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  1. TessaT
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    TessaT Contributing Member

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    Duck Dynasty: Freedom of Speech or not?

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by TessaT, Dec 19, 2013.

    In an interview with GQ, Phil from Duck Dynasty said some pretty opinionated things about 'homosexuals'. When asked what sin was, he replied "Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there — bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men," he declared.
    You can read articles:
    http://tv.yahoo.com/blogs/tv-news/-duck-dynasty--star-s-anti-gay-remarks-spark-outrage-134231650.html
    http://tv.yahoo.com/blogs/tv-news/-duck-dynasty--drama--controversy-continues-to-build-over-phil-robertson-s-homosexuality-remarks-180934306.html

    My question to you... where do you fall? Is this simply freedom of speech and he should be able to say what he wants, or is this bigotry and hate speech, and where exactly, do you draw the line? Do you think he should have been fired?

    Personally, I took what he said (especially considering where he was raised) as not being rude or condensing, he was simply speaking his beliefs. He even quoted the Bible. He never mentioned anything about being lesser people, or not being given equal rights. And while I understand that what he said was hurtful to those who believe differently, I don't see that it was in a hateful or spiteful manner at all. He straight up admits that he just doesn't get it... at all.
     
  2. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

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    I think that what he said was definitely hurtful and pretty rude, but we all make mistakes and we just gotta keep going. (Aren't there bigger problems?)A brief apology is still in order, though.
     
  3. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    The Robertsons gave full warning before they became so popular, that their self-admitted God-fearing, redneck ways are the family's true identity and they would not change for anybody.

    I don't see it as bigotry or hate speak, but I'm from their same state where David Duke and Edwin Edwards battled for the governorship.
     
  4. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    I disagree. Every person in the United States has the right to free speech. When you start taxing on guilt or shame, is it free anymore?
     
  5. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

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    I never said that he needed to pay anybody anything. Just a brief "I'm sorry if I hurt anybody's feelings" is more than enough. That'll actually help his reputation.
     
  6. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    I meant "taxing on" as adding a burden to speaking your beliefs. Do gay marriage advocates have to apologize to their opposition? Does PETA apologize for what they say and do? Jesse Jackson? Do you have to agree with what somebody says before they can say it?
     
  7. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    It's freedom of speech as far as I'm concerned. He was asked what he believed about a particular issue, and he answered truthfully. I may not agree with him, but I support his right to say it.
     
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  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    He has freedom of speech to say what he wants. A&E has freedom of speech and association to continue their relationship with him or not. There's no First Amendment issue here, and no incompatibility between his exercise of his free speech to make these statements and A&E's exercise of its own rights to end (or put on hold) their relationship with him.

    It's similar to the Methodist priest who was just defrocked by the United Methodist Church for performing a gay marriage. The priest had the right to conduct the gay marriage despite the organization's wishes, and they have the right to sever their ties to him.

    In both cases, the rest of us have the right to patronize A&E or not (depending on how we feel about their decision), or to be members of the Method Church or not, and so on.
     
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  9. MmePlanetKIller
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    He'll probably just tell everyone that he's 'Sorry if you were offended', everyone will forget about in about a week, and this Duck Dynasty show has some free publicity. Meanwhile, New Mexico legalises same-sex marriage.

    I think there are instances when Freedom of Expression should be curtailed, but on a case-by-case basis, not a 'well if it checks any of these boxes we must stop it' system.
     
  10. Robert_S
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    It was free speech, but A&E is a business, not a democracy, so they can do as they see fit.
     
  11. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    He is free to say anything he likes as regards his beliefs under the paradigm of the American legal and cultural system. Many of my gay friends (I too am gay) get really bent when they hear this kind of thing. As far as I am concerned, let them blather on. The LGBT community has never had a better proponent and ally than Pat Robertson. Seriously, every time that dude opens his mouth and utters some embarrassing craziness that his co-hosts have to try and divert in another direction (he rarely lets them), it's a WIN for LGBT Americans.
     
  12. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    If my information is correct, there was some initial head-butting between A&E and the Robertson clan. A&E felt it was best to not end each show with a prayer. Duck Dynasty said no prayer, no show.

