I’m not among the millions who regularly watch Duck Dynasty on A&E network, but I am among the many millions who will avoid the network in my future viewing choices. The network’s #1 smash hit is headed by patriarch Phil Robertson. Robertson was asked during an interview for GQ magazine about morality. He cited the Bible, and when asked to explain or expound upon his stance on homosexuality, he explained in graphic, somewhat crude language why he couldn’t understand the desires of homosexuals. The network then suspended him. What’s now clear is that A&E has managed to incite a backlash against the network, and it’s obvious that the network is responding to political rather than market-based concerns. In the free market, a network wouldn’t suspend the star of its top-rated show for simply stating his religious beliefs. No, this case isn’t about the intolerance of Phil Robertson, but the intractable, unflinching orthodoxy of the rabid left. The intolerance is all theirs, but there exists a dirty little secret: They’re only willing to shut down conservatives, Christians, and capitalists, while they cringe in fear of Muslims, feminists, leftist groups, and the homosexual lobby. There’s an important lesson in all of this for conservatives generally, but Christians particularly: They don’t fear you, and you’ve given them no reason to think otherwise.
Consider the lead-in to Drew Magary’s GQ article:
“How in the world did a family of squirrel-eating, Bible-thumping, catchphrase-spouting duck hunters become the biggest TV stars in America? And what will they do now that they have 14 million fervent disciples?”
Could a news outlet or magazine make such a remark about any group if they happened to be other than Christian? This lead-in typifies the mindset not merely of those in leadership at A&E, but of the entire media establishment. “Bible-thumping?” Who does Magary think he is? Bill O’Reilly? This should set the tone for you quite aptly. With a lead-in like that, you can guess that it won’t be long before the GQ writer seeks to create a controversy. The term “Bible-Thumper” has become so widely used in the media that Christians are now adopting it to describe themselves as a way of scorning the elites who look down their noses at Christians generally.
Before pointing this out, Magary mocks Robertson this way:
“Even though he’s in the far corner of the room, Phil dominates the house. There are times when he doesn’t look you in the eye while he’s speaking—he looks just off to the side of you, as if Jesus were standing nearby, holding a stack of cue cards. Everyone else in the room just stares at his phone, or at the TV, or holds side conversations as Phil preaches.”
As disgusted as Christians, conservatives, and Duck Dynasty fans may be with A&E’s treatment of Robertson, let’s consider this jewel of mockery by Magary on behalf of GQ magazine. This isn’t merely an attack on Robertson, but on every Christian who is guided by faith. Magary’s scornful, scowling article shows Robertson in the very light that his magazine’s readers have come to expect. Later in the article, however, Magary provides the Robertson quote that will rile the left endlessly:
“For the sake of the Gospel, it was worth it,” Phil tells me. “All you have to do is look at any society where there is no Jesus. I’ll give you four: Nazis, no Jesus. Look at their record. Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them? None. Communists? None. Islamists? Zero. That’s eighty years of ideologies that have popped up where no Jesus was allowed among those four groups. Just look at the records as far as murder goes among those four groups.”
All of this was far too much for the leftists at A&E. They’re a politically correct outlet, and Robertson’s off-show remarks are far too insensitive in their view, and attacked their general philosophical slant. If only he were a Muslim…
Fans aren’t happy with this suspension either, and the backlash is growing, as a new Facebook page that has already garnered nearly seven-hundred-thousand likes, and there are other pages on the social networking site having similar results. While there can be no expectation of “free speech” on a network one doesn’t own, this sort of cultural brow-beating is standard fare in leftist circles. In his contract, there may be language prohibiting him from making such statements publicly, in which case he is bound by the terms of the contract, but here’s the real problem for A&E: While they are free to suspend him if his contract allows it, they are also bound to bear the consequences in the marketplace. If the market recoils against them, and if they find even more people joining the fray of public discourse against them, it’s all their problem. If the move gains the network market-share, then it’s all their benefit.
With that said, let’s consider what had been Robertson’s “infraction,” according to A&E. Robertson dared to state publicly in an interview that he held as sins those things set forth in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Indeed, he then explained his own orientation. From the Chicago Tribune:
“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 told reporter Drew Magary. “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.”
“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.”
