The Patriarch of Duck Dynasty, Phil Robertson, addressed the Republican Leadership conference in New Orleans, Louisiana this past weekend. His speech received several standing ovations.
It also received predictable mocking from segments of the propaganda press. In characteristic style, Phil Robertson gave them plenty of the one-liners they love to use in their effete condescension masquerading as reporting.
Ironically, those same comments inspire many others, this writer included.
For example, he told the audience “You lose your religion, you lose your morality, you lose your freedom,” and “You cannot be right for America if you are not right with God.”
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He pulled no punches in warning about the downward moral spiral of the Nation, exhorting the group, “If the country does not turn to God at a fairly rapid clip, we are going to lose the United States of America.”
He told the Republican activists that the strength of the Nation is “not the Constitution, but the law of God and the Ten Commandments upon which the Constitution was founded.” He is correct. is not a pessimist, he is a realist, committed to turning the situation around.
He also told them, “Our Founding Fathers created the greatest republic on the face of the earth and we screwed it up in 238 years. But I’m not throwing in the towel yet on it. As was said, the surest way for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
He had these words for the leadership of the Republican Party, “Where there is no Jesus, the love rate is always real low and the crime rate is always real high. It’s just that simple GOP. You want to turn the Republican Party around, get Godly.”
How simple. How refreshing. How true.
I live in the Great Bridge section of Chesapeake, Virginia by choice. This is a down to earth, blue collar section of Southeastern Virginia. It is filled with salt of the earth, family based, down to earth folks who work hard, love their families and still believe in the ideals of liberty which defined the American experiment in ordered liberty.
I grew up in the inner city of Boston, Massachusetts. Dorchester is a blue collar, working class neighborhood. Even though our accents were different, my family and I shared many of the same bedrock values as the people with whom I now share life in Southeastern, Virginia.
I went on to College and Law School. My wife and I raised five children and have six grandchildren. I had a meaningful career in law and public policy. After ordination, I completed a Masters Degree in theology and am now completing a PhD, while rounding the corner to my 60th birthday.
All of this was possible by the grace of God. It is also because of the incredible opportunities which this Nation still offers to all men and women. I love this Nation and am deeply concerned for her future.
I am deeply involved in Northern Virginia and the DC Metroplex – because that is where political decisions are made. However, I know that the bubble many of the media and political elites live in that City has completely clouded their vision of America.
Phil Robertson has not had his vision clouded. He sees things with no pretense. He calls it the way he sees it.
My wife and I watch Duck Dynasty whenever we can. We record it on the DVR if we miss it. We spend our Friday evenings watching a few shows together as we unwind from the week and prepare for the weekend which usually involves my teaching and preaching as a member of the Catholic Clergy, an ordained deacon.
Duck Dynasty is simple, funny, light-hearted and enjoyable. After a week filled with intensity, I do not need the contrived intensity which one often finds on television programming. Nor do I need the propaganda which is weaving its way into so many programs.
The thing which keeps bringing us back to Duck Dynasty is unique in the smorgasbord of contemporary television – the presence of real values. The Robinson family are salt of the earth people who love each other and receive all of life as a gift.
They also love God – in a naturally supernatural way. That is all communicated without the necessity of a lot of words.
The Robertson family, like most families, also has eccentric members. They are given over to the inside humor between one another which is so often used as a means of showing affection, especially among men.
The personalities are delightful. My wife and I have developed our favorites among the cast.
The situations they face each week, and the lessons learned as a result, serve as a framework for communicating timeless values in a simple but effective way. There are real, human, redemptive values on display in each episode as the family faces the stuff of raising children, remaining faithful to their marriages, and supporting one another in the rough and tumble of real life.
In addition, in almost every episode, they end with the extended family sharing a meal which begins with a heartfelt and sincere prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord. I remember thinking when I first experienced the program, “how refreshingly counter cultural it is to see prayer like that in this age of self worship.”
The Robertson family is openly Christian. Obviously, they are evangelical protestant Christians. However, they are the kind of Christians who still embrace the ancient, unchangeable Creed which defines basic Christianity, whether they recite it or not as my wife and I do at every Sunday Mass as Catholics.
I have written several articles defending Phil Robertson and Willie Robertson against media assaults against them. I do not believe that Phil Robertson, his family or the folks who identify with his honest, down to earth manner hold any animosity toward men and women with same sex attraction.
