Dwight McKissic on Phil Robertson’s Comments on Homosexuality and Race (by William Dwight Mckissic, Sr)



By William Dwight Mckissic, Sr.

UNBELIEVABLE!!! Duck Dynasty star, Phil Robertson, has been suspended indefinitely from the most popular show in the history of cable television for simply expressing a biblical worldview regarding homosexuality.

The A&E Television Network has determined that silencing and punishing Phil Robertson was/is more important than respecting his right of free speech and alienating millions of kingdom-minded Bible believing Christians just like him. If A&E does not withdraw their decision to suspend Phil Robertson, the believers who share his views need to boycott A&E and her sponsors.

If no one else will, I will submit a resolution at the SBC Annual Meeting in Baltimore encouraging all believers to boycott watching the A&E Network and to boycott their sponsors if they don’t retract their position. Why? An attack on Phil Robertson’s views and free speech on this matter is also an attack on the millions of other believers who share his view.

Furthermore, I am deeply disappointed in the NAACP for taking Robertson’s innocent racial remarks regarding relationship that he had with Blacks on the bayou’s of Louisiana during his earlier years and spinning it into some kind of racial animus or insensitivity toward Blacks during the Jim Crow Era. Shame on the NAACP for this exploitation of such a sensitive and volatile topic!

Robertson was simply expressing his personal observations and relationships with Blacks that he knew in the Louisiana swamps and farmland. He stated:

“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field …. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word! … Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

This is simply an account of one man’s experience with a people group that he interacted with. He described them as “happy” and “godly.” If you asked me to describe Black people in my sphere of observation during my childhood in the late 50’s and 60’s, I would make a similar observation. We were “farmers,” “hoeing cotton,” “godly,” going to church, “singing” and “happy.” That was the general disposition of Black people in the South in my childhood.

Did racism exist? Was it a reality? Absolutely! Did Black people discuss it and address it primarily among themselves? Absolutely! Did the Black Preacher take on the role and responsibility of addressing racism because quite often he was the only Black in a given community self-employed? Absolutely! In many ways morally, spiritually, family oriented and self-reliant were Blacks better off in the “pre-entitlement, pre-welfare” era? Absolutely! The facts would support such a conclusion. Are Robertson’s remarks racists, wrong, or insensitive or untrue? Absolutely Not!!! Robertson was not addressing the over-all obvious racism that existed in the South during that era. He was simply commenting on the general daily disposition of Blacks in his circle of acquaintances and relationships. It is tragic that the media, NAACP and others are unfairly using race in a twisted and shameful manner, because they simply disagree with his righteous and biblical stand on homosexuality.

The Civil Rights Community ought to be in the streets marching and protecting the free speech rights of Phil Robertson. The egregious act of suspending him for his statement should be aggressively repudiated and marched and protested against as if he were a Black man fired for making a similar remark. There is not a Black man in America who grew up in the South, who would have made a similar remark, and it would have been viewed as controversial or racist. Therefore, Robertson’s racial comment should be a non-issue.

May the Lord bless Phil Robertson! He is being persecuted for righteousness sake. His persecution is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Jesus said that believers would be hated because of His name’s sake. The prophet Isaiah said that the day would come when wrong would be called right and right would be called wrong. Phil Robertson is a classic example of both prophecies being fulfilled.

Believers of every kind throughout America ought to support Phil Robertson simply because his comments were/are scriptural, racially innocent, sincere, sensitive, supportive and true. Therefore, the negative and unwarranted response to his comments is simply orchestrated by “the prince of the power of the air.”


      • Robin Foster says

        Bro. Dwight,

        Thanks for your insight on this. My concern was that Robertson’s comments would be criticized and seen as a Pollyannaish widespread view of those times in the past. I have seen one similar comment on Facebook already. Merry Christmas my friend. It has been too long.

  1. says

    Great idea. We’ll add that to the long line of successful SBC boycotts like the one on Disney. Remember how well that turned out?

