The Rise of the New McCarthyism

by Dave Miller on December 19, 2013 · 72 comments

Here is how dictionary.com defines McCarthyism:

The practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism.” 

Those in power, in an effort to crush those who disagree, who hold differing values or views, make unfair accusations against the dissenters. When Joe McCarthy was accusing people of communism  back in the 50s, conservative Christians were likely to cheer him, because he was attacking something we hated.

Now, the tide has turned and we are counter-cultural. We are the despised minority standing against the mindset of the majority. We believe that sexual activity outside of the marriage between one man and one woman is sinful. Once, we could claim that our views were part of a moral majority. Study after study has made it clear that this is no longer so. We are, according to Dr. Moore, a prophetic minority – called to speak an unpopular truth to a world that hates it and will hate us for proclaiming.

There is a new McCarthyism rising in America. Now, anyone who dares to speak in contradiction to the culturally-approved mindset is accused of being filled with fear and hate. “Communist” has been replaced with “homophobe.”

Let’s make an admission here. Homophobe has not been totally inaccurate as the church has responded to homosexuality, especially in years gone by. There has been plenty of hate and hurt throw by our brothers and sisters against those with same-sex attractions and behavior. But there has been a new day dawning among conservative Christians, in which we saw that our duty was to love homosexuals in the name of Christ as we proclaim the gospel to them. Today, most Christians and most churches have bent over backwards to demonstrate love, to accept homosexuals as people, to befriend them and care about them.

What we cannot do, without sacrificing everything we believe in, is say that their sin is not sin. Christianity is about admitting sin. I’m a greedy, angry, lustful, self-centered, proud person. I accept that my nature is sinful. I repented of my sins and put my faith in Jesus Christ. The process is far from over, but God is transforming me to be like Christ. Whatever is part of my personality or behavior that is not in alignment with the character or commands of Christ is sinful and needs to be transformed. That is Christianity. The Bible is clear that homosexuality is sinful. We cannot, without denying everything we are, accept homosexuality as okay.

But our world is not satisfied with this. It demands that we not only love and accept homosexuals as human beings, but that we approve of their behavior. So, we are now becoming an oppressed minority.

The Duck Dynasty Disaster

Phil Robertson has all the subtlety of a nuclear bomb. When he is asked a question, he answers it. He has not learned to apologize for his biblical convictions. GQ magazine asked him some questions, and got the answers I think they were looking for. Phil thinks homosexual behavior is a sin. (I’m shocked, said no one in the world!) Granted, Phil was a little more colorful than perhaps he needed to be. That seems to be who he is. But he stated a view that until about 5 years ago was the dominant view in America, a view that is still held by millions (one studied said around 45% of Americans). Homosexuality is a sin.

By the responses of the media and some advocacy groups, you’d have thought Phil called for internment camps for homosexuals or some sort of punitive societal action. He didn’t. He was asked a question about sin and he (in his own inimitable style) answered it.

It did not take A&E long to suspend Phil. I don’t know what will happen. I  hope the whole family will walk away. A&E has made millions off this Christian family and the hypocrisy of the TV network here is blatant. I certainly hope that Phil and his family don’t back down and cowtow to the new societal overlords who demand that everyone march in lockstep with their view of things.

Some Helpful Perspectives. 

There have been a lot of articles written about this and social media lit up like a Christmas tree last night.

I found the following articles especially helpful.

1) Marty Duren wrote: “Are there any LGBT community members who support free speech?”

This is the most effective approach to this issue in the public realm. This is a free speech issue. Are Christians, who stand against the views of now-majority culture going to be allowed to speak our minds? Or will New McCarthyism (my designation, not Marty’s) try to intimidate us into silence?

Here is some of what Marty said:

Methinks A&E is protesting all the way to the bank. Suspend the star but not cancel the show? How ironic a network that makes millions under the First Amendment guarantees, does not defend it for one of its biggest stars.

There is a First Amendment. It guarantees freedom of speech. There is a protected right to speak one’s mind, even when it goes against the prevailing thinking. Even when it goes against “tolerance.”

2) Micah Fries wrote: “Phil Robertson and Christian Dissent

Micah warns us about how we express our dissent – making sure that we speak the truth in love and season our dissent with grace. Good reminder.

Here is a sample of his excellent post.

Beyond that, let us be careful to speak the truth in love. We believe in a traditional view of marriage. We believe that God designed marriage as a reflection of Jesus’ relationship with the church, and therefore marriage is more than a social convenience, it’s a theological statement. We should not be afraid to say that. However, we should be cautious of how we say that. Far too often, in a time like this, we get emotional and we respond with what may be true words, but we shout them out of anger, or embarrassment, and ultimately destroy our message, not because the message is wrong but because the messenger is.

