Phil Robertson’s Faith, Rick Warren’s Words
Posted on 12.28.13 by Danny Glover @ 3:37 pm

If you say something profound and people online repeat it often enough, there’s a good chance someone more famous than you will get credit for those words some day.

It happened to Lewis Napper when he authored “The Bill of No Rights” back in the 1990s. Now, thanks to ongoing online chatter about the “Duck Dynasty” controversy over what the Bible says about homosexuality, it has happened to mega-church evangelist Rick Warren.

Warren is a celebrity in his own right, but Robertson is the man of faith in the news these days. And thanks to the popularity of an article about Robertson that included a famous Warren quote, a whole bunch of people think Robertson actually spoke these words of Warren’s:

Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.

Warren shared that view not when talking about homosexuality but when defending himself against a newspaper’s claim that he thinks Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

The Christian Post asked Warren, “Why do you think people who call themselves Christians sometimes say the most hateful things about Muslims?” His insight into how Americans have perverted the meaning of the word “hate” was part of this answer to the Post’s question:

Well, some of those folks probably aren’t really Christians. 1 John 4:20 says, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.” And 1 John 2:9 says “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.” I am not allowed by Jesus to hate anyone. Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.

So how did Robertson end up being credited with the latter part of that quote? The path toward confusion began when the Christian-to-Muslim context in Warren’s answer faded amid the culture war over gay marriage.

Filed under: Culture and Entertainment and Hatin' On Rednecks and Media and News & Politics and People and Rednecks and Religion
Comments: 2 Comments

Cracker Barrel Answers The ‘Duck Dynasty’ Call
Posted on 12.22.13 by Danny Glover @ 3:40 pm

Well, that didn’t take long. The quick and intense outcry against Cracker Barrel that I blogged about last night prompted the Southern restaurant chain to reverse course today. “Duck Dynasty” items are going back on the store shelves, according to a status update on the company’s Facebook page:

When we made the decision to remove and evaluate certain ‘Duck Dynasty’ items, we offended many of our loyal customers. Our intent was to avoid offending, but that’s just what we’ve done.

You told us we made a mistake. And, you weren’t shy about it. You wrote, you called and you took to social media to express your thoughts and feelings. You flat out told us we were wrong.

We listened. Today, we are putting all our ‘Duck Dynasty’ products back in our stores. And, we apologize for offending you.

The change of heart earned Cracker Barrel more than 27,000 “likes,” more than 16,000 shares and more than 8,000 comments in two hours.

But for some people, the online protest against Cracker Barrel may have been more symbolic than substantive. They didn’t like Cracker Barrel taking a stand against “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson but also don’t intend to buy any products related to the A&E Networks show for fear of fattening the wallets of the cable fat cats who decided to oust Robertson from his family’s show.

“I choose to come back [to Cracker Barrel], and I choose to not buy ‘Duck Dynasty’ products,” one woman wrote. “I would, however, buy Duck Commander products. The family needs to just cut ties with A & E and move on.

Filed under: Business and Culture and Entertainment and Food and Hatin' On Rednecks and News & Politics and People and Rednecks and Religion
Comments: 1 Comment

Cracker Barrel vs. ‘Duck Dynasty’
Posted on 12.21.13 by Danny Glover @ 11:59 pm

If you think the A&E Network’s decision to indefinitely suspend the star of its cash cow “Duck Dynasty” made bad business sense, wait until you hear what Cracker Barrel did. Yesterday the restaurant chain that made its name and fortune on the appetites of Southern folk like Phil Robertson and the rest of his duck-calling entrepreneurial family decided to pull some “Duck Dynasty” merchandise from its stores.

In a statement on its Facebook page, Cracker Barrel cited its “pleasing people” motto and its commitment to “the ideals of fairness, mutual respect and equal treatment of all people.” The company then explained why “Duck Dynasty” no longer may reflect those ideals:

We continue to offer Duck Commander products in our stores. We removed selected products which we were concerned might offend some of our guests while we evaluate the situation. We continually evaluate the products we offer and will continue to do so.

It didn’t take long for “Duck Dynasty” fans to voice their outrage to Cracker Barrel, which has more than 67,000 employees at its 600-plus stores. At last check, the Facebook statement had sparked more than 27,000 comments, most of them from regular diners who said they won’t be any longer. The post also has been shared more than 4,900 times, presumably by those same former customers telling their friends to boycott Cracker Barrel in the future.

All of which made me wonder: Why would Cracker Barrel take this stand? The executives and corporate board members who run the chain surely know that most of the people who shop and eat at an “old country store and restaurant” are the enlightened rednecks who sided with the Robertsons. Yet Cracker Barrel decided to cast its lot with A&E, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, and the Human Rights Campaign.

I found the answer in Cracker Barrel’s corporate history — not the filtered, flattering version the company tells but the version you can find via Google. The key finding: Cracker Barrel has been in trouble with homosexual rights activists before.

How much trouble? Enough that The New York Times emphasized the controversy in its 2012 obituary for Cracker Barrel founder Dan Evins. The paper mentioned the issue in the headline and lead, and expounded on it at length in its coverage:

Filed under: Business and Culture and Food and Hatin' On Rednecks and News & Politics and People and Rednecks and Religion
Comments: 12 Comments

The Dark Days Of ‘Duck Dynasty’
Posted on 11.23.13 by Danny Glover @ 3:32 am

A deadbeat dad, a prodigal son and a suicidal grandson — meet the Robertsons of “Duck Dynasty” fame who you don’t get to see on the popular A&E television series every week.

In a video produced for the “I Am Second” movement, family patriarch Phil Robertson, his youngest son Jep and his grandson Reed share stories from their darkest days and how faith and family pulled them through the spiritual turbulence. The half-hour film features several powerful anecdotes that illustrate the crushing weight of sin and the great relief that Jesus Christ freely offers to all men who seek forgiveness and then obey Him.

At one point, Phil Robertson explains the difference between rednecks and “river rats” — and why he gave the fish that fed his family to one group of thieving river rats in particular. He recounted the story while recalling the Bible’s teachings about being good to your enemies, praying for those who persecute you, not returning evil for evil and feeding those who are hungry.

“These river rats would steal my fish; I’d caught several of them before,” he said, adding that he always threatened them with death by shotgun. God’s commands didn’t make any “earthly sense” to him, but Phil Robertson decided to try it God’s way.

Filed under: Family and Parenting and People and Rednecks and Religion and Video
Comments: None

Petty Photographic Politics
Posted on 09.11.12 by Danny Glover @ 12:47 pm

For the record, Vice President Joe Biden did not invite a biker lady to sit on his lap. He did the gentlemanly thing and pulled up a chair so she could get her picture taken with him. A smart photographer captured the candid moments after the posed picture, and people on Twitter started a rumor about something that didn’t happen the way they saw it.

Sadly, I fell for the Twitter hype about the photo. I’m glad to have heard the rest of the story.

Also for the record, pizza entrepreneur Scott Van Duzer did hug President Obama during a campaign trip to Van Duzer’s Florida restaurant — and people are protesting the pizza shop over the hug. Obama haters flocked to the website Yelp to give Big Apple Pizza negative reviews for political rather than culinary reasons.

As an American, I support people’s right to register any political protest they desire, but I also reserve my right to expose some such antics for what they are — petty politics. Van Duzer, a Republican who voted for Obama in 2008 and plans to do so again, is right: “There’s no middle line anymore, and that’s exactly what’s wrong with our country right now.”

Scott Van Duzer appears to be a good man, and he is doing good work through his own foundation. He shouldn’t be catching business grief for hugging, or even voting for, President Obama. Disagree with his political views if you want — I do — but leave his business out of it.

If I lived in Fort Pierce, Fla., I would be heading to Big Apple Pizza to buy a pie and show my support for the right of small businessmen to freedom of political speech and action. As a conservative, I cannot expect the same — remember the Chick-fil-A uproar — but this is a clear opportunity to “treat others the same way you want them to treat you” (Luke 6:31).

