Duane Chapman — known better as “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” the reality TV star whose criminal-hunting enterprise has become entertainment fodder — is optimistic about the future of cancel culture.
During a recent interview on “The Prodigal Stories Podcast,” Chapman said he believes cancel culture “is losing its grip” on society because people are disenchanted with it, choosing instead to looking past each other’s differences.
“The Bible says we’re all created equal, but we’re not all alike,” he explained. “You can take a guy, say from the Deep South that’s an alligator hunter, and tell that to a stock-broker guy in New York. And he’ll think that that stupid hillbilly is the dumbest man he ever met, and that alligator hunter will say, ‘Well, that sissy stock-market punk,’ right? When you put them together, and you find a subject that they both agree upon — I’ve done this — the New York guy said, ‘My God, what a friend.’ The Alabama guy said, ‘Man, them New Yorkers are OK. You know, they get it.'”
“That’s what keeps my faith going, going, going,” added the famous bounty hunter.
Listen to the full conversation with “Dog the Bounty Hunter” 👇
At the core of Chapman’s conviction about cancel culture is his faith in God.
The 69-year-old TV personality said his great, great grandmother was a pastor and his mother was a Christian. But it was many years before he truly understood and accepted Christianity for himself.
His life took a dark and difficult turn in the 1970s, when he spent 18 months locked behind bars due to his involvement in an outlaw motorcycle group. In 1976, Chapman, then a teenager, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to five years at the Texas State Penitentiary. The now-celebrity was waiting in the getaway car when his friend killed a 69-year-old man — an alleged drug dealer — during a fight over a marijuana deal.
Chapman’s criminal past is why he uses a Taser; he is not legally allowed to own or carry a firearm.
Ultimately, it was his stint in prison that shook Chapman out of his criminal stupor.
“After going to prison in the 70s in Texas for 18 months,” he said, “I realized right then that, at the end of this rainbow of crime and all that is not a bucket of gold; it’s a cell.”
That realization for Chapman reminded him of Puerto Rican evangelist Nicky Cruz, a Christian convert who once was the leader of the deadly 1950s street gang the Mau Maus in New York City.
Chapman explained that, as a young teenager, he was familiar with a biography written about Cruz called “The Cross and the Switchblade.” His mother would routinely sit the book in front of him and tell him to read it, although he said he “didn’t really read it” at that time.
Fast forward to the moment Chapman was imprisoned. In his cell, he found one book: The Cross and the Switchblade.
“I’m not stupid or dumb and I see things that are more than circumstance — they’re the power of God,” Chapman said. “And I realized right then, ‘Oh, no.'”
Listen to the latest episode of the Faithwire podcast 👇
Over time, Chapman said he began to reform his behavior and started to ask himself: “What would Jesus do right now in this situation?”
“I started pretending to be good, and then all of the sudden, I started being good,” he explained. “Recently, I’ve found, no matter how good you are and act and be and do, you’re not gonna do that. No matter how good you are, you ain’t gonna make me good, because we’re born sinners.”
The shift in his behavior is the result of one thing, Chapman added, and that’s “supernatural help” from God.
When he was released from prison, his devoutly Christian mother began playing audio recordings of the Bible for Chapman as he slept — a routine he said left an indelible mark on his spiritual life.
Now, Chapman says he has “a message,” which he shares with Christians around the country. His life is undoubtedly unique and some aspects of his journey are certainly less than ideal.
Despite his rough-around-the-edges persona, Chapman’s story is a poignant reminder of the value of redemption — particularly in an era of graceless cancel culture — and a testament to the good God can do in the lives of those who love Him.
As the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:28, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to His purpose” (CSB).
You can listen to our full conversation with “Dog the Bounty Hunter” here.
***As the number of voices facing big-tech censorship continues to grow, please sign up for Faithwire’s daily newsletter and download the CBN News app, developed by our parent company, to stay up-to-date with the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***