By now I am sure you have had your fill with the Duck Dynasty and A&E controversy and I by any means don’t want to beat a dead horse to death, but this is subject I have sat back on for a week or so now to gather my thoughts before sounding off. Obviously, there are passionate people, opinions and emotions on this matter. Before I give my 2 cents on the issues let’s read what was said by Phil.
“It seems like, to me, a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus,” he said. “That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying?
“But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”
In the interview, when asked about sin, the religious reality star expressed his views of what’s right and what’s wrong.
“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there,” he said. “Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.” – (Quote taken from RadarOnline)
Ok, so now, we have that established and we can reflect on this whole controversy. Throughout this week I have seen both sides weigh in on this subject, some responses have been well put together, others not so much. Personally, I enjoy watching the Duck Dynasty show and am pleased to hear of the Christian family doing some great work for the Kingdom of God. It’s encouraging to read, watch and hear about the testimonies, experiences and witness what the family does outside of the show. They have for sure grown in popularity and A&E made a gutsy move to host a Christian family on a prime time TV in a world that is so anti-Christian, especially amongst the liberal left media (btw I find myself in a happy medium politically, if you care to know).
With that said one of my favorite quotes, proverb of all time is Uncle Ben’s advice to Peter Parker, “With great power comes great responsibility.” While this famous quote is from a comic book character, the truth still remains strong. The Robinson family is held up on a higher pedestal, whether they like it or not, and have a great influence in this American culture. Their influence is a great power. They represent their family, the Christian community and not too mention God himself. That’s quite the load. A load that is heavier than a non-believer. If you haven’t noticed Christian public figures are held at a much higher standard than anyone else in the business.
With their great power, they do need to be careful with their words and actions. Granted nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes and we influence others in the wrong way at times. But when you are sitting in an interview with an established magazine like GQ, I would say it would be safe to say that God would encourage wisdom and sound judgement in the words to be uttered. Whether or not what Phil said was true, the fact of the matter is their was a huge breakdown of effective communication. This is also where the whole freedom of speech controversy flares up and I agree with the freedom of speech. Is speech not a great power? Back to Uncle Ben’s advice and not too mention even in the Bible talks about that even though something might be permissible, it may not be beneficial (1 Cor. 6:12).
People have also made this out to be a 1st Amendment violation. It is not. To my knowledge the 1st Amendment is concerning the government, not an employer. Phil and the family are employees of A&E. This would be an HR issue. Any company reserves the right to manage their employees as they see fit. However, the employee cannot govern an individual’s life outside of the company. However, the company does reserve the right to manage who they want to be employees with the perspective of whom they want to represent their company. For example, a church wants a pastor to represent himself in a Christlike manner all the time and would not support anything less and would more than likely dismiss the pastor if he/she falls short of that expectation.
With that said. A&E darn well knew who they were hiring and the lifestyle the Robinsons live. Therefore, are acting a little strange by firing Phil from the show. Stereotypically, it’s a no brainer where a southern, country, Bible-belt, God fearing man would more than likely not agree with a homosexual lifestyle. Phil is not a quiet fellow either and believes in standing for what one believes unashamedly. A&E should have known better than to hire a family as the Robinsons if there was a clash of belief systems or I should say if the beliefs would stand as a barrier between the company and family. At this point both parties could have handled themselves better.
Where do we go from here? Do we boycott A&E? Do we backup A&E or the Robinsons? Shake our finger at Phil and A&E?
Cracker Barrel had reportedly removed Duck Dynasty products from their stores. Many people had some interesting reactions about Cracker Barrel’s decision. Something to consider is the fact that while yes the Robinsons get a cut from any Duck Dynasty products, Duck Dynasty trademark is owned by A&E. Duck Commander is owned by the Robinsons. So before getting your panties in a wad about Cracker Barrel’s product removal, remember if you want to FULLY support the Robinsons then invest in Duck Commander, not Duck Dynasty.
Personally, I am not one to boycott because if I am going to hold onto the stance, I would need to look at EVERY aspect of the situation. For example, if I was to boycott A&E for firing Phil because of his beliefs, I would have to boycott any business that supports the same choice. At that point I would end becoming a quaker and I like my electronics too much to go that deep.
Honestly, from a Christ-like perspective of how to handle this situation is to slow down and quit jumping to conclusions that add to the fire and add to the snowball effect of rumors, misguided truth and misrepresentation of God’s love. I hate how Phil came across in the interview, I think he should have done a better job communicating his beliefs in a loving manner and I do not think he needed to even be in a GQ interview. The interview seemed to be like a trap. I’m sure Phil has some sort of spiritual accountability and will learn from this mess.
As far as A&E concerns me, nothing will change of how view or treat them. I want to COEXIST with them, in the true sense that even liberals claim to live by (but tend to not hold to that viewpoint when others disagree with em). I believe it is possible for people to get along, be friends and love one another even with polar opposite beliefs. I have to make the choice to love someone, to love my enemy and treat others with graceful love. Loving others with different views can be very challenging, but it needs to be done. It’s about putting others first.
Once the dust settled Phil was actually re-hired and will continue to be casted on the show. While this is great news, it is hard to put aside how more stories like this could be a reality in the near future on a public eye level. I’m sure there are more actions like this that are unseen by the people. I hope to see a healthier business relationship happen between the Robinsons and A&E. Obviously both parties are influential in their own realms and ought to use their power for the good. This nation, let alone world is desperate to see true coexistence to be practiced. It takes two to tango.
As I close this article out, I want to provoke ideas to challenge your daily routine. First of all, check sources. Facebook has become the modern grocery store checkout magazine tabloid stand. To piggyback on that nugget, use Facebook or any social media network as means of communicating a positive message. People can be SO brave online. Basically if you would not say something to that person, in person, then keep it to yourself or step back for a moment and creatively communicate the message in a healthy, Christlike (even if you’re not a Christian, using a Christlike attitude is still wise) and powerful manner. Use wisdom. Don’t feed the fire. Remember who you represent when you speak. You represent Christ, your family, friends, church, town, etc.
The last challenge, is to literally make an effort to truly coexist. I don’t mean give into other beliefs, but to love others no matter their lifestyle, background or history. The homosexual community is one of the most bashed, outcasted and hurt group of people. If Christians do not reach out to the homosexual community, who will? And when you do, don’t go in as a missionary. Rather simply befriend, invite and show how God loves them.
Thank you for being our help, leader and inspiration. At times we fail you and others. We want to represent you and not our beliefs. Help us work out of love and grace. If there is anyone we have hurt, please forgive us. Help us be slow to anger, be quick to listen and use our tongue for good. Your grace rains down on everyone, not just whom we think deserves it. Help us be a blessing, encouragement and resource for the down-n-out, suicidal, depressed, outcasted and rejected. Lord, keep us safe and let your love shine through us. Amen.