    Clearly, it’s not enough to start with prayer and thoughtful consideration of the Word, but we must run quickly to the boycott option. Let me know how that works out.

    • Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. says

      The purpose of the boycott would be to make a statement. Our voices need to be heard just as the gay-friendly voices are being heard.

  2. dr. james willingham says

    Dear Brother: When I was a student at Columbia University, a Marxist professor recruited me for a Ph.D. program in Black History. How this came about was the fact that a colleague at South Carolina State College (we were there on a government grant that Summer of ’71 to improve the quality of education at Black schools in the South). Anyway, we were at a faculty reception hosted by the faculties of Columbia at the Faculty Club, when the professor looked me up and said, “I heard from your colleague that you know of a great body of Primary Source Materials on the Blacks that no one has ever tapped. Tell me about it.”

    I answered, “Yes sir. It is the Baptist Church Records before the Civil War.” He then said, “Well, tell me something about it.” I said, “Well, when the records included their names and other information about them. When they got sold from one part of the South to another, they moved their church memberships just like they were free.” I went on to tell him of Blacks who were devout, noted for their knowledge of biblical and Christian teachings. In one case, a White congregation purchased the freedom of a Black man, called him as pastor, and he served that church for 10 years. There was more, but one of the factors of the old South was how readily the Black folks were converted and assimilated the teachings of the Gospel just as they assimilated the political views of the nation, insisting as Martin Luther King, Jr., would later do, that America needed to live up to its reputation for freedom and dignity written in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. It was also his view, stated in his address at the reception of the Nobel Prize, that in the end love would win, Christian, godly, agape love. As one White fellow told me during the Vietnam War, “I don’t think of those folks like most Whites.”

    Then he said why. He was a Marine in ‘Nam, as he called it, and one night they had incoming fire. His buddy dived in the way to protect him. He said, “I held that Black man in my arms and cried like a baby, while he died.” With men in the military who felt like that, and with Whites determined to help the Blacks in their efforts and the latter being the leaders in the effort, we have seen an end to racism for the most part, except for some extremists out on the fringes. You know that is true, when a White fellow talks about his Black grandson with evident love and affection that is bestowed upon any cheerful, adorable, loving grandchild, male or female, black or white or any other color.

    • Bart Barber says

      One of the most surprising items I learned from reading colonial-era Baptist church records was how racially integrated the Baptist world was in America back when Baptist churches were still populated with poor, outcast people. It was only when Baptist churches became more acceptable and began to gain a foothold in respectable society that the opinions of that society about African slaves began to taint the views of the churches.

      • Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. says

        Bart and Dr. James,

        Amen and Amen. The story of positive race relations need to be told. To often we only discuss the negative aspect of race relations in America. I appreciate what both of you gentleman have shared here.

    • Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. says


      I would be interested in hearing from you what exactly is “slightly different” about our perspectives. Thanks. I appreciate you weighing in here.

  3. says

    Thank you for this. Well done and great perspective! This is the way it was on my grandparents farm in Arkansas when I learned to drive Cotton Pickers sitting on the lap of black men! Some of my best memories!

  4. volfan007 says


    This was really, really good, Brother. If you were closer to me, I’d take you to Sonic, and buy you a bacon, double, cheeseburger; a small order of tots; and a Route 44, cherry coke. Of course, I’d buy me the same!!


  5. says

    Excellent article.

    Some of the best folks to ever walk the face of the earth were many of those old time black farm workers. My mother grew up on a farm, and she told me of many of them. She always spoke of them with great respect. They spoke with the same respect of her and her parents.
    David R. Brumbelow

    • Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. says

      Dave, Tim G, Jeff,, Volfan, David B.,

      Thanks. It is rare that we are all on the same page on a subject of this nature, but Phil Robertson is the real deal. I find no fault in him. I don’t even see his comments as “crude” as many have stated. Neither do I understand the hesitancy of some to embrace his biographical and personal observations regarding race in his neck of the woods. Many southern people–Black and White could make similar statements–and indeed they have–without a tinge of racism being involved in their responses. I would hope and believe that if Mr. Robertson had been asked if he supported the institutional and systemic racism prevalent in the South during his formative/observational years–he would answer with a resounding No!!! In no way, shape, form, or fashion. But, that is not what he was addressing, and it is horribly unfair to judge him, as if he was answering that question.

  6. says

    Dwight, I have been saying the same thing regarding Robertson’s remarks on race. I had a conversation with an African-American pastor of a historic church here in Montgomery that led in the Civil Rights Movement who told me basically the same thing. Yes, things were difficult and very bad in many ways during that time period. But, I think that what Robertson was getting at – and the overall gist of his comments – is that happiness does not come from financial abundance or political freedom or security. It comes from God and when people, no matter what situation they were in, had a strong relationship with God and with one another in community, they were happy.

    He did not say, as has been erroneously reported, that Black people were better off under Jim Crow or that Jim Crow was the reason for their happiness and if we could get back to it then everything would be good. He said that God was the reason for their happiness and if we could get back to Him, then things would be better for all of us. That is how I see his comments on homosexuality – and a whole list of other sins – as well.

    • cb scott says

      In all probability, when Phil Robertson was growing up in the specific environment he did, if some one had asked him what Jim Crow was, he would have answered that it was a pet crow that belonged to a guy named Jim.

      You just had to have been there to truly understand.

  7. SVMuschany says

    I am working on a Master’s degree in History right now, with a focus on Baptist history in Missouri. For one of my papers I looked at how Missouri Baptists viewed slavery and the Civil War. In that research I found one church that had a black member of the congregation and on two occasions, both before and after the Civil War, they formed a committee to hear him preach and then report back to the church in view of having him preach before the congregation. Going through these records definitely opened my eyes to many of the misconceptions that we all have regarding this time period. There defiantly is a lot more grey rather than the simple black and white our assumptions are based on.

  8. Jennifer says

    One thing I’ve noticed about the NAACP through the years is that they will take any opportunity to get their faces in the news. I wouldn’t jump to conclusions that their motives are based on Phil’s religious beliefs. Though it might be a factor, I have to believe, based on past history, they would be crying foul over this any way.

    I will turn off A&E. I’m not much for boycotts as they haven’t been proven successful in the past, and all they do is give the secular world another reason to mock us.

    As for Phil, I’ve read all of the Robertson’s books and have seen all of the shows, and know they are not racists. Phil even has a biracial grandson, in spite of the fact that some people in Louisiana told the family that wasn’t a good idea. They didn’t care and adopted him knowing they might face some ire for their decision.

  9. Tarheel says

    Dwight, I enjoyed reading your post. Thank you.

    You are right that Phil is persecuted (such as it is) for his righteous statements.

    He was quoting scripture in context…that’s a good thing.

    The censor police are not wanting to spread tolerance…they are wanting to criminalize and silence biblical convition and speech.

    I think that the easy, comfortable, essentially non persecuted “American church” is clearly in her last days.

    Not to be pessimistic but Christian persecution is coming here to America, I mean real persecution folks. It is my belief that American Christians are soon going to know and experience what Christians in most countries around the world literally suffer through on a daily basis.

    • Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. says


      Unfortunately, I am afraid that you are right, espwcially regarding the coming persecution.

  10. Chief Katie says

    Pastor Dwight,

    I hate to admit it, but we are reaping what we sow. My family boycotted everything from Ford Motor Corp to Proctor and Gamble for their egregious views on homosexuality. Ford even advertised in ‘The Advocate’. Bottom line Ford gave into our demands, but P & G didn’t and I doubt any such serious attempt to boycott would work now.

    However, I think Phil Robertson could get elected POTUS today, so outraged are the majority of Americans. We tend to be a law-abiding part of the population. We don’t like that our courts are doing what they are doing, but we likely will not take to the streets. Maybe we should. But… then we’d have to put up with those pesky Episcopalians, ELCA Lutherans, The Metropolitan Church and the liberal branch of the Presbyterians. How many of our churches have tackled the nonsense of Matthew Vines as Dr. James White did? How many have spoken out about the Federal Judge ruling on the polygamists as Dr. James White did? And no matter what happens, we DO NOT want to attract those Vipers in Kansas that call themselves a church, because we’ll be compared to them anyway.

    A resolution will likely be seen as our boycotts have.

    The other problem we have is letting GLAAD speak for us instead of speaking for ourselves. These folks have been organizing for decades now. I don’t think there is any way for us to say what scripture actually teaches because they do not want to hear it, see it, or deal with it. But, we might make some progress by pointing out how INTOLERANT they are. Pastor Dwight, are we going to make a resolution against whores, liars, thieves, the greedy, the drunkards, the swindlers and the revilers? Phil Robertson did in his sermon. But we likely won’t. And you can be sure the LGBT’s will point that out. We aren’t the only people who can quote scripture. The only difference is that these people are normalizing sin in the populous. We lost that battle decades ago. We have normalized sexually revealing clothing, even in our churches, many brides wearing dresses that are completely inappropriate. We just gloss over sexual sin in our young men (and women).

    Didn’t you have something to say about the “Preachers of LA?” They came close to normalizing fornication (16 years of it and a comment about whether or not men COULD be monogamous), out of wedlock births, adulterous relationships and sexually revealing clothing, even one of the First Ladies wore disgracefully low cut clothing in the church. While some of the First Ladies condemned this behavior, where was the church and the SBC then?

    I join you in your outrage Pastor Dwight, but we need more than a resolution, we need a REVOLUTION in our thinking and most of all in our own double standards.

    Let’s be honest we have allowed the Hollygods to set the culture and we’ve done very little to counteract it. In short, as I stated, we ARE reaping what we have sown. What we are doin’ ain’t werkn’ and we need to reconsider our methods.

    I respect you Pastor Dwight, but I don’t think you see the whole problem probably because your own world is somewhat isolated. This has very little to do with black culture, it’s about our culture in general and it stinks to high heaven. Only scripture should guide our morality.

    • Debbie Kaufman says

      Katie: Dr. McKissic needs no defending but if you spend any time talking to him or reading him as many of us know him personally, his world is not isolated. Many preachers worlds are, but Dr. McKissic’s experiences in this world are quite broad, and quite real. His experiences have moved and angered me, so broad is his world experience as a black man. Not many of us could survive such a world as Dr. McKissic has lived in. Yet, he has remained humble, loving, powerful and strong despite it not because he has managed to skip the experiences. He is very well informed through experience. Not isolation.

      • cb scott says

        Well Debbie,

        He is kinda tall and not many people are at the same altitude, so there is some degree of isolation.

        • Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. says

          Debbi and CB,

          Thanks for explaining me. Debbi you addressed Katie’s concerns about me almost as well as I could have, if not better. Thanks again. And, CB, I do at times feel like I am on a planet alone. You have boosted my self esteem and confidence: It’s because of my “altitude.” I like that. You placed me on the Alabama football team on the last play of the game a few weeks ago(besides Robin Foster and Volfan) and you made me a tall man today. You sure know how to make a fellow feel good. Merry Christmas to you and Debbi. We are all family again-:).

        • Chief Katie says

          Debbie, CB, I’m quite aware. Probably more than you. I was married to a black man for almost 18 years. That man survived the south side of Chicago and even living in Mississippi He was born in 1940. He lived with Jim Crow. I have a child from that marriage and I’ve seen how the world has responded to him.

          I see you didn’t address anything else I said. I respect Pastor Dwight, but if I’m not mistaken almost everything he has written here involves the black community or racism, hence my isolation comment.

          We are contributing to the problem. We engage in double standards and selectively quote the scriptures by pointing out the sinfulness of homosexuality, while omitting the sin in the same paragraph of lying, drunkenness, and stealing thereby implying the homosexuality is a worse sin. And… my point remains are we going to suggest a resolution for those sins as well?

