Duck Dynasty needs disciplining

MATTHEW CHILLIAK

Duck Dynasty

They say any publicity is good publicity in show business, but A&E should be ashamed for reinstating Phil Robertson due to pressure from their fan base.

Pseudo-reality television star of A&E’s widely popular Duck Dynasty series, Robertson recently got himself in hot water over an interview he granted to GQ in which he spewed boorish nonsense on issues ranging from homosexuality to historical race-relations in the southern United States.

After issuing him a short suspension from the show, A&E gave in to pressure from their right-wing conservative fan base and reinstated Robertson to the show — a poor choice.

It is unfortunate that A&E did this without requiring an apology or retraction from Robertson, since much of what he said was intolerant, ignorant and factually incorrect.

In the interview Robertson claims sin will “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 continues on to include homosexuals with drunks and terrorists in the list of individuals of whom it is God’s job — and apparently not his — to judge.

Ironically, Robertson also includes idolaters as those who are sinful and unable to inherit God’s kingdom, ignoring the millions of fans who idolise Robertson himself for his ability to shoot innocent, unsuspecting and unarmed ducks. This family plasters their faces on all kinds of merchandise and yet Robertson still claims those who enjoy the program are destined for eternal damnation.

After Robertson’s suspension, religious right-wing pundits such as failed US vice-presidential candidate and former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin rushed to Robertson’s defence and claimed his freedom of speech had been violated.

However, this is not a violation of free speech. Robertson has complete freedom to believe and preach whatever skewed interpretation of the Bible he wishes to, and A&E is just as free to fire him for spouting such intolerance.

No one from the government is preventing Robertson from starting his own network and preaching his ignorance. After all, freedom of a speech is a right we all have, but it’s a constitutional right — not one that is decided by television networks.

While homosexuality is a big no-no for Robertson, he does have some advice for those who wish to enter into a wholesome and traditional heterosexual relationship  — do it with 15-year-olds.

According to remarks made at a 2009 Christian retreat, Robertson says 15-year-olds are better wives than 20-year-olds because 20-year-old women will be in it for  money. He also reminds those in the audience to make sure their future wives always carry Bibles and cook hot meals. What else could a man need, right?

Aside from the garbage Robertson has to say about homosexuality and marriage, his GQ interview is laden with all sorts of other ramblings on the topic of racial-segregation in the southern USA during the Jim Crow years.

“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person,” Robertson said. “They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’ — not a word! … They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

Robertson’s recollection of a violent and shameful era of American history is a blatant contrast from the reality of the harsh and oppressive treatment black people endured during racial segregation in the south.

If we were to believe that Robertson is simply uneducated and hasn’t been exposed to the actual history he’s speaking on, then this may be an excusable misunderstanding and a learning opportunity for Robertson.

However, with a master’s degree in education, Robertson is not as simple as he makes himself look. For someone with that level of education, the claims he makes about historical race-relations are unacceptable.

Robertson goes on employing selective historical falsehoods to blast anyone who doesn’t accept Jesus as their saviour.

He blames Shintoism’s lack of Jesus for the Pearl Harbor attacks, and claims that Islam is without Jesus and as a result is a murderous religion (the holy figure actually does hold a place within Islam as a prophet).

Of course, Robertson makes no mention of Christianity’s own past throughout the Crusades, Inquisitions, witch-hunts and residential-schools. That would be blasphemous.

Many who defend Robertson’s intolerance towards homosexuality use the lame excuse of loving the sinner but hating the sin. This stance is an excuse used to make people feel bad about who they are and persuade them to try some sort of pseudo-therapeutic process of converting themselves or oppressing their sexuality.

It should be noted that Jesus never once mentioned homosexuality that we know of, let alone condemned it. Perhaps Jesus was a little more progressive than today’s right-wing fundamentalists on this issue.

