A&E Ducks From Protecting Its Dynasty Star’s Free Speech

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By Austin R. Nimocks

Phil Robertson, the leading star of the most popular reality show ever, Duck Dynasty, and a Bible-believing Christian, is being tarred and feathered for sharing his Biblical beliefs about sexual behavior. But why?

When an interviewer asked him about sin, he lamented, “Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong… Sin becomes fine.” Phil Robertson said, “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.”

What really ruffled feathers came next, when he paraphrased Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God.” He added, “Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

While some of his comments could have been less crude, he shared so much more that is being ignored: “that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”

Beyond being called names by homosexual advocacy organizations, Phil was most notably cast out by his show’s network–A&E.  Really?  Here’s an organization that, but for the protections of the First Amendment, wouldn’t be in business.  And when their most popular star exercises his freedom of speech, he’s placed “under hiatus from filming indefinitely.”

A&E also remarkably contended in a statement that Phil’s views “are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty.”  Well, unless you’re watching a different Duck Dynasty from the one I watch, only the willfully ignorant don’t see traditional Biblical values reflected in Duck Dynasty.  Beyond the prayers offered at the end of each episode, which almost always are offered “in Jesus’ name,” the Robertson’s church–White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ–is also prominently featured in the show.  And compared to so many other shows on television these days, the women do not flaunt their bodies and every 5th word isn’t bleeped.  Bottom line–it is impossible to not watch a show without seeing traditional Biblical values on full display.

One would think that First Amendment beneficiaries, like A&E, would jealously guard free speech rights, especially those belonging to its own stars.  But as with advocates of homosexual behavior, their idea of “tolerance” is apparently best characterized as a one-way street.

Thus, while A&E feathers its First Amendment enterprise with Duck Dynasty, it simultaneously cries fowl when one of the Robertson flock makes a quack about Biblical sexual behavior.  Maybe A&E should really stand for Absurd & Excessive.  It’s time for A&E to fly south and make things again, as Phil would say, “happy, happy, happy.”

Don’t duck, stand with Phil! Change your Facebook profile picture to show your support for Phil’s free speech rights.

 

Let’s step back for a moment here: there are brothers and sisters among us who wrestle with same-sex attraction (SSA) – who know that any sexual behavior outside of God’s design for a married husband and wife is sin – and who did not ask for the attractions that hound them. They agree with Phil’s understanding of the truth of Scripture about human sexuality, but are hurt by the tone and tenor. When well intentioned believers make comments like Phil’s, those who struggle with SSA often feel even more discouraged as people, disheartened by their past (or present), and sense even more affirmation that there is no place for them among the Body of Christ. That is unacceptable and it is untrue.

Regrettably, none of us can afford to focus on that part of the story, because it is the reaction of A&E that must take center stage in this saga. Had the story ended merely with Phil’s comments, the Christian community would have had an opportunity to  talk about our need for much more understanding and greater sympathy in lovingly communicating about topics like homosexuality and those who experience SSA.

Sadly, that opportunity has been denied us because A&E chose to join the speech police and punish Phil for even expressing his opinion. From Chick fil A, to Louis Giglio, to our own clients in the Elane Photography case, this type of cowardly and intolerant reaction to any expressive speech other than 100% moral approval of homosexuality has become all too common by folks on the Left. It is a dangerous reaction the entire American way of life.

Fortunately, not everyone has drunk the politically correct kool-aid. A must read for evidence of this comes from a self-identified gay TIME columnist who authored: The ‘Duck Dynasty’ Fiasco Says More About Our Bigotry Than Phil’s: Why is our go-to political strategy for beating our opponents to slience them? Why do we dismiss, rather than engage them?

Author: Alliance Defending Freedom