On one side are those whose argument seems to me to be, “How dare Phil Robertson have vile homophobic opinions? He should not have access to the public airways with opinions like that!” And, yes, his opinions are homophobic. And also racist. And more than a little ignorant.
On the other are those who are screaming about censorship (it’s not) about religious freedom (which does not include the unquestionable right to be on television) and about the horrible horrible homosexuals.
In a nation that values free speech, even odious speech has a right to compete in the marketplace of ideas (right up there with the “ideas” of Honey Boo Boo, Sarah Palin, and Perez Hilton). And in a capitalist economy, television producers can decide what ideas with which they want to be associated.
But this isn’t really much about ideas. I suspect that most of those “supporting Phil” have no idea what he actually said or why it is that gay people are offended. They are just emotionally connecting a fear that in a rapidly changing world, their ability to practice their faith openly may be further curtailed.
And GLAAD and other gay supporters failed in articulating the concerns we had with his speech, missed that part of it was a paraphrase of a scripture, and lost the opportunity to distinguish between religious position and hate speech.
This is little more than a replay of the Chic-fil-A squabble. It’s people supporting “their side”.
The vast majority of pro-gay people really are not looking to silence and censor and ban all of those who are religious, even those who are conservatively religious and have beliefs which include the idea that homosexual acts are sinful. And the vast majority of religious people really do not think that gay people are like terrorists or that homosexuality and bestiality are in any way comparable. It’s just the stupid pointless Culture War.
And now A&E has announced that taping of Duck Dynasty – including Phil Robertson – will resume this spring. And the quacking from ‘family’ activists has resumed with vigor.
But maybe now this whole thing will soon be over.