Alright. Today was the day I finally had enough. The whole Phil Roberston and A&E Network thing sent me over the edge. A man comes out, in an interview, states his views about homosexuality based on his religious views, even says he doesn’t judge people because of it, and, in a knee jerk reaction, he get’s “suspended” by the network. Of course, the outrage from the Conservative community ( of which I am part) is followed up by the support of A&E by the Progressive community. Let the hypocrisy begin. This is what we have come to in this country. Before I get into my views too much, let me share what I have heard from both sides.
First, the Conservative side.
1. Phil said this in an interview when he was asked a question. He did not volunteer the information until he was asked.
2. He did not condemn homosexuality, he said that in his view it isn’t normal and he doesn’t accept it. He also said he didn’t accept other things like promiscuity, prostitution, etc.
3. He did not claim to be saint, in fact he discussed his checkered past.
4. He left judgment up to God.
5. A&E knows what Phil is, what he believes, and they still choose to make a lot of money off of his show.
6. He has a right to Freedom of Speech.
Now, the Progressive side:
1. You have a right to your opinion but that doesn’t mean your opinion doesn’t have consequences.
2. Celebrities should be held to a higher standard when it comes to Freedom of Speech. They can’t say what they want because they are in the public forum.
3. This makes Gay and Lesbian people feel bad.
4. This is not a freedom of speech issue.
5. His opinions make him a homophobe.
Okay, so with all of that out in the open, let’s move forward. Let’s talk about freedom of speech and freedom of association first. It used to be that when people said things you didn’t like you would say, ” Okay, that guys a jerk. I am not going to hang out with him, watch his show, buy his stuff, etc. ” Then you would move on with your life, forget about it. You may say something about it, but then that was it. He got to live his life and you got to live yours. Not now. Now, when someone says something you don’t like, you have to get him fired, file a lawsuit, or go curl up in the corner with your jammies and pacifier because you just can’t get over the fact that he said it. The purveyors of political correctness have made us a nation of people who just can’t accept diversity of viewpoints. It’s just like the guy with the Obama/Biden bumper sticker on his car. It pisses me off. Every day when I run I give that bumper sticker the finger. But, it doesn’t ruin my life. I don’t ask him to take it off. I don’t tell the town that he shouldn’t be allowed to have that bumper sticker on his car because it pisses me off. If I ever meet that guy, I probably won’t want to hang out with him because I have a feeling he and I will disagree A LOT.
Okay, Progressives will say, but that’s not an example of someone using “hate speech” against a group. Alright, let’s talk about ” hate speech.” I understand that racial and lifestyle slurs should not be used. We all get that. However, nowadays you can’t even say the name of certain cities without being called a racist. Just ask Al Sharpton and any other MSNBC host. So, the definition of ” hate speech” has now been stretched to include anything you say that I don’t like or don’t think I like. The Progressive left has gotten quite good at making anything a Conservative says hate speech. They call them ” dog whistles.” So, now, whenever a Conservative speaks, according to Progressives, it’s hate speech. So, if I wanted to, by Progressive edict, I could call that bumper sticker “hate speech” against me, a middle aged white woman. By the way, if we want, we can claim that calling someone a “stupid redneck” is hate speech. Yes, those tolerant Progressives who said that used hate speech.
Now, where does it say in the Constitution that famous people don’t have freedom of speech? I didn’t see that exemption. Now, I will agree that politicians should watch what they say. They want us to vote for them after all. And, I do agree that the Secretary of Education shouldn’t single out “White suburban moms” as the ones who don’t like Common Core because “their kids aren’t as smart as they think they are.” I mean, insert the word “black” for white in that comment and you have a national incident. He should be able to keep his stupid comments in check. I also agree that the President should not comment about potential crimes because the alleged victim ” looks like he could be my ( his) son.” These comments appear that the government, tax paid official favors one group over another. Aren’t they all serve ALL the people? I also think that certain liberal Senators should not call their opponents terrorists, slave owners, bigots, racists, etc. These comments are not conducive to polite political discourse.
As to your opinion having consequences. I agree. But there is a difference between calling your boss an asshole and getting fired versus saying something about your religious beliefs and getting fired. Especially when the people hiring you KNOW your opinions and basically hired you because of them. By the way, I don’t just include Phil Robertson in this. Alec Baldwin, while stupid and arrogant, should not have been fired for a comment made in public while he was not on the air. Bill Maher, while a total jerk, should not be fired for saying stupid things on his HBO show. If you don’t like what they say, don’t watch. Flip the channel. Move on. They have said things much worse than what Phil would ever think of saying. If their ratings go down enough, they will end up off the air anyway.
Let’s address the homophobe comment. This is trotted out every single time someone says they don’t agree with the Gay and Lesbian lifestyle. It’s like the “racist” label. They use it because they KNOW it will shut down any conversation or diversity of viewpoints. Just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean I fit those labels. I have been called a racist for not agreeing with President Obama. I didn’t agree with Clinton either, but somehow that didn’t make me a racist. But, because Obama is half black, that changes the whole paradigm. ( By the way, which half am I racist against????). It’s actually okay to disagree with people who are different from you without being labeled in this way. Phil didn’t say that gays should be stoned, shunned, or discriminated against. He just said he didn’t approve of their lifestyle. Horrors. He also doesn’t approve of infidelity.
I think what we have forgotten in this country is the main gist of my blog. I don’t need your approval and you don’t need mine. If you want to be gay, be gay. I don’t need to approve. If I want to be heterosexual, I will. I don’t need your approval. I also don’t need your approval to be a Conservative Catholic who has my set of values that you may agree or disagree with. If you don’t like what I believe in, that’s fine. You can go ahead and live your life and I will live mine. I choose my friends on a variety of factors, none of which are their sexual preference or even their religious views. I will defend your right to your opinions and I hope you will defend mine. More important, let’s defend the right to have a true diversity of ideas in this country. Agree to disagree, but don’t let’s not shut each other up. If we do that, we have become exactly what we don’t want to be.