Mark Steyn on his editors at NRO and Phil Robertson

I appreciate both how Mark Steyn writes and what he has written about the Duck Dynasty controversy and Phil Robertson’s persecution.

Remember: I am a free market guy.  If A&E wants to bend over for bullies, fine.  They can do that.  But the rest of us should then stop giving them any business.

Back to Steyn.  He is taking a different tack than the editors at NRO, who seem inclined to go with the winds on this on. This is from a few days back, but I am just getting around to it.

Thus, Steyn:

Re-Education Camp
By Mark Steyn

Having leaned on A&E to suspend their biggest star, GLAAD has now moved on to Stage Two:

“We believe the next step is to use this as an opportunity for Phil to sit down with gay families in Louisiana and learn about their lives and the values they share,” the spokesman said. [THAT’s gonna happen.  Just envision such a meeting.]

Actually, “the next step” is for you thugs to push off and stop targeting, threatening and making demands of those who happen to disagree with you. Personally, I think this would be a wonderful opportunity for the GLAAD executive board to sit down with half-a-dozen firebreathing imams and learn about their values, […]


I am sorry my editor at NR does not grasp the stakes. Indeed, he seems inclined to “normalize” what GLAAD is doing. But, if he truly finds my “derogatory language” offensive, I’d rather he just indefinitely suspend me than twist himself into a soggy pretzel of ambivalent inertia trying to avoid the central point — that a society where lives are ruined over an aside because some identity-group don decides it must be so is ugly and profoundly illiberal. […]

Read the rest over there.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. gracie says:

    The great Mark Steyn! TWICE he ran the Danish cartoons – the second time because of threats over the first time.

  2. frjim4321 says:

    Hmm, I don’t think I like the term “gay families.” I understand gay persons being part of a family but not a “gay family.” Are they assuming children in a family headed by a same-sex couple are automatically gay? That’s troubling.

    I was thinking this:

    GLADD : The Gay Community :: Catholic League : The Catholic Church

    Both highly annoying and way out of touch with their imaginary constituencies.

  3. StJude says:

    Mark Steyn! Big fan of his! I doubt Phil Robertson will cave to the GLAAD nonsense.. he has to see all the support out there.

    I read an article on Bloomberg how at stake is a 500 million dollar Duck Dynasty empire vs Phil Robertsons Christian belief.
    I am thinking their faith will mean more.

    Anyway.. was a Duck Dynasty Christmas at my house.. we all got something camo with Phil Robertson on it.
    And once I get paid.. this vegetarian who has never been hunting a day in her life will be buying a duck call from Duck Commander.

  4. Uxixu says:

    Such assumptions aren’t really that far out of line, Fr Jim. The very premise is flawed. Gay families is an oxymoron and a twisted mockery of true family. See what Robert Oscar Lopez writes about growing up with a Lesbian mother and how the prevailing homosexual culture twisted his soul. Fortunately he was able to rise out of it.

    I pray for those poor souls trapped in this. Mark Steyn hits very close to the mark. We don’t have to hate them but his original article is very to the point: the legal ramifications are an after thought to evil that seeks to discredit and destroy the nuclear family and Christian society.

  5. Priam1184 says:

    Why is everybody getting so ginned up about Phil Robertson and whatever he said in this made up controversy? Is this the guy that we want to have as our standard bearer for setting things right in this troubled world? Really? As I have said earlier this is just a made up controversy by both the network and Mr. Robertson to get a bit more cash out of their little reality show. This is reality TV people, stop taking it so seriously. And for those who missed it the family as a basis for our society got destroyed a while ago: when the birth control pill, the industrialized production and massive distribution of narcotics, and massive government benefits to unwed mothers all entered our society at the same time in the 1960s. It has all been academic since then.

  6. Uxixu says:

    He’s not a standard bearing and isn’t even trying to be one. The blow up is his thoughts given in an interview and the big deal is that he didn’t really say anything other than paraphrase Corinthians, which shows what the real problem of atheistic left: Scripture, NOT Phil Robertson.

  7. SKAY says:

    The made up controversy is by GLAAD and the MSM. It is an extension of the ssm agenda and all that goes with it.
    The Robertson family was doing quite well before A&E and the Duck Dynasty show ever came along and were quite open about their Christianity. The back lash against A&E and GLAAD supporters is about a lot more than the show and even Phil Robertson.
    I always appreciate Mark Steyn’s commentary because I appreciate common sense.

  8. mike cliffson says:

    I think Mark Steyn is right; even if he isn’t , he most certainly describes a phenomenon: social normalizing and denormalizing , of which lawfare is just a part.
    A year or so back , the cases of abuse of minors by the church in Germany just after the nazis came to power, by Normal democratic processes, was blogged and reblogged on several sites, I cant remember if FZ mentioned it or linked.
    Recapping , the church itself I believe had , around election time as it so happens brought to the attention of public prosecutors an institutional (orphanage? or similar) case involving lay staff and lay brothers, 4 or so of them.
    The nazis did not yet have total control, but trawling for similar cases against the church , mostly monks more than priests, pressuring witnesses, massive media coverage and hype, 300 were held and eventually brought to trial, how many hundreds? thousands more ? were browbeaten and threatened , then or later.?
    The article on the first blog to post had a section ,” there is a judge in Berlin,” which I felt rather missed the point, saying how the judiciary was still , for a while, independant and threw out the vast majority of cases, vindicating the accused -¿ which made up for it all?
    For the nazis’ purposes , eventual total control, and dicredit with the populace of any alternatives, (with Satan’s underlying hate of the church and aim of the ruin of souls) the media storm , public reaction, photos day after day of monks and some clergy dioing the perp walk, the permanet public association of abusive perverted sex with monors and betrayal of trust etc, with the church – all aims acheived . Eventual verdicts totally secondary.
    Check out Steyns article.

  9. Jackie L says:

    This “controversy” really has been remarkable to watch, in general it seems the majority of people felt that A&E/GLAAD overreached, and sided with Phil Robertson. However that doesn’t stop the MSM, from publishing daily a new set of articles to try to swing the momentum, in doing so they have no problem promoting the hatred and the bigotry they claim to oppose.

  10. Kathleen10 says:

    A&E is pandering to GLAAD, probably never thinking there would be much pushback on the whole thing, and I bet they are surprised. They aren’t moving fast to fix it and I bet they are wondering if the holidays are going to make the complaints just…fade away. We do have petite attention spans. I don’t think this is going anywhere though. It seems like people have awakened to the new normal, a country where fascists, not buffalo, roam. I’m happy it happened, if it gets Christians to wake up and realize they better start speaking up, because these types of actions are getting worse by the day. Unrelated, but an American VA hospital just refused to allow their veterans to RECEIVE Christmas cards made by American children! I believe that was in Georgia. This is America? Adults, CAN’T receive Christmas cards? Our government is leading the atheism charge and A&E and other corporations are going to fall in line like dominoes. The only thing that prevents this from becoming the absolute rule everywhere (maybe) is we the people, when we make noise, complain, write emails, call, and sometimes act obnoxious. If we really want to be taken seriously so nobody messes with us we’ll have to cut some heads off…oops….that’s not us…forgot. But you can see none of these entities pull these stunts on Muslims. This fight between Phil Robertson and A&E is an unintended test case. It’s the most high profile test case between a secular entity and a Christian, and we have to do our part to support Phil Robertson. Not so much for Phil Robertson’s sake but because there is more at stake here than Duck Dynasty or even Phil Robertson. If A&E gets away with this, this is how things pick up momentum and grow. This is the brave new world, and they cannot win. It does not matter if we like Duck Dynasty, don’t watch it, don’t like ducks, whatever, we need to make some noise and support the effort. If not for the sake of our right to our Christian voice in the marketplace, then at least for freedom of speech. In this situation, Phil Robertson is us and we are him. As fellow Christians, it’s our fight too.
    @Fr. Jim. I find I agree with virtually everything the Catholic League takes issue with. I’m not imaginary. If you are saying that GLAAD is a fringe group, I wonder. I don’t think so. If they were, you would hear a cacophony of reassuring type statements about freedom of speech despite the difference of opinion. I know that gay activists are a very sophisticated bunch, who make superb strategic movements, well planned, funded, and thought out. It’s often so brilliant as to tolerate or encourage the little responses that reassure that “all is well and we do agree with you on freedom of speech” type talk that now gets gay activists invited to speak on programs, radio shows and the like, and their soothing words calm the hysterical masses. Ms. Pagglia (sp?) may be one of the “soothers”. We need to be as doves and serpents. These are not stupid people.
    Regarding the families that are headed by gay parents, that you mentioned, the data on how children fare with gay parents is not in yet, but there are disturbing signs, and the entire concept is counter-intuitive to all we know about what children need to turn into balanced adults. The idea to have children in gay families is a contemporary nightmare, not a model that has been around long enough to tally the fallout. We will. When I imagine the scenarios that are playing out right now in our country alone, it is so worrisome to contemplate that sometimes I admit, it makes me feel a little frantic. These are children, not lab rats. This is all social experimentation, but what “experiences” are these children likely to have, and what are the odds all will turn out swimmingly for these poor children, all permanently deprived by selfish adults of either a mother or a father. All that I have learned about life tells me that is not likely that all will turn out swimmingly.
    God help them.