Nor is there a prejudiced or racist bone in their bodies. Phil told the Republican leaders that racism is sin. Every Christian, no matter what their confessional or denominational affiliation, must affirm that we are all created in the Image of God. .
However, even though every single human person, including those who have same sex attraction, has human dignity , restructuring the social order and attempting to nullify the Natural Moral Law by redefining marriage is wrong for the Nation.
The people I work out with in the gym where I lift weights and the kickboxing dojo where I study Martial Arts are NOT against homosexual persons. In fact, some who struggle with same sex attraction probably hit the same heavy bags and lift the same weights.
However, they like Phil Robertson and the Duck Dynasty family because their down to earth, real approach to life has a basic goodness to it, and has not succumbed to the insanity of the ideologues of the New Cultural Revolution.
We are all tired of the loaded rhetoric which pretends to be objective news reporting. We are nauseated by some in Hollywood (certainly not all) who have been brainwashed by the new thought police and have decided they must tow the ideological line of Cultural Revolutionaries.
Phil Robertson’s words in New Orleans were simple, accurate and true. The American founders believed that fundamental human rights were endowed upon us by the Creator, not the civil government. The American founders stood on the shoulders of the giants of the Jewish and Christian traditions.
The first Right is the Right to Life. The first freedom is the freedom to be born. The humanity of the child in the womb is verified by medical science. They are our first neighbors. Killing them in the womb is wrong. This is confirmed by our conscience and revealed by the Natural Moral Law.
We have an obligation to respect every human life – whether that life be in the first home of the womb, a wheelchair, a jail cell, a hospital room, a hospice, a senior center or a soup kitchen. Phil Robertson is Pro-Life in this sense.
Phil Robertson defends faithful, monogamous marriage. He is unapologetic about the fact that marriage is solely between one man and one woman, should be open to life, and is formative of family which is the first cell of civil society.
As a Christian who affirms the truth of the Bible, he insists that marriage discloses God’s loving plan for the whole human race. He is correct. Marriage is the foundation of the family – which is the first cell of the entire social order.
The family is the first society, first church, first school, first economy, first government and first mediating institution.
Phil Robertson cuts through the loaded political rhetoric of the hour. He is not afraid to speak the truth with simplicity. He does so in a refreshingly down home manner. He calls politicians to moral coherence. Let me explain what I mean by that term by using an example from the big screen.
In the 1972 Film, the Godfather, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, the character Michael Cordileone was played by Al Pacino. The movie opened at a Baptism of an infant.
Michael is to be the godfather to his sister’s baby and must answer questions based on the ancient Creed of the Catholic Church to confirm his role as godfather to Connie’s baby.
They are intended to position him as an example and teacher; one who will help the parents ensure that the child chooses to follow Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church.
The Director juxtaposed another action which is happening simultaneously outside of the four walls of the Church building. It is unleashed as a direct result of a choice made by Michael Cordileone.
At the same time of the Baptism his henchmen are carrying out a murderous attack on a rival gang which he directly ordered. This scene reveals a disconnect between faith and life in Michael Cordileone. He emerges as a godfather – but of an entirely different sort.
Such a separation between faith and Life is played out in more subtle ways in our experience. How often have we encountered Christians engaged in businesses who, though seemingly pious on Sundays, fail to infuse the values informed by their faith in their business practices on Monday?
Sadly, we see the political version of this error all the time. We also see self professing Christians living this kind of moral incoherence. It is a scandal and it must be exposed and opposed. The separation between faith and life manifests itself whenever a public servant who professes to be a Christian fails to inform his or her political participation and public service by the values informed by their faith.
All too often people who hide behind this error attempt to justify their moral incoherence with the excuse that their faith is a “private matter”. Christian faith may be profoundly personal, but it is most assuredly not private.
Some claim that we should separate religious and moral values from political or economic issues. However, just as the human person is an integrated whole and you cannot separate the soul and the body, the body politic is an integrated whole.
There is a moral basis to a truly free society. You cannot separate moral values from our common life together. To do so threatens the foundation of our Civil Order.
In his down home, folksy way, without all the words people like me use, Phil Robertson says all of this. However, he does so in a way which not only rings true but moves people to reach down into their hearts and clear out all of the rubbish we have accumulated.
I titled this article “Maybe Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty Should Run For President” to attract attention. I do not really think he should. I am sure he would not even consider the notion.
However, whoever the Republicans put up in 2016, they should pay very close attention to this man from Monroe, Louisiana.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.