Friday, December 20, 2013

No One Will Like This Piece

I don't watch Duck Dynasty. I watch very little television -- mostly Yankees baseball and New York Rangers hockey -- and I have no particular interest in life in rural Louisiana, even if the protagonists are Christian multimillionaires and devoted family men with prodigious shooting skills and extremely impressive beards. I'd much rather read...or write.

That having been said, let's get to the A&E / Phil Robertson dustup.

Whatever A&E's motives were in arranging for Phil Robertson's interview by "Gentleman's Quarterly," the Robertson family patriarch was unwise to accept it. "GQ" -- an Orwellian title for a periodical if ever there was one -- had a single, quite obvious motive for the interview: to denigrate the Robertson family and the lifestyle it practices. The interviewer was determined from the first to portray the Robertsons as idiots at best, repulsive backwoods bigots at worst. The audience to which "GQ" caters is heavily left-liberal and fop-friendly. It's guaranteed to view the Robertsons, their faith, and their practices with repugnance.

Phil Robertson appears to have the sort of nature to which Christians aspire, and which few of us manage to maintain in the face of temptation: that of a charitable and trusting soul who's unafraid to express himself candidly. That made him virtually ideal bait for the "GQ" types, who -- as with most leftists -- see nothing wrong with reframing a Christian's statements of belief to suit their own agenda.

As the saying goes, the subsequent uproar was "baked into the cake" in all its ugly particulars.

A&E's suspension of Phil Robertson from the filming of Duck Dynasty involves the First Amendment's protection of freedom of expression in no way whatsoever. All the participants in this mess are private persons with an absolute right to freedom of association, including commercial association. The only limits on that right arise from contractual provisions to which the parties involved have freely assented.

(I don't give a BLEEP! what the courts have said about the obligations of wedding-cake bakers and photographers to accommodate homosexuals who imagine that they can actually marry one another. The courts are wrong, the homosexuals and enablers who cheer them on are wrong, and the whole sorry mess is just part of the approaching storm that will shortly tear this country apart. But that's a subject for another tirade.)

All that having been said, A&E has exhibited both extreme cowardice and poor judgment in its actions to this point. Popular sentiment is running heavily against the suspension. The Robertson family, which has already displayed considerable courage of conviction, might just pull the rug out from under the A&E network. That won't hurt the Robertsons at all, as numerous other outlets are openly slavering over the chance to host the most popular show on cable TV.

However, one element of this dustup about which I have inadequate information is just how important to A&E's finances is its backing by homosexuals and their enablers. Those communities of perversion and idiocy are overrepresented in the arts and communications trades generally, which is partly why they wield so much influence over what appears on TV. Besides, left-liberals have "taken one for the team" before, even when significant financial loss was involved. How this one will play out is something I cannot predict.

The core issue illuminated by the A&E / Robertsons contretemps is the war being conducted against Christians, Christian living, and Christianity generally by the Left. In a country 74% of whose residents self-identify as Christians, you'd think the correlation of forces would make such a jeremiad unwise. However, there are other factors involved that significantly cloud the matter:

  • The Left's disproportionate influence over the entertainment media;
  • The homosexual-activist community's disproportionate influence over the Left;
  • The federal government's cooperation with the homosexual-leftist agenda;
  • The difficulty Christians have in mustering significant resistance to the attacks on them.

As the song goes, "They got the guns; we got the numbers." But numbers don't always prevail over firepower. Ask the Sudanese about the Battle of Khartoum...preferably from a safe distance.

Atop that, the Left has a powerful objective interest in extirpating Christianity, at least the public expression thereof, from these United States. Hearken to T. L. Davis on the subject:

There is a deep necessity of those on the left to abolish Christianity. Now, I would say religion, but that is not true. They are accommodating of almost any religion, even phony religions, but not Christianity. To them, Christianity must be banished from the public eye. All references to Christianity must be stricken from the record, banned from the schools, ripped from the monuments....

Is it that they (Marxists in general and their stooges) intend to obliterate, defame and denigrate our founders to make change that much easier? They have already done what they can to link them with slavery, with racism, with every evil under the sun. They speak of them as if they were doddering old, racist fools who clung to religion and guns just like our friends in Pennsylvania. "Old White Men". Why do they need to pretend that Lincoln, their hero, was not a Christian? He was not of a particular religion, but he was extraordinarily well versed with the Bible and could quote from it verbatim.

The whole reasoning behind the Revolution is undermined if God is taken out of government, because it is religion that founded this nation, gave it spirit, emboldened its revolutionaries and sustained them in the darkest days. Think of George Washington dropping to his knees and praying for his troops, for the survival of the new republic.

