For the Love of ‘Duck’: Responding to Phil Robertson

What’s the biggest 2013 holiday story across the Canadian and American media? Growing income gaps between the rich and poor? How about the rising levels of seasonal credit card debt? Stagnant employment rates perhaps? Nope. Instead, we’ve been inundated with Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson and his views on homosexuality.

Since the 67-year-old star’s comments came out in GQ Magazine, media outlets—from CNN to the Blaze—have been outraged. Commentators find themselves evenly split into two camps: supporters of Phil and those against his remarks. I honestly find myself feeling indifferent; I can side with both schools of thought.

Robertson does have the right to express his religious beliefs as afforded him under the U.S. Constitution, but members of the LGBTQ community and general public have a right to voice their opposition. Honestly, though, what purpose does this argument serve? Who, besides the Sarah Palins and Dan Savages of the world, gain anything? There are much bigger problems out there.

Both stakeholders are seemingly thriving at close examination. The LGBTQ community has made historical strides toward greater equality. While there are still light years to go in terms of universal tolerance, same-sex marriage is now legal in 18 American states and counting. On the flip side, Christianity is hardly a dying religious breed with 73 percent of Americans as devout as ever.

I guess saying “let bygones be bygones” is passé.

There will always be a diversity of opinions in society. Instead of trying to challenge and change this fact, maybe we should focus on areas most can agree upon. Greater government accountability, for instance, is a matter few would challenge on either side of the border. The American President and Canadian Prime Minister both impact our day-to-day lives more than a man on the 13th minute of his 15 minutes of fame.