We like our Rednecks with a Slice of Liberalism

Jeff Siegel

Updated December 20, 2013

rednecklibThe big news this week wasn’t the continued violence in the Middle East or the Fed’s decision to shave $10 billion off its buying spree.

No, this week it was all about a reality TV star who decided to spout off about homosexuality and some pretty delusional thoughts on race.

Phil Robertson, star of the reality series Duck Dynasty told GQ reporters that homosexuality was a sin, and included it in the same category as bestiality and womanizing.

Not surprisingly, some folks were up in arms.

All those patronizing liberals who love to watch those “crazy rednecks” from the comfort and safety of their big screens were in shock to find out some of “those people” don’t enjoy drag shows and white liberal guilt like good, responsible politically-correct zombies.

No, I’m not surprised by the words that fell out of Robertson’s mouth. He lives in a world where thoughts like these are perfectly normal. Do I agree with him? No. But I can’t say I’m surprised by what he said.

No Room in Heaven for the Gays

I don’t particularly buy the routine that religion justifies discrimination or hatred.

That being said, if you do, that’s your choice. And if I don’t like what you have to say, I don’t have to listen.

Although admittedly, I do feel bad for young gay people who are just trying to figure out who they are when holier-than-thou zealots make them feel like they’re doing something wrong just by “being” what God created them to be.

In any event, if you believe your religion dictates that homosexuality is wrong, then that’s up to you. And you have every right to speak your mind. While I may not agree with such a thought, I will still support your right to vocalize it anytime you want.

Now should A&E suspend Robertson from its show because of this incident?

Well, that’s up to management. It has to do whatever is in the company’s best interest.

Everyone has a Crazy Uncle

Right-wing groups have already come out in support of Robertson, launching letter-writing campaigns to A&E and showing their frustration with the network’s decision. And of course, there are the talking heads in the media that have jumped all over this thing, too. Todd Stames from Fox recently wrote a piece entitled, “A&E declares war on ‘Duck Dynasty’s Christian values.”

Stames wrote,

By now you probably know that A&E indefinitely suspended Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the Duck Dynasty family, for following the teachings of the Holy Bible.

No, A&E canned his ass because what he said doesn’t jive with the majority of its viewers. If anything, it was just a business decision. Because let’s face it, I highly doubt the folks over at A&E just discovered Robertson’s views on homosexuality.

Of course, while I find Robertson’s views to be at odds with my beliefs, I don’t hate the guy. I actually like the show, too. Robertson actually reminds me of that crazy uncle every family has. Sure, he’s probably a bit homophobic, racist or just out of touch with the modern world, but deep down, I don’t believe his intentions are evil.

He doesn’t say these things to make people feel bad. But to deny that’s what happens would be naïve.

And those of us who seek to support the basic rights of our gay brothers and sisters should actually use this as an opportunity to create a rational dialogue, instead of acting like we’re so offended that we must start lobbing insults back and forth. Because clearly, this accomplishes nothing.

As well, when guys like Stames write things like, “A&E is apparently run by a bunch of anti-Christian bigots,” we should expect to get nothing more than a continued flow of vitriol from both sides.

Freedom of Speech

Despite Stames and all those other talking heads who continue to rant about how A&E’s decision is a violation of free speech, the truth is, this really isn’t about freedom of speech at all.

Robertson can say whatever he wants to say. And we all know this.

That being said, he has to understand that when you’re in the public eye, everything you say and do is being scrutinized by a highly-critical public – with access to the Internet.

Look, if the government attempted to silence Robertson, I’d be the first in line to denounce such an action. But that’s not what’s happening here.

Truth is, a media company has decided to silence him because it’s in its best financial interests to do so. And if you truly believe in an honest free market, then you have to accept their decision.

Sure, you can write letters and attempt to get them to change their mind. But to claim that this is a first amendment issue is not only dishonest, it’s just stupid.

No, I don’t agree with Phil Robertson on issues of religion and homosexuality. And no, I really don’t wish to hear his thoughts on sin and the bible. This is of no interest to me. And fortunately, I am not forced to listen to anything he has to say.

So for all those folks who are so offended by Robertson’s rants of lunacy, just tune him out.

As well, for all those folks who are so offended by A&E suspending Robertson from the show, just don’t watch A&E anymore.

It’s actually really, really simple.

As for me, I’ll probably still watch the show, because it’s entertaining. And I’ll also continue to support those Americans – gay or straight – who wish to enjoy all the basic civil and constitutional rights that we should all treasure, respect and honor.

Live honorably, live free. . .

Jeff Siegel Signature 



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