So, I was just wondering what a Duck Dynasty news avalanche would look like. And then Thursday happened.
As much as I’d like to see news cycle padding like this flame up quickly and then blow out just as fast, I’m afraid that we can’t ignore it; Christians are losing the option to be bystanders in the culture wars. When a gauntlet gets thrown down like this, we have to pick it up. Instapundit points to an article that explains why:
Many on the right have seen the trajectory of the gay rights movement and concluded that it’s wise to surrender on the marriage question to be “on the right side of history.” The lesson of Phil Robertson suggests that once the marriage battle is won, groups like the Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD will simply move on to a new battlefield. They will not stop. They do not exist to stop. They exist to keep on pushing. The next battlefield may well be codifying the idea they expressed last night, that quoting mainstream Christian beliefs that have been in place for a couple thousand years amounts to hate speech that should be banned.
And Pat Archbold has a good post explaining what it is that A&E doesn’t get about Duck Dynasty:
The whole idea of the show was to parade these nouveau riche Christian hillbillies around so that we could laugh at them. “Look at them,” we were supposed to say. “Look how backward they are! Look what they believe! Can you believe they really live this way and believe this stuff? See how they don’t fit in? HAHAHA”
When the producers saw the way the show was shaping up, different than they envisioned it, they tried to change course. They tried to get the Robertson’s to tone down their Christianity, but to their eternal credit they refused. They tried to add fake cussin’ to the show by inserting bleeps where no cussword was uttered. At best, they wanted to make the Robertson’s look like crass buffoons. At worst they wanted them to look like hypocrites.
They desperately wanted us to laugh at the Robertsons. Instead, we loved them.
A&E wanted us to point fingers at them and laugh at them. But something else happened entirely. Millions upon millions of people tuned in, not to laugh at them, but to laugh with them.
And then we pointed at them. We pointed at them and said things like, “I wish my family was more like them. I wish we prayed together as a family. I wish we were together like the Robertsons.”
By the time this all happened, A&E had a conundrum. They knew who the Robertsons were and what they believe and they still held it in disdain. But they really liked the money. Really liked the money. So they lived with it.
But they’ve decided to pitch all that money over the side, because they don’t fear repercussions from Christian viewers, but they do fear repercussions from a well-organized and relentless community of gay activists.
But the roots of misunderstanding go deeper than just this conflict between A&E and the Robertsons. The secular Left has a pervasive, and largely willful, ignorance about the Christian Right. It’s that ignorance that leads to caterwauling fits of hysterical outrage whenever Christians openly express the things that Christians have always believed. David French expounds on this theme of two viewpoints with no overlap:
…when Lady Gaga celebrates being “born this way” (not to equate Saletan and Gaga, of course) the orthodox Christian responds, “Yes, and that’s the problem.” Putting aside homosexuality for the moment, a foundational principle of orthodox Christianity is the concept that we are shot through with sin and that even the best of us is in desperate need of forgiveness and redemption. We’re so far from the holiness of God that the very phrase “the best of us” is a sad joke. As my former pastor once said, a prerequisite to understanding the good news of the Gospel is knowing the bad news — that we are evil.
That’s why, as a matter of religious argument, whether variations in sexual desire are innate, learned, chosen, or some combination thereof is largely irrelevant to the morality of sexual behavior within orthodoxy but almost entirely dispositive within secularism. The two world views are simply ships passing in the night when it comes to the core question of our human nature. Or, to put it another way: “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him.”
It’s difficult to overstate the importance of this philosophical difference, with bleed-through effects all over our social and foreign policies.