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duck-dynastyThe crescendo of voices clamoring for disordered public ethics is a din rising to hellish decibels. We are witnessing a massive misuse of American law by “rights and entitlement ideologues” licentiously torqueing the trajectory of this country’s course towards an irrevocable downward spiral. Morally disordered organizations like GLAAD and 100 more besides, are springing up like daisies constituting a growing mass of unchecked weeds in the moral cemetery we once called the “land of the free and home of the brave.” The gay agenda is only one of many such disordered agendas and its propagators abhor virtue and make herculean efforts to coerce public sanctification of vice in an unprecedented “tyranny of the minority.” The disordered movement recklessly pursues the public elimination of the very virtues that fortify civilization. Prudence has become fettered silence. Courage has become arrogant cowardice. Moderation has become chic gluttony. True justice has been forced into the closet and of course, moral chaos ensues.

There is a snowballing accumulation of accusations of homophobic hate-speech causing public backlash wildly out of proportion to any possible offense, like the Chick-fil-A fiasco, the Boy Scouts of America controversy, and the Exxon Mobil campaign. The reports of offended gay rights activists are increasing in frequency and intensity. The beast known as the “culture of death” constantly assaults good society and its gay rights tentacle is asserting its ubiquitous reach into all spheres of public life, damaging bakeries, churches, photography studios and even our children’s schools.

Though daily there are countless claims of offense against the gay community in nearly every city in the United States, there are increasing numbers of nationally publicized cases that ought to alarm conservatives. At the moment the homophobic offender du jour is Phil Robertson, patriarch of the hit reality TV show Duck Dynasty. Robertson made some statements about sin in America in an interview with GQ magazine. My comments here are limited solely to those statements. Phil Robertson’s life and the Duck Dynasty lie outside the deliberations of these words.

Other than an unnecessary but truthful vulgarity, Phil Robertson’s statements were sensible, logical, morally ordered, and true. He even fairly closely quoted the Bible. The overarching theme to his comments is the rightfully ordered: “love the sinner, hate the sin.” The faithful Christian can stand behind 90% of what he said about sin in America in the GQ interview.

The apoplectic reaction was titanic, swift, stealth and as disordered as the sins Robertson condemned. GLAAD’s Wilson Cruz issued a factually false and comically illogical condemnation of Phil Robertson’s statements amounting to the slander of Christians who are faithful to the words of Christ. Irony is lost on ideologues and narcissists and surely the entire LGBT cabal would embrace seething rage if they were to hear the claim that it is Wilson Cruz who causes offense to good sense and truth, not Phil Robertson. Unfortunately, so frothed up is this pathological episode that even some conservatives are hyperventilating.

It seems counterintuitive, but we have no right to expect better from a conservative shipwreck like the O’Reilly Factor whose captain is intoxicated by self-admiration. Still, he chimes in with the astuteness of a jackdaw. Bill O’Reilly’s comments are just silly and hardly worth remark, other than to report that his thesis is inaccurate. He claims that that Phil Robertson is “condemning gays” and in this Bill is mistaken. This renders his commentary further pedantic self-propagation.

A&E’s kneejerk reaction on December 19th 2013, mimics the marionette and smacks of disingenuousness:

“We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ which are based on his own personal beliefs are not reflected in the series ‘Duck Dynasty.’ His personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.”

Phil Robertson and his family were rightfully troubled by the extreme backlash coming from the multitude of disturbed souls who take great offense to truth. Most public figures would have wilted under the pressure of potential financial cost and loss of reputation by profusely apologizing, showing public remorse and by offering an endless stream of mea culpas. Here is where the Duck Dynasty went off script. Phil Robertson told GQ, “my mission today is to go forth and tell people why I follow Christ.”  Immediately following his suspension, the Duck Dynasty family stood firmly by Phil and seemed willing to give up the show. And after a week to mull over all the hate Phil Robertson told a Bible study group on Sunday, Dec. 22, “I will not give in or back off from my path.”

Unaccustomed to speech that is ordered to truth in representation, the public is confused on this issue and as usual the waters are muddied by the media. Phil Robertson and the Duck Dynasty stand by Biblical truth and put that truth above their potential earnings. A&E did the opposite. When they claimed to suspend Phil “indefinitely” they really meant to say “as long as it is profitably expedient.” They reinstated Phil Robertson after ten days causing no harm to the show or their revenue. They chuck their gay friends under the bus and abandoned their stated principles for the possibility of future greenbacks, no surprise here. But what might be surprising is that the repercussions have been more like rewards. All the gay rights advocates and their minions are reviling Phil Robertson for speaking Christ’s truth on sin, and as Christ said “blessed are you when men revile you for my sake.” This has the potential to amass treasure in heaven. A&E has taken unwitting part in adding value to Phil Robertson’s brand. They suspended him for a little over a week and it had no detrimental effect on reruns, filming or the new season. In fact, Robertson’s book sales have increased since the controversy as have advertising sales for the Duck Dynasty franchise.

We in the conservative community espouse a worldview that compels us to recognize the intrinsic worth and dignity of each human soul. As a matter of properly ordered justice, we have to truthfully and adequately answer to the question “what do I owe the other?” We are required to treat those with whom we disagree with respect, while at the same time charitably speaking out against disordered behavior and ill-formed ideas. As Christians we are called to be unconditionally tolerant of all human persons and at the same time to condemn sin, just as Phil Robertson did. When a society is not ordered to justice by referencing the objective standard, it dissolves into chaos.

Our gay brethren hold a diametrically opposite worldview. They are intolerant of human souls who disagree with them, but tolerant of sin. Those advocating for gay rights scream and clamor for a “pound of flesh” when none is due. They would see their principled opponents shouted down, suffer a loss of livelihood, a loss of reputation, and suffer death threats for propagating a biblical world view.

It’s a dangerous business speaking the truth in public; you never know where it might sweep you off to. Phil Robertson’s comments on sin in the GQ interview ring with ordered truth because they condemn the sin and love the sinner. He said “but hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.” There is nothing logical about the wholesale destruction of the first amendment to cater to the pathological desires of a disordered minority who use violence and double standards to triumph over their opposition. It is a sad day in America when a backwoods duck hunter is taking the lead on matters of public morals. And although the dust seems to be settling, this thing ain’t over by a long shot.

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Published: Jan 15, 2014
Steven Jonathan Rummelsburg
Steven Jonathan Rummelsburg is a Senior Contributor at The Imaginative Conservative. A convert to Catholicism, he is a catechist, a school teacher, and a writer and speaker on matters of faith, culture, and education. He holds a degree in History from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Steven is a member of the Teacher Advisory Board and writer of curriculum at the Sophia Institute for Teachers, a contributor to the Integrated Catholic Life, Crisis Magazine, The Civilized Reader, The Standard Bearers, Catholic Exchange, and a founding member of the Brinklings Literary Club.
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3 replies to this post
  1. A very true and thought-provoking piece. As Mr. Rummelsburg demonstrates, the commissars of political correctness do not seek honest, open debate, but compliance. Demur from the regnant ideology of absolute equality and you will be soundly condemned.

    Robertson had both the wealth and public appeal to fight back. Others, such as Jason RIchwine, can’t resist the backlash of the perpetually offended.

  2. I would say the trouble with Robertson’s comments was his delivery, but that isn’t true. No matter how he crafted it, he would have been attacked for the core moral principles he was conveying. I have a bigger problem with Duck Dynasty being the voice of the Christian community. Robertson’s remarks were also tinged by his “that vagina’s got a lot more going for it” repulsiveness. The bottom line is, when America has to scrape it’s morals from a reality show centered on a family that makes duck whistles….we’ve got a problem.

    Thank you though, for so succinctly describing the cultural threat of LGBT activists.

    I am not sure what the comment guidelines are, but I have website where I wrote further about the “problem” that I see with Duck Dynasty in general:

    Thank you.

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