Maybe Jesus had the common sense and basic humanity to realize that two individuals in a loving and consensual relationship — regardless of sexuality — will not “morph” into animal rapists, as Robertson claims.

Alas, hopefully in the future A&E will have better judgement when it comes to dealing with homophobia on their shows. In the mean time it seems there is nothing more important in show business than the almighty dollar.


Graphic: Mike Tremblay

  • jonathan

    If people don’t like what Phil Robertson has to say then don’t publish it. A&E has that figured out, Phil’s TV character would never make it to air expressing his own opinions. GQ interviewed the real Phil, not the TV character. Surprise they aren’t the same person.

    By the way nobody kicked Jenny McCarthy off TV for promoting her anti vaccination stance, and I would argue she has done more damage to society than any homophobic remarks from a famous hillbilly.

    • Blah

      She also needs disciplining.

  • Scott

    Fucking cry me a river. God damn you Sheaf writers are crybabies over such dumb shit. Grow a spine and worry about bigger issues.

    • Blah

      You seem to be crying a bit yourself. Need a tissue?

  • Nightingale

    Wow, Scott. Are you a student at this university? What bigger issues would you care to debate? Blatant intolerance, inequality and the gloficaton of ignorance seem like good topics to discuss. Given the level of maturity, social experience, and linguistic eloquence that you displayed when you composed your comment maybe I should use different words to try to reach you.Those are awfully long words for you. Oh well, do the best you can to follow along with the conversation.

    • Lynn

      Wow. Way to support the red-neck, racist scumbag, Scott. That’s a bit scary. Why shouldn’t it be discussed? It’s popular culture. Your response was disrespectful and over the top.

    • steve

      Yep you are clearly a much better person than him and probably much more intelligent because you can take all the time in the world to construct a statement to try and sound intelligent. Using big words does not make you more intelligent, a true intellectual can get his pint across to the masses without hiding behind “linguistic eloquence”. Your on a forum about a shitty newspaper covering an idiotic show about ducks and hillbilly’s and one mans opinion. You must be a genius because of your vocab.

  • Guest1212

    What a pointless article. Are people still thinking about this? If you don’t like his views, don’t watch the show. Why is it that one harmless comment draws a big issue, where shows that depict collectively shunned ideas ( ie polygamy) are accepted?

    • Blah

      I don’t watch that dumb show. I do read go however. And his gross comments are not harmless.

    • Viki

      Sticks and stones will break my bones and words will never hurt me.

  • Liz

    As a bisexual person, I am not at all offended by Phil’s remarks, they are his personal opinion and who am I to judge his beliefs? He isn’t judging, he just doesn’t agree with some things. I don’t know where he’s coming from with his ideals, because I haven’t lived his life. I don’t think he should be persecuted for having his own thoughts. He isn’t out in the world forcing his beliefs on anyone, or shoving it down anyone’s throat, so why is this an issue?

    • Allie

      Thank you! Finally someone who is actually part of the group speaking up!

    • Lisa

      Well said Liz, well said!

  • Joey

    I would just like to say that this anti-Christianity topic that is so heavily implied in the Sheaf is getting to be kind of nasty. I would like to see a more open-minded student newspaper informing us! People are people and we all make mistakes. Christians are also people and have many faults, but basing your judgements about my faith by the slip-ups of fellow people in the past isn’t how I like to be treated. I am certain that if I made a comment about most other religious groups or racial groups or sexual orientations I would instantly be condemned for spreading hate. After reading a few recent articles, I feel more attacked for my faith than I do informed.

    • 666

      Well there just happens to be a lot of hate on from some Christians in our western based ad Christian dominated society. I’m sure some Muslims Jews and feminists alike all do deserve reprimanding sometimes also.

    • delirious

      and what about other parts of the world. where people are murdered for just being christians or jews im sure you must have words of consolation for their loved ones?

