It's little secret that Phil Robertson (far left in photo), patriarch of the popular reality show Duck Dynasty on the A&E cable network, is an outspoken Christian with decidedly conservative ideals. So it came as no surprise when a video surfaced recently of Robertson speaking out on behalf of the unborn and against abortion in America.
During a talk he gave in 2010 at a wild game feed sponsored by the Berean Bible Church in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, Robertson held a Bible over his head while declaring to the audience: “You have a God-given right to live inside your mother. To debate whether it’s right or wrong to rip you out of your mother’s womb? What in the world has happened to us?”
Recalling America's founding principle, that rights come from God rather than government, Robertson gave the crowd of hunters and outdoorsmen a history lesson, recalling that “President Number Three” — Thomas Jefferson — “said we hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.... [We’ve] been endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights.”
He added that “these are God-given rights ... that no one can take away from you,” noting that one of those rights is to life. “I’ll tell you, it doesn’t take 150 years — we start ripping babies out of wombs. They should have listened to Thomas Jefferson. [He] had it right. You have a God-given right to live, for crying out loud!”
Robertson expressed the horror that in America pockets of people and groups are debating about whether “some woman has the right to tear [a baby] out a piece at a time! Come on! What in the world happened to us? I'll tell you what happened to us. We need more George Washingtons. We need more Andrew Jacksons. We need more Thomas Jeffersons, [who will stand for the] God-given right to live, to be free, and to pursue happiness.”
This is not the first time Robertson has blasted America's abortion culture, according to Religion News Service (RNS). During an appearance at a pregnancy center that gained national attention, “Robertson decried the hippie generation and abortion, saying, 'That movement lured 60 million babies out of their mothers’ wombs,'” quoted the secular leaning RNS.
The most recent clip follows a similar video, published recently by Baptist Press News, in which Robertson recounts his conversion to faith in Christ. “I just decided to follow Him 38 years ago when I heard that He, in fact, was God in flesh,” recalled Robertson. “Not only was He God in flesh, it took the blood of God to remove my 'sex, drugs, and rock and roll' lifestyle — sin. Well, I'm sitting there listening and I'm like, 'Man, that was a mighty kind thing to do for a scumbag like me.' Not only that, it wouldn't do me any good, though, if something could not be done about the six-foot hole I'm going into — and you too, by the way.”
In the 1960s Robertson walked away from a football scholarship and a likely pro football career (for two years he started as quarterback at Louisiana Tech ahead of future NFL Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw) to follow his passion for hunting and fishing. That passion led him to create a unique duck call, called the Duck Commander, that turned into a full-time business and made him and his family millionaires.
Duck Dynasty, now in its fourth year on A&E, is a refreshingly clean and wildly popular reality show that follows Robertson, his sons, and his brother Si as they pursue their multi-million-dollar business and their passion for the outdoors.
Baptist Press columnist Kelly Boggs notes that “in an entertainment culture thick with the stench of sexual innuendo and the foul odor of every dysfunction imaginable, Duck Dynasty is a breath of fresh air. The content is clean and features a close-knit intact family who are unapologetic about their Christian faith.”
Boggs observed that with their redneck style, flowing “mountain man” beards, and virile outdoorsmen attitudes, the Robertsons “defy the typical stereotype many people have of what a Christian should be. The Robertsons live their faith; they don't feel the need to portray it via perma-press clothes and coiffed hair.”
He added that each episode of Duck Dynasty “is peppered with staunchly conservative values. At the close of each program, a moral is drawn from the program, always emphasizing something of virtue.”
Phil Robertson explained the show's premise — and his family's lifestyle — this way: “We're godly people. We really don't use filthy language. We really do fear God. We really do love you; you're our neighbor. We're gonna be good to you, really.” He added that “we love you irregardless of how you feel about us. In other words, our love for you is not contingent upon whether you love us or not. We just love you.”
Duck Dynasty's increasing popularity over the past four years has defied the worldly wisdom of entertainment experts who visibly cringe at the bold faith and simple values of the show's stars. Last season Duck Dynasty averaged 8.4 million viewers per episode, and this year the August 14 premier of the show's fourth season drew an astounding 11.8 million viewers, making it cable TV's most viewed non-fiction program to date.
Reflecting on the success of the show and his thriving family business, Phil Robertson says that “either I was real lucky ... or God was right all along: 'Love Me, trust Me, work hard, do what is right, and I will bless you and your barns will be filled up, tapped down, and running over.' It's either luck or God said, 'I'll bless you. You did good.' I'm leaning toward it was the Almighty.”