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Why 'Duck Dynasty' was the Biggest Story of the Week
National Journal ^ | December 21, 2013 | Alex Seitz-Wald

Posted on 12/21/2013 11:36:53 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

If you're confused how a duck hunting entrepreneur's disparaging comments about gay people became the biggest news story of the week, you're not alone.

There were plenty of other things to talk about, from Iran and Syria, to Obamacare and the NSA, yet "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson's suspension from A&E commanded by far the most interest, as anyone who monitors traffic for news websites could tell you. The story has stayed atop the news ranking site Memeorandum's leaderboard for the past three days and absolutely dominated Google searches compared to other stories:

(INTERACTIVE-GRAPH-AT-LINK)

Why? You could blame a slow news week, our infatuation with celebrity culture, the media's love of inanity, etc. But I'll hazard another guess: The story provided profound psychological satisfaction for both sides in the culture war by confirming deep, ugly suspicions of the other side.

Take two of the most cited columns from the right and left, which generally encapsulated the response from either side.

Matt Lewis wrote at the conservative Daily Caller that the controversy exposed that "there really are two Americas" -- a conservative, rural, Christian America that feels under attack from a cosmopolitan, blue America.

Responding to Lewis from the left, Business Insider's Josh Barro agreed, but added that "one [America] is better than the other." There's the one where it's OK to dehumanize gays as subhuman and claim that blacks were happier under Jim Crow than they are today, as Robertson suggested, and then there's the better one where it's not OK to say those things, Barro argues.

Each column elicited a chorus of "amens" from their respective side, and therein lies the appeal of the Robertson saga.

For urban liberals, it's hard to find a more cartoonishly distilled stereotype of the American South and modern conservative masculinity than Phil Robertson, with his ZZ Top beard, camouflage everything, and molasses Louisiana drawl. So Robertson's comments, then, were seemingly confirmation of the urban liberal's worst suspicions about Southern White conservatives: They really are all as bigoted as I thought!

Of course that's not entirely true, but it's much easier to think of the other side as a cartoon than as a complex, nuanced human, so this kind of apparent confirmation provides deep satisfaction that the way you think you understand the world is actually true and has been all along.

For conservatives, it's the inverse. A&E's (read: the liberal media) decision to fire Robertson and the left's glee at his removal is confirmation that your world and everything you hold dear really is under attack. Urban liberals really do hate my Christian, traditional, rural values. This country really is slipping away.

As Lewis wrote, the right sees it as "an attack on 'unsophisticated' country folks as much as it is an attack on orthodox Christianity." America is becoming a country conservatives no longer recognize, and when a guy like Robertson gets fired for espousing a deeply held religious belief -- a view shared, by the way, by almost half of Americans -- that is terrifying. Mark Steyn wrote Friday in the National Review that the firing harkins a coming "age of intolerance" against Christians.

Of course, both sides' reductionist views are incomplete. But the satisfaction of feeling like you were just given license to continue holding that incomplete view -- and to remain inside your comfortable bubble -- is what drove so many clicks and Tweets and comments on the Robertson story.

It's license to continue misunderstanding the other side.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: duckdynasty; homosexualagenda; homosexuals; television
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The comments are interesting.
1 posted on 12/21/2013 11:36:54 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

They’re taking a bubble and gold and claiming they can get it to balance in the middle.


2 posted on 12/21/2013 11:38:30 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (The Lion of Judah will roar again if you give him a big hug and a cheer and mean it. See my page.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

I never thought I would say this, much less believe it, but Christians are under attack,

They just haven’t let loose the lions...yet.


3 posted on 12/21/2013 11:43:14 PM PST by berdie
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To: HiTech RedNeck; MinuteGal

I don’t think our side is misinterpreting the liberal viewpoint at all. I think we have a deep understanding of where the other side is coming from and we don’t like it. I see it more of a battle of good versus evil lifestyles, based on traits exhibited by the left. Licentiousness, constant lying about things big and small, a fascist, socialist ideology to justify their lifestyle, a petty, bureacratic mindset based on rules and regulations on those issues they favor and choose to enforce, lots of narcissistic personalities more interested in their own petty interests over that of the country, a lack of true patriotism for this country along with a blame America first mentality. Where are we going wrong here? We aren’t.


4 posted on 12/21/2013 11:47:51 PM PST by flaglady47 (When the gov't fears the people, liberty; When the people fear the gov't, tyranny.)
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To: flaglady47

We are losing touch with God and that’s why we aren’t winning. (We’re sinning, but not winning.)

That is a ball squarely in our court. God won’t shove His blessings down throats that refuse to swallow them.


5 posted on 12/21/2013 11:52:15 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (The Lion of Judah will roar again if you give him a big hug and a cheer and mean it. See my page.)
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To: berdie

We need to call on a lion. The Lion of Judah. No mere “kitty kitty kitty” either. More like “Hey! All Conquering Hero! We love ya! Come over here!”


6 posted on 12/21/2013 11:53:47 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (The Lion of Judah will roar again if you give him a big hug and a cheer and mean it. See my page.)
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To: berdie

But then get ready to get some attitude adjustments from said Lion....


7 posted on 12/21/2013 11:54:49 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (The Lion of Judah will roar again if you give him a big hug and a cheer and mean it. See my page.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Agreed:)

I was just sitting here wondering....maybe the media and political attacks equate to the lion’s den of yore.


8 posted on 12/21/2013 11:59:54 PM PST by berdie
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Alex Seitz-Wald

I have my doubts about any man who hyphenates his last name...


9 posted on 12/22/2013 12:02:33 AM PST by chrisser (Senseless legislation does nothing to solve senseless violence.)
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To: flaglady47
Money quote: "There's the one where it's OK to dehumanize gays as subhuman and claim that blacks were happier under Jim Crow than they are today, as Robertson suggested"

No, there's NOTHING that Robertson said that is even close to that.

I wish I could state my hatred of the media, but there's probably not a word for it.

10 posted on 12/22/2013 12:05:00 AM PST by boop (Liberal religion. No rules, just right!)
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To: boop

I know what you mean.

There is no doubt in my mind that the media has always controlled things. But perhaps it is so much more evident today it makes you sick. But, of course, it wouldn’t be as evident as it is without the alternate media.


11 posted on 12/22/2013 12:10:14 AM PST by berdie
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To: berdie

Yes and it’s only going to get worse.
The left started this by playing games with the language and demanding mere “tolerance”.
Because even if one doesn’t like something, he should tolerate it right?
Then they changed the meaning of “tolerance” to demand affirmation and the elimination of criticism.
The complicit MSM pushed it full steam ahead with queer characters on every sitcom and normalized it.
Now anyone (that can be made an example of) who dares question the agenda gets ridiculed, isolated, and marginalized so others will be afraid to speak their minds.
The left gets more bold and the right gets more timid. At least that has been the pattern, with some exceptions such as efforts to cement natural marriage in state constitutions.
At the end of the day this is not about politics, power, or even money. It is about the pervasive spiritual darkness that has driven this once great nation to celebrate what God has condemned, and condemn what God has commanded.
Every knee WILL bow, and every tongue WILL confess that Jesus is Lord. That is the reality, and that is how the story will end.
So take heart my brothers and sisters.


12 posted on 12/22/2013 12:12:05 AM PST by Clump ( the tree of liberty is withering like a stricken fig tree)
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To: berdie
Daniel might have had an easier time in it had he had a lion gun. Just kidding, kind of. I think God may have told him (remember he is a dream reader) what was coming up for those scheming officials, and he didn't ask God to kill the lions. Even Darius prayed to Daniel's God to spare Daniel from the lions. Talk about an impromptu prayer team.

Meow!

13 posted on 12/22/2013 12:14:30 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck (The Lion of Judah will roar again if you give him a big hug and a cheer and mean it. See my page.)
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To: Clump

We have a part in this drama too. We haven’t been embracing God (as a society) as vigorously as we could. We’ve been letting Satan spew his B.S. in our faces without beseeching God for an answer, and now it has come to this juncture.

Well God’s waiting for when we will stop boycotting Him. Yes, we. Don’t blame the unbelievers. Point the finger of responsibility at us, the nominal believers. I’ve been vigorously doing something about in my personal life and it has boosted me to greater victories. Now if we can multiply this times a few million “rednecks” we could get somewhere in this land again!


14 posted on 12/22/2013 12:18:32 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck (The Lion of Judah will roar again if you give him a big hug and a cheer and mean it. See my page.)
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To: flaglady47

Very well said, Flaglady. We haven’t misunderstood the left at all. The reason we’re so on edge, is because we understand them all too well.


15 posted on 12/22/2013 12:21:01 AM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

There is no longer a consensus of values in America. Lincoln famously said in 1858 that a house divided cannot stand. He was right then and his words are true today. The future of America is very clouded.


16 posted on 12/22/2013 12:28:31 AM PST by allendale
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I do not regard leftists to be human beings. They are not “complex and nuanced”, they are a simple virus! A deadly virus which exists for no other purpose than to destroy its host and increase its power.


17 posted on 12/22/2013 12:46:52 AM PST by Wanderer99
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Responding to Lewis from the left, Business Insider's Josh Barro agreed, but added that "one [America] is better than the other." There's the one where it's OK to dehumanize gays as subhuman and claim that blacks were happier under Jim Crow than they are today, as Robertson suggested, and then there's the better one where it's not OK to say those things, Barro argues.

No. When you start out with lies you don't have a handle on anything.

18 posted on 12/22/2013 12:49:24 AM PST by TigersEye (Stupid is a Progressive disease.)
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To: flaglady47

You nailed it. Well done!


19 posted on 12/22/2013 12:50:05 AM PST by Hostage (ARTICLE V)
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To: flaglady47

You’re exactly right and through Phil Robertson we’ve been told that we can’t even say anything about it. We’re not to even speak of right and wrong. References to long established value systems are not allowable.


20 posted on 12/22/2013 12:57:00 AM PST by TigersEye (Stupid is a Progressive disease.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Look around these stories are blown up to cover for serious issues schemes and scams behind the curain


21 posted on 12/22/2013 2:38:34 AM PST by ronnie raygun
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To: berdie
the firing harkins a coming "age of intolerance" against Christians

I don't think it's 'coming' but rather it's been around the whole obama administration and a number of years before that.

22 posted on 12/22/2013 3:08:42 AM PST by Right Wing Assault
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To: TigersEye
No. When you start out with lies you don't have a handle on anything.

Actually, when you start out with lies and treat it like it's a legitimate statement, you have a stacked deck.

23 posted on 12/22/2013 3:27:18 AM PST by papertyger ("refusing to draw an inescapable conclusion does not qualify as a 'difference of opinion.'")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

At the very least, this most recent eruption of homosexual “tolerance” helps distract the nation from the numerous, increasingly severe failures of President You Didn’t Build That and his communist regime.


24 posted on 12/22/2013 3:27:53 AM PST by Standing Wolf (No tyrant should ever be allowed to die of natural causes.)
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To: flaglady47
Yours should be The Post of the Week.

Leni

25 posted on 12/22/2013 3:38:47 AM PST by MinuteGal (Repeal it !.....NOT Revamp it !!!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

All in all I think the Conservative side is better armed but if you look at how the military has been infected by the Leftist PC virus you can’t count on them to be neutral. It all depends who is in charge when it finally hits the fan.


26 posted on 12/22/2013 3:47:20 AM PST by Oshkalaboomboom
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To: ronnie raygun

“Look around these stories are blown up to cover for serious issues schemes and scams behind the curtain”

You’re absolutely right; this government doesn’t want people talking about our unreported inflation, high unemployment/stagnant wages, mass illegal immigration to replace a dwindling American population, the coming costs of ObamaCare, or the fact that none of these issues will improve in the foreseeable future.

If people understand how bad things were we’d have a revolution (today).


27 posted on 12/22/2013 4:12:08 AM PST by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The homosexual gestapo has succeeded in intimidating people into keeping their opinions to themselves. Very few dared proclaim that homosexuality is, in fact, still a sin, regardless of parades, changes in the laws, and the silence of the masses.

Suddenly, a man who speaks the truth rocks this world. It’s not a preacher who speaks only to his own gathering, but a very public person. How dare he remind everyone that what homosexuals do is still sin. They thought they had shut that down, but now their consciences have been seared.

Personally, I think God has used Phil Robertson to open this up. I hope that many who are held captive by this horrible lifestyle will be moved to seek God and be healed. I suspect that many, if not most, of these people are not even aware of the healing power of God to free them.

