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Phil Robertson's Suspension is Not a Freedom of Speech Issue

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    A&E's decision to suspend Phil Robertson from "Duck Dynasty" has caught the ire of countless conservatives that claim the station is stifling his Constitutionally guaranteed First Amendment right of freedom of speech. This argument has gained a lot of traction on right leaning news sites, but it's an argument that is fundamentally flawed and anyone with a basic understanding of our Constitution should know that fact.

    Let's start with the actual words of our First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Americans have the right to say what is on their minds and Mr. Robertson had every right to say those homophobic and racially insensitive remarks. There are no government officials knocking on his door to arrest him for his vile comments and there never will be. In addition, he will never be taken to court or thrown in jail for his remarks.

    What Mr. Robertson and the hypocrites on the right side of the aisle do not understand is that freedom of speech does not mean that you can never be fired or suspended by your employer for saying something that makes a company look bad. Employers have every right to look out for their bottom line and can hire and fire at will. A&E was around long before "Duck Dynasty" and will most likely be around long after the cameras leave.

    It is of no surprise to me that many on the right are jumping to Mr. Robertson's defense. The right is filled with religious zealots that want nothing more than prayer being brought back into public schooling, keeping "under god" in the pledge of allegiance, and establishing America as a Christian nation. They use flawed history and outright lies to push this theory, but we all know that the right really struggle with facts sometimes. What they need to understand is that our First Amendment does not read: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion unless it is Christianity."

    So the next time you are having a discussion with someone who tries to claim A&E stifled Mr. Robertson's freedom of speech, make sure they understand the difference between having a right to freely express themselves and a businesses right to hire and fire individuals at their discretion.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    There are hypocrites on BOTH sides of the aisle on this issue, which is usually the case.

    A&E has announced that they have suspended Phil, but then according to HuffPost said they would air new episodes of the show that have already been taped including Phil himself. So, aren't A&E the BIGGEST hypocrites in this whole affair?

    Because A&E are doing it for the money, and no other reason in my opinion.

    Opposing opinions are welcomed.
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    Sorry to say, you're correct. It's the 'merician way after all! Be as greedy and selfish as you can! Capitalism is all about profit NOT people. No surprises here.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    Yes capitalism is the worst.

    Well...almost the worst.

    Socialism and communism are still worse.

    And in the ongoing saga of Duck Dynasty there's a new report on the ABC Evening News today. The Cracker Barrel restaurant chain had pulled all their Duck Dynasty merchandise off their shelves when the "scandal" broke. Customers complained. Cracker Barrel apologized and returned the DD merchandise to the shelves.

    The Duck boys are still winning.
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    I was in Kohls this afternoon and they had a huge feud play of thus crap! I never heard if him before but now it's everywhere!

    BTW - Capitialism doesn't work without Socialism or vica versa
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    I'm not sure what to think about this mess. Personally I don't watch DD and thus I don't care what the guy thinks. I think on a popular show, you have to watch what you say. Almost anything that you say will bother 25 - 50 % of the people. I think if he wants to be an idiot on his own time then that should be his business. I think that if you look at the DD demographics.......... they probably agree with his comments. Those who don't agree should tell A&E and their sponsors. It is the money that makes the decisions.
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    What Jesus says about homosexuality

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/22/what-jesus-says-about-homosexuality-_n...l
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    pr Wrote: What Jesus says about homosexuality

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/22/what-jesus-says-about-homosexuality-_n...l
    He likely never said anything about it anyway, because of running around with 12 men. makes me think, why he? did not mentioned it let alone write about it, because he? never wrote one word anyway himself.
  • Democrat
    Tennessee
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    I stand with the robertsons if God intended for two men or two women to be together he would have made us that way he put us here to reproduce two men cant reproduce and neither can two women
  • Democrat
    Tennessee
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    I think two men or two women are very distcusting that is just gross
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Jennyolds Wrote: I stand with the robertsons if God intended for two men or two women to be together he would have made us that way he put us here to reproduce two men cant reproduce and neither can two women
    "if "God" intended? where did you get that? Did you talk to any "god" lately? Sorry people are on their own; they can do whatever they want on this globe, as long it is not murder or cruel. So I suggest you marry your "bible" . Live and let live do not meddle in peoples lives; the government will do that for you.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Jennyolds Wrote: I stand with the robertsons if God intended for two men or two women to be together he would have made us that way he put us here to reproduce two men cant reproduce and neither can two women
    What about those who are infertile? Did God mean to put these individuals here on earth to reproduce, but then decide they didn't deserve to have children? What about those who willfully choose to not have children? Did God put them here on earth knowing that they were going to use their free will to not have children? Your argument is fundamentally flawed once you start to pick it apart.

    The problem with your and Mr. Robertson's argument is that you are cherry picking parts of the Old Testament to back up your fundamentalist beliefs. If you actually read the words that have been attributed to Jesus, I would hope that you would come to a different opinion. Jesus taught you to love everyone, especially the sinners. Let he is who without sin cast the first stone. Maybe you and Mr. Robertson should open up the second half of your favorite book a little more often.
  • Democrat
    Tennessee
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    God did not put two males together or two women together u need to read ur bible
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    Jennyolds Wrote: I stand with the robertsons if God intended for two men or two women to be together he would have made us that way he put us here to reproduce two men cant reproduce and neither can two women
    You argument makes three unsunstantiated claims as if they were truth.

    1. God Exists.
    2. God put us here on Earth
    3. The reason he put us here is to reproduce.

    There is absolutely zero evidence of any of this. You need to prove all three of these for this argument to be valid.

    So, let's assume, for the sake of argument, that you did prove all these which would score you quite a few Nobel Prizes and a huge amount of money. Using your logic. Infertile people would also not be allowed to marry since they are incapable or reproducing. Would people who married and found out they are unable to concieve be forced to divorce? Would elderly people who are too old to bear children not be allowed to marry? What about people who were fertile and lost their fertility due to some accident or disease?
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    Jennyolds Wrote: God did not put two males together or two women together u need to read ur bible
    That's right. Read your Bible. Slavery is okay. Foreskin is bad. Rape is a minor property crime. Women don't have rights. Kill everyone who doesn't agree with you. Don't eat fruit from the fig tree. Killing any infant is 100% okay as long as it is younger than 1 month old (after that they are people).

    And most importantly, God did not put two males nor two females together. He put 1 male with up a harem of 50 females together. And that's the way marriage should remain. 1 Male and as many females as that male wants.

    Makes perfect sense.