Weighing In On The DUCK DYNASTY Controversy

Duck Dynasty

If you have frequented  Facebook or Twitter at all in the past couple of days, you will notice that there is no small stir over Phil Robertson’s anti-homosexual statements in a recent GQ magazine interview. Not having ever watched Duck Dynasty, or ever read GQ for that matter, I went to the web and found the interview, which I read. I would like to make several observations.

First, being Red Neck is not a fruit of the Spirit. There is no merit in being crude, simply for the sake of being crude. Mr. Robertson’s comments could have been stated in a way that better becomes Christianity. There are parts of the interview that I would have been embarrassed reading aloud to my adult daughters. With the increasing emergence of political correctness in our society, Christian statesmen must remain true to Biblical values but express them in ways that are both scholarly and gentlemanly. Our words are to be with grace seasoned with salt. Some of Mr. Robertson’s words were not palatable – not because of what he said, but because of the way he said it.

Second, Mr. Robertson is entitled to both free speech and religious liberty. Many of the news pundits have been arguing that we now live in “a different America,” and this kind of hate speech cannot be tolerated. The right to speak one’s mind, however, is not conditioned on 51% of the population being in agreement. If that were true, no minority position would ever be heard. Those of the LGBT community, who are supposed champions of free speech, should support Mr. Robertson’s right to speak his mind, even though they may vehemently disagree with what he is saying. I am sure that they would be indignant if the same standard they are applying to Mr. Robertson were applied to them on Gay Pride Day.

Third, the arena in which Mr. Robertson spoke should not have any bearing upon his job security. Some in the LGBT community have argued that Mr. Robertson is entitled to his opinion, but that opinion has job consequences. The analogy has been used that a receptionist in a doctor’s office has a right to voice her opinion about a patient’s bad hygiene, but if she does so in the office to another customer, she may lose her job. Thus, Mr. Robertson has a right to say how he feels, but A & E doesn’t have to keep him employed because of it.

I would answer that many of Mr. Robertson’s religious views have already been curtailed in the “office.” A & E, for example, will not allow the prayers that conclude Duck Dynasty to be offered in Jesus’ name. But Mr. Robertson is allowed to use the name of Jesus away from the show on his personal time. In the same way, A & E has the full right to filter Mr. Robertson’s comments on the show when he is being paid by them. When, however, Mr. Robertson is off the clock, his comments, which obviously do not reflect the views of A& E, should have no bearing on this continued employment. If religious views have to mirror those of our employer in order to receive a paycheck, how many of us would be employed? Indeed, people like Bill Maher have been allowed to keep their jobs while using the “office” to bash Christian beliefs repeatedly.

And this I believe is the crux of the matter. Mr. Robertson’s views are religious, not cultural, in nature. He believes what he believes about homosexual behavior because he is a Christian committed to Biblical morality. Many of the LGBT community have branded Mr. Robertson’s comments as disparaging a minority segment of society. His comments are viewed as if he had made a racial slur against Jews or African Americans. To the Bible believing Christian, however, sodomy does not describe a cultural demographic. If it did, perhaps A & E was justified in terminating his employment. To the Christian, however, sodomy is not a cultural choice; it is a moral perversion. Mr. Robertson has a right to believe his Bible on this matter without occupational reprisal. Apparently, for all of its vaunted talk of protecting self-expression, A & E has crossed the line and terminated a man’s job because he had the courage to express his religious views publicly. For that, A & E should be ashamed.

(Visited 70 times, 2 visits today)
Post Tagged with

8 Responses so far.

  1. Steven says:

    The analogy I would use would be: a person on staff at a church has an interview in which they make pro-homosexual comments. Since that person “represents” the church, should the church not be allowed to fire them for comments made outside of work that do not reflect the church’s viewpoint? I see this issue as a two-way street in which AMC has the right to fire the employee because he is a representative of the station and the church should be able to fire their staff-member as well.

  2. “…he is a Christian committed to Biblical morality.”

    He is a cultist Campbellite committed to another gospel of baptismal regeneration. He is not a Christian in any biblical definition of the Word. Gal . 1:7-10

    Bible believers need to stop making unregenerate moral culture warrior entertainers like Rush L, Bill OReilly, Glenn Beck and the Robertson clan our spokesmen. We do the life changing Gospel a disservice when we align ourselves with them.

    If he does not repent and place his faith in the person and finished work of Christ alone for salvation, Phil R will share the same devils hell as an unrepentant sodomite.

  3. Unknown says:

    Being redneck does not in any way make a person CRUDE….. You seem to identify the redneck as a crude nation. Rednecks are known for hard working individuals. Yes, they may have their own way of living but you will never understand that because you never have understood the SOUTHERN CULTURE

    • Pastor Todd Threlkeld says:

      Redneck is not synonymous with southern! While I like the show and applaud Phil Robertson for his stand, I believe Dr Ambaugh is spot on that Redneck philosophy does not necessarily comform to the biblical command to live peaceably among men. A little decorum goes a long way, and southern politeness seems more Christlike than redneck rants.

  4. Julie Alexander says:

    Well said. I have to laugh that “unknown”, while practicing their own freedom of speech preferred to remain anonymous. I have watched DD a couple of times and found it completely ridiculous. I had commented to several of my Christian friends who find it so amusing, and who justify it because they find it “wholesome”, that it was unbecoming of Christianity to be running around acting like a bunch of idiots. As I seem to recall, the south was the land of gentility so obviously, Pastor, you understand southern culture very well! I am a great proponent of graciousness and professionalism and I always appreciated it in you!

  5. Tricia says:

    Thanks for your thoughts. I agree that it was the way he said it that makes the difference to me. Unfortunately, we have allowed this family to be representative of Christianity to the general public. I have watched it and while the praying at the end is nice, the words the brothers use towards each other, while not profane, are very crude and not words I would want my children using against each other. I have been disappointed by the folks who have howled louder in his defense and have completely ignored his delivery, as if his status as a representative somehow gives him a pass. One good thought I heard in all of this was that A&E probably edits out these comments all the time for the show, but when GQ had the chance to expose him, they jumped at it. Let’s face it, it’s probably the best marketing opportunity they’ve used in a long time!
    I expect Phil to follow the same “rules” of discretion that I hold myself to, that is, to recognize my own fallen state as well as others, but to low grace to cover them as much as I want that for my self. The crux of the matter is that society does not recognize homosexuality as a sin, so the arguments will continue without hope of resolution. In the mean time, can we not express our beliefs in a more “palatable” way, as you have stated?
    I haven’t read a lot of posts about this, but yours was definitely the most balanced and grace-filled. Thanks again.

  6. Pastor Wynn says:

    Again, you have very well articulated a common sense position. Like you, I have not been a follower of the DD show. Yet, I do respect their right to express their strongly held biblical beliefs. However, it appears that tolerance in America is a street that only runs one way. Little tolerance is shown toward those who advocate biblical positions.

    I would have to disagree with Steven’s analogy of being an employee of a church. First, A&E is not religious organization. They never demanded that Phil agree with a set of standards or convictions. However, a church would certainly expect any prospective staff member to agree to their Statement of Faith and Practice. Thus, if a church employee publicly voiced an opposing view, then he would have changed his position or lied to begin with. That would be grounds for dismissal. A&E and Phil had no such contractual agreement on convictions.

    I too wish Phil had chosen a better vocabulary for expression his position. There is never a place for crudeness or vulgarity in gentlemanly discourse. Yet, this public debate is clearly a matter of the media’s double-standard and hypocrisy when dealing with those of strong biblical beliefs.

  7. Linda McDonald says:

    I am glad this discussion is taking place, I really am, but this focus on this family is so out of sorts for the week we should be spending thinking about the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. I am tired of Duck Dynasty, I am tired of the focus being Duck Dynasty and as Christians this week we need to change our focus from a REALITY tv show to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I don’t watch the show and after this never will. Please if we are going to discuss anything from now until Wednesday instead of arguing whose right and whose wrong, can we just discuss the Love that our Lord gave us when he sent His son to us on that Christmas morn? My husband will not be reading from a duck dynasty book on Christmas morning,he will be reading the story of the birth of Jesus….That’s our focus, not reality TV and whether its free speech, crude, good, bad, etc. Pastor this is not about your blog, I read your blog, its about our focus…I see this argument everywhere and between the commericialism of Christmas, this, stores taking their families away because they decided to stay open, all of this is just so so sad…our world is becoming Godless so quickly and its breaking my heart for my grandchildren…Merry Christmas and not looking for anyone to agree or disagree with me….wont even come back and look..just wanted to remind us all what this week is really all about..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons