Rick and Bubba on LGBT Pride Month

Alabama talk hosts “Rick and Bubba” are catching some flak for their ridiculing President Obama’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month proclamation.

Pam Spaulding calls it an “incredible homophobic rant about sin, adultery, fornication and everything but the kitchen sink” that “embod[ies] all of the embarrassing redneck stereotypes about southern white men.”  Andy Towle calls it disgusting.  Jason Kuznicki snarks, “I expected so much better of two Alabamans named Rick and Bubba.”

As a former Alabamian (I moved there halfway through my freshman year in high school, have my diploma and three college degrees from Alabama schools, taught college there four years, and whose mother still lives there and whose father is buried there) who both supports gay rights and doesn’t think the ability to “biblically justify” something has any bearing on public policy, I’m something of an outlier.   Okay, a lot of an outlier.

But I’m not particularly upset about this segment.

Rick Burgess and Bill “Bubba” Bussey are both just slightly older than  me and have been doing their radio shtick for a long time.  Bussey was born in Jacksonville, where my mother still lives, and Burgess was born up the road in Oxford where his did was coaching the high school football team and later moved to Jacksonville to take over the football team of Jacksonville State University, the mutual alma mater of the duo and myself.  Indeed, Coach Burgess lives a few houses down from my mother, although I don’t think I’ve ever met him.

I’ve heard their show before and they seem like decent enough guys, if a little silly for 45-year-old men.   But that’s the nature of their gig, which is comedic morning talk radio.   They’re unabashed Southern Christians and espousing the views toward homosexuality and the homosexual lifestyle that pretty much everyone in their target audience share.    Burgess, who’s inexplicably wearing a Babe Ruth Yankee’s jersey and doing most of the talking here, doesn’t think he’s being even slightly controversial.

He says, “There is, absolutely, no way, impossible, to biblically justify this lifestyle” in response to the declaration’s use of “the Year of our Lord.”   Now, obviously, that’s just a formalized holdover with no religious connotation whatever in modern context.   But I can see how Burgess would think the juxtaposition startling.

When he notes that there’s no “fornicator pride” day or “adulterer” appreciation day, he’s not making a public policy argument about the comparative impact of these behaviors and consensual same-sex relations.  He’s arguing that, in a biblical sense, they’re all sins that people are supposed to work to overcome and which shouldn’t be praised.

Do I agree with any of that?  No.  Am I angry that middle-aged Alabama Christians think that way?  No.

This monologue would have been absolutely uncontroversial as recently as the Clinton Administration.  Indeed, I’d have been nodding my head even as a non-believer in those days.  We forget how rapidly the landscape is changing on this issue.


FILED UNDER: Gender Issues, Media
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Rob Miles says:

    Stupid, redneck bigotry is okay because it’s part of their stupid, redneck, Christian heritage. Hey, they’re 45 and just reflecting the ways they grew up with, so cut them some slack, right?

    It may be understandable that these guys have these ridiculous views, but if people don’t let them know how stupidly wrong-headed they are, they’ll just go on thinking they didn’t say anything controversial, won’t they?

  2. 11B40 says:

    Greetings:

    Why. oh why, can’t they just recognize that sexual disorientations are now sexual orientations. The psychological industry has voted on the issue and our rulers have climbed, if somewhat slowly, on board. What more do they need to suspend their reason? A message from God, perhaps?

  3. Herb says:

    “We forget how rapidly the landscape is changing on this issue.”

    But it’s very easy to remember who’s not keeping up with the times….

    FWIW: I’m not a believer either, but I suspect Jesus, if he came back, would be hanging out with the gays, inviting these Southern Baptists to throw the first stone.

  4. An Interested Party says:

    It’s interesting how certain kinds of bigotry are just fine while others aren’t, especially if the former can be biblically justified…I mean, if these two gentlemen decided to have a similar rant about, say, Black History Month, would that be no big deal? Also, the argument being made is quite faulty, as homosexuality is not the same thing as adultery or alcoholism…

  5. James Joyner says:

    if these two gentlemen decided to have a similar rant about, say, Black History Month, would that be no big deal?

    I’m not sure how you could have a *similar* rant about BHM.

    Also, the argument being made is quite faulty, as homosexuality is not the same thing as adultery or alcoholism…

    Homosexuality and alcoholism are pretty much the same things if you view the former as a sin: Strong biological yearnings that have to be mightily resisted. Adultery is different, in that it’s an act rather than a predilection.

  6. Brett says:

    It’s easy to say that this is no big deal when they’re not making these comments about you. I doubt if you had to put up with people constantly disparaging something as integral to your person as sexuality, that you would be willing to concede this is no big deal. These are the sorts of ignorant comments that drive some people to have extreme problems (and even contemplate suicide).

    Also, I think that it is unwise for sponsors to associate themselves with the show when the hosts are willing to make such comments. While Rick and Bubba might be ok being associated with homophobia, I don’t think most companies should do the same.

  7. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    Given that our rights are granted us by our Creator, can someone explain just what constitutes “gay rights” as there seems to be some idea that they are being denied.

  8. […] out that Rick and Bubba are alumni of my alma mater, Jacksonville (Ala.) State University, as is James Joyner of Outside the Beltway. And JSU is home of the World’s Most Politically Incorrect Marching Band.(Via Memeorandum.) […]

  9. Michael Reynolds says:

    I cut a lot of slack to humorists. Or attempted humorists. For example, I didn’t think Imus should be fired.

    Analyzing motive is imprecise. But there’s no avoiding it. The evil is not in the words, it’s in the intention, it’s in what you mean to convey. The word ‘faggot’ has a perfectly legitimate use (bundle of firewood) and it has a use as an insult. It can have a very different meaning used by a gay man than by a gay-hater.

    I don’t listen to these two guys, so I don’t know whether this was self-mockery or intended to be taken seriously. If the former then, meh. If the latter then yes, we should be bothered by it.

    It is not okay to be neutral on bigotry. The majority of Germans, Serbs, Hutus were all indifferent to the bigots in their midst.

  10. Michael Reynolds says:

    Patrick:

    I understand they are closely related to “gun owner rights.”

  11. Alex Knapp says:
  12. G.A.Phillips says:

    ****FWIW: I’m not a believer either, but I suspect Jesus, if he came back, would be hanging out with the gays, inviting these Southern Baptists to throw the first stone.****

    I think your forgetting what He told the one he saved with logic and the truth do go and do after He saved her.

    Oh and I used to be a non believer but could still see this as a perversion as a younger pagan.

    I’m all for people loving each other, “gay” people getting married no, civil unions of some sort yes, adoption no.

    Adultery is the same even if your just thinking about doing another guy I would imagine.

    ****I understand they are closely related to “gun owner rights.”****

    Um the right to keep free I could see it, the right to get off and to force others to except the nasty and unnatural way you do it not so much.

    The key word here being unnatural.

    You can deny this all you want but it is the truth of the matter.

  13. Michael Reynolds says:

    GA:

    So the Lord gave you the right to buy guns to keep gays from marrying.

    And we wonder why people with an IQ above that of spinach are abandoning religion.

  14. Herb says:

    “I’m all for people loving each other, “gay” people getting married no, civil unions of some sort yes, adoption no.”

    Everyone’s got an opinion….. Gay people think you should only listen to Cher and wear pink. You know how their opinion is irrelevant to how YOU live your life? Yeah….works both ways.

    As for Jesus, he didn’t hang with the Pharisees. He hung with the outcasts. He also didn’t say a single word about homosexuality, but he said a lot about “judge not” and “love your enemy” and all that stuff.

    Now, as a non-Christian, I’m not bound by any of that…but you’d think self-proclaimed Christians would be.

  15. G.A.Phillips says:

    ***So the Lord gave you the right to buy guns to keep gays from marrying.*** Oh so Harry is talking to me again.

    ***A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.***

    hmm I don’t think Jesus wrote this but it has to do with our God given right to freedom,you won’t understand.

    “Gay” people can do what ever the hell they want but don’t make me honor it or say it’s right.They want the term Marriage for reasons you sure the heck should know.

    ***And we wonder why people with an IQ above that of spinach are abandoning religion.*** more then you want to know are being saved. All over the world:)

    but why wonder,it’s because they are being taught the lie of evolution everywhere they go.

    ****Everyone’s got an opinion….. **** ya and then there is the truth.

    ****As for Jesus, he didn’t hang with the Pharisees. He hung with the outcasts. He also didn’t say a single word about homosexuality, but he said a lot about “judge not” and “love your enemy” and all that stuff***

    Trying to save them lol, he did not say not to judge,and “gay people are not my enemy, I love them too just not they way you think I should.

    I’m not indoctrinated and I will tell them the truth.

    I’m sick of my friends dying from believing fools before they are saved. I know it’s their choice but they get a lot of help making bad decisions.

    I don’t want any of you to be destoyed forver,come on man look at the evidence.

  16. Michael Reynolds says:

    GA:

    Thanks for the reminder. I’m very bad at remembering names, and I forgot you were you.

  17. GA said:

    “but why wonder,it’s because they are being taught the lie of evolution everywhere they go.”

    and

    “come on man look at the evidence”

    Sweet Jesus, how can these phrases exist in the same post. Do you know what evidence is? Also, you throw the word logic around a lot too and don’t seem to know what it means.

  18. Michelle says:

    GA

    You said –
    “Um the right to keep free I could see it, the right to get off and to force others to except the nasty and unnatural way you do it not so much.

    The key word here being unnatural.”

    Animals engage in a HUGE variety of sexual behaviors – from homosexuality to multiple partners to self-impregnation. If you are going to make the argument that something is unnatural I would suggest you check first to make sure it truly is. Unless you believe animals are not natural.
    If you are going to make the argument that it is unnatural for HUMANS – then you are egotistical bigot. Because you are attempting to force and/or shame people into behaviors that YOU find acceptable and not allowing them the same freedom you claim to cherish.