Wow! Who would have thought that Duck Dynasty would have become such a huge hit to begin with. I never really got it, although I have watched it several times. Interesting? Different? Sure, but really not overly enjoyable to me.
Now, with the entire Phil Robertson controversy due to his comments in a GQ magazine interview, I find myself very vocal and interested in this matter of Freedom of Speech and how Christians/Gays, Conservatives and Liberals, friends and neighbors, are all becoming so polarized over the subject. I’m going to say right now that my opinion is just that, and other’s opinions are too, but what really concerns me is the way this impacts our First Amendment rights. (read below)
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.
Not only does the first amendment protect a person’s freedom of speech, but before that, it specifically protects religious rights. Nobody seems to be focused on that part, but only on the freedom of speech.
There are some basic questions I’d like to ask as food for thought.
- Why is GQ interested in Phil Robertson? Not a GQ kind of guy. Does their readers really align with Duck Dynasty viewers? Did they go into this interview with an agenda that they knew would garner them huge publicity….and revenue? A definite possibility.
- Why are the comments that made in replying to a leading question being made the focus without the follow-up comments about how he would not treat anyone with disrespect and that everyone is God’s creation? That would have lessened the controversy. Not as good for news.
- What good is it doing for A&E and other companies (i.e. Cracker Barrel) to try to “punish” Phil or the Duck Dynasty brand by their actions to remove Phil and/or DD products? According to the figures from Gallup in 2012, Christians and Catholics account for over 74% of Americans and Gays for less than 5%. The way society treats those two groups you would assume the numbers were reversed.
- Did Phil state a belief (disregard it being a religious belief at this moment) that was hateful or harmful to anyone? Did he attack a segment of people? If what his said is considered “hate” or “harmful” to the LGBT community, then the Christian communities have an arsenal of attacks being made against them.
As I stated earlier about not really being interested in Duck Dynasty and never understood the huge following, I now realize that God had a plan and is using this family, and this show, to move people who have not spoken up in the past. Conservatives….Christian or not…..are standing for Phil’s first amendment rights. Christians are taking a stand for their rights to free speech not being violated and taking a stand for their beliefs too. Christians and non-Christians are having dialog like never before, and I know lives will be reached in ways that would have not been otherwise. And hopefully, Christians are displaying the love of Christ when they discuss this matter at the water fountain, in social media, or in their blogs.
I’m proud to be a Christian and I will gladly share my beliefs. I pray that I always do it in a Christ-like manner.