Phil Robertson Debacle Shows Free Speech Only for Liberal Media

Phil Robertson
Apparently free speech only works if it is in agreement with the liberal media. Just ask Phil Robertson.

The patriarch of what has been called Louisiana’s “first family” got himself in a hotbed recently. Phil Robertson is one of the stars of “Duck Dynasty”, a wildly popular semi-reality show on the A&E network centered around his family and the business he built years ago.  This past Wednesday, he was suspended by the network because of statements he made in an interview with GQ magazine.

In a statement, A&E said they were  disappointed to have read Robertson’s statements in the magazines and made it clear that they were strictly Robertson’s beliefs and not necessarily reflected in the series.  They went on to say that his views definitely did not reflect the feelings of the network and pointed out that they had always supported the LGBT culture. They said that the term of Robertson’s suspension was indefinite.

Former governor of Alaska Sarah Palin issued a statement saying that the action on the part of the cable network concerning Phil Robertson was a direct assault on free speech.

On Wednesday night, Palin posted a picture of a meeting she had with the stars of the show on her Facebook profile.  She said in her statement that the action was an act of intolerance and that free speech is rapidly becoming an endangered species.

The firestorm came about when Phil Robertson told the GQ writer that society had changed in such a way that the lines were not clear anymore between what was right and what was “sinful”. The reporter then asked him what he considered to be “sinful.” Robertson replied that one could start with homosexual activity and then go from there to bestiality and promiscuity. He quoted a scripture in I Corinthians which speaks out against homosexual offenders among other things such as adultery, prostitution, greed, drunkenness, lying, and swindling. The scripture goes on to say that none engaged in these lifestyles can inherit the kingdom of God.

If that wasn’t enough, Robertson also made some statements about race relations in Louisiana when he was a child.

Robertson told the magazine that while growing up, he had never personally observed the mistreatment of African-Americans.  He even said that he had worked alongside them  and felt like he was one of them because his family was considered “white trash.”  He said they were a happy people and never complained about the Caucasian race.  He alluded to the current “entitlement” culture as being responsible for the belief among some African-Americans that they are mistreated.

Okay, so maybe Robertson went a little too far with that last statement. While this writer would not totally disagree with the founder of the Louisiana duck calling empire, he also would acknowledge that there was a time when the African-American generation was treated very unfairly. One cannot forget that they were once barred from sitting in the same area, eating at the same restuarants, even using the same bathroom as white people.  But that time is past. It no longer exists. In fact, in many ways the pendulum has swung the other direction.

But this article is not about Robertson’s statements on race relations. That statement was barely a ripple in the pond compared to the controversy stirred up by the statements against homosexuality. Facebook pages sprung up all over the place supporting a boycott of A&E.  Many called it an attack on free speech.

And they were right. It is an attack. A very one-sided, unfair attack. It would appear that free speech only works if one is a liberal. Or a member of the media. And not even all of the media is afforded this luxury.

But why does it come as a surprise? The conservative Christian community has been under attack by the liberals and Hollywood media for a long time now. Their beliefs are maligned on late night talk shows and made fun of regularly by the press. Watch any sitcom and the buffoon is usually the conservative Christian. This has been going on for a long time now.  How is it that a show called “Modern Family” can have a gay couple on prominent display and nobody bats an eye? But Phil Robertson makes a statement about his personal beliefs and all Hell breaks loose!

And of course, nobody wants to talk about the statements he made at the end of the interview about loving all humanity. Nobody wants to mention that he said that he felt it was ultimately God’s place to judge others and not his. No, we can’t talk about those statements. It is never right to give a fair, balanced look at anything. Let’s attack a man for his personal beliefs and only look at part of the picture.

It is the hope of this writer that Robertson resist public pressure and not back down on his statements. He needs to stand firm in his convictions and not let public opinion sway him. They are statements he made based on his Christian beliefs and conservative principles. To back down would be to give in to those who oppose him.

And the Christian community needs  to stand behind him. It appears that is what they are doing but do whatever is necessary to make it clear that their segment of society has a voice as well.  Boycott the network. Write letters. Put it out on social media. Blog it.

And finally, his family needs to stand behind him. Willie, Jase, and Jep need to acknowledge that this is their father. There would be no success without his hard work all those years ago. They need to tell the cable network executives that if their father is suspended, then they are stepping away as well.

No more. It is time to be heard. Stand behind a good man. GQ asked him a question. Let all of conservative Christianity help him give the answer.

Free speech is not just for the liberals. Or the Media.

Editorial by Rick Hope

E Online

16 Responses to "Phil Robertson Debacle Shows Free Speech Only for Liberal Media"

  1. Stanjonesjournal   November 27, 2015 at 11:47 am

    Christians are the majority in America. They have churches on every street corner , are represented prominently in all forms of media , have freedom to practice their faith wherever they choose , and somehow they are still persecuted. Go figure.

