Phil Robertson, A&E, and Free Speech

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Jim's picture

With the Duck Dynasty in the news, there are many blog posts and articles about the recent GQ article. This particular blog post came as a filing suggestion and I posted it. 

If anyone would like to post other blog post links … please add it to this filing thread. 

Thanks 

paynen's picture

I would go even further than this article and question the wisdom of Christian individuals to throw their lots in with secular media organizations in the first place. It is really just asking for trouble and playing with fire. It is giving non-Christians the opportunity to poke fun of Christianity.

DavidO's picture

Those are usually the kind of preferences Al Mohler tries to keep inside his head.  Surely he has no idea what makes a good TV show/good network PR and ought to leave that to people who know what they're doing. 

Jim's picture

  • His comments were expressed in a very crude way (doesn’t help even if one is right (on sex comments))
  • Free speech … yes 
  • Consequences … yes 
  • Main street media hypocrites … (Miley Cyrus or Lady Gaga crudity OK … but DD not) … yes
ChrisC's picture

There are a lot of things going on in this story that i think a lot of the show’s fans are missing in their haste to show support for Phil.

  1. A&E may be playing everyone. stir up fake controversy to get free advertising and placate opposition to show. then after everything has quieted down let Phil back in. Surely they authorized the GQ interview and knew what they could get.
  2. Scriptures about meddling in unbeliever’s affairs:
    1. I Cor 5:12–13: “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.”
    2. I Pet 4:15: “If you suffer, it should not be as a… meddler.”
    3. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon comments on ἀλλοτριεπίσκοπος (meddler): “The writer seems to refer to those who, with holy but intemperate zeal, meddle with the affairs of the Gentiles – whether public or private, civil or sacred – in order to make them conform to the Christian standard.”
  3. Crassness of Phil’s comments is hardly becoming of a Christian (Eph 4:29)
  4. Not at all a first amendment issue. Phil said his piece; now A&E have said theirs. No government oppression.
  5. Racism in other parts of same interview
  6. Do his comments about sin being illogical have any scriptural basis? Wouldn’t it be God’s revelation that determines things and not our own wisdom?
  7. (Hopefully the rest of these items can avoid being crass) The mode of sex that Phil focused on is used by some heterosexual couples and not only gay men and not all gay men employ this method. What do his comments say about lesbian attraction?
  8. The squealing pig scene in Deliverance is probably the first thing to come to mind after hearing “gay” and “hillbilly”.
Jim's picture

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

DavidO wrote:

Those are usually the kind of preferences Al Mohler tries to keep inside his head.  Surely he has no idea what makes a good TV show/good network PR and ought to leave that to people who know what they're doing. 

David,

I don't understand the problem you see in Mohler's article. Granted, I read very quickly and may have missed something. The biggest problem I have so far is the unequivocal acceptance being granted Robertson and the rest of his clan as Christians. My understanding is they are Church of Christ folk. Church of Christ teaches water baptism is an essential part of salvation. While I certainly believe the Robertsons are religious, at this time I don't have any reason not to include them in the same religious, moral, "good-guy" group as Mitt Romney - but not as Christians.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Sean Fericks's picture

Not sure if the Dynasty crew are Christians in the Fundamentalist sense of the word.  Baptismal regeneration?

If they are believers, not sure they helpful to the image of the church.

Our speech is always to be with grace.  The duck guy's speech was very crude.  Glad A&E gave him a time out.  Wish A&E / Disney would do more to remove vulgarity from the limelight.

Andrew K.'s picture

I think we all know that vulgarity was not the reason for the suspension. He expressed a culturally heretical position and is now being punished for it.

That is why we should take notice of this case; it is a harbinger of things to come.
 

神是爱

Steve Newman's picture

Listen, Duck Dynasty is everywhere this Christmas, and they have to be making a ton of $$ with deals with Hallmark, etc., etc. They will be fine. They are also overexposed. When there are that many people hanging on what you say, it is very hard for something stupid not to come out. I would have to say the crudeness of his expression is what some would find offensive, though he is definitely dealing with the professionally offended at this point.

If the Robertson family values their Christian testimony, will they stand behind Phil? He did offer an apology of sorts, it appears. What if they are following the "any publicity is good publicity" mantra that the world seems to have embraced and chose to be controversial on purpose? It could really backfire on them and the Christian community if we go chasing after them. They are big boys and girls, and they have enough leverage that they can take care of themselves.

DavidO's picture

Camille Paglia - a lesbian, feminist, liberal whose thoughts are usually highly intelligent and insightful.

Doug Wilson - a straight, theonomist, conservative whose thoughts are usually highly intelligent and insightful.

(some possibly mildly offensive language at that second link)

Mark_Smith's picture

I am disappointed at the apparent ignorance of some of the above posters. I mean that!

