Ignorance, Free Speech And Duck Dynasty

Phil Robertston From Duck DynastyAs I’ve said many times in the past, there are some topics that will always start an argument. The most universally known of these are politics & religion (hence the reason I rarely talk about them in public).  Today, I’m adding Duck Dynasty to that list.

In case you’ve missed it, the “star” of A&E’s reality hit Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson is in a bit of trouble based on an interview he did recently.  He was very outspoken on his views on homosexuality.  As of this writing, A&E has “suspended” him indefinitely stating they are disappointed and that his views don’t represent the views of the network.  Many folks are up in arms about this and are upset with A&E taking this action.  I posted the following status today which I thought was pretty innocent.

The discussion that ensued absolutely floored me and regardless of which side of this particular issue you sit on, I think it’s a pretty entertaining read.

Duck Dynasty Facebook

Below is the un-edited discussion.  The only thing that I’ve changed are people’s last names:

The redneck ignorant a-hole from Duck Dynasty has every right to say and think whatever he wants to. Conversely, A&E has every right to fire him. Please don’t confuse his right to “free speech” with “people can say whatever they want to with no consequences”. There’s a big difference.

  • Meredith – Well said!!!
  • Aj – No happy no happy no happy
  • Bill – Didn’t God teach us to love one another and do unto others as you would have done into you? These guys preach and pray but like most people that throw religion in your face they only preach the parts that support their bigotry! I say screw you Duck Dynasty!
  • Brian – Agreed – but when you have an outspoken, highly conservative, highly Christian – that says a prayer at the end of EVERY episode that A&E chooses to publish, it should be no surprise when he speaks his Christian beliefs. It’s funny to me how A&E is proactive with something like this, but now when there was a big hubub over the prayers. I don’t have a horse in the race and couldn’t care less – but it’s like they choose their battles to appease the masses. Pick the side with the least resistance.
  • Ashley – The entire show is based around their Christian beliefs. What he said was not brand new information.
  • Dave – I agree but for A&E to act like they had no clue what he believed before this is complete BS.
  • Jason – He spoke his belief. What he said wasn’t ignorant or intolerant simply what he believed.
  • Curtis – A&E knew his stance as a Christian. He stated a verse in the bible and ALSO said it was not his place to judge. Seems it is the place of others including GLAD and A&E to judge however. Sad when the least tolerant demand the most tolerance.
  • Mike – As he laughs all the way to the bank. I love Phil and I love the fact that he does not give 1 $hit what you think of him.
  • Cindy – This man is not a hater… He was asked his opinion on something and he honestly gave it. There should be no consequences for that.
  • Steven – equating people with animals – hate speech. also, hate is not a tenet of christianity.
  • Brian – That is taken about as far out of context as could be. Ignorance is bliss. His quote…”Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men”. He DID NOT equate animals to people……..
  • Steven – it’s entirely within the context of his quote. is “morph out from there” the strategic non-comparative word choice that you think i’m missing? feel free to enlighten me as to the intention as there is no relative comparison in that nugget of wisdom. at best, it’s the same “slippery slope” argument used against marriage equality. none of which has anything to do with christian beliefs. also, if leviticus is the standard by which his beliefs are developed, he’s kicked that door to hell wide open with his regular hankering for a good crawfish boil.
  • Frank – I appreciate that he has a right to have his own opinion and to express it, and believe that because he has his own opinion along with great popularity, all that might lead to further conversation on the subject and possible movement toward resolution.
  • Shawn – I’m sure that another network will pick it up. Then A&E can try to justify why they suspend Duck Guy, but airing interviews with convicted killers on The Killer Speaks upholds their values.
  • Bill – Apparently he was not taught any better…I was brought up that if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. Everyone complains when the gay community is throwing their rhetoric around but it’s ok to have to opposition opinion??? I guess we all follow the Bible with its double standards!
  • Brian – Everyone’s ignorance is incredible. His prayer during the show is vanilla Christianity. His comments during his gq interview is ignorant bigotry. A&E is a company trying to appeal to as broad an audience as possible. You put Hatey McBigot on your shows, he doesn’t appeal. And tahdah: his boss fires him. Kinda works that way at everyone’s job. Christian, satanist, whatever, if your outspoken views cost the company money, or limit profits you are out. He is not being arrested. That would be the government limiting his free speech. He was allowed to say it and A&E is allowed to fire him.