    They do make some killer duck calls, though. Work well even if you drop em in the water.
     
  13. GingerCoffee
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    Of course it's freedom of speech. Just as the show was free to fire him.

    And now it's free speech for the right wing crazies to complain about that.

    Backlash Grows Against 'Duck Dynasty' Firing

    Hopefully it's free speech for me to call them right wing crazies (note this does not refer to all right wingers, just the ones that would defend such hatred).
     
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  14. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    He has freedom of speech and it was in no way infringed. Our Constitutionally-derived freedom of speech means that the government cannot prevent you from speaking, and you cannot be put in jail or have your freedom curtailed by the state. It does not protect you from the consequences of the idiotic, mean, asinine or unpleasant things you might say.
     
  15. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    This. Freedom of speech is not freedom to speak with impunity.
     
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  16. ChickenFreak
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    What he said was hateful, designed to inspire hate, and generally despicable. It wasn't a simple expression of his beliefs; if that were all he wanted, he could have said, "My beliefs say that homosexual relationships are wrong..." He compared homosexuals with swindlers and terrorists, among other things, and went into an unnecessary amount of detail about preferred body parts. I see that he went on to make racist statements as well.

    He's a public figure, and his job is being a public figure. He stated his opinions publicly; this wasn't a matter of someone quoting remarks made on a private occasion, or hacking his texts. A&E are well within their rights to suspend or fire him.

    What he said was of course perfectly legal. He can say all the horrible hateful contemptible things that he wants, and the law can't touch him, and that is absolutely how it should be. He can buy a newspaper or launch a website and publish all the horrible contemptible racist despicable things he cares to, and that is also how it should be.

    But freedom of the press requires that you pay for the press. He was using A&E's press. He may need to try to find another one now. And that's also how it should be.
     
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  17. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    Everybody who has posted against Phil is a self acclaimed lefty. You don't complain when your own ilk vomits at the mike. Chill out and respect others' opinions the same way you would want your own to be heard
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
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  18. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    :confused: Got any examples of 'lefties' apologizing for some awful thing? Is this about the abortion debate? Or is there something else you had in mind? Inquiring minds would like to know.
     
  19. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

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    This sounds so terrible, but I've never actually seen Duck Dynasty as I don't have cable.....Is the show any good?
     
  20. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    Two things I can think of:

    Obama
    Mayor Filner and the infamous Filner Headlock.
     
  21. Tharian
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    Tharian Contributing Member

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    The attention given to this statement of his nurtures the false notion that, in a democracy, ''my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.''

    By all means, utilise freedom of speech, but that does not mean that you are free from the consequences of a flimsy reasoned argument/statement.

    The thing that irks me is that when spoken of homosexuals, the sex between males is often very quickly highlighted. Isn't homosexuality first and foremost about the love between two males? Just like being heterosexual is about the love between a man and a woman? The sex is just something that comes with the package, no pun intended.
     
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  22. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Of course. But focus on this obviously greater paradigm tends to dissolve the fortitude of arguments against; hence, it is squelched.
     
  23. chicagoliz
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    I've never understood this either. When I meet a heterosexual couple, I don't picture them having sex. In fact, I would say that I never think about my friends having sex. Apparently men think about this more than women, or at least I do. Am I an outlier -- that is, do most people constantly think about their friends, acquaintances, and family members having sex?
     
  24. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    For some reason, a lot of the posts on cultural media seem to think there is some sort of Constitutional issue here (i.e. First Amendment). Fact is, you're dealing with two private parties. He can say what he wants, and A&E doesn't have to keep him around. Have you noticed that misunderstanding of things as well?
     
  25. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    @Wreybies you may like Neil Gaiman's blog post on free speech, linked below. He says, in part:

    "If you accept -- and I do -- that freedom of speech is important, then you are going to have to defend the indefensible. That means you are going to be defending the right of people to read, or to write, or to say, what you don't say or like or want said."

    http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2008/12/why-defend-freedom-of-icky-speech.html
     
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