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First Amendment Duck

December 20, 2013 - John Stack
These days, you can’t get away from the Duck Dynasty crew. Walk into a Walmart and you are bombarded by Duck Dynasty stuff. Duck Dynasty towels, Duck Dynasty pillows, Duck Dynasty shampoo and even Elvis-on-velvet portraits proclaiming “I believe in Phil”. But, this last week it has hit a new crescendo. Patriarch Phil gave an interview to GQ where he… went off the reservation with his comments about blacks, homosexuals and any religion other than Christianity. A&E network where the show is played suspended Phil indefinitely. And the floodgates of ignorance opened wide again. “He’s the Rosa Parks of our generation” – Ian Bayne GOP congressional candidate. “Free speech is an endangered species” – Sarah Palin. In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment- Louisiana Gov Bobby Jindal. Wow. I wonder what he said. Is this what he said? ” I’m a God fearing man, and my Christian beliefs are that homosexuality is a sin”. Boy, if that’s what he said, I can’t imagine them suspending him. Its not like he compared gays bestiality. What, he did? Hmmm. Well, its not like he also mocked the plight of blacks, which would be really dumb rednekedness. Scuse me, what? He did that too? Hmmm. Well he at least recognizes that all religions co-exist peacefully here..Hold on. He put down Japanese religion, Communists and Muslims? But back to my story.

Of course Fox news is all over this, as well as many conservative talking heads. Bayne even claims “In December 2013, Robertson took a stand against persecution of Christians". Lets step back and look at that. “A stand against persecution of Christians”. 78% of Americans self identify as Christians. There are nearly the same number of Born Again Christian Democrats as Republicans. I’m pressed to understand how the weakest 20% is persecuting the strongest 80 percent. Who is it that is persecuting the Christians? It doesn’t even seem logically possible or coherent. Its like me worrying that my 8 year old son is persecuting the rest of the family.

Rosa Parks. A young unassuming black woman who took a stand against oppressive racism by refusing to give up her seat for a white man. In a time where blacks were often treated like less than human. Where lynching because of your color was not uncommon. Now, a rich white conservative is somehow the current embodiment of Rosa Parks? He didn’t even stand UP for Christianity. All he did was voice his views. If Bayne is elected, we really are going to Hell in a handbasket.

A classmate from my hometown of Mohawk posted on Facebook “First they try to take our guns, now our freedom of speech!”. I wasn’t sure how A&E wanted to take his guns, but I also didn’t understand how anyone’s 1st Amendment rights were violated. Was he arrested for Christianity or for saying anything? Now, if there was a guy hired for PAT Robertson’s Christian Coalition talked to GQ saying how horrible Pat Robertson was, how Christianity was a hoax and evil and they would all burn as infidels, would Pat Robertson fire him? Would all these right wing nuts come to this guy’s defense in saying he was being persecuted for his beliefs? There is a better chance of me piloting the next trip to the International Space Station than that happening.

Lets be honest. This isn’t about the first amendment, either the freedom of religion or the freedom of speech. It is about being upset that a Christian has been suspended – rightfully so- because of his rude, crude disgusting remarks about blacks, non-christains, gays and many others and trying to blame “the left” for suppressing speech and religion. What they mean is “freedom just for Christian religions” (actually Brian Fischer of American Family Associations says this bluntly) and first Amendment rights only for those who we agree with. Phil Robinson was suspended by his employer for exactly what the US is founded upon – free enterprise. He hurt his company’s bottom line, and the company did what they could to stop the bleeding. If anything, the right should be cheering A&E’s decision, not blasting it.


Article Comments



Jan-11-14 12:21 AM

Phil is right, it is a sin according to Christianity. Maybe not to some who only believe the parts of the bible they choose or just go to church to look good, but it is in there plain as day. He was not wrong at all. That being said God does not hate anyone. He loves us all and we all are sinners and are doomed as a result unless we accept the gift of Salvation through Grace, and that Grace comes from Jesus Christ.


Dec-30-13 11:43 AM

I hate Illinois Nazis.


Dec-30-13 11:35 AM

In response, the American Civil Liberties Union took the case and successfully defended the Nazis' right to free speech.

Skokie had all the elements of a difficult case: a clash of absolutes, prior restraint of speech, and heated public sentiment. In recreating it, Strum presents a detailed account and analysis of the legal proceedings as well as finely delineated portraits of the protagonists: Frank Collin, National Socialist Party of America leader and the son of a Jewish Holocaust survivor; Skokie community leader Sol Goldstein, a Holocaust survivor who planned a counterdemonstration against the Nazis; Skokie mayor Albert Smith, who wanted only to protect his townspeople; and ACLU attorney David Goldberger, caught in the ironic position of being a Jew defending the rights of Nazis against fellow Jews. While the ACLU did win the case, it was a costly victory--30,000 of its members left the organization. And in the end, ironically, the Nazis never did march in Skokie.


Dec-30-13 11:33 AM

In the Chicago suburb of Skokie, one out of every six Jewish citizens in the late 1970s was a survivor--or was directly related to a survivor--of the Holocaust. These victims of terror had resettled in America expecting to lead peaceful lives free from persecution. But their safe haven was shattered when a neo-Nazi group announced its intention to parade there in 1977. Philippa Strum's dramatic retelling of the events in Skokie (and in the courts) shows why the case ignited such enormous controversy and challenged our understanding of and commitment to First Amendment values.

The debate was clear-cut: American Nazis claimed the right of free speech while their Jewish "targets" claimed the right to live without intimidation. The town, arguing that the march would assault the sensibilities of its citizens and spark violence, managed to win a court injunction against the marchers.


