No One’s Asking the Duck Dynasty Family to Stop Praying

You may have seen rumors (like the one below) floating around on Facebook that A&E asked the family at the center of the show Duck Dynasty to stop praying on television after complaints from “liberals” and “atheists.” (And the family refused to listen! Aren’t they amazing?!)

(***Edit***: The rumor appears to have started at the March’s Outdoor Adventures’ Facebook page)

Of course, none of that’s true.

Atheists (as a whole) could care less about what a family does on a reality show. We’ll just change the channel. No one’s demanding that they stop praying or shooting guns or playing with their ducks. (Okay, so I’ve never seen the show…)

The Thinking Atheist did a really great job debunking this rumor:

Snopes adds:

It also seems rather unlikely that many Duck Dynasty viewers would be objecting to the presence of guns (given that the program is built around the subject of duck hunting) or prayer (one of the more popular features of the show) in the series, or that A&E would be highly concerned about the opinions of non-viewers, and cast members have disclaimed that there is any truth to the rumors.

In short: A&E is getting *huge* ratings from the show, so it’s just common sense that they’re not about to suggest doing anything differently. Why kill a cash cow to appeal to people who aren’t watching the show in the first place?

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • http://www.bricewgilbert.blogspot.com Brice Gilbert

    lol this is the exact kind of show that liberals and atheists wouldn’t watch, and if they did getting rid of the praying would remove the enjoyment they get from hate watching it.

    • ShoeUnited

      —>Reality
      —->The Point
      —>The Moon

      —-> Air Traffic

      —> You (ノಥ益ಥ)ノ

    • TheG

      Really? I watch it. I roll my eyes at a few scenes, but the reason I’m usually embarrassed to admit it has more to do with the whole show than the religious scenes.
      But your opinion is already invalidated, so, meh.

      • http://www.bricewgilbert.blogspot.com Brice Gilbert

        People are taking this much worse than I intended. I was trying to argue that shows like this are watched in earnest by certain people (let’s say my parents) and as a lark by others. So if you watch it because you want to laugh at rednecks then you are not likely to complain about the praying. So either Conservative or Liberal the prayer isn’t going to bother you. There are obviously exceptions.

    • TheG

      Really? I watch it. I roll my eyes at a few scenes, but the reason I’m usually embarrassed to admit it has more to do with the whole show than the religious scenes.
      But your opinion is already invalidated, so, meh.

    • Question Everything

      Eh, I didn’t feel like watching it before, and knowing they pray on it makes no difference to that stance. It just looked kind of dumb to me, like many other “reality” shows. Prayer only gets my dander up if it’s state sponsored, otherwise go ahead and have your Duck guys praying to their god, or the All American Muslim folks praying to theirs. Or the Jersey Shore folks praying to the porcelain throne. Whatever floats their boats and gets the ratings.

    • rhodent
      • ShoeUnited

        The troll is the one in the middle wearing the sunglasses, right?

        • RobMcCune

          Of course, the giant green monster in the back there for spring break.

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            The one nobody ever notices, because Sunnydale Syndrome?

            *shrug* Even demons need vacations…

    • LesterBallard

      Is that a beard, or is it shit from having your head stuck up your ass?

    • Charles Honeycutt

      I have an entire family of liberals, some of them atheists, who occasionally watch and laugh at this show. And neither the atheists nor the Christians ever took notice of the praying.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    I watch the show now and then because it can be downright funny. I know they are religious but they don’t mention God on the show that often. I like firearms and have no problem with hunting and it is fun to watch rich rednecks do outrageous things.

    As Hemant said, don’t like it, change the channel but I will still tune in now and then.

    • Billy Bob

      I watch it occasionally just for Si.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

        He is a funny dude.

        • Tweekus

          Phil is a deacon for the local Church of Christ. They are very religious. But Si is awesome. Something about his outbursts of crazy that make the show great.

          • Codewizard

            so what if they are ‘very religious.” Just what does that mean, exactly? Why do you need to dramatize the word, and why do you assume they are “very religious?”

    • LesterBallard

      Yeah, at the end I just ignore, or change the channel when the what have we learned/let us pray stuff starts. I doubt if I have too much in common with the Robertsons (though I once did), but Si is a funny fucker, and I enjoy how much pleasure Jase takes in fucking with Willie.

    • Charles Honeycutt

      Yeah, a lot of people don’t get that it’s a sitcom masquerading as a reality show. And actually well above average for a sitcom.

    • Leann Perdue

      Yeah they aren’t “overdoers” with religion. Religion or their beliefs are evident in the show, but noone’s perfect and they don’t seem to claim to be. Phil seems real when he talks about his “conversion” from a bar hopper who’s sister would come in and try to evangelize everyone. Don’t we all have one of those, or is it just me here in Alabama. LOL .. He seems to believe that Jesus is who He says He is and I don’t have a problem with that as long as they keep the show focused on what it’s suppose to be, but I have to wonder now if all of this “religious” publicity will change anything. We certainly know that there are some parts that we can “see coming” in the show..but now, if it even starts going in the direction of promoting a certain denomination such as Church of Christ at some point, I’ll be viewer flipping channels along with the rest.

