Sunday, 22 December 2013

Thoughts on the Duck Dynasty Fiasco

“For the record, I'm sick to death of all this Duck Dynasty / Freedom of Speech / Gay / Christian / A&E / Persecution / Bull S**t. There, I've said my two cent's worth. That feels better.

Hmm, maybe these comments will get misconstrued too.”

So read my recent post on this blog’s Facebook page. Unfortunately it ruffled the feathers of a follower of the Facebook page to such an extent that she accused me of “cursing” and promptly unfollowed the page and then, on a subsequent comment, threatened to block me. One other commentator weighed in by saying that she “blew things way out of proportion,” and another said, “For the record, Will, I'm with you. And for the record, I think the orchestrator is something other than God. And I'm sick of people laying all this blind human mess on Him.

Was it something that I said? (Yes, I am being facetious) Apparently it was. Maybe we need to back this train up a bit and look at the bigger picture. What happened to bring us to this place?

Duck Dynasty’s patriarch, Phil Robertson, was allegedly asked his opinion about homosexuality, or some such thing. As a Christian, it’s not surprising that his alleged anti-gay response ruffled some feathers. What is surprising is that there was an apparent surprise at all to his answer. What did they think he was going to say? For a while it seemed that at every turn, social media had an opinion or ten (or a hundred) as to what actually happened and as to what was allegedly actually said and by whom. A&E allegedly got involved and suspended Phil from the TV program. Tempers flared as both left and right wing jumped head-long into the milieu, making all sorts of accusations against each other, including charging A&E with violating Robertson’s constitutional-given right to freedom of speech and even persecuting him for his faith, while all the while his opponents balked at such notions. One side blamed the fiasco on Satan, whereas the other saw the hand of God in the controversy.
"The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means that you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers." (1 Corinthians 6:7-8; NIV)
For the record, while I too am a Christian, I am not a huge fan of most things Hollywood, and at the end of the day, if truth be told, the outcome doesn’t much matter to me one way or another. Yes, I’ve watched a few early episodes of Duck Dynasty, but like most TV shows, I can easily take it or leave it. As a matter of fact, if it were only up to me, our cable box could go on the fritz and not work at all, and it could conceivably be weeks before I even noticed that the TV wasn’t working. But that’s just me.

However, I’ve digressed. What led up to my comment? Ultimately, it was all of the above. As one headline read, “Duck Dynasty Fans Are Losing Their Minds On Facebook.” Maybe I should have been quiet and kept my thoughts to myself, but that has never been my nature. At the end of the day, the whole subject simply began to nauseate me more and more, and I spewed out my two-cent’s worth. “Enough already,” I thought to myself, “Is there really nothing else to talk about?

I like how my friend Gibby put it when he posted:
I was going to remain quiet, but here goes nothing: So, everyone's in an uproar because their patriarch hero character on a pseudo-reality TV show that really isn't that good was rightfully asked by contract to stay home. This created drama for many who want to claim he and they are being persecuted. Something about freedom of speech. 
Yet, throughout the world we still have brothers and sisters who are being persecuted and massacred. Our first world problems pale in comparison to those of our brother Saeed Abedini, or of the Nigerian and Syrian Christians who's lives were taken. 
Let's get a grip, people. Let's see the world through the eyes of our King and grieve, not only for our brothers and sisters, but for those who kill them. May the Spirit of the Lord grip our hearts and remind us that our rights are diminished in God's presence and kingdom. It is He who deserves our entire lives. Let us pray not only for our cities, but also for the cities, towns and villages that are under great turmoil. Let us give ourselves to be poured out. Our brothers and sisters have...
Do I apologize for saying what I did? No, I stand by it. However if it offended someone (which it obviously did), that is regrettable. Still, that is the nature of social media and the players therein; they’ve all got opinions, myself included. Sooner or later, someone is going to get their feelings hurt. I know, I've had my feelings hurt before too. But really? Over a TV show?

So, with all do respect to my opponents, and at the risk of offending some folks even further, I will close with a classic tune from The Eagles. However, a caveat is in order: If you're easily offended by coarse language, you may NOT want to play this song.

Is it time that we all maybe just "Get Over It" and move on with life. Is this really that big of a deal? What about people with real problems? As someone once said, "I complained about having no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet" (anonymous). Maybe, as my friend Gibby said, "Our first world problems pale in comparison" to some of the sufferings going on in the world around us.

As other brothers and sisters in places like Syria are being massacred for their faith, maybe it really is time that we paused from all this TV nonsense and took a real reality check. Just a thought. Peace.

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