Free speech has consequences

I’ve watched and listened to the responses to Phil Robertson’s (Duck Dynasty) article in GQ. There are the “pros” from total agreement of what he says to those who are angry at the backlash but don’t necessarily agree with him. They tend to throw loses of constitutional free speech rights. Then there are the “cons” from total disagreement of his views and those who think the decision of A&E to temporarily ban him from this most successful “Dynasty” was appropriate. I think most of us fall out somewhere above or at least have a definite opinion.

Mr. Robertson gave his views on homosexuality and on civil rights for African Americans. I am 100 percent for him to have his belief system and if he so desires, express it publicly. However, as a Christian pastor, when he identifies himself as a Christian, I believe it is also my right, and responsibility, to say he does not speak for all Christians. I am just as entitled to not want to be represented by his personal opinion. He has a huge audience and I do not. When one has such an enormous following, it is absolutely the right of people to disagree with him.

His employer, A&E, had made a stand. This is their right. As some have said, if you don’t like a station, don’t watch it. Really simple.

Our rights are not being taken away; in fact, it’s just the opposite. Freedom of speech, even speech we disagree with, is alive and well. The message given by prominent people (or any public person) should be discussed and dissected. It’s a fundamental right of free people.

Remember, Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., is also labeled as Christian. I hardly think most of us agree with their beliefs. But if we don’t stand up as people of faith, many will believe that is what Christianity is about.

I admit, I have been a Duck Dynasty watcher (Si is my guy) and I may continue to watch. I don’t look to them for anything but silly entertainment. They (especially Mr. Phil Robertson) chose to make their personal opinions public. Now, they should take the consequences, be it positive or negative.

Janice E. Hill