    Reply
  2. Roy Shani   December 23, 2013 at 12:25 am

    You are confusing free speech with the right the criticize anyone on his views (which in itself an issue of free speech). Criticizing someone for what he says for being an homophobic bigot is not “an attack of free speech”. Phil said what he said and no one prevented that. No one has the right to not be criticized!!!

    Reply
  3. rex walters   December 22, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    Today it’s homosexuality, yesterday it was slavery.
    It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye or gets hung from a tree.

    Reply
  4. GARY   December 20, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    PHIL WE ARE BEHIND YOU 100%. YOU SPOKE THE TRUTH. ALL CHRISTIANS MUST UNITE AND BOYCOTT HOLLYWOOD AND LIBERAL NETWORKS THAT IS THE WAY TO TEACH THEM A LESSON. I HOPE SOME ONE LEADS US IN THIS AFFORD SOON ,

    Reply
  5. Madisen   December 19, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    There is a huge double standard when it comes to the media. The actions of A&E show us where the world is going when it involves moral choices. Liberal media attacks Christianity all day. When it is reversed, and people just speak their own beliefs (Biblical) it is not the proper world view and people are “too close-minded.” It is very tragic to watch this world that Christ died for to dwindle so quickly in front of my eyes.

    Reply
  6. Jeff S.   December 19, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    The author cries hypocrisy because “the liberal media” has come down on Robertson for his statements, yet no one “bats and eye” about having a gay couple on “Modern Family.” The clear distinction is that Modern Family purports to legitimize a diversity of possible family relationships, including the “traditional” family. It does not make a claim to be THE only legitimate form of family — a claim that fundamental Christianity makes. The difference is that the claim being made my Christians is necessarily an act of exclusion: only this form of the family is legitimate. No one “bats an eye” at Modern Family because it does not makes claims on the legitimacy of other peoples’ ways of life. Fundamentalism, on the other hand, does.

    And this is not about “free speech.” Robertson can still say whatever he wants, just not on A&E, who, as a private entity, has every right to fire him. The First Amendment protects speech from State incursion.

    Reply
  7. Patricia   December 19, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    WHY IS A CHRISTIAN ALWAYS CONDEMNED FOR STATING HIS BIBLICAL BELIEFS? SEEMS AS IF OTHERS GET BY WITH SAYING ANYTHING. I SUPPORT PHIL”S RIGHT TO BELIEVE.

    Reply
  8. Bro. Robert   December 19, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Good article. I submit for the investigations of others just how far this country has gone from its basic principles of freedom the following experiment. You and one friend go out on any busy street corner on two unrelated days and do the following. On the first day both of you loudly, seriously proclaim that the Denver Broncos are the greatest football team in the country and insist that anybody that cheers for another team should shut-up and go away. On the second day both you and your friend should in the same manner, loudly and seriously, proclaim that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven and that all others religions are fake and should go away. If anyone is willing to perform that experiment they will quickly find out that no one will care about proclaiming support for the Denver Broncos over all other football teams – there will be some jesting and insincere arguments – but nothing of much consequence. However, the second day will he accompanied by having the police called, threats of physical violence, and heated arguments from atheists, Muslims, Christians, and the general public. Freedom of speech is gone from the United States of North America. Don’t let it disturb you. Just deal with it!

    Reply
  9. Marty Rollins   December 19, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Well said.

    Reply
  10. Wendy   December 19, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Phil said he had never personally witnessed racial oppression, he did not deny it’s existence. And if any of the liberals who care anything about having knowledge of history (especially biblical) would know he was paraphrasing a verse from the Bible. It is the most popular book in the world, read that instead of 50 Shades of Gray, you liberals.

    Reply
  11. Carole   December 19, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Excellently written editorial. I full agree with this author!

    Reply
  12. ann   December 19, 2013 at 8:33 am

    I agree the family should stand by him, but disagree they should walk from the show. If they do that, it is no different then giving these idiots what they want. God, guns, prayer and family OFF THE AIR ! To stand by Phil, is to stand proud and make sure they stay on the air until the network grows a pair. And, If A&E wont stand by them, perhaps another network would be interested in having them ( and the money and ratings they bring with them)
    DO NO QUIT !!!

    Reply
  13. Carolyn   December 19, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Censorship at its best (worst)?

    Reply
  14. Richard Lemire   December 19, 2013 at 7:57 am

    You write some darn good articles Rick. Proud to have you as a friend!

    Reply
  15. Ryan Mayer   December 19, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Having a job at a&e is not protected under the first amendment. What is protected is his freedom. Last I checked no one threw him in prison for stating his beliefs he just lost his job just like the tens of thousands of people who have lost jobs at religious institutions. If a&e suspending Phil is an attack on free speech than religious groups have been waging war on it for over 200 years.

    Reply
  16. Steve   December 19, 2013 at 7:35 am

    Free Speech!

    Reply

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