Duck Dustup Reflects A Bigger Battle
By Jim Minnery - President - Alaska Family Action
Anchorage Daily News Compass Piece
December 27th, 2013
Phil Robertson, the ZZ Top-like, overtly Christian clan leader of the phenomenally popular television series, Duck Dynasty, has been canned. Shot down for making statements about homosexuality in a GQ Magazine interview judged by A&E, the conglomerate that oversees the show, as "disappointing" and "not reflective of the series."
In the interview, Robertson does a fair off-the-cuff rendition of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 that says "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."
He also takes the liberty to graphically point out why men should be attracted to women rather than other men. It's lewd but to the point.
Hundreds of thousands of people across the Duck Nation are signing on-line petitions asking for his return. On the other side, the Human Rights Commission says that to suggest that same-sex attraction is anything but normal is "dangerous." A spokesperson for a prominent gay and lesbian activist organization said that the country is changing and that Robertson needs to "get in line."
OK, let's all grab a big, tall glass of sweet tea and breathe out for a moment.
It's hard to imagine that anyone at A&E was even slightly surprised by Robertson's statement regarding sexuality. We're talking about a Bible believing, Southern religious family that cooked up squirrels and never showed the slightest inclination toward political correctness. Network executives weren't holding out hope that Uncle Si or Willie were ever going to don rainbow camouflage in future episodes.
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“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.”
So Phil thought black people were happy to live in the Jim Crow era of American history. With the mindset he has, he’d be happy-happy-happy if slavery were to be legal again. With that fuzzy logic, he could always point to the Bible and look up passages that support the institution of slavery, and proclaim that slavery is godly.
The Bible is an ancient text that has gone through many contexts and translations from different languages throughout many generations. With each interpretation throughout the millennia, the true meaning keeps getting muddier.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 is not necessarily talking about gay people. The New Testament was originally written in Greek, and this particular passage uses the word “malakoi.” It is a word more akin to being vain, fearful, and self-indulgent. Through translations to other languages, such as in the King James Version, the word is translated as “effeminate,” which is not entirely accurate in modern English, because the translators and society in general had beliefs that were very misogynistic for today’s standards: by no fault of their own, women were thought to represent vanity, fearfulness, and self-indulgence. In today’s culture, those same traits could be applied to straight men, and nobody would question their masculinity, let alone their sexual orientation.
Phil’s comments speak more about himself than it does about God or gay people.
Read the Bible between the lines: regardless of cultural norms, Jesus taught, above all else, to love one another and treat each other with dignity and respect.
It saddens me that there are people who would use the Bible as an excuse to shame others and hinder social progress that long-oppressed minorities have struggled for.