Friday, December 20, 2013

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Back when I had cable, A&E was one of my few regular stops.  Its history coverage was excellent, its documentaries were first-rate and it was one of the channels I would have picked if I’d been able to choose the channels that I regularly watched.

But all that’s over since A&E has apparently decided that it hates me:

Irrefutable history documents that the Bible and its teachings were the biggest influence on those that founded the freest and most prosperous nation in human history. Yet nowadays if you believe that same Bible is true you will either silence your beliefs, or you will be silenced. Just ask Phil Robertson, one of the stars of Duck Dynasty, among the most successful shows on TV.

In an interview with GQ, Robertson plainly repeated simple truths that are fundamental to western civilization — the Bible calls all sexual activity outside of holy matrimony sin and immoral, and it’s natural for a man to be attracted to a woman. You know, the birds and the bees.

For that, the tolerance mob demanded his head on a platter, and the wannabe King Herods that work at A&E, the network that made untold millions off of Robertson’s enormous popularity, gladly obliged. When we have now come to the point that pop culture would rather bow at the altar of rabid political correctness than make a profit, then we have reached a point of no return as a people.

Andrew Sullivan had a reaction to all this that actually started out sensibly.

I have to say I’m befuddled by the firing of Phil Robertson, he of the amazing paterfamilias beard on Duck Dynasty (which I mainly see via The Soup). A&E has a reality show that depends on the hoariest stereotypes – and yet features hilariously captivating human beings – located in the deep South. It’s a show riddled with humor and charm and redneck silliness. The point of it, so far as I can tell, is a kind of celebration of a culture where duck hunting is the primary religion, but where fundamentalist Christianity is also completely pervasive. (Too pervasive for the producers, apparently, because they edited out the saying of grace to make it non-denominational and actually edited in fake beeps to make it seem like the bearded clan swore a lot, even though they don’t.)

Now I seriously don’t know what A&E were expecting when the patriarch Phil Robertson was interviewed by GQ. But surely the same set of expectations that one might have of an ostensibly liberal host of a political show would not be extended to someone whose political incorrectness was the whole point of his stardom. He’s a reality show character, for Pete’s sake. Not an A&E spokesman.

Sully being Sully, Andy has get in his obligatory wild-eyed hysteria about and total misunderstanding of the Christian religion in general and fundamentalist Protestantism in particular before getting more-or-less sensible once again at the end.

Greg Griffith beautifully sums it all up.

All I want is for people to understand that this isn’t unprecedented, and it won’t be the last time it happens. Let it be a small reminder of how hostile the world is to the Gospel, and a small reminder of what you’ve signed up for when you agreed to take up your cross. The world – in this case represented by gay activists and the media who kowtow to them – hates you. They hate your family, they hate your values, and they especially hate this Jesus.

I’ve never seen this show and probably never will.  Even if I had the desire and the wherewithal to get cable or satellite, the presence of A&E in the package would a deal-breaker unless they walk this back.  Greg’s right, the Lord told us there’d be days like this.  But I don’t have to participate in them and I certainly don’t have to take my business where it is clearly not wanted.

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