ON Kilter: Duck Dude is a quack

OPINION – For fear of lending some legitimacy to any intrinsic worth that the television show Duck Dynasty contributes to society, I will hereafter refer to the now infamous star of the show as Duck Dude.

Duck Dude, aka Phil Robertson, aka the Duck Commander is the patriarch of the family portrayed in the reality show that has swept the country’s attention with off-the-charts ratings much to the benefit of its producers, A&E. But the perceived benefit turned to ire or at least discontent when Duck Dude’s right-to-center views on homosexuality and racism became uncontainable in an interview published in GQ magazine.

It is not the first time he has publicly made implications like the ones in the interview. He can be seen in multiple clips on YouTube as a guest speaker for churches across the nation espousing his staunch stance on what God has to say about gays and the like.

But who really cares what this guy has to say?

Apparently everyone.

While I admit to diving headlong into the Facebook fury over the matter, making apparent my own hypocrisy – after all, if I really thought it was so irrelevant, why did I participate in long threads? – I will have to stand by my facetious assessment of him there as nothing more than a witty gaffe.

I posted: Duck Dude is a quack.

But deep down, we all really agree on that. No one from either side of the debate about his inflammatory and ignorant statements about homosexuality and racism will quarrel over his intellectual astuteness when he presents his argument like this:

It seems like, to me, a … – as a man – would be more desirable than a man’s …. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: it’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical …

If someone were going to suggest that he is an advocate for the legitimacy and the authority of his faith, one would need only let him speak to refute it, or so it seems.

I contend something more revealing is at play here: that Duck Dude’s statements and subsequent release from A&E are really just a catalyst by which people predisposed to their own views can espouse those views with some anonymity – through him.

For the religious right, it is the opportunity to state emphatically that homosexuality is wrong. And for the liberal left, it is that those who espouse such a view are bigots.

But let us dismiss any notion whatsoever that this is about free speech or religious discrimination.

Surely those who would say that A&E is not justified in letting him go were not the same people who decried the gay community’s objection to being refused employment due to their sexual orientation? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander?

I seem to recall that very case being made by the religious right and it is clearly a plank in their eye that is keeping them from seeing the sheer hypocrisy here.

It is almost too much to stand, this thinly veiled attempt to assuage outright bigotry by laying claim to free speech.

His freedom under the First Amendment was not and is not in question here. His intelligence? That is a matter unto itself.

A&E was within their rights as well to let him go. It will cost them a lot of ratings and revenue for sure. Or it will earn them some. Time will tell.

But what happened here quite literally is they both took a stand long before this incident hit the pages of the press.

Duck Dude’s predispositions about homosexuality are steeped in the tradition of his upbringing and faith, no doubt.

And likewise, A&E, likely governed by things like Equal Employment Opportunities Commission and its administrators’ own personal convictions, were predisposed to their own views.

The two simply reached an impasse.

What is likely the case with the most outspoken advocates for the Dude is that he mirrors what they themselves believe and cannot or will not state aloud. He is their vocal box. If they believe so much in the righteousness of their view, perhaps they should voice it publicly or at their place of employment and see what happens.

It sure would lend some credibility to the religious right – credibility, if Duck Dude is any indication of their positions, of which they are in sore need.

I find it curiously ironic that the religious right are laying claim to persecution here when in point of fact they relentlessly pursue an anti-homosexual agenda. In other words, is persecution defined in our minds by our own convictions being tried or does our right to our convictions extend equally to another’s right to his convictions?

Essentially, this is what we have just seen in a federal judge’s ruling holding Utah’s marriage statute unconstitutional, that law is not the place to constrain people to a particular choice that is inherently personal in conviction.

More succinctly, I would contend that perhaps a visit to a third world country in the Middle East where their contemporaries work as missionaries and philanthropists might shed some light on their definition of persecution.

There is for sure a battle being waged in the arena of civil rights and homosexuality is a forefront issue. I have long held that it is not about homosexuality, it is about civil rights and freedom under both U.S. law and divine law – man is given choice, the ramification of choices made is an entirely separate discussion.

This is likely the crux of what has given the sophomoric statements of a simpleton more influence than he would ever be granted save the ratings and profits of an inconsequential reality show. This is what has turned Duck Dude’s comments into a viral controversy about quite literally, nothing.

I do like the beard however.

See you out there

Dallas Hyland is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @dallashyland

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

DuckCommander

 

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36 Comments

  • Jason December 22, 2013 at 9:55 am

    What?

  • Proud Religious Republican December 22, 2013 at 10:03 am

    What a joke, obviously written by someone uneducated on the matter or religion in general. For this to be posted in St George news is hypocritical. This is completely biased and opposes the views of the majority in St George. Written by a true liberal.

    • Religious December 22, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      Proud Religious Republican… that title itself is a joke. It equates to Blind, Deaf and Dumb.

    • D Hodja December 23, 2013 at 12:58 am

      The very last thing we need more of in Southern Utah is limiting and controlling what is said and printed. If you truly want a world wherein only your limited viewpoint and religion is considered correct I get that but Southern Ut is slowly changing and the rednecks can’t stop it any longer, crawl in your holes or open your minds.

    • Rocco DeMarco December 23, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      Proud Religious Republican,—Thank You for the Concise, Spot-On Retort, about that “Self-Proclaimed-Know-it-All”, who without a doubt, is a Bigot, And a Legend in his own Mind.—His post was very, Very Long. I will only point out just a few items, in an effort to balance out the Scale that has been Tipped-Over. In the first sentence, of this guys Rant, he imply’s that there is No Intrinsic Worth to be given to both the People in the audience Or the Network.—Gee, then How is it, that this show makes Millions & Millions of revenue???, for both the Network, And the cast and crew?? This show is Appealing to Many, and the huge amount of Press that this has been generated, means one thing—–IT’S A HIT!!!—-(perhaps Dallas wishes he had a portion of the “take”??) If Dallas claims that “Who Cares About What is Said in these interviews, Then WHY IS EVERYBODY LISTENING???—Many people across the country want to hear what he has to say, leaving Dallas’ statement Null & Void!!!—Maybe because he writes a few words for a couple of News Outlets, he believes he is some kind of a “Pure-Perfect-Preacher”, with more clout than the average citizen???—I say, Study more Theology, and the correlation between “the written word”, and what modern society has been viewing for entertainment, along with it’s Own Type of Inner Wisdom!!! Dallas, Who Died and Made You Boss???—See You Out There???—I Don’t Think So!!! Plus the so-called Impasse is Not Happening, unless it is about Your Rant!!!

  • JamesB December 22, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Dallas. How about sticking to the subject and relax on the name calling a bit. No one will ever take you seriously as a writer if you insist on the Junior High style put downs. Some of your points may give us conservatives some food for thought but you need to grow up a bit in your presentation. You call Mr. Robertson’s intelligence into question and call him sophomoric. Talk about the frying pan calling the kettle black. I really enjoy reading a well written article by someone on the left that can articulate their position. How about trying to write a quality piece for a change without the sideshow.

    • JamesB December 22, 2013 at 10:32 am

      Pot calling the kettle black. Sorry, need my morning pick me up before commenting.

    • Religious December 22, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      His intelligence is impeccable! So is his staff that wrote him the script. The religious right ate it up, platefuls at a time. Do you really think Duck Guy wrote this up himself or that he’s speaking from the hip? No. Here is your script. Let us fix your camouflage outfit, touch up your make up, beard and hair. Let’s run this through a few practice sessions. You’re ready. Go out and fool your adoring audience. Higher ratings! Money! Duck guy, you’re famous! Genius! Are people that stupid to fall for this act? Apparently so.

  • skip2maloo December 22, 2013 at 10:26 am

    The dude was jus’ speculatin’! It’s as simple and common as jus’ speculatin’ that same sex marriage is the penultimate step into hell or that tomorrow will be better than today. Gotta try it to see! (And are the words a— and v—– off limits on this site? Interesting).

