Phil Robertson Comes Out

The news is splashed all over the Internet today about Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson’s homophobic and racist comments in the January 2014 issue of GQ. Huffington Post calls the comments “shockingly vile” in their headline, and for once, they don’t exaggerate. The article reveals for a larger audience much of what Phil’s sermon from 2009 already revealed years ago, even quoting the same Bible verses. The article supports my observation that Phil sees himself as part of an ordered universe in which man–and I mean man–is at the top of the natural order and all other creatures are placed at his disposal for his use. The denial of this order is what has caused all the problems of the world, and if people would simply repent, up to and including hunting for their own food, the world would be reordered.

Phil’s comments in the article are far more graphic than he would probably go into at one of his church gigs. He makes comparisons between the anus and the vagina as a location for sexual pleasure for men. He then goes on to compare homosexuality, at various points,  to bestiality, alcoholism, and terrorism.

A few observations on the article:

  • The innate hypocrisy of the Religious Right’s long-term obsession with homosexuality comes out in Phil’s comments. The author asks him, “What, in your mind, is sinful?” Phil answers, “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,” he says. So, according to Phil, homosexuality is a super-duper sin from which all others branch out. Much worse than the far more common sin of heterosexual adultery.
  • In the article, Phil also admits to having beaten a man and his wife nearly to death in Arkansas during his pre-Christian hell-raising days. The author asks an obvious question, if Phil has ever repented or made amends for what he did: “I didn’t dredge anything back up, Phil says, I just put it behind me.” There does seems to be a tendency among some born-again Christians to see their sins as a “thing of the past.” Making amends means annoying everyone within earshot about the truth of their Gospel, not actually doing any of the hard work of reconciliation or peacemaking.
  • Perhaps the most heartbreaking of Phil’s comments are his views about African-Americans in the South. Prior to the Civil Rights movement, Phil insists he “never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person.” I’m sure most whites in the segregated South didn’t see the mistreatment of black people. That was kinda the problem. He then lets forth with the current Great Lie of the Republican party’s Southern Strategy, that social welfare programs are primarily a wealth redistribution from hard-working whites to undeserving minorities.  “Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy?” Phil says. “They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.” Perhaps Phil isn’t as smart as I thought.

None of these comments are all that surprising. Duck Dynasty is a show about lovably gruff backwoods hunters. But one doesn’t get lovably gruff hunters without the backwoods politics and religion that go with it. It’s disappointing to me that someone couldn’t muzzle Phil from expressing his more extreme beliefs. I thought the show had a unique ability to entertain Red State and Blue State viewers, but I’m afraid this may be the end of any cultural crossover appeal–and perhaps, if public outrage puts enough pressure on A&E, the end of the show.  This would seem to be a situation in which reality has impeded on reality television.

 

  • DrLindsay

    Apologies to my readers, I will be eliminating this comment as soon as I figure out how.

  • JOHN KLINE

    You seem to be full of self-loathing. Of course I can see that with the really sick ideas you have. I would ask God to forgive you, but he probably wants nothing to do with you.

    • JOHN KLINE

      You are some sick puppy. Probably will read about you in the papers. You must be eaten up with evil.

      • JOHN KLINE

        Bout to lose it huh. Hope you don’t have a gun and start killing people.

        • JOHN KLINE

          You are just about going crazy. You know hate is not good for your system. Lord knows you seem full of hatred. Maybe you could make those capital letters bigger. Just show how out of it you are.

          • Matthew Klus

            LOOK MOMMY! I CAN MAKE CAPITAL LETTERS!

