Gamed by Duck Dynasty

The flap over the flapping lips of Duck Dynasty Patriarch Phil Robertson with respect to his views on homosexuality, African-Americans and other evangelical ideals has gone to a new level.

Duck Dynasty merchandise has flown off the shelves as people supporting the Robertson Clan’s views are voting with their dollars. It kinda makes one wonder, was this planned?

Go back to the Chik-Fil-A flap about gays and the next thing we saw were lines at the drive thru jamming traffic. The left and equal rights activists clucked, but the Cows cashed in big time. As a proof of concept, it is extremely profitable to rip gays in the marketplace.

The greed from this year’s Christmas Shopping season had especially unpalatable odor. How many folks had to work on Thanksgiving to get ready for the green orgy of spending? Too bad we do not have the family values to even stop for one day to say thanks or take a breath.

Look at the perfect timing of the release of the GQ Article – right in the middle of the Christmas Shopping Season. When you read the article, could GQ have gotten a more snarky commentary? If I were an evangelical, I would be incensed at the treatment the family was given. The language of the article, laced with 4 letter words, the timbre and tone of an author that thinks he knows more that the bearded millionaire who turned his life over to God sounded more like a dog whistle.

For folks already primed in the ways of the War on Christmas, the article is a perfect “See-What-I-Mean” piece. Add the furor over what was said upon release of the article and all of a sudden, you have the perfect marketing storm. Christmas Season plus purchasing power plus a reason to spend and the Duck Dynasty goodies all sold out.

Speaking of selling out – that A&E is doing a very quiet about face on this. Their morals seem a little green also. First Robertson is suspended; then he is not. I would be surprised if anything is done as the sales number rise above the horizon obscuring the view of the entire landscape.

When I first heard the commentary from Phil Robertson, I thought it was stupid for him to tick off a segment of the population. That is money he is risking for his employer, A&E. As I began seeing more in the media about the holdings of this family, I started to wonder if this was a plan.

In some ways it is a brilliant gamble. The demographics they ticked off may not have been particularly strong – so you cannot lose what you do not have. You reinforce your branding on your already strong demographic. Weather the media storm for the syndicator (if the storm is that bad you can move the show to another channel in the same network) and viola – instant cash and instant free media.

While I would never rip anyone for finding Jesus; it certainly sounds like Jesus showed up in Phil’s life at the right time. It does feel like things are being sold in the Temple; selling taking place at the expense of marginalized segments of the population.

Would Jesus rip people different from himself? To the contrary, He celebrated them. In The Parable of the Good Samaritan, Samaritans were picked because they were thought of as a lower caste. Likewise, tax collectors, likewise lepers, likewise anyone else pushed to the margins were the people celebrated and helped by Jesus.

If Jesus was ripping anyone it was the rich and powerful forces that kept people marginalized.

Phil Robertson has First Amendment Rights and a Separation of Church and State and a nice network deal to speak on as a platform. But, I am allowed to find it somewhat offensive that it appears he is selling his Christian faith to fill his pockets. Some things should not be for sale.

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