Sunday, December 29, 2013

Duck Dynasty and Free Enterprise

the men of the Duck Dynasty empire

Watching the Duck Dynasty controvery unfold has been enlightening. I had no problem with A & E suspending Phil Robertson from the program, and I likewise have no issue with their reversal of their decision  to suspend his participation in the program. The fact thatt I don't actually watch the program may have something to do with my laissez faire outlook.

My assumption is that it was always to A & E an issue of economics rather than a personal issue. It went down exactly as it should have. The remainder of the Robertson family let it be known that they were unwilling to continue filming the reality show if Phil were excluded. Those who either supported Phil Robertson personally or supported his right to express his personal opinion regarding the gay lifestyle made it known to A & E that allowing the suspension of Robertson to stand would result in a greater loss to the network than allowing him to return to the show would have.

My personal take is that I found Robertson's comments somewhat offensive. The typical conservative Christian views concerning homosexuality are to me somewhat off-putting.  The Bible condemns homosexuality, but it does so midst numerous other conditions and behaviors (mildew, divorce and remarriage, to name just two) that don't seem to merit nearly as much press time from the religious right as does homosexuality. (I'm condemning neither those who live in homes with mildew issues nor those who have remarried after divorce; rather, I'm merely pointing out that the religious right often focuses upon the abomination of of same-sex attraction while turning a blind eye to other equally Biblically-condemned practices.) Jesus himself, to the best of my knowledge, was curiously and conspicuously silent on the issue of homosexuality. I don't claim to have any personal insight as to the rightness or wrongness of being gay, though I have seen just enough to have formed a belief that in most cases sexual preference is not a choice.  My stance is more along the lines of being thankful that it's not a personal issue for me -- not in the sense of the infamous Pharisee who thanked God that he was not like the tax collector or other sinners as detailed in the eighteenth chapter of Luke, but more along the lines of a personal acknowledgement  that the gay lifestyle is not easy and can be very lonely, and I'm just as happy that many of the difficulties encountered on a daily basis by the average gay person are not something with which I must deal.  What I personally think about Duck Dynasty, homosexuality, or anything else  related to this situation should not matter to the braintrust at A & E, as I'm not part of this controversy; I didn't watch Duck Dynasty before the controversy, and that's not likely to change.

We all vote all the time with our expenditures, whether or not we are aware of it. If we do not like the actions of a network, we have the right to withhold our support from the network's sponsor. Doing so is far superior to whining about either the liberal media or the oppressive right wing block of the U.S. Even better, though, would be a bit more tolerance on all sides.

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