I am not a fan of the show, though it has been on in my house from time to time when I was in the room. They are interesting characters but I have never embraced the "reality TV" concept, in large part because I do not think they are real. I know the editing shapes story lines and I assume, perhaps unfairly, that much of what we see is contrived and staged. That said, it seems to be harmless fun and it is certainly a popular show. And it has done wonders for the beard lovers among us.
If you read this obscure blog then I am certain that you are well aware of the recent controversy swelling around the show and A&E. The family patriarch was asked about homosexuality. He responded in a typically Evangelically Christian way. Offended advocates of GLBT roundly criticized this as hate speech. Offended conservative Christians responded that this was a paraphrase of 1 Corinthians and, therefore, not hate speech but Bible truth. The man accused of hate assured everyone that he does not hate anyone but was simply sharing his beliefs. The people who advocate on behalf of those who are hurt and saddened by those beliefs continued to demand 'justice.' A&E in a poorly thought out business move kick the man off the show, not factoring in that the family would back Daddy and not the show. Currently, it looks like A&E's number one show will be gone soon. I hear "duck A&E" tee shirts are selling out like crazy.
One article reports serious blow back on this.My guess is the Liberal crowd do not make up a huge viewership on the show. Camille Paglia (a liberal, lesbian professor and commentator) describes this a a fascist reaction from the Left. She disagrees (she is also an atheist) with what was said, but thinks those on 'her side" of the argument are ignoring the long held Liberal belief in speech and discussion and searching for truth.
I have said all I want to on the issue. It is my belief that people must find their own way. I think traditional Christian faith is totally clear on the issue, and both Bible and Natural Law are in congruence. That said, I know many wonderful people who find themselves in a situation where they are trying to do their best. Until all sin is wiped out, I will continue to not focus on this particular example of "falling short of the ideal."
However, I also know that there are efforts to make traditional Christian morality hate speech. There is a desire among some on the Left to deprive Christians a voice in society. There is some need to equate a traditional sexual morality with a lynch mob or torture. If adulterers decide to take up the same tack things could get ugly. And if fornicators become enraged, well, my goodness, that could end up being close to fifty percent of the adult population! But, of course, there are no special interest groups working hard to justify those things, and for a variety of reasons.
I do not look forward to the future for the orthodox faithful. It seems that there is a trajectory at work in society, Yet as I read Revelation tonight at Evening Prayer I am reminded that the same Bible which so offends many secularists has promised an increase in problems for the world. It also promises deliverance. I am trusting Jesus' word on that.