If just one person is delivered from this because a seed has been planted, then it will be worth it. I’m sure that would make Phil, and all of the Robertsons, happy, happy, happy.


28 posted on 12/22/2013 4:16:37 AM PST by JudyinCanada
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To: flaglady47

To Flaglady post #4. Thank you for those thoughts. That is the kind if a response and comment I appreciate most at FR. Thoughtful causing further thought. If most comments were similar (the opposite if anger and name-calling)...FR would be beyond any sort of reproach. That is the type comment I seek mining FR daily.


29 posted on 12/22/2013 4:35:16 AM PST by ThePatriotsFlag (...and to the Republic for which it stood.)
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To: flaglady47

Worth repeating.

” I don’t think our side is misinterpreting the liberal viewpoint at all. I think we have a deep understanding of where the other side is coming from and we don’t like it. I see it more of a battle of good versus evil lifestyles, based on traits exhibited by the left. Licentiousness, constant lying about things big and small, a fascist, socialist ideology to justify their lifestyle, a petty, bureacratic mindset based on rules and regulations on those issues they favor and choose to enforce, lots of narcissistic personalities more interested in their own petty interests over that of the country, a lack of true patriotism for this country along with a blame America first mentality. Where are we going wrong here? We aren’t. “


30 posted on 12/22/2013 4:40:56 AM PST by rbmillerjr (Ted Cruz...2016-24 ...A New Conservative Era)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Of course, both sides' reductionist views are incomplete.

Are they really? The view articulated by the writer about Blue America is spot on!

HHC's husband.

31 posted on 12/22/2013 4:50:30 AM PST by hellinahandcart
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To: flaglady47

You said more of worth in five lines than the author of this article could dream of.

Your post 4 encapsulates why we need to get into this fight.

Innocent lives are at stake. we value the individual; the secular humanists value the State, both as a hammer for compliance and as a fount for their value system.

Isaiah chapters 1-10 depict where America is right now and where we are heading unless our course is corrected by a return to God and His Word as a nation.


32 posted on 12/22/2013 4:52:01 AM PST by exit82 ("The Taliban is on the inside of the building" E. Nordstrom 10-10-12)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I have never watched this show and I just can’t believe how this story has dominated EVERYTHING for over a week.

Of course I support Robertson rather than A & E in the dispute, but ohmigoodness can’t we find something else to talk about?

(But see.....here I am....talking about it!)

Merry Christmas to you and yours 2ndDiv - you always keep the threads hopping here!


33 posted on 12/22/2013 4:52:25 AM PST by jocon307
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To: Wanderer99

And Lincoln got that quote from Jesus in the New Testament.


34 posted on 12/22/2013 4:54:59 AM PST by sport
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“It’s license to continue misunderstanding the other side.”

I understand the “other side” just fine.


35 posted on 12/22/2013 4:58:46 AM PST by ilovesarah2012
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To: chrisser

Or woman, for that matter.


36 posted on 12/22/2013 5:00:34 AM PST by ilovesarah2012
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To: allendale; HiTech RedNeck
Lincoln famously said in 1858 that a house divided cannot stand.

Indeed he did but he was paraphrasing the same Daniel, referred to by "HiTech RedNeck" in reply number 13.

I'm afraid that our "kingdom" has been weighed in the balance and found wanting.

37 posted on 12/22/2013 5:00:34 AM PST by Graybeard58 (_.. ._. .. _. _._ __ ___ ._. . ___ ..._ ._ ._.. _ .. _. .)
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To: sport

“And Lincoln got that quote from Jesus in the New Testament.”

He was paraphrasing from the Book of Daniel in the O.T. Jesus cited O.T. Scripture frequently.


38 posted on 12/22/2013 5:05:00 AM PST by Graybeard58 (_.. ._. .. _. _._ __ ___ ._. . ___ ..._ ._ ._.. _ .. _. .)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Homosexuals hate The Lord because He is the antithesis of their god, Satan, and He disregards all they value, which is their sexual deviance and worldly lives. Most of the people around me claim they are atheists and have not been brought up in Christ, have never gone to church, have nothing to believe in but what is in this world. Can you imagine how pathetic your existence must be if you value nothing higher than yourself, your sexual perversion, and the people around you and worship at the altar of homosexuality? No wonder so many atheists and homosexuals kill themselves!


