5 Lessons From The Duck Dynasty Fiasco

GQ Magazine
GQ Magazine

Okay, I give in.  I said I wasn’t going to comment on the Duck Dynasty fiasco, but here I am offering five lessons to learn from the situation.

Lesson #1This is not an issue of “free speech,” but of “funded speech.”  A&E is not saying Phil Robertson can’t say what he said, but they are saying that he’s not going to say those words while on their payroll.  While there are many examples of where free speech is being challenged in our culture, this is not one of them.  A&E has a right to hire and fire someone in the same fashion a religious organization has the right to fire an employee who expresses values contrary to their belief system.

Lesson #2There is a double standard, and probably always has been.  The kickback from a Christian being critical of the homosexual community is far greater than the kickback would be if someone from the homosexual community was critical of Christianity.  But listen, the world is the world and always has been.  Christians are always going to be on the outside looking in.  This should come as no surprise.  Jesus told us that since the world hated him, it would also hate his disciples (John 15:18; John 17:14).  I don’t like it, but I can’t expect the world to live up to the values and ethics of Jesus.  I’m just thankful we’ve had the degree of religious freedom that we have had for as long as we have had it.  I’m not saying just “lay down,” but I am saying, “Don’t act so shocked.”

Lesson #3
The world hasn’t cornered the market on “double standards.”  Christians are sometimes blind to double standards as well.  Intoxicating beverages are a scourge to our nation!  Don’t be vocal in opposition to the stand A&E has taken while remaining as silent at the tomb with respect to the decision the Robertson family has made to produce intoxicating beverages.  If you’re willing to boycott A&E for their stand in favor of homosexuality, then why wouldn’t you also be willing to boycott Duck Dynasty for their stand with reference to the scourge that is alcohol.

Lesson #4
Sometimes we’re guilty of “selective outrage.”  Let’s not express outrage at A&E for the decision they made, then turn around and watch and laugh at the most irreverent sitcoms, go to the foul-language laden latest movies, and and read the latest salacious book on the best sellers list.  Learn to abhor all sin.  Let’s be consistent.

Lesson #5
Thank God for our heavenly citizenship!  While I have a deep sense of nationalism, my appreciation for my U.S. citizenship pales in comparison to my heavenly citizenship.  Our national morals have been lost and we are picking up momentum on the moral downgrade.  Apart from a catastrophic event, I don’t know what will stop it.  I fear for my children and grandchildren and the world in which they will have to live.  I have reached the point in my life when I can fervently pray, as did the apostle John, “Lord come quickly.”  Until then, we must do our best to be faithful stewards of the gospel, and point people to Jesus by our words, attitudes, and actions.

These are five lessons I’ve learned.  Do you have others you’d like to share?

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Comments 23

  • Nothing to add here, brother. Thanks.

  • Thanks Steve. Well stated.

  • Also, in regard to number 3, they also have Duck Dynasty lottery tickets now. I don’t think they should be promoting that either. http://www.arkansasmatters.com/media/lib/183/e/3/5/e3526694-e980-4c98-bb93-9371a6ea8d2b/Story.jpg

  • It was my understanding that Phil Robertson said what he said to GQ magazine. It doesn’t look like to me that that is a magazine he should have been allowing to interview him anyway. If I had a daughter I certainly wouldn’t want her picture appearing in that magazine so why would he have allowed them to interview him. That in and of itself showed a lapse in judgment. Grant it, he may have thought that any opportunity he could share the truth of God’s word could be beneficial but when you associate yourself with a worldly magazine you don’t usually help your influence on others. People don’t look at GQ for the insightful interviews normally. Usually its for the scantily clad women on the front cover.

  • Steve… great lesson with a whole bunch of horse sense attached to it. Thanks for writing this. I plan to share it as well.

  • Brother, I give you big kudos for lessons 2-5. I ask you to reconsider lesson one. The civil rights acts of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. Of course, subsequently, those “civil rights” have been expanded to include sexual orientation. Constitutionally, there is a distinct difference between a religious organization and a regular business, and thankfully so. A church is allowed to “discriminate” according to sex, religion, sex orientation, etc, in hiring preachers, secretary’s, etc.. A Christian employer cannot fire a man for teaching baptist’s doctrine on his own time. A Christian eldership can. Furthermore, we do not forfeit our 1st amendment rights at the employment door and allowed from that moment on to do and speak only the bidding of our employer. Thankfully! While it is certainly being encroached upon there still remains a sharp line between religious and secular constitutionally. Believe me, that’s a line we don’t want blurred.

  • Five nails hit squarely on the head, especially #5. thanks.

  • Thank you Brother Steve for being so thoughtful May our Great God cotinue to bless you as you continue to exort and encourage with your pen.
    You said it all so well THANKS
    Thinking Love,

  • You nailed it with the word “consistent.” We do a lot of damage by picking and choosing what sins we overlook.

  • While I agree completely with this I feel it only right to point out that the alcoholic beverages are Duck Dynasty, not Duck Commander which means they are a product of A&E not the Robertson’s. Anything labeled Duck Dynasty is an A&E product and The Robertson’s don’t have as much, if any control over. They do however receive profit from those items which is bad enough. Same for the lottery tickets mentioned in an above comment, Duck Dynasty not Duck Commander.

  • Thanks for the clarification. I’m not sure how much of a difference it makes, but I do appreciate the clarification.