  • Brian – Context is there. He is a bad person. He is a bigot. Hiding behind doctrine doesn’t excuse it. Everyone has justification for their hate. If it’s Christianity, it doesn’t make the hate any better than if it’s fascism.
  • Erik – I’m glad the vast majority of “Christians” vocally support this behavior. It helps people understand how bigoted and racist Christians really are. The guise of being “good people” is comical. Really it’s about mega churches, mega donations and personal agendas. Organized religion is such a sham.
  • Frank – Mr. Clark, unfortunately I believe your argument is a “red herring”. At least as far as I am concerned, I support his right to speak. I find his opinions vile and detestable, but still believe he has the right to speak his opinion, as bigoted as I might find it. And I think “Christians” (which I doubt if I fit into that category) unfortunately become an easy target, as uncomfortable as I am to stick up for them.
  • David – Too bad he isn’t as perfect as everyone posting here. You are the enlightened masses. How dare someone have a different view.
  • Rick – Hey, the pope says gay marriage is okay & he’s as connected to the Big Guy in the sky as anyone. So I’m pretty sure that this issue should be considered over.  Besides Phil was leaving the show anyway, he just chose to go out with a bang. And now A&E gets tons of free publicity.
  • David – The pope never said anything remotely close to that.
  • Rick – I believe he did, David. How dare you oppose my different view.
  • Rick – Now can we all go back to the “Santa Claus is white” argument? That one was way more entertaining.
  • Kyle – Freedom of speech is not the same as cosequenceless speech. You have the right to say anything. You also have the right to the repercussions that your vocalized views cause, to be thrust upon you. If one truly believes in what one is saying, one should be accepting of consequences that they illicit….I must be really bored today…
  • Mike – Standing up for one’s beliefs does not make a person an ignorant redneck A-hole.
  • Rick – His statements make it pretty clear that he’s an ignorant redneck, not the fact that he’s standing up for them.
  • David – The pope didn’t say that, Rick. Facts aren’t opinions.
  • Rick – Stop attacking my beliefs David. I’m trying to keep it polite here but your constant attacks towards my beliefs are making me feel a little persecuted. I’m pretty sure I understand how ol’ Phil feels.
  • David – I hope he thinks you’re funny. I don’t.
  • Nii – I like ducks.
  • George – Two people who enjoy each others company, are in in love and happen to be the same sex. I could care less, if they are happy, they are ahead of the game. What a millionaire duck hunter thinks or says, I could care less. I hope he is just as happy.
  • Bill – Had the duck guy said something like Hitler was right or Lincoln was wrong would any of you be defending his freedom of speech?
  • Mark – Stating that homosexuality is wrong is not bigoted. Just the same as saying that Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton are nothing more than attention whores isn’t racist. Bigotry = hate for people based on gender/race/sexual preference. Racism = believing that your race is better as a whole than any other.
  • Bill – Bigotry is the state of mind of a bigot: someone who, as a result of their prejudices, treats or views other people with fear, distrust, hatred, contempt, or intolerance on the basis of a person’s opinion,ethnicity, race, religion, national origin, gender,sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, or other characteristics. I guess we are all bigots since we are destroying this guy for his opinion. I agree he has the right to his feelings but what I’m saying is don’t hide behind religion.
  • Greg – Just to be clear on the words that I chose when I originally posted this…The term “ignorant” doesn’t carry any malice. It’s defined as “lacking general awareness”. I’m ignorant about a lot of things. Molecular biology as an example. I could list dozens of others in quick order.”Redneck” – I don’t think anyone disputes this so I won’t bother with any further explanation.”A-hole” – I don’t consider this guy an asshole because he made a statement. I don’t even consider him an asshole based on his beliefs. As I said originally… it’s absolutely his right to feel any way that he wants to. I’m not making a judgement. I suppose I consider him an asshole because he’s on “reality” television selling duck calls. This is something that I only know 2nd and 3rd hand cause I don’t watch, nor have never watched the show. This is because I’m ignorant (see above).This status wasn’t meant to be pro or anti Christian (which I am). It wasn’t meant to be pro or anti gay (which I’m not).It was purely meant to point out the difference between “free speech” and “consequence-less speech” which are very different.
  • Roberto – This whole Duck Dynasty issue is not about free speech. It’s about consequences. Everyone has the right to think and express what they want and as a result of your self expression you should be prepared to deal with the consequences of your actions. Period.
  • Nii – Again… ducks are cool. Why are we giving an issue related to a duck guy the time of day? Duck with orange sauce is tasty as well.
  • Karl – It seems that this is purely an economic issue. All of these episodes are edited and targeted at a specific audience (who based on all of the stuff in the stores, spends a lot of money). If DD and A&E believe that they are serving the audience of this show and making money, they will. Unless this is just an opportunity to create free press and get more people to watch over the new year.