  • Gary December 22, 2013 at 10:28 am

    I’m finding more and more of your attitudes, thought processes, and beliefs to be to the left of center Dallas. How much access do Christians have to the media? Very little. How many of the media will portray Christians in a positive light? Very few. So for A&E (within their contract presumably) suspending Phil Robertson limits his First Amendment/Freedom of Speech.

  • Roger December 22, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    So Dallas, let’s see if I understand you. Because you can write a long, rambling article for a newspaper, you are smarter, and more correct, than someone who can experess themselves more simply, honestly, and has twice the experience and wisdom that you have at this point in your life? Just wondering.

  • Roger December 22, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    And reading this morning’s news, I think A&E will learn from Cracker Barrell’s mistake, and DD will be around for quite a while, although they may chose to take their show elsewhere…..

    • Religious December 22, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      Cracker Barrel is full of a bunch of dumb crackers, the type who actually believe Duck Dynasty is real instead of a scripted made up television show who may as well believe Hogan’s Heroes was a real-life war story or that the world is defended by Transformer Robots from the attacks of Autobots. They probably think Conservative Talk Show hosts give a shit about them.

  • Jake December 22, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    One of my biggest pet peeves is a gross generalization…Dallas, was it your intent too conveniently bundle all religious rights into one pretty little package on this issue? Shame on the disclaimer too. As far as I’m concerned if you allow it to be posted, you own it St George News.

  • Religious December 22, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Looking in my copies of the Bible and BOM where it says a woman’s … is more desirable than a man’s …. Wonder how someone could make a comment unless he’s visited both. Like the Coke and Pepsi challenge where you sample both to decide which one you like better. Seriously, though, this guy’s television crew knew exactly what it was doing when it wrote him the script. The dumb … he screwed are those who fell for it and are pouring out the money to support him.
    Ed. ellipsis

  • Kmarie December 22, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    In one breath Dallas challenges the religious right “If they believe so much in the righteousness of their view, perhaps they should voice it publicly or at their place of employment and see what happens.” while in another breath in saying that the right persecute homosexuals he states, “….in point of fact they relentlessly pursue an anti-homosexual agenda.” So in reality Dallas is telling us that if we speak out against homosexual BEHAVIOR, then we are persecuting homosexuals. So in other words, shut up. Well we wont. We believe that marriage is for a man and a woman. Because a wrong doesn’t become right, a lie doesn’t become truth, and evil doesn’t become good just because it’s accepted by the majority! If we believe in the bible as God’s word, and He said marriage is between man and woman, then that is that. Funny thing how Dallas had to bleep out the word vagina as though it is a bad word or something offensive. Ridiculous! I also cant understand why he suggests that we go to the middle east to experience persecution. Really!? His article is so outlandishly ridiculous that I just can not believe it!

  • Kmarie December 22, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Amen!!! Valid point Jake!

  • Zombielishious December 22, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    @ Dallas Hyland, Dude you are full of … that your eyes are brown. You only worte this piece to stir the pot and you know it. What a bunch of crap.
    Ed. ellipsis

  • Jeckyll December 22, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    The Duck Dude abides

  • Candice December 22, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    For all you mudslingers, posters, and commenters on Dallas’s opinion piece, it seems to me you are taking his OPINION as fact. It is in fact his OPINION and I salute him for that. He has the so called balls to publicly proclaim his opinion knowing it would infuriate many readers here in a very conservative area. I am a journalist as well and find his opinion insightful and well thought out. His opinion is not based on just faith alone. He quotes Duck Dude (Phil Robertson) and backs his opinion with facts. I may or may not agree with him but I find him well written and well educated on the subject. My thought on the matter is thus, are we really that surprised that a Southern Baptist from Louisiana has this opinion on homosexuality? Take the civil rights movement in the 60’s with the African American population. My grandparents were raised using the N-word and was considered OK. We know better now. We now have an older generation, my parents included, that still have hang-ups with homosexuality because of the way they were raised. We are currently fighting another civil rights movement and this generation is much more accepting of homosexuality. Someday, hopefully, it will just be about loving couples and not homosexual couples. We will all be equal. We won’t be separated into groups on who we decided to love and not love. Be good to one another…

  • bUB December 22, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Never even heard of this show til 2 days ago. Is it really that good?