  • Lee Miller

    But it doesn’t matter if any of the rumors are actually true. THE TRUTH™ always trumps “the truth”.

  • asonge

    Why would someone with the power of the final edit ask for them to tone down the God stuff?

    • Oranje

      That was my thought. Reality shows are framed to make situations and characters look certain ways. Why would they need to ask permission to do a different edit?

      • Codewizard

        wow, did you even think this through?

        they are Christians, family people; AND THAT IS WHAT PEOPLE TUNE IN FOR. DUH.

    • Codewizard

      Simple, they have to have their cooperation to do the show. having “final edit” is ONLY useful if you have something to edit. Editing the prayer, was stupid.

      Why piss off 11+ million viewers; almost ALL are Christians? Because it’s what the hate-filled anti-God crowd does.

      Just more proof of the arrogance of the liberal elites. They think they can say or do anything and get away with it. Just look at Obama; same thing.

  • Billy Bob

    I saw someone post this on facebook a few days ago, and my first thought was, “I doubt this is happening. Why would anyone care if a family prays on their TV show?”

    • A3Kr0n

      I just saw a couple headlines, and was wondering if this was the Chinese year of the Duck. I’ve never heard of the duck family until this article. I seriously doubt I’ll ever see their show.

      • Tweekus

        It’s actually a funny show in the sense that it’s completely retarded.

        • Gus Snarp

          Perhaps you’re not aware of how incredibly offensive your language is.

          • Codewizard

            Yea, he is, he just doesn’t care. he’s a liberal and they don’t have to abide by the “courtesy” rules they force on others.

      • Leann Perdue

        You will..and you’ll watch it. We ALL said that SAME thing. :)

    • Zach

      Because our country is becoming more and more anti-god and anti-common sense. People have a problem with everything and know that nowadays if they make wine enough then someone will come over to see what all the fuss is about. Just look at gays. Or people with breast cancer. Im not saying I dont support the fight against breast cancer but you dont see people madly supporting other types of cancer that are more common than breast cancer and more deadly.

    • Codewizard

      You can’t be that stupid.

  • bLaKouT

    As an atheist, why would I care what someone is doing on a reality show. I like to see what other cultures are doing, and how they live. Who or what they pray to is a part of all that. I figure that whole dust up was BS. Probly started by A&E themselves to boost ratings.

    • jdm8

      “Probly started by A&E themselves to boost ratings.”

      Someone involved in the rumor was probably itching for attention. Ratings is a good motivator, if it takes spreading an asinine rumor, there’s plenty of credulous people ready to accept it. It could also be some lone crank making things up because they like a good conspiracy theory.

    • Codewizard

      Oh look a pseudo-intellectual. Thank God, you made it!

  • Katwise

    Fact checking would defeat the Christians’ whole purpose.

    • TheG

      And their whole religion…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=712886442 Gustavo Cruz

      The Fact stuff? LOL You guys are nuts. There is more evidence of God and the validity of the Bible then anything else. Funny silly guys

      • Katwise

        Show us.

        • Chris Anton

          look around. even einstein believed in god because of the impossibility of it all. who says god isn’t some alien anyway?

          • Helix Luco

            telling me that so-and-so believed such-and-such is not a very compelling argument to get me to go and believe the same thing. i’ve been looking around and i’ve seen some crazy stuff, but i haven’t seen a god yet.

            • Zach

              You haven’t seen the devil either but people still believe in him. Every day more stuff is discovered from the biblical days which validates more and more stuff that the bible talks about. Im not gonna get into some kind of religious argument as im not going to fight God’s battles for him but does it really sound so bad that theres an all powerful being watching over you and answering your prayers. Or does eternal damnation in the burning fire of a million suns sound more appealing.

      • Zach

        Exactly. This country’s going to hell.

    • Codewizard

      Oh the tangle web we weave … you lefties need to wake up.

      When you can show us the “missing link;” THEN and ONLY THEN can you claim to have ANY line on human development.

      BTW, where is the fact checking of Atheism? Oh yea, you can’t prove you are right either. Can you?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1351473675 Matthew Baker

    If we watched normal cable I think if I saw this show was on I would just keep going just like the Catholic channel, the assorted religious channels, and that Picker Pawn Shop Ancient Aliens channel.

    • Bob Becker

      Haven’t seen the show but it sounds like Dog The Bounty Hunter in waders, more or less. So long as the taxpayers aren’t subsidizing the show, the cast can pray non-stop from the opening credits to the closing ones for all I care.

