One of the most bizarre controversies of 2013 is finally over.
Eight days after placing "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson on "indefinite hiatus" following his homophobic comments to GQ Magazine, A&E has caved to Internet demand and brought Robertson back to the cast of the popular cable show. The reinstatement comes after a petition at IStandWithPhil.com garnered over 260,000 signatures --a mere two percent of the show's average 11.8 million viewer audience.
The show's merchandising fees alone are worth $400 million.
In its statement, A&E repeated that it disagrees with Robertson's views about homosexuality, but "'Duck Dynasty' is not a show about one man's views." And the network said it would launch a national public service campaign "promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people," which, more than likely, no one is going to notice, let alone pay much attention to.
And since filming had been on hiatus between seasons anyway, the suspension will have no effect on any of the episodes.
Many will want to believe A&E's decision was influenced by some sort of populist uprising. Hardly. The true reality show here is money. What happened here was that when it got to the point where advertisers realized that having Duck Daddy on the show wouldn't provide a negative effect on their brand or their sales, the green light was given. A&E is never going to admit that, but this is a show whose merchandising fees alone are worth $400 million.
To put it in more Biblical terms, you can't worship the Golden Calf, but it's OK to worship the Golden Goose.
Does the hypocrisy end there, or is it fair to call Christians, and defenders of Robertson in the name of Christianity hypocrites?
Sarah Palin was quick to publicly defend Robertson from the "hatin'," but she told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren that she hadn't even read the GQ interview in question. When Van Susteren noted how Robertson had graphically mentioned male and female body parts in the interview and asked Palin whether she found that language offensive, Palin responded, "I haven't read the article. I don’t know exactly how he said it." What does the Bible say about lying and bearing false witness? Where are the Christians?
Just as Robertson did in his GQ interview, Christians cite Leviticus for their opposition to homosexuality. Though they interpret the verse entirely out of context with what the book is about, the verse, 18:22 (New International Version), "Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable." The King James version calls it an "abomination."
We are told in Leviticus 19:28 (King James), "Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you." The NIV translation puts it in simpler English: "Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves."
Members of the family have tattoos on their bodies. Where are the Christians?
In Chapter 11, Verse 9, you're told it's OK to eat "whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers," but in Verse 10: "And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you."
In simpler terms: "Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams you may eat any that have fins and scales," but anything in the seas and streams that doesn't have fins and scales "you are to regard as unclean. "
Louisiana is the No. 1 provider of shrimp, oysters, crab, crawfish and alligator production in the United States, providing jobs for over 26,000 people and generating $484 million in revenue and sales of more than $1.3 billion. Where are the Christians?
Or is it possible that there's so much money to be made that one can't afford to stick to principle? Would that make Christians, or at least Duck defenders like Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal as hypocritical as A&E, wouldn't it?