The Shot Heard Round the World

by Blake Anderson

In 1775 at the North Bridge in Concord, volleys were exchanged that ignited a smoldering tension into an open conflagration. In the end there was freedom. Between the first shot and the end a cost was paid.

Another shot is now being heard ’round the world–fired from a duck gun.

It is a crisis of our age and a redneck from the swamp finally has the temerity to tell everyone the emperor has no clothes. Hell has broken loose.

Key definable moments often accompany great controversies: Pearl Harbor, The 95 Theses, a letter written from a jail in Birmingham,  the shots at Concord, or . . . Phil Robertson in GQ. What is this crisis of our age? A crisis of reason, logic, common sense, morality, and sexuality–and specifically how these relate to homosexual behavior. Did the Duck Commander say something new? No. So why is this a “key moment”? First, as Tom Gilson has written in the blog Thinking Christian,

There may never be one clearly identifiable turning point in our defense of biblical truth against the pressure exerted by advocates of unbridled sexual expression. More likely it will remain more a matter of challenges increasing over time. Still this is a significant symbolic moment; a very sobering moment. The battle has just intensified. . . .

[as] expressed by King Theoden. . . in The Two Towers, “And so it begins.”

Indeed. Have you ever seen such a media, web, and social media blitz about a bearded “nobody” from the swamps?

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Yet there is an additional reason this unfiltered and self confessed “coarse” interview has become so pivotal. Is it because Phil Robertson has espoused hate? No. Not unless you define hate as disagreement. His statement, “. . . I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other,” is not hate.

Is it because he’s a celebrity? No. While the show is certainly popular, Robertson doesn’t think highly of himself, and the popularity of the show derives from that very simple humility. It represents “nobodies,” which causes people to feel like the show is about “anybody” (i.e., themselves).  This is something the typical celebrity crowd would have a hard time understanding.

Is it the fact that homosexuality was referred to as sin? While this does seem to rile those who support homosexuality, this is not new terminology worthy of an eruption. Nor should it have come as a surprise that Phil Robertson should think that way.

Together, though, these factors coalesce into a storm and the real reasons why this event is pivotal begin to emerge…

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