3) Russell Moore’s article was a solid homerun!  “Duck Dynasty?

I am so thrilled he is now leading our ERLC!  His article here was both gracious and direct. Here are some quotes.

… I hardly think silencing him can be called open-minded. In fact, it’s the sort of censorious cultural fundamentalism that is neither “progressive” nor “pluralistic.”

Let’s have the sort of cultural conversation that allows us to seek to persuade each other, not to seek to silence one another with intimidation. That’s what real diversity is all about.

Let’s have genuine diversity, meaning let’s talk honestly with one another about what we believe and why. Muting one another isn’t what debate is for in a free society. It’s what remote controls are for.

There were many other good articles, but these I recommend most highly.

It is a new world now, and we are going to have to learn to live in it, even when our views are hated and censored by our sinful culture.

1 SVMuschany December 19, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Not to take us very far off topic (seeing as it is in the title) but consider that if McCarthy was able to be successful in his attempts to permanently rid this country of Communist/socialist influence, we very well may not be in this position we are today, given that it is the socialist/communist leaning electorate in this country that are advocating the most for pro-homosexual, anti-Christian views today.

As for the topic itself, I think we have to keep two things in mind. The world WILL hate us (and my eschatology tells me it will only get worse), that is unavoidable. BUT I also believe we should not take things laying down. Far too many Christians avoid talking stances in fear of “offending” people with their beliefs. Far too many Christians take a position of “lets give up some positions to hope non-believers would be more comfortable with us”. That is wrong, it leads to a weak Christianity, one that has no substance. We must speak up against the evils in this word. No matter how we word it, people WILL get offended and accuse us of hate. But in reality, trying to warn people of their sins is the most LOVING thing we can do. “REPENT! And turn to Jesus!” go hand in hand. We cannot say one with out the other.

2 Christiane December 19, 2013 at 5:06 pm

just a thought (cynical, I’m sure):

suppose A&E suspended Phil to keep a part of their base happy, and reinstates him after a period of time to keep the OTHER part of their base happy . . . and life goes on . . .

in my case, I’ve never seen the Duck people on television but I have heard it’s a good show . . . after this brou-ha-ha, I am intrigued and will probably watch a show or two to see what is going on (my curiosity) . . . so the whole mess will have drawn some viewers who have never watched Duck Dynasty before and ratings will go UP, pleasing the advertisers, etc.

I don’t think A&E is so ‘principled’ that they are going to permanently get rid of a money-maker like Phil, and they will also profit from the additional publicity , , ,

money talks . . . am I being cynical? I certainly am.

3 Dale Pugh December 19, 2013 at 8:21 pm

You might want to watch the Christmas special. Phil shoots, kills, and guts a hog. It’s all shown on the show. Now THAT’S entertainment!

4 cb scott December 19, 2013 at 8:27 pm

Duckman Dale,

Truer words describing “entertainment” have never been written. Ole William Shakespeare himself could not have written it better.

5 Christiane December 20, 2013 at 11:32 am

well, thanks for the heads-up DALE and C.B.

I can always count on you two for enlightenment on sports and entertainment. :)

6 Chris Huff December 19, 2013 at 11:29 pm

This was basically the take that was posted on Desiring God’s blog. I’ve never seen the show, but I hope the Robertson family moves it to a different network if possible so that A&E doesn’t benefit as much from all this free advertising they’ve been getting.

7 Paul Thompson December 19, 2013 at 5:22 pm

No born-again believer, who’s reading their Bible, should be shocked by the reaction to Robertson.

8 Jim Pemberton December 19, 2013 at 5:33 pm

More than A&E are invested in the Robertson clan. There are publishers, retail stores, toy manufacturers, and a countless assortment of other manufacturers making a quick buck off their popularity. I have the feeling that Phil could care less about any of it. The success of the duck calls had him and his family set financially before A&E picked them up and he is likely happier in the duck blind without a film crew there. They are now a part of the cultural identity and they are popular in large part because they explicitly don’t toe the politically correct party line. I have a feeling that the Robertsons will be remembered long after A&E have been forgotten.

We should be happier that we are not socially accepted because it’s easier to keep the unregenerate off the church rolls and easier to discern what is truly important about being the people of God.

9 Adam G. in NC December 19, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Dave, I think you’re right to call this a form of McCarthyism (by the pop culture defininition, which is legal) but I just want to be clear about what we view as a “violation of free speech”(illegal).

Phil was “free” to say what he wanted about gays, and A&E was “free”, as his employer, to penalize him for statements THEY view as harmful to their brand. Supporters of Phil are “free” to express their own displeasure in a number of ways…including boycotts, articles, their own statements, etc.
This becomes a “violation of free speech” when the GOVERNMENT steps in and picks a side and limits the speech of one of them.

