Claude Hamilton Gresham, Jr. (June 21, 1922 – February 18, 2008), better known as Grits Gresham, was an avid sportsman and naturalist and a first-rate outdoor writer and broadcaster. I have many of his books in my library collection and his videos on duck and goose hunting. I have a great many books on hunting in my library collection from many different authors. Still, in my opinion, his book on waterfowl hunting, The Complete Wildfowler, is the finest ever written on the subject. He was from rural South Carolina and highly educated with a bachelor of science and master of science degrees, with a specialty in forestry and wildlife management, from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He made his home in Louisiana and is remembered by Robert J. Barham, the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and a former Republican member of the Louisiana State Senate who recalled, “as a child, I got to meet him and be around him. He was just so easy to be around. Grits was nothing like the television celebrities of today. People were drawn to him. He made them feel at ease … he made me feel at ease, and I was just a child. … There will never be another like him.” (as cited in Wikipedia)
I enjoyed reading his books and articles published in hunting and outdoor magazines–I never stopped to wonder whether he was liberal or conservative, what his religious beliefs, if any, were, or his attitudes toward gay people, ethnic and racial minorities. To this day, I remain unconcerned. What I knew of him was through the body of work he produced in his lifetime. My impression, bolstered by the comment of Robert J. Barham, was that he, in the vein of Will Rogers, was the sort who “never met a man he didn’t like.” It is possible someone could unearth a quote on these topics that would offend the politically correct in the present, but my response, if this were to happen, would be a big “so what.” I remember him for his contributions to the sport of hunting, hunter education and safety and wildlife conservation. These are all past-times in which I am an enthusiastic participant.
What made me think of Grits Gresham and to write these words is the current brouhaha over another celebrity hunter and manufacturer of Duck Commander duck and goose calls: Phil Robertson. Like Gresham, he is an educated man. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physical education and education from Louisiana Tech University. He and his family have a successful television program on the A&E channel called Duck Dynasty. Robertson is currently on an indefinite suspension from the program due to comments he made in an interview with GQ Magazine in which he discussed his religious beliefs and opinions on homosexuality. He had the following to say on the matter of homosexuality:
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.”—continuing rhetorically, Robertson questioned the appeal of same-sex relationships, particularly amongst men; saying: “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical. (as cited in Wikipedia)
There is nothing in his remarks I have not heard a great many times before, and they are as egregious as ever. Indeed he is well within his rights to form and express his own opinions on homosexuality or any other topic. I have no issue with that. He finds himself accused of inciting hatred against gay people. An organization called GLAAD filed a very public complaint against him on this basis. I think the worst he can be accused of is having a stunning ignorance of what it means to be gay and exercise poor judgment. He should have known, as someone with his degree of celebrity in the entertainment industry, he would be pilloried in the press for making these remarks. That and his continued employment with A&E might be at risk.
I knew very little about Phil Robertson and the television program Duck Dynasty before this brouhaha erupted. I had seen ads for Duck Dynasty but never found the interest to tune in and view an episode. I have amassed quite a collection of duck and goose calls from various manufacturers over the years but cannot recall if I ever purchased a call from Duck Commander. Given the details of his attitude toward gay people, I am disinclined to buy one but find myself wondering what other hunters think of the quality of the calls the company manufactures. I wonder if the Robertson family supports hunter education, hunter safety and conservation as Grits Gresham did in his lifetime. If so, I commend them for that. I have no doubt the Robertson family will continue to prosper as their duck and goose call manufacturing business remains a going concern. The Duck Dynasty series is as popular as ever with viewers.
Despite the ongoing controversy over Robertson’s remarks and his suspension from A&E, I think most gay people are too busy getting on with the business of living to worry too much about it. The best thing one can do when confronted with Robertson’s attitude in the GQ interview is to take it in stride, you know, like water off a duck’s back, continue to be true to yourself, live quietly with pride and pursue your happiness.
Posted by Geoffrey
It’s bigger than Phil Robertson and A&E. It serves the purpose to agitate the masses. A statement about a man’s beliefs should carry very little weight, but we are media whores, we want something to be pissed about, and people’s personal opinions seem to be the target these days.
Do I agree with his comments? No, not from a biblical point of view, not from a christian point of view, and not from a personal point of view. But it is his opinion and should be allowed to express it as all others expect to be able to do the same. As it would appear, each person’s opinion has repercussions, which is the way it should be, we should be responsible for not only our actions but our words as well.
Why all the hoopla? Take your post and your point of view. Yours matches some, but not all of the opinions. This is how it has been for everyone making remarks about his remarks, to include A&E and GQ magazine.
If we have our beliefs trampled by the PC police what do we have left? Just other people’s opinions which aren’t really their’s to begin with.
Initially I was inclined to ignore the hoopla, but in seeing vitriolic responses from people cursing homosexuals and the “homosexual agenda”, claiming that Christians are persecuted for holding and expressing their beliefs, I felt the need to have my say.
Even as an openly gay man I have to be careful to mind my p’s and q’s, lest I draw the ire of the PC police. I work in a university library. Trust me, the university campus is a place where the culture of political correctness is most pronounced.
I concur with you too, Robertson is poorly educated when it comes to Christianity and biblical theology, which is one of the reasons I chose to ignore the brouhaha when it erupted.
Thanks very much for leaving your comment. 🙂
“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.”
Read More http://www.gq.com/entertainment/television/201401/duck-dynasty-phil-robertson#ixzz2oGIYZaFn
Geoffrey, the actual question that was (reported to have been) asked was “What, in your mind is sinful?”, so Phil was talking about sin generally, not homosexuality specifically.
If I think anal sex is wrong and spreads disease (due to the fragile nature of anal tissue and the risk of fecal matter entering through tears and abrasions), does that also mean I am a homophobe or a bigot?
Phil Robertson, and anyone else for that matter, is free to believe what they want and to form and express personal opinions. I have no issue with that.
If you think anal sex is wrong, no it does not make you a homophobe and a bigot. I would just remind you that not all gay people engage in anal sex and that it is quite common for straight people to engage in anal sex. Check this link http://www.nationalsexstudy.indiana.edu/graph.html. It takes you to a graph showing the results of the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, conducted at the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University’s School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. The survey results were published in 2010.
Thank you for leaving your comment. 🙂