Tag Archives: Duck Dynasty

The Dynasty Should Be Over


I will admit that I have watched Duck Dynasty on occasion, I’ve even heard Jase Robertson speak in person. The show can be somewhat humorous, just to watch the stupidity of rednecks, but it’s a lie that purports to be real. It only takes a few shows to just see how fake this family is. I have friends who live in Louisiana, and just like in Alabama where this is not always the case, there is a vast amount of ignorance in the state. My friends are all academics, with fairly liberal views, but no matter where you go in America today, ignorance abounds. Phil Robertson is just the latest example of this ignorance, but I have a particular bone to pick with him. He is giving my religion a bad name.

You see, Phil is a minister with the churches of Christ and should know better than to misquote the Bible. By the way, I had already been peeved with the Robertson family for putting on a Christmas pageant at their church. No good member of the church of Christ is going to celebrate Christmas within the church because the birth of Christ is something that we believe should be celebrated year round; however, for sheer monetary gain, the Robertson family flaunted a Christmas Pageant at their church on their “Duck Dynasty: Robertson Family Christmas.” The episode itself was so far removed from what Christmas should be about that it sickened me. The church of Christ does not frown upon its members for celebrating Christmas, but we don’t celebrate the holiday as an official church activity. My own church had a Christmas party but it was hosted by one of our members who invited us all to her house for dinner, but was not sponsored by the church.

The thing is, in the church of Christ we do not add to or take away from the New Testament. Yet, Phil did just that in his comments to GQ Magazine. In his shocking interview with GQ’s Drew Magary, Phil Robertson — the 67-year-old patriarch of the Duck Commander kingdom that earned his Louisiana family a fortune and a hit A&E series — opened up about “modern immorality” and the gay community. In the interview, he stated:

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.

Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong. Sin becomes fine. 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. 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.

The emphasized part of the above quote is a misquoted and mistranslated version of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. The King James Version (which is one of the most accurate English translations) reads:

9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate (malokois), nor abusers of themselves with mankind (arsenokoitai)
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

The English Standard Version, which is probably the mistranslation that Phil was quoting from, reads:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Phil takes an incorrect view of the Bible with this passage. In the King James Version, I have put in parentheses the two original words that have caused the most controversy. There have been 44 different interpretations in English of the word malokois. Most common through history have been weaklings, effeminates, or homosexual. I believe all of these are incorrect interpretations of the word. Greek scholars say that in first century the Greek word malaokois probably meant “effeminate call boys.” The New Revised Standard Version says “male prostitutes.” Some biblical scholars have argued that the term is used for the word catamite, which is a fairly consistent interpretation by most Biblical scholars. A catamite was a young hairless boy used for sexual pleasure by older men. This derives from the more Ancient Greek practice of pederasty (remember that Corinth is in the Greek Peloponnesus). The practice that Paul is condemning is and always has been that of pedophilia, not homosexuality.

As for arsenokoitai, Greek scholars don’t know exactly what it means — and the fact that we don’t know is a big part of this tragic debate. Some scholars believe Paul was coining a name to refer to the customers of “the effeminate call boys.” We might call them “dirty old men.” Others translate the word as “sodomites,” but never explain what that means. In 1958, for the first time in history, a person translating that mysterious Greek word into English decided it meant homosexuals, even though there is, in fact, no such word in Greek or Hebrew. But that translator made the decision for all of us that placed the word homosexual in the English-language Bible for the very first time.

The fact is, there is no clear evidence that homosexual orientation or that the love between two men or two women is a sin. The Bible is completely silent on the issue of homosexual orientation. And no wonder. Homosexual orientation wasn’t even known as a term until the 19th century.

Phil Robertson claims that he studies his Bible and carries it with him always, yet he can’t even correctly quote the Bible. He continues to use a bad translation of the Bible in order to spew his vile comments to the world. The biggest problem with Phill Robertson is that he is a hypocrite. Robertson was once a substance abuser, but in the 1970s he turned his life over to Jesus, according to the Christian publication, The Southeast Outlook. He has since been a devout Christian and strives to be a scholar of the Bible. Like most people who come to Christianity later in life, Phil has become over zealous in his beliefs in order to atone for past sins. Instead of being a loving Christian man, who shows his generosity, he uses his fame and his Bible to browbeat his brand of Christianity onto those who disagree with him.

