Friday, December 20, 2013

Duck Dynasty and Freedom of Speech....yeah, I'm goin there!

First of all I am not a fan of Duck Dynasty. I am however, a fan of freedom of speech. I am sure everyone has heard of the ruckus Phil Robertson's comments, made to a GQ interviewer, to a question he was asked, have caused. If not, you can read about it here. The problem here is not that he was disallowed his right to speak freely. The problem is that his opinions are unpopular so now he is being persecuted and ostracized for them. That is scary people!

Miley is allowed to do her thing at the VMA's, which really, I have no words for, and that is ok. No repercussions for being plain nasty on a publicly broadcasted stage. Her own father was quoted as saying,  "I'm proud of you because you knew you had to reinvent yourself, coming out of this mammoth monster known as Hannah Montana." Okkkkk. Let go and let God I guess. In case you haven't gotten to see Miley breaking free and reinventing herself, here you go....6 whole minutes of Miley figuring out who she is. .

I don't usually write about controversial topics like this. I write about my own little life, my journey in my recovery from being a crazy co-dependent mother of a heroin addict. Thats right.....absolutely no perfection here. No stone throwing, no glass houses. I don't have the answers to much of anything, but I know that this scares me and that its not right. If I stay quiet I am allowing it. I am giving permission to quiet a voice that has every right to speak out, just as I do, just as you do. 

Little one was quite interested in why Mr. Robertson was banned from his own show for sharing his own opinions. As we talked I finally had to say....."this is dangerous territory. When a people, a religious group, a gender group, an age group, is shushed....we are in dangerous territory." And then we went THERE....we talked about Hitler, Nazi Germany, and the idea that the Jews were an impure race and "needed" to be "exterminated" so that the Aryan race...the light skinned, blued eyed, humans who were believed to be the "superior" race would be the dominate species on the earth. Hitler believed with all of his heart he was doing good for the world. He was purifying the earth. What a F-ing tragedy. A lie. An evil deception. 

Where does the line get drawn? Who gets to determine who should be allowed to speak their beliefs and who shouldn't? We can teach about so many things in public schools, including Islam and Buddhism.....but not Christianity. How come? We can't even use the word Christmas now has to be "Happy Holidays." No more Easter break...its "spring break."

I am not a fan of organized religion. I don't go to church because there is so much there that I don't agree with anymore.....but my faith in, my relationship with, *Jesus Christ* sustains me. My faith, my dirty little secret.



Anonymous said...

Amen Sister! Well said, thank you for this awesome post

Carrie Kaffer said...

I agree with you on this. I completely disagree with his opinion, but he should be free to voice any opinion he wishes. There is something wrong with this censorship!

Dad and Mom said...


Ok, you baited the hook and I took it.

We have freedom of speech and the right to say what we want as long as it doesn't incite violence or riots, etc. However, none of us have the right to be free of the consequences of our speech.

For me what happened to this guy, I don't watch the show, was a decision of his employer to protect their brand. That I support wholeheartedly. As a leader in an organization with the responsibility and authority to hire and fire individuals I understand their position and support their decision. I believe A & E network has the right to manage or mis-manage their business in the way they see fit. I do this every day in my job.

Freedom of speech is what is granted by the government. It means you can't be jailed by the people that have the authority to jail.

Organizations make decisions every day to protect their interests. Many organizations have special exemptions from the very laws that protect the rest of us as far as employment. For instance, the Catholic Church has no duty to provide an equal workplace to women. Women are not allowed to be promoted to the position of priest. All religions have an exemption in not treating people equal on the basis of hiring if a person does not believe and support their beliefs. Exemptions are provided to organizations in spite of the laws of equality. For those of us in management, fondly referred to as the seven deadly sins.

For me, just as offensive as his remarks concerning homosexuality was his remarks about African Americans or blacks as he called them. About how happy they were prior to having civil rights. How he worked right beside them and everything was OK. However, he didn't think or mention that when he went into a town he could walk into any establishment and be served or obtain lodging simply based upon the fact he was white. They did not have that right, guess he never saw that part of our nations "original sin".

I do understand from his interview how he accepts these points of view. From the same part of the bible that his feelings about homosexuality comes it also says it is OK to own slaves. That explains his way of seeing no harm in discrimination of those not like himself.

Guess I took the bait hook line and sinker. Hope you aren't angry about my comment.

SoberMomWrites said...

I completely agree that Mr. Robertson has every right to say whatever he wants. I don't agree but will defend his right to say it.


Freedom of speech prevents him from being prosecuted and jailed for his views. It does not give him the right to say anything he wants without repricussions. In this case his employer felt he had done something to hurt the show(or more likely the sponsors) and so they disciplined him.

