Skip to main content

Don't reject the 'Duck Dynasty' family

By S.E. Cupp
updated 5:32 PM EST, Fri December 20, 2013
Jase, Si, Willie and Phil Robertson star in the A&E television series "Duck Dynasty." The popular reality show follows a Louisiana family that became rich through Duck Commander, a business making products for duck hunters. Jase, Si, Willie and Phil Robertson star in the A&E television series "Duck Dynasty." The popular reality show follows a Louisiana family that became rich through Duck Commander, a business making products for duck hunters.
HIDE CAPTION
The stars of 'Duck Dynasty'
The stars of 'Duck Dynasty'
The stars of 'Duck Dynasty'
The stars of 'Duck Dynasty'
The stars of 'Duck Dynasty'
The stars of 'Duck Dynasty'
The stars of 'Duck Dynasty'
The stars of 'Duck Dynasty'
The stars of 'Duck Dynasty'
The stars of 'Duck Dynasty'
The stars of 'Duck Dynasty'
The stars of 'Duck Dynasty'
The stars of 'Duck Dynasty'
The stars of 'Duck Dynasty'
The stars of 'Duck Dynasty'
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • S.E. Cupp has gotten to know the family featured in A&E's "Duck Dynasty" series
  • She says they are a Christian family that celebrates their religion and Scripture
  • She disagrees with Phil Robertson's views on gays but says they're not a surprise
  • Cupp says A&E's suspension of Robertson from show is an ungracious act

Editor's note: S.E. Cupp is co-host of the new "Crossfire," which airs at 6:30 p.m. ET weekdays on CNN. She is also the author of "Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media's Attack on Christianity," co-author of "Why You're Wrong About the Right," a columnist at the New York Daily News and a political commentator for Glenn Beck's "The Blaze."

(CNN) -- I had the pleasure of getting to know the Robertsons -- the duck call mogul stars of A&E's "Duck Dynasty" -- over the past couple of years. I've hunted ducks with Phil, the patriarch, and enjoyed Miss Kaye's home cooking. They are good, kindhearted, compassionate and generous people.

The brouhaha over Phil Robertson's comments to a GQ reporter is disconcerting, not because I disagree with his views on homosexuality -- and I do, demonstrably -- but because his views are neither surprising nor unique.

S.E. Cupp
S.E. Cupp

"Duck Dynasty" is a show about a Christian family. They pray at the end of every episode. They go to church, or school as Phil likes to call it. Phil's son Allen is an evangelical pastor. Phil quotes Scripture regularly on the show (and in real life.) They do not hide their Christianity, but rather they celebrate it.

That Phil would therefore express a biblically literal interpretation of homosexuality may offend some, but it shouldn't surprise anyone.

S.E. Cupp, with the Robertson family, featured in \
S.E. Cupp, with the Robertson family, featured in "Duck Dynasty".

A&E has the right to its decision, but suspending Phil for his beliefs, even if expressed crudely, seems ungracious. The Robertsons' Christian values are, in large part, exactly why the show is so popular. Millions of viewers have made it the top reality show of all time because they reject the moral bankruptcy of other reality families. Indeed, the Robertsons' Christianity has been very profitable for A&E.

The outrage over Phil's intolerance also seems blindly hypocritical. Many of his most indignant critics, including prominent voices in the media, are the very same people who are overtly intolerant and dismissive of Christians, regularly condemning them as idiots, fanatics and loons.

Glenn Beck: Why discuss 'Duck Dynasty'?

A colleague of mine -- someone I like very much -- once said that parents who taught their children the creation story should be charged with child abuse. Another colleague of mine likened a Christian community in Florida to Jonestown. I've heard many others openly wish that anti-abortion Christians had been aborted. This is the kind of tolerance to which Phil Robertson should aspire?

A&E need not endorse Phil's comments, nor must we embrace them. But it's unfortunate that an otherwise kind and giving family has been maligned for expressing personal views shared by many.

Reject those views, but do not reject this family.

Follow us on Twitter @CNNOpinion.

Join us on Facebook/CNNOpinion.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of S.E. Cupp.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:35 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Frida Ghitis: Anger over MH17 is growing against pro-Russia separatists. It's time for the Dutch government to lead, she writes
updated 8:27 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Julian Zelizer says President Obama called inequality the "defining challenge" of our time but hasn't followed through.
updated 7:57 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Gene Seymour says the 'Rockford Files' actor worked the persona of the principled coward, charming audiences on big and small screen for generations
updated 10:17 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Daniel Treisman says that when the Russian leader tied his fate to the Ukraine separatists, he set the stage for his current risky predicament
updated 12:42 PM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
Andrew Kuchins says urgent diplomacy -- not sanctions -- is needed to de-escalate the conflict in Ukraine that helped lead to the downing of an airliner there.
updated 9:50 PM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
Jim Hall and Peter Goelz say there should be an immediate and thorough investigation into what happened to MH17.
updated 11:07 AM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
Pilot Bill Palmer says main defense commercial jets have against missiles is to avoid flying over conflict areas.
updated 1:55 PM EDT, Sun July 20, 2014
Valerie Jarrett says that working women should not be discriminated against because they are pregnant.
updated 3:53 PM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
David Wheeler says the next time you get a difficult customer representative, think about recording the call.
updated 3:33 PM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
Newt Gingrich says the more dangerous the world becomes the more Obama hides in a fantasy world.
updated 6:11 AM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
Michael Desch: It's hard to see why anyone, including Russia and its local allies, would have intentionally targeted the Malaysian Airlines flight
updated 3:14 PM EDT, Thu July 17, 2014
LZ Granderson says we must remember our visceral horror at the news of children killed in an airstrike on a Gaza beach next time our politicians talk of war
updated 8:06 AM EDT, Thu July 17, 2014
Sally Kohn says now the House GOP wants to sue Obama for not implementing a law fast enough, a law they voted down 50 times, all reason has left the room.
updated 8:14 AM EDT, Thu July 17, 2014
A street sign for Wall Street
Sens. Elizabeth Warren, John McCain and others want to scale back the "too big to fail" banks that put us at risk of another financial collapse.
updated 4:16 PM EDT, Thu July 17, 2014
Newt Gingrich writes an open letter to Robert McDonald, the nominee to head the Veterans Administration.
updated 12:01 PM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
Paul Begala says Dick Cheney has caused an inordinate amount of damage yet continues in a relentless effort to revise the history of his failures.
updated 10:04 AM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
Kids who takes cell phones to bed are not sleeping, says Mel Robbins. Make them park their phones with the parents at night.
updated 1:29 PM EDT, Thu July 17, 2014
Buzz Aldrin looked at planet Earth as he stood on talcum-like lunar dust 45 years ago. He thinks the next frontier should be Mars.
updated 2:04 PM EDT, Wed July 16, 2014
Mark Zeller never thought my Afghan translator would save his life by killing two Taliban fighters who were about to kill him. The Taliban retaliated by placing him on the top of its kill list.
updated 11:18 AM EDT, Thu July 17, 2014
Jeff Yang says an all-white cast of Asian characters in cartoonish costumes is racially offensive.
updated 9:24 PM EDT, Wed July 16, 2014
Gary Ginsberg says the late John F. Kennedy Jr.'s reaction to an event in 1995 summed up his character
updated 12:41 PM EDT, Wed July 16, 2014
Meg Urry says most falling space debris lands on the planet harmlessly and with no witnesses.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT