In the fall of 2013, it began innocently enough. A young writer for GQ magazine was quizzing me on my views about various topics. A quick glance around my living room should have been enough to tell him what I was about. Miss Kay’s Bible verses hung on slabs of wood and my well-worn Bible was held together with duct tape. It was obvious. We read and believe in God's Word. If God speaks it, we always go with what He says.
So, when the reporter asked my opinion about homosexuality, I didn’t actually give my opinion. I simply gave him the Bible. From memory, I quoted:
“Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9–10).
That’s all there was to it. But he didn’t know it was Scripture. In the reporter’s mind, I immediately became a New Age neanderthal. When his story broke, within a single hour I was in the national spotlight in a way I had never anticipated. It was all over the news and the internet.
The opinion of a minister on Fox News was something like, “What do you expect from some redneck living in the swamps of Louisiana? He’s certainly no theologian!”
He didn’t know I had quoted a Bible verse, either. It would be at least two weeks before the media figured out where my words were from.
I had also included verse 11 in my response to the reporter:
“And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
I spent several hours showing the young man around my land, all the while preaching the Gospel to him. I went to great lengths to share the message of Jesus and how all sin can be eradicated by simply putting our faith in Christ.
He wanted to “cancel” me, but I only wanted to introduce him to the one who could give him eternal life.
I was fired for quoting that verse from the Bible. The price I paid for telling the truth about God’s will for humanity was a cool 10 million dollars. But I would do it all again. Jesus paid with His life for telling the truth. The only thing it cost me was a few bucks.
I don’t believe the term “cancel culture” was used then. At the time, we just figured the “thought police” were ramping up. What’s going on today is a much more powerful force.
Power brokers in academia, the media, politics, and the corporate world have amassed an incredible amount of power to squash anyone who doesn’t toe the line.
We may not win the public relations war by convincing the masses to love (or even like) us, but we can win the personal war — the real war — by not falling for strategies intended to intimidate us to submit to the god of political correctness.
In spite of the tremendous pressure exerted on me to take back my words, I didn’t. I could not take it back even if I wanted to, because those weren’t my words at all. How could I apologize for quoting the Creator?
As a result of my experience being the object of a desire to “cancel” me, I speak with authority on the goals and strategies of the cancel culture.
But my first authority comes from being well familiar with God’s Word. I know him and what he says not because I’m smarter than the average person or because I have a special conduit to the Almighty, but because his truth is accessible to everyone, even to the members of the cancel culture crowd.
Our real problem in America isn’t political or religious, at least not in the sense that religion has come to mean allegiance to an institutional denomination. Those are just symptoms of a much more serious disease.
Our real problem is spiritual, rooted in our nation’s drift away from the knowledge of God. Too many of us have abandoned the love of God. As Paul said in Romans, too many have embraced the idea that the knowledge of God just isn’t worth it (1:18–32).
As a result, I have zero hope we can correct what is wrong by electing the right person to lead us. Yet, I am still hopeful that God will lead our nation to bow down before him again.
People have been looking to the right and to the left for someone to restore order to the chaos. They don’t consider there could be a third alternative, and it isn’t in the middle. My belief, supported by Scripture, is that the only man worthy of adoration and praise is Jesus Christ.
We need to stop looking left and right. The right and left extremes make the same mistake: they place their hope in human institutions and humanistic reasoning. Both are flawed for the same reason: no God.
We need to look up instead. America’s greatest problem is not political but spiritual. If our problem is spiritual, then the solution must be spiritual too.
I’m an American patriot, but my true patriotism is with the only kingdom that can never be destroyed: the kingdom of the Son of God (Dan. 2:44).
I love America. But I’m standing, first and foremost, with God’s kingdom and no one, from either the Right or the Left, will ever shake me on this. I pledge allegiance to the unshakable kingdom — always.
Adapted from Uncanceled: Finding Meaning and Peace in a Culture of Accusations, Shame, and Condemnation. Copyright © 2022 by Phil Robertson. Published by Thomas Nelson. Coming Feb. 8, 2022 wherever books are sold.
Phil Robertson is a professional hunter who invented his own duck call and founded the successful Duck Commander Company. He also starred in the popular television series on A&E, Duck Dynasty, and is now the host of the new subscription television series In the Woods with Phil on CRTV.com. He is a New York Times bestselling author of The Theft of America’s Soul, Happy, Happy, Happy and UnPHILtered. He and his wife, Kay, live in West Monroe, Louisiana. He has five children, 18 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. His newest book, Uncanceled: Finding Meaning and Peace in a Culture of Accusations, Shame, and Condemnation, releases Feb. 8, 2022 and will be available wherever books are sold.