Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher is warning that A&E could face another headache over a statement by Phil Robertson:
Robertson began his “river rat counseling” by advising men to “make sure that she can cook a meal,” and to “make sure she carries your Bible,” but stressed that “if she picks your ducks, now that’s a woman!”
To laughter from the crowd, Robertson continues, “They’re gettin’ hard to find, mainly because these boys are waitin’ ’til they get to be about 20 years old before they marry them. Look, you wait ’til they get to be about 20 years old, the only pickin’ that’s gonna take place is your pocket!”
“You gotta marry these girls when they’re about 15, 16, they’ll pick your ducks,” Robertson said, adding “You need to check with mom and dad about that, of course.”
This led me people in the comments at Mediaite to say that Robertson was advocating pedophilia.
No, he wasn’t. It is legal in 44 states (including Georgia where Robertson was speaking) for a young woman to get married at that age with parental consent. So, unless you want to make the case that 44 states and the District of Columbia have legal pedophilia, that’s a stupid argument. It is only illegal in Indiana, Kentucky, Nebraska, Washington, West Virginia, and ironically enough Robertson’s home state of Louisiana.
In the liberal state of Massachusetts, it is possible for a twelve year old girl to get married with parental consent. Liberals might want to fix THAT before talking to Phil Robertson.
Our society has really gone the extreme in waiting late in life to marry and there are many who question whether that is a good thing. (See articles by Karen Swallow and Megan McArdle) and there can be a big problem when Christians combine the biblical mandate of sexual purity for marriage with the cultural ideal of not getting married until you’ve finished college, have a graduate’s degree, are established in your career, and have your own house. If we’re expecting every youth to be abstinent until 30 to meet cultural expectations, that may be a problem right there that sets kids up for failure. Though whether sixteen is a great age remains a more dubious debate.
However, beyond the merits of the debate, the statement is actually part of the appeal of Duck Dynasty and Phil Robertson. Phil is lovably old fashioned. He’s not a cell phone guy, he’s not a fan of the microwave oven. He’s genuinely folksy and from the backwoods with a nostalgic air about him. That he talks about marriage in terms of godliness and then the ability to eat and prepare game is the type of thing you’d expect if you’d ever watch the show. He married his wife when she was 16 and he was 20 and that worked out pretty well, particularly for him. So of course, he thinks that’s a great age to get married.
So, this particular attack will probably go nowhere. It is, however, evidence that the end of Phil Robertson’s suspension doesn’t mark the end of A&E’s efforts to destroy the Robertson clan but rather the beginning. The Robertsons can expect 2014 to be filled with made up controversies all in attempt to personally destroy them and their show.
It’s been suggested by many that this isn’t important. And yes, there are many other issues that are important: Christian persecution, human trafficking, abortion, etc. However, our culture and its survival is also important. The Robertsons show to the world an example of a loving but imperfect family that stands together. And if you read St. Paul’s letters, you see that the family can be a powerful image of Christ and the Church. And in a messed up world, that image is needed now more than ever.
If this were not important, the left would not be gearing up to destroy this family. If it were not important, all the forces of Hell would not be coming against this show. As such, it behooves Christians to continue to stand with the Robertson family, particularly in prayer, through the coming storm.