When the news first broke of Phil Robertson’s suspension from Duck Dynasty, I wasn’t going to jump on the proverbial soap box, but a little something kept nagging me so here goes.
- Freedom of Speech
- Freedom of Religion
Let’s address the first, freedom of speech. Is there really any freedom in speech when one is fired for stating his opinion in an interview in which his opinion was asked? I could see if the man referenced his employer as if he were a spokesman for the company, but he did not. While this is the most recent injustice regarding someone’s right to speak freely, it certainly isn’t the first nor will it be the last. Mr. Robertson clearly has views and morals that differ from a large number of people, my recommendation would be that those people should not watch his show or read his articles. He is going to offend you. I would bet that there are some articles & shows out there that he finds offensive, ones that attack his family and their position on some very sensitive subjects. Why is that considered acceptable any more that what he said or did? If we start allowing people to be fired for their own personal beliefs, such as where they stand on gay marriage, what’s to stop companies from firing employees for other beliefs such as: unwed mothers, choice of religion, momma’s who breastfeed their 4 year old, what type of head covering you wear, or your political stance. It sounds ridiculous, because it is but that’s the road we are on if this type of behavior continues.
Now, freedom of religion, because let’s be honest, folks, that’s what this is really about. The man is a Christian and is under fire for standing up for what that religion believes. Being a Christian is a choice, just as being Buddhist, Jewish or Atheist is a choice. When you publicly declare your religious beliefs, you are making known what you personally have faith in, what standards you live by and what things you believe are wrong. Because we live in a country that supports our rights to worship whom we choose, we are going to butt heads time to time. We don’t have to believe what another believes, that’s the beauty of this freedom. Odds are we won’t likely understand why someone chooses a different faith than us, and we don’t have to but we should show one another respect. On that note, may I point out that respect is a two way street. How can you expect someone to respect your decisions if you continually bash theirs when they don’t line up with yours?
Before anyone asks, yes I have read the article. While he does reference homosexual behavior, it is not the only thing the man talks about as the media would have you believing.
Here are a couple of statements that have conveniently escaped the news reels:
“We’re Bible-thumpers who just happened to end up on television,” he tells me. “You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”
As far as Phil is concerned, he was literally born again. Old Phil—the guy with the booze and the pills—died a long time ago, and New Phil sees no need to apologize for him: “We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?”
Gee, I wonder why the sensationalistic journalists aren’t wildly circulating these quotes like they are the others?
I will say that he is blunt. His speaks directly about all things, not just his faith. He is a rough around the edges, country boy so why would anyone be shocked when he talks like one?
Again, I certainly believe this is about more than just this one interview. Once you open the doors to punish someone based on their personal opinions, can you even imagine the consequences that would bear? Let us all remember the country that we live in. Our constitution affords us all certain rights and those rights are in serious jeopardy, folks.
1st Amendment: Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion and Petition
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances
For those of you who would like to read the GQ article in it’s entirety, you can do so at http://www.gq.com/entertainment/television/201401/duck-dynasty-phil-robertson#ixzz2o16g92Vz
However, if foul language offends you,(from the author not Robertson), I would give this one a pass.
**After receiving much feedback, I posted a follow-up @ https://peacefulpromises.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/freedom-of-speech-part-2/***