    • James

      I second that Joey! I would say in response to 666 that the remark about our western society being Christian dominated is no longer correct. Our political structure and foundation may have been based on Judeo-Christian value but I would argue that if a thorough poll was conducted, Christians are probably not the majority; atheists, agnostics, and Muslims are probably equal contenders in size, and have more outspoken and forthright figures in Canadian society. Christians have become silent on many issues.

    • 667

      Those polls have happened and you are wrong.

    • Insame

      Heisting are definitely still the
      Majority. Those polls have been done go find one.

    • Jsnsbs

      *christians are definitely

  • Evan

    first study the bible and see what the whole thing says about all sin and judgement before you misinterpret it. Phil Robertson is not a perfect man and has never claimed to be (see the video of him telling his story at the following link http://www.iamsecond.com/seconds/the-robertsons/). And Jesus said in Mark 10:7 in relation to marriage that “a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife”. note how Jesus said wife and not husband or wife

    • Evan

      http://www.iamsecond.com/seconds/the-robertsons/

      link in the post does not work, this one should

    • Blah

      Jesus also never discussed homosexuality on any way that has been noted or recorded. Not once did he say it was sinful.

      And all this bullshit about his beliefs being his and no one’s business are bullshit when we’re discussing rights, namely the roaring push to legalize gay marriage. Phil ends te interview pretty much saying that he only treats those who have accepted Jesus better than others, which most likely implies to include LGBTQ individuals.

      Would peoples defended be as strong for this man’s disgustingly offensive remarks if he were arguing that Jews are sinners and deserving of less rights. Probably not.
      And denying the horrors of slavery in the USA’s past is akin to Holocaust denial. Quit turning a blind eye to injustice.

  • Boourns

    Why is the sheaf still a thing?

  • qwfdasf

    Lol hes from a fucking swamp in BF nowhere. What the hell do you expect?

    WAH WAH WAH

  • lulu

    what he has is an opinion, not a popular one, and not one i agree with, but it is his and he is entitled to it just as you are entitled to not agree. If your so for love of all and such you have to take the good opinions as well as the bad that’s the freedom of having and opinion. That being said as soon as you speak your opinion publicly, you then have to deal with the consequences of sharing said opinions whether that is good or bad.

  • Russ

    This is a very poor excuse for a paper! He shared his opinion, values, belief, and quoted the Bible. I assume you are going to attack the prophets who wrote/compiled the Bible, or even God. Sounds like you are hypocrites. If you truly stood for the freedom that this country stands for then you would have no problem with the voice of one person and their belief in God.

    -A person who is Buddhist, Muslim, or “atheist” voices their opinion/belief and nobody bats and eye, one person who is christian shares their opinion/belief/quotes the Bible and everyone looses their minds.

    -I’m glad someone stood up to modern society and the crappy values that it has. I’m so tired of people worrying what’s politically correct.

    – If you don’t like it then change the channel. You can find plenty of other channels that can fill your mind full of modern societal garbage.

  • Alex

    Just as you are allowed to share your opinion in the sheaf, as this article is under “opinions”, Phil is allowed to share his opinion in a private interview and not be scrutinized for it.

    • 666

      A private interview? That doesn’t make sense.

    • Joey

      The interviewer asked him personal convictions and morals. He wasn’t shouting it from the rooftops.

  • Codes

    Strongly disagree with this article. Very much. Has nothing to do with Human Rights. You think homosexuality is okay and we do not. Period… So get over it. A&E would absolutely tank without us “right wingers” cause honestly DD is the only thing keeping them afloat. And before you go quoting the Bible you might want to read it first…

    • j

      homosexuality is very much a human rights issue

  • delirious

    good god, you guys must be in arts and sience. politicaly correct bullshit. it’s like this, you picket oil companies , then go ride the bus who is using the same fuel those companies produce. you eat meat but would never look a butcher in the eye… like my brother always said… it takes two to tango and you are starting a fight because you have nothing better to do!!