Dec-30-13 11:31 AM

Poor Concussion must be suffering from a Concussion. As usual their comments are confused and totally baseless. As we saw in Skokie Ill, you need not agree with someone to believe in their freedom of speech. I suggest you read " University Press of Kansas Logo When the Nazis Came to Skokie

Freedom for Speech We Hate

Philippa Strum".


Dec-30-13 9:15 AM

Maybe the only silver lining for me is that I now know who are all racist, ignorant, hypocritical, homophobes on my facebook friends list...and of course DW, (which I had already suspected).

What a horrible, awful, people we are when out population cheers on a racist hatemonger who uses his Faith and hides behind his Bible to dehumanize whole groups of people.

Futhermore, the last I checked, the First Amendment applies to censorship by the government. You're allowed to say what you believe, the private sector has the right to punish you for those beliefs via the withholding of money or other forms of boycotting.

Unless you WANT the government to intervene in the private sector....which of course would make you a godless lib commie or something.


Dec-28-13 6:38 PM

And the Dixie Chick quote is "“Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.” Spoken 10 days before the beginning of the Iraq War, the backlash took the Dixie Chicks from the biggest concert draw in country music to relative obscurity in country music in a matter of weeks.


Dec-28-13 4:39 PM

Now that this has played out to it's rightful conclusion, we see that the vast majority of Americans support freedom! Mr Robertson spoke his views and A&E overreacted. It is the right of any US citizen to speak their mind. Just as it is the right of any US citizen to disagree. This episode spoke volumes as to the mindset of all of us. It also should act as a warning to the Libs, LGBT and others that the common citizens will no longer stand for their extremist fringe trying to shut up their detractors through intimidation and threats to their sponsors.


Dec-26-13 10:15 AM

It's sickening how quickly conservatives are falling over themselves to support a racist homophobe. Not surprising, but sickening nonetheless. Fox news went so far as to call this Phil guy "the next martin luther king". Stay classy.

Remember when the Dixie Chicks said "maybe this whole Iraq war thing isn't such a great idea" people like this were in line throwing thier CD's under the steamroller, with eagle tears in their eyes.

I'm all for free speech. If we didn't have freedom of speech, I'd be hard to know who the idiots are. Thanks for making it so clear and easy.

Dec-25-13 2:25 PM

Phil Robertson only made ONE mistake: agreeing to an interview that entered into his personal belief system. Political correctness is Impossible these day's with Whatever you believe, especially if you publically announce such!!! It would be very interesting to ask the CEO's of any larger American company their personal beliefs on a plethora of sensitive subjects and then compare the 'backlash' to those answers!!!!


Dec-25-13 9:37 AM

In a world filled with reality tv...can someone tell me why the people in them can't express their own reality. Not everyone agrees with gay rights and they should be able to speak their mind. The television is filled with violence and sex ...even commercials are disturbing now. People don't need to be quiet so they don't hurt someone's feelings...boohoo.


Dec-23-13 9:37 AM

Nothing like the troll-bait I threw up on their facebook page yesterday! Ha ha! They believe in freedom of speach so much it was deleted in less than 10 minutes.

Hypocrites all of them. I always said if your religion lends you to behave like an idiot then YOU are the problem. It really is as easy as that folks.


Dec-23-13 9:04 AM

Furthermore, ADKJohns, Iran has a very, very, long history with Christianity. Although a minority (of course) they are still represented by about a half-million Iranians. St. Jude established his first mission there, which still exists today, in what then was Armenia now is Northern Iran. However, your comments do hold some merit as being an Islamic republic Christians must still follow Sharia law, wear the burka and not shave and stuff. There is a park in Tehran dedicated to Saint Mary which is kind of odd.


Dec-23-13 8:52 AM

The First Amendment gives us Freedom of Speech® , not so much freedom of repercussion.

You are more than welcome to demonstrate your twisted, racist, bigoted views anywhere you want in this country just like the fools from Westboro Baptist Church. Just don't dwell in dark alleys too long.

This Phil guy is a joke. Not that I've ever bought any DD "merchandise" I have less reason to now. I would imagine that most reasonable people would feel that way. This being America® I would imagine that Wal-Mart is having a hard time keeping their junk on the shelves.

Life is all in the company you keep.


Dec-22-13 8:35 PM

Our Constitution guarantees us freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion. That freedom means that Phil, or anyone else, is allowed to believe in the teachings of their religions. And they are allowed to talk about their beliefs ANYWHERE they choose in this country. If you do not agree with his beliefs, you are free to speak out also. But just because you disagree with his stance does not mean he has to worship your viewpoint.


Dec-21-13 3:55 PM

A&E can fire him for any or no reason. Its a business decision one way or the other. He can say whatever he wants. Whats the problem?


Dec-21-13 12:00 PM

While the Duck patriarch made some dumb crude remarks, his opinion about the sinfulness of homosexuality, greed, murder, envy, God-haters. etc.,is right-on and very biblical. While God hates sin in all its forms and demands that we live holy lives, he still offers us hope and forgiveness in Jesus, whose miraculous birth we celebrate this season. And yes, Christians are persecuted by the hundreds of thousands around the world, especially in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.Try giving out a Bible on the street in Iran and see what happens to you.


Dec-20-13 7:13 PM

dynasty of ducks never interested me anyway. if you'v never gone,try a field trip to lo. i got robbed,nearly shot with a 12gauge,had my life threatened by drunks in a bar, and drove outta that place,all in a week.


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