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Commentary: Phil Robertson allowed opinion, must answer to his own duck call

December 20, 2013

Martini.35@osu.edu
Members of the TV show "Duck Dynasty" ride a float during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York Nov., 28. Phil Robertson, a cast member of the A&E show, was suspended indefinitely after making controversial comments about homosexuality to GQ Magazine.  Credit: Courtesy of MCT

Members of ‘Duck Dynasty’ ride a float during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, Nov., 28. Phil Robertson, a cast member of the A&E show, was suspended indefinitely after making controversial comments about homosexuality in an interview with GQ Magazine.
Credit: Courtesy of MCT

Phil Robertson stands firm for a few select things: duck season, his family and his faith. The latter has garnered criticism after his remarks concerning homosexuality being an out-and-out sin.

The 67-year-old, who is the patriarch of the billionaire family made rich from selling duck calls, told GQ Magazine that homosexuality is a sin, the first step in a downward spiral of atrocity toward promiscuity and bestiality.

“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,” Robertson said. “Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

A&E, the network on which “Duck Dynasty” airs, suspended Robertson indefinitely from the show after his remarks went public.

Opinions have been firing from both sides, and strong ones at that (which is usually the case when the question of homosexuality and gays enters the arena). There’s one group screaming Robertson is a homophobe, while another shouts back about his freedom of speech. Following his suspension, fans are outraged, ready to drag cameramen back to Louisiana, while some critics are singing A&E’s praises.

It’s not my job to say on which side I agree or if I even have a side on the issue. It’s not my job to condemn or support the Duck Commander in what he does or doesn’t say.

What I will say, though, is this: He has a right to say it.

If Robertson wants to call homosexuality the outright work of Satan himself, he can do that. If he wants to say on national television that he has been gay his whole life and his wife and sons are cover-ups for the love he shares with Terry Bradshaw from their time at Louisiana Tech, so be it.

He has every right to go right ahead and say anything he wants, but A&E also has the right to suspend him from its show.

I love the First Amendment. It’s one of the first things on my list of things for which I’m thankful on Thanksgiving. It allows me to say whatever I want in print or in person without getting arrested for it.

Every other person in America has a right to voice his or her opinion, too.

You can’t rate one person’s opinion as more correct or less correct than someone else’s (Unless, of course, that opinion is that two and two is five or Brad Pitt is not the most beautiful man to walk the earth. In which case, you’re wrong and I hate you). It’s an opinion. Everyone is allowed to have one. That’s why we’re us and North Korea’s North Korea — you can say things here and not be hunted down by the government to be censured (No offense to North Korea. All offense to Jimmy Kimmel).

Every person in this country has a right to free speech. Just because you don’t like what someone has to say, doesn’t mean they have to stop saying it.


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Comments (3)

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  1. anon says:

    Fair article. But, it’s pandering to Robertson’s agenda by virtue of ignoring his message which is an offensive one. This is not an opinion column, it’s a disgrace where someone could step onto the soapbox and actually call out all of the evangelists. Free speech is NOT the issue! That’s what his supporters want you to write about!
    Robertson is ignorant and his opinion runs counter to the educated consensus of America … Faith is only a fact if you are practicing religious philosophy which is never applicable outside a religious context. So, he is entitled his idealism but it is based on nothing but absolutes. Siths deal in absolutes. Absolutes are dangerous in that they beckon complacency in that set of knowledge. His supporters are obfuscating his dangerous declaration of ignorance. Ignorance breeds hate culture due to the idealism and lack of compromise not understanding brings. Anyone who defends Robertson for what he said is a chump.

  2. Glen Broemer says:

    he is entitled to be an idiot.

    Senator Feinstein,

    The direct line to the committee has been blocked, probably the right wing of the NSA or DOD, and what is normally a voice recording is now a fax. I've been shot with energy weaponry in the head for several hours, concussive force. It is perhaps the 10th time in the past year or so that it has happened. There was no trial, no explanation that I could understand, and I certainly did not agree to be used as a government punching bag. I am a US citizen with rights guaranteed under the constitution. This is perhaps the 10th time those rights have been flagrantly ignored. The attacks are aggravated assault, and they are vicious. I believe the right wing is behind the attacks as well. I want them arrested, charged with aggravated battery, and imprisoned. I want whoever invited them to harm me charged as well.

    Glen Broemer

  3. Tom says:

    Anyone that denies Robertson has the right to state his beliefs based upon his religion is a chump. I think anyone that believes in a magical space daddy that has a master plan for everybody is a chump. However, you have the right to hold that belief and espouse it to whomever you wish. Of course, if you don’t agree with someone’s religious beliefs you can always label them extremists and start a trillion dollar war on terror against them.

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