In an age when public figures spend much of their time denying, modifying, qualifying, reinterpreting, and walking back their public statements, it is refreshing that at least one says what he means and means what he says. That public figure is Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty, the hit reality television program.
Mr. Robertson, also known as the Duck Commander, set off a firestorm of controversy in recent weeks by publicly expressing truths about homosexuality that many Americans are too politically correct to say out loud. While Mr. Robertson used some language that was a bit uncouth, the point of his remarks was that homosexual behavior is one of many behaviors that God has declared to be sinful. For daring to speak this Biblical truth out loud, Mr. Robertson was suspended from his own television program.
Phil Robertson spoke out about the controversy while leading a recent Bible study at a local church. He said, “‘I love all men and women. I am a lover of humanity, not a hater.’” Regarding sin, Phil added, “‘If you give [people] the bad news, they’ll start kicking and screaming. But you love them more than you fear them, so you tell them… Jesus will take sins away, if you’re a homosexual he’ll take it away, if you’re an adulterer, if you’re a liar, what’s the difference?’” Phil also said, “‘Jesus Christ was the most perfect being to ever walk this planet and he was persecuted and nailed to the cross, so please don’t be surprised when we get a little static.’”
At the end of the Bible study, Phil prayed, “‘I will not give or back off from my path because you conquered death, Father, so we are not worried about all the repercussions.’”
Galatians 6:9 tells Christians, “[L]et us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” For his refusal to shy away from speaking the truth, the Duck Commander deserves our thanks and our respect.
In response to the suspension of Phil Robertson, thousands upon thousands of Americans spoke out in support of the Duck Commander and in opposition to the disciplinary action taken against him. Our voices were heard! On December 27, A&E announced that it would continue filming Duck Dynasty next spring, and that Phil Robertson would be included. Rev. Jason J. McGuire, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, remarked, “The voices of politically correct censorship lost in regard to the Duck Dynasty controversy. We at NYCF are thankful for Phil Robertson and his family; we admire their steadfastness, and we are glad that the weight of this controversy has now been removed from them. We are also thankful for all of the New Yorkers who wrote to A&E through our website to protest against Phil’s suspension, and for the thousands of other Americans who also spoke out in support of the Duck Commander.”
Rev. McGuire continued, “There are three important takeaways that contributed to the positive outcome here. First, there was a huge outpouring of grassroots opposition that was too great for the network to ignore. Second, there was also a flurry of opinion articles in which A&E’s action was denounced, and in which the weak rationale for the left-wing assault on Phil Robertson was exposed. Third, and most importantly, Phil Robertson did not walk back his comments. The next time the Left’s bevy of grievance peddlers targets a conservative-oriented individual, we should remember these three takeaways and seek to replicate them. The moral of the story is this: Never back down from a bully.”