Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson on Cancel Culture and His New Book Uncanceled
Long before the height of “cancel culture” as we know it, Phil Robertson was canceled. He explains what happened to The Stream and in his new book Uncanceled: Finding Meaning and Peace in a Culture of Accusations, Shame, and Condemnation.
In 2013, Robertson — the patriarch on the A&E hit TV show Duck Dynasty — was asked by a reporter for GQ magazine whether he believed homosexuality was a sin. Robertson told The Stream that he did not answer with his own opinion. “What I did was I quoted 1st Corinthians 6:9-10:
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who submit to or perform homosexual acts, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor verbal abusers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
“So I didn’t want him to think I’m [stating] just my opinion, whether it was sinful or not. I just decided to read him a Bible verse so he’d be arguing with God, not me. But they took that and they put it on the national news that I hated homosexuals and all of this.” A&E put Robertson on “indefinite hiatus.” It ended up only being a week because his supporters came to his defense, prompting A&E to put Robertson back on the air.
Cancel Culture is Nothing New
Cancel culture has been around a long time, Robertson wrote in his book. He referenced Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor who spoke against the Nazi regime and was killed; Abel, killed by his brother Cain; and Stephen, the first Christian martyr. “Cancel culture has always been there; it happens anytime anyone gets in the way of the agenda of those who lust for power and authority.”
The root of cancel culture is a “disdain for the truth. It is rooted in a hatred for the authority and sovereignty of God.”
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Cancel culture is a tool of Satan to convince people that they are beyond redemption. It’s job is to “instill fear, shame, and debilitating guilt.” The solution is Jesus. “He is the remedy for hopeless shame and guilt, because when He died on the cross, both guilt and shame were crucified with Him.”
‘Just Love Them’
Robertson also explained that America has a spiritual disconnect. “Too many of us have abandoned the love of God.” He said that “[o]ur problem is spiritual, rooted in our nation’s drift away from the knowledge of God.” We must patiently point people to Jesus. “Hope they repent and turn to Him, try to get them to love God and love [their] neighbor.” Robertson stressed that while he speaks to a lot of people, those who don’t can still make a difference. “Just give the good news about Jesus.
“Don’t be mean, just love them. And be long suffering and be very forgiving. And maybe they’ll — through your life — see the love of God and maybe that’ll change their hearts.”
Uncanceled was released today.
Nancy Flory, Ph.D., is an associate editor at The Stream. You can follow her @NancyFlory3, and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.