So, Phil Robertson, patriarch of the Duck Commander dynasty was interviewed in GQ and pissed off GLAAD, which then made a call to A&E, who then canned Phil and touched off a typhoon of controversy.
First off, this isn’t a 1st Amendment issue because the 1st Amendment only protects you from actions by the government. A&E is a private company and can employ who they want. My problem with their decision to fire Phil is purely about the hypocrisy.
I’ve never watched the show, and don’t really plan to either. I’m not a fan of ‘reality’ programming, even if it is scripted. It’s just not my cup of tea. But, from the descriptions of it I’ve read, it seems to be about a conservative Christian family that builds decoys. Apparently it’s been quite popular. The premise doesn’t seem to have changed, and the people starring don’t seem to have changed their outlook, so A&E should have known from the get-go that these people are conservative Christians. If the A&E execs didn’t, then they need to be fired (and I wish them luck in their future careers flipping burgers and/or bagging groceries, because that’s all they are really qualified for).
My problem lies with the fact that they seem surprised that a conservative Christian espouses conservative Christian values when questioned about sin. Here’s the quote in question that seems to have gotten peoples panties in a twist;
“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong,” he says. “Sin becomes fine.”
What, in your mind, is sinful?
“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 says.
So, if you subscribe to a conservative Christian philosophy, that probably isn’t very controversial. But, if you want to have everyone else justify your sinful ways I guess it’s problematic. And GLAAD, (formerly Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) put in a call to A&E execs to express their outrage that someone doesn’t approve of their behavior. That’s GLAADs right to express their dissatisfaction, and if they want to boycott the show and/or network over it that is also their right. A&E decided that they agreed with GLAAD and indefinitely suspended (AKA: fired) him over it. Once again, it’s A&Es right to fire their employee over conduct they find detrimental. But, this is also where I take umbrage.
It’s not like he’s been masquerading as a porn star and suddenly found religion. He’s been a conservative Christian since well before the show began. Apparently he even gave a speech in 2010 that’s making the rounds on video, so this isn’t something new. A&E was fine with what he’s been saying all these years. Making money off him has been no problem. But, suddenly he’s fired because someone took offense. To me, that smacks of hypocrisy on their part.
In the ’50’s Senator Joseph McCarthy led the investigations on communists in America. The 2nd Red Scare (the first happened in the years just after Russia fell to the communists) blackballed many people, some not even communists. If you think putting someone out of work for their (alleged) political views was wrong then, but support firing someone over their religious beliefs now: You are a hypocrite.
In the 1880’s through the 1960’s racial minorities were discriminated against. There were certain jobs they couldn’t hold, there were certain businesses they couldn’t patronize. If you think Jim Crow laws were wrong then, but support firing Phil now: You are a hypocrite.
In the ’30’s and ’40’s, the National Socialists in Germany restricted the types of jobs Jews could hold. If you think the Nazis were wrong then, but support the firing of Phil now: You are a hypocrite.
We like to think we’ve learned from the past and have come a long way in society since those days. But, in reality, we haven’t. We’ve just changed the names of the groups we discriminate against. Progressives like to talk about how tolerant they are, but once someone challenges their pet ideals they often become as intolerant as any KKK member or Neo Nazi on race issues. If you are truly tolerant of others, you can sit down and talk to someone about why you don’t hold the same views they do. If you don’t want to associate with them, you don’t have to (unless you’re a conservative Christian business).
As for A&E, they willingly employed someone they know is a conservative Christian and who has been speaking about the same conservative Christian values all these years, but kicked him aside as soon as someone complained about what he’s been saying. A&E execs; You are hypocrites.
I just came across this TMZ article that I think is trying to defend A&E’s decision, but really just shows how spineless and hypocritical it really was. “We’re told A&E CEO Nancy Dubuc felt she could not in good conscience ask gay employees to kill themselves for a show when he disrespected them by calling them sinners.” Umm, guess what folks, homosexual relations is listed in the bible as a SIN! If you got your feelings hurt over that, you need to grow some thicker skin. The world is a rough place, and your feelings being hurt is laughably minor. Suck it up, Buttercup. It’s time to become an adult where your feelings don’t matter in the course of getting a job done.