Sadly, we must open the new year with another story about the ravings of an apparent bigot, homophobe and promoter of preying on underage girls who, amazingly, is used as an icon by those who desperately need to rationalize their own biases.
Phil Robertson, the “Duck Dynasty” patriarch who landed in hot water late last year by using — and many believe misusing — the Bible to support opposition to gay marriage and racism, is creating headlines again because of remarks he made in 2009 urging adult men to court and marry 15 or 16 year old girls because they will “pick their ducks” and not their pockets.
In a speech to the “Sportsmen’s Ministry” in Georgia in 2009, Robertson — who at age 20 married his underage girlfriend to avoid going to prison for statutory rape — tells an audience that they should look for underage girls who can cook and “know how to pick your ducks” because if they marry adult women “the only picking that’s going to take place is your pocket.”
Robertson knows how to mess around with underage girls. His future wife was 14 when she got pregnant by him — he was 20 — and he married her at 16 to keep the state of Louisiana from tossing him into prison for statutory rape.
He later abused his wife and children and went to jail more than once before giving up the bottle, claiming he “found God” and repented. But his conversion in life apparently did not stop him from advising other adult men to prey on young women.
A Nexis search of newspaper and magazine articles shows Robertson, in recent years, has advocated lowering the age of consent in Louisiana to 14. Doing so would allow girls as young as 15 to engage in sexual activity with older men without legal reprisal. Women as young as 15 could also marry without needing their parents’ permission.
In more than one story, Robertson says the Bible “advocates” marriage by women at very young ages.
Interestingly, the video was first placed on YouTube by one of the companies controlled by the millionaire Robertsons, who got rich in the duck call business. It was later removed but has surfaced again.
Some claim that Robertson was “just being an entertainer” from the pulpit and that people in the audience “were laughing” at his remarks.
Others do not find remarks that promote preying on underage girls “entertaining” and have a hard time accepting Robertson’s homophobia and bigotry excusable as the purported “word of God.”
“Phil Robertson,” says Piers Morgan of CNN, “is a victim of his own repulsively racist, homophobic bigotry.”
Among those who defend Robertson is Bristol Palin, daughter of failed Alasksa governor and unsuccessful vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Palin calls criticism of Robertson “hypocritical,” an interesting comment by a woman who got pregnant at 17 and didn’t marry the on-again, off-again boyfriend who fathered the child.
Bristol Palin comes by her hypocrisy genetically. Sarah Palin, her mother, who preaches moral values but is more liberal when it comes to sexual activity, had a history of one-night stands with basketball players while working as a television sports reporter and had an affair with her husband’s now former business partner.
Which raises the question: Is Robertson’s empire is really built on faith, as he claims, or simply carefully-manufactured rationalizations of biases, immoral activity and lies?