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By Keith A Fournier

12/29/2013 (3 months ago)

Catholic Online (

To that I say, You go Phil. Keep thumping that Bible, keep preaching the liberating promise of the Gospel in your unique way - and do not back down in the face of bullies.

Duck Dynasty offers a refreshing break from what is offered on much of cable television programming. A&E Network made the correct decision to lift the suspension of Phil Robertson. In announcing its decision, A&E also announced it was launching a campaign to promote what it called "tolerance" among all people. I hope it signals a return to sanity - and promotes true tolerance - the kind which includes faithful Christians who will not deny their faith. I look forward to the new season.

Article Highlights

By Keith A Fournier

Catholic Online (

12/29/2013 (3 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Duck Dynasty, Phil Robertson, GQ Magazine, GLAAD, Gay and Lesbian, LGBT, Christian, anti-Christian, Bill O'Reilly, Catholic, evangelical, Orthodox, Deacon Keith Fournier, Keith Fournier

CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - The announcement came on Friday afternoon.  Apparently the move was the entertainment/political/industrial complex equivalent of a Friday document drop. I remember the years I spent more proximate to Washington, DC. The administration would dump news it hoped would not get picked up late on Friday afternoon. 

After all, the decision by A&E Network to suspend Phil Robertson, the Patriarch of the Duck Dynasty family, was nothing but a political response to a strong bullying tactic by GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation). They took exception to a freewheeling interview which Phil Robertson gave to GQ magazine in which, among many other topics, he shared his evangelical protestant beliefs that homosexual acts are sinful.

Like most sincere, faithful Christians - protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox - Phil Robertson attempted to make an important distinction. He explained that, although he respected all human persons - including those who self identify as homosexual - homosexual sexual activity is immoral. He also wanted the readers of the interview to know that the love of God is available to all men and women, can free them from every sin and help them to find a full and happy life by avoiding wrong choices going forward.

Phil Robertson, in his down home manner, went to great lengths to explain his own background. He bore witness of his turn to the grace of God and the mercy which he has experienced. This man offered a sincerely held and well meaning Christian witness. However, it was to no avail, at least among some readers with power and position in the increasingly intolerant cultural and political infrastructure of the United States.

The arbiters of what some hope will become a new cultural order in the West - where active practitioners of a homosexual or lesbian lifestyle are given a moral and legal equivalency under the civil law to a married men and women - have no room for anyone who does not toe the line. They used their growing political clout to compel the A&E Network to act against Phil's honesty in speech or face the growing pink ribbon backlash. So, A& E did act - wrongly. They indefinitely suspended the Patriarch of the Robertson family.

However, A&E Network did not expect the response that followed.  Phil Robertson described in the interview with GQ how sin is becoming acceptable in America and that the country needed to turn back to its Christian values. Paraphrasing St. Paul's letter to the Corinthians, Robertson told GQ. Don't be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers-they won't inherit the kingdom of God. Don't deceive yourself. It's not right.

GLAAD and their activist supporters, including those in an increasingly propaganda oriented media, did not like those words. However, their disagreement was not with Phil Robertson but with the Bible! Those were words taken from St. Paul and written to the early Christians in Corinth. Homosexual and other immoral sexual behavior is not new. The words can be read in  First Corinthians Chapter six.

Even Bill O'Reilly of Fox News, who has built a following based on his alleged rejection of what he calls spin and his claim to speak for the little guy, got it wrong. That is because, although he is a Catholic, he apparently did not recognize the Bible passage that Phil Robertson was quoting. In response to O'Reilly I wrote an article entitled Phil Robertson Was Quoting St Paul! Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of Christ

The Patriarch of the Robertson family explained to the interviewer that putting one's faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord will help them with all problems in life. He shared, with a sincere vulnerability, about his own past - and how the Lord had reached out to him. This man was giving a Christian witness in a magazine which reaches out beyond the community where such witness often reaches. It was for that he was penalized.

I was moved by his sincerity, inspired by his courage and appalled by the reaction of A&E Network. That is why I wrote an article for Catholic Online entitled Duck Dynasty and the GQ Interview of Phil Robertson: Rejecting Political Correctness The article has had more reads than any article I have ever written for Catholic Online. That shows the popularity of this program and the interest this controversy has generated.

I was not alone in writing or responding. The reaction to the punitive and intolerant actions of the A&E network was extraordinary.  The show is immensely popular, for many reasons. The situations the family members face each week, and the lessons learned as a result, serve as a framework for communicating timeless values in a simple but effective way.

There are real, human, redemptive values on display in each weekly episode of Duck Dynasty, as the family faces the stuff of raising children, remaining faithful to their marriages, and supporting one another in the rough and tumble of real life. In addition, in almost every episode, they end with the extended family sharing a meal which begins with a heartfelt and sincere prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord.

The Robertson family is openly Christian. Obviously, they are evangelical protestant Christians. However, they are the kind of Christians who still embrace the ancient, unchangeable Creed which defines basic Christianity, whether they recite that creed on Sunday or not. That is why this Catholic - and many, many others - tunes in regularly.

That is also one of the several reasons why I came to their defense. I am tired of the new bullies like GLAAD who have decided that they are the enforcers of a new cultural order. Similarly, the propaganda media needs to stop acting like a new Cultural Revolutionary guard. A small section of the homosexual/lesbian community is seeking to compel the entire culture to change the truth about marriage and the family.  

The reaction to this action by A&E Network showed that most Americans are growing tired of those who, in the name of tolerance, are woefully intolerant of faithful Christians. Yes, every single human person, including those who have same sex attraction, has human dignity. Yes, every human person, including those who struggle with same sex attraction, should be respected and appropriately protected against discrimination.

However, the idea of restructuring the entire social order and attempting to nullify the Natural Moral Law, and then using the police power of the State to enforce a new social order will not prevail. Real, ordinary down home people are waking up. The reason Duck Dynasty is so popular is people are not buying into this new Cultural Revolutionary ideology. They know it is not true. They know it will not promote the common good.

The people I live my life with in Chesapeake, Virginia are an example. The ones who I work out with in the gym where I lift weights and the kickboxing dojo where I study Martial Arts are NOT against homosexual persons. In fact, some who struggle with same sex attraction probably hit the same heavy bags and lift the same weights.

However, like the rest of us, they happen to like Phil Robertson and the Duck Dynasty family. We all know that their down to earth, real approach to life has a basic goodness to it. We are glad that this family has not succumbed to the insanity of the ideologues of the New Cultural Revolution.

In addition, we are sick of the charged and loaded rhetoric which pretends to be objective news reporting. We are even more nauseated by those in Hollywood (certainly not all) who have become so brainwashed by the new thought police that they have decided that they must now enforce the new ideological line of the Cultural Revolutionaries. 

Duck Dynasty and the GQ Interview of Phil Robertson was a refreshing rejection of political correctness. In the larger GQ interview - which gave rise to the punitive action of the A&E Network - and its subsequent retraction - Phil Robertson made an observation: 

We're Bible-thumpers who just happened to end up on television. You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let's get on with it, and everything will turn around.

To that I say, You go Phil.  Keep thumping that Bible, keep preaching the liberating promise of the Gospel in your unique way - and do not back down in the face of bullies.

Duck Dynasty offers a refreshing break from what is offered on much of cable television programming. A&E Network made the correct decision to lift the suspension of Phil Robertson. In announcing its decision, A&E also announced it was launching a campaign to promote what it called tolerance among all people. I hope it signals a return to sanity - and promotes true tolerance - the kind which includes faithful Christians who will not deny their faith. I look forward to the new season.


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