  11. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    In Huxley’s Brave New World (1932), the family eliminated, the technologically-produced children are systematically sexualized as part of the process of guaranteeing infantilized adults – I do not recall the obvious dimension of adult abuse of children being an explicit theme (either as self-evident, or selected for pragmatic ‘conditioning away’).

    How long has it been increasingly ‘open season’ on children (in combination with very successful – selective – ‘shutting down’ discussion of it, and its extent)?

    According to Adrian Fortescue’s 1909 Catholic Encyclopedia article on Greece, “In Crete 50,000 Christian children, in the year 1670, were torn from their parents, circumcized, and brought up as Moslems”. Now, the functionaries of many democratic western states regularly seize children in the interest of ‘child protection’ and hand them over to those they deem more fit. Sed quis custodiet..?

  12. amenamen says:

    To Priam1184:
    I do not think that the star of the t.v. show (which I have never seen) is the “standard bearer” for the family or the Church. A better image would be the slowest zebra in the herd, which is targeted and brought down by the roaring lions and picked apart by the hyenas. The fact remains that he is being attacked and picked apart by the wild beasts who hate the Church. He happens to be an easy target for them at the moment, but he will not be the last.

  13. Scott W. says:

    Why is everybody getting so ginned up about Phil Robertson and whatever he said in this made up controversy?

    Who is getting ginned up? Try not to project on others.

    Is this the guy that we want to have as our standard bearer for setting things right in this troubled world?

    We ought to applaud the speaking of truths the world doesn’t want to hear wherever they are found.



    As I have said earlier this is just a made up controversy by both the network and Mr. Robertson to get a bit more cash out of their little reality show

    Citation needed.

    This is reality TV people, stop taking it so seriously.

    Again, please don’t project. Even if we grant for the sake of argument that this is a cynical ply by both Robertson and A&E, homosexual acts are still objectively evil, and since virtually all the media tries to obscure that truth, we’ll take what we can get. I’ll leave it to the Almighty to chastise them for motives of which I don’t have any reliable access.

    And for those who missed it the family as a basis for our society got destroyed a while ago: when the birth control pill, the industrialized production and massive distribution of narcotics, and massive government benefits to unwed mothers all entered our society at the same time in the 1960s. It has all been academic since then.

    All true but irrelevant. We don’t subscribe to the idea that because we are losing on most cultural fronts, that we ought to surrender on everything.

  14. The Masked Chicken says:

    Apparently, Cracker Barrel was trying a bit of Duck and Cover.

