Phil Robertson, Duck Dynasty and Why His Suspension Isn’t an Attack on Free Speech

1491171_10152106480557489_1206416107_nOh man, the moment I saw this story I just knew people were going to flip out.  The extremely popular show Duck Dynasty had one of its popular cast members suspended for remarks he made during an interview with GQ magazine.  Many are calling Phil Robertson’s comments “homophobic,” but at the very least they were certainly anti-homosexual.

First let’s take a look at what Robertson said.

It started off with his thoughts about sex between two men:

“It seems like, to me, a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

It’s pretty much typical garbage from someone who’s been raised to think homosexuality is “gross.”  It’s clear his words come from how he was raised more than a learned behavior.  His ignorance about this issue is clear.  Some might call this homophobia, but I don’t.  I just call it ignorance.  There’s a difference between the general fear of homosexuality and simply being ignorant about it.

He then continued with the typical rhetoric you’ll get from somebody who’s anti-gay:

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”

I don’t even know where to go with that.  Somehow he took homosexuality, hit up bestiality, then went around to promiscuity.  As if homosexuals are the only ones who sleep around freely.  This is just more ignorance.  Again, I wouldn’t call it homophobia, just utter stupidity.

And of course he then has to quote the Bible:

“Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers — they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

Well, considering I’ve seen his show, his sons and what his products are made of — I hope he’s never read Leviticus.  Because I’m sure there are many rules listed in there that would condemn him and his family to hell.  I hope he’s never eaten shellfish or sold blended (or worn) clothes made from blended materials.  And I wonder if his family has any tattoos?  Those are also forbidden in the Bible.

Now, his suspension from A&E has “free speech” people up in arms — proving their ignorance.

Listen, when you work for someone, or some company, you’re held responsible for how you represent yourself.  Is Mr. Robertson being thrown in jail or prosecuted for his remarks?  Of course not.  They’re his own personal views — which he has every right to believe, no matter how ignorant they might be.

That being said, as a celebrity (and representative of A&E) he is held to a different standard of “free speech” than an ordinary citizen.  Would he have had the right to stand on a stage and say he hated black people?  Of course he would.  But that doesn’t mean as an employee of A&E he’s free to say something like that without repercussions.

As a private citizen we’re free to say basically anything we want.  But as employees of specific individuals or companies we are not, if we value our job security.

This is something these “protect free speech” buffoons flipping out over Robertson’s suspension just don’t seem to understand.

Phil Robertson faces no legal ramifications for his comments.  But as a representative of a company, he’s held to a different standard where his own personal views (once expressed publicly) do carry consequences.

And I feel sorry for the millions of people who are too ignorant to understand the difference.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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