39 posted on 12/22/2013 5:11:47 AM PST by Neoliberalnot (Marxism works well only with the uneducated and the unarmed.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Obamacare is unraveling, and Obama’s response to that failure is completely lawless.

Obama’s foreign policy is unraveling, especially in the Middle East, and Obama’s response to that failure is completely useless.

Obama’s economic policy is unraveling, and Obama’s response to that failure is empty rhetoric.

No, I don’t have to ask why the compliant media are creating an issue out of one actor’s comments, which match the views of half the country.


40 posted on 12/22/2013 5:16:20 AM PST by Pollster1 ("Shall not be infringed" is unambiguous.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
I think I understand the other side just fine. They are the ones who would rather put their man parts into an anus instead of a vagina. Either that or they approve of that viewpoint.

Otherwise, they would have no objection to what Phil Robertson said.

41 posted on 12/22/2013 5:17:14 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: jocon307

Don’t miss the big picture here. It is more than some “redneck guy who doesn’t like gays”. Phil Robertson touched a nerve in what I believe is the majority of Americans who love this country, love God, love their family and their way of life. A small minority seeks to control us and eliminate our way of life from America. Everything from forcing school children to believe homosexuality is perfectly normal to removing God from every conceivable sphere of society to forcing businesses to accept and promote homosexuality and even employees losing their jobs because of their religious beliefs. Maybe this situation will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and moral citizens will be willing to finally push back against evil.


42 posted on 12/22/2013 5:18:07 AM PST by ilovesarah2012
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
It's license to continue misunderstanding the other side.

I understand A &E sacrificing hundreds of millions of dollars to publically lynch Robertson. Lockheed Martin cutting off the Boy Scouts completely because they did not bend over quickly enough; Anthony Kennedy ruling the legislative and executive branches unconstituional in regards to DoMA.

This is total war, both sides are an existential threat to each other but this guy is above it all. Good for him and his psychological superiority. I'm sure he'll be made to care in a grusome way.

43 posted on 12/22/2013 5:22:51 AM PST by Theophilus (Not merely prolife, but prolific)
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To: Graybeard58

Thanks. I remembered Jesus saying that in the NT.


44 posted on 12/22/2013 5:30:13 AM PST by sport
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To: ilovesarah2012

I had never watched the show. Walked by the merchandise and wondered about why they were so popular but never checked it out until now.

Yes, they admit the show is scripted. They plan out skits. But even if it is 100% scripted and you view it as a sitcom..there are plenty of laugh out loud moments.

I will say if it is 100% scripted the writers are better than a lot of comedy shows and the “actors” do a better job, too.

Btw, I have never seen an animal skinned but they love to show Phil ripping the skin off squirrels, ducks, and catfish.


45 posted on 12/22/2013 5:50:55 AM PST by RummyChick
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Seems like more and more people are getting fed up with the secular attack on Christmas. This year I have noticed way more people, clerks in stores especially wishing me a Merry Christmas, or when I say it they say it back with a big smile.


46 posted on 12/22/2013 5:51:29 AM PST by MomwithHope (Let's make Mark Levin's The Liberty Amendments a reality!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It’s a big story only because the USA has a big case of collective self-loathing White Guilt.

Nothing is worse than a bias “crime.” Murder is OK. Theft is really OK. But saying “watermelon” or “niggardly” is unforgiveable. Nothing can even come close.


47 posted on 12/22/2013 5:52:57 AM PST by I want the USA back (Media: completely irresponsible traitors. Complicit in the destruction of our country.)
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To: ilovesarah2012

“Maybe this situation will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and moral citizens will be willing to finally push back against evil.”

If good comes of it it will be worth it. Maybe if I’d ever seen the show I’d appreciate the situation more.


48 posted on 12/22/2013 6:00:43 AM PST by jocon307
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

49 posted on 12/22/2013 6:06:19 AM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
...blacks were happier under Jim Crow than they are today, as Robertson suggested...

No he didn't.

50 posted on 12/22/2013 6:09:15 AM PST by Washi
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