• I might not agree wholeheartedly with what Phil Robertson said, but I unconditionally support his right to say it. The First Amendment only matters when it stings.
• There is no Constitutional Amendment guaranteeing that you as an American citizen has a right not to be offended. Every time Michael Bloomberg opens his mouth, I want to puke. But I would fight any group who sought to deny Bloomberg his Constitutional right to speak, and I am a heck of a lot closer to Phil Robertson than I am to Michael Bloomberg.
• Exercise of any Constitutional right, including that of free speech, can and does have Real World consequences. The Dixie Chicks are a footnote in country music history because of their big mouths...consider Jim Zumbo and more recently Dick Metcalf.
• However, as a life-long libertarian (small "L") I believe ultimately in the market. The market, the people, will speak, and they will speak with authority. The Dixie Chicks sank without a trace because people simply stopped buying their records; the cleansing of our own ranks happened because we, the People of the Gun, refused to have people who were working against our interests in positions of power/authority in that selfsame culture. If after Phil's comments ratings for Duck Dynasty collapses, the market will have spoken. If Duck Dynasty remains the top cable show in history, the market will have spoken.
• If Phil had announced that he was a practicing a Louisiana version of paganism, and that he and the other guys would be sacrificing a young duck for the Solstice, after which they would dance nude around the haulbolli while being sprinkled with said duck's blood, there would be an outcry, but it would ALL be positive (well, maybe PETA might have an issue with the duck, but screw them). Phil would be congratulated for standing up for his religious beliefs in the face of the brainless masses who don't understand the joys of cultural relativity. If Phil had announced that he and the boys had become converted to a very strictly orthodox sect of Islam, which would require the women of Duck Dynasty to wear burquas and that mandates homosexuals be dealt with in the way prescribed by mullahs in Afghanistan and Iran — death — do you have any doubt that in no time at all they'd be on stage with Obama getting Medals of Freedom?
• The MSM and the dominant leftist culture in the United States are stridently and occasionally violently anti-Christian. This is a clear example of that bias. What Phil says is that judgement is not his province...amen to that! Phil and his family is being punished for their religious beliefs — and THAT is about as unAmerican as you can get!
I stand with my friend Willie and his family.
UPDATE: From Charles Cooke at National Review Online:
People attempting to justify the private removal of those who say things they dislike rely on a host of weasel words and the habitual laziness of the population at large. They say that we have to think about “standards,” and “values,” and “feelings,” and “inclusion” and, too, about what is “acceptable.” What does this actually mean in practice? Robertson made his comments in GQ, which evidently considered them acceptable enough to print. I am a non-Christian who disagrees with Robertson on the question of gay marriage. What do the censors think is going to happen to me if I come across Robertson’s interview. Will I die? Will I break out in lesions? Will I go bankrupt? Will I immediately start lynching homosexuals? What might my complaint be: “Well, strike me down. I can’t believe it. I was just minding my own business reading this magazine, and then this guy I don’t know who makes duck calls said something I don’t like, and then . . . ” — well, and then what?
Here’s the thing: I’m in favor of gay marriage; Phil Robertson thinks homosexuality is a sin. So bloody what? I’m happy to listen to him. It is telling what we allow and what we don’t. Phil Robertson’s words quite literally affected nobody. They’re words. Meanwhile, Jennifer Lawrence argued that it should be illegal for Americans to call people “fat” on television: In other words, she actually advocated for her fellow citizens to be arrested for speaking. Robertson related what he believes; Lawrence, however mildly, called for the state to start punishing people for expressing themselves. The latter transgression is infinitely worse, but she will likely lose no work for having expressed it.
Damn you to hell, A&E. I can still say that, right?From Bryan Preston at PJ Tattler:
Nearly everyday it occurs to me that I am paying money to people who hate me and everything I stand for to pipe digital sewage into my home. Duck Dynasty is probably the only entertainment show on cable that doesn’t fit that description. It doesn’t depict Americans as foul-mouthed fools who bicker and fight among themselves all the time. It shows a family running a business together, which is built on their own inventions and hard work. It shows a part of America that the coastal elites like to believe doesn’t exist. It shows Christians having a good time. It shows men and women married to each other and raising their families. No one is sleeping around. No one is celebrated for their ability to fool or defraud someone else. It’s one of the few shows that doesn’t go out of its way to create embarrassing situations for parents, and which doesn’t overtly promote promiscuity, self-absorption and other destructive behavior. It’s not real — no reality show is fully real — but it’s about as real as reality TV gets.
It’s tempting to write off everything but Duck Dynasty. But we can’t just up and quit. If we do, we are surrendering ground in the culture wars that will end up costing us ground in politics and, ultimately, our country.
If you’re out of the game, you’re out of the game.
The other side will never quit. Ever.
Remember those words...the other side will never quit...ever. From Brandon Ambrosino, who is gay, writing in Time Magazine:
Why is our go-to political strategy for beating our opponents to silence them? Why do we dismiss, rather than engage them? One of the biggest pop culture icons of today just took center stage to “educate” us about sexuality. I see this as an opportunity to further the discussion, to challenge his limited understanding of human desire, to engage with him and his rather sizeable audience—most of whom, by the way, probably share his views—and to rise above the endless sea of tweet-hate to help move our LGBT conversations to where they need to go.
GK Chesterton said that bigotry is “an incapacity to conceive seriously the alternative to a proposition.” If he is right—and he usually is—then I wonder if the Duck Dynasty fiasco says more about our bigotry than Phil’s.
From Andrew Sullivan on The Dish (and there's very Mr. Sullivan has said I agreed with):
Robertson is a character in a reality show. He’s not a spokesman for A&E any more than some soul-sucking social x-ray from the Real Housewives series is a spokeswoman for Bravo. Is he being fired for being out of character? Nah. He’s being fired for staying in character – a character A&E have nurtured and promoted and benefited from. Turning around and demanding a Duck Dynasty star suddenly become the equivalent of a Rachel Maddow guest is preposterous and unfair.
What Phil Robertson has given A&E is a dose of redneck reality. Why on earth would they fire him for giving some more?