There is a lot of hubbub surrounding the lead from A&E’s hit show Duck Dynasty today. From people offended by his remarks in a GQ article, to proponents of free speech (note: I think it has less to do with “free speech” and more to do with stereotypical republican values), everyone seems to have an opinion. Rather than let everyone else have all the fun, I figured I’d join in. This post heavily excerpts the article from whence it came. If you’d like to read the original first, here is the link:
I would like to start off by saying that I do believe that people should have the right to free speech and that it shouldn’t be censored by the government. That is, by the way, what free speech is all about. It has nothing to do with whether a television network decides whether or not to air a program because of something that it feels is insulting, nor is that constitutional right referring to the printing of interview comments that it considers offensive. Because of this fact, organizations that are editorial based–like it or not–are giving an endorsement to what they print or air. Even if something is being published because they consider the person to be an idiot, they are endorsing it in the same way that we all vote with our purchases. If you don’t want to watch the show, and don’t like what the man says or thinks, then don’t bloody watch the show! I don’t have tv stations, or any interest in watching this show. I never even knew it existed until a couple of months ago, and I thought it was a hunting show!
I would also like to say that some of my comments may be offensive to a christian audience. If you don’t think the way that these comments address, or if this is not the type of christian you are or the christianity you practice, then the comments are not directed at you. If these comments do address you, I invite you to take the time to open up your minds, and learn how to actually live your religion. Learn about it, and not just from christians. Jesus was a jew, after all, and your bible exists of more than just the letters of Paul and Revelation. I suggest that you learn hebrew, and study a hebrew text of the hebrew bible (what you call the “old testament”), starting at page one. Do not look to christian theologians for interpretations, as this is not their book, it is the book of the jews; and jesus was a jew, you know. He thought jewishly. He lived jewishly. This is completely different theology and ideology. If it is possible, try to learn this section of the bible without christian colored glasses. If you are stuck, and you surely will be at times–consult the internet. I suggest http://www.aish.com, http://www.simpletoremember.com, http://www.judaism.about.com, or http://www.jewfaq.org. You can also feel free to ask me questions, and I will answer them to the best of my ability and/or find out what the answer is. I’m not saying “don’t be christian.” If it works for you, that is awesome, and I am truly very happy for you. All I’m saying is to learn more about jesus and his people.
Begin article breakdown. There is so much ground to cover here, and there are so many possibilities for critique. What I have done is take just some of the more ridiculous things, excerpt them, and respond. Here we go.
“After the flood, he said, ‘I’m giving you everything now. Animals are wild.’”–um…is that verbatim? G-d does say, “Every moving thing that lives shall be yours as food”Gen 9:3, but does not say it in a way that implies “humans can do whatever they damn well please” as western man has interpreted to mean. It does not say “animals are wild.” It DOES say not to eat the limb of a living animal, which means that no humans are meant–according to the torah of G-d–to remove the limb of a living animal and eat it. This includes even chickens which are boiled (to remove the feathers) alive because they moved and weren’t killed by the slaughtering machine in commercial plants, and lobster or frogs that are boiled alive.
Referring to blacks in the south before the civil rights movement–“They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”–except of course for those who were, literally, singing the blues. Maybe you missed that day in Musical Theory 101…or never listened to a radio.
“They plunder beehives. They blow up beaver dams”.–so they can live up to this excerpted ideal from earlier in the article, I guess, “what he calls a “pristine earth”: a world where nothing gets in the way of nature or the hunters who lovingly maintain it.” Good old uncle Esav was a hunter too. There does seem to be resemblance here.
“Just inside the front door, a giant flat-screen TV shows Fox News on mute at all times,”–you don’t say. I expected Power Puff Girls. Seriously though, if you are going to have the TV on at all times, and muted, Korean soap operas are much more fun to make up dialogue to.
“Phil On Why He Voted Romney in 2012
‘If I’m lost at three o’clock in a major metropolitan area…I ask myself: Where would I rather be trying to walk with my wife and children? One of the guys who’s running for president is out of Chicago, Illinois, and the other one is from Salt Lake City, Utah. [Editor’s note: Romney is from Boston, not Salt Lake City.] Where would I rather be turned around at three o’clock in the morning? I opted for Salt Lake City. I think it would be safer.”’–what a coincidence. I ask myself: if I’m out at 3am, should I breath paint fumes like this guy; or air like this guy?
