By: Steve Yuhas
Phil Robertson, 67, is the patriarch of the Robertson clan – a hard-working Louisiana bayou family of Christians turned television royalty on A&E Network’s “Duck Dynasty.” When news broke that A&E placed Phil on ‘indefinite hiatus’ (in the middle of a Duck Dynasty marathon), I could not wait to learn what caused A&E to suspend the patriarch of the most-watched reality show on cable television.
The A&E statement distancing the network from the remarks read, “Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty.” A&E also wrote about the LGBT “community” so it was probably a comment about gays, but I could not really tell what the big deal was so I had to read the comments for myself.
Being in GQ meant that there was a strong possibility that his comments were sexual or political, but Phil Robertson is a Christian and has been married to the same woman since 1966. I doubted very seriously it was going to be anything all that shocking, but you never know. It was especially curious because I was watching the news and it had a “breaking news” segment on the screen – that must be big.
I was convinced whatever he said was evil so before I sat down to read the evil of Phil Robertson, I started to remember who the man was. I recalled talking about the phenomena that is “Duck Dynasty” on my show and though I am not a frequent viewer, it was funny. I also remembered the story about Phil being upset with A&E for their selective editing: inserting bleeps when there was no swearing and cutting out the name Jesus when the family prayed.
Finally, I got the comments.
What a disappointment! No stoning of women; no beheading of gays; no Holocaust denial. Just Phil talking about homosexuality being a sin and not understanding how a man could find another man attractive. Paging Jack McFarland (“Will & Grace”) – I think Jack said the same thing about men and women back in 2003.
A&E was having this reaction to comments made that reinforce the fact that Phil Robertson is Christian? It’s not like Phil ranked sin and declared homosexuality the worst (I leave sin-ranking to gays who think it a sin to eat carbs after six o’clock). All the man said was he believes homosexuality is sinful – the same way he sees adultery and greed.
How in the world is that enough to get a man taken off the air? (But not taken off the air.)
Then I saw it: The Gay Gestapo. The self-appointed spokesmen of gays everywhere came out with guns blazing against a Christian who lived life like a Christian.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) both weighed-in on Phil’s comments, now you could only feel sorry for Phil with these bully groups coming after him.
“Phil’s decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors,” said GLAAD’s representative Wilson Cruz. Chad Griffin of the HRC asked A&E to “condemn” Robertson’s remarks and “make clear they don’t support his views.” (It takes a “Chad” to say something so stupid).
Phil Robertson is not just a Christian (the Gay Gestapo can tolerate Christians); Phil is a practicing Christian and that kind of Christian absolutely cannot be tolerated.
Many realty show characters say they are religious so when A&E came across the genuine article, they had no idea what to do. To be fair to A&E, it’s not their fault – they probably did not see the success of “Duck Dynasty” coming as fast as it did. How could A&E know how to react to an actual person of faith when reality shows are filled with so many people of faith that you cannot tell the real from the fake?
It is almost like A&E executives received all of their reality training from Bravo’s “Real Housewives” franchise – all of the women claim to be something.
Think about those women – almost all of them lay claim to some religious belief. Some of them even trot it out for special occasions. The difference is that Phil Robertson lives his faith and the women of the “Real Housewives” – that A&E executives were used to watching do not.
“Real Housewives” profess everything from Jewish to Christian (they even managed to find a Wiccan), but none of them really live their faith (at least the witch feeds rabid rodents).
Look at the women who say they are Jewish – have you ever seen one of them pass up a shrimp cocktail or turn down bacon wrapped scallop? Never!
As far as I can tell, the Gay Gestapo kind of won this battle, but in the end they’ll lose the war for “Duck Dynasty.” Nobody likes a man or woman to be punished for what their religious beliefs and that is all Phil Robertson was talking about. What did happen is the Gay Gestapo was officially defined as America’s biggest bunch of intolerant and hypersensitive sissies.
Phil Robertson will be fine because he has his faith and his family.
The Robertson family issued a statement about the whirlwind of events that happened after the patriarch simply pointed out how disinterested he was in relations with other men and that he finds homosexuality not only a sin, but quite illogical. “We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm. We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of ‘Duck Dynasty.’”
Too bad “Duck Dynasty” was not made up of a bunch of Muslims who hate gays, women, blacks, Jews, and a whole host of people. The equal opportunity of hate would have been applauded and A&E would not have had to invent a new form of hiatus – the kind where people not filming are not filmed and where their programs on the air get to stay on the air.
Steve Yuhas is a gay conservative radio talk show host in southern California. He can be heard on AM 600 KOGO from San Diego to Santa Barbara, Los Angeles to Arizona. Reach him at www.steveyuhas.com or firstname.lastname@example.org