Friday, December 20, 2013

Where is Phil Robertson's freedom of speech?

It has been a while since I have posted anything to my blog.  In all honesty, between prepping for the upcoming holiday and writing a new book, I've had little time to blog.  But, something has come up in the news that I feel I have to comment on.  Let me start by saying that I can't stand reality television, but I LOVE Duck Dynasty.  I think it is, in my opinion, one of the best shows on television.  It is good clean fun about a family that simply wants to be a family.  There is no need to fill it with sex, cursing, or grotesque violence.  It's just good fun.

As you may have heard in the news, Phil Robertson made some comments in an interview with GQ magazine that were based on his faith and beliefs.  These comments have drawn a great deal of criticism from several activist groups.  I'm not going to discuss whether or not I agree with Phil Robertson's comments.  That's not important.  What is important is the way that the media and these activist groups have taken a one-sided view of the Constitution of this great country.  As a citizen of this country, Phil Robertson has the right to believe what he believes, and say what he wants.  Period.  Just as the media has the right to report what it wants, and the activist groups have the right to comment all they want, Phil Robertson has the right to speak of his beliefs.  The Constitution states that all citizens have the right to free speech, not the right to free speech as long as it agrees with certain opinions.

It seems like our right to free speech is slowly being eroded away because of political correctness.  People in the spotlight can no longer say what the believe or feel for fear that some group will be offended or the media will attack them for their comments.  Who can forget the recent Paula Dean incident from earlier this year?  She was recently attacked for saying a racial slur several years ago, one that, I might add, is in common use with those the slur was supposedly against.  As much as I don't like racial slurs or hurtful comments, we are guaranteed the right to say them in this country.  By the way, I'm not advocating that everyone should rush out and start using hurtful language and racial slurs.  I'm just trying to prove a point.

We have gone from being a society where we are guaranteed certain to freedoms, to a society where we are afraid to exercise those freedoms for fear that someone might be offended, or worse, attack us in the media.  Those who have watched Duck Dynasty were probably not shocked by Phil Robertson's comments.  After all, what else would you expect a God-fearing, Bible-thumping, red neck from Louisiana to say?

If you ask me, and I certain don't want to sound like a conspiracy theorist, I think GQ was out to stir up trouble.  Let's face it, why else would they want to interview Phil Robertson?  For his fashion sense?  Phil Robertson is not exactly your typical GQ poster boy.  And, why else would they emphasis his controversial comments in the article other than to stir up trouble?

In case you haven't heard the latest, A&E suspended Phil Robertson from filming the new season of Duck Dynasty.  The Robertson family has released a statement saying that they don't feel that the program can continue without Phil.  As much as I love Duck Dynasty, if this is the reason that the show goes off the air, then I'm all in favor.  I think it is awesome the way the family has relied around Phil Robertson, and is willing to throw away millions of dollars for their beliefs.  Duck Dynasty is the number one cable show on cable television.  A&E needs the Robertson clan way more than the Robertson clan needs A&E.  It would have been nice to see a television network show a little backbone and stand-up for its stars' right to free speech, but I guess that's not going to happen with A&E.

So, what do we do with all of this?  I think it is time to stand up to these activist groups, and throw the same Constitution that they wave back in their faces.  Let them know in no uncertain terms that we won't tolerate their idea of censorship.  We as Americans have the right to say what we want, just as every other American has the same right.  We have the right to believe what we believe, and no one can take that away from us… even if it doesn't agree with what someone else believes.

And to the Robertson family, I am behind you 100%.  Keep standing strong and tall.

Please feel free to post your thoughts and comments below.

1 comment:

  1. I don't believe that anyone is telling him that he doesn't have the constitutional right to say what he did. The question is wether A&E has the right to suspend him from a show that they own to protect their product from advertisers jumping ship. This is more a right to work issue in my humble perspective. We have all heard about those that are sanctioned/fired from their jobs due to a clause in their job contract that limits what you do in your private life if it impacts the viewpoint or image of ones current employer. Whether this is right or wrong isnt the issue because as most states are now considered at-will work states all employers have this right to protect their product/brand.

    I firmly believe that anyone has the right to give an interview or yell from the street corner their beliefs. I also firmly believe that anyone also have the right to respond to anyones comments in kind.

    Again I believe this is alot to do about nothing much like the war on christmas fiasco I hear about every year.