Saturday, December 21, 2013

If It Walks Like a Duck and Quacks Like a Duck…

Of course I couldn’t stay away from the Duck Dynasty controversy. For the record, I’ve only watched the show a couple of times. Not a bad show. I actually like the people. Picture them without the ZZ-Top look and it’s pretty much the family and neighbors I grew up around. I’ve heard Phil Robertson’s testimony about his wild days and how he came to faith in Jesus Christ. I respect and envy the grip he’s got on his faith. He must be the “good soil”. (see Parable of the Sower and the Seed, Matt 13:1-23). I, on the other hand, have tended to dwell among the thorns most of my life. But, that’s another story. Let’s just say that I am still a work in progress.

As you have no doubt heard by now, Brother Phil stepped in it while being interviewed for an article in GQ magazine. (His first mistake was agreeing to an interview with GQ magazine. Phil, what were you thinking?) He made some pretty graphic comments about homosexuality and then called it sin. He also called out some other sinful behavior including heterosexual fornication. Then later in the article he took a trip down memory lane recalling the good old days when he worked in the fields with his black neighbors. And from his perspective, back then they were pretty much living the dream and had no complaints about life in Louisiana before they were corrupted by government handouts.

It would take a lot of time and exegetical discussion to touch all of the sexual bases covered in the Bible. Suffice it to say that I am a bit more open-minded than Mr. Duck Daddy, but adultery is still a sin according to the Bible and illicit sexual behavior (hetero, homo or solo) tends to cause all sorts of emotional, psychological and physical problems. Since God made us he sort of knew what we could handle in this area and gives us fair warning. Not being preachy, just sayin’.

The fact is that Jesus had a lot more to say about material wealth and riches than he did about sex. So, in my opinion, my fundamentalist brothers and sisters would do well to give at least equal time to this issue. Nevertheless, it’s a free country and Phil Robertson certainly has the right to say what he thinks about homosexual behavior. That goes the same for his recollections of how life was for his black neighbors back in the 50’s and 60s’. He’s wrong, but he has the right to be wrong.

However, everything comes at a price. There is a price to be paid for stating your opinion. The bigger the issue, the bigger the price. The network that airs Duck Dynasty, A&E, is owned by ABC. ABC is going to pay a price for Phil Robertson’s comments and for their response. One way or the other it’s going to be expensive. And they have the right to choose what price they will pay. If they let him slide, they get blasted by “the left”. If they suspend him, which they did, they get blasted from “the right” and they are. They have to weigh their options and figure out how to control the damage. At the end of the day, a lot will depend on how much crow Daddy Duck is willing to eat and my guess is, not much. Ducks don’t eat crow.

So what’s to be learned here? Fundamentalist, evangelical Christians will say that it’s just another example of the liberal media’s secular humanistic bias blocking free speech when they don’t like the message. Those outraged by Phil Robertson’s comments will say that freedom of speech does not give someone the right to say things that contribute to the hatred and intolerance of others. Frankly, to some degree both sides are right. What is undeniable is that some things are better left unsaid. And the bigger ones stage, the more one needs to consider heeding that advice.

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