  • Curtis – I understand your explanation of your statement Chewie… and I disagree with you doing it. You made a statement and should stand by it no matter what anyone thinks. Someone else recently did the same thing. Let’s see now, who was that? Oh yeah, it was Phil Robertson. He too added an explanation after the fact. And I disagree with him doing it as well. You stated your beliefs as he stated his. Why apologize or “clarify” your statement?
  • Bill – And another question….do all the supporters of Phil also support Westboro Baptist Church and their “religion” based opinions?
  • Greg – Curtis I stand by what I said 100%. Didn’t change my opinion. Just wanted to point out (which some people missed) what I was actually saying.
  • Ryan – Here here, Greg. Exactly my view.
  • Curtis – Chewie my friend, I am one of those ignorant redneck a-holes. I hunt, fish enjoy a simpler life and most importantly I believe in God and His word. It’s too bad so many people are offended now by Christian beliefs instead of non-Christian beliefs. All that said I do have one issue with your clarification. You said Phil is an a-hole because he’s “..on a reality show selling duck calls.” How exactly does that make him an a-hole? Just asking.
  • David – My issue is the hypocrisy by the network who would never suspend a gay star for speaking ill of Baptists. The ability to be offended by words seem to always fall left of center.
  • Greg – Curtis I agree and echo your thoughts….
  • Bill – David as it ever happened or are you speculating?
  • Mark – I have a strong faith in God. God tells me that homosexuality is a sin, just like lusting after women, taking the Lord’s name in vein, failing to love another as he loves me, etc… I have a brother who is gay. Has been since he was a teenager. I love my brother, but I would hope that he would change so that he can join me in heaven. However, I sin just like he does, as no sin is greater than another in God’s eyes. That said, this issue isn’t “religious”. It’s about political correctness and what we as a society consider acceptable to say in public and what should be kept on back channels. It’s a sad state of affairs as David hits the nail on the head. It’s ok to bash Christianity but Christian’s voices are quashed when it’s plausible and possible. See : Alec Baldwin.
  • Bill – My last on this topic. … We all agree that he has the right to his opinion and those who agree have that right. I just want the same right to disagree with him and voice my opinion!
  • Greg – Curtis – his being on a reality show makes him an asshole in my book because I can’t stand the fact that it’s permeated our society to the point where THIS is the news of the day. I could say the same thing for Paul Walker’s death, Miley Cyrus’ “twerking” or a variety of other popular culture discussions. I’m not suggesting my opinion is correct… just my opinion. But remember… I’m ignorant
  • Steven – see alec baldwin-lost show. see martin bashir-lost show.  once again, homophobia (nor the intolerance and prejudice that it fuels) is not a tenet of christianity. it never was and never shall be. feel free to throw out a biblical verse or specifically a quote from christ regarding it being a sin and this entire argument ends. truth is, you can’t.
  • Bill – Every time I think I’m out they pull me back in….@ Mark I agree with your statement except for the fact that you love your brother but wish he would change for religious sake….we are all sinners and can be forgiven those sins by excepting Christ as our Lord and Saviour….. as long as your brother has done that God won’t tell him no! If he hasn’t then try to bring him to the Lord but please accept the fact that you can’t change his sexuality. Love him for who he is and not who you wish he would be.
  • Alisa – as the Pope said, who am i to judge? but dang, this guy has his right to his opinion. It wsasn’t aired on the duck dynasty show but rather on a conservative christian interview completely seperate from teh show. Why isn’t Kanye West put on hiatus for his offensive lyrics and actions?
  • Glenn – u religious nuts crack me the f up.
  • Russ – And we have the ability to boycott A&E. He was asked his opinion and he gave it. Millions do no approve of gay marriage, in fact a majority are against it. He is not judging, just giving his view based on his faith. And no, I am not religious at all, I just believe in our constitutional right. A&E has made a mistake and will retract his suspension by the end of the week. Merry Christmas….
  • Shawn – Maybe it was the promiscuity lobby that called for his suspension. I hear the Swing party is really making some advancements. These anti-gay thing could just be a rouse, you know like a duck call.
  • Brian – Ahhhh… Well if you put it that way, your points sound coherent.
  • Lauren – Wow, you are so well spoken Greg. I think you said it perfectly.

So there you have it… I’ll update this post as more comments come in.  Want to know the SUPER ironic thing about this whole Ducky Dynasty issue?  Last night, before I’d even heard of this fiasco, I posted THIS to my Instagram account.  Cheers!

UPDATE 12.20.2013 – Apparently I’m not the only one dealing with this sort of thing…

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