I hope that everyone is having a fruitful Advent.
You all must know about the Duck Dynasty furor that news outlets and blogs have been mining for the past week. There are three editorials that express my sentiments well. First, Camille Paglia vents outrage at the thin-skinned intolerance of the homosexualist activists and of their corporate flatterers in a radio interview with Laura Ingraham, covered at the Daily Caller: “Paglia: Duck Dynasty uproar ‘utterly fascist, utterly Stalinist.’” Paglia further observes:
“I think that this intolerance by gay activists toward the full spectrum of human beliefs is a sign of immaturity, juvenility,” Paglia said. “This is not the mark of a true intellectual life. This is why there is no cultural life now in the U.S. Why nothing is of interest coming from the major media in terms of cultural criticism. Why the graduates of the Ivy League with their A, A, A+ grades are complete cultural illiterates, etc. is because they are not being educated in any way to give respect to opposing view points.”
“There is a dialogue going on human civilization, for heaven sakes. It’s not just this monologue coming from fanatics who have displaced the religious beliefs of their parents into a political movement,” she added. “And that is what happened to feminism, and that is what happened to gay activism, a fanaticism.”
What I fail to understand is why the social fringe is so vested in changing bourgeois opinion of them. Don’t they have a higher opinion of themselves that coexists with their already low opinion of the masses? Of course, I can see why one would not want a populace so intolerant of his sexual decisions that lower class Irish cops frequently disrupt his erotic escapades at the bath house—that would be understandably humiliating, inconvenient, and sometimes painful—but there is a wide grey area between the Buggery Act and state sanctioned and celebrated sodomy. Do we really need Christian Sunday School teachers with rainbow pins for the love that dare not speak its name to feel safe?
Read also Charles Cooke’s “A&E’s Problem — And Ours” in National Review. Cooke quickly affirms the network’s right to fire whomever they wish, but he notes that their decision to do so betrays a cancer in contemporary culture. Cooke writes:
People attempting to justify the private removal of those who say things they dislike rely on a host of weasel words and the habitual laziness of the population at large. They say that we have to think about “standards,” and “values,” and “feelings,” and “inclusion” and, too, about what is “acceptable.” What does this actually mean in practice? Robertson made his comments in GQ, which evidently considered them acceptable enough to print. I am a non-Christian who disagrees with Robertson on the question of gay marriage. What do the censors think is going to happen to me if I come across Robertson’s interview. Will I die? Will I break out in lesions? Will I go bankrupt? Will I immediately start lynching homosexuals? What might my complaint be: “Well, strike me down. I can’t believe it. I was just minding my own business reading this magazine, and then this guy I don’t know who makes duck calls said something I don’t like, and then . . . ” — well, and then what? Here’s the thing: I’m in favor of gay marriage; Phil Robertson thinks homosexuality is a sin. So bloody what? I’m happy to listen to him.
It is telling what we allow and what we don’t. Phil Robertson’s words quite literally affected nobody. They’re words. Meanwhile, Jennifer Lawrence argued that it should be illegal for Americans to call people “fat” on television: In other words, she actually advocated for her fellow citizens to be arrested for speaking. Robertson related what he believes; Lawrence, however mildly, called for the state to start punishing people for expressing themselves. The latter transgression is infinitely worse, but she will likely lose no work for having expressed it.
Finally, Larry Alex Taunton has a well considered piece in The Atlantic, “The Genuine Conflict Being Ignored in the Duck Dynasty Debate.” He addresses the absurd public reaction by GLAAD, which may be one of the more obnoxious things that I have read in some time (quite a feat in this age of insanity). It is as if GLAAD’s administrative office were staffed by feeble minded, emotionally twisted drama queens. Interesting. Taunton writes:
Instead of acknowledging this tension, however, A&E, GLAAD, and their supporters have responded with disingenuous expressions of shock and horror. And it matters that it’s disingenuous, because if they actually acknowledged that there is a genuine conflict between orthodox Christianity and homosexual sex (along with several forms of heterosexual sex) they would have to confront head-on the fact that calling for a boycott or pressuring for Robertson’s suspension tells orthodox Christians that their religion is no longer acceptable, and that’s not a very politically correct thing to do. Right now, they are trying to weasel out of it by characterizing Robertson as a backwoods bigot who takes his moral cues from Deliverance rather than from a straightforward reading of the Bible and the historic teachings of the Christian religion.
What a mess the West has become. Veni, veni, Emmanuel . . .