This isn't about whether the Robertson's believe in baptismal regeneration. This isn't about whether you watch Duck Dynasty. This isn't about cultural separation. This isn't about Deliverance. This isn't about whether Phil was too crass. This isn't about how much money they make this holiday season...

This is about ONE THING. The homosexual agenda. The homosexual lobby is coming after anyone who DARE opposes them. They will run them over by getting them fired and publically humiliated. Next, they'll get them thrown in jail. After that to the Colliseum!

If you think the US is not on the expressway to jail time for people who speak out against homosexuality you need to wake up now. And don't think that pulpit will protect you. Look to Canada and Europe for that.

We need to support Phil's right to express his views and to pray that the gospel would reach into the cold and stoney hearts around us (and maybe in ourselves) to deliver us from this coming nightmare!

DavidO's picture

The homosexual lobby is coming after anyone who DARE opposes them. They will run them over by getting them fired and publically humiliated. Next, they'll get them thrown in jail. After that to the Colliseum!

So as we pray for our leaders that we might live quiet and peaceable lives, we should prepare ourselves to be ready to rejoice and be exceeding glad that we are counted worthy to be partakers of His suffering.

Greg Long's picture

Yes, the family is standing behind them.

Also, their doctrinal beliefs are not so simple as "they believe in baptismal regeneration" as if it were in the Catholic sense. If you have watched their personal testimony videos, they give a crystal clear presentation of the Gospel. There also used to be a Gospel presentation video on the church web site, but I can't find it now. If I'm not mistaken, they view baptism as an essential component of salvation, in that a true believer WILL get baptized, but I don't believe they think that baptism in and of itself saves, but rather faith in Christ.

And Andrew K nailed it. Even if you don't like Phil Robertson, or Duck Dynasty, or the Church of Christ, or his crude comments, this is a major front in the culture war. The question is, Can you be a television personality and say what the bible says about homosexuality? The answer is, apparently you can't. And if you think, "Well, so what? Christians don't need to be on reality TV shows anyway," fine. But do you think it will stop with television personalities?

To make this crystal clear, the editor for the Huffington Post Gay Voices said on CNN yesterday that quoting from the Bible like Phil Robertson did is "hate speech": His exact words: "What he was engaging in was hate speech, and to shroud it in the Bible is ludicrous and ridiculous. The Bible promotes slavery. The Bible has promoted polygamy. The Bible has promoted a lot of things that we don't tolerate including racism. This man made racist remarks as well. He said that blacks were better off during Jim Crow when there were lynchings [that's not what he said by the way]. It was better off than before they were getting welfare...So he made reckless and irresponsible comments, shrouding it in the Bible I think is a cop out. There are horrific statements in the Bible about a lot of people and a lot of groups of people that we don't say that's OK you can say on television."

The last sentence was kind of convoluted because he was getting cut off by the host, but stop and think about what he is saying: Basically, there are a lot of statements in the Bible that it is not OK to say on television, and what Phil Robertson said about homosexuals is one of them (because Phil quoted directly from 1 Corinthians 6). It is hate speech.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Mark_Smith's picture

God also gave you freedom in this nation, and the right to express your views and opinions, and to vote. Don't forget to do those AS WELL AS pray. We must do all we can to keep our God given political and cultural freedoms in this nation.

Darrell Post's picture

I suspect that what really got under their skin was his swipe at entitlements and welfare. These are the two sacraments of the religion of liberalism, and he desecrated them.

GregH's picture

I think once the pseudo-persecution rants die off, the big ideas to be wrestled with are:

1) The racism angle to this that Bixby writes about

2) How to intelligently and compassionately discuss the sin of homosexuality with the world

3) Whether Christians need Phil Robertson as a mouthpiece

Mark_Smith's picture

Wow GregH. What rock do you live under? Go to your local public university and announce you think homosexuality is a sin. Do it in a loving way. As compassionate as you want. You will be removed from the premesis. If you are an employee there you will be sanctioned or fired. Is that persecution?

Several universities have adopted or are seriously discussing official policies that even THINKING homosexuality is wrong, not just expressing it vocally, is intolerance and bias! I can't provide a link but I have been to faculty conferences and meetings where this is SERIOUSLY discussed...and they mean it.

Greg Long's picture

Was what Phil Robertson said racist? Maybe, maybe not. We just can't tell from the quote and from the article.