    • Miss_Beara

      Picker Pawn Shop Ancient Aliens channel is so bad. As is Toddlers Wedding Bridesmaid Dress 19 Kids Psychic channel. Cable is so easy to ignore.

    • Artor

      People pay money for cable TV? I don’t understand why, but that’s just me.

    • Tweekus

      Yeah, i’ll stick with the Timelord Nerdist Syndicated Star Trek TNG channel (BBC America)

  • NewDawn2006

    Read some of the comments at the bottom of the story and it is like they didn’t even read the article. STILL going after the “liberals and atheists”… Idiots. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised though…

    • Bob Becker

      Lying for Jesus. It’s the Christian thing to do.

      • Codewizard

        Lying for self; it’s what Atheists do.

        • NewDawn2006

          Please share with us as well how Bob was lying. We are desperate to know.

    • Codewizard

      Wow, aren’t you the tolerant one.

      • NewDawn2006

        Please. Share with us all. What did I say that is intolerant?

  • http://twitter.com/gman747 gary

    jase is an atheist.

  • Matto the Hun

    Never a shortage of Christians willing to lie and to climb up on a cross and screen persecution.

    • BW

      Every group has them…

  • ortcutt

    People watch a show about a family that makes duck calls? It’s only a matter of time until everyone is watching “Ow! my Balls!”

    • Drew M.

      I’d totally watch that!

    • LesterBallard

      Wasn’t that America’s Funniest Home Videos?

    • Isaac

      It’s not just about the family making duck calls

  • JA

    They pray as a family before meals. As a nonbeliever, I fail to see the problem with it.

  • Artor

    This is the first I’ve ever heard of this show. It makes me glad I killed my TV a long time ago. The duck people can pray and shoot all day as far as I care, I don’t expect I’ll ever see them at all.

  • Alla & Greg M

    Who are they?

    • PoodleSheep

      Redneck trash.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Timothy-R-Alexander/1850774621 Timothy R Alexander

    Personally I’ve only caught a couple episodes to see what the big deal is. Having formed my opinion, I no longer tune in, but if others find this show to be entertaining, go for it. I’m not going to bother asking you to change anything as I don’t care enough about the show.

  • William

    It’s “could not care less.” “Could care less” has exactly the opposite meaning of what you intended.

    • Drew M.

      It bothers me too, but common usage has made the two equivalent.

      We’ve lost this one. Focus your energies on superfluous apostrophes. ;)

      • onamission5

        My spouse is all about the could/couldn’t care less. I am all about the apostrophes. You can rest well. We’ve totally got this. :D

    • Steve

      Drives me crazy when too when people say they “could care less”.

      • pparf

        I reply with “Oh, I’m glad you care at least a little bit.” and then smile as I get a quizzical stare.

      • WallofSleep

        “For all intensive purposes” is my trigger. Grrr!

  • Jamie

    I wonder if A&E producers didn’t maybe say something to Robertson or other show stars about it in an attempt to reduce the amount of editing they have to do to keep their ratings high. i.e., if the full nature of their zealotry were presented on-air people would tune out.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    … Meh.

  • Charles Honeycutt

    Duck Dynasty is not a reality show by the way. It’s a sitcom pretending to be a reality show. There’s always a ridiculous setup that becomes the theme of each episode. They wouldn’t actually go out and do this stuff on their own, any more than the guy who plays Cosmo Kramer would make an overnight run in a misappropriated mail truck as part of a Byzantine recycling plot.

    • LesterBallard

      Funny you should mention that on Mother’s Day.

  • http://twitter.com/mywall mywall

    Don’t know what Duck Dynasty actually is but that would be a sweet title for a Ducktales follow up (Disney, can you hear me?)

    • Charles Honeycutt

      Dear Dog YES THIS. That bloc of shows was so smart and creative.

  • DougI

    Atheists complaining about the praying on the show is about as real as reality television. In other words, not at all.

  • tc

    Author – I believe you meant to say that atheists “couldn’t care less”, rather than could. Otherwise it doesn’t really make sense. Thanks.

  • Good and Godless

    I’ll complain and tell them to stop.

    Entertainment media is about heightening emotions in order to leave people susceptible to marketing.

    Unfortunately religion is another “established trigger” used to manipulate. When utilized re-enforces bonds to society crippling ideals and stupefies true discourse.

    Freedom forever – religion never.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    thank you for reminding me why i don’t pay for TV.

  • http://twitter.com/docslacker MD

    Do these frothing at the mouth crusaders understand how a tv show is made? It is EDITED together, so if A&E didn’t like the praying, they wouldn’t put it in the finished product.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000135991521 Steph Bazzle

    Because, duh, I’m scared that if they’re allowed to mention God, then people who see the show might be brought to faith and then there’d be more Christians in the world, and the Devil and I would hate that!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffreyrw1 Jeffrey Roy Worthington

    For a while I thought the show was about the Oregon Ducks Football team. That I might watch.