  • Dale Barks

    Wow… It seems like the criticism this article is offering Phil should just be turned back on the author of this article. It is poorly researched, and full of a personal hateful bias. I have to say, as a first year student reading the Sheaf, it has NOT left a good impression on me. As the son-of-the-editor/sometimes writer for a North American wide magazine, the lack of professional work on this paper-turned-personal-blog is disgusting. There are quotes being misquoted in here, and every statement in it seems to be born of a hatred and total misunderstanding of Christianity. I don’t even want to try dealing with the specific incorrect statements, because I would have to write on every single paragraph of this article! This is truly a poor reflection on the U of S and its students.

    • Jdjdnd

      Which quote is misquoted? I read the article and it seems right to me.

    • Dale Barks

      To say Robertson stated that sin WILL “start with homosexuality….” is misquoting Phil by changing the question asked of him. Phil was asked what, in his opinion, is sin, not “what does sin start as?”. No one would ever say sin starts as homosexuality because that doesn’t make any sense at all… If I end up lying, its not because I was homosexual first! To change the wording to insinuate such a thing makes Phil appear to lack common sense as well as spiritual understanding. Besides that, the twisting of Phil’s comment of having never seen the mistreatment of an African American is ridiculous. He’s not saying it didn’t happen, just that he didn’t see it. If someone were to ask me if there has been mistreatment of First Nations’ children in residential schools, I would say “absolutely!” Ask me if I’ve seen the mistreatment of First Nations’ Children in Residential Schools, and I would say “No.” I might even go on to explain that some children had good experiences there (there are quotes from children saying that, they just aren’t seen often.) In general, Robertson’s words are being misquoted and twisted. Thanks for asking though, I appreciate the respectful wording of your question!

  • Lisa

    This isn’t even a real issue. Before writing this did you watch the show? Read the books? or even read the article? or did you just rely on what the media said? (because you know how reliable they can always be) Yes in the show they certainly do ham it up in the skits that they do, but have you ever heard of this beautiful tool called editing? As a writer I would hope so. The Phil that was interviewed and the Phil on TV is the same one, its no “character Phil” The show is cut and edited so it runs smoothly and comes together nicely, much like the article was. If you actually take the time to read the whole article and watch the show, any controversial topic or statement he makes he follows it with “Thats just me” or “thats just my opinion.” Last time I checked giving your own opinion isn’t illegal. If everyone got mad over everyones opinion and took it to the news…well we would have a lot of BS on our TV’s and newspapers. Everything Robertson said was because that is what he has always known, been taught seen and read.
    My personal opinion? People are a little PO’d about a group of self proclaimed rednecks made a living and built up a multi million dollar business selling duck calls and started it from nothing. Their motto? Faith, Family and Ducks..oh and facial hair..but thats a topic for another day.

  • Steve

    Are you not supposed to write an article that is free from bias as a reporter? You seem to be very butt hurt about this topic instead of just publishing the relevant facts of the story. This is why I consider the sheaf a joke of a newspaper. Plus the desperation from people forcing copies onto you in the arts tunnel.

    • Fugndjsn

      It’s under opinions idiot. Hence not NEWS

    • Joey

      “The Sheaf: The University of Saskatchewan Student Newspaper since 1912″. Identifying itself as a “NEWSpaper”.

    • HaHan

      Ya there are news sections and opinion sections in all appears you
      Dumb Dumb

  • Jenn

    just paid my tuition.. would like my $7.30 back.

  • Ron

    What a useless article. If anything Phil has done more damage to right wingers by his comments than anything. They are so wonderfully ignorant that I find it hard to believe that anyone would take them seriously…… and yet here we are…..

  • Mikey J

    Oh my! A southern, Christian redneck said something offensive. Stop the presses!! GLAAD got their indulgence money out of A&E, but weren’t about to fire their top earner. Seems to me that everybody wins here so feel free to keep your half-baked undergrad, diversity studies lecture to yourself and your NDP youth group.