Thursday, December 19, 2013


Now we can debate whether or not a show like Duck Dynasty technically qualifies as "art," and it most certainly does not, but even so I think this most recent flap surrounding Phil Robertson's views on homosexuality does tend to support a prediction I made about the arts way back on October 18, 2010.You should check out my prediction by clicking HERE.

I called it, America! Prescience comes standard in this model.

The thing that I find most ironic about A&E's response to Mr. Robertson's unfiltered and honest opinions in a recent GQ interview is that for my whole life I have been hearing about the heroes of pop culture, like Elvis, Madonna and Bill Maher, who dared to push the envelope of what was acceptable, "bravely" confronting the established mores of society through outrageous conduct and in-your-face language. All the while efforts to silence them and marginalize them were universally condemned as vaguely un-American, not to mention futile. Those soldiers of liberalism have been held up to me as wave upon relentless wave of an advance against the bastions of prudishness which enslaved a free-spirited people. How are Phil Robertson's statements any different than say John Lennon declaring "We're bigger than Jesus," or "Imagine no religion. It's easy if you try?" 

Now the shoe is on the other foot. Us church folk are getting a taste of our own medicine, and it must be owned that the church in America has a checkered past of engaging culture in collaborative dialogue, but it must also be owned that liberals' hearts are twisted, and they would make themselves into what twisted them (best line from the movie "Last of the Mohicans"). Their response to Phil Robertson is the very stuff of prudish disapproval. It strikes me as vaguely un-American, not to mention futile. Phil Robertson is an envelope pusher. His conduct is outrageous and his language is designed to stir the pot. By the way, having Phil Robertson sit down for a GQ interview is a bit like releasing a dog into a chicken coop and then feigning shock and dismay when it starts gobbling up chickens. We all saw this coming, didn't we? I am only surprised that it was this long in coming.

Having said that, I appreciate Phil Robertson's honesty and what's more I agree with him in substance. I think his ideas could have been more artfully presented, his words more carefully chosen (what he said was crude), and more balanced with grace, but in the main he was speaking the truth as I and many others understand it.

Timidity does not move a culture. It has never led a people.

Our liberal, culture-shaping, pop icons have taught us the truth that a bold, provocative, envelope-pushing style moves the debate and leads a people. Silence is surrender, and too much of the field has already been ceded through timidity and silence. The lay of the land, culturally speaking, is ripe for a Phil Robertson. It feels a little naughty when the Robertsons mention the name "Jesus" on national TV. That is not so unlike how it must have felt for folks in the sixties to see Elvis shaking his hips and gyrating in black and white. **GASP** I'm telling you, it's an irresistible vacuum to an envelope-pushing culture, Phil Robertson just got sucked in.

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