Here is the quote from the article:

Phil On Growing Up in Pre-Civil-Rights-Era Louisiana: “I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field.... They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

Some points to be noted:

  1. Phil has a biracial grandson.
  2. He is talking about his personal experiences with black people he knew in the south. To say he was talking about ALL blacks is reading into his statement.
  3. I see a lot of statements of fact about his personal experiences; I do not see any judgments about the rightness of wrongness of it. I think it's reading WAY too much into it to make Phil say: "I don't see a problem with the way blacks were treated."
  4. This "quote" was in a quote box set apart from the rest of the article with no context given or even the question that was asked him.
  5. Notice the use of "..." So, we don't have 1) the question(s) he was asked, 2) the context of his answers, and 3) his full statement.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Greg Long's picture

So Greg, when 1) bakers/photographers are being forced (fined) to serve homosexuals, and 2) when a TV personality is indefinitely suspended for quoting the Bible's views on homosexuality (he was NOT suspended for his crude language or so-called racist langauge), and 3) someone on CNN says it is hate speech to quote the Bible, you dismiss it all as "pseudo-persecution"? Well, you are right--no one has been thrown to the lions. But I think it deserves more than a shrug of the shoulders and a wave of the hand.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

GregH's picture

Greg Long wrote:

Was what Phil Robertson said racist? Maybe, maybe not. We just can't tell from the quote and from the article.

Here is the quote from the article:

Phil On Growing Up in Pre-Civil-Rights-Era Louisiana: “I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field.... They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

Some points to be noted:

  1. Phil has a biracial grandson.
  2. He is talking about his personal experiences with black people he knew in the south. To say he was talking about ALL blacks is reading into his statement.
  3. I see a lot of statements of fact about his personal experiences; I do not see any judgments about the rightness of wrongness of it. I think it's reading WAY too much into it to make Phil say: "I don't see a problem with the way blacks were treated."
  4. This "quote" was in a quote box set apart from the rest of the article with no context given or even the question that was asked him.
  5. Notice the use of "..." So, we don't have 1) the question(s) he was asked, 2) the context of his answers, and 3) his full statement.

Like you, I am making no judgment on whether Phil is racist but the racial angle to this hits home because I have seen the very same attitude in the deep south my entire life. There are people I know including family that will never admit that black people were mistreated in the 1940-1960 era. They all sound a lot like Phil. Things were good then for black people according to them. But then, those black people could not use the bathrooms at the homes they worked at as servants. They were viewed (as Phil accurately put it) on a level with "white trash." The irony and inconsistency of this logic just goes right over their head. Bixby claims almost the entire white generation of that time was like that. I think he is overspeaking there but there are certainly a lot of people to this day from that era that have those blinders on.

Don Johnson's picture

Greg Long wrote:

Also, their doctrinal beliefs are not so simple as "they believe in baptismal regeneration" as if it were in the Catholic sense. If you have watched their personal testimony videos, they give a crystal clear presentation of the Gospel. There also used to be a Gospel presentation video on the church web site, but I can't find it now. If I'm not mistaken, they view baptism as an essential component of salvation, in that a true believer WILL get baptized, but I don't believe they think that baptism in and of itself saves, but rather faith in Christ.

I don't think you understand the Church of Christ to make this statement. They absolutely believe in baptismal regeneration. It is not anywhere near as innocuous as you suppose.

I'm not commenting on the Robertsons - I think both parties have every right to say and do what they have done, but both must face the consequences. I've never been too impressed with the DD folks, they are hardly my ideal of any kind of so-called Christian testimony. I am less impressed with A&E and the constant pandering to the gay agenda.

 

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Greg Long's picture

Thanks for the advice, Don, and as I did some more research, I found the post below, which seems to support what I said. It is difficult to understand exactly what Churches of Christ teach, and various Churches of Christ may differ on this point, but an elder from White's Ferry Road Church of Christ (where the Robertsons attend) basically baptism does not save you, but you must be baptized in order to be saved. Obviously as a Baptist I disagree. But do I believe we will see them in heaven? Based on their testimony of faith in Christ, I would guess yes.

http://hereiblog.com/duck-dynasty-some-clarity-baptism/

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

mmartin's picture

I am not a Roberson apologist, I've never even watched an entire DD show.  Sure their show is silly and yes it may not fit into our fundamentalist or new evagelical sensibilities, but I don't care.  I don't look to them to be my role model other than I do respect their family values and that they routinely publically share their faith.

In a day where people like Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and the Kartrashians are honored and celebrated I think a "reality" family like the Robertsons are refreshing and worth supporting.  By this I mean they are people of Bibilical faith (as opposed to a catholic "faith") and they live out quality family values.

I could care less if their show is silly or not, in fact what I have seen of their show I liked it.  I don't even care if they are the same brand of Christian as I am.  I know their show is entertainment and they don't define my faith and walk as a believer.

To be honest, I think much of what I've seen from a fundamentalist or new evangelical POV including some on this thread are being unnecessarily harsh and nit-picky on DD and this family.  Honestly, some people just need to lighten-up.

I choose to get involved with this issue in a couple small ways because as Mark Smith said above this is really about the homosexual agenda.

@Mark Smith, good comments.

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