came with them and somehow it's worked. They've chosen to look the other way for a long time now.
3) GQ is also a known entity with a known audience, and if Phil didn't know that, he would be stupid. He is not stupid. This reporter has a definite spin they should have expected. Phil knew who he was talking to and knew the potential consequences but he is a redneck Christians and didn't (probably still doesn't) care about the sure to come consequences. GQ knows the way the winds are blowing these days and what a perfect time to hoist the sails and build business on controversy. Here is the article. I would normally never post anything that uses this sort of language, but the spin here is clear and you can read what all of the hub-bub is about here:
Phil Robertson's GQ Article
Phil gave the interview and they edited it how they see fit. That's how it works, folks.
4) I'm pretty sure I read at the beginning of last season that it would be Phil's last by Phil's choosing. He doesn't enjoy it and just wants to hunt. So all the bluster about suspending his seems to be manufactured to appease their audience. It wasn't intended to offend the audience of Duck Dynasty. I suspect that was a surprise. A&E probably doesn't know there are BUNCHES of rednecks just like the Robertsons and they probably didn't take into account that people of Robertson's faith would revolt. Their headquarters are in New York City and most people there don't understand a whit about a backwoods redneck...except my one Texas friend who lives there...love you.
1) Phil Robertson had the right to say what he said and so he said it...knowing the deal with the devil they had signed with A&E. He flat out said what he felt he had to say and doesn't care what we think. He is a conservative Christian, and he felt compelled to use the platform given to him by GQ to say what he needed to say. He was allowed to say it. He said it as a private person as was his right. They have stated all along that A&E made no contractual "behavior" requirements of them so he didn't break any contracts by speaking.
5) A&E has the right to act as they wish. They are not the government. They are not stomping on his constitutional rights, nor did GQ. No one shut up Phil Robertson.
7) GLAAD and anyone else had the right to not like and it and make a stink. This is America.
8) I am an American and I have the right to respond as I see fit. My rights are still intact too. I have the right to agree or disagree. I can yell my head off on Facebook. I have the right to go onto this forum and write anything I want. I can choose not to watch the network, the show or anything else. No one has shut me up either. Many have tried and failed...but that's not relevant to this post.
9) I see all of this as OK. All of it. It seems to me that everyone has acted within their rights. That's what I love about my country. Yes, Christians feel like the world would like them to just shut up these days. But we don't have to. Because we are still protected. Many feel those rights are being eroded but as of today...for this controversy...everyone was protected. Let's be honest here, a lot of Christians would like to shut up people that espouse values they believe to be wrong or sinful. But that isn't going to happen either. I may disagree with those who differ from me, but I cherish our right to disagree. I love America. This too, shall pass.
Now to the real issue I have here, the flip floppers! You all are ON NOTICE. You can't be embarrassed by the beards one minute and then call them family the next.
Oh wait, you can. That's how we roll down here. My bad.
I think it's time to get back to the REAL issue at hand...the Merry Christmas/ Happy Holidays Infringement of 2013. I find it ridiculous to ban the actual people/ employees selling Christmas trees and Christmas ornaments from saying "Merry Christmas" yet I have never been offended by a PERSON telling me "Happy Holidays." They are wishing me well. I get it. I wish it were your choice of what you say or don't say. But anytime someone is kind to me, I love it. Because sometimes....
OK, Fire away! I'd love to hear your thoughts. Really.