This Is Not Worth Quacking About

This Is Not Worth Quacking About

Did A&E know what would happen when it suspended Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson? Whether it was intentional or not, they are cashing in on trillions worth of free advertising.

Perhaps it’s really about LGBT rights at the cable and satellite television channel, half owned by Disney-ABC. But then there’s also the almighty dollar. Conceding to the LGBT agenda is increasingly what’s most profitable, what saves most face, and what brings least financial repercussion. And even more profitable is a firestorm that mobilizes the nation’s mass media and social media into doing more free promotion for the show and the network than anyone could ever pay for.

If it is a calculated move, we’re falling for it, hook, line, and sinker. And in trying to raise the question, even this post must slide halfway into the same trap. I’ll try not to mention the show and network by name again and lend any more help to the campaign.

No Time to Cry Fowl

Dear Christian, this is not something worth getting exercised about. As much as it may seem like “reality television,” it doesn’t take much of an eye to see how much this show is scripted and how much this is not the reality worth fighting for.

This is not our time to cry fowl about Christian civil liberties. The network never owed us this show, never owed us how many times they haven’t censored the name of Jesus from Phil’s end-of-episode prayers, and never deserved that we get this upset and in the meantime litter the Internet with their name and boost their profile. Think the numbers were impressive on the Christmas episode? Now, you watch and see.

Pass on This Decoy

Here’s a call for sheep in the midst of wolves to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves (Matthew 10:16). Wisdom isn’t picking a fight whenever we can, but picking the right fight. Yes, we must beware: “they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake” (Matthew 10:17–18), but this is not that day. This is not the issue.

There will be real battles to fight — real courts and real judges and real presidents, governors, and legislatures that will continue riding the societal wave of the LGBT agenda. As the seemingly unstoppable train barrels down the tracks at us, we will continue to face excruciatingly tough decisions about when and how to hold our ground and when and if to dive out of the way and live to fight another day.

But this is not it. This is cable television. This is a silly show that, while genuinely entertaining, is doing just as much to marginalize Christians as backwater as it does to get the name of Jesus on television — as if that was ever the tip of the spear for the Great Commission, anyway.

Let’s lay down the weapons on this one. There will be other ducks to shoot. Pass on the decoy. There are so many good outlets into which to pour our righteous energy. It’s time to change the channel.


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David Mathis (@davidcmathis) is executive editor at desiringGod.org and an elder at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis. He has edited several books, including Thinking. Loving. Doing., Finish the Mission, and Acting the Miracle, and is co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary.