Phil Robertson, best known as the patriarch of television’s “Duck Dynasty,” has made a second career for himself on the Christian speaking circuit. For those who like his style, Robertson is seen as someone who will speak his mind, regardless of whether the media or liberals or non-Christians like it. Last Friday, Robertson did just that by unwinding a graphic parable about the rape, torture and murder of an atheist family.
Here is the transcript from Right Wing Watch, which published audio of the speech on Tuesday:
I’ll make a bet with you. 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 them 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 dude?’
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 is 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.’
Robertson concluded: “If it happened to them, they probably would say ‘something about this just ain’t right.'”
Speaking at the Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast, which was later rebroadcast on TruNews, Robertson seemed to be addressing the question of whether atheists, because they don’t believe in God, are unable to distinguish between good and evil acts.
Because Christianity often teaches that humans receive morality from God, some Christians believe that atheists must also reject that morality by rejecting God. But the apologetics questioning the morality of atheists usually don’t use tales of torturing and murdering an atheist family to make a point.
The Friendly Atheist blog responded to Robertson’s remarks by questioning whether Robertson actually knows any atheists personally, noting, “I don’t know a single atheist or agnostic who thinks that terrorizing, raping, torturing, mutilating, and killing people is remotely OK, and I frankly think that Robertson doesn’t either.”
At the same prayer rally, Robertson also said that American liberals follow Satan and are worse than Stalin and the Nazis:
Have you ever heard this many lies coming out of Washington D.C. since you’ve been on the earth? Have you ever heard more? You say where in the world is it coming from? They champion perversion, they champion murder, aborting their children and they are champions of lies. I mean I’m listening to them and thinking, ‘dude, what?’
‘Yeah, this bunch here, they’re the kind that clings to their guns and their Bibles,’ I’m thinking, yeah, we may need them.
Previously, Roberston said that if it were up to him, the United States would fight against the Islamic State by “either convert[ing] them or kill[ing] them.” During his acceptance speech for a free speech award at the Conservative Political Action Conference this year, Robertson said that STDs were the “revenge of the hippies.”
A controversial GQ interview in 2013 made Robertson something of a conservative folk hero. He was suspended, then reinstated by A&E after the ensuing backlash. Although Robertson remains a popular personality, ratings for “Duck Dynasty” — which thrives on Southern Christian stereotypes — are on the decline.