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unPHILtered: The Way I See It Hardcover – September 2, 2014
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About the Author
Phil Robertson was born and raised in a small town near Shreveport, Louisiana. After college he spent several years teaching but soon decided to devote his talents elsewhere: he began to experiment with making a call that would produce the exact sound of a duck, and thus Duck Commander was born. Duck Commander is still a family business, now featured on the A&E® TV series Duck Dynasty®.
Mark Schlabach is the coauthor of the New York Times bestselling books, Happy, Happy, Happy, Si-cology 1, and The Duck Commander Family. He is one of the most respected and popular college football columnists in the country. He and his wife live in Madison, Georgia, with their three children.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Fix No. 1: Replace Political Correctness with Biblical Correctness
It will probably come as no surprise that there are a few people out there who wouldn’t exactly describe me as “politically correct.” My Webster’s Dictionary, which was first developed by one of our founding fathers in the early nineteenth century—Noah Webster—defines being politically correct as “agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people.”
Hey, if what comes out of my mouth sometimes offends the people who don’t believe what is written in the Bible, I’m guilty as charged. But understand this: I’m not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings, and I don’t dislike people simply because their opinions are different from mine. I don’t hate anyone. In truth, I love everybody on this green earth. I don’t believe in stereotypes, and I do believe in respecting everyone, regardless of whether they agree with my beliefs or not. All people, whether they’re white, black, yellow, red, or green, are of great worth in God’s eyes, and His desire for us all is that we share in His kingdom. Jesus actually commanded us to love. John 13:34–35 says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
I simply believe that what is written in the Scripture is the ultimate truth and that it’s the blueprint for my life. I’m certainly not the first person to believe it. In the very first edition of The American Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1828, Webster wrote the following in the preface: “The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from, vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.”
It doesn’t get much clearer than that, folks. Webster, who has been called the “father of American scholarship and education” and whose blue-backed speller books educated five generations of our country’s children, spelled it out for us nearly two hundred years ago. Webster believed evil occurred because men and women neglected the Bible and didn’t follow God’s Word. We’re still using Webster’s dictionary today, so I guess he knew what he was doing. I imagine Mr. Webster is rolling in his grave now that words like sexting, twerking, and selfie are officially part of the English language. Hey, only in America, Jack!
Somewhere along the way, political correctness trumped biblical correctness in America, and in my opinion it’s the cause of many of our country’s problems today. Political correctness tries to dictate what is right and wrong, instead of our country having a moral system of righteous laws. Our society is overly sensitive, and we seem to be fixated on building up people’s self-esteem and confidence. Hey, everybody needs constructive criticism once in a while. The way things are going, it’s okay to have an opinion in America, as long as you don’t offend anyone and don’t quote the Bible. Many people today are eager to share the “positive” bits and pieces of the Bible in order to be politically correct but ignore the parts of the Scripture that might offend others.
In 2 Timothy 4:2–4, Paul the Apostle warned us of the consequences of being ashamed to preach the gospel, saying, “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
I hate to tell you this, folks, but the times that Paul warned us about are here. Everywhere you look across our once-great land, politicians, special-interest groups, and people under the control of the Evil One are erasing any visible signs of Christianity. They’re muzzling the people who speak the truth. If you speak out about sins like adultery, drunkenness, or sexual impurity, you’re labeled as ignorant, insensitive, bigoted, or even hateful. The “PC police” constantly preach tolerance and acceptance, but they’re intolerant of beliefs that aren’t in line with their own. Certain Americans condemn businesses like Chick-fil-A for speaking out against same-sex marriages, but then we’re told to celebrate companies like Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Starbucks because they embrace them. Is it not a two-way street? Isn’t there supposed to be freedom of speech on both sides of the issue?
The amazing thing to me is that biblical correctness has never changed. It’s written on the pages of the Bible and the words have remained the same through the ages. The sins are listed and are there for everyone to see. Each of us has the ability to read them, study them, and then decide whether we’re going to sin or follow God’s commands.
Conversely, political correctness is constantly changing and evolving. What might have been “PC” yesterday isn’t “PC” today, even if it’s only the smallest of things. Now, I’m all for being kind and thoughtful in the way we refer to people, but good grief! We get a bit ridiculous at times. Manholes have been renamed utility holes so as not to offend women, and blackboards are now called chalkboards so as not to offend African Americans. People who can’t hear are no longer deaf; they’re hearing impaired. People who can’t see are no longer blind; they’re visually impaired. People aren’t even short anymore; they’re vertically challenged. So do we call a bald man follically impaired? Political correctness is constantly morphing into a dark maze of nonsense. It keeps getting more and more nonsensical.
