Each morning, I get coffee at a Dunkin Donuts in New York's Financial District, and just about every time I do, pacing up and down the sidewalk is a young woman wearing a hoodie and sunglasses, smoking a cigarette, and talking gibberish to no one in particular. The more I see this crazy person, the less attention I pay to her because, quite simply, I'm increasingly used to her presence by now. At this point, she's a fixture of the landscape -- like a halal cart.
I mention this because paying less -- meaning, no -- attention is exactly what we need to be doing when it comes to a far more famous crazy person named Phil Robertson. The Duck Dynasty "Duck Commander" recently said something crazy again, using downright psychotic imagery to disparage atheists. Courtesy of Right Wing Watch, here's A&E's chief theologian serving up a gruesome word salad to some prayer hoedown in Vero Beach, Florida. Apparently, his point was that god is a necessary precondition for morality:
“I’ll make a bet with ya. Two guys break into an atheist’s home. He has a little atheist wife and two little atheist daughters. Two guys break into his home and tie him up in a chair and gag him. And then they take his two daughters in front of him and rape both of 'em and then shoot them and they take his wife and then decapitate her head off in front of him. And then they can look at him and say, ‘Isn’t it great that I don’t have to worry about being judged? Isn’t it great that there’s nothing wrong with this? There’s no right or wrong, now is it [sic] dude?’
"And then you take a sharp knife and take his manhood and hold it in front of him and say, ‘Wouldn’t it be something if this [sic] was something wrong with this? But you’re the one who says there's no God, there’s no right, there’s no wrong, so we’re just having fun. We’re sick in the head, have a nice day.’
“If it happened to them, they probably would say, ‘something about this just ain’t right.”
Whereas most raconteurs would be content to say, "[A]nd they take his wife and then decapitate her," Robertson is far more descriptive. Thus, the line becomes, "[A]nd they take his wife and then decapitate her head off."
They decapitate her head. And off.
Naturally, more than a few people, including a conservative, were a little upset at Robertson's vivid description (which may or may not have betrayed some dark deep-seeded personal desire). Twitter of course lit up as well, and once again we were all shocked that this disheveled crazy person had said something, well, crazy.
Indeed, who could have foreseen that a man who said that blacks were happy in pre-Civil Rights-era Louisiana, and that homosexuality is like bestiality, and that "beatniks" and "hippies" are to blame for STDs, and that a lack of Jesus will doom the Chinese and the Mooslims, among many other hits, was capable of saying such a crazy thing?
Having received the Andrew Breitbart First Amendment Award this year at CPAC where he was a keynote speaker, Robertson is somewhat prominent among social conservatives. But that doesn't mean liberals have to take the bait. I mean, Look at him. Go ahead. Look. It's not shocking that a 68-year-old Christian fundamentalist from Louisiana nicknamed "Duck Commander" would be a batshit insane walking anachronism that can barely string together a sentence without some grammatical flub. As such, Phil Robertson does not belong on liberals' radar.
He belongs outside that Dunkin Donuts, arguing with his intellectual superior.