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Duck Dynasty Defending Christianity on Cable Network Television...

Updated on December 26, 2013

Phil Robertson, The Duck Dynasty Patriarch

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The Robertson Way

Phil Robertson from A&E's hit television show DUCK DYNASTY is facing criticism over comments he made in an interview with GQ magazine for their January 2014 issue. The Robertson family is best known for the brand of duck calls, DUCK COMMANDER, and more recently they have grown to prominence through television with their show Duck Dynasty. You will be hard pressed to go into a Walmart nationwide and not see the influence on marketing that the Duck Dynasty show has created. Items included in their arsenal are duck calls, t-shirts, baby clothing, hats, underwear, Halloween costumes, and pretty much any other material possession a person could think of. With all of this taken into consideration, they have landed their family and their $400 million dollar "dynasty" into the prime of the public eye. The head of the family Phil Robertson is known to be a devout Christian and a man who follows the Bible down to every last Psalm but has this character trait of his damaged their empire and brand for good?

Christian Moral Dynasty

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Hypocrisy and The American Media

We have seen a decade of progression with Human Rights in terms of mainstream acceptance of same sex marriages and relationships. Great strides of the past 10 years have been made in the fight for equal rights for the "LGBTQIA" community nationwide by seeing the advent of legalized same sex marriages in various states across the country. While we are watching this unfold we are also seeing a lot of backlash from the strong presence of the Christian population. The Bible states that men are meant to be with women and anything else is an abomination and that "They Shall Not inherit The Kingdom of God" ( 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ). Overcoming this obstacle and being accepted into a faith will be the biggest battle for those who are in same sex relationships and wanting to be married under the eyes of God. So should we look down upon someone for their religious beliefs just because what they believe as a Christian goes against same sex relationships? I think not. Chastising a human being for their religious belief would be equal to chastising a human being for their uncontrollable feeling of love for another human being indiscriminate of sex, age, race, nationality, etc.

What is YOUR take?

Should "A&E" be held responsible for discrimination based on their reprimand of Phil Robertson?

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The Personal Opinion Heard Around the Nation

When Phil Robertson opened up to GQ magazine in his interview and spoke on his personal feelings about same sex relationships, what damage was really done? We could all debate until we are blue in the face about what human, civil, and/or constitutional right was damaged the most and why but that would get us absolutely no where and quite quickly. This is not only a question of a person's right to be with who they love no matter the sex of both people. This is a question of why should a television network openly discriminate on a Christian man over his beliefs and a question of how far can we as a nation allow our constitutional rights to be taken from us.

The media coverage about this GQ article has sparked a lot of protest on all fronts by even choosing to engage with such a story. As human beings we are all fallible and open to much imperfection. Newsrooms are going crazy with this story and doing what they do best and blowing it out of proportion. Phil quoted the Bible to GQ and is now the most talked about Louisianian aside from his television or business persona when it is not Phil to blame because Mr. Robertson did not write The Bible and is not making misconceptions about what The Bible teaches people to believe. Most of the population that are for the rights of same sex couples and that are Christian are normally the people who are taking things out of context so why not criticize them for doing that? Because it is wrong and it is wrong to criticize a man for his beliefs and preference of partner. The nonexistence of "hate speech" or "hate rhetoric" in the interview is astounding and can only exist in the minds of those that view The Bible as "hateful propaganda". A person can not choose at the drop of a dime who they are scientifically physically attracted to but yet a person should not be forced into believing in a particular religion over another. This is where the double edged sword begins to slice both sides.

Looking at the facts of what was said and where it came from in a person's soul while taking them at face value is what we have to do in life so that we can promote the betterment of all of mankind in a positive direction through positive thinking. Everyday we take people at face value for their opinions on a variety of subjects as demanding as religion and sex in addition to trivial opinions on music and literature. Just because someone is a "star" of popular culture does not make their opinion of no more or less greater importance than that of "the homeless guy that rants curbside" or that of "the cashier who tells you their life story". When we begin to do this we then meet one of our many imperfections that surround our "fallible" condition as a human being and then we get a little "blurry" as individuals and ultimately as a nation because we get so caught up in "stardom" and gossip that we forget to simply ask ourselves, "Why?". Theorizing that for every 1 person who has an opinion on this statement that there are probably 5 more people who have no idea who Phil Robertson is or what he said exactly but all they hear is that "Phil Robertson hates same sex marriages" in their minds is what I think has to be taken into consideration among numerous things. Have you ever played "telephone" as a child and you would start off with what was actually said and then end up with a completely different story? If so, then we all know that this is what is bred into the mind's eye by media, the rumor mill, and any other person who partakes in any form of gossip or "story-weaving".