Now that the homosexual lobby is descending upon Robertson, one might wonder why leftist groups and others sympathetic to the homosexual lobby have all the courage in the world to take on Christians at every turn, but never seem to muster the same courage when dealing with Muslims. If, rather than a show titled “Duck Dynasty,” and being a Christian man named Phil Robertson, this had instead been a show named “Kamel Kingdom,” centered around a Wahhabist family headed by a man named Muhammed Atta on the Arabian peninsula, the whining cowards at the A&E network wouldn’t have dared to suspend the patriarch. Not a chance. Christians are easy targets, after all. They’ve become accustomed to being culturally attacked, and desensitized to being harangued publicly for their views. They do not fight back, generally speaking. Muslims are another story. In fact, A&E may have actually blocked the mention of Jesus on Duck Dynasty in order to avoid offending Muslims. Watch this video with Phil Robertson:
There’s a lesson in all of this for those who happen to pay attention: Christians may temporarily blow up your phone lines, but they won’t blow up your building, and executives at the A&E network know that too well. They can stand to tolerate a few days of melted phone lines, but once the issue fades in prominence, they’ll go on as before. The leftist media culture is rife with bullies who are willing to pick on faithful Christians, but won’t say the first word in opposition to radical Islam, or even acknowledge its existence, lest they find themselves the target of a fatwa. I’m not suggesting that Christians should strap suicide vests on their bodies and run into the A&E Network’s headquarters, but I think this helps to demonstrate that Christians, who mistakenly turn the other cheek until they’re beaten into submission. Christians don’t fight back. They have been taught that only the “meek” shall inherit the Earth, not understanding the real meaning of Matthew 5:5. It was an admonition to submit to God. It was not a demand to lay supinely in acceptance of any torment in the offing from all comers.
Christians and conservatives must begin to understand the affliction that they too readily bear. Consisting in part of the radical left’s tireless war against American culture, this is a real campaign being fought daily. The left, radical Islam, the associated and cohort groups all bear ill will against traditional Christian values, and American ideals and traditions in general, either to subvert them or erase them from our nation. A&E’s fault in all of this lies in the fact that they are more afraid of people who do not regularly watch their network than of those who routinely tune to see Phil Robertson and his family. A&E is more interested in portraying the Robertson clan as backwoods bayou bumpkins than in showing a God-fearing family that accepts the teachings of their Bible. They don’t want to offend Muslims, homosexuals, or anyone else in the process, unless they happen to be capitalists, Christians, and/or conservatives, in which case it is not merely acceptable but entirely intentional. Christians and conservatives must begin to make their voices heard in unison, because it’s their culture that is under fire. The time for cheek-turning should have passed, and it’s high time conservative leaders step forward to say as much.
Thankfully, some already have. (Sarah Palin here, Ted Cruz here, and Bobby Jindal here.) Now it’s your turn. As the rabid left seeks to turn the GQ Robertson interview into the 2013 version of Rush Limbaugh’s Sandra Fluke remarks, conveniently taking the focus away from Obama-care, it’s time for conservatives, particularly Christians, to understand all of these things as a coordinated attack against them. While A&E is a shameless trollop acting on behalf of the general leftist ideology, they are performing a service to Barack Obama that money could scarcely buy. Obama-care’s massive failures are sliding from the headlines, and this changing of the subject over a TV show will permit them to carry on. The truth for conservatives in general and Christians in particular is that the left doesn’t fear you. They see you as having been de-fanged by your own ethos, and they use your most generous virtues against you. It’s time to see them for the monsters they are, speak out at will, and make all of your purchasing decisions accordingly. It’s time for them to fear your market power if they will fear nothing else. It’s time for them to fear you at the polls if they will see no other threat from your number. It’s long past the time for all real Americans to roar and I don’t care if the statist left sneers at that description. The time for silence on all fronts is over. They need to fear the continuance of their Jihad against us.
Editors Note: The truth about A&E and its show is that it was never intended to capture the audience it now enjoys, but was instead meant as a vehicle by which to mock Christians and conservatives. Once it backfired and became a wildly successful show, they had to find a way to bury it culturally. For what other possible reason would they place beeps and bleeps in the audio track to cover profanity that never occurred, as per Robertson’s testimony in the video above? They wanted to reinforce a stereotype.
Update: As of this hour, the boycott A&E page on Facebook now has over 1.1 Million likes.