    The Chicken

  15. wmeyer says:

    I always appreciate Steyn, both for his use of language, and for his perspective. Unlike this thread, which has drifted from Steyn to Robertson, Steyn is always as focused as a laser, and invariably trenchant in his commentaries.

    Steyn is a wonderful example of the power of language well used. Unfortunately, I rather suspect that many Americans under 40 will miss a the elegance of his delivery, and may even miss the points he so ably makes.

    As a Canadian, Steyn has experienced the onset of socialism in that country, which accelerated more rapidly than here; Canada has suffered 40 years of socialized medicine, whereas we are merely on the edge of that disaster, which will follow the collapse of the choreographed failure of Obamacare.

    Steyn is not only brilliant, but indignant at the travesties being enacted in Canada and the U.S., in the name of the people. He is impatient with ignorance, and largely dismissive of the statements by our overlords and the sycophants who serve them. Were he available on the radio every day, I should have to commit that time to listening.

  16. robtbrown says:

    Priam 1184,

    On more than one occasion Phil Robertson has made similar comments about morality, including abortion, so I don’t think he was just a willing participant in a PR scheme to stir interest to generate more money.

    I do think, however, that any decent members of a PR firm would have drooled all over the opportunity to time the controversy for Christmas shopping.

  17. Gretchen says:

    I was unaware that Mark Styen is now under attack for speaking out on this issue–by his own editor. The editors at NRO either made a big mistake in taking him to task for expressing free speech in regard to the Duck Dynasty issue, or they want to cut him loose as his manly prose is too much for their effete sensitivities.

    The point being Phil Robertson’s persecution may be known henceforth as the moment when the culture war ignited into pitched battle. It is good to know Steyn will be actively engaged as a warrior. NRO? Someone give them a cup of cocoa and send them to the rear.

  18. Supertradmum says:

    “Why is everybody getting so ginned up about Phil Robertson and whatever he said in this made up controversy?”

    Because there are few Catholic men who stand up for the Truth of the Gospel. Where are the Catholic entertainers who are orthodox and brave?

    Phil is a hero, and shames many publicly known Catholic weakling men.

    He galvanized Christians because we lack leadership in the laity-and when Voris says something similar, he gets called “extreme”.

    Thank God for Mark Steyn.

    Too many couch-potato Catholics and not enough men in the arena–end of rant.

  19. Palladio says:

    “During their negotiations with A&E, Jase Robertson told the GQ reporter, “the three no-compromises were faith, betrayal of family members, and duck season.” Cahlassik! That’s from a later piece on NR.

  20. albinus1 says:

    “We believe the next step is to use this as an opportunity for Phil to sit down with gay families in Louisiana and learn about their lives and the values they share,” the spokesman said

    Maybe the homosexual activities could sit down with the Robertsons and “learn about their lives and the values they share.”

    I love the unstated assumption that the “education” required should be only one way.

  21. Kathleen10 says:

    Oh yes, “re-education” and “sensitivity training” go in one direction only, to thump the offender on the head and get them moving in the correct direction, that of full promotion of homosexuality. It is done all the time in the government sector, especially schools of any kind, police training, and now, our military. It is intended to remind you that if you prefer your salary to not being able to feed your children, you’d better think again about your convictions. Most people go along to get along. Some likely become earnest promoters! I work in public schools, and it is always astounding to me how easily teachers have become promoters. It is getting harder to dodge mandatory salutes and cheers. The powers that be are going to press more and more as the elites insist in knowing where you stand on these issues so they can weed you out. Fence sitting is going to be tougher. There is no easy answer to how to deal with this. It all depends on what it is and where you are.
    Based on the comments from people here whose opinions I respect I am going to have to pay attention to Mark Steyn from here on in. I didn’t know of him really.
    This A&E situation is the beginning of a more public manifestation of the battle.

  22. Theodore says:

    This is actually a more important moment than many think it is. L’affaire Robertson in may respects is equivalent of the Battle of Gettysburg in the culture wars. As you will recall Gettysburg began as a reconnaissance in force by some of Lee’s troops to secure shoes for his chronically under equipped army. The Confederate forces ran into a Union Army cavalry detachment led by BG John Buford who recognized that Gettysburg offered valuable strategic ground and a chance for Lee to break his teeth on Meade’s army in an entrenched position. Neither Lee nor Meade wanted to fight there but both armies were sucked into the maelstrom by the actions of their subordinates.

    Steyn recognizes that GLAAD thought that Robertson would be a push over in the cultural battle but his refusal to kow tow to the homosexual lobby in defending his traditional Biblical based religious beliefs has pulled the homosexualists and defenders of traditional marriage into a moral contest that will have far reaching consequences if the latter but hold their ground. It is more than a little ironic that a Southron man adopted Meade’s strategy. . The NRO editor has gone all T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII on this ( . We shall see how it plays out.

  23. Priam1184 says:

    A&E ran a marathon of the Duck Dynasty over Christmas. They are hardly worried. Phil Robertson now has people buying his stuff like crazy from Cracker Barrel. I’m not asking anybody to stand down on any issue, but I have seen so many made up controversies over the last few years from the Chick Fil A thing to this and a million other fly by night controversies; everybody starts wasting a lot of oxygen ranting and raving about stupid things like this while our society continues on its path going straight to hell. Tired of it.

  24. oldCatholigirl says:

    I always enjoy Mark Steyn’s forceful command of language when I happen to run into it, whether written or on the radio, and this piece is no exception.
    I also found the American Thinker article linked to by Uxixu informative (even if I would prefer not to know).
    What I do NOT like on either website are the sleazy ads. Since when does standing for traditional family values, including, of course normal heterosexuality, necessitate crudity and vulgarity? I’ve noticed this on NRO before. It’s getting so I hate to go there.

  25. OrthodoxChick says:

    Yep. A&E ran a DD marathon on Christmas day and now tonight, the night after Christmas, they are airing DD for 3 hours from 7pm-9pm. Those A&E folks sure have been horribly offended by Phil!

  26. More and more, year after year, Christmas after Christmas, the irrational left continues to escalate their attack on Christ. Interesting how during Advent, we continue to Satanic vandalism occurring, Atheist propaganda proudly displayed on billboards, in NY Times full page spreads, nativity scenes vandalized or outright stolen, and a growing intolerance of Christ in the public forum. Yet . . . YET, at the same rate that we see Christ removed from public view, we are witnessing the acceleration of gay propaganda in our faces, regardless of who it might offend. The secularist zeitgeist is pushing Christ back attempting to hide Him from the world while simultaneously unveiling the most vile sins and parading them around as if they are virtues worthy of our aggrandizement and acceptance.

  27. mike cliffson says:

    I get the impression some commenters believe we are still living in an age of rational discourse, just a little bent.
    Whatever .
    Much of what he says I could take issue with , yet Robert Oscar Lopez is a worthy witness and has also been under attack, his latest today gives details of the sort of thing Mark Steyn has lived through.
    He is suffering for affirming, which he has done for some years, being nonwhite, from within the “gay ” camp as it were, inter alia ,that children do NOT do well brought up but single sex nonheterosexual couples
    It should be read:
    Robertson is not so much a standardbearer as a visible tip of an iceberg.
    In the province I live in in Spain , a (as quietely as he could, but catholic )judge was pilloried and hounded from his job for questioning, under current law and the child’s best interests therein enshrined, the adoptive fitness of a lesbian couple. A year or so back, but its all “pour encourager les autres.”
    Yesterdays gospel had Our Lord’s words for us, my guess this is along the lines of what he was talking about:
    “Matthew 10:17-22 ©
    Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Beware of men: they will hand you over to sanhedrins and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the pagans. But when they hand you over, do not worry about how to speak or what to say; what you are to say will be given to you when the time comes; because it is not you who will be speaking; the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you.
    ‘Brother will betray brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all men on account of my name; but the man who stands firm to the end will be saved.’”

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