FIRST-PERSON: Phil Robertson & us
ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP) -- Now that the A&E network has ended its suspension of Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson, it would be wise for Christians and conservatives to consider the well-worn adage that "it is easier to be wise after the event."
You're likely aware of the flap between A&E and DD, unless you were one of the 74 global warming scientists whose ship became stuck in thick ice off east Antarctica.
That said, allow me to briefly recap the situation. A&E announced it was removing Robertson from its hugely popular reality-based TV program when the homosexual activist group GLAAD reacted negatively to an interview Robertson did with GQ magazine. During the interview he paraphrased a Bible passage that declares homosexuality a sin and expressed his negative opinion about homosexuality in general.
A&E reacted swiftly and announced Robertson's suspension posthaste. But when hundreds of thousands of fans rose to the defense of Robertson, A&E rescinded the ban.
Looking at the situation in the rear-view mirror, one has to wonder why so many rallied so quickly to Robertson's defense? What triggered the passionate response?
The homosexual activists' pattern of protesting "homophobic" remarks and aggressively confronting a company or advertiser to insist that action be taken against the offender is nothing new. Quite a few media personalities and companies have been intimidated into silence by groups like GLAAD, usually with little pushback from conservatives or Christians.
This time was different. When GLAAD expressed outrage over Robertson's views and confronted the self-professed redneck, people reacted. When A&E announced the suspension, the masses responded quickly with phone calls, e-mails and Internet petitions -- one petition garnered more than 250,000 signatures -- all calling for the cable network to reverse its decision.
I think the response was due in part that many people in America hold the same view of homosexuality as Robertson. They believe it is unnatural, illogical and is clearly deemed a sin in the Bible. Though they may not articulate it in the way Robertson does, they agree with his basic premise.
While it is true that some recent polls in the U.S. indicate a slim majority are not opposed to homosexual marriage, I believe these polls reflect a live-and-let-live attitude that pervades America and not necessarily an endorsement of a lifestyle that is aberrant.
People with a truly live-and-let-live attitude understand tolerance should go both ways. If I tolerate your behavior, even though I believe it is immoral, then I expect you tolerate my civil expression of disagreement.
Homosexual activist groups have shown they have no tolerance for those who refuse to accept their lifestyle as natural, normal and healthy. When GLAAD confronted A&E over Robertson's views, many in America perceived the activist group was trying to silence someone with whom they agree as well as someone to whom they relate.
The Robertson clan featured on DD are hard-working, hard-playing people who love their country and espouse traditional biblical values. They shun pretense and make no bones that God is a part of their lives. They are not perfect, but they are as real as you can get on reality TV.
Many people in America know a family just like the Robertsons. Some even have family members who resemble those in the redneck clan. Many have an Uncle Si, Miss Kay or Phil in their own families.
When GLAAD employed its modus operandi against Phil Robertson to aggressively confront anyone they deem a homophobe, it was seen as getting in the face of anyone and everyone who holds the same beliefs and values. People took the attack personally and an unprecedented groundswell of support emerged in support of the Duck Dynasty star.
Could it be the recent dust-up involving Duck Dynasty, A&E and GLAAD has revealed a silent majority exists in the U.S.? Could it be there are many more Americans who hold traditional biblical values than previously thought?
If so, what might happen if the millions of citizens who have heretofore been tolerant of the rising tide of immorality chose to be silent no more? What might occur if the silent majority began to take personally the twisted liberal view of life being foisted upon our country?
Perhaps, as in the case with Phil Robertson, if the silent majority spoke with one voice concerning the filth that saturates the entertainment industry, the political correctness that infects public policies and the immorality that is accepted as normal, it could effect change.
Kelly Boggs is a weekly columnist for Baptist Press, director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention's office of public affairs, and editor of the Baptist Message (www.baptistmessage.com), newsjournal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).