Should We Be Happy About the Duck Dynasty “Victory”?

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Yesterday A&E announced that they were reinstating Phil Robertson as part of the massively popular show, Duck Dynasty. If, by some chance, you missed the whole kerfuffle and brou-haha, due to the fact that you’re part of a strict, isolationist Amish sect, it can be boiled down to this: In an interview with GQ Magazine, Phil Robertson made some rather coarse remarks in which he condemned homosexuality and sort of supported Jim Crow laws.

Needless to say, the entire Internet exploded when Phil’s remarks were published. The gay community was offended and called for the suspension of Phil Robertson, which A&E quickly did. The Christian conservative community was offended, and created all sorts of petitions for the reinstatement of Phil Roberts. Lots of blog posts and Tweets and Facebook posts were furiously banged out by folks on both sides of the argument.

As I reflect on the entire situation, a few things stand out to me. Does it bother me that Phil Robertson made some unhelpful comments which offended both my gay friends and my African-American friends? Yes. Absolutely. The things Phil said were not particularly helpful in bridging the gap between the Christian community and the gay community. I’d recommend you read Wesley Hill’s piece, “What Phil Robertson Gets Wrong“, to deepen your perspective on this issue. I’m really grateful for Wesley and his commitment to talk openly about homosexuality without straying from the orthodox teaching of scripture.

Does it bother me that Phil Robertson was so quickly suspended for the remarks he made? Yes. Absolutely. Tolerance no longer means the freedom to say something which offends someone. Tolerance now means we must accept everything as being good, just, and true. I would recommend you read Russell Moore’s piece, “Duck Dynasty”, to deepen your perspective on the need for true tolerance.

But there is one thing that stands out to me more than anything else: We Christians need to distribute our moral outrage more appropriately.

Conservative Christians were absolutely outraged over Phil Robertson’s suspension. I mean, we seriously flipped out, taking to Facebook, Twitter, blogs, the radio, and even television to voice our disgust. And while I understand the need for clear-headed dialog on issues related to civil liberties, I think it would behoove (I’ve always wanted to use that word) us as Christians to distribute our outrage a little more evenly.

I don’t hear a whole lot of moral outrage regarding the issue of pornography. I hear a lot of talk about the need to stay away from porn, but I don’t hear much by way of outrage. We should be really, really outraged about porn. I would venture to say that porn is destroying more men, boys, and families than homosexuality and polygamy combined. We should be outraged at the damage being done by pornography. I would love to see more men standing up to the porn industry and telling it to go to Hell (literally). I would love to see more men beating the crap out of the porn industry.

I don’t hear a whole lot of moral outrage regarding the plight of young girls caught in the sex-trafficking industry. The fact that sex-trafficking even exists should fill us with a holy, flipping the tables in the temple, kind of anger. I confess, I’m often apathetic to the whole issue. That shouldn’t be the case. We should be just as furious about sex-trafficking as we were about Duck Dynasty. Actually, we should be more furious.

Until the recent case of Kermit Gosnell, I didn’t hear much moral outrage regarding the issue of abortion. Occasionally something would come up that would temporarily fire us up, but then we would return to business as normal. We Christians should be absolutely flipping out regarding abortion. I’m grateful for all the work being done for the cause of life, but I don’t sense the same level of outrage and urgency about abortion as I did about Duck Dynasty. That simply should not be the case. Every day thousands and thousands of babies are straight-out killed. Executed. Murdered. Now that is something truly worthy of outrage.

I don’t hear much moral urgency regarding those who have no access to the gospel. Every day thousands of people die without ever hearing about Jesus Christ. Those who die apart from Christ go to Hell. That reality is both a travesty and a tragedy. I would love to see more men and women (including me!) outraged at Satan’s opposition to the gospel, and determined to take Jesus to the lost.

Should we be happy about the Duck Dynasty “victory”? I don’t know. I guess it’s a good thing in terms of religious liberty. But I would love to see more churches and Christians (myself included!) fired up about something more important than a reality television show. Every day millions of men and women look at porn, thousands of girls are caught in sex-trafficking, thousands of babies are executed, and millions of people die without the gospel.

Let’s get fired up about the things that really matter.

 

  • Deb

    In the second paragraph, you have Phil Roberts (without the ON). Great thoughts. LOVE your blog and FB posts.

    • stephenaltrogge

      Doh! Thanks!

  • C.J.

    I may not agree with you 100 %, specifically that Robertson made unhelpful comments. I don’t really see where he crossed any lines Stephen. Besides that, I agree that we are not fired up about matters that truly matter, everyday. We seem to always be on the defensive where we should be more offensive.

    • stephenaltrogge

      I guess I feel like Robertson could have been more tactful in the way he talked about homosexuality. Even he acknowledged that his remarks were coarse.

      • Allen

        I don’t see where he crossed any lines either….other than why would he interview with GQ!!?? Could he have been more tactful? Of course he could have but there are times in the Bible where Jesus did not seem to be tactful. I agree 110% that there should be much more outrage over other matters.

  • http://www.martha-martha.com/ Sarah Fullerton

    Amen. Thanks for your perspective on this. Good reminder to those of us who get a little annoyed by all the furor over a “smaller” issue that there ARE things we need to get fired up about!

  • http://blog.kwameanim.net/ Kwame Anim

    Very thoughtful and insightful. I think you have highlighted a few areas we can really pursue.

  • http://dragonladysworld.com/wordpress DragonLady

    Amen! My Facebook news feed was full of Duck Dynasty for days with Christian outrage. Sometimes I think I am the only one speaking out about pornography. Not that I do it all that much.

  • Victor

    I agree that there are a lot of moral issues that Christians should be fired up with as well, but if you truly think that the uproar was about a reality TV show (“… fired up about something more important than a reality television show”) then you completely missed the boat about what this was about. This was another attack on the Bible, loosely quoted (or “coarsely”) by a Christian, in an attempt to quash the parts of the Bible that are less palatable to our current society. Another attack on a Christian who tries to explain that there are people sinning b that we are to also to still love them. While saying that homosexuality is a sin may hurt homosexuals feelings, not saying anything at all and letting them go to hell for their sin without letting them know that it is a sin isn’t doing them any favours.

  • sparks

    I think you miss a lot of ‘outrage’. if you are anywhere near Texas, surely you saw what happened with our issue with abortion in Austin. As for DD, I do think Christian’s should have been a little more outraged with his choice of words and for that, the articles author’s choice of words.. the entire article was a very poor and disgusting waist of English. But, I think we should be pleased about the outcome of the DD issue.. IF and only IF the family doesn’t change their biblical beliefs…..

  • CCR

    DONT LIKE THE GUY. DONT LIKE THE SHOW. So, let’s cut to the chase in here: over the years the gay communitty was preaching about ‘tolerance’, respect and the like. I think that is fine and we should respect everyone in this world. I’m all for that. The problem is that lately it has become a very bold agenda in which the ones who were asking for tolerance are now intolerant of anyone who is not fully agreeing with them, to the point of attempting to sabotage their business (remember the ChickaFilet case?) or shut down their voices like the Duck Dynasty case. That is, we are now ‘free’ to say all we want, as long as what we say is what they want to hear. They are forcing us to defend ourselves because our way of life and Christian convictions are being attacked badly, left and right. Trust me, I will NEVER tell my kids homosexuality is just a lifestyle. To the Bible, homosexuality, just like fornication, adultery and all other sort of immoralities are SIN, and that has NOTHING to do with any Duck, Chicken or Cow Dynasty out there!
    I will not be surprised if soon we find ourselves in the middle of a nationwide confrontation because of the huge muscle power liberal ideologists are trying to imposed to the rest of us who will never deny the moral and ethical basis deeply rooted in the Bible, the inspired Word of God.

  • Jim Snyder

    I’ve got no problem with Mr. Robinson quoting Scripture to make his point; I do have a problem with Phil’s combining Scripture with his own “editorialization,” however; NOWHERE in Scripture does it say that “homosexuality leads to bestiality.” If the Scripture does in fact exist, I would like someone to point it out to me! Check out what Proverbs 30:5-6 has to say about “adding” to the Word of God! Have a blessed day, all!

    • ryan

      I don’t think you heard Phil correctly. Bestiality was in a list of sins that didn’t make sense to him. He said it’s not logical, sins not logical.

  • ryan

    Phil’s words were no more coarse than Paul’s were. If he had merely said unnatural/natural his audience would never had understood. There are people in our day in the gay “Christian” movement who would have us to believe the bible means something different by those words in Romans 1 and 1 Corinthians 6. Also, this is an issue over homosexual acts and not merely homosexual desires. All this did was expose the fact that we live an environment that does not want want to be told what the bible says. Luther’s words are relevant.

    “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ.
    “Wherever the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved and to be steady on all the battlefield besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that one point.”
    - Martin Luther

    This is a both/and issue, not an either/or issue. Christians need to be outraged at all those things you mentioned as well as homosexual acts and the decay of a society.

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  • Robert

    Nothing to add to the discussion, I just wanted to encourage you, Stephen: I thoroughly enjoy this site and posts like this. This blog is a blessing to me, and, I’m sure to many, many others!

  • Apostle Paul

    I think that the church is under the deception that we cannot address issues with coarse language , or radical actions. This seems to be conditioned into the generation that was born in, and after the 80′s. I often wonder what the views are on the Apostle Paul , or Jesus when he addressed them as ” white washed tombs, and vipers ” , or maybe the kindness, and tolerance that God showed to the people of Sodom. To prove my point , may I ask how many times have any of you authors spoken, or written how God treats Gay’s…….in the presence of over a thousand listeners , that don’t go to your church ! I challenge you. Don’t speak coarsely, just state God’s judgement.You will find that your name will be on national media, and that your job in the local church might be at risk , due to YOUR lack of intolerance. Funny, is the church of Revelations, lukewarm , neither HOT or COLD, have we lost our first love, and have become tolerant of SIN ? SPEAK OUT ON NATIONAL MEDIA ….I DARE YOU

  • Apostle Paul

    PS. I forgot to say, that we need to be effective in what we say and do, as Christ was with his whip in the temple.
    He accomplished his purpose. Wise as serpent , and harmless as a dove, but not tolerant of Sin. I commend the
    Christian who speaks out, even if his flesh got in the way , as it does with us ALL …..EVERYDAY

  • Buck Parsley

    Stephen, you do right by saying we should be equally outraged at the other things you mentioned, not to mention being on as strong a course about these issues as most were about Phil Robertson. His comments WERE coarse, no doubt. But often times in Scripture we see passages that are just as eye opening and yes, some would call them coarse also. In Scripture we see love, compassion, gentleness, forgiveness. But we also see a God that disciplines His children, and some would say that some of those actions were coarse. But He did it out of love, and to get his children back on track. I stand by those Scriptures I was taught to look to when in any doubt (which I’ll always love & thank you for). Without those Scriptures and good guidance, I would not have a homosexual friend today. We have talked; I have shared the Gospel with him, and he has flat out chosen to reject it. And yet we’re still friends…if it hadn’t been for learning about love and grace from those steadfast Scriptures, the outcome may have been different. I don’t cringe when someone speaks straight from the Word about a subject like this…I applaud it and praise God.
    On a small side note…has anyone else noticed this Christmas there were a lot more signs that actually mentioned God & Jesus? I saw one for a road side fruit/vegetable market that actually said “In Excelsis Deo.” I smiled.

  • Jimmy Scarff

    I didn’t see the show, but I have read heaps about it on Facebook. I’m sure he meant well, but he’s a novice and from what I can gather, trolling comments will only get you into trouble. You are right, we should be outraged by the evils of this world. Homosexuality is a subject of war atm, and we also need to fight the evils of porn and abortion etc, as well. We gotta win the war one soul at a time Stephen.

  • Scott

    I think Phil had a great opportunity when discussing the list of sins in Romans to present the full Gospel, that is, sin of all stripes deserves death, but God imputes his righteousness to us through Christ’s death, and therefore saves us, even as we are sinners. It’s not homosexuality (or gossip or slander, etc.) that condemns someone to Hell, it’s lack of faith in Jesus. God takes over from there and changes our hearts to be more like His. The church is commonly zealous to root out some sins at the expense of others. Good blog

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