Yet, there has been a constant erosion of biblical correctness in our country. Look at the evidence in recent years:
• A large cross that was prominently displayed outside a chapel at an isolated military base in northern Afghanistan was removed in 2011 because it didn’t adhere to U.S. Army regulations. The army chaplain manual now prohibits permanent displays of religious symbols. I didn’t serve in the military, but it would seem to me that the cross might be a source of comfort and relief to the troops who are risking their lives in battles in foreign lands. But, hey, that’s just me.
• In La Jolla, California, the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups are demanding that a twenty-nine-foot-tall cross that stands on government-owned land on Mount Soledad be dismantled. Crosses have been erected on the land since 1913, and the present cross is the centerpiece of a Korean War Memorial. The ACLU contends the cross violates the separation of church and state because it demonstrates preference to a specific religion. In December 2013, a federal judge ordered the cross to be removed, but the case is being appealed.
• At Camp Pendleton in California, U.S. Marines are fighting to keep two thirteen-foot crosses erected on a remote hill on the base. The memorial was first erected in 2003 by seven marines who were grieving for fallen soldiers lost in the war on terror. After the original cross was destroyed by a wildfire, a group of marines and widows carried two new ones up the hill. At the base of the crosses are several rocks, which were carried and left by the friends, widows, and children of fallen soldiers. A group called the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers is demanding that the crosses be removed. So far the marines haven’t buckled, although a moratorium on the placement of religious symbols on bases has been put in place.
• In 2012, the U.S. Forest Service denied an atheist group’s request to have a Jesus statue removed from government-owned land on a Montana mountain. The statue was installed in 1955 by the local chapter of the Knights of Columbus as a memorial to local veterans of World War II. Fortunately, the Forest Service extended the special-use permit for another ten years because the local community revered the statue and wanted it to stay.
The atheists and the other special-interest groups who are opposed to having crosses, statues of Jesus, and other religious symbols on public grounds say it’s a matter of separation of church and state. But if you go back and read what our founding fathers said and wrote while they were building the greatest republic in the world, you would never conclude that they wanted to separate God from the fabric of political life in America. In fact, it’s the last thing you would probably conclude. But now the thought police are trying to rewrite U.S. history. The men who signed the Declaration of Independence, like Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, Benjamin Rush, and John Adams, were godly men. They were men who governed according to the principles of God and their conscience. But now we have men in power who have renounced the Bible, which is the only accurate map of the human heart that has ever been published.
There’s evidence throughout American history that our government and its officials have often acknowledged God as the cornerstone of our laws and liberties. Don’t believe me? Pull a few coins out of your pocket and read the inscriptions. “In God We Trust” was first inscribed on U.S. coins in 1864 by an act of Congress, and in 1956 Congress made those sacred words our country’s national motto. When George Washington became the first U.S. president in 1789 he added the words “so help me God” to his inauguration oath and many presidents since have spoken them. Since the early 1820s, the U.S. Supreme Court has opened its sessions with the prayer of “God save the United States and this Honorable Court,” and Congress has started its sessions with prayer since 1789.
It wasn’t only our founding fathers who were godly men. Many American presidents relied on their faith to guide them while serving in the most powerful position in the world. When children recite the Pledge of Allegiance before starting a school day—at least those who are still allowed to recite it—don’t they say, “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”? Do you know why? On June 14, 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower signed a bill into law that added “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance. Eisenhower stated: “From this day forward, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural school house, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty. . . . In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource, in peace or in war.” President Eisenhower said our spiritual weapons would be America’s most powerful resources, whether at peace or in war, and he was absolutely right. We need those resources more than ever in today’s world.
During a speech before the Attorney General’s Conference on Law Enforcement Problems on February 15, 1950, President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s law was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings which we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul. I don’t think we emphasize that enough these days.” What would President Truman think about our country today?
Religion, the Bible, and the church are woven within the fabric of American heritage. There are religious symbols throughout Washington, DC. At the Supreme Court building, there’s a marble frieze on the south wall of the courtroom that features Moses holding the Ten Commandments, along with images of Confucius, Muhammad, kings and various Greek philosophers. There is a statue of Moses in the rotunda of the Library of Congress, and the Ten Commandments are symbolized in the floor of the National Archives building. Even the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, which is a symbol of American independence, was cast with part of the Scripture from Leviticus 25:10: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” Of course, many of those government buildings were constructed when faith and religion were still the foundation of our country. Are we going to one day remove these religious symbols from our history, too?
Nowadays, they’re trying to remove the Ten Commandments from courtrooms across the country. In 2001, Roy Moore, then chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, installed a 5,280-pound granite monument of the Ten Commandments in the rotunda of the state’s judicial building. Of course, it didn’t take long for three attorneys to sue him, alleging that the monument was an unconstitutional state endorsement of religion. A U.S. district judge ordered Moore to remove the monument after he lost his appeal, and when Moore refused, he was removed from the bench by a state ethics panel.
In 2005, a sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court ordered that framed copies of the Ten Commandments on the walls of two rural Kentucky courthouses be taken down because they were violations of the separation of church and state. At the time, Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the dissenting voices, said the decision was inconsistent with our founding fathers’ own views. In fact, Scalia recalled the dark day of September 11, 2001, when terrorists attacked New York and Washington, DC. When President George W. Bush spoke to the American people shortly after the attacks, he concluded his remarks with “God bless America.” Scalia, who was in Rome that day, said a European judge confided that he wished more European leaders still included religious references in their speeches.
For the life of me, I can’t figure out why anyone would want to remove the Ten Commandments from a courtroom. Let me get this right: you’re an atheist and you’re saying it’s a violation of your rights to have to look upon the Ten Commandments when you walk into a courthouse. But much of the foundation of civil and criminal laws around the world was founded on the principles of the Ten Commandments. Okay, let’s start with number five in the laws God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai. It says, “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Well, let me ask you something: Where does law enforcement take your children when they find them drunk and tearing up other people’s property? They take them to stand before a judge. If they honored their mothers and fathers, they wouldn’t be disobedient and violate the laws of the land. Where do they take children when they really step out of line and are rebellious? They’re going to take them to a juvenile court to determine their punishment. It would seem to me that if the judge is going to try to teach a child a lesson for breaking the fifth commandment, the Ten Commandments might need to be hanging there for the child to see them.
If a man kills his neighbor, he has violated the sixth commandment, which says, “You shall not murder.” If a judge is going to sentence him to life in prison, don’t you think the Ten Commandments should be there so he can see what law he broke? If a man commits adultery and gets caught in the act by his wife, he has broken the seventh commandment, which says, “You shall not commit adultery.” His spouse is probably going to take him to divorce court and take half of his money and possessions. And if a man gets caught robbing a bank, he has violated the eighth commandment, which says, “You shall not steal.” The judge is probably going to sentence him to prison for knocking off the bank. Wouldn’t that be a good time to read him the Ten Commandments?
What happened to our country, folks? Nowadays, our children no longer pray before the school day begins and greeters at certain department stores are no longer allowed to welcome customers with “Merry Christmas” during the holidays. In some schools, our children aren’t even allowed to sing Christmas carols because the lyrics include “Christ.” Don’t even think about putting a nativity scene near a courthouse or public building! They might throw you in jail. When did Jesus Christ, the most perfect human to ever walk on the face of the earth, become a bad guy?
Political correctness trumps everything else in America nowadays, and I’m convinced it’s another example of the Evil One’s ploys to deceive us. Today’s truth is based on what is socially acceptable, and biblical correctness has somehow become hate speech. Satan is a master deceiver, and he works to provide nonbelievers with a platform of acceptance. As it says in 2 Peter 2:2: “Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.”
When you move Jesus out of the equation, all that’s left is political wrangling. There’s no Gospel, and there’s no Good News. So everyone tries to fix America’s problems with politics alone—the spiritual realm has been pushed aside. America desperately needs a political correction that only God can give. Politicians can’t fix the things that matter most, beginning with sin, physical death, righteousness, and holiness—we’ll talk about these in the last section of the book. Attributes such as morality and integrity can’t be legislated. Politics can’t bring people peace, love, joy, honesty, and gentleness. Only following Jesus can do that.
Even though we’re being scorned and mocked by the “PC police,” we have to stand up for what we believe, regardless of the consequences. It’s not about being politically correct; it’s about being biblically correct. And with the direction America is headed, I’d much rather put my faith in the Bible than in politics. I’d rather our politicians be men and women who believe that the Bible is the Word of God. You want political correctness? Elect spiritual politicians who are biblically correct, and you will have it!
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