The Genuine Conflict Being Ignored in the Duck Dynasty Debate

This article was originally published in The Atlantic.

Until recently, I had never seen A&E’s hit series Duck Dynasty. Given all the long beards and the “Sharp Dressed Man” opening theme song, I had mistakenly assumed it to be a reality show about ZZ Top. Judging from the headlines, however, I am in a minority. According to A&E, the series is the highest-rated nonfiction program in cable history.

The series focuses on a Louisiana family, the Robertsons, who have made a fortune manufacturing and selling products marketed to duck hunters. Pro-God and guns, the Robertsons are direct and clear about what they believe. They are unashamedly Christian, are seen attending church in several episodes, and have openly indicated that they see the show as a vehicle for promoting the God they worship. “My mission today is to go forth and tell people why I follow Christ,” said family patriarch, Phil Robertson, in a statement to Fox411.

Is anyone really surprised to discover that the Duck Dynasty star is opposed to homosexuality on moral grounds?

But now the show is in jeopardy. In a well-publicized interview with GQ, Phil Robertson spoke his mind on homosexuality where, shocking no one but executives at A&E, Robertson did not adhere to the orthodoxy of the cultural left. Instead, Robertson spoke in explicit terms of the homosexual and heterosexual options available to men and concluded: “She’s [i.e., women in general] got more to offer.” But he didn’t end there. Robertson suggested homosexuality is a sin that could lead to sexual anarchy, the nadir of which is bestiality: “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there.”  (He did not actually equate homosexual behavior with bestiality, as many have been saying, and tellingly, his catalog of sinful sexual behavior also included heterosexual promiscuity.)

Robertson’s remarks were met with indignation. A&E swiftly suspended Robertson with the justification that “His personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community.” This seems obvious given that the show is about Robertson’s family and not about the families of A&E executives and those who write their press releases. Furthermore, Robertson, in making his comments, did not claim to represent A&E. As even the most casual viewer of the show can tell you, he claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ. As such, is anyone really surprised to discover that the Duck Dynasty star is opposed to homosexuality on moral grounds? Apparently, the brass at A&E found it astonishing. Perhaps they should put down GQ and watch their own programming…  Click here to read the full article.

Image Credit: A&E

%d bloggers like this: