When A&E’s Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson spoke his mind, he set off an explosion of victimization within the Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Transgender (LGBT) community, not seen since the Chick-Fil-A dust-up. In a world where speaking personal truth is supposed to be the most important act a person can engage in, why are the supposed “champions” of personal truth – the LGBT community – getting so upset? Robertson has no influence on the LGBT community. It’s hard to imagine he has ever had a lot of gay fans. So what’s the big deal?
The LGTB community sees Robertson’s statement as a personal attack on their chosen lifestyles. As always, the most vocal actors within that community feel it necessary to attempt to shout down anyone -or any group- who might question their right to live the way they choose. In doing so, however, they exhibit the very prejudice and hate that they claim to be fighting. How sensitive must a person be, that any negative remark – about any facet of their life – must be verbally bludgeoned, immediately? A close review of what Robertson was actually saying, shows that he was neither attacking the LGBT community, nor was he saying anything outside of his personal, religious views.
Without quoting him directly, for reasons of impropriety, Robertson expressed his personal wonderment that one man would find another man more sexually desirable than a woman. He feels that a woman has “more to offer” a man sexually, than another man could. He then admitted he could not see the logic in it. Had he spoken so clearly on the topic of his distaste for chocolate, would chocolate lovers all across America have demanded he be fired? Would the A&E network fear an upwelling of chocolate lover’s protests toward Duck Dynasty and its sponsors?
Duck Dynasty is the most popular show on the A&E network. Robertson and his family are clear and consistent about their Christian faith on the show. They have been vocal in the past about not being willing to “play down” their faith, stop praying at meal times or disguise what they believe. Robertson’s remarks cannot have come as a shock to anyone who has seen the show. So what makes the LGBT community suddenly feel victimized, if any of the Robertson family from Duck Dynasty paraphrases the Bible?
It may be what Robertson said as a follow up. He seems to feel that accepting “homosexual behavior” will eventually “morph” society’s morals until there is a reversal of what he believes is right and wrong. Bestiality, promiscuity, idolatry, greed, alcoholism, slander and cheating all made his list of sins, as well. Those are all activities which he firmly believes will bar a person from inheriting the kingdom of God. That hardly makes him unique, and none of that was an attack on an individual person. The only “sin” he is guilty of, seems to be that he holds different views than the LGBT community, and is brave enough to speak them out loud.
Robinson further clarified his remarks in a statement following his dismissal from Duck Dynasty. He explained that he himself was a product of the 60s, who lived the “sex, drugs and rock & roll” lifestyle until he bottomed out. Accepting Jesus as his Savior put his life back together, so he makes it a point to tell people his reasons to follow Christ. He also said he would never treat someone with disrespect simply because they weren’t like him. He ended by saying “We would all be better off if we loved God, and loved each other.” Those are not words of anger or fear. Perhaps the LGBT community could learn to embrace some of that.
Duck Dynasty’s popularity has launched Robertson and his personal faith into the public eye, which has made a lot of influential people who despise his opinions want him off the air. The opportunity to “expose” him as homophobic, imbecilic or simply inarticulate, has been high on their wish-list for some time now.
The Gentleman’s Quarterly interview offered Robertson’s detractors the perfect sound bite. It was mis-characterized immediately, then spread across Social Media and the blogosphere with haste. A&E didn’t do itself any favors by severing their ties to him, except with the two percent of the population who identifies as LGBT and their vocal supporters in the media. However, despite the LGBT community’s knee-jerk “victimization” claims, Robertson’s faith is a large part of why Duck Dynasty has been such a huge success.
Editorial By Ben Gaul