That then begs the what I do on my personal time subject to review by my employer? Phil was on his own time, expressing his own views. Except that what I say really doesn't matter...what he says is a direct reflection on the show. I don't have any answers...just opinions.

I will say this...if we paid less attention to the bearded guy in Louisianna and more attention to the one from Bethlehem...just sayin'.

Great post Annette. So glad you went there.


mary christine said...

I agree. We are screwed as a society.

Every athlete, actor, or public figure of any kind has to have the same beliefs and never deviate from the "script."

I don't have to approve of or disapprove of what he said, the fact that he can't say it without losing his job is terrifying.

Now 30 years past 1984.

Anonymous said...

I've never watched Duck Dynasty and I really don't give a hoot what Phil Robertson thinks about anything but he has the right to his opinion and he has the right to express them and if others don't like it, they have the right to not listen.

I also don't care if Miley Cyrus wants to twerk her butt off all night long. If I ever met Robin Thicke I might want to twerk on him, too, lol. I didn't really get her performance and even though I was surprised the VMA's allowed it, it didn't really phase me. This is, sadly, the world we live in. I did, however, feel awful about all the backlash against her. The things people were saying and tweeting were just so mean spirited and pointless. She's an artist, a very talented one. Artists do crazy things. She's not the first, she won't be the last. With regard to her dad's comments, it's his daughter...what kind of dad would he be if he became part of the lynching mob? We have no idea what he said to her or felt about her performance, privately.

With regard to your last two paragraphs...AMEN!!!

notmyboy said...

First off, this is a ratings game. Plan and simple...just like in addiction, follow the money.

Beyond that, Phil Robertson has every right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequence. I love DD, by the way.

I also love gay people, and straight people. I wish no one was allowed to stand up and say hurtful things publicly to any group or class of people, but they are. We, as a society, are free to react to those comments. A&E is a business. Their playground, their rules.

Lastly, I wouldn't be surprised if Phil did this on purpose. He has wanted off the show for awhile and A&E would not let him out of his contract. He's out now. I love Phil Robertson. I just disagree with what he said...and I am a Christian, a Christian who believes gay people have the same right to claim Jesus as fat people, smokers, drug addicts, liars, whores...and me. No one can take away my faith, but I won't stand for anyone claiming to speak for me (my faith) spewing such finger pointing.

Ok, one more thing...Miley survives her scandal because Christians by and large are massive hypocrites. They point fingers and judge, then rush to itunes to download her latest crap for their listening pleasure. If they put their money where their mouths are, she would disappear.

Dad and Mom said...

How does this one fit with Phil Robertson of the Daffy Ducks? Justine Sacco got fired too over something that reflected bad on her employer. There is no difference here between these two.

This whole argument isn't over religion or freedom of speech. It is about consequences of actions just like we deal with each day with our addicted sons and daughters.

We know it is a disease but they get arrested. Addicts get arrested every day for having a mental illness instead of getting treatment.

Dad and Mom said...

Just reminded on TV of another incident like this all I need to say is Dixie Chicks.

Syd said...

I don't watch the show but from what I've read ole Phil has every right to believe that homosexuality is akin to bestiality and that before Civil Rights, black Americans were godly and happy as can be, chopping cotton from dawn to dark and they even have every right to say that shit but the network has the right to fire them too. And as Ron said, there are consequences to mouthing off when you are under contract. Just like in a job with any group, I can't simply start bashing people because they are different. But what freaks me out is that so many people are staunchly on the side of Phil who admits his life at one time was all about sex, drugs, and rock and roll but who now completely encapsulates God, Guns, and Guts, and it's like all of these people suddenly have a mouthpiece saying exactly what they believe which is some vile and evil stuff and they are crying Free Speech! Free Speech! Phil for President! etc. Phil can go back to his mansion and have a great time reading the bible and ripping guts out of ducks. It's fine by me. Hopefully, his 15 minutes of fame are over.

Anonymous said...

WOW, TY Syd!
my 2 cents...
Duck Dynasty belongs to A&E...they can do what they like. This show will NOT go on forever. (ps I don't watch it, but my grandson loves it.) I thought his (Phil's) job was making duck calls? A&E hasn't stopped him from making duck calls have they? Maybe he should just stick to that instead of GQ interviews to make a buck. Some people just aren't good at everything. I do not care what he thinks about ANYTHING! He is just another hipocrite running his mouth for attention. He certainly does NOT represent anything about me and my life. He doesn't even conform to society by having a neat beard and long hair. I know lots of folks just like him. Some people just want to be different and stand out for attention. 5 years from now nobody will even know who he is, bless his heart! If I was to see him on the highway broke down, I would not be willing to stop and help him based upon his looks alone, without knowing anything about him. Just saying.