We had hoped to spend the day heaping more ridicule on that “pajama boy” advertisement for Obamacare, which is the health care reform law’s latest and most hilarious embarrassment, but there was no avoiding all the ruckus about that “Duck Dynasty” guy’s opinions regarding homosexuality. Commenting on these ruckuses is becoming a tiresome duty, as they seem to occur with a boring regularity, but such is the lot of pundits in our contemporary popular culture.
So far as we can gather from the voluminous news coverage, “Duck Dynasty” is a “reality show” broadcast by the “Arts & Entertainment” cable television company that chronicles the daily lives of a family of hirsute rural Louisiana entrepreneurs who have earned a sizeable fortune in the duck-hunting equipment business, and apparently one of the family members granted an interview to the GQ fashion magazine that included some disapproving and crudely-worded remarks about homosexuality. That a hirsute rural Louisianan who has made a sizeable fortune in the duck-hunting equipment business should hold such views and state them in such blunt terms hardly seems newsworthy, but all the people who make their livings being offended by this sort of this thing complained loudly enough to get the fellow suspended from the program, numerous other people were offended by the cable company’s censorship of its employee. “Duck Dynasty” has a reported 14 million viewers, which would have gotten a program mid-season cancellation back in the day days of three channels but is now enough to make the debate to dominate two days of news.
We have no opinion regarding “Duck Dynasty,” as we cancelled our cable subscription years ago and have never seen an episode, but it is so often written and talked about that we are aware of its reputation for offering a positive depiction of a rural, working-class culture with traditional values. This strikes us as something that deserves a place among the gazillion or so shows on the cable menu, if only in the cause of cultural diversity, but it is by now predictable that the self-appointed defenders of tolerance would once again insist that any such deviation from the modern orthodoxy must suffer economic punishment. Every so often some beauty queen, football player, or chicken sandwich mogul will dissent from the current enthusiasm for homosexuality, and they are routinely subjected to the same sort of public shaming that was once reserved for adulterers and unwed mothers. It’s a peculiar feature of the contemporary culture, and one on which we feel required to hold an opinion.
Homosexuals should not be bullied or forced to endure second-class citizenship, but neither should anyone who has moral objections to homosexuality. Both should be free to to live their lives according to their own convictions, to whatever extent it does infringe on the rights of others, and both should be tolerated if not celebrated by the broader society. None of the remarks attributed to the “Duck Dynasty” guy advocate violence or legal discrimination against homosexuals, just his own personal objection to the practice, so in this case it seems to be those demanding his suspension who are engaged in bullying.
— Bud Norman