I don’t watch much television, but when I do, it’s not Duck Dynasty. Frankly, I’ve only seen parts of a few episodes, which didn’t keep my attention for long. That’s not to say that the show isn’t entertaining, because if it wasn’t, then millions of people wouldn’t be tuning into every episode. Whether you like the show, hate it, or have never seen it, chances are you’ve heard about it, or seen their merchandise at your local Wal-Mart. The Nation has officially gone Duck Crazy, and with Phil’s recent comments, there will be no one left from hearing the Duck Gospel.
What I find interesting is how so many evangelical Christians are inflamed by A&E’s decision to ban Phil from the show. Their majority position is that Phil was excercising his freedom of speech, based on his Biblical convinctions. However, what they aren’t acknowledging is the apparent bigotry and ignorance, particularly involving homosexuality. Phil went on by lumping homosexuals in with terrorists. Whether his heart was in the right place or not, his mouth and mind weren’t, and to compare homosexuality to terrorism is completely irresponsible to say the very least. Freedom of speech doesn’t give anyone the right to say whatever they like, regardless of the injury to others, and then blame it on their belief system. The family did release an official statement this morning, which did not include an apology for Phil’s comments. They did acknowledge them as “unfiltered” and then offered a scripture on loving thy neighbor, which I thought was odd, because it certainly didn’t sound like his comments were promoting love and acceptance.
Every member of the Robertson family are now household names because their show was pitched to A&E who bought it, produced it, and created a Duck Dynasty nation. However, they didn’t buy the show because of the Robertson’s Christian values. They bought the show, because the producers thought their viewers would find blue-collar, bearded millionaires, racing lawnmowers in the front yard entertaining. It’s only because of A&E that Phil and his family of duck hunters have a platform by which to speak openly about their faith, which ironcially could be the very reason the show sees an early grave. I’m indifferent either way, and who knows, perhaps this will extend the life of the show. “There’s no bad press.”
From what I’ve seen, read, and heard about the Robertson family, they seem like good people. Perhaps this will give them an opportunity to grow, learn, and gain a whole new demographic…LGBT. Wouldn’t that be crazy? Some real Jesus stuff.
How has Phil’s comments affected your attitude towards the show?
When I was four years old, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior. This is of course what I was told anyway, because I certainly don’t remember it. I do remember however vaguely a time when I was about ten or twelve feeling compelled to recommit my life to Christ. It was very emotional, as was most experiences in my church growing up. Many people cried during worship, and then after the preacher was finished with his thrashing, everyone one go to the alter for 15-20 minutes to pray, and cry, and in some cases speak in tongues, or perhaps be slain in the spirit. If you’ve never attended a service in a Pentecostal or Assemblies of God church, this may all sound very foreign to you, but for me, growing up, it was very normal.
I was taught not to lie, cheat, steal, curse, drink, dance, lust, among many other things that were thought to displease God. So, I worked very hard to be a “good Christian,” by following these teachings, and many others that I understood at the time to be “the Truth” and what would lead to an eternity in paradise with our God and Savior.
Over the past ten years, I have experienced a great deal of spiritual evolution. In other words, most of what I believed to be true as a child and young adult, I no longer believe to be true. Specifically, and most disrupting to most, especially those close to me, or who have strong Christian convictions; I don’t believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven, which disallows me to profess Christianity as my religion of choice. Before you judge, please understand that for me to say that has required a death of my own faith, years of soul searching, traveling the World, hundreds of hours of study, research, discussion, and prayer. In other words, it’s a much bigger deal for me to say that and mean it, than to be concerned about the consequences of doing so. In other Words, don’t email me, call me, or pray for me in hope that I will return to the Faith. I’m happy, whole, and convicted in my own belief system. Keep reading, and you may be surprised that we’re not as different as you think.
Very simply, I believe that if what the Bible says is true; that no man will enter Heaven that has not accepted Christ, the rest of it questionable. The acceptance of Christ as God in the flesh, and Savior of the World is the most important and most fundamental part of the religion, which is what so many overlook, and so few truly understand.
If you ask most Christians the question; “Do you believe that if someone doesn’t accept Christ, they will go to hell?,” their answer will be “no,” or “probably not,” or “I’m not sure.” The reality is that the Bible is very clear; death and eternal damnation. This is where I draw the line, as it would mean that every friend I have that is a Muslim, Hindu, Jew, Mormon (yes I said Mormon,) or of any other religious flavor is going to hell, which I think is ridiculous.
Although I would very much enjoy providing life experience, logic, historical evidence, and opinion to support my position, I will just say that I very much agree with Mark Twain when he said; “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
I’m not arguing Jesus’ existence, or the fact that he was and is to this very day, the most influential person who has ever walked this Earth. Jesus was in fact, a Badass by anyone’s account, including religious leaders and scholars of many other faiths and religions.
I aspire to be like Jesus, and can’t imagine why anyone in the World wouldn’t want to do the same. He was kind, compassionate, selfless, generous, and exemplified true Love and Acceptance. I’m grateful for many of the things I learned as a result of growing up in Church, and I’m equally grateful for God giving me a mind and a will of my own, that has allowed me to remain curious, and develop my own set of beliefs, that stem from experience and personal conviction.
All religions; there are thousands, require Faith, not just Christianity. My challenge to those of you, who call yourselves Christians, is to open your eyes and your hearts to those around you who believe differently than you. You don’t have to agree with us, but the World would certainly be a better place if we all could learn to accept others as they are. Standing up for what you believe, doesn’t mean forcing those around you to lie down. Jesus invented Christianity, disrupted the World’s religious community, told everyone he was God, and never raised his voice, or his hand. He hung out with tax collectors, lepers, and whores, only to be later hung on a cross. I’m not making this up, it’s in your Bible. Let your life be your witness, not your tongue.