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Duck Dynasty Star Phil Robertson’s First Amendment Rights Are Not Being Violated

(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for A&E Networks)

I’ve been getting a little frustrated lately.  I’m sure I will come under attack by people who support Phil Robertson that don’t listen to what I’m saying.   First, I 100% believe Phil should be able to express whatever views and beliefs he has under the protection of the 1st amendment.   That being said, I 100% believe that A&E has every right by law to suspend him.  That’s what the first amendment is all about… laws.

My frustration isn’t with people upset with A&E for suspending Duck Dynasty.   That’s your opinion, which you are allowed to have by the 1st Amendment.  My frustration is with people who cry out that his first amendment rights are being violated.  Nobody is going to throw you in jail, or arrest you for what you say or think.

Same thing protects Phil from being arrested for what he said about homosexuals.  The first amendment is defined as:

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.

And that’s where protection of the freedom of speech ends.  The first amendment does not protect you from :

  • being fired by your employer for anything you say
  • being reprimanded for expressing your views
  • having people be upset with you
  • consequences from what you say or believe

Same thing applies at your workplace.  If you said offensive things at work regarding your co-workers, they are going to be upset, and you might be punished.

Concerning A&E’s suspension of Phil, I don’t think it was the right move.  Gay rights and equality are probably not very high on the list for Duck Dynasty viewers, and most of the viewers probably already expected this would have been Phil’s views.  A&E should have just issued a statement saying that the views of Phil Robertson do not represent the views of A&E.

Like I said before, I don’t agree with Phil.   I also don’t agree with A&E and the way they handled it.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but let’s not throw around the “freedom of speech” argument anymore.   He got to say what he wanted to say, and there are always consequences for what you say, good or bad.

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