December 19, 2013, - 12:28 pm
This past fall, while I was sitting for lunch at my friends’ Sukkah during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, I told my friends about my admiration for the Robertson family of the A&E reality show, “Duck Dynasty.” While we live in a Kardashian-encrusted, TMZ-infected world the Robertsons are a breath of fresh air. They’ve done more to promote capitalism, moral values, and patriotism than anyone in American society today because their show is the most popular in cable history. I had planned to make them the DebbieSchlussel.com People of the Year. Now, I’m waiting to see whether the rest of the family stands up for Phil Robertson. A&E’s suspension of Robertson over his remarks in GQ about his moral and religious beliefs regarding homosexuality is yet another episode of cable TV’s tolerance for “anything goes except Christian moral values” and TV hypocrisy as networks embrace extremist Muslims who believe in executing gays.
While I’ve never seen a full episode of “Duck Dynasty” (mine is a cable-free household), I’ve seen clips of it, and I love the Robertson clan. They say prayers, work hard, and took duck hunting paraphernalia to a new level. Even though in my own religion we do not hunt, I think it’s great that the Robertsons found an element of duck hunting and built an empire on it, exuding America’s great entrepreneurial spirit. Because of that, they are living the American dream. Yes, I know that many of them have college degrees–at least one has a masters degree–and they didn’t always have beards and wear camo (a past pic shows the Robertson men clean-shaven and wearing Ralph Lauren Polo shirts in a scene that looks like it could have been a clothing ad). But that’s “reality TV.” It’s not real. It’s manufactured.
Also not real is the manufactured “moral outrage” over Robertson’s comments about his own personal moral and religious beliefs–beliefs that are the views of many religious Christians and Jews throughout America and the world. And, despite the newest Pope’s gay-friendly comments, they are also the views of the Catholic Church, the Jewish Torah, and, yes, the koran (but we can’t mention the koran or Muslims because they were rewarded with “special” status after mass-murdering 3,000 Americans). All of these religions believe that homosexuality is a sin.
I personally am a libertarian on this issue: whom you sleep with behind closed doors is your business. I just don’t think you should get special rights, and I don’t want it in my face (that applies to both gay AND straight public displays of affection). I have gay friends, clients, colleagues and so on. But I also believe, as my Jewish religion does, that it is a sin. One of the basic 613 Jewish Commandments (no, there aren’t just ten) prohibits homosexuality.
Yes, Robertson spoke out against homosexuality, but that’s his personal and religious moral belief. It is not as if he is calling for the death penalty for gays, which is law in virtually every Muslim country around the world–including several Muslim countries gushingly portrayed on A&E and on its parent company, ABC (which owns half of A&E). And, by the way, contrary to what’s been reported, he didn’t compare homosexuality to bestiality. He said that accepting that behavior results in a slippery slope of accepting other behavior, such as adultery, polygamy, bestiality, etc. Here’s the exact quote:
Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men. . . . Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers — they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.
I note that the many gay activists who called for Robertson to be fired from the show were strangely silent when A&E competitor TLC ran the low-rated propaganda reality show, “All-American Muslim,” whose participants openly said in interviews that they admired Ayatollah Khomeini and began wearing hijabs when he took power in Iran (and held Americans hostage for 444 days). Khomeini enacted strict laws against homosexuality, including the death penalty, and he also said that parents should marry off their young girls to have sex with adult men “before their first blood” (their first periods). The “All-American” Muslims and their imams openly embrace the death penalty for gays and want that to be law here, along with the rest of sharia. But there was never any outrage over that because, hey, they’re Muslims, and they get special treatment. Gays were strangely silent. And I have no doubt that had “All-American Muslim” run on A&E, the result would have been the same. You have the same mainstream media liberal elite running all these cable networks infested with reality shows.
Phil Robertson’s comments about gays are not the reason gays and A&E are “outraged”–outraged! His purported comparison of homosexuality to bestiality and adultery isn’t his crime here. Being a devout–and successful and popular–Christian is.
The second sentence paraphrases a passage in Corinthians. When producers began making this show, they knew the Robertsons were (and remain) devout Christians who believe in the Bible. Did they think the Robertsons would endorse homosexuality? Come on. They knew these guys were against it.
Now let’s see if his family demonstrates solidarity with Phil Robertson and refuses to continue cable’s most popular show without him. If that happens, I guarantee you that A&E will bring Phil Robertson back mighty quickly.
For now, all of the show’s latest season episodes are in the can. And isn’t it interesting that A&E isn’t editing Phil out of those episodes? Clearly, A&E isn’t as outraged as it is ratings and money hungry.
Tags: A&E, Duck Dynasty, Phil Robertson, Phil Robertson gays