Should We Discuss The Persecution of Phil Robertson?

Low-fired green-glazed pottery figure of a duc...

Low-fired green-glazed pottery figure of a duck from the time of the Eastern Han dynasty (25-220 AD). On display at the Shanghai Museum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’d like to tell the people who think Phil Robertson is being persecuted to calm the duck down but I just can’t bring myself to pretend that I came up with that pun.

Sadly I can’t tell you who did but I have seen it all over the place alongside a variety of opinion pieces about whether A&E’s suspension of the Duck Dynasty patriarch is fair or if he is being persecuted for his beliefs.

Hell I can’t give you much more than a few more words to this situation than what you have seen here because it is not that interesting to me.

What I Can Tell You

What I can tell you is that Robertson is entitled to his views regardless of whether people agree with or find them abhorrent. I can also tell you this is not related to free speech and that persecution is a funny word to use.

If you want to dig into some of the meat of what Robertson said and why free speech isn’t an issue here go visit my friend Aaron. While you are there don’t forget to tell him the only reason the Patriots have a few Superbowl rings is because they cheated and then make some remark about how you hope his kids grow up to become Laker fans.

Aaron is a good guy, just has no taste in sports. 😉

Now that we got that out of the way let’s talk about persecution for a moment. There are people who think that Robertson’s suspension from the show is unfair but I just can’t get behind them.

Our friends at the dictionary say if you persecute someone you  are doing the following:

“to harass or punish in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict; specifically :  to cause to suffer because of belief”

Call me what you will but I have a hard time feeling badly for a wealthy man who wasn’t forced to share beliefs that he more than likely knew were at best controversial.

According to a recent story on E Robertson and family were/are making more than $200,000 an episode. None of that covers how much they have earned from the products the family earns from their Duck Commander products.

Granted I don’t know what is in his wallet but by all accounts the man doesn’t have any money problems.  I’ll crawl out on a limb and suggest that the bulk of his income comes from the company he formed in 1973 and not the television show.

But even if I am wrong and all of his income came from the show I still wouldn’t feel badly.

Accountability

Most of us are accountable to someone. Very few people are in a position where we can say whatever we want without having to be concerned about the consequences.

Bloggers who work for others make a point to let readers know that the opinions expressed in our blogs are our own and not those of our employers because companies want to protect their brands/image.

No one said Robertson couldn’t speak his mind and share his opinion. He wasn’t arrested for treason against the state. His land wasn’t taken and his wealth wasn’t confiscated.

Maybe they’ll bring him back or maybe he’ll be given his walking papers. Either way it is not a violation of free speech nor is it a substantive claim of persecution.

Quack. Quack.

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3 Comments

  1. Pingback: A Question of Priorities - Joshua Wilner

  2. Rob Biesenbach December 20, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    In addition to defining persecution, certain people need an education in the concepts of “free speech” and “censorship.” Though I think they know, too, but they know what stirs up their base.

    • Joshua December 21, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      Phil Robertson is not a stupid man. He knew what he was saying and doing. I wish that some of his supporters had stayed awake during school, might have helped them understand this is not about free speech.

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