A representative from A&E released the following statement from Phil Roberston in response to the controversy:

I myself am a product of the 60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior. My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together. However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.

To be fair, I completely agree with the last three sentences of Phil’s statement; however, how much of it is true considering the statements he made in GQ and statements he’s made in past sermons and speeches. This isn’t the first time that Phil has spoken about against homosexuality, but this was the most public of his statements.

GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz said it best when he released the following statement:

Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe. He clearly knows nothing about gay people or the majority of Louisianans –- and Americans — who support legal recognition for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples. Phil’s decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors who now need to reexamine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.

In the backlash to Phil’s statements, A&E suspended Phil Robertson “indefinitely” from the reality series due to his comments about the LGBT community. How much will A&E stand by their suspension, especially with the rest of the Robertson clan standing firmly behind their patriarch? There is just too much money at stake for both A&E and the Robertsons. “Duck Dynasty” is on hiatus until Jan. 15, and a network spokesman said Thursday that nine of next season’s 10 episodes have already been filmed. That means Robertson likely isn’t needed in front of the camera before next March, by which time this whole crisis may have blown over. And blow over it will, eventually, says veteran Hollywood crisis publicist Howard Bragman, who added that Robertson will likely return to the show as well, perhaps after making a heartfelt apology.

Travels and Travails


I had mentioned on Monday that I would blog about my weekend trip. This was not one of my best vacations, but it wasn’t a vacation for me. I was going as the driver. My aunt, who is near my age and, incidentally, my roommate (she’s more like a big sister thank an aunt). Anyway, a few months ago, we got tickets to see Luke Bryan in concert in Birmingham. That was how the plan for this trip started. We were going to take my aunt’s former foster daughter (aka M) to the concert. (My aunt was given custody of her for about two years because the girls parents had major drug problems, but when they got mostly straitened out, the courts gave her back to her parents. My aunt is still a very important part of her life, and they, hopefully, will always be part of each others lives.)

M rarely ever gets to go anywhere or do anything unless my aunt takes her. Sadly since going back with her parents several years ago, she is the grown-up in the household, even though she is 15. So my aunt does her best to make sure she has what she needs and is able to have some sort of a normal life. This is why we were taking her to the concert. She loves Luke Bryan.

There is a fair amount of backstory to this trip, so stay with me.

Add to this that my aunt is a big fan of “Duck Dynasty” on A&E, especially of Jace Roberts. The shows funny, but I don’t get her obsession. Anyway, Jace was scheduled to be in Huntsville at a hunting and fishing expo Friday. Since we were going to be in Birmingham on Thursday and Huntsville is only an hour and a half to two hours away, my aunt wanted to go see him. So a trip to Huntsville was added on to the Thursday night concert.

Well, Huntsville is only two hours from Nashville. My aunt has wanted to go back to Nashville, and it was an opportunity to take M on a short vacation to a place her parents would never take her, so two days in Nashville were added to the trip. My aunt took me to Nashville when I was a kid, so I was game to go back. We had not gone to the Parthenon when we had gone before, and this was somewhere I wanted to go. Also, the Country Music Hall of Fame had moved to a new home and it would also be nice to tour.

To say the least, M was extremely excited about going, and even though I didn’t have the money to go, my aunt convinced me that it would cost very little. She was paying for the hotels and gas, if I would drive. All I had to pay for was food (and we were planning on picnicking as much as possible) and admission to museums that we went to visit (they were relatively inexpensive). I figured I could afford this. However, some unexpected expenses came up, and my money was gone. Since I am a teacher who makes very little money, and in January 2013, I lost my second job that supplemented my income, I am struggling financially. Being poor sucks. In this current economy, keeping one job is hard enough, finding a second is nearly impossible. So when something unexpected comes up, it can be a big problem. It seems like, I can no longer keep my head above water. My “guardian accountant,” and he know who he is, says that it will take time for things to get better. I hope that’s true. Anyway, I’m off topic. With M’s excitement, I couldn’t back out and disappoint her, I would just have to make the best of it.

