Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

Free Association for Some: The Hypocrisy Fueling the Duck Dynasty Flap

What if A&E had suspended a gay reality show star for coming out of the closet?

by
Walter Hudson

Bio

December 24, 2013 - 11:00 am
Page 1 of 2  Next ->   View as Single Page

duck-hunt-dog

As the drama surrounding cable network A&E’s suspension of Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson enters its second week without losing steam, our analysis of the incident becomes more refined by critical thought. Where emotional reactions at first prevailed, we now see thoughtful consideration of why this episode matters so much to so many people.

Caring about Phil Robertson and his ordeal says something about those who stand with him. It reveals a solidarity informed by shared values, and similar experiences. For Christians in today’s increasingly secularized culture, there exists a persistent subversion of our religious expression. While it often takes the form of private censure, as it has in Robertson’s case, the influence of the state can be sensed bearing down on private decisions.

Perhaps that is why figures like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck have mistakenly represented the suspension as a violation of Robertson’s free speech rights. As reported in City Pages, the Minnesota chapter of the ACLU sought to set the record straight in a blog post last week:

The Constitution protects you from the government violating your rights. Phil Robertson, of Duck Dynasty, has not been arrested or charged with a crime for his comments about gays (nor should he be), he has been [indefinitely suspended] by a private employer for making these comments.

Phil Robertson has the right to make whatever homophobic or racist comments he wants without fear of going to prison for it, however he does not have the right to have his own TV show, or to say what he wants without negative reactions from his employer or people in the community.

While this interpretation proves correct, we need not look far to see how unequally it is applied. What if, instead of Phil Robertson expressing his Christian view of homosexuality, A&E had suspended a gay reality show star for coming out of the closet and advocating for gay marriage? Would the ACLU and City Pages and their allies on the Left be so eagerly reminding us of the cable network’s freedom of association?

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
"Phil Robertson has the right to make whatever homophobic or racist comments he wants"
Neither of which he did.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
I keep asking myself if GLAAD would be throwing such a tantrum If say a Muslim actor on a popular TV show had said the same things Phil Said about homosexuality; quoting Muslim scriptures to back his claims of course.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
The ACLU has it wrong! This is about first amendment rights. What the hell do you think is happening when the politically correct crowd enforces their PC mentality on us with their "You can't say that!" knee-jerk reaction to Phil Robertson for saying what he did? While the mechanism isn't a direct first amendment quashing of Phil's right to say something it has the same chilling effect. It shuts people up!

This is why political correctness was conjured up as a means of skirting our rights - to get us to shut up. This is no different than the shrill voices crying "RACISM" whenever any of us raise questions or protest O'Zero's policies. This is just one more way of screaming racism - homophobic - etc etc. The fear mongers are just doing what fear mongers have done for many decades now. We need to push back - hard.

There is a method to the progressive madness. Once they have us quiet and quaking in our shoes they'll have won.


16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (34)
All Comments   (34)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
This article was quoted extensively and discussed on the Schapira blog, "What we know so far ..." at http://schapira.blogspot.com Please take a peek and leave a comment, and,

"... tell 'em Big Mitch sent ya!"
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Phil Robertson has the right to make whatever homophobic or racist comments he wants"
Neither of which he did.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
European Christians no longer enjoy Freedom of Association. They as a tribe, a civilizaiton are being dismantled, deconstructed, and disempowered...in a word delegitimized.

Israeli Jews are being targeted for the same treatment and everybody can see that that endeavor is Anti-Semitism. Anti-EuropeanChristianism is widely accepted in polite society and is expressed freely and profusely in all of our insttiutions and halls of power. Minorities see nothing wrong with what they are participating in, in fact they see it a righteous and noble...and are lauded for it.

15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Phil stood tall and didn't back down, which is what conservatives should start to understand.

And then amazingly, people realized what was happening and backed Phil, and the companies that were so quick to respond to a loud minority realized that they offended the more silent majority.

And this is the lesson that needs to be learned. Grow a pair, have core values, and don't cave to those that attack you.

And then in the most hypocritical move ever, having said they were suspending Phil, they went on to run a marathon of Duck Dynasty over the weekend.

15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually Title 7 of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination by covered employers on the basis of religion(among others). Now since Robertson was speaking of his religious beliefs and quoting the Bible Title 7 could be very relevant.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
I see the "limited government" crowd is still hard at work trying to invent a legal requirement for a private company to employ another private citizen.

Bang up job boys, keep digging!
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
"How is A&E’s decision to deny a business relationship with Phil Robertson because of who he is fundamentally different than that Christian baker’s decision to deny a business relationship with a gay couple because of who they are?"

The Left has an easy answer for that, and it involves disputing your premise here. They would argue that A&E did not punish their employee for "who he was" but rather "what he said." They would argue that the baker was penalizing the gay couple for "who they were," thus making the whole thing a comparison of apples and oranges.

I agree that freedom of association should trump all, as should freedom to choose whether or not to enter into a contract with someone, but a series of laws starting with some of the civil rights legislation establish a decades-long (now half-century long) legal precedent otherwise. If a Woolworth's lunch counter can't choose not to serve certain customers because of who they are, then neither can the baker (which is also why the battle over whether homosexuality is nature or nurture was so important).

