The Duck Dynasty Family Works To Be The Salt & The Light!

Willie’s wife, Korie Robertson, is the daughter of John Howard, also a White’s Ferry Road elder and Duck Commander employee. Korie’s grandfather, the late Alton Howard, wrote gospel songs and sold more than 3 million church hymnals used in Churches of Christ.

“It’s a total mission and ministry,” Kay Robertson said of “Duck Dynasty,” which launches its second season Oct. 10.

Despite the spiritual material cut out of the show, the duck diva said, “We’re so blessed for what we can get in there. That’s really unknown in today’s TV on a regular, big TV network like that.”

‘GOD-FEARING, FAMILY-ORIENTED PEOPLE’

“Money. Family. Ducks,” proclaims the tagline on A&E posters promoting the show.

Except that the “Money” part has been scratched out on the posters seen at the newly opened Duck Commander store, where hundreds of fans who show up at the warehouse can buy “Phil for President” T-shirts and catch a glimpse of the world’s largest duck call.

“They give us these to pass out,” Al Robertson said of the posters. “We ‘X’ out ‘money’ and write in ‘faith.’ What’s interesting is, most people get it, and they think A&E did that.”

Television producers know that reality often needs to be altered to make interesting viewing or overemphasize certain stereotypes, the professor said.

“That explains some of the tension the Robertsons apparently feel with the producers of ‘Duck Dynasty,’” Miller said. “I think people are especially interested in ‘Duck Dynasty’ because the Robertsons’ family and friends are outrageous, unpredictable characters. Yet they also are relatable and likable. They are God-fearing, family-oriented people who enjoy life.”

By taking advantage of an opportunity to be “salt and light” in the entertainment media, the Robertsons gain a voice and a presence in a culture-shaping industry, Miller said.

“The challenges they face deal with compromise,” he said. “For example, does the opportunity to influence a segment of culture in very broad ways as TV personalities outweigh the disappointment they may feel with the producers cutting out ‘in Jesus’ name’ at the end of every televised prayer?”

Equally shocking to the Robertsons: In the first two episodes, the producers bleeped out words said by Willie and Korie to make it appear that they cursed. The family complained. As Al Robertson explained, “We don’t cuss.”

Jase Robertson, slipping his beanie off his head before praying, alluded to the tension as he shared communion thoughts on a recent Sunday.

“It’s a slippery slope when you’re holding Hollywood’s hand and you’re trying to accomplish something,” he told fellow church members, “when deep down all you want to do is proclaim that Jesus is Lord.”

‘HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY’

In the first season of “Duck Dynasty,” the Robertsons waged war on beavers disrupting the water supply and hunted bullfrogs on a golf course.The Robertson women sold some of the men’s prized possessions in a yard sale, while their bearded spouses hatched a plan to build a luxury duck blind in the sky and tried to suck bees out of a honey-filled hive with a portable vacuum cleaner.

Amid the humorous misadventures, a few glimpses of the family’s faith survived. In one episode, Kay told Phil that it was his Christian duty to babysit his granddaughters. In another, Phil urged one of his grandsons to find a woman who knows how to cook, lives by her Bible and loves to eat bullfrogs. In still another episode, Si said that he always travels with three things: a gallon jug of iced tea, his plastic cup and his Bible.

One scene found Phil relaxing in his easy chair, his Bible open on his lap, as he prepared to preach. “Duck Commander Sunday is basically a redneck rendition of fearing God, loving your neighbor,” Phil said on that episode. “We all sing church songs, everybody wearing camo, and everybody happy happy happy.”

TALKING DUCKS, SHARING JESUS

Even before “Duck Dynasty,” Phil Robertson developed a wide following for his powerful, revivalist-style gospel preaching. He talks about ducks. He shares Jesus.

As the show has gained popularity, though, crowds once in the hundreds have swelled into the thousands, Kay Robertson said.

Phil Robertson said he and his sons Al and Jase preach the same message of faith, repentance and baptism wherever they’re invited.

“We don’t have godly people and followers of Jesus owning the channel that we’re on or filming what we do,” Phil said. “So what you see (on TV) is a functional, godly family, but there’s not a whole lot of Gospel and Bible verses.

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