Once again, there are those who are endeavoring to squelch the First Amendment to the United States Constitution with the uproar of the Duck Dynasty patriarch’s, Phil Robertson, choice words regarding moral issues on homosexuality, etc.
“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.”
Although Robertson may not have expressed his opinions in the most diplomatic of terms, it is his right to express his feelings about topics that might inevitably offend someone. After all, those who are offended have no problem with expressing their views on him and his strong Christian belief.
A&E has placed the patriarch on a “hiatus” from the Duck Dynasty show believing that that is the best way to “punish” him and resolve the explosive situation. However, all it has done has been to blow the situation out of the water. Robertson, and so far his family, seems to have no intention of backing down or changing views because of a television show.
Nevertheless, if they did or will remove Phil from the programming, how long before the show’s rating will tumble completely away? The draw of the show is not just the homespun attitude of the characters or their reactions to each other, but the strong family wall and support system as well as their obvious foundation in Christian behaviorism and morals. If that wall cracks with the show and the family does not show support, then the show would be a bust anyway.
A&E has to realize that a “realty” show has REAL people involved. I had heard that in the beginning that A&E was endeavoring to tone down the Christian faith foundation of the clan, but that the family, namely Phil, would not let them do that. Every episode’s theme is a strong basis regarding the best way to handle real situations as a family or business and ends with a prayer with the family before they eat together.
A&E will have a hard decision to make regarding the future of not only Duck Dynasty but its station’s policy regarding “freedom of speech” for all its programming. They would be better to consider the motto:
"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" – Evelyn Beatrice Hall
Already it seems the family is offered airtime on other stations. A&E should be aware they could lose a big moneymaker.
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