  • Dave December 22, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    It seems to me the more comments you make about the Duck Dide the more intolerant and sophomoric you sound. If st. George news continues to allow these extre liberal perspectives with out balance or counterpoint , they are putting their credibility at risk. I noticed and advert at the bottom of the page, to Benja’s tai garden, I will not eat at your establishment until you stop supporting this kind of Christian hate messaging. As to the author of this article you are forcing me to stop all posts from you parent organization until
    This kind of intolerance stops. You cannot simply make a note that this is opinion and does not represent your orginizations views. Either have counterpoint or quit. I don’t ins a well constructed viewpoint , I do mind unbridled hypocrisy, Opinion dude or is it Liberal dude or maybe Hypocrate dude?

  • StGeorge News Goes Liberal December 23, 2013 at 12:39 am

    The opinions and views in this article do not represent the majority of the citizens in southern Utah. This article has soured me on the St George NEWS website. When the articles of a news site (local or national) no longer reflect the beliefs, opinions and feelings of the people of the area, it’s time to get news from somewhere else. As long as this writer is published on this page, I have the right to use my web traffic, my attention, and my dollars by NOT supporting this site any longer, and by offering my support to any other website. Maybe it’s time for a local to produce a news site that actually reflects what this area wants to read. GOODBYE StGeorgeNews.

  • D Hodja December 23, 2013 at 12:54 am

    Comments on here and other related stories are always predictably the LDS. Often overwhelming for people who are from outside Utah and educated just a tad. I sure wished I hadn’t been raised with those prejudices and I sure wish others hadn’t as well. Perhaps things will change in the next few generations where it can be part of the past. What this man said was filled with hate for both blacks and gays, if you support that then your on the wrong side of history just like LDS Inc just advised Brigham Young was. History will judge you. There is no excuse for hate.

    I’m glad we finally have a news source that will print non-LDS views occasionally, the Rectum was to scared… It’s scary that LDS people will threaten a paper because they disagree with a viewpoint…that is very narcissistic and dangerous.

  • elliemae100 December 23, 2013 at 1:18 am

    This man (Robertson) believes that black people enjoyed slavery, that homosexuality equates with bestiality, and that gay people are “full of murder.” He’s a guy on a television show that’s no more real than the outrage of those people who hide behind their religion and purport to love their fellow man while they use the liberal Utah multilevel marketing laws to separate uneducated people from their money.

    So what if a writer posts what you consider to be “liberal?” If a statement follows the predominant religion, it’s god’s will. But if it conflicts with the ever-changing beliefs of the predominant religion, it’s discounted as being “liberal.” All of this arguing over a stupid comment made by a stupid man – who doesn’t deserve the forum he’s been given.

    • Davis December 23, 2013 at 9:39 am

      Did you even read the GQ interview? While is was crass it was his opinion. He didn’t say he believed blacks were happier he said from what he saw. He only indicated he never witnessed the lynchings and torture.
      The issue is A&E got more than they could handle and the show wasn’t another honey boo boo. And since the majority of leadership at A&E is gay or support the gay lifestyle they were very uncomfortable with their new success not being a method to stereotype Christian rednecks or promote more desensitization. Instead of canceling the show they wanted to keep revenues and remove the religious aspect. So they knew what Phil is about and allowed him to do a GQ interview sending an individual from A&E that was supposed to protect the show and Phil. But instead of doing their job they utilized this interview to let Phil create a reason to suspend him which would then allow them to control the show, keep their revenues, and pull Christianity out of the revenue model.

  • Giuseppe December 23, 2013 at 5:43 am

    My thoughts on Duck Dynasty and Phil Robertson suspension. I understand a lot of people like the show and from what I have seen of it they are very charismatic and entertaining. However, Phil Robertson has been paid by several church organizations to speak at their functions. You can Youtube him and see several videos.
    A&E had spoke to Phil in the past about voicing his views while in their employment. And as so many of you have pointed out he was protected by the constitution for freedom of religion and freedom of speech. But that protection can only encompass him while at those church functions and not while representing A&E. While he was doing the GQ interview he was their representing Duck Dynasty and A&E. Where he spoke about his views after being told several times by his employer not to do so.
    I work for a company that says I can’t say Merry Christmas, too many religious implications, I am suppose to say Happy Holidays. I can not tell someone where the nearest church is if they ask me, I am suppose to answer that I am not allowed to talk about that subject while at work. If I do what my company tells me not too I would also be fired for saying the church is on the corner and Merry Christmas. Which in my opinion is a lot less offensive than comparing gays to bestiality.
    For anyone that has not read the Constitution here is a snip it from the First Amendment:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech.
    The thing with free speech and freedom of religion says CONGRESS SHALL NOT. This does not prohibit an employer from restricting your free speech or religious views from the work place.

    Bottom line: His employer told him not to talk about certain things while representing the network. He did anyway and after SEVERAL warnings he was canned.

    Now move on with your lives maybe turn off your televisions and go outside and get some fresh air.

  • Brian December 23, 2013 at 7:27 am

    The irony in all of this is that Phil did only 2 things: stated HIS sexual preference (I thought that is what gay’s were fighting FOR?) and quoted the Bible. Burn him at the stake (1st Amendment be d*mned, apparently).

  • Jana Lantor December 23, 2013 at 8:17 am

    What a stupid article.

  • Davis December 23, 2013 at 9:14 am

    After writing this article how would you feel if The Spectrun indefinitely suspended you? Obviously your being very one sided when you leave out simple facts like Phil has a Masters Degree and is self made millionaire without A&E.
    While he was very crass it only shows how one sided the lgbt community is when they demand tolerance of their beliefs and lifestyle choices but can’t give the same tolerance towards the Christian community; that is hypocrisy at its finest.
    The gay community has made some tremendous strides over the years by gaining equality through desensitization. But they didn’t make the best decision in regards to duck dynasty and could be a major setback for those in the gay community.
    Please work on being less persuasive and manipulative in your articles and write from a neutral position sharing facts; report the facts not opinions.

  • Sagemoon December 23, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Dallas, I enjoyed reading your article. I can’t say I agree 100% with your opinion, but you made some good points. I, for one, like to read others’ opinions and consider whether what I currently believe is the best belief for me. For St. George News, keep doing what your doing. It’s not like your the only news source in town for people who are unhappy with the articles you publish. I enjoy what I have been reading over the past several months and appreciate the variety of news sources this area offers.

  • Davis December 23, 2013 at 9:42 am

    St.george news… Suspended you.

  • Ron Ron December 23, 2013 at 10:42 am

    The progressives would have you believe that they’re the most tolerant and open minded people on the earth, and that we should accept everyone like the Ellen and the Rosie O’Donnell’ we must be open minded about their sexuality, and that they have the1st amendment on their side to exercise their freedom of speech. Yet when we state our point of view we are shut down shined and taken off the air. Because to a progressives freedom of speech only exist if you believe or agree with their point of view nothing on the other side is to be tolerated. So much for tolerance.

  • DickTracy December 23, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    Thanks for giving me a reason to unlike and no long be associated with over the top liberal StGnews

  • Ray December 28, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    It is my belief that GLAD revolted over the words of Robertson to GQ Magazine because “the wicked take the truth to be hard”. Robertson was more graphic than was needed, and somewhat crass, however he quite accurately paraphrased the word of God found in Corinthians wherein homosexuals, and others, cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The homosexuals at GLAD claimed to be offended because someone dared to explain some filthy behavior in a filthy manner. The scriptures also tell us that in the last days, people will call that which is evil good, and that which is good evil. We are surely witnesses to that truth today.

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