Latest Supporters of Messianic Jews: Duck Dynasty

The Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, which last year featured former President George W. Bush at its annual banquet to help raise funds for its mission to persuade Jews that Jesus is the messiah, this year will host Phil and Alan Robertson, the patriarch and eldest son of the Christian reality television show Duck Dynasty.

Bush’s keynote appearance at last year’s event caused quite a bit of controversy after I broke the story at Mother Jones. Even Bush’s Jewish supporters questioned his support for an organization that teaches evangelistic efforts to provoke “jealousy” in Jews, leading to a lifting of their “blindness” to Jesus as the Messiah, the “restoration” of Israel, and the Second Coming of Christ.

The event itself was closed to the press. In 2012, the keynote speaker was Glenn Beck, whose pastor in Dallas, Robert Morris of Gateway Church, supports MJBI.

MJBI announced the Duck Dynasty appearances in an email today, and its website promotes the evening, called “Inexpressible Joy,” as light-hearted entertainment:

Spend a fun filled evening with the Duck Commander himself, Phil Robertson, and other stars from the mega hit show, A&E’s Duck Dynasty. They’ll share heartwarming and hysterical stories about filming the show, what goes on behind the scenes, their lives, their faith, their family, and ducks. The event will be unscripted and unrehearsed, so who knows what tales of trials, tribulations and triumphs will be told! They’ll be joined by special musical guests who’ll provide their own special brand of toe tapping fun. Celebrate the simple. Laugh with us. Smile with us. Tap your toes with us. And as Phil says, get “HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY.”

Ticket prices range from $100 for an individual seat to $10,000 for a “Commander” table.

Last year, Robertson’s homophobic remarks to GQ magazine, along with his assertion that blacks were “happy” before the civil rights era,  caused a temporary suspension of Duck Dynasty by the A&E network, and an outcry of so-called persecution from the family’s conservative supporters. In an Easter Sunday sermon this year, Robertson defended his anti-gay comments and assailed his critics, claiming the media did not understand the Bible. “Neither the sexually immoral, nor the idolators, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves, nor greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God,” he told his congregation.

Sarah Posner, author of God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, covers politics and religion. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The American ProspectThe NationSalon, and other publications. Follow her on TwitterRSS feed Email

  • Pinchos Woolstone

    These evangelicals who want to convert Jews are a pain in the butt.
    No you should be hoodwinked by their support of Israel.

  • fiona64

    I am so sick of the fundamentalists and their constant “you must convert” rhetoric to *everyone.* Messianic Judaism is a fraud; it’s nothing but a thin veneer on the same old huckstering that one found in tent revivals.

    And that’s to say nothing of how any member of the Duck Dynasty clan is the *last* person I would want in *my* corner. Ugh.

  • apotropoxy

    Had Jesus been the messiah, Rome would have been swept away shortly after the poor man’s death. Jesus, Paul and the Gospel writers all predicted that Rome was about to face its doom at the sword of the Jewish god and they were all wrong.

  • Liya

    yes, eloquently said, as usual, Fiona.

    What a bunch of swindlers and grifters…His son is an apple that fell close to the tree, of course, but inviting that homophobic SOB Phil Robertson…..MJBI has no shame!

    His church beliefs – alongside the KKK that claims to be a Christian organization- was that Jews and blacks shouldn’t even have the same rights, they fought tooth and nail to protect pure white church from dirty minorities.There are years of litigation documents proving that.

  • Rmj

    “Neither the sexually immoral, nor the idolators, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves, nor greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God,” he told his congregation.

    Actually, as I read the gospels, they are precisely the ones welcomed into the kingdom of God.

  • Kenk

    Evangelists looking for Jewish money.

  • No God Cowboy

    Fundies claim to “Love the Jewish people” maintaining all the time that they will “convert” at the idiotically termed “End Times” and become jesus freaks, knowing at the same time Jews who don’t join the jesus camp will be killed; some love, some stupid BS for anyone who will fall for it and send money. The holy spook is always broke for some reason????