Friday, December 20, 2013
A&E Crucifies 'Duck Dynasty' Patriarch Phil Robertson
The family became wealthy operating a duck-hunting product company, 'Duck Commander', and the show features the colorful bunch of long-bearded, no-filters Robertson men and the women who love them.
The patriarch of the clan is Phil Robertson, who began the business by making duck calls from area cedar trees in a family backyard shed for a quarter century. Two days ago, the show, network, and Phil Robertson began making headlines in the mainstream news.
Robertson was placed "on hiatus" indefinitely by A&E, which said in a statement that the network was "extremely disappointed" in remarks that he had made in an interview for 'GQ' magazine which were deemed offensive by the gay community. A&E further stated they "have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT (gay) community."
In the interview, Robertson is quoted as saying "Everything is blurred on what's right and what's wrong...Sin becomes fine art. Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there." He later says "It seems like, to me, a vagina - as a man - would be more desirable than a man's anus. That's just me."
In a follow-up to his remarks, Robertson was quoted as speaking to his own sinful past, his acceptance of Jesus Christ as his Savior, and his role in evangelizing that faith to others.
"I myself am a product of the 60's; I centered my life around sex, drugs, and rock 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...what the Bible teaches. Part of that teaching is that men and women are meant to be together."
But that isn't where Robertson left it, not that there should be any problem with anything to this point. He goes on to elaborate on how his own personal feelings would relate to his treatment of others who might feel or believe differently.
"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 be better off if we loved God and loved each other."
The picture that emerges from this entire sorry affair is of a cable TV network running for cover when it didn't need to, simply because the executives who run the place didn't have the courage of their convictions. A&E put the show on the air faithfully (pun intended) every week, knowing the family was going to "keep it real", and sucking up the ratings and subsequent advertising dough.
Now they place Robertson in a hiatus that basically means nothing, since the show is not currently filming anyway, with the most recent season having recently completed production. They are simply trying to look good to that LGBT community they want to embrace. Meanwhile, they slap all Christians who support the show in the face.
Robertson made no statement regarding homosexuality that is not supported by the very teachings of the Holy Bible. In the Old Testament's book of Leviticus, for a perfect example, in chapter 20, verse 13 it explicitly states: "If a man lies with a male as with a woman, they have committed an abomination; the two of them shall be put to death; their bloodguilt is upon them."
Now of course, no one, including Phil Robertson, is calling for anyone to be killed, or to suffer any type of physical judgment against them. Final judgment on all of our unforgiven moral shortcomings, will be dealt with in the next life. The New Testament taught us all forgiveness, and the importance of loving even our enemies and those who would persecute us. But it did not challenge basic Biblical teachings on sexuality or morality.
In his own ministry, in both public exhortations and in private thought to his Apostles, who related these ideas in their own later teachings, Jesus Christ himself preached of marriage and relationships as between men and women, husband and wife, and spoke of the sinfulness of sexual immorality.
The A&E network has every right to make any statement they wish, and to discipline or fire any employee or contractee based on what it feels are violations of it's most basic principles and rules. We as consumers of their product have the same right, to not watch their network when they violate what we know to be the most basic truths of life.
Far too often in today's world, people of faith are cowed into silence, driven to trembling in a proverbial corner when the immoral shout for "rights" that have never existed. It is far past time that we began to band together, standing up for those principles, for our own "rights", for people like Phil Robertson, and for Christ Himself.
As with Phil, we believers won't hate anyone. We won't act with prejudice against anyone. We won't treat people as lesser human beings than ourselves, who we all know are also sinners. But we will pray for them as we pray for ourselves and our loved ones, to both overcome their sinful weakness, and to turn from acting on those same proclivities.
In publicly admonishing Phil Robertson for taking an outspoken position regarding basic teaching of the planet's more than 2 billion Christians, they have effectively crucified him. Anyone calling themselves a fellow Christian needs to immediately let A&E know just how you feel about that. The 21st century is not the 1st. We will not stand by and allow it to ever happen again. Not quietly. Not on our watch.