  • Couple of observations-

    The “double standard” doesn’t shock me it angers me. I believe we ought to expose it every time it appears. Of course it goes without saying it should be done lovingly & patiently. The other observation is agree with but I do have a question about “funded speech”?

    If I understand what you are saying then any business can fire an employee if they voice any views publically that the business (owners, CEO) disagrees with because they are on their payroll. I guess it would depend on whether the “company’s views” were known and accepted by the employee before being hired. I believe conduct is one thing; simply expressing one’s beliefs is another. Some companies/institutions exist for the express purpose of advancing a particular view/teaching/conduct, .e.g. religions, Boy Scouts, etc. The gas company, Wal-Mart, etc. don’t exist to promote a particular moral or religious point of view. I see A&E and other entertainment companies in that category. This may all boil down to the usual inconsistencies & double standard by the world against Christianity that’s already been mentioned that we will simply have to endure. (Read 1 Peter). What say you all?

  • Steve, good thoughts, as always. I would add that regarding point #1, I believe it IS a free speech issue in that tremendous pressure is being placed in Christians by the homosexual lobby. When a man speaks against homosexuality, he is ostracized and attacked in the media in such a way that his livelihood begins to be affected. Granted, Phil has plenty of money. But the pressure placed on employers by the homosexual lobby is intense, and is making many people afraid to speak the truth. I call that a free speech issue!

    Also, in point #5, you say you don’t know what it will take to reverse the moral decline in America. I do! We must realize that things like this ARE free speech issues, and begin immersing this nation in God’s word via our collective voices.

    My two cents, love you brother!

  • I do think Christians should be less eager to “stand with” Phil Robertson, and more eager to “stand in” the word. Brother Robertson said some things that needed to be said, but they needed to be said because they were scriptural. He also said some things that did not need to be said, some rather crass things in fact, and he has taught some things, in other places, that we don’t need to support, because they are not scriptural. I am always happy when the truth is taught, regardless of who teaches it, but we should imitate others as they themselves imitate Christ, looking to the perfect example for our example and even Christians can be guilty of false “hero worship.” That being said, I do appreciate the families willingness not to buckle under pressure on the topic at hand.

    In relation to your fifth point, one thing this episode shows is the deep divide now extant in our country. There has always been that divide between the righteous and the unrighteous, “An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, but one whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked.” (Proverbs 29:27) Yet in former days in this country there was always the feeling that the unrighteous were informed by the opinions of the righteous. Now it seems the pendulum has swung and the opinions and doctrines of the unrighteous have the high ground culturally. As you said Steve, thank God for a heavenly home where righteousness dwells

  • Amen Steve

  • Gentleman Quarterly is not a moral magazine!! I wouldn’t be associated with it in any way. I am for God’s Word all the way as Truth.

  • Is “funded speech” a legal concept in the statutes, cases or regulations? Even as a contractual issue, there is hardly a level playing field between the corporate “person” and the individuals employed by corporations. A&E clearly exercised their free speech as a “person” who supports the views of one community against the views of another community. Even though corporate power is not the power of government or the power of criminal prosecution, it is none the less real power that contains the freedoms of people and punishes people for violations against the self-interest of the corporation. Because of the pervasive influence of corporations in our society, this should alarm us because their power, whether legal or abusive, will have a chilling effect on our ability to be authentic Christians in the public sphere in our society.

  • The scripture says we are the light of the world. Jesus said they that are sick are in need of a physicain. He came to save the lost. Jesus is concerned about people of GQ magazine and its readers. I read the part of the article and Robinson listed a number of sins not just homosexuality. Read the article yourself. GQ asked a question and whether you agree or not that was his answer.

  • Your points are excellent, but I, like some others, take issue with point #1. Yes, technically, because the government is not involved, this isn’t a free speech issue…yet. I believe that it’s a precursor. The government is wanting to class any negative speech against homosexuals or homosexuality as hate speech and make it a criminal offense. I’ve heard that they’ve already done this in Canada, and the US is following in their footsteps. The United Nations is trying to pass something, a treaty I think, that will make it illegal to say anything against Islam. We are rapidly moving towards real constitutional free speech issues. There is already a cake decorator in the US who has basically had to close her cake bakery because she politely refused a job to bake a “wedding” cake for a gay couple on the grounds that it went against her religious beliefs. And a photographer in the US who turned down a job to photograph a gay “wedding,” also on religious grounds, was charged with something…I don’t remember the details exactly, but we are on the edge of major changes to our religious freedoms. I agree with the previous commentors who said that this is a free speech issue of sorts even though it’s not up to the constitutional level. But again, the other points are right on. To the person who said that the wine is labled Duck Dynasty and not Duck Commander…didn’t the Robertsons buy the winery? And why would you sign away your rights to use your name and image and not stipulate that it can’t be used for products that you find morally objectionable? Thanks for the post.

  • I agree with you,but I think before DD agrees to do a show they should have the right to choose what products the network promotes using their name and what commercials are their sponsors before agreeing to do the show

  • You are saying the Robertson family are “producing” alcoholic beverages?

  • Christians are followers of Christ and, as such, “do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers,” (Psalm 1:1 ESV). THAT’S what’s wrong here. The world will always use a double standard, it will always cloak its disobedience, and it will always do those things that are sinful. Those who follow Christ were supposed to leave such, not become enmeshed with it.

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