Again, remember that the Left would argue that the Duck Dynasty case is fundamentally different - A&E hired Phil knowing he was an Evangelical Christian, they kept the show on the air knowing that as well. They only suspended him when he chose public phrases that people found offensive and would have taken out their ire on the company (made for bad business/PR). A&E would undoubtedly argue that had Phil chosen to express those same views using different language, they would not have suspended him.

Now...we know that's a crock, but without a time machine and the ability to test out an alternate timeline, we'd never be able to prove it.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
They [leftists] would argue that A&E did not punish their employee [Phil Robertson] for "who he was" but rather "what he said."

What a man says reflects what a man thinks and believes, so what a man says is a reflection of the content of his character; what a man says is therefore a part of who he is. A man is defined by what he says, thinks and believes more than by the color of his skin.

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." Martin Luther King



16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think you're splitting hairs here. The court established that the employer was not free to refuse services to someone based on their status not at all related to anything they said or did to that said business.

There could be some legal basis for Robertson to sue A&E for dismissing him without due cause. IOW, he didn't do anything to them but merely answered an author's question for another entity (GQ Magazine).
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
My favorite anecdote involving being fired for expressing yourself comes from people I knew, a good long while ago. Some of them are dead, others may be, and some may for all I know be alive. I won't name names, but I will express my opinion of the individuals involved.

Acquaintance "A" was an older individual who belonged to a club I joined. I never really got along with him, though we never had an argument or fight, either. He was gruff and taciturn, never said much, and eventually (long after the events in this story) he just stopped showing up for club events. He told one of the club member's he'd gotten sick, but never said with what, and no one ever saw him again. Anyway, he had a job at a manufacturing company somewhere in the LA area (I don't think I ever knew where) and was pretty senior.

Individual "B" was in the club too, as long. He was a loudmouth and something of a braggart, and no one really liked him. He has since passed away.

Individual "C" was also a loudmouth, but he was so obnoxious that by the time I joined the club he'd been ostracized to the point he'd left the club. I eventually met him anyway, and was duly unimpressed. He was the sort of individual that when you shake hands with him, you afterwards find yourself counting all your fingers to make sure they're all still there. As far as I know he's still alive.

"A" got "B" a job working at the factory, and "B" in turn got "C" a job there. Six months later, the calendar comes around to April, and "C" shows up on good ol' Adolf's birthday wearing full Nazi SS regalia, having awarded himself a rank senior enough that it's doubtful the actual Himmler would have approved. Never mind, he shows up for work dressed like this. Now mind you it wouldn't impact his ability to do his job at all (he didn't deal with the public at all, worked in some office role I think) but it did of course offend everyone, especially the owners of the factory, who were of course Jewish. They fired him without thinking twice about it, then wanted to know why they'd hired the guy in the first place. They pulled his application, and found that "B" had recommended him...so they called "B" in and fired him, too. Then they looked at *his* application, and called "A" on the carpet. From what I heard when the story was told to me, "A" had to do some fancy talking to keep his job, though he'd been there for years, was senior, and was considered a valued employee.

This is my point. Honestly, I don't care about the Robertsons at all. I can't remember if I watch anything on A&E or not...is Storage Wars on it? Sometimes I'll catch a rerun of that. Seriously though, if you think someone should be fired because of something they say on TV, I am getting to the point that I just disagree without even knowing what was said or who said it. If you don't like what they say on that channel or show, you can switch or turn it off. If you don't like it that the network took someone off because of their opinions that they publicly expressed, you can stop watching that, too. What tires me most these days is the "Gotcha!" stuff that goes on, where every liberal and every conservative accuse each other (with some accuracy on both sides) of hypocrisy because Martin Bashir or Phil Robertson or Rush Limbaugh or Alec Baldwin should be fired because of something they said on their show, or in an interview, or on their doorstep or wherever. To my mind you should either be in favor of them all getting fired, or none of them...
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
A civil right is where a man's right to liberty (freedom to manage private property and free association with others according to one's private will) is trumped another man's right to treated in public as an equal despite some unequal attribute such as skin color. So, if homosexuals have a civil right to remain employed by a private business which operates in the public square despite speaking in public about the rightness of homosexuality, then heterosexuals must have the same civil right to remain employed by a private business (such as A&E) after speaking in public about the rightness of heterosexuality. If the idea of civil rights is to be preserved, then civil rights must be equally protected for every human being.

I for one believe that civil rights are inferior to the natural right of a man, or a group of men, to do as they please with themselves and their private property and private business. Let homosexuals have businesses or clubs exclusively for homosexuals. Let heterosexuals run businesses or clubs exclusively for heterosexuals. Let Blacks have businesses or clubs exclusively for Blacks (such as the Congressional Black Caucus). Let Whites have businesses or clubs exclusively for Whites. Let women have businesses or clubs (or schools) exclusively for women. Let men have businesses or clubs (or schools) exclusively for men. My guess is that most private businesses and clubs would be open to everyone despite skin color, sex or sexual orientation - because it would be good for business.

Civil rights only make sense for government run enterprises and institutions - not private enterprise.

16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
"a judge in Colorado ordered a Christian baker to serve cake for a gay wedding or face fines. Where’s the ACLU on that one? Naturally, they represented the gay couple and stood against the baker’s freedom of association."

Great point Mr. Hudson, that ends the whole story for me. One way street!
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
He should have ordered them not to chit in the cake while he was at it!
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All