The recent Duck Dynasty controversy, in which cable TV station A&E temporarily suspended Phil Robertson for expressing his religious views regarding human sexuality and then reinstated him after a huge uproar, has taught us several things of importance:
1. Many (if not most) people in America still hold traditional views of marriage and human sexuality.
The Duck Dynasty show is the highest-rated reality show today on television—this, in spite of the fact that the primary characters on the show speak about faith and conservative values and are even shown praying together in Jesus' name. The fact that it is the highest-rated show demonstrates that a large percentage of folks in this country (perhaps even the majority!) either hold to or are sympathetic with traditional values regarding human sexuality and family. It is no accident that many family-friendly shows and movies are among the highest-rated and most-profitable shows produced. People want to see shows that honor God and country and showcase family values they can pass on to their children.
2. Liberal media will bow to pressure if enough people with conservative values stand up for their First Amendment rights.
Those with conservative values do not usually see many victories when it comes to secular television and media. The fact that Duck Dynasty is the highest-profile show on A&E demonstrates that the liberal fortresses of media can fall down when folks stand up for their constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech. Conversely, there is no de facto freedom of speech if people are thrown off shows for honestly expressing their private religious views. The U.S. Constitution will soon be outdated and ineffective if more constitutionally conservative people don’t continue to stand up for freedom.
3. Organizations like GLAAD are not invincible.
Many organizations that have historically stood up for the rights of their special-interest group often begin with a noble cause regarding the fight against societal oppression and issues related to equality in the work force and human dignity (ie., the civil rights movement, labor unions and women’s rights groups). Unfortunately, some advocacy groups, like GLAAD, seem to have evolved in their goals and have gone from demanding tolerance to demanding all folks celebrate and conform to their views.
I believe that in a pluralistic society, we have to tolerate and live in cooperation with—and love—people of all stripes, religions and beliefs. However, I do not want to be forced to celebrate religions, belief systems and lifestyles that I personally don't agree with.
Many of these groups have gone from teaching tolerance to the inculcation of the next generation while strategically bypassing the values of those students' parents and faith communities. If a person is in school, they have to be exposed to many different views, but it is always wrong when there is a systemic attempt in public education and in media to psychologically bully young people into agreeing with a certain value system.
4. American citizens in general are fed up with hyper-political-correctness.
The incredible backlash A&E experienced—more than 200,000 supporters stood up for Phil Robertson on social media in the first few hours after he was suspended—shows that we as a nation are weary of political correctness. Many liberals and the majority of conservatives are appalled at the hypersensitivity and blacklisting that takes place when a person says something unwise or not politically correct. This recent controversy may be the beginning of a movement that will bring more balance and restore de facto First Amendment rights.
5. When the secularists are in power, they will soon squelch all nonconforming voices.
Secular humanism leads to tyranny and the centralization of power because when the biblical God is not feared, humans make themselves gods over the rest of the people. History has shown us that if the cultural elite is not put in check, it will squelch all nonconformists. (For instance, see the third chapter of the book of Daniel, as well as communist China and Russia, Nazi Germany, and contemporary North Korea.)
Before they are in power, the secularists advocate for tolerance, but after they have power, they demand the celebration of and conformity to their view. This is why the Bible says, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn" (Prov. 29:2, KJV).
If U.S. citizens who believe in the constitutionally given First Amendment don’t stand up now, their voices will be forever silenced if the far-left secularists have their way.
Joseph Mattera is overseeing bishop of Resurrection Church, Christ Covenant Coalition, in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can read more on josephmattera.org or connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.