Duck Dynasty versus Political Correctness
It’s been interesting to watch the fall out of the Duck Dynasty situation, and how the battle lines are being drawn up. If you have been hiding under a rock or watching nothing but out of date soap operas, perhaps you aren’t aware of Duck Dynasty or comments made by the patriarch of the family. Basically, he pretty much stated what he believes, what is part of his religion, which is that homosexuality is a sin, like bestiality or any other odd act, and those who commit that sin will go to hell. It’s pretty much a fairly standard view that isn’t really out of the ordinary, except that Phil Robertson added some chat about anuses and vaginas, but that is just colorful language from a colorful man.
A&E, the network which plays the Duck Dynasty show immediately suspended Phil Robertson from the show, which may be a bit of a weird punishment considering that the next season is apparently already in the can ready to go, and that A&E is running a number of Duck Dynasty marathons with Phil on it. Their reaction seems a little knee jerk, and they aren’t alone. GLAAD (formerly the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) is a gay / lesbian group that came out and called the speech hateful, the usual spiel that seems to happen in these cases. The usual collection of bleeding hearts and political correctness finger waggers came out and wagged, gestured frantically, and made angry, offended noises.
Then something surprising happened. Usually in these cases the sponsors of the show (the ones who in the end pay for the show to be on) did what nobody expected them to do: They formed up ranks behind Phil Robertson and supported him. The Cracker Barrel chain of restaurants tried to play politically correct and split the difference, removing some products from their shelves that were specifically Phil Robertson related, but left the rest of the Duck Dynasty and Duck Commander stuff on their shelves. That seems to have gotten them both barrels from the public, as within 24 hours they reversed their decision and closed ranks. Companies such as Real Tree and others have pretty much said they may not agree with the comments, but they truly believe in his rights to have an opinion.
This is one of those cases where the political correctness nuts are pretty much left twisting in the wind. If they continue to cry foul, they are looking like they are against christians and what is in the bible, which in turn means they risk saying hateful things about a religion. The PC crew are are coming to realize that the values and opinions expressed by Phil Robertson resonate with a significant segment of the population. They may not say it in the same somewhat crude manner, but they do believe that homosexuality is a sin, against their religion, and yes, homosexuals in their view will end up in hell.
For someone like me, it’s more a case of free speech than anything. I don’t straight out agree or disagree with Phil Robertson’s views, but I do respect his right to say them. If hell exists, in my opinion there is a special place reserved for people who paint cars funny colors or put 30 inch rims on Chevy Caprices. That is my opinion, it’s not hatred, it’s just an opinion. It’s my right to have such an opinion, and Robertson is entitled to his opinion of homosexuals. Remember, religion and spirituality is something that cannot and will never be absolutely proven, it’s only an opinion.
Now, if Robertson had added “and they should all be rounded up and shot” to his comments, it would be hateful speech, because it goes beyond having an opinion and instead calling for action. He did no such thing, so perhaps the fine people over at GLAAD just need to grow a slightly thicker skin, grow up a little, and understand that not everyone agrees with their lifestyle choices. Meanwhile, A&E is left to roast on the fire, their knee jerk reaction in response to the political correctness squads makes them look weak, and at the same time continuing to run episodes with Phil Robertson in them. They profit from the controversy, which makes them look even more wishy washy.