on free speech and consequences

I’ve read a lot of things about free speech today. I love free speech, I love that you, and I, and your uncles best friend’s nephew can say whatever we want to say. It is one of the great and beautiful things about our country. I will never tell stop you from uttering words that you want to say. That being said, regarding the Duck Dynasty issue, I have a couple of things to say myself. I respect your right to stand behind Phil Robertson. That is your right, no matter what you personally believe whether you agree or disagree. However, as a publically traded, privately owned company, A&E also has a right to choose the messages that it will send to their viewers.

If they exercise their rights of free speech and choose not to allow a person on their network who has a public record of saying things that they, as a network believe that “His personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community,” they have a right to try and keep their network representative of what the image they want to project. They are not covering his mouth with tape or tying his hands behind his back. He is free to go to whatever newspaper, magazine, or other media outlet and express his opinions. They didn’t take his free speech, they just exercised their own right to it.

Furthermore, as a public figure, he is always on the job. Especially when he is giving an interview. It is unfortunate, but it is a fact. This means that what he says can be held against him. If you or I were to say some of the things he said while we were on the job, we would face consequences as well. I am glad that he has an opinion he is willing to stand behind. Regardless of whether I agree or not, there are more people these days who are too afraid to say what they believe and instead resort to passive-aggressive measures or whispers behind closed doors. However, when you do have an opinion and you proclaim it to the world, there is always a chance of consequence. It is why so many people are afraid to say what they really think.

To others who are again saying that because of what he said all Christians share the same opinion and that you can color them all with the same crayon? Shame. For you to judge the actions and beliefs of many by those of one man is no better. I am a Christian. I pray, probably not as much as I should, but I do. And I don’t agree with him. That’s my right. So please, make your arguments with both logic and heart, we all as human beings have the right, ability, and privilege to use both.

I will step off my soapbox now.

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