  • http://www.dougberger.net Doug B.

    This is like the false stories that CBS canceled “Touch By An Angel” because atheists complained even though it had been on for 9 seasons.

    The commentators who said the Duck show isn’t real are correct they get an outline and then do stuff they wouldn’t do in real life. Real life is really boring

  • cipher

    Christians and neocons (is there any difference today?) are only happy when crying victim.

  • Susan Stern

    It was actually started by a radio station on the Outer Banks called 94.5 WCMS, check out their website and you will see how many shares and likes they got on their original post

  • Sue Blue

    I’ve never been happier that I no longer have DirectTV or any form of cable. Got rid of the bullshit conduit two years ago and haven’t missed it at all.

    Still, plenty of people still pipe this crap directly into their brains on a daily basis, and it’s a great forum for mindless Christians to reinforce their mindless views to each other and the public at large….and to proclaim how persecuted they all are. How downtrodden. They have about a hundred cable channels all to themselves, and dozens of Christ-y shows on the History channel, A&E, TLC, etc. – from that stupid Duggar family to the History channel’s “epic” about the Bible – but they are being silenced by evil, draconian, machiavellian atheist/liberal/pinko/commies, trampled by the forces of Satan in the form of the Constitution, science, and reality; a brave, noble minority group struggling against the tide. They may not be getting thrown to real lions anymore, but those meanie atheist kitties have such sharp claws! So tragic.

  • Ian Dodd

    Hemant: I know I’m picking nits here, but I have to point out your use of the phrase “Atheists (as a whole) could care less”. The proper phrase “couldn’t care less”, as in it would be impossible to care less. If atheists “could care less”, maybe they would. For a brief, and humorous, grammar lesson about this phrase, check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=om7O0MFkmpw

  • Leann Perdue

    Now, for some reason, I just don’t believe this rumor started on the FB Page of March’s Outdoor Adventures, it seems like I saw this particular post circulating before the date posted on their page, however, you do use the phrase “appears to have”. I just finished an interview (in March) and story on March’s Outdoor Adventures, he was my “pick of the month” for Hello Hunting Online Magazine, he’s a great guy and has core family values similar to the Robertson but with a LOT of differences as well. Hunting and youth outreach are his passion, along with his family and community. The March’s may not have a “product” to push as the Robertson’s do with their duck calls, but March’s Outdoor Adventures gets the kids off the streets and uses his love for the outdoors to do this. I may be wrong about where this started, but maybe there needs to be a little more research into that as well. What is fact is that everyone will always have different beliefs as far as religious beliefs, and yes, I overgeneralize with the words “everyone” and “always” but I don’t think we could actually coexist without some differences. I like the idea of “turning the channel” as suggested in this article that some atheists “would” do or do already. I have more to say, but no time to say it. Maybe I’ll visit this blog again. :)

  • WRONG AGAIN

    Apparently, you need to re-examine your arguments once again. Sounds like the cable channel has been doing some editing.

    This is the second time, Hermant, that you find yourself mistaken. First it was with MacBain. Now, with Duck Dynasty.

    http://houston.cbslocal.com/2013/10/04/duck-dynasty-star-show-adding-fake-bleeps-despite-no-cursing/

    Apparently, faith alone in what atheists say is good enough grounds to regurgitate false information. You should be ashamed.

  • Tiger

    This is absolutely true. A&E DID ask them to stop praying to Jesus as to not offend Muslims. You can see a video of Phil talking about this on young conservatives. So no… not just a rumor.

  • Theresa`

    I “heard” Phil being interviewed about this subject and he SAID that they were asked NOT to pray in Jesus Name. He said they were told it was okay to pray on the show but to please not use Jesus name and he said he explained he would not go along with that request because their religion was Christianity and it centered around Jesus Christ. I heard his tell this so this is TRUE.

  • GoodlifenHim

    So……. you all believe that nothing made everything? Or that everything came from….. nothing????? Makes perfect sense :)

  • Codewizard

    *lmao* Snopes? That’s the best you can do to refute what IS the truth? Pathetic, and desperate.

    http://www.ijreview.com/2013/10/85738-duck-dynasty-star-told-us-stop-praying-jesus-wouldnt-offend-muslims/

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kathyschiffer/2013/10/production-team-to-duck-dynasty-stop-praying-start-cursing/

    Keep on lying, it’s what you left-wingers do best.

    • NewDawn2006

      The articles that you posted said the producers asked them to stop so they wouldn’t offend Muslims. It never states that atheists and liberals complained which is what this article on this blog is about. The rumor was that it WAS atheists and liberals, which it WAS NOT. So… This blog post is not lying. Keep trying though.


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