Phil Robertson, the racist, homophobic, anti-atheist bigot star of the television series Duck Dynasty, opened a recent NASCAR event with a prayer and decided it was a good time to get political.
“I pray Father that we put a Jesus-Man in the White House,” he prayed. “Help us do that and help us all to repent, to do what is right, to love you more and to love each other. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.”
He also mentioned guns and thanked the military.
Of course, many fans were irked by this statement because NASCAR is not strictly a Christian sport and not every fan comes to here what some duck whistle aficionado thinks about politics.
“There are Democrats who enjoy NASCAR,” Associated Press writer Jenna Fryer said. “Jews and atheists and women, too.”
“What if at next Sunday’s race, someone got up and prayed for gun control, the Koran and that a Muhammad-woman be put in the White House?” wrote David Whitley, a journalist for the Orlando Sentinal. “Most of the people defending Robertson would be throwing tire irons at their TVs.”The backlash, of course, drew criticism from Robertson fanboys like Fox News’ Todd Starnes. Starnes wrote that since he doesn’t see any burkas at NASCAR events, the criticism is groundless.
“Well, I sincerely doubt a devout Muslim would be asking Allah to put a “Muhammad-woman” anywhere near the White House. And let’s be honest, you don’t see too many burkas at Bristol.”
Perhaps you don’t see many Muslims at these events because bigots like Starnes and Robertson don’t make them feel safe and welcome.
Starnes was particularly upset by an essay on the site Beyond the Flag in which Christopher Olmstead asked whether or not religion still belongs in NASCAR.
“For a sport that is trying to become a global success is it appropriate to attach a certain religion or religious tone to yourself? For a sport that might have several drivers who might not believe in God or religion is it appropriate to hold the pre-race invocation? For a sport that is trying to reach out to different cultures around the world who may believe in a higher power other than God, is it appropriate to have the invocation?”
Starnes, being the closed-minded slug that he is, only offered that, of course, God and religion belong in NASCAR, because “NASCAR without Jesus would be like biscuits without gravy.”