Historical McCarthyism was an attempt by the government to limit the free expression of political ideology (however abhorrent they were) by imposing penalties on those it deemed offenders. This is not what I would say is going on with the Duck Dynasty folks…I just call it a sign of the times.

10 Dave Miller December 19, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Well, I’m not sure that the government is not going to join into this suppression of freedom – I’ve seen hints that make me wary of that.

But, yes, you are right that free speech is primarily a government thing.

This is a cultural oppression, if not (yet?) governmental.

11 Dave Miller December 19, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Here, the arbiter of judgment is not the government, but the elite and narrow mindset of the the so-called tolerance culture.

Also, check out the discussion on Marty’s site for a healthy debate of the topic of free speech as it relates here.

12 Matthw Newman December 20, 2013 at 8:44 am

You’re right. This isn’t so much about free speech as it is about displaying the cultural values of A&E. The Robertsons are free to say what they like and A&E, depending on the nature of their contract, is free to fire him if they disagree with what he says. That’s the norm at any business, but it’s fascinating that a place would work with people knowing they were devout Christians and be willing to cut them when they spout traditional, Christian viewpoints, albeit in a colorful way.

That said, a boycott of A&E would be ineffective. Why? Cable bundling. If you have cable, you’re paying for A&E regardless – there’s not really a good way to ensure you don’t pay A&E for their programming unless you completely got rid of cable. Now, if cable bundling ended – that’s a different story, but a boycott of A&E won’t be effective because of the nature of cable channels being bundled together.

That said – if you want to show support for the Robertsons by buying their stuff, get Duck Commander brand stuff, not Duck Dynasty brand. Duck Commander is owned by the Robertsons, Duck Dynasty is owned by A&E.

Now that’s my 2¢

13 John Wylie December 20, 2013 at 10:39 am

I think you’re right about bundling, but what about ratings? If the ratings of A&E fell off sufficiently it could mean cable companies might cut A&E.

14 Jim Pemberton December 20, 2013 at 10:54 am

You have a point about paying for the network via bundling. However, ratings drive advertisement sales and that’s a huge chunk of any network’s revenue. Lower ratings will drop the demand for A&E’s advertising slots and they will need to drop prices to sell that time. As far as it goes, however, A&E Network is owned by A&E Television Networks, LLC, that own other channels like History and Lifetime. And AETN was parented by Disney, ABC and the Hearst Corporation. So ultimately the A&E channel is just a little ol’ thing to these giants, although I don’t see them doing anything with David McKillop, who runs A&E networks and was directly responsible for bringing Duck Commander to the network. He’s got a healthy track record for winning programs like Mythbusters, Dirty Jobs, Man vs. Wild, Pawn Stars, American Pickers, Top Gear, etc.

15 volfan007 December 20, 2013 at 11:43 am

From what I heard, A&E was on the brink of financial ruin, until Duck Dynasty came on the scene. And now, they’re gonna shoot the “Golden Goose” to appease the PC, thought and speech police?

I bet we’ll see Phil, even after next year’s episodes, which have already been shot. Not because Phil backed down, but because money talks. And, A&E would be run by a bunch of idiots to let Duck Dynasty get away from their TV station.

David

16 Adam G. in NC December 19, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Dave, in light of your past statements on “white color-blindness”, do you have an opinion of the Duck Commander’s other views he expressed in the article regarding Jim Crow Louisiana?

Personally, I’m surprised that we’ve heard so little outrage from the media about this part of the GQ piece…strange.

17 Dave Miller December 19, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Yes, I thought his statements on race were pretty standard, but were disturbing to me. To be honest, I was writing this article, and it was only then that I saw his racial statements and I almost abandoned this article.

It may very well be true that he never mistreated a black man (hope so) and that those he knew in his neck of the woods were happy.

However, I am quite sure that his experience was not universal. A lot of minorities did not feel the aura of peace and love he spoke about. And, whatever they felt, the systemic racism and discrimination in southern culture (and all across the USA for that matter) was indefensible even if it did not make every African American unhappy.

18 Dave Miller December 19, 2013 at 6:02 pm

The most disturbing statements I ever heard from people in my church in Virginia were made when they were trying to convince me that they were not racist!

Phil got this one wrong. Way wrong.

My point here is not to defend Phil or DD. I rarely watch the show. I even think the way he said this could have been done a LOT better.

My point is about the suppression of speech through intimidation by liberal (and supposedly “tolerant”) culture.

19 Dave Miller December 19, 2013 at 6:04 pm

By the way, many of the good people of that church were not racist, and stood against it!

20 cb scott December 19, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Glad you made that point, Dave.

Because, you are right. The great majority of people living in Southwest Virginia are not racists. Nor are they all nuts like the people living in Northern Virginia.

21 William Thornton December 19, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Ditto to Adam’s correct view of the lack of free speech. The duck guy is no less free today to express himself.

I don’t disagree with Dave but question the value of celebrity Christians in media. God bless the guys (and who will be the first SBCVer to try their line if fine wines? I’d like for Tim R. to evaluate the “Miss Priss Pink Moscato” and report back ((is it a bit fruity with a hint of peach, caramel, and honeysuckle?)) Google it…I’m not making the name and description up) but are we hanging too much about the cause of Christ on the celebrity system?

Just asking.

22 Dave Miller December 19, 2013 at 6:14 pm

I’m actually not a huge DD fan. But the celebrity thing is real. The biggest problem with Christian celebrities is that they often sacrifice the Christian part to maintain the celebrity part. they go along to get along.

Tim Tebow comes to mind – cancelling a church because of cultural pressure.

23 cb scott December 19, 2013 at 8:02 pm

William Thornton,

I would hope and I do believe that Tim Rogers would tell Phil Robertson:

“The use of alcohol as a beverage is unwise.”

24 cb scott December 19, 2013 at 8:30 pm

BTW, and for some reason, Dave missed this one; Tim Rogers has written a very thought provoking post on the Robertson interview and backlash himself. It is well worth reading — by thinking people of course.

25 William Thornton December 19, 2013 at 9:29 pm

I presume so, CB. It just looked like some research he might be called on to do…if he has a sense of humor, of course.

26 cb scott December 19, 2013 at 9:45 pm

William Thornton,

A guys who feel 500 feet from a plane with a malfunctioned parachute and lived to tell it has to have a “sense of humor.” I certainly thought it was funny. :-)

27 cb scott December 19, 2013 at 9:48 pm

William Thorton,

That should have been, “A guy who fell 500 feet . . .”

Of course, I am sure he did “feel” like 500 feet had stomped on him after the fall, ya think?

28 SVMuschany December 19, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Yea this is off topic so sue me…BUT

CB…I got two questions for you. Military or recreational? And Round or Square?

29 cb scott December 19, 2013 at 9:59 pm

SVMuschany,

Rogers was Army. Their parachutes fail more often than do Marine or Navy parachutes.

30 SVMuschany December 19, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Oh I didn’t see that was not you. Ahh, confusion adverted. Both my parents (former recreational skydivers who also served and had many friends in the service) both learned to jump on rounds right when squares were getting “standard” in recreational circles. Needless to say they both were grateful for the change.

31 William Thornton December 19, 2013 at 6:10 pm

…lack of a free speech ISSUE

32 dr. james willingham December 19, 2013 at 6:20 pm

While McCarthy made some egregious blunders, not being too wise in the way of the politicos even of his day, there is no question but that Communists were in our government. Whittaker Chambers who gave the evidence that brought down Alger Hiss and which was later confirmed by evidence from the old Soviet Union after its collapse underscored the reality of what Senator Joseph McCarthy was trying to get at in his blundering way. As late as the mid-sixties, I sat under one of the leading theoreticians for World Communism at a small Black State University in the Midwest, one whom my son was supposed to study at UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall of ’90 (he dropped the course, saying, “Who cares. the whole thing is falling apart.” They were then taking down the walls). I think he was premature in his judgment. The Communists had a slicker plan than that. Besides that, the movement was controlled by forces in America, England, and Europe, if one took the trouble to track the money and history and connections.

Even this week a lady who is in the Moderate Camp of Southern Baptists told me about an effort to socialize the USA and turn it into a rule from the top down. She gave me a pamphlet bearing the title, “Understanding Sustainable Development – Agenda 21 -, and I contacted the outfit, www. FreedomAdvocates.org and joined. Then I found out their pages were no longer available through my computer link. This thing has its origins in the United Nations, and it has the backing of both Republicans and Democrats, by executive orders of the Presidents all the way back to the first Bush. The same outfit, I think, that is turning us into McCarthites or idiots, in short, is the same outfit behind Agenda 21 and the Communist resurgence. Socialism and Communism, someone said long ago, are “the invention of capitalists for the control of the poor.” It is Elitism under the guise of egalitarianism. Just read Milovan Djilas’ The New Class and then Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope, his The Anglo American Establishment with Cecil Rhodes’ 6th Will re: the Rhodes Scholarship, Cleon Skousen’s The Naked Capitalist, Bella Dodd’s writings (I forget the title of her work you can google it), the writings of C.S. Lewis for oblique references to the matter in The Great Divorce, his sci/fi trilogy, esp. Perelandria, and Taylor Caldwell’s Captains and the Kings. The latter was the first novel I ever read that had a bibliography to it, which included Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope. And then there is Tony Brown’s writings, and a slew of others. I figure the amount of material probably comprises a library of a quarter of million volumes. That is an educated guess, considering how old the thing is. They have worse things planned for us.

We might soon be able to discuss our differences on the millennium, soteriology (Calvinism/Arminianism/Traditionalism), political involvement or lack of the same, all cozy like in the same prison er- concentration er- re-education centers, where they will use electro-magnetic means to deal with those parts of our brains which, supposedly, involve our religious beliefs. If such eradication/re-education programs do not work, then I think they will get rid of us very humanely…like the Germans did the Jews plus all of the other undesirables. You know, like a belated trip to the gas chambers or some other eliminator of a rather permanent nature. Perhaps at that point, the power of God will fall upon the whole earth in a might flood as Ezekiel promised, saying, “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Lord will raise up a standard against him, a flood of righteousness, a greater flood, a tsunami of Grace greater than our sins.”(Willingham’s Amplified translation of the verse which I am sore pressed to remember now). Anyway, we will see the whole earth converted and a million, billion, trillion planets, all in order to have enough to fulfill the promise/prophecy of Rev.7:9 of a number of the redeemed that no one can number. My them folks striving for unbelief are in for a hard time. Tsk! Tsk! Tsk!

33 Dave Miller December 19, 2013 at 6:28 pm

McCarthy was wrong not because there were no communists in the government, but because the way to battle communism was not by oppression, but by convincing people there was a better way.

34 dr. james willingham December 20, 2013 at 12:04 am

I wasn’t arguing that his method was good, dear brother. It was not, but I think that was due to misunderstandings and a lack of knowledge, etc., on his part. He also could be a bit belligerent, too. One reason he looks so bad, however, was due to the effort by the liberal media and leaders to make him look that way. Anyway, it is never wise to let emotions rule or make statements without careful documentation, etc. Research, double checking and cross checking the facts, etc., is the name of the game in practically any endeavor.

35 Adam G. in NC December 19, 2013 at 9:21 pm

“None Dare Call it Conspiracy” is another good read.

36 dr. james willingham December 20, 2013 at 12:06 am

I have a number of the works exposing the conspiracy in my library, including the one you name, Adam.

37 Louis December 19, 2013 at 6:43 pm

I agree that Robertson has been treated unfairly because of his statements about homosexuality.

I don’t watch the show, but I like him and his family. They seem like very nice people.

I agree with his views about homosexuality.

I disagree as strongly with what he has said about race, and the views that his statements support seem to be along the lines of Trent Lott when he said to Strom Thurmond, on Thurmond’s birthday, that if the country had elected Thurmond when he ran as a Dixiecrat in 1948 (I think) with racial segregation being his primary issue, that the country would be a lot better off today.

Southern Baptists need to understand that however much we see the evil in mistreating Robertson for his statements about homosexuality, we equally see the evil in the idea that blacks were better off before Civil Rights laws and many of the 1960s era reforms.

I am afraid that I people are going to hear is about homosexuals.

We ought to be speaking just as strongly on the racial issues, as the NT clearly addresses that, as well.

38 Dave Miller December 19, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Very true.

39 cb scott December 19, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Yep

40 Dwight McKissic December 19, 2013 at 7:23 pm

Louis,

Was he really saying Blacks were better off before the civil rights laws? If so, what did he mean by that. In some ways we were better off before the civil rights laws, or during the period that we were known as “colored”. E. V. Hill preached a sermon on how “Colored People Were Better Than African-American People”. That was not the title of the message, but that was his arguement & thesis.

I just finished writing a blog post on the DD controversy. My assistant will post it at my blog shortly. My view and interpretation of his race remarks are radically different than yours. Perhaps, when my remarks are published at my place or here at Voices, you can help me to reconcile the differences in your reprobate to Robertson’s race remarks and mine.

Merry Christmas

41 Louis December 19, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Dwight:

I don’t know what you are going to write, but look forward to it.

I do see the dangers of creating dependency. But that has happened to whites in rural America as much as it has blacks, in my opinion.

I am glad that you see his statements more charitably.

I like Robertson. He is an original person, and he is who he is.

But I am concerned that many of us SBCers are so anxious to see someone with this views about certain issues do well in the popular culture (even if he is being lampooned to a large extent) that we can be seen as (or portrayed) as uncritically glomming on to Robertson.

In fairness to Robertson, he has not asked for that. But the Christian community is doing it.

It’s clear that he was fired for the statements about gays, and that he is being treated unfairly.

We just need to be extra careful to coach our statements so they are not read as uncritical support of all of Robertson’s views.

All of my older relatives, Democrats and Republicans, alike, speak of the times before the 1960s in the same way. Times were friendlier. Blacks were not agitated. People got along.

That may be true, but as you know, there was a price and a reason for that.

We can address the same issues – love for one another, without seeming to tie it to leglislative developments that occurred in the 1960s.

We in the SBC need to be extra senstive to that in my opinion.

42 dr. james willingham December 20, 2013 at 12:19 am

Dear Brother Dwight: I can vouch for some of what you are saying. After all, one Friday night, I think it was, back in ’79 at about 12:30 or 1:00 in the morning, CBS showed a program about how the Welfare System had destroyed 90% of the Black Families (I was trained in Black History) in the Ghettoes. This was due to the fact that it encouraged young Black men to father children without taking responsibility for them. In ’61 in Mo. Welfare, they would remove a woman from Welfare, if she had a child and/or a paramour. By ’67-68 in Ky, Supreme Court Justice, Abe Fortas rendered a ruling that said, the social worker could ask a live in lover, if he would provide some support and, if not, there was nothing that could be done about it. About a decade later CBS produced that special which they dared not show in Prime Time and which I stayed up late one night to watch. Our great Black churches and their ministers and families have come on some hard times due to that ruling.

Southern Baptists have come on hard times due to the ending of church discipline back in the 20s-30s. I pastored a church in Mo. in the early 60s (when I began attending Lincoln Univ.); it had discontinued church discipline in the 20s-30s due to a miscarriage of church discipline. The same thing happened in a church that I pastored in North Carolina in the 70s, and it happened about the same time as the example in Mo., and, comparing notes on some other examples, I concluded that the matter might have been planned by someone outside the normal channels of churches. I began to look for evidence to that end. Over the decades, I picked up an amazing amount of information that indicates outside forces having strong, even decisive influence at times in our churches and organizations.

43 Dwight McKissic December 19, 2013 at 7:34 pm

“reprobate” should have been response

44 cb scott December 19, 2013 at 7:39 pm

Dwight,

I caught that error in the use of words right off.

You only use the word “reprobate” in reference to me, Bart Barber, or Tim Guthrie. ;-)

45 Dwight McKissic December 19, 2013 at 8:28 pm

CB,

Merry Christmas. You and Phil Robertson are plain-spoken, gun-toting, & Jesus loving Southern gentleman. And for that sometimes, you all are well understood & misunderstood. As with most Southernor’s, we are best understood within the context of relationships. Unfortunately, for Robertson, non-Southernor’s are reacting to his comments. Even Southern Blacks are not offended to my knowledge by his remarks. Off to a Christmas party. I love you, reprobate-:).

46 cb scott December 19, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Dwight,

Thank you for the kind remarks and the ,now, longstanding friendship by American standards of measuring longevity. I think that when you and I are nothing but memories to only those of whom we have reared in our homes, it may be said of us, “McKissic and scott were genuine examples of men who could disagree on serious issues and still be friends at the end of the day and when the smoke cleared.”

47 volfan007 December 19, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Dwight,

I think what Phil Robertson was saying was that his family was just as poor as the Black people that they worked alongside of, down in Louisiana. And, he said that he…his personal experience….was that he didn’t see any Black person being mistreated, who lived near him. That was just his personal experience growing up as a poor, white, redneck in the South.

But, you can certainly google it, and see exactly what he said.

David

48 cb scott December 19, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Vol,

I think you are right.

49 cb scott December 19, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Dave Miller,

Good post. And might I add, a refreshing one for SBC Voices of late. Posts on gender issues, Methodist church discipline, and the propagation of healthy churches being baptism-less churches seem to slow the debate in the comment threads.

I do feel that maybe there is one issue that I must take up with you however.

You stated of Phil Robertson, “Phil Robertson has all the subtlety of a nuclear bomb.”

You made that same statement of me in an email not long back. Dave, I just want you to know; I don’t duck hunt.

50 Dale Pugh December 19, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Unless it’s Oregon Ducks.
:-)

51 cb scott December 19, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Naw, we don’t hunt ‘em, Duckman Dale. We Crimson Elephants just run over ‘em. Ducks are no real problem for us. However, as you know, we have had some serious problems with Tiger hunts lately, ya think?

52 Dale Pugh December 19, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Well, THIS season you’d have to hunt ‘em to find ‘em! What a disappointing end to the year. An even greater disappointment is that I couldn’t get away on the 30th to drive down to San Antonio for the Alamo Bowl. I may need anti-depressants.

53 cb scott December 19, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Duckman Dale,

In all honesty, I hope you guys whack Texas and lop off their horns.

I will be cheering the Tide on in the Sugar Bowl. However, if by some strange mishap in the FOOTBALL UNIVERSE, we lose to Oklahoma, I think I shall throw myself in what these South Georgia boys call a river: The Oconee River.

54 dr. james willingham December 20, 2013 at 12:26 am

Well, a real instance of humility. Can’t hardly believe my eyes. A Crimson Tide person admitting to problems with Tiger hunts lately! Seems like I heard the folks of the red persuasion were going to get rid of Robert’s Rules of Order, because they require a second to the motion. I never was very good at resisting temptations like that.

55 cb scott December 20, 2013 at 12:36 am

James,

Of all the men of high character and orderly conduct, I would never have thought you to be the kind of guy who would tell one of those mean-spirited Bama jokes about the “second” that will go down in FOOTBALL history infamy.

56 dr. james willingham December 20, 2013 at 10:49 am

Aw! Brother CB, I just found the temptation too irresistible, I guess. Anyway, I have some stake in Alabama. My state, Arkansas, contributed one of Alabama’s great coaches, Bear Bryant. And then there was one of my ancestors that made it into Henry Holcombe’s History of Alabama Baptists in 1840, one Elder Holland Middleton. Besides, my family name ancestors came through Alabama on their way to Texas and Arkansas, the equivalents of Heaven on earth, especially the former. Although I have read somewhere that one fellow said, if he owned Texas and Hell, he would live in the latter and rent out the former. And as to Arkansas, I am far east of my home state and, at this stage of the game, I anticipate no wherewithal to be able to return there. My withdrawal pains after leaving Arkansas all occurred in that first year after leaving, ’55-’56. My step-father settled that issue quietly by saying, “Your not dropping out of school, and your not going back to Arkansas. And I don’t want to hear anymore about it.” He was the kind of guy who could say, quietly, “Jump!” and you would ask, “How High?” on the way up. He looked like Charles Atlas and was just about as strong.

57 Max December 19, 2013 at 9:18 pm

“Now, the tide has turned and we are counter-cultural.”

Well, it’s about time!! I just wish that were true throughout organized religion. In far too many places, the church has become a sub-culture of the world, rather than counter-culture to it. While we slept in Zion, the world got the upper hand in American culture. I’m a black and white sort of guy. I am not comfortable with gray – it’s just a shade of black to me … and gray has been getting grayer by the day in many American churches. Pulpits and pews which tell the truth in love in the days ahead will have a tough row to hoe … most of America will be against such fools for Christ, whether they carry duck calls or not.

58 cb scott December 19, 2013 at 9:42 pm

“Pulpits and pews which tell the truth in love in the days ahead will have a tough row to hoe … most of America will be against such fools for Christ, whether they carry duck calls or not.”

Excellent comment, Max. And you are right. “. . . its about time!!”

59 Max December 20, 2013 at 11:42 am

Brother Scott – Isaiah sounded a clear warning for the days in which we live “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.” In some corners of Christendom, we appear to be having trouble sorting out that difference. To such folks, Paul says “it is high time now for you to wake up out of your sleep … put a stop to thinking about the evil cravings of your physical nature, to gratify its lusts.” I’m not a Duck Dynasty fan (can’t pick it up on my rabbit ears), but it’s been interesting to watch different “Christian” groups weigh in on this matter … some endorsing Mr. Robertson’s stand – others condemning him. What time is it? High time!!

60 volfan007 December 19, 2013 at 10:28 pm
61 volfan007 December 19, 2013 at 10:55 pm

When Duck Dynasty leaves A&E, then they can go back to showing their regular TV Shows to the 15 to 20 people, who watch them…..and the 14 million fans, who love Duck Dynasty, can follow Duck Dynasty to the new network.

David

62 dr. james willingham December 20, 2013 at 12:28 am

Never watched them up till now, but think I shall as they go to a new network. Keep me posted. I shall also cease to follow A & E. Maybe their viewership will drop to five per show.

63 volfan007 December 20, 2013 at 11:23 am

I believe it does have a lot to do with free speech. Yes, in this country, we can speak freely. And, when we do, what we say will have consequences. Yes, that’s true. But, the fact that a TV network would PUNISH a man for espousing his Christian beliefs is something that I will complain about. They are punishing a man for what he believes, and for sharing the truth of the Bible. That is wrong. That is bad. And, A&E is foolish for shooting their “golden goose.” Duck Dynasty brought A&E from the brink of financial ruin. They rode the coat tails of Duck Dynasty to the bank And then, when he honestly shares his Christian beliefs, which they knew he had, then they wimp out, and surrender to the PC, liberal crowd in our country, and they PUNISH the man, whom they loved and promoted, before. I believe it’s really a sad commentary on where our country has gone for this to be true…..that a man, who simply shares what the Bible clearly teaches….is PUNISHED by A&E, and condemned by the left and gay groups and the media all across this country. It is sad.

David

64 Adam G. in NC December 20, 2013 at 2:18 pm

I find it hard to believe that the lawyers at A&E didnt have all this already covered in the contract. Something like “statements unbecoming of an employee” or the like. If so, then Phil just may have forgot what he signed or didnt care. Either way, it baffles me that either group didnt see this coming.

65 volfan007 December 20, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Adam,

I’ll bet that A&E was enjoying the Duck Dynasty fellas being who they are…..free and uninhibited….because, they knew that was what made the show as great as it is. And besides, I bet that the Duck boys wouldn’t do it, if they had to be controlled like that. That’s how us, Rednecks, are. And, this was also certainly not the first time Phil had said something just like this. But, this time, it was in GQ, where the liberals and gay crowd could see it. And, they got upset, and made a few phone calls. And, boom! In order to appease the PC, liberal crowd, A&E lowered the boom on Phil. Well, A&E probably never got so many calls and faxes and texts and emails and such in their entire lives. I bet those boys and girls in New York City never heard so many “yalls” in their life.

David

66 Tarheel December 20, 2013 at 5:10 pm

I can’t help but think that A&E did see this coming…and using it as a way to boost ratings…people will likely watch now who never have before, those who had wandered away..will come back. Advertising revenue will go up even more during the show hours.

A&E will continue to make money off of them well after the show ends…whether that is now or later….they will likely forever own the “brand”…people who but the branded stuff will continue to line A&E’s pockets.

They’ve only hacked off “Christians”…some of whom are not really Christians (except by culture) and will not remember this fiasco in a week or two…the serious Christians of conviction, those of us who see this for what it really is…an attack on God, the Bible and faith…much more than an attack on Phil are not exactly A&E’s demographic anyway….

A&E has endeared themselves to a loyal and money filled, agenda driven group…they desperately need that kind of demographic – to say they were fledglling before DD started airing is an understatement…

Form their perspective if in order to get that endearment and $$$$ they had to step on a few Ducks and Christians…I think they are more than OK with the tradeoff.

67 Doug Hibbard December 20, 2013 at 5:26 pm

This was, folks, one of only two ways that the Duck Dynasty phenomenon ended: either by A&E deciding vocal Bible teaching was unacceptable by stars or by the Robertson family capitulating to A&E’s version of morality.

Keep in mind: A&E owns the History Channel, popularizer of every weird anti-Bible theory known in English. Those questions that you never thought you’d encounter outside of a coffee discussion in seminary but now crop up in Sunday School? That’s A&E.

Lifetime movies? The ones that make adultery seem like the path to good relationships and stable marriages boring? A&E is co-owner of that network.

Either way this ended, A&E gets the social capital they wanted. Either they bring down the Robertsons to their level, or A&E rides off as heroically standing against homophobia.

68 Tarheel December 20, 2013 at 5:28 pm

“Either way this ended, A&E gets the social capital they wanted. Either they bring down the Robertsons to their level, or A&E rides off as heroically standing against homophobia.”

Yep.

69 volfan007 December 22, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

Dear Cracker Barrel Customer:

When we made the decision to remove and evaluate certain Duck Dynasty items, we offended many of our loyal customers. Our intent was to avoid offending, but that’s just what we’ve done.

You told us we made a mistake. And, you weren’t shy about it. You wrote, you called and you took to social media to express your thoughts and feelings. You flat out told us we were wrong.

We listened.

Today, we are putting all our Duck Dynasty products back in our stores.

And, we apologize for offending you.

We respect all individuals right to express their beliefs. We certainly did not mean to have anyone think different.

We sincerely hope you will continue to be part of our Cracker Barrel family.

70 Tarheel December 22, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Now people can buy overpriced DD stuff from Cracker Barrell when they buy other overpriced stuff from thier store! Lol.

Good move, I think.

71 cb scott December 22, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Well then,

Pass the grits and bring on that sugar-free ice cream and apple pie.

72 dr. james willingham December 22, 2013 at 10:09 pm

CB: You remind me of me, a problematic reminder, no doubt, but in this respect close to the truth. In the Summer of 72 in a restaurant I ordered skim milk, and pecan pie ala mode, and that the waitress or person recording the order said, “Gee, I wish I could get on a diet like that!” All my preacher student friends in the line doubled up in laughter. Que se rah, que se rad.

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