“America was a country founded upon Christian values (Thou shalt not kill, etc.),”–tell that to the natives, the blacks, the homosexuals, hell, just about anyone! This is a place where knowing the hebrew actually helps a lot, by the way. The actual phrase in the ten commandments is, “do not murder.”ex 20:13
“He sees the popularity of Duck Dynasty as a small corrective to all that we have lost.”–that’s because he’s getting rich off this stupid crap.
Asked what is immoral behavior–“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there.“–but not eating foods that G-d says not to eat. Oh, and “love your neighbor as yourself” is really prevalent in his preaching too, as he rails against anything that he deems to be immoral–including, it would seem, being japanese or muslim.
“During Phil’s darkest days, in the early 1970s, he had to flee the state of Arkansas after he badly beat up a bar owner and the guy’s wife.
I ask Phil if he ever repented for that, as he wants America to repent—if he ever tracked down the bar owner and his wife to apologize for the assault. He shakes his head.
“I didn’t dredge anything back up. I just put it behind me.” Old Phil—the guy with the booze and the pills—died a long time ago, and New Phil sees no need to apologize for him”— this is the really convenient part of much Christian theology: you don’t need to make up for being an asshole, just put it behind you. That guy you killed? That car you stole? That marriage you ruined? That child you violated? Just “put it behind you.”
“That’s the unspoken red-state appeal of Duck Dynasty. They’re godly folk. “Real” folk.” –umm…I don’t think that phrase means what you think it means.
“It’s why Willie Robertson can walk out of work on a regular Thursday afternoon and be greeted by a cheering crowd that seemingly stretches back to the horizon.”–and here I thought it was because they had their own tv show, and many americans are whores for celebrity. I was WAY off!
“Willie has just come back from Washington, D.C., where he accepted an award at the Angels in Adoption Gala. (He and his wife, Korie, adopted a biracial child named Will and are dedicated advocates of the practice.)”–3 to 5 odds the kid is gay as the day is long. Actually, I hope not–for his own sake.
“Let’s face it,” he says. “Three, four, five years, we’re out of here. You know what I’m saying? It’s a TV show. This thing ain’t gonna last forever. No way.”–really!!!?? Do we really have to wait that long? I guess it will be to no gain; they’ll just take the next group of idiots they find and put them on tv.
“I ask Jep Robertson later on if the second generation of Robertson men shares Phil’s views on sin and morality. “We’re not quite as outspoken as my dad, but I’m definitely in line,” he says. “If somebody asks, I tell ’em what the Bible says.”’–you don’t KNOW what the bible says, you know what you want it to say! Or need we revisit the quote from genesis?
“For the sake of the Gospel, it was worth it,” Phil tells me. “All you have to do is look at any society where there is no Jesus. I’ll give you four: Nazis, no Jesus. Look at their record. Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them? None. Communists? None. Islamists? Zero. That’s eighty years of ideologies that have popped up where no Jesus was allowed among those four groups. Just look at the records as far as murder goes among those four groups.”–right, because there were no communists, shintoists, or “Islamists” before eighty years ago. It all started with WWII. And let’s conveniently forget about Jews, Buddhists, Bahai, Sikhs, Hari Krishnas, etc, etc. Would they be without morals to you? What about catholics? Methodists? Apparently though, Mormons are fine–after all, he’d rather be in Salt Lake City at 3 AM.
“If you simply put your faith in Jesus coming down in flesh, through a human being, God becoming flesh living on the earth, dying on the cross for the sins of the world, being buried, and being raised from the dead—yours and mine and everybody else’s problems will be solved. And the next time we see you, we will say: ‘You are now a brother. Our brother.’ So then we look at you totally different then. See what I’m saying?”–just as long as you aren’t gay, or do anything that is “wrong” according to you? Or maybe, you can do anything you want–like not even apologize for a savage beating you gave a couple– but because you were “saved” that makes up for everything. The lack of accountability in this type of theology is what has always deterred Jews like me, and many others from committing to the religion, yet with others has made Christianity such a popular religion–from simony, to vicarious atonement (something G-d says is not even possible in Ezekiel), to not having to make atonement to the people you’ve harmed (which contradicts the teachings of jesus, btw)–“just believe” and “every little ting gonna be awright”