Any fight for liberty includes the right to practice religion, of any kind, freely, openly, without fear of reprisal by the government. In today's society George Washington would have been reported to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and replaced by a more sensitive, diverse general, who would have promptly lost the war and everything could return to normal with the king.

Christianity is and has always been the stoutest of bulwarks against the encroachments of the Omnipotent State. By contrast, the other religions of the world are pillars of statism. Only Jesus of Nazareth dared to separate religion from politics -- "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar, and unto God the things that are God's" -- and sin from temporally punishable crime -- "Whoever among you is without sin, let him cast the first stone." It's a great part of the reason why Caiaphas and his buddies on the Sanhedrin were desperate to see Him killed.

We in the Right often speak of the "intermediating institutions:" the organizations, practices, and traditions that stand between the individual and the State, helping us to resist its overreaches. Not one -- not family, not community, and not commerce -- is nearly as important as the Christian faith. Indeed, without Christianity, it's doubtful whether these other things could survive, at least in the forms to which we're accustomed. If I may paraphrase a famous atheist, George Bernard Shaw, Christianity is the idea that, put into a coward's head, turns him brave -- brave enough to resist subjugation to the last drop of his own blood, as many a historical incident will attest.

Left-liberalism is the Creed of Government Uber Alles. It knows Christianity to be its principal opponent in the all-important war of ideas. Therefore, Christianity -- all traces of it if possible; the public expression thereof if not -- must be destroyed.

If you're looking to fight in a war, there's no more righteous not critical battlefield than this one.

As a writer of Christian-themed fiction and an outspoken Christian opinion monger, it should be obvious which horse I back in this race. That doesn't mean I'm confident of victory.

Millions have already rallied to Phil Robertson's defense. That's extremely heartening. But whether those millions will "hold the line" against the considerable media counterforces of the Left remains to be seen. Christians have all too frequently accepted a mess of pottage in exchange for conceding the public square to their enemies. We've grown far too comfortable with our public marginalization and exclusion.

As with the ultimate outcome of the A&E / Phil Robertson clash, whether it will be the falling stone that looses an avalanche of stouthearted reprisal against the enemies of Christianity cannot be predicted. For the reasons stated above, I am mildly pessimistic about the matter. Silence and deliberate disengagement have become habits for too many of us.

However the thing plays out, the Robertsons will not be harmed. Their "intermediating institutions" have served them well. They will not fail them at any time to come. The rest of us should draw the moral.

Be not afraid.


lelnet said...

Actually, we've got the numbers _and_ the guns. What we lack, to a great degree, is the will to fight. Or even, truly, the knowledge that a fight is happening whether we like it or not.

You say that the Left "knows Christianity to be its principal opponent in the all-important war of ideas". I think you are probably right. I just wish that Christianity knew it too.

Francis W. Porretto said...

Well, Matt, when I wrote that "they've got the guns," I was being a bit metaphorical: the "guns" I had in mind were the media megaphones. "Conventional" arms are essentially irrelevant to a war of ideas.

Mike K said...

Here's my take:

Not all us gays are leftists. Some of us are far from it!

Anonymous said...

I've always thought that Christians were at a disadvantage. The faith preaches forgiveness and love, right? Turn the other cheek and all?

How can you fight when what your taught is to love?

Pleistarchos said...

The piece was not what the title lead me to fear it would be. I don't think that Phil made any error. Images aside, these guys are far more intelligent and aware of what is going on than they make themselves out to be. It's a trait that goes a long way back starting with clannish groups from the old country.I suspect that Phil knew fully well what they would do and that he wanted it that way. Good for him. The Robertson's will still be rich, they made a big point, and they woke a lot of people up. The Left and their allies pushed a bit harder and farther than I thought they would have at this particular point in time, and they will suffer some damage that they may have avoided if they waited another ten years or so. In my post on this subject, I concentrated on what I believe is far worse - the immediate reaction of deliberately misrepresenting Christianity and its teachings by GLAAD and the Human Rights Council. When these groups assert that Phil's beliefs are not consistent in any with the words of the New Testament nor of the general teachings of Christianity, we have a far greater problem with which we must contend. The false portrayal of Christian beliefs looks to be right out of Chapter 11 of Hayek's The Road to Serfdom which is of course titled, The End of Truth. - Sorry to rush but I have to run out the door for work.

Rick C said...

Anonymous @10:26 AM, Christianity's not a suicide pact. Jesus told his disciples to sell their cloaks if they had to, to buy swords to protect themselves.

UK Houston said...

I find it amusing that nearly every article about this controversy starts with a disclaimer that the author hasn't watched television since 1967, watches only sports on television, or watches television, but certainly never watched Duck Dynasty. These weasel words serve no purpose except to distance the writer from the icky bearded rednecks, while still using their issues to make pundit points. It's an unbecoming approach, in the manner of love the sin, hate the sinner. If you are going to write against a backdrop of popular culture, starting with a statement of your ignorance about it is probably not the wisest approach.

Francis W. Porretto said...

Dear UK Houston:

I believe in fully disclosing my attachments and affiliations, so that my readers will be able to judge for themselves whether I'm being sincere or engaging in what the courts call "a special pleading." I did so in the above. If you were a regular reader, you would know that to be my regular practice. Therefore, you are not a regular reader, are entitled to no particular consideration, and will receive none.

In other words, kindly go fuck yourself, you ignorant, sanctimonious asshole. Oh, and have a Merry Christmas.

Yours most sincerely,
Francis W. Porretto

KG said...

I'm laughing my head off here. And trying to work out how UK Houston is going to navigate with his head on a platter....

daniel_day said...

By contrast, the other religions of the world are pillars of statism. Only Jesus of Nazareth dared to separate religion from politics
Second point first: I can say from personal experience that modern Japanese are very leery of mixing religion with politics. To your first point, currently, I can not point to any majority-Buddhist countries whose political systems are not heavily socialist in nature. That said, I disagree with your characterization, Buddhism itself is not inherently statist, and I hope someday to prove you wrong. Perhaps in my next lifetime. Or the next one. :s

Ronbo said...

Did the Left in America finally go a Duck Too Far, and be on the receiving end of serious incoming rounds from the Christian Right, who have been self mobilized overnight as the defenders of hairy and bearded characters, who could very easily get work as actors in a U.S. Civil War movie?

We do know that God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to behold.

T.L. Davis said...

Very well said, Mr. Porretto. Thanks for the link.

YIH said...

I can't say I know anything about 'Duck Dynasty' until I began to see the name and logo tied into products being advertised (in fact I could say the same thing about Paula Deen as well)
the producers likely saw both as fitting the ''lovable country bumpkin'' stereotype that in years past was portrayed in many TV shows of the 60's.
The difference, of course were shows like Andy Griffth were carefully cast, well-written and tightly scripted. ''Reality television'' OTOH is on the 'pro wrestling' model, as in a blend of scripted and ad lib action with a general overall plotline and theme.
And that's where Deen and Robertson both had their inevitable downfall, with 'pro wrestling' the 'actors' understand that whenever they are in public (or being interviewed) they must remain 'in character'. When being interviewed both Deen and Robertson thought the interviewer was talking to the real Deen/Robertson and didn't realize that they are ''in show biz'' and unlike actors or musicians (or pro wrestlers) to whom interviewing is routine and show 'the act' not 'the person'.
That said, while I might not have been quite that blunt, I can't say he said anything I disagree with either.

RT Rider said...

To me, the religion of the state is collectivism - the herding of the masses by those ordained beacause their "superior" intellect and philosophy, especially in cultural marxism. The main fundamental of this religion is, not dependency on God, but the state. And just like dependency on God means adherence to his laws, so also the state.

If God says homosexuality is a sin, then the state says it is good. Indeed, the state takes the opposite position of almost all of God's commandments.

Of course, state collectivism is a false religion, mostly proselytized by the useful idiots and paid lackeys who populate academia and the info-tainment industry.

Our cynical masters - the bankers and their lackeys, the politicians - don't subscribe to any of this nonsense. Their religion is power, and money. Anything else is just a useful means of fleecing the lumpen of all their nickels and dimes. Kind of like the priesthood caste of the old religions.

But the narrative is useful for keeping the masses in line, to divert their attention from what is happening to them. The free shit army is a given - they're always dependable to help advance the collectivist agenda, even though they haven't a f**kin' clue what it is.

The big outlier are the real Christians - not the dispensational types a la Swaggart, Angley, and Hinn - all of them grifters and hypocrites. No - the ones who take God's law seriously, but still understand that salvation is by God's grace.

Those are the ones the state hates, and fears. Guys like Phil Robertson.

indyjonesouthere said...

The Robertsons accept the rules and beliefs of the Judeo-Christian tradition and practice them of their own free will. The problem arises when governments and progressives can not accept free will but instead mandate utopian manifestos for all to follow. Now imagine that people begin to refuse marching to the government music. The progressives are coming apart but beware of the thrashing of the dying as they run out of OPM and mild mannered peasants.