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Friday, December 20, 2013

Phil Robertson, Homosexuals, Vaginas, And More Uncomfortable Stuff

So, Phil Robertson, one of the stars of A&E's wildly successful and furry television show Duck Dynasty, has ruffled some feathers and gotten himself suspended from the show. Unless you spent the last 24 hours in a cave you already know this and know why; it has been all the buzz today.  He granted GQ Magazine a coveted interview and said some inflammatory things about homosexuals and even added a little something extra about the black folks in his area being happy and godly before civil rights, lagniappe, if you will.  With 14 million avid followers, this situation could get sticky.

The first incendiary nugget that was dropped was during a commentary on immorality.

“It seems like, to me, a vagina – as a man – would be more desirable than a man's anus. That's just me.   I'm just thinking:  There's more there! She's got more to offer. I mean come on, dudes! You know what I'm saying?  But hey, sin: It's not logical, my man.  It's just not logical.” ~ Phil Robertson

Anyone who has watched the show or paid any attention at all, knows that Phil is a reformed sinner and a devout bible thumper.  They close each show with a prayer and it's all clean, family-oriented fluff.  It's a show about a family who got obscenely wealthy because of an improvement to duck calls that Phil came up with and was savvy enough to patent.  It's a show with funny characters, semi-scripted plots, bad grammar and a lot of hair.  Hair is good.  Money is good. Anyway, Phil can be kind of preachy.  They've gotten sideways with the network before over the preachiness and gun use.  Hey, it's a show about a family of rich hunters from Louisiana who spend more time in the woods than on carpet and are religious, what do you expect?  The interviewer pulled an easy “gotcha” and went onto Phil's turf, spent time with him as a guest in his home and went on a tour of his land with him.  Phil got comfortable, got preachy, as is his habit, and wound up with his foot in his mouth.  I'm sure Drew Magary, the writer who was lucky enough to get the interview, knew that he'd hit pay dirt with the above quote.  But he wasn't finished, then there was this:

“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.” ~ Phil Robertson

Just remember everyone else has it too.

I'm sure that, in his world, this is okay talk, but in the national arena, it's a double-sided sword that's going to draw blood either way it swings.  Sponsors pay for the show, A&E has to have advertisers to finance the show.   They probably need very good advertisers for this show as it's been reported that the family members make around $200,000 each for every episode.  A lot of their advertisers could lose a lot of business if it became known that they were financing a show featuring a guy who's known for gay-bashing.  Of course A&E doesn't want to lose these advertisers so what are they to do?  They had to take action so they suspended Phil.   I'm sure they hated to learn that he'd said these things, they probably cringed in their padded leather chairs and cried real tears on their mahogany desks and spent all day on their phones trying to put out fires.  Now that Phil has been “outed”, America has another thing to be divided about, another thing to shout hateful things at each other about, another thing to boycott about, another thing to be angry about that isn't really that big of a deal.   It's a cable TV show; it's a 67 year-old man in north Louisiana who bites the heads off ducks when A&E's not looking; it's a devout Christian, what did you expect him to say about homosexuality?  It says right there in Leviticus 20: 13,

“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”


Now, it doesn't get much more straightforward than that.  A lot of people like to toss that one around these days, you know, what with gay folks getting so much freedom and stuff. Most of them don't seem to remember that a few paragraphs above that one is Leviticus 19: 28,

“Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you:  I am the LORD.”

Wait...what's that about?   Are they talking about tattoos? Piercings? Cutting?  What?   No way!  That's not what that means!   Hmmm.   Hard to tell. But it's convenient, isn't it?  Apologists and weird interpreter-type revisionists like to twist the meanings and words and make them work for their individual desires and to explain away inconsistencies. That could be a monumentally bad idea if you take the Bible at its word...literally.

“Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it.
~ Deuteronomy 12: 32

Wait there's more.

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. ~ Revelation 22: 18-19

King James has got some editing to answer for

And why shouldn't you take the Bible literally, if you're going to take it at all?  People love to pick and choose what parts of the Bible are pertinent and say that the Old Testament is outdated Mosaic law and isn't relevant because Jesus changed all that.  Okay, the Ten Commandments are Old Testament, the part about homosexuals is Old Testament, Jesus never mentions homosexuality in the New Testament.  Does that mean it's okay?  What the hell does any of it mean anyway?  The Old Testament is outdated?  The New Testament is 2000 years old, are they saying it's not outdated?   Here's where it gets tricky.  Jesus is the son of God/son of man/God in the flesh, whatever, is he God?   The same god from the Old Testament?   Does he have a split personality?  Did he change his omnipotent and omniscient mind?   If so, why?   Did he find a flaw in his plan?  Why didn't he see that coming?  The world is full of people with nutty ideas and if Phil Robertson thinks homosexuality will lead to bestiality, that's his nutty right and he has a right to say it without being locked up.  That's what freedom of speech guarantees.  It does not guarantee that you won't suffer derision, financial failings, being made fun of or possibly losing your job.  Duck Commander will continue to make truckloads of money and A&E will find a way out of this sticky wicket.   The only people suffering will be you and I.   The ones out here screeching at each other about what it all means and waiting for the end of the world. That's my take on this tempest in a teapot, for what its worth.  Thanks for reading and remember, Jesus and Santa are white, coffee and cigarettes will stunt your growth and, if you say the Lord's Prayer backwards, Ozzy Osbourne will appear and bite your head off. Where's my eggnog?

I'm waiting

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