If you read last week’s column then you know that I’m not surprised that A&E lifted the suspension of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson but I am surprised that they did it so quickly. I really thought that they would try just a little bit harder to weather the storm and appease their liberal audience. But, apparently the threat of losing huge amounts of profit hastened their decision.
Actually I would have had more respect for the network had they held firm and fired Phil. At least then they would have been making a statement that they did not believe in the same things that Phil and the rest of the Robertson family stood for. Heaven forbid, they would have actually had principles beyond how much it was going to cost them.
But, alas, the almighty dollar won out over any principled stand and the network welcomed Phil back with open arms. Of course there were some rather weak attempts by A&E to justify their actions but if you read any of the statements you will note that not once did Phil apologize for his beliefs. That’s called standing up for what you believe and in my mind there was never any doubt that he and his family would do just that.
So what lessons do we take away from this situation? No. 1 – you have to respect people who stand up for what they believe in even if that belief doesn’t agree with your point of view. In fact, in Revelations 3:15-16 it talks about the fact that it is better to be either hot or cold but not lukewarm. So, I can respect someone who stands tall for their principles versus someone who sways back and forth based on public opinion or profits. In this case the Robertson’s stood strong and A&E caved under intense pressure.
Second lesson is that your voice does matter. Do you think A&E would have reversed their decision so quickly if so many people had not responded so strongly? They made their initial decision based on the voices of the liberal community but when conservative Christians started speaking even louder, they realized that they better protect their bottom line. Do you think that’s because they realized that the conservative Christian community was also standing firm in their beliefs and were ready to follow through with the threat of boycotts?
We are in a constant struggle in this country for the very heart and soul of our nation and I don’t know about you but I’m getting pretty tired of fighting. There seem to be more and more people who want the government to do everything for them and they are winning that struggle. I wonder what will happen when we finally reach the tipping point and there are not enough working taxpayers to pay for all the benefits that the government wants to provide?
Come to think of it that may just already be the case right now. Our federal deficit keeps climbing and yet we keep starting new programs. And we all know how efficient the government is at running things.
You know, our forefathers warned us about this day. Read any number of essays from that time and over and over they talk about the problems with a government that provides too much. But, we have not listened and continue to go on our merry way either ignorant or uncaring of the consequences of a government trying to take care of everyone’s problems.
But, there is hope. When I see someone like Phil Robertson who is willing to stand up for what he believes in spite of the consequences then it gives me strength to continue the fight. And when I see the silent majority finally willing to speak out and voice their opinions, it gives me strength. But especially when I look at the faces of my grandkids they give me strength.
We have always had differing opinions in this country and there has always been a tug and pull between those competing points of view. And it seems that the political pendulum swings back and forth. The problem becomes when the pendulum swings too far in one direction. To keep that from happening we have to have people willing to fight for what they believe in and not be afraid to take a stand.
Maybe we have the unlikely figure of Phil Robertson to thank for giving us strength to carry on the struggle. Who could have predicted that?
Kevin Wilson writes a weekly column for the Daily News.