Yesterday a friend of mine emailed me a link to this article about Phil Robertson, the star of that cultural phenomenon Duck Dynasty, a program which features intimidating men with long beards who have a dynasty that pertains somehow to waterfowl. (I’m guessing here as I haven’t watched the program.)
The article features an audio clip from a prayer breakfast talk in which Robertson goes into a sickening tirade against atheists. In the clip he muses about an atheist family which is the subject of a home invasion. As Robertson tells the tale, the husband is tied up and forced to watch his daughters being raped. Next, his wife is decapitated in front of him. Finally, the invaders castrate him and dangle his “manhood” in front of him as he bleeds out. All the while, the invaders are taunting him that because of atheism there is no right or wrong.
Presumably the lesson is that atheism is morally bankrupt. One can also sense Robertson relishing the irony as he spins this cruel tale, as folks who (as he sees it) lived a debased, amoral lifestyle are forced to accept the consequences of their godless choices.
Can you imagine painting this image to a group of pastors who just finished their breakfast sausage and eggs? Poor taste doesn’t begin to describe this twisted monologue.
The only silver lining in this very dark, very black cloud is that there is no laughter from the audience and no audible “amens” to complement the filth spewing from the front of the room. But silence only tells you so much. Is the audience silence indicative of disgust at this sicko’s tirade? Or does it reflect a pensive reflective mood as they contemplate the moral bankruptcy of atheism as illumined by their chosen guru? Who knows?
I do know this: with sickening, incendiary hate speech like this against a minority group, my forthcoming book Is the Atheist My Neighbor? can’t hit the market soon enough.