          I’m quite used to this kind of response so it has little impact on me. I learned how to let it go years and years ago.

    • Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. says


      Money quote: “but we need more than a resolution, we need a Revolution in our thinking and most of all our double standards.”

      Great word. It feels good being on the same page with you for a change. Merry Christmas!!! I respect you as well.

    • Dwight McKissic says


      If you will ask a clear question. I will provide u with a clear answer. I am not exactly sure what it is that you want me to address. That’s why I respectfully ask that you give me a crisp, clear, question.

      Honestly, I don’t see any correlation between “Preachers of LA” and the topic of this post; but if that’s your question, put it in the form of a question & show the connection to this post & I will give you a plain straight forward answer. Thanks. I look forward to your question.

  11. Rick Patrick says


    Great article! Great defense of Robertson’s comments on race! And great idea with the boycott!

    If we REALLY want to impact the entertainment industry and force them to look in the mirror, we should lobby them to remove every program or movie that uses the name of the One I worship, Jesus Christ, as an expletive. That shows disrespect and hatred toward Christ and Christians.

    They will cry, “What about free speech?” And we can reply, “Okay, let’s make a deal…”

    • Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. says


      Why don’t you present the motion or resolution on the boycott. You are a great writer, and you have much more clout. Seriously, you ought to consider leading the boycott charge. What say ye?

      • Rick Patrick says


        I will support the idea however I can, but with all due respect and gratitude for your kind remarks about my writing and (over)estimation of my clout, I believe your voice is far, far more influential. I am honored that you would offer to allow me to work on this with you.

        I do believe that a boycott motion would be better received coming from you, not only within the convention, but outside of it also. As for a resolution, once it is submitted it becomes the property of the Resolutions Committee and they can address and defend it themselves, if they choose to submit it to the floor.

        • Dwight McKissic says


          Hopefully this matter will get resolved before then. But, if it doesn’t we will need to exchange emails at some point & work on this together. Or hopefully, someone else will come along & run with ball. Then you & I can be their cheerleaders. I will give u my email publicly. You can send me yours privately. Thanks & Merry Christmas.


  12. cb scott says

    Speaking of boycotts, I intend to boycott all NCAA FOOTBALL NATIONS for the next two years who have TIGERS as mascots.

    I would ask that all of you fellows join me in this boycott, especially you, Dave Miller. Of course, you should probably just boycott FOOTBALL altogether, being that you are from Iowa and have absolutely no hope whatsoever being a Fan of a National Champion.

    • SVMuschany says

      Heretic! Maybe if just one team in the SEC had a Tiger mascot, but there are 3! That means 3 teams you won’t support in this years bowls, 3 SEC teams! Its ok not to root for SEC teams when they are facing your team, or when you need one of them to loose for your team to get in a “bigger” game, but against everyone else, it is just not right not to root for the SEC! Seriously do you really want to be rooting for Florida St this year? Or Oklahoma St? Or even, dare I say it…IOWA?!?!

  13. Roger Simpson says

    I can’t boycott A&E because we don’t get cable TV here.

    About 18 months ago I decided to cut the chord with cable TV. I am not going to support a model that forces me to pay $100 / month for TV so I can watch the 8 or 10 stations I might actually watch while paying for 150+ stations that I will never watch, and wouldn’t even watch if you paid me to watch them. And on top of this, there are some really rare stations I that I’d watch, that have European Soccer games, that I could only get by buying yet another tier — by which time I’d be spending $130 / month on TV — not counting my phone and internet bill. Is this crazy or what: paying $130/month to have 200 or more channels — most of which you don’t even know what they are and only a few do you have the slightest interest in ever watching?

    I will never go back to cable TV unless they adopt a “free market” a-la-carte pricing model. How can an industry survive when it bundles so much stuff together? Would you go to a car dealer that forces you to buy a Ferrari, a Maserati, a Buick, and a Corvette, just so you could get a Chevy Malibu?

    To carry this analogy farther what if you could get the stripped down Chevy for free. This is the situation I have where I can get 15 channels of “over the air” HD TV from local stations here in Oklahoma City. This is because I have a “line of sight” vista with the TV towers here in OKC which are about 15 miles NW of me. And what is even crazier is that some of the free stuff over the air is NOT on any COX tier — even if I coughed up $150+/month for all of them.

    To get back to “Duck Dynasty”. I don’t know a thing about it. But it is likely that another network will pick them up if they really are as popular as has been reported. Lawyers from Fox or some other network are probably negotiating with the “Duck Dynasty” producers right now to see what needs to be done to pick up the rights.

    I guess the landscape going forward depends upon who holds the content rights to “Duck Dynasty”.

    If A&E hold them, then this could prove interesting if they continue to hold the rights, while not getting any revenue from them. A&E might sell off the rights to someone else to get rid of what going forward is evidently going to be a non-performing asset for them. “Dynasty” would be “non-performing” if they hold it in their stable and not air it. Sponsors will not buy time on your network for a program that people are not watching because you are not distributing it.

    I have one last question. How can you boycott a program that is not being shown? What if Disneyland were to have shut down in the 1980s? Would it then be possible for people to boycott it?

    Roger Simpson Oklahoma City

    • Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. says


      We can boycott the A&E Network by not watching it. We can also boycott the sponsors of the shows who do support the A&E Network. Of course, your not having cable TV at all is the ultimate boycott. Thanks for weighing in here.

  14. John Wylie says

    Outstanding article Pastor McKissic,

    When I think of you I think of two things: integrity and courage. It is a courageous thing to go against the flow and say what needs to be said. I remember when the late Dr. E.V. Hill said that he was perhaps the only preacher who had ever received death threat from both the KKK and the Black Panthers. He was a man of integrity and fairness and so are you.

    • Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. says

      Bro. John,

      I appreciate your affirmation and encouragement. I value your friendship. You are a brother beloved. I will call and see how the Proclaimers Place went at first opportunity. Merry Christmas!!!

  15. Marshall Peters says

    Funny, Phil and the Pope share the same viewpoint regarding homosexuality. One was just named Time’s Person of the Year, the other? fired.

  16. cb scott says

    Phil Robertson is to me a symbol in my older years such as what Mrs. Rosa Parks was to me in my younger years: A voice of freedom, the first, Mrs. Parks, a voice of freedom of personhood, the second, Phil Robertson, a voice of freedom of conviction.

    • Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. says


      I would have never thought to have made that comparison, but I believe that you are absolutely correct. What Rosa Parks was to the Civil Rights Movement in America, Phil Roberts is to the Free Speech/Conviction Movement. Wow!!! I am going to say that again and again. And of course, as a Baptist preacher–you know the rule–after the third time, I don’t have to attribute the quote/thought to you. It then becomes mine. Seriously though; that is an incredibly powerful and accurate comparison. Thanks. The South is Rising Again!!! This time the right way, and for the right reasons. I always knew that there was genius and greatness in you. I don’t don’t know why you waited so long to demonstrate it-:).

      • cb scott says

        “I always knew that there was genius and greatness in you. I don’t don’t know why you waited so long to demonstrate it.”

        Well Dwight,

        I guess it is because I am so shy and reserved in expressing my thoughts, opinions, and convictions.

        • Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. says

          LOL. That was the funniest thing I heard all day. It was the second funniest thing that I,ve read on this blog. The funniest was when Robin Foster asked you, were you using his name in vain, when you or Volfan-named him as one of the players on the field the last seconf of the Alabama-Auburn game. Now that was funny: “Is my name being used in vain?” Robin asked you

  17. Adam G. in NC says

    Whenever the topic of race comes up in our country, it’s gonna be a one-sided conversation. If there is an attempt to see any other perspective, you’ll be railroaded and branded and slandered. That’s the way it is and that’s the way it’s gonna be. You’ll be called ignorant or backward or color-blind or whatever…and you will be silenced.

    The powers-that-be in this country have tried for decades to upend our capitalistic culture by stoking the flames of class warfare…and mostly they have failed. Now, they have changed the focus to race relations, but kept the goal the same. You can’t argue with a bigot…he has no argument. You are silenced.

  18. says

    Dwight, I wonder what you think of this perspective from Charles Blow for the New York Times.


    On the whole, he is right in that Southern whites have minimized racism and its effects by saying similar things to what Phil said and by only seeing things through their point of view. I agree with that. I guess I see the Robertson situation a bit differently because he seemed to be making another point about how true happiness comes from God and I do not see him defending Jim Crow.

    The past is difficult to talk about because we all bring our own perspective to it.

    • Dwight McKissic says


      Thanks for linking to the Blow article. I just hurriedly read it. My immediate reaction is that Phil Robertson simply was commenting on his friendly interpersonal interactions & relationships and observations with Black people in his formative years. Nothing more, nothing less. I have observed & heard Blacks describe similar kinds of memories as Phul described. There were positive social, business, ecclesial,and even romantic interactions between the races in the South that Oden go under reported. Phil was simply recalling his position interactions. Inasmuch as he was not addressing the larger issue of racial history and policy in Louisuana, I believe that Blow is grossly unfair to discuss Phil’s comments in that context. They are discussing two different things. They are talking over each other’s heads. Blow is responding to matters that Phil simply didn’t have in mind. Now that’s my take & I’m sticking with it. Thanks for asking.

      • says

        That is what I think, too. And, I think that it is okay to talk about our personal experience in the past, on the one hand, without having to talk about the global experience in every case or being accused of neglecting the larger history.

        Both things can be true and one does not negate the other. Phil could have witnessed good things while there were also bad things happening elsewhere. The African-American Experience in America is far greater than what whites did to blacks or Jim Crow or slavery. That is to make it far too one-dimensional.

    • Chris Roberts says

      This may be the first time I’ve ever agreed with everything in an article by Charles Blow. I think he’s right on regarding the constitutional/speech aspect of Robertson’s comments and A&E’s response, and I appreciated his perspective on what was actually taking place on those farms. Robertson’s comments were naive at best and he trusts his naive observations over the voiced experiences of the many people who suffered during that period.

  19. Rev. Ken Polsley says

    Brother Dwight, I would second your comments on Phil Robertson’s right to free speech and Christian’s rights to boycott A & E, and you made a strong case for taking unpopular stands and suffering possible persecution. I would not, however, defend Phil’s answer to the question put to him. I read the whole GQ article and if the writer can be trusted, the question put to Phil was, “What in your mind is sinful?” Phil’s answer began like this, “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there.” That is not a very good start to a serious question. What it morphs to according to Phil is, “Bestality and sleeping around . . .” Interestingly, it is all sexual behavior. Then he paraphases 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, but he paraphases it poorly, leaving out “revilers, thieves, and using a debatable translation – “male prostitutes”. This list from I Corinthians is generated out of the context of believers acting unjustly and cheating other believers within the church, not from a lamentation about how the world has gone down the toilet. What I would hopefully would have said to my admittedly non-religious interviewer would be something like, “You know, Drew (Drew Magary) we have a lot in common – we are both created in the image of God who is both good and just and so we are highly valued. But we both have a problem. We have a condition deep in us that generates destructive behavior – sometimes it is glaring behavior like being unfaithful to the ones we love, and sometimes it is internal things like wanting what other people have more than what we have been given. Part of this condition is that we have a natural aversion and rebelliousness toward God. We all have it, we all struggle with it, parts of our lives have been ruined by it. Drew, that is sin, and we are drowning in it, and we need someone to rescue us.” I would emphasize the things we have in common, rather than the behaviors that Phil R. and I are probably not doing much of – homosexual acts, beastiality, and promiscuity. But Phil and I have much in common at the deepest core of our fallenness , our sin condition, our sin generator, with those whose sins are glaring. Phil has the freedom to say what he wants, but I think his answer is too superficial and too outward looking. “What in your mind is sinful?”

  20. Dwight McKissic says

    Rev. Ken,

    I get your point and based on who you are, your response would have been great. But, that is simply not who Phil is. He answered the question based on his understanding of the question, and his view of sin. I don’t see fault with how either of you answered. There was/is no justification in my view for Phil to have been suspended based on those comments. I will admit though, had he given your answer, you & I probably would not be having this discussion, because he probably would not have been suspended. He is who he is and I respect & appreciate that. Thanks for commenting. Merry Christmas!!!!

    • Rev. Ken Polsley says

      I’m assuming what you mean, Dwight, is, that if you were Phil’s employer, you would not have suspended him for his comments. Surely, an employer has the right to suspend an employee for behavior or speech, that they deem detrimental to the company. Phil has free speech rights, and he will not be thrown into jail. An employer has a right to suspend employees for violating company values. Phil was an employee of A & E, and I believe he was paid handsomely. A & E is not a Christian network. (Why do we expect unbelievers to act like believers?) You have the right to boycott the company because of their decisions. I don’t watch much TV, and have seen Duck Dynasty only once or twice – episodes where they were blasting cottonmouths from a distance with shotguns. I think that if Phil wants to be a TV personality and grants an interview to GQ – a men’s fashion magazine (it doesn’t seem like the GQ guy knew how to use a gun, so no gun was held to Phil’s head to do the interview), then he should be a little more, “wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” What did he expect was going to happen? Right or wrong, I am not surprised at all that he was suspended – I would have been surprised if they hadn’t suspended him.

      • Rev. Ken Polsley says

        Of course in the end – money is going to be what determines if Phil remains suspended, not the company changing their mind on principle. But that doesn’t surprise me either. I would not raise Phil Robertson up as a kind of martyr for the faith or some kind of Christian hero. He is a rich guy, and he won’t suffer much from losing his TV job, and he’s still got his guns to shoot animals on his property – he’ll be plenty happy. I have some international friends whose lives and lively-hoods are really on the line for being Christians.

        • John Wylie says

          If I may respectfully submit, you are missing the more widespread ramifications of what is going on here. This has more to do with the fact that we have a movement, a lobby, who think that all disagreement on the subject of homosexuality must be stamped out. Sure Phil will be ok, no doubt, but this is about the fundamental right of dissent.

          • Rev. Ken Polsley says

            No, I think I get that. I just don’t think that Phil Robertson is a very good spokesman for that dissent, and I wouldn’t want to defend his comments. I don’t see how I can defend his right to keep his job, but if he were thrown in jail for his speech, I would defend him. And Phil is not a Christian hero to me; he’s an entertainer who feeds our lust for entertainment. His persecution is comparatively light. I’m not going to boycott A&E because I don’t have cable, but then I’ve never been enamored about non-persuasive economic or political solutions to right the ills of society. It’s not the primary way of Jesus, as I see it. We’ve taken that route for the past forty years, and thus, as evangelicals, we are primarily known in the culture for what we are against, not for our extraordinary love.

  21. John Wylie says

    The whole male prostitute argument has two very profound weaknesses. First, it lacks support when one looks at the biblical use of the Greek word in question. Second, there are two Greek words used in the 1 Corinthians 6 text in regard to homosexual behavior. It was clearly not male prostitution that Paul was condemning here but any homosexual behavior.

  22. Bar Logos says

    Reading my Bible I can find no record or concept of “race”. “Race” is a social construct created to undergird slavery and bigotry. The scientific community has long concluded that Biology cannot verify “race” as a scientific reality. It would be good for theologians and people of faith to move beyond “race” as a theological reference. Then reactions such as these in the comment stream will be obsolete.