Tuesday, December 24, 2013

I Have Thoughts....

I'm sure many of you have heard/seen/read about the controversy surrounding Phil Robertson from the A&E reality TV series Duck Dynasty.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, here's a very brief summary.  He made statements in an article for GQ magazine that are....controversial....for lack of a better word.  A&E has suspended him from the show.  Here's the original article if you're interested. 


I have thoughts.

First, let me clarify that I have never seen the show...it's just not my kind of thing.  But it IS a wildly popular show in this area (as in, we've given away prizes of Duck Dynasty merchandise at my school).  Secondