This week, Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the Robertson family and the head of the Duck Dynasty was interviewed by Drew Magary for an article in GQ. When he was asked about his faith and his world view, Phil answered honestly, and his honest answers have resulted in him being suspended from a&e’s television show Duck Dynasty.
Honesty is something that the over 14 million viewers of Duck Dynasty have come to expect. Hunting, family and faith are the main three topics of the show, which has finished four seasons. The dynasty consists of The Robertson men, brothers Phil, Si, and Phil’s sons Jase, Willie, and Jep, who are known for their long beards, and their wives and children. The fourth season’s premier drew 11.8 million viewers, the most-watched nonfiction cable telecast in history.
Phil was asked about his beliefs, his worldview, his thoughts on the direction of the country, and what he believed to be “sinful.”
“We’re Bible-thumpers who just happened to end up on television,” he tells me. “You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”
Phil did not shy away from the questions, instead he answered the questions with honesty and conviction. He graciously hosted Drew Magary, but his graciousness did not compromise his beliefs. Now, because of his answers, because he offered an opinion that the liberal media didn’t like, he will no longer be allowed on the show about his family.
When Drew Magary asked Phil what he thinks is sinful, Phil responded:
“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,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “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.”
But Phil is clear that his view of sin does not lead him to be judgmental of others.
“We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?”
So what does this mean for a&e? Will suspending Phil from the show end their hugely popular show? Will Duck Dynasty’s large and loyal fan base still support a&e? Blogger Matt Walsh does not believe so. In fact, he believes that the network may be committing suicide.
Maybe a&e should have remember the old saying, “Birds of a feather flock together.” The birds that were so loyal to their show just might fly somewhere else.