A segment of Americans enamored with reality television star Phil Robertson’s controversial anti-gay, pro-plantation, and pro-child-bride positions plan to show their support by donning camouflage and gorging themselves on fast food. They plan to eat until they get their Phil.
They call themselves “Phil Phans” (a play on “Phil Fans,” get it?), and have set their “Chick-Phil-A National Support Day” for January 21st, the day after Martin Luther King Day.
First some background. Robertson. the star of A&E’s show “Duck Dynasty,” found himself in some hot water after he told GQ the following (I’m quoting a larger portion to give some context):
“We’re Bible-thumpers who just happened to end up on television,” he tells me. “You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”
What does repentance entail? Well, in Robertson’s worldview, America was a country founded upon Christian values (Thou shalt not kill, etc.), and he believes that the gradual removal of Christian symbolism from public spaces has diluted those founding principles. (He and Si take turns going on about why the Ten Commandments ought to be displayed outside courthouses.) He sees the popularity of Duck Dynasty as a small corrective to all that we have lost.
“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong,” he says. “Sin becomes fine.”
What, in your mind, is sinful?
“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
Robertson continues, this time equating being gay with being drunk or a terrorists:
Old Phil—the guy with the booze and the pills—died a long time ago, and New Phil sees no need to apologize for him: “We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?”
In a culture that readily accepts highly-processed chemicals as “food,” it was only a matter of time before we found people going to the same artificial trough to meet their other needs, from spirituality to political expression.
In the past eighteen months we’ve seen an odd phenomenon in many regions of the US: the meteoric rise of the greasy fast food bag as a new symbol of moral righteousness.
Long thought of as mere garbage, this former agent of death is now the exulted symbol of a desperate people’s moral compass (life imitates art). Politicians like Sarah Palin and Lindsey Graham proudly pose with their grease-god to show just how much they too hate whatever latest minority the Republican party is hating on these days. (And yes, the irony is apparently lost on Miss Lindsey.)
Phil Robertson is being called “The Next Ronald Reagan” by some who compare his quotes equating homosexuality and bestiality with this earlier Reagan statement on the AIDS epidemic:
“Maybe the Lord brought down this plague… because illicit sex is against the Ten Commandments.”
But of course, that wasn’t the only controversial thing Robertson’s ever said. In 2009, Mr. Robertson spoke of the virtues of marrying 15 year old girls, as opposed to 20 year old women, because young girls are easier to train:
A good woman is hard to find. Mainly because these boys are waiting until they get to be about 20 years old before they marry ‘em. Look, you wait till they get to be about 20 years old, the only picking that’s going to take place is your pocket. You gotta marry these girls when they’re 15 or 16, they’ll pick your ducks. You need to check with mom and dad about that, of course.
More than ever, highly-mobile Americans move to progressive neighborhoods or cities to be around like-minded individuals, and the Phil Phan’s Facebook page offers a bizarre peek into what’s going on in broad swaths of the GOP side of our nation.
These people are angry, xenophobic, homophobic, racist, sexist and don’t know how to express it any other way than by doing what comes naturally to far too many of them: gorging on fast food. (You know what’ll really show God you’re a true believer? Getting diabetes.) They’re also not terribly bright. Sarah Palin joined the pro-Robertson bandwagon before admitting that she hadn’t actually read what Robertson said. Maybe she was just hungry.
Chick-Fil-a has no connection with Phil Robertson, but his supporters like Chick-fil-A’s anti-gay reputation, and enjoy eating their calorically-dense meal options in homo-free zones. Of course, the irony is that Chick-Fil-A, increasingly uncomfortable with its president’s outspokenness, has been trying to move away from the whole fire-and-brimstone thing, as it apparently isn’t terribly good for business outside of Jesusland.
Many of us outside of the conservative movement can’t understand how a hunger-strike-in-reverse is a protest. But if the Left really wants to show compassion for these miserable souls, maybe we should just announce that broccoli is anti-gay – along with a good jog.