Filed under: Business and Food and Human Interest and News & Politics and People and Photography and Religion
Comments: 1 Comment

No Rednecks Allowed In Democrats’ Tent
Posted on 09.07.12 by Danny Glover @ 12:10 pm

There may be a few rednecks rooting for President Obama, but the president’s Democratic Party certainly isn’t a welcoming place for rednecks. Behold the “party of inclusion” and “tolerance” when its members are asked just how big their tent really is:

Let’s recap that dialogue for posterity:

  • “This is so inclusive. You know, we even invite the redneck freaks in.”
  • “I would never call a redneck a name.”
  • “I don’t know, I’m thinkin’, like, a couple of teeth, you know, hair outta place, maybe a nice gut.”
  • “You’re welcome to be a Democrat unless “you’re a hunter or a gun owner, white male. … They’re a bunch of gun-totin’, hillbilly tea partiers. That’s all I have to say.”
  • “A bunch of Yosemite Sam hillbillies.”
  • “We are the big-tent party, and we will let most anybody in, unless of course they’re carrying guns. … These Christian evangelicals don’t get it because I don’t believe they ever actually read the Bible.”
  • “Wack-job, evangelical gun nuts. … I’ve always called them Nazis — and evil, even before it was appropriate.”
  • “Don’t have a clue about science, very questionable on any kind of thought that involves more than two or three sentences.”
  • “Pot-bellied … church-going … small-minded … anti-science.”
  • “The teabaggers generalize because they’re very narrow-minded people. The teabaggers are the least tolerant group I have ever seen.”

Where could all of these Democrats possibly get the inspiration for such elitist, bigoted ideas? Oh, I don’t know, maybe from the current standard-bearer of the Democratic Party?

Filed under: Hatin' On Rednecks and Hunting & Guns and Just For Laughs and News & Politics and People and Rednecks and Religion and Video
Comments: None

No Venue Is Taboo From Cussing
Posted on 08.27.12 by Danny Glover @ 8:19 pm

Once upon a time, the family newspaper and its local broadcast equivalents cared enough about wholesome conversation to filter the profanities lest they offend the sensibilities of their readers, listeners or viewers. Either news executives don’t care anymore or their audiences have no sensibilities, or both, because the cussing is everywhere in journalism.

The latest evidence: The a-word is all over NPR. It has appeared in NPR coverage 22 times in the past year, most often when sources say it on air.

Worse, when a publication has a fit of common sense by not assaulting readers with vulgar, suggestive language, it faces ridicule for being puritanical. That’s what happened to the Los Angeles Times and other publications that showed discretion in not publicizing the name of a certain Russian punk band that has been in the news recently.

The shaming worked. Within days, the name of said punk band was being repeated in headline after headline of the Times.

Filed under: Culture and Education and Media and News & Politics and People and Religion
Comments: None

The United States Of Profanity
Posted on 06.11.12 by Danny Glover @ 12:35 pm

This morning as I rounded the corner to depart the Metro station in our nation’s capital, the man behind me uttered a four-letter word devoid of any apparent context. For a moment, I wondered what I had done to offend him, and then I looked forward and realized why he cursed. Both escalators were broken, so he was going to have to walk up 72 steps to get to the street level.

My first thought was that his vulgar, one-word outburst is proof that America truly is plagued by an “obesity epidemic.” We’re so fat and lazy that we can’t even bear the thought of walking up the stairs. But another thought came to me as I read an article about how coarse our discourse has become. People are cursing so much that government officials feel compelled to punish it:

[Middleborough, Mass., Police Chief Bruce Gates] is asking citizens to vote at the annual town meeting on Monday to flush potty mouths by granting police the power to issue $20 civil tickets to anyone who publicly “accosts” another person verbally with profanity.

He isn’t targeting ordinary swears, like an understandable expletive uttered after a Red Sox loss. He said he is aiming at offenses like “profane language at some attractive female walking through town.” His officers patrol on bikes and can already give tickets for public drinking, rubbish thrown in streets and more. Cursing is another “quality of life” issue, he said. …

Middleborough isn’t the only place, by golly, where officials want to effectively wash citizens’ mouths out with soap. In April, work at the Alabama Legislature turned a little off-color when a lobbyist allegedly verbally took a lawmaker to the woodshed after a vote. So for the first time ever, legislators issued a formal reprimand for cursing, saying the lobbyist violated Rule 27 pertaining to “the honor of the legislative process.”

Arizona state senators in February debated legislation that would have banned public-school and college instructors from any swear word not allowed on broadcast television. The bill died after much discussion. And counties from Los Angeles to Mobile, Ala., have declared “no cussing week” in recent years.

Language isn’t the only evidence of a country headed over a cliff into the abyss of spiritually defiant vulgarity. At our 12-year-old son’s soccer tournament over the weekend, I saw the kind of soccer mom who gives rednecks a bad name. She had a bare-breasted woman tattooed onto the back of her right shoulder — a shoulder that she proudly bared so hundreds of young children could see her body porn. She’s an embarrassment to soccer Moms, all Moms and all womankind, and sadly, she doesn’t care.

We can’t regulate bad words and bad behavior like hers out of existence, nor should we necessarily even try. But decent people who say nothing as filth continues to saturate American culture — and parents who tolerate it among or, worse, teach it to their children — should be ashamed.

We, the people, have allowed a great nation to become the United States of Profanity, and only we can steer our children and our country onto a more wholesome path.

UPDATE, 6/12: Residents of Middleborough voted 183-50 for the fines on public profanity. Ideally, Americans would take the hint and wash their own mouths out with soap so their neighbors or the government don’t feel compelled to act. But that’s unlikely.

Filed under: Culture and Government and History and News & Politics and Parenting and Rednecks and Religion
Comments: 1 Comment

The Death Of A Snake-handler
Posted on 05.30.12 by Danny Glover @ 10:52 pm

The Bible clearly teaches that you reap what you sow, and if you play with rattlesnakes and refuse medical treatment after being bitten, eventually the poison will win.

So it was with Mark Randall (Mack) Wolford, the leader of a snake-handling church in West Virginia who, like his father decades ago, died this week after a timber rattlesnake bit him during worship. His sister’s account of what happened: “He laid [the snake] on the ground and he sat down next to the snake, and it bit him on the thigh.”

Wolford is the subject of a forthcoming documentary called “With Signs Following.” You can see his biblically ill-informed, ritualistic snake-handling practices in the trailer, which was released in December:

The saddest part of the story is that Wolford died thinking that God endorsed his method of worship and that his family and followers still believe it. “I’m proud of him and don’t want to see him die … but if he does, it’s still the word,” his mother says in the opening of the film’s trailer.

But hopefully filmmaker Kate Fowler’s analysis will prove prophetic about the impact of Wolford’s death: “He’s kind of been the person who kept the faith alive. I think we’ll see a sharp decline [of snake-handling worship] in West Virginia, at least of people openly practicing the faith.”

The sooner this redneck tradition disappears, the better it will be for the reputation of West Virginia because reporters no longer will have material to write stereotypical features like The Washington Post Magazine did on Wolford last fall.

Filed under: News & Politics and People and Religion and Video and West Virginia and Wildlife
Comments: None

The Best (And Hardest) Job: Mom
Posted on 04.20.12 by Danny Glover @ 10:35 am

Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen created a firestorm of rhetorical protest last week after she chided first-lady-wannabe Ann Romney’s credentials. In a CNN appearance Rosen said that Romney can’t possibly identify with the economic concerns of women in America because she “never worked a day in her life.”

Proctor & Gamble knows better. A sponsor of the 2012 Olympics, the company just released a video that captures the hard-working essence of motherhood — being there for your children:

The video’s storyline focuses on mothers of future Olympians, but the closing message is a reminder to the Hilary Rosens of the world that stay-at-home mothers do real work and have valuable insights into the economics of life. “The hardest job in the world,” the video says, “is the best job in the world. Thank you, Mom.”

Josh Romney and his brothers know that about their own mother. “She could have pursued a career in teaching, business or science,” Josh Romney wrote of Ann Romney in the book “Life Lessons from Mothers of Faith.” “But she always knew that the profession that would bring her the most happiness and fulfillment was that of a mom.”

Let’s hope the power brokers in Washington now see the value of mothers, too.

Filed under: Culture and News & Politics and Parenting and People and Religion and Video
Comments: None

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