  • Kip Powell

    Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson’s comments in an interview in GQ, causing his “suspension” from his own show, will only backfire on gays. People will blame them for that mythical “agenda” that never existed. Robertson had/has a great opportunity to show grace, mercy, love, etc. but he sounds like, just another self-centered blowhard with fame and money. I don’t believe in censorship and I think people should say what they think no matter what the outcome professionally. Free speech and thought shouldn’t be regulated or legislated. One’s ignorance, stupidity, arrogance, racism, prejudice, belief system, conviction, whatever you want to call, needs to be out for scrutiny. From there, everyone else can decide if they want to support that person, their view, tv show, product, ministry, or dismiss them. Let the chips fall where they may. Having said that, anyone who supports a tired generalization lumping gays with pedophiles, goat humpers, or grease monkeys with a fetish for Buicks with big butts and great headlights, is no friend or loved one of mine. Like most families, it’s only a matter of time before a Robertson is outed. Father Phil can keep judging others by the temptation and struggle that he has no predilection or predisposition for. Let him speak hurtful things if he must. It’s his lesson to learn whether his “conviction” is spoken with love in the spirit, or of a hell-conceived self-righteous ego. Lest I join his crowd of fools giving “full vent to their spirit” , I will “quietly hold” back by just changing channels. BUT FIRST……….

    Phil starts out equating being straight with vaginal sex, gay with anal sex. I guess that means if you are straight and prefer anal sex over vaginal sex, then you are gay, and if you don’t have anal sex, you must not be gay. He speaks of sin being illogical. Hmmmm. His template against which to measure human sexuality, preferences, and right or wrong is the usual subjectivity of a zealot. I really wish people who have such a STORY of “redemption” from a wicked life would find humility in their TESTIMONY! Would that experiences like Mr. Robertson’s could have the full impact of living up to the Gospel’s potential. The power of the very LOVE that caused his “rebirth” is diluted by absolutist scriptural cherry picking. I have sympathy for these guys who speak as if they are doing penance rather than witnessing of a blessed event. I would much rather hear one say, “Come see a Man who told me all things I ever did, COULD THIS BE THE CHRIST?”. Know your audience Phil. Those of us raised in Fundamentalism are acquainted with dogma, tent meeting rhetoric, and well meaning generalizations about the other guys’ sins. There is that other “world” from which we are warned to be separate, while clutching its fruit with one hand and orchestrating its morality with the other. THEY are always going to reject and dismiss comments like Phil’s, perhaps made in good conscience but lost in self-indulgence. So many I know and love present their messages with the same passion and authenticity of a Phil Robertson. I can long for complete agreement with them or settle for an alliance of peace and mutual respect. I, personally, can rest in the purifying of my heart through the proving fires of my unique spiritual heritage. MOST OF THE REST OF THE WORLD….LISTEN PEOPLE….most of the rest of the world doesn’t live in a 20,000 acre swamp or find common ground at a 5th Sunday Night Singing with pound cake afterwards. That other world of humanity doesn’t have the luxury of discerning between the business as usual schisms and debates within Christendom. The Robertsons are businessmen and entertainers. If you wonder why you never hear, “In Jesus Name” at the end of their weekly blessing, A & E edits that out. OHHH wicked network. Supposedly last year the Robertsons asked for higher salaries in their negotiations, as they should. If Phil can speak with crude self-righteousness in GQ magazine but not insist on adding In Jesus Name in his contract, then he is a compromiser. I don’t judge him for that. For anyone who thinks that A&E or the Food Network (Paula Deen debacle) has a conscience or religious agenda is so misguided. I think, clearly, we all know that celebrity in this country COSTS everybody. NFL, American Idol judges, the Tom Cruises, the cast of FRIENDS. If A&E thinks they will lose more in advertising than lost viewership (again, Paula Deen), by not suspending Phil, then they will do it. Do you really think they love the gays any more than they love the Clampetts mulit-millions? It’s the business of SHOW. $$$$$ will always trump any moral or politically correct obligation to the public or loyalty to the convictions of its “stars”.

  • niko

    Well, it seems everyone is in support of free speech until someone says something they disagree with. Language like, “It’s disappointing to me that someone couldn’t muzzle Phil from expressing his more extreme beliefs.” is shockingly authoritarian and judgmental. I expected better from the author of this article.


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