Equal Opportunity Employer

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State your take on constitutional rights.

Do you feel like this is a violation to the constitutional right of Freedom of Speech and/or Freedom of Religion?

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My Thoughts

As a writer I will not fully express my personal thoughts on this subject. I am writing this unbiased in anyway regardless of having gay people in my family that I love unconditionally. This was written to just give you all a different way to view this situation. I am not sticking up for Phil Robertson nor am I sticking up for the gay community. I am sticking up for human/ civil rights, the constitution, and equal opportunity employment. I do however feel that if it is not addressed as discrimination, we are taking a huge hit to the workforce nationwide by allowing such a debacle regarding equal opportunity employment and employee rights to take such a huge blow in a VERY obvious manner, publicly displayed. Thank you for reading! Feel free to discuss this in the comments!

A & E "Suspended" Phil Robertson

The fact that A&E suspended Phil Robertson over this interview with GQ is fringing on the borders of workplace discrimination. If they were to fire someone for being gay, or muslim, or anything based on an employees personal life, that would be wrong under rule of laws set in place nationwide. So not only has the freedom of speech been torn apart and the freedom of religion thrown to the birds, now a law has been broken by OPENLY discriminating against Phil Robertson for religious belief. This did not happen "on the show" and was done during a personal interview with a company that is completely separate from the show.

If a corporation/business or any place of employment were to reprimand someone based on sex, age, race, religion, creed, color, etc then they would have a huge lawsuit on their hands. Let us pretend, if A&E were to "suspend" or reprimand someone based on an interview that they conducted outside of the confines of the A&E universe where they revealed that they were gay, then A&E would be blamed for discrimination. So, just because what Phil Robertson said offended some people about HIS PERSONAL RELIGIOUS BELIEFS, he should be suspended and reprimanded? This is a gigantic hypocrisy. Equal Opportunity Employer means they must give everyone the same chance to work as they would ANYONE else regardless of personal beliefs and/or sexual preference. This has become an attack on the freedom of speech and the freedom that one person has to choose what religion they want to believe in and how they want to believe in that religion. Phil did not say anything hateful or bash anyone in the interview. He has expressed zero intolerance towards the gay community. The situation at hand has become a witch hunt in my opinion. The gay community as a whole should really look at this situation and learn from it. If there are to ever exist equal rights for everyone based on sexual preference and freedom of religion, then the gay community must learn to accept that there WILL be people out there that do not support same sex marriage and the fact that they do not support them, does not make them a monster in any way shape or form. Not everyone in the country has to support gay rights, some people just choose to support gay rights because it is seemingly what is right to do in the respect to human rights in general. Does the gay community as a whole support freedom of religion no matter what that would mean in this world?? Does the gay community at large stand behind freedom of speech? Or have things been so clouded by the fight and struggle for equal gay rights that if someone who doesn't believe in same sex marriages MUST be persecuted and burnt at the stake? Phil is not hating anyone based on their sexual preference. Phil has not publicly filleted a persons reputation based on his beliefs and/or opinions. Many other celebrities have said far worse things that go against basic civil human rights and have barely gotten a mention. Just some food for thought here America. Find the answers within yourself. There is no such thing as right or wrong with this debate. There is only what is constitutionally protected and what is protected by the E.O.E. laws, rules, and regulations. Simple. This has been more of a travesty against our constitution and E.O.E. rights more so than just offending people by what THE BIBLE says and what ANY Christian believes, not just Phil Robertson. Come on, open your minds people, gay community AND anyone else. Look at this for what it TRULY is and not what the media WANTS it to become.


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      Sanctuary 3 years ago

      The biggest mistake is that this guy failed to represent his employer. In that argument he loses and like all good Christian's there is a penalty for up holding your beliefs. If he gave an interview on his self it would be another argument. Since he was there to promote Duck Dynasty he made a dumb move on a topic he should have just avoided. A real politician that represents the people should do just that. Right or wrong in personal view he would represent the people but could add questions and real debate of the consequences. Our Politicians of course do not do this in most cases. They are actually dumb enough to provide a personal view despite the fact that they often times have no power to change the policy in the first place. Working for a Corporation you have to be focused on the product and not some personal agenda that alienates your viewers. You can say the affiliate sided with the people on this one, even if it was a minority. I guess the product was not good enough to survive the dialogue that was not a part of the product they wanted. This does not mean we are becoming a tolerant society, in fact it is the opposite of tolerance. Still If I am running a company and I do not want the jerry springer show, I would cut it and stay on the positive.

    • Dave Wright profile image

      Dave Wright 4 years ago from Macon, Illinois

      If you believe I am insulting you, first and foremost, I apologize for making you feel that way. Please consider that I wasn't accusing you of being unreasonable. I was merely stating the way I feel about it, and that you as a reasonable thinking person can then make up your own mind. If I sway you to my way of thinking with my reasoning skills, great.

      However, my presumption is that you would probably disregard anything I had to say about it since you have stated that there is no amount of talking that you can do with "someone like me".


      Well, I am not sure what you are implying, but I am thick skinned enough not to take it as an insult. I know I am not a racist, as my African, Hispanic, Asian, European and American friends and family also know. If that is what you were implying, you are sadly mistaken. But I won't accuse you of calling me a racist, because you didn't. You were ambiguous enough that I am left to make up my own mind what you meant. And, after all, if I jumped to conclusions about it when you were only stating your own opinion, I'd be no different than those who are calling Phil a racist for the things he said in the article.

      We all make judgements about the people around us, I will grant you that. I'm sure you and I have made some preliminary judgements about each other after our conversation up to this point. My desire is to convince you and anyone else reading this that we as a society tend to jump to conclusions much too quickly about things. I feel like a lot of people have been too quick to judge Phil for what he was quoted as saying in the article, and I feel like it has been taken out of context by many. There may have even been some bias from the author, but that is also my own presumption with very little more than a gut feeling that I could be way off base about.

      I for one, choose to take it all in with a grain of salt, and make up my own mind based on what I see. Phil Robertson, might be a racist pig. But if he is, what I have seen of his life doesn't demonstrate that to me.

      Then again, I don't know him personally. In fact I don't know him any better than I know Georgie Lowery. Heck, I probably know Phil Robertson much better than I know you, and I've never met either of you.

      If people are judging Phil Robertson solely by this statement in GQ magazine... if he is hated by others for what he said, what he stands for, or what he believes in... then we as a society have a greater problem on our hands.

      I am always open to discuss things because I think a conversation is needed to clear the air about it. That is why I commented originally on this hub. I'm tired of seeing good people torn down for simply stating what their opinion is, especially when I believe it has been totally taken out of context and totally blown way out of proportion.

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      Georgianna Lowery 4 years ago from Lubbock, TX

      Dave Wright,

      I appreciate the insult, I really do. I'm rarely called unreasonable. Deconstructing an interview using your own opinions as possible "evidence" is laughable at best. Obviously there is no amount of talking I can do with someone like you and there's no way you can possibly understand the point of view of someone like me. Have a nice day.

    • Dave Wright profile image

      Dave Wright 4 years ago from Macon, Illinois

      That is his opinion based in his personal experiences. There is nothing racist about it.

      If you actually evaluate the facts you'll even find that there is truth in what he said.

      Government Welfare programs have a purpose... To help people in need get back on their feet, and become self-sufficient again. However, once you are on welfare it is easy to become dependent on it, particularly if you make bad choices or take the attitude that you are entitled to welfare.

      Having been a former recipient of welfare, I can tell you that I was encouraged by welfare case workers to continue to collect benefits I qualified for even after I found a job, and was able to support my family without it.

      Today, I continue to be self sufficient, and I am happier for it knowing that I used welfare when I really needed it, and that I stopped draining the system when I felt like I didn't need it any more.

      I'm happier off welfare because I'm in charge if my own future and not reliant on my government for a handout.

      Is it racist for me to think that anyone on welfare might be happier if they were off it? I think not.

      What Phil Robertson stated about blacks and welfare was what he witnessed with his own eyes, and isn't racist at all. According to Phil, he was working side by side with black people in the cotton fields, and they were always happy and singing.

