I’m going to be up front here – I feel more at home watching an episode of “Duck Dynasty” than I do “Modern Family.” Though the issue of same-sex marriage isn’t one of my main concerns, like millions of Americans, I was swept in by the recent hubbub surrounding the show’s star, Phil Robertson, and his comments on homosexuality and other hot button social issues.
Robertson’s comments on homosexuality might’ve seemed a little coarse to an era where the show “Glee” is treated as the ultimate cultural achievement, but they were in line with what many Christians believe when it comes to the subject and are shared by 45 percent of Americans. But that wasn’t enough of a reason to keep him from getting suspended from his own show and launching a vicious battle in our country’s never-ending Culture War. It is growing reality that we now have two Americas with two completely different cultures and values they cling to.
What has really ticked me off about this situation is how some of our self-appointed guardians of decency and morality have acted as if what Mr. Robertson said is beyond the pale and that only unhinged extremists would agree with him. People called him a bigot, a hater and someone with outdated beliefs. A spokesman for the gay advocacy organization GLAAD even said his comments were not “what true Christians believe.”
But the worst response came from a supposedly conservative columnist by the name of Josh Barro. He took on the issue in an article titled “There Are Two Americas, and One is Better than the Other.” Take an educated guess as to which America a Harvard-educated, gay man who prides himself on his elite pedigree believes is a better one. Hint: It’s not the America that likes duck hunting and four wheeling.
Barro makes the argument that his urbanized and sophisticated America is superior for how tolerant it happens to be, and it is so tolerant that it doesn’t allow opinions it deems “intolerant” to be voiced. If that seems a little hypocritical, well you might not meet their standards of tolerance.
Essentially, the type of America Barro wants is one where the only values allowed are the ones he and his urban elite friends deem acceptable. If you think homosexuality is wrong based on religious grounds and you don’t agree with gay marriage, you’re fired. If you think that America has got a serious race problem and it’s not due to white racism, you’re evil and beyond redemption. If you have serious problems with our president and the policies he pursues, prepare to be mocked.
Does this sound very tolerant to you?
This whole episode reminded me of another celebrity making a comment recently, this one actually hateful, which did not get anywhere the type of backlash Robertson received.
Back in November, Oprah Winfrey declared that old, white people have got to die so that we can have a more tolerant society. Seriously. Here’s the quote:
“As long as there are people who still – there’s a whole generation – I say this, you know, I said this, you know, for apartheid South Africa, I said this for my own, you know, community in the South – there are still generations of people, older people, who were born and bred and marinated in it, in that prejudice and racism, and they just have to die.”
A month later, one of those old white guys Oprah wants to die off voiced his religious beliefs and suffered major consequences for it. Oprah, who actually supported a large number of people dying off, suffered no consequences for her remark, and only a few outlets reported on it.
That’s because it’s OK to hate one America and want it to go away, but criticizing the other America will cost you your job.
I would agree with Barro, that one America is better than the other and that one is more tolerant – that’s the America Phil Robertson is a part of.
It allows people to believe whatever religion they want to have and promotes good, traditional values. It doesn’t wish a whole class of people to die off simply for growing up in a different time period and doesn’t act superior just because they have a degree from an elite school.
Thankfully, Robertson isn’t alone in his fight. Numerous sponsors have come to his defense, most notably Under Armor, and Cracker Barrel reversed its position to take down “Duck Dynasty” products after a massive backlash was in the works from the show’s fans. Numerous Facebook pages have sprung up in support of Robertson and the majority of them have garnered more likes from people than Obamacare has been able to enroll.
Clearly, one America is tired of its other half telling it what to think and say – and that America appears to be winning this battle.