Who would have ever thought that one individual facing repercussions for ridiculous comments would cause such a ruckus? But the suspension of Phil Robertson has left the news world with no shortage of opinions or asinine comments to cover, considering how just about everyone has voiced an opinion about the situation.
I still just can’t get over how many people lack the ability to understand what the First Amendment actually protects. It’s not even complicated. The First Amendment covers protection from persecution from the government — and only the government — as it relates to free speech. If a private business or corporation decides to terminate or suspend someone for their behavior or speech, that’s within their rights to do so.
Yes, it’s that simple.
To be honest, Bill O’Reilly didn’t really dispute this fact. So I’ll give him credit there. Unlike most knee-jerk “this is an attack on the First Amendment” conservatives, O’Reilly actually used a little common sense by saying:
“Mr. Robertson, I believe, made a mistake by the condemnation line. And here’s why. It’s not about the Bible, or believing or not believing in the Bible. It’s singling out a group, it could be anyone, and saying to that group, ‘Hey, you’re not worthy in the eyes of the lord… because of who you are.’”
Laura Ingraham disagreed, going off on some unrelated tangent:
“People say things all the time about you, and me, that are hateful, horrible, but I don’t really want them to it lose their job.”
She obviously doesn’t get the difference between speaking bad about a public figure, which is mostly allowed as long as it doesn’t cross a certain line, and broadly attacking millions of people with ignorant comments.
See, it’s okay to say, “Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin are inferior human beings who lack intelligence.” But you can’t say, “African-Americans/Jews/Women are inferior human beings who lack intelligence.”
It takes a little thought to understand it, but there is a difference.
But where O’Reilly lost it was when he made the ridiculous claim that Phil Robertson was suspended to “marginalize a Christian who has a big platform.”
It has nothing to do with the fact he said African-Americans were happier before civil rights, or that he compared homosexuality to bestiality and terrorism — it was to marginalize a Christian with a big audience.
If that was the case, why wait until now? It isn’t as if the majority of the audience that watches the show are liberals. His ignorant comments about homosexuality and African-Americans won’t really have a huge impact on the majority of the demographic that watches Duck Dynasty — so why use this as a reason to pull him off television? Why not just do it well before this, when his “platform” was growing?
It’s asinine to really believe that A&E would suspend the star of an extremely popular show to “marginalize a Christian who has a big platform.”
And let me reiterate again, opposing homosexuality and carrying a Bible around has nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ or being a real Christian. Any fool can handpick a few quotes from the Bible, attend church and call themselves a “Christian.” It’s how you treat others and behave as a human being which makes someone a real Christian.
So, Mr. O’Reilly, Phil Robertson’s suspension had nothing to do with any attempt to marginalize a Christian. It had everything to do with A&E not tolerating absolute ignorance.
It’s amusing to me how many people seem so intolerant toward a company that chose to take action against intolerance.