      Also, re-read the blurb... Phil said, "pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say?" Welfare was brought into the conversation by the interviewer. Notice that the question the interviewer asked that led to this answer us not posted in the article. But clearly, Phil was responding to something he was asked about pre- entitlement and pre-welfare, and he was disagreeing with the premise of the question. What if he was asked, "Don't you think blacks are happier today now that they are entitled to a good welfare system in place as a safety net?" or "Would you agree that blacks are better off today now that they are entitled to welfare benefits?"

      Unfortunately, the author decided not to post his own question, so we really don't have context for Phil's response. But, because he said "you say", we do know that he was responding to the interviewers question about pre-entitlement and pre-welfare.

      I don't see how any reasonable person could consider his comments racist.

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      Georgianna Lowery 4 years ago from Lubbock, TX

      What is there not to find wrong with the statement (paraphrasing here) that black people were happier before welfare? Trying to play that off as simply a nice old guy reminiscing is irresponsible at best.

    • Dave Wright profile image

      Dave Wright 4 years ago from Macon, Illinois

      You can't possibly be referring to his statement that he never saw with his own eyes the mistreatment of any blacks, referring to himself as white trash, or the fact that they were all singing and happy?

      What exactly do you find indignant about that?

    • j.brown profile image

      Joshua David Brown 4 years ago from Fort Smith, Arkansas

      the GQ interview is hyperlinked in the article.

    • Dave Wright profile image

      Dave Wright 4 years ago from Macon, Illinois

      I'm still unclear as to what Phil said that was racist. I've seen no racist quotes from him.

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      Georgianna Lowery 4 years ago from Lubbock, TX

      I'm kind of in the minority when it comes to Phil Robertson, A&E and all these comments and righteous indignation coming from gays and Christians. I'm neither gay nor a Christian, so my personal interest in these ideas isn't as passionate as some other people's may be.

      As a Southern American, however, I have my own righteous indignation over the remarks he made about African Americans.

      I want to know why it's not okay to say things that don't support the gay community, but those blatantly racist (or incredibly naive or stupid, depending on your opinion) remarks were left largely unrecognized.

    • Dave Wright profile image

      Dave Wright 4 years ago from Macon, Illinois

      Not sure. The last I heard was that the show would not go on without Phil, and the future of the show was uncertain.

    • WriterJanis profile image

      Janis 4 years ago from California

      There just has been so much media hype on this lately. The last I heard he is going to be back on the show. Is this correct?

    • j.brown profile image

      Joshua David Brown 4 years ago from Fort Smith, Arkansas

      I fully agree with your opinion actually. GQ is the one to blame because they backed him into a corner KNOWING what would come out of his mouth and then they socially assassinated him in the interview I think. I love that you have commented and stated your opinion. That is why I took the time and wrote this article, just to get people thinking on ALL fronts of the situation. Thank you for the thoughtful insight!

    • Dave Wright profile image

      Dave Wright 4 years ago from Macon, Illinois

      Interesting article. I have a unique point of view on this whole fiasco.

      Phil's statements are consistent with the Bible, and are in no way shape or form can be construed as offensive, mean spirited, hateful or even racist. He is entitled to his opinion, and his opinion is just that. His own opinion.

      I happen to share his opinion, as do many other Christians, that homosexual behavior is sinful. But, as the Bible says, hate the sin, not the sinner, so my gay friends understand that I love them despite the fact that I do not approve of their lifestyle choices.

      A&E on the other hand is also entitled to their opinion. They have spoken, and as a result, have taken action against Phil for what they consider to be offensive statements. Depending on their contractual agreements with Phil, they may or may not be within their rights to take action against him. On the flip-side, Phil may be able to sue A&E if the courts determine that they made libelous statements about Phil or if they violated terms of the contracts.

      As a viewer of A&E though, it is also my right to boycott them for either dropping Phil from the show, dropping the show, or boycott Phil and Duck Dynasty because I agree with A&E. The court of public opinion is the most brutal court, and each person is the rightful judge of who is right and wrong.

      I believe the real villain in this is GQ Magazine. Having read the article, I find that they deliberately tried to paint Phil as a redneck, gun toting, Bible thumping racist. They picked up on only a small portion of his quotes, and only those that would help to support the opinions of such. I don't feel like they quoted enough to put his statements in the correct context, and I believe their commentary goes to further support the fact that they were biased against Phil even as they were writing the article.

      GQ Magazine, and A&E are in my opinion taking things way out of context. I don't see that Phil has done anything wrong, or said anything wrong.

      But, it is a free country, and all of them have the their rights. But, I stand with Phil.