Saturday, December 28, 2013
My Take: I AGREE WITH A&E
I believe that Phil Robertson has a God-given right to his opinions on religion, race, homosexuality, and just about anything else. And, here in the United States at least, he has a Constitutional right to express those opinions freely (free expression of any and all opinions on matters such as these is certainly NOT legally guaranteed in such countries as Russia, Uganda, and Saudi Arabia).
I don't totally agree with many of my fellow liberals who insist that the only reason A&E "caved" was for economic reasons, that they considered their bottom line as being more important than the rights of gays, racial minorities, and such. But even if that were the case, so what? A&E is a BUSINESS --- it is their duty to maximize profits. I've read more than once that "Duck Dynasty" is the most popular (and, probably, profitable) show in the history of cable TV. If that's the case, listening to the voices and considering the pressure from that horde of customers is something A&E would be bound to do.
I do not agree with many of Mr. Robertson's stated views, but he has just as much right to his opinions as I do to mine. What I don't understand is why anyone is surprised by his stand on certain issues. My word, the guy is 67 years old --- and born, raised, and living in the backwoods of Louisiana, for God's sake. Louisiana bayou country, in case anyone is unaware, is about as far from San Francisco or Fire Island or West Hollywood as an American can get. His opinions did not surprise me at all. What surprised me more was (a) that GQ even interviewed him in the first place, and (b) why the interviewer asked his views on matters that anyone with an IQ above his shoe size could have foreseen how Mr. Robertson would respond.
For the record: I am a rather liberal Episcopalian, emphatically NOT a fundamentalist Protestant, so I agree with few of Mr. Robertson's views on religion. I am gay myself (which I didn't CHOOSE to be, any more than Mr. Robertson and his sons chose not to be; for my views on this subject, please see an earlier post of mine, "Is Homosexuality a Choice?"). And, as for his, well, less-than-intelligent comments about African Americans before and after the Emancipation Proclamation --- I'm not sure that anything I could possibly say would make any kind of impression on someone who really holds the views he expressed.
I appreciate the support Mr. Robertson got from his fans. I really appreciate that legion's concern for the First Amendment to our Constitution --- which, by the way, I don't believe that A&E violated; again, I believe that A&E's reversal of their position was a BUSINESS decision, pure and simple.
Many of our Constitutional rights are being violated willy-nilly, so I'm really, truly happy to see that many millions of Americans were outraged by what they perceived as a violation of Mr. Robertson's right to freely express his opinions. I do have one question to ask of those folks, though: Why didn't I see a similar display of passionate concern for the First Amendment rights of Martin Bashir or The Dixie Chicks?