If you’ve ever seen an episode of Duck Dynasty, you’ll know that the family patriarch, Phil Robertson, is not afraid to say what he thinks about culture and technology. He regularly calls Hollywood, “Hollyweird” and has been known to toss family member’s cell phones in the Louisiana swamp. Every episode of the hit A&E show ends with the Robertson clan and some friends enjoying a meal together and someone (usually Phil) praying over the meal. If you’re as devoted to the show as I am, you may have noticed that these prayers have been ending more frequently with something like “in Jesus’ name, amen.” Apparently, this is how Phil always ends his prayers, but for the majority of the first three seasons, the editors and A&E cut out the Jesus part.
Phil had something to say about that. I’m not surprised. He took his case to the A&E producers numerous times. Phil talks about his reasoning with them in a video where he explains that the way we count years is based on Christ’s birth, to this day. “What year is it?” he asks. The producers responded, “2012.” And Phil fired back, “2012 AD, Anno Domini, the year of our Lord!” Eventually, A&E complied with the family’s desire to reveal a little bit more of their faith by not editing out Jesus’ name in Phil’s prayers. The Robertsons responded saying, “We are pleased that A&E honored Phil’s persistence, and our Lord, by leaving in Jesus’ name at the end of our family prayer.”
The Robertson family motto is “faith, family and ducks,” in that order for a reason. They’re the first to say that their faith in Jesus Christ is the most important thing to them. Pleading the case to include Jesus’ name in their on-air prayers is not the first run-in the family has had with A&E over their Christian values. When the show first aired in March of 2012, the editors of the show strategically added bleeps to make it sound like the family was using profanity. In the words of Phil’s son, “We don’t cuss.” After the family objected to the producers, there have been no more bleeps.
It seems to me that we are increasingly being asked to edit Jesus and biblical principles out of our vocabulary and lives. The ACLU and Freedom From Religion Foundation have won a lawsuit against a school in Ohio this week for having a portrait of Jesus on its walls. The school will have to remove the portrait and pay damages and legal fees of nearly $100,000.
These groups clearly have an agenda to remove God from the public square. While we can’t be sure whether A&E’s motives for downplaying the most important aspect of the Robertson’s “faith, family, ducks” motto speak to ratings or censoring the Christian faith, it is clear that a battle is being waged in Hollywood.
The Bible says we will be persecuted for our faith as Christ was, but that we will also be glorified with him (Romans 8:16-18). Whose team are you on? God’s team or the world’s? There is no third team, and we all know whose will win in the end.