So, apparently there’s a show called Duck Dynasty about some backwoods Louisiana family that makes duck calls (and people wonder why I don’t watch Television?!). One of the people on it, an older man named Phil Robertson, said some things to GQ that have made people uncomfortable.
You can read that interview here: What the Duck?
Some particulars he said are as follow:
“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. 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.”
Move on to this:
What, in your mind, is sinful?
“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,” he says. Then he paraphrases 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.”
There. That’s it.
“That’s it?!” someone is probably decrying now. “He’s just likened homosexuality to bestiality! He doesn’t understand what it’s like to be gay!”
First off, reread that — no he didn’t. And, no, he doesn’t.
What he made was a statement of his beliefs, beliefs held by many devoutly Christian individuals around the world. To him, homosexuality is a sin, as is bestiality a sin. To open the door to accepting one sin, in his mind and in the minds of many, is to open the door to further and worse sin. Maybe it’s nonsense, maybe it’s not. Plenty of people who support the cause of gay rights hope it to be a paving stone for their own incestuous, polyamorous, even zoophilic lifestyle being accepted and protected. I stand with the polyamorous, the rest … I understand their arguments, my feelings on the matter (politically and legally) are neutral; personally, it’s more than a little weird.
He stated opinions. He stated his view of the world. Right or wrong, he has every right to have done so. We should, on that ground, applaud him for speaking his mind and his beliefs. It’s easy to stand up, right now, and say “Equal rights now!” “Gay pride!” and so many more things — because it’s okay, people will stand behind you and cheer, the news will praise you, what you’ve just said makes you “a good person”. No, of course it doesn’t make you a bad person. Words are words. Intent and history matter. If ten years ago your lips were sealed in apathy, the jury could go either way. If ten years ago you stood on a corner with a sign supporting prop 8 … well, you have to admit, you look a bit of an arse now; don’t be surprised if your motives are questioned.
Do I agree with Phil?
Gee, if I did, would I write the stories I do? No, I don’t agree with him. But there’s a fantastic quote that goes with this:
“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”
What he said is only objectionable because it’s now unpopular. It isn’t, by strictest definition, wrong. What would have been wrong would be the Russian actor who ran for president [&] wants to put all gay people ‘in the oven’.
Eugenics, concentration camps (Orson Scott Card), rockets to the sun (I hope I’m making this up), ovens (see above) … these are wrong. These condone hurting someone, just because you don’t like what they are. There are worse people in this world, far far worse, some in positions to do things (or nearly so!) to act on these thoughts. Remember — it wasn’t just Jews locked up in Auschwitz (and even if it were — my point is utterly unchanged: gay, Jew, white, black, Martian … life is sacred) and there’re people who’d reopen it if they had the chance.
What would be wrong is if Phil took his proudly thumped Bible to a political ballot, running for Governor, Senator, President, and he thumped that book at America and said ‘thou shalt not have equal rights for homosexuals, because this here book says so!’ And, were this England, or Norway, or many other countries with a state religion (and legal gay marriage, I wish to point out) he’d have a point; from a very real point of view he’d be quite right. In America we have separation of church and state; he shouldn’t be able to do that. Hell, because of that Amendment there’s no validity to any ballot he could walk up to, cast, and use to say the same thing; as far as I know, the only arguments left against LBGTQ rights is “sin” and “icky” — great basis for a law, no?
What worries me — not about him, he gives his reasons and right or wrong, they make a kind of rhetorical sense, but rather that there was no outcry that I’ve seen, nothing about this in his suspension from the show: he makes some equally uncomfortable comments about blacks. Again, nothing terrible. Ignorant, absolutely; wrong, almost certainly. Not terrible. As I said, it made a rhetorical sense — you can see and understand where he’s coming from. I’m bothered far more that it was ignored. Why are we burning this man in effigy, the liberal press and the liberal community — the people who claim to be the firmest believers in the constitution and in basic rights — for his opinion regarding one group of people, but not another? Why is this whole “scandal” making me so very much recall a clever little song by Phil Ochs “Love Me, I’m a Liberal”?
So, Mr Robertson, I disagree with you. I’m not surprised you said and believe what you do — you’re a backwoodsman from rural Louisiana. I do, however applaud you. I applaud your courage to speak your mind and say your feelings. I applaud your conviction of faith. I applaud you standing by that faith despite what is trendy to say, do, and believe — until someone can appeal to you on the level of that faith I know you will not change your mind, and for that too I applaud you. “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” It could have been worse, it has been worse, now if only as many people would go just as up-in-arms over the true injustices and crimes against equality, and leave country gents who speak their minds be, maybe some actual progress could happen.
Hey … never promised I wouldn’t be opinionated, political, or voice thoughts on current events — just that you shouldn’t count on it.
- Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson Fired by A&E? – Eagle Rising (davecottrell.wordpress.com)
- Selective outrage: GLAAD slams Phil Robertson after letting Alec Baldwin slide (homegrownmedia.info)
- Will Duck Dynasty be cancelled? Family statement says A&E show cannot go forward without Phil Robertson (christiantoday.com)
- Duck Dynasty and the Oppression of Christians on Cable TV (prowhiteparty.wordpress.com)
- ‘Duck Dynasty’ Pastor on What Phil Robertson Was Doing When He Was Suspended (thewrap.com)