#DuckDynasty, Evangelicalism and Reality Television as Bizarro World

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Last week, Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson made racist comments, and not a single Evangelical Christian leader called him out on it. Not. One. They may have said, well, he might have been a little insensitive. Oh, well that’s implying that racial minorities are being overly sensitive. In a white supremacist culture, the marginalized are always going to be seen as the villains in the story. I have learned to accept this reality the hard way.

Phil Robertson, on the other hand, he’s a real hero. He’s standing up for his sound Christian beliefs. Yes this test for Evangelicals was very easy, as Fred Clark said, it was oh so easy. And evangelicals failed. Miserably. You want racial reconciliation? Challenge influential members of your bodies who have racist beliefs and are spreading them. Telling the truth is the first step to reconciliation, not holding onto lies and false myths of white supremacy.

But even more Bizarro than Phil Robertson’s racist comments was the idea that evangelicals now actually WANT US TO WATCH reality television. But just a few weeks ago, one of evangelicalism’s leaders, Dave Ramsey, condemned watching reality television as the seriously bad habits of lazy poor people. Or is it that evangelicals want us to only watch reality television with THEIR preferred religious superstars, white, conservative, and “truly American?”  Evangelicals had no problem with Sarah Palin having her own reality show before Dave Ramsey gave his advice.  The ads and lifestyles on the show certainly were not geared towards persons with lesser means.  What this all points to is that Evangelical leadership only finds reality television helpful, not if it includes ordinary citizens, but that it is the exclusive property of elite, millionaire, WASP leadership.

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One thought on “#DuckDynasty, Evangelicalism and Reality Television as Bizarro World

  1. We talked about his racial views on one significant evangelical blog. I know that for myself, I can’t fully hear how his comments sound to Blacks without help. I thought his comments were offensive to both Blacks and gays but with Conservative Christians’ obsession with feeling persecuted and sex, what he said about Blacks were largely ignored.

    Robertson’s racial comments were typical of most Conservative Christians in that they show our complete contentment with and belief that it’s a small world after all. That one only needs to understand one’s own group, however small, to understand the world. And thus we see with Robertson a picture of much of Conservative Christianity though different Conservative Christians come from groups of varying sizes. That is too many of us Conservative Christians seek to understand the world from a very limited perspective and we see no need to venture outside of our own group’s views and experiences to learn about world. The tragedy is that we are shocked when the rest of the world rejects what we have to say. And the tragedy exists because we equate our group’s perspective with God’s Word

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