“With God’s help, we are going to change Hollywood,” Phil Robertson, the Duck Commander of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty,” told a record crowd May 4 at the annual Sports Advisory Council benefit. The bearded patriarch of the Robertson clan was responding to comments folks have made about the effect fame and fortune will have on his family. “We are not going to change,” he said.
Part comedian, part old-time evangelist, Robertson spoke of declining values and morals in the United States. He described current society as “heartless, faithless, senseless and ruthless.” “We ought to be a religious and moral people. We ought to love God and love each other,” he said.
Robertson began by quoting several of the country’s founding fathers, noting the emphasis they put on Christianity. He contrasted that with the country’s moral decline. Decrying the removal of the Ten Commandments from courthouses, he pointed out that one who violates the commandments will likely find himself in the courthouse.
Alan Robertson, the son who has not yet appeared in “Duck Dynasty,” introduced his father. A preacher for more than 20 years, Alan Robertson called himself “Jacob in a family of Esaus,” a reference to his clean shaven state. After poking some gentle fun at the rest of the family, he quoted Psalm 128:1-4. “We’re a family that fears the Lord and has been blessed,” he said.
“Miss Kay,” wife of the Duck Commander and mother of the clan, also attended the event. Her son commended her for “holding the family together during the difficult times.”
“Duck Dynasty” has completed its third season on A&E. An estimated 9.6 million households watched the finale, setting a record for the cable network. Quite an accomplishment for “a bunch of bearded, redneck Christians,” as Alan Robertson called them. Production for season four will begin soon.
Leigh Ann Davis, along with her husband Jerry and children, Luke, Adam and Reagan, were among the many who appreciated the message. The Davis family came early from Kenton, Tenn., to enjoy the dinner and speech. “I’ve been to many great events at Freed-Hardeman over the years, but tonight was the best ever! Phil Robertson is so much more than a celebrity. He is an amazing messenger of the gospel. Powerful message tonight. My kids can’t stop talking about it,” she said.
“Before this event,” Mike McCutchen, FHU athletic director, said, “the most we had had in attendance at a SAC event was about 500.” Robertson brought in approximately 5,000 for the two sessions held Saturday.