Duck Dynasty and the 1st Amendment: Why everyone is wrong.

The_First_Amendment_does_not_cover_burping.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.

If you read that carefully you should notice two things. First: The framers of the constitution clearly laid the ground work for the holiday of Festivus. Read the last part of the last sentence. It’s obvious to me they were giving a wink and a nod to the “Airing of Grievances”, the third pillar of Festivus after putting up the Festivus Pole, and the Feats of Strength.

Second and more important by a little bit; freedom of speech can only be inhibited by the government. In other words you only have the right to be protected from the government for the things you say. You have no right to keep your job if you say things your employer does not like, or in the case of Robertson, violate your contract as a reality actor in a reality series.  You still have the right to say them, but your employer has the right to terminate you for it. You see, your employer has the right to free speech and expression just as much as the individual. If they believe what you say or do, at work or not, hurts their brand or their bottom line, they are absolutely within their rights to terminate you for it. A&E is a private, free market, capitalist business. This is how it works.

Now does that mean A&E had the right to suspend Robertson for what he said and believes about homosexuality, and a host of other sins? Yes, they absolutely do have that right.

But being right and doing right are completely different things.

My podcast partner Tony Hupp already scribed a good piece on Robertson being suspended for his beliefs and the wrongness of that. Read it here: Duck Dynasty. I agree with Tony on this. I’m not a fan of slippery slope arguments but this feels like a bad one to me. Do we really want free people to be afraid to express their opinion or their faith, no matter how blunt and in-artful Robertson did?

So was A&E right to suspend Robertson for what he believes? I don’t think so.

But look at the result. Because they suspended him, their ratings are skyrocketing, and that’s from ratings that were obnoxiously high to begin with. A&E plans a Duck Dynasty marathon this weekend, all episodes have Robertson in it. All new episodes already taped will air next year. Robertson is in those as well.

Free market capitalism my friends, embrace the whore-ness.

You want to worry about free speech as it pertains to the 1st amendment, read stuff that really matters.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2519741/Judge-orders-bakeshop-serve-sex-customers-owner-REFUSED-make-rainbow-wedding-cake-gay-couple.html

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/12/7/denver-cake-shopmustsellcakestogaycouplejudgerules.html

http://verdict.justia.com/2013/09/04/new-mexico-supreme-court-anti-discrimination-law-to-wedding-photographer

Those links are three issues occurring in our country that will get no publicity. Why? Because everyone is crying “free speech” over a guy on TV who thinks homosexuality is a sin and likens it to bestiality but gets rich making duck calls that essentially allows hunters to trick ducks into having sex with them so the hunters can shoot them. (got that last part on twitter, can’t remember who specifically, but it’s some one else’s line and a great one)

Those three issues, in Washington State, Denver, and New Mexico, those are first amendment issues.

I hope you read those three stories. Here is the synopsis: Under court order those three businesses are being FORCED TO PERFORM A SERVICE AGAINST THEIR WILL THAT VIOLATES THIER RELIGIOUS BELIEFS.

You know where I got the Denver story, from Al Jazeera America. Yes that Al Jazeera, the Muslim news organization opened a branch here in America. They are following the bakery story in Denver.

I can’t turn on home shopping network without seeing a story about that bearded redneck being “suspended” but I have to go to AL Jazeera to read about Americans being forced by a court to do something against their religious beliefs.

Don’t cry about the 1st amendment for Robertson. It absolutely does not apply.

Howl with your hair on fire over the court rulings in Washington, Denver, and New Mexico. The 1st amendment was just nullified.

It was done right under your Duck Calling noses.

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