I knew things were not going to be good when a deposit I made into my account did not post like it should have. Next, I got a speeding ticket going through Montgomery on the way to the concert. I don’t understand how, since my cruise control was set on 65 mph, the speed limit, and the state trooper, aka officer asshole, said he clocked me going 85 mph in a 65 mph speed zone. What he clocked was the gray Ford Fusion that was passing me, or one of the other dozens of cars passing me, instead of my gray Ford Focus. I tried to explain this to him, but he called me a liar. I made the mistake of putting on my brakes and trying to move over when I saw an emergency vehicle (just as the law in Alabama says to do). Now add to no money, I now have a speeding ticket to pay for. Things were not starting out well.

The concert was outdoors at the Oak Mountain Amphitheater, and it was hotter than Hell, as Alabama summers are wont to be. Florida-Georgia Line performed first, and were not very good in concert. Thompson Square, however, was far better than I had expected. Luke Bryan was smokin’ hot, a lot of fun to watch, and put on a great concert. So that was at least one thing that went well.

On to Huntsville. First let me say, I am not big on hunting and fishing expos, so I was not looking forward to this. We waited over an hour to get in and then the line to see Jace Robertson was quite long and he was not even going to start sign autographs for two more hours. I left M and my aunt in line while I went to to check out the expo. Compared to the Buckmasters Expo in Montgomery, where I have taken my niece several times to see the guys from Swamp People (she’s 5, and it’s her favorite show), the fishing and hunting expo in Huntsville was pretty crappy. I was able to go around the whole thing four times in two hours. After which I decided to take a seat and wait to hear Jace’s seminar. I knew it would be partly about hunting and partly about his faith. The Robertsons are members of the Churches of Christ, most of them are ordained ministers. I figured it would be an I greeting talk, and I got a fantastic seat. My aunt and M got their autographs and came over to where I was. Since my aunt is such a big fan of Jace, I gave her my seat and took M to show her around the Expo.

Once all of that was over with, we headed to Nashville. Apparently, the reviews of our Nashville hotel were all lies. The place was comfortable, but it sat behind a liquor store and there was a big ugly black drag queen screaming in the parking lot. First appearances what they are, the hotel didn’t turn out so badly. We had a pretty good day in Nashville, and things started looking up. We went to Music Row, the Country Music Hall of Fame, saw the Parthenon and Centennial Park, then went to the Opry Mills Mall that used to be Opryland. We had planned on touring the Opryland Hotel, but they now charge $20 for parking, so we opted out of that. At Opry Mills, we ate at the Aquarium Restaurant, which has great food and great atmosphere. I had eaten at one in Houston before. M loved it. It was like going to an aquarium and a nice restaurant all in one for her. Two things she’s never gotten to do before. It was a trip of firsts for her.

On the way home on Sunday, we had to more stops we decided to make, because we would be driving by them and since M had never seen them, it seemed like a good idea. The first stop was the Ave Maria Grotto in Cullman, Alabama. Known as “Jerusalem in Miniature,” Ave Maria Grotto is a beautifully landscaped, four-acre park designed to provide a natural setting for the 125 miniature reproductions of some of the most famous historic buildings and shrines of the world. The masterpieces of stone and concrete are the lifetime work of Brother Joseph Zoettl, a Benedictine monk of St. Bernard Abbey. Begun as a hobby, with various materials he could find, and infinite patience and a remarkable sense of symmetry and proportion, Brother Joseph re-created some of the greatest edifices of all time. It is definitely something that if you have the chance, you should see, even if it is like a little tacky roadside attraction.

The next stop was in Birmingham at the Vulcan. The Vulcan statue is the largest cast iron statue in the world, and is the city symbol of Birmingham, Alabama, reflecting its roots in the iron and steel industry. The 56-foot tall statue depicts the Roman god Vulcan, god of the fire and forge. I had not seen the statue up close in years. Since I had last seen it, the statue had been restored to its original condition. The restoration and the new visitors center are really nice.

With the exception of the lack of funds and the speeding ticket, the trip actually turned out to be very nice. The only thing I regret, and I just didn’t have the finances for it, was that I would have loved to enjoy some of e famous nightlife in Nashville. Oh well, that will have to be for another trip.