Duck Dynasty: Faith. Family. Guns.
My son attends a private, religious school. Among other things, he is taught to value all life, and he scolds us each and every time we kill a fly. Even when we try to explain it away, he doesn’t understand because he lives in a world of absolutes. And maybe, just maybe, he’s got something there.
Over the holiday, Duck Dynasty‘s Robertson family announced the release of a line of guns called “Duck Commander“. They are painted with camouflage and stamped with the phrase ” Faith. Family. Ducks”. Not enough Americana for you? Well, each gun comes with an American flag bandana (you really can’t make this stuff up).
Now, you could take that a number of ways. You could be practical and see this as a logical next step for a family that is making a fortune from duck hunting. You could call this an example of the conservative right’s unhealthy infatuation with firearms. Or, you could be like me and see the maddening connection some make between Christianity, family values, and killing.
In one of the ads for the products, Phil Robertson (company CEO) says, “Do you know what makes me happy ladies and gentlemen? To blow a mallard drake’s head smooth off.” And I’m sorry, that just smacks in the face of the values and religious views their show is supposed to espouse.
I am not now nor have I ever been a Duck Dynasty viewer. I was only vaguely aware of the show before the infamous comments were made and I had dismissed it as another exploitative show about poor whites (see: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo). So I found it interesting that the show’s network worked so hard to highlight the family prayer at the end of each episode to help glaze over the show’s controversy.
“But Duck Dynasty is not a show about one man’s views. It resonates with a large audience because it is a show about family… a family that America has come to love. As you might have seen in many episodes, they come together to reflect and pray for unity, tolerance and forgiveness.”
Yes, they reflect about unity, tolerance, and forgiveness after a day of killing whatever wild animal crosses their path. Because, well, God gave it to them. The proof is that the animal is there. Robertson drops a lot of other gems in the interview, and if you haven’t read it in full, I suggest you do so. Not to mention the fact that all the guns they produce are not necessarily “hunting”guns. And, conservative gun lovers and liberals alike know that guns are not discriminatory toward animals versus human beings. Let’s not cloak gun rights in the “but they are for hunting” argument. I’m not saying they intend to kill people with them but I am also not going to pretend it is out of the realm of possibilities either.
Since when did Godly teachings and killing go hand in hand? Since when did the marriage of these two become charming and capable of attracting millions of fans? According to Phil Robertson, it was in Genesis 9. He’s a Bible scholar, y’all.
God gave us dominion over the animals, but was it to kill them for sport? No. God does not approve of homosexual behavior, but is it for any of us to judge? No. And were blacks joyful to be picking cotton? That doesn’t even need an answer.
But in reality, just like most things, this all comes down to who controls the narrative. And unfortunately, there is a large swath of America that is perfectly content with perverting the Bible to justify their actions and desires. You don’t have to look far to find them. In fact, there is a whole political party that has mastered this art (Hint: it rhymes with Nepublican).
So it comes as no surprise that members of this same political party were first in line to defend Robertson. They fall into that same hypocritical line of thinking, clinging to guns and Bibles. See, birds of a feather flock together. Shooting stuff (or people) dead is fun for these people. It just shouldn’t be if they adhere to the very values they claim fuels their ire towards the LGBTQ community.
Some folks wrap themselves in the flag, and some wrap themselves in the Bible. But either way, we all see the game they are playing. And if these individuals could simply take a lesson from my son, they would know that even when we try to profess otherwise, we live in a world of absolutes. Deceit, deception, and falsehood may live in-between, but no one can escape the truth.
You’d think that Christians would be more aware of that than most. It is our God ordered duty to seek truth and fall in line with His teachings. And Robertson, the Bible scholar that he is, should focus on taking the Bible as a whole and not just cherry-picking the passages he likes most.
No matter how you slice it, linking Christian family values with the use of lethal weapons is full of fallacy. And it ain’t cute.
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