I finally did it. I sat down at my computer and watched an episode of Duck Dynasty. I couldn’t take it anymore. I gave in to my curiosity. For the past year there have been several occasions when I’ve read or heard about the show. I knew I was going to eventually see what it was all about, but when I saw two recent headlines, I couldn’t put it off any longer.
The first headline appeared two weeks ago and stated that the show had opened its fourth season with 11.8 million viewers, an all-time record for cable television reality shows in the United States. The second headline appeared last week and highlighted an online video of Phil Robertson, one of the stars of Duck Dynasty. Here’s part of what Phil said in the video:
What in the world happened to us? Listen, from the time you started inside your mother’s womb, Thomas Jefferson had it right. You have the God-given right to life for crying out loud. You’re this long (pointing to his finger). You’re a week old inside your mother. They suck you out of there when you’re about like that (pointing to finger again). You wouldn’t be here tonight!
And, when you got to be the size of my thumb, they suck you out. You wouldn’t be here. Then, you grow a little bigger, like my fist — and finally eight, nine months later you come out.
And we debate whether it’s a — some woman’s right to tear you out of there a piece at a time. C’mon. You have a God-given right to live. And of all places, inside your mother — what in the world happened to us?
That was it. Once I saw what Phil said I had to see for myself what the show is all about.
Duck Dynasty is primarily centered on the life of Phil Robertson and his family members, which include his wife, Kay, his brother Si, and his sons, Jase, Willie, and Jep. The men all work for Duck Commander, a family-owned business that was started by Phil in 1972 after he created a duck call that he named “Duck Commander.”
A duck call is a device that hunters use to imitate the sound that a duck makes when it is calling out to other ducks. The duck calls that are made by the Duck Commander company are made from the wood of Louisiana cedar trees. The Robertsons live and work in West Monroe, Louisiana.
Prior to going into business, Phil played college football for Louisiana Tech University. After his junior year, he was offered a contract to play for the Washington Redskins. In addition to rejecting the offer to play professional football, he quit playing football all together, because it interfered with duck season.
Unlike many of the shows on television today, Duck Dynasty doesn’t glorify behavior that’s associated with lust, greed, envy, gluttony, anger, or sloth. The Robertson family is unapologetically pro-God, pro-family, pro-America, pro-capitalism, pro-self-reliance, pro-charity, pro-respect for others, pro-guns, pro-hunting, and pro-military. It’s refreshing to see that a television show that stands for traditional values is so successful.
The episode that I watched was the one that set the all-time viewership record for cable television. The show originally aired on August 14 with the title, Til Duck Do Us Part. The characters on the show reminded me of some of the characters in The Beverly Hillbillies, a television show that was popular in the 1960s.
New to this season’s list of characters is Phil Robertson’s oldest son, Pastor Alan Robertson. Unlike his younger brothers, Alan is a clean-shaven man who appears to be more refined than his hillbilly father and brothers.
Prior to joining the family business as a public relations manager, Alan was a preacher and pastor of a local Christian church in West Monroe, Louisiana for 22 years. He was recently quoted in a New York Post article as saying, “What I do for our church — you see, it’s a pretty good-sized church — impacts a lot of people, but because of my association with the show, I’ll get to minister to a lot more people. Any person that’s an evangelist, that’s what you want to do, so I had to give this up for something possibly bigger.”
What usually happens after a television show has become popular is that with each new season, changes are made to introduce new characters and themes that glorify sexual promiscuity, adulterous behavior, and at times, behavior that panders to the gay rights agenda. That’s how most directors and producers operate. They get people hooked on a show then they introduce sinful behavior that is characterized as normal and acceptable.
I don’t know whether it was intentional but Duck Dynasty has followed the same game plan that other modern-day popular television shows have followed; however, instead of introducing sinful behavior as normal and acceptable, the Robertson family has intentionally placed more of a focus on the importance that Christian beliefs and values play in raising happy and successful children.
America really is the greatest country on Earth. Where else can a hillbilly like Phil Robertson become a wealthy businessman and television celebrity and then turn around and influence millions of people with his Christian beliefs. It’s refreshing to see a successful businessman and celebrity speak out on behalf of the most vulnerable and innocent of all of God’s creation — the millions of unborn children who are being murdered in their mothers’ wombs.
The dictionary defines “dynasty” as “a succession of rulers of the same line of descent” or “a powerful group or family that maintains its position for a considerable time.” At the end of the episode that I watched, there were four generations of Robertsons who were present for a Christian celebration. More than 11.8 million Americans were allowed to participate in that celebration.
As devout Catholics, we should all have a goal of building such a dynasty — a family of at least four generations of devout Catholics who have the ability and the power to reach out to and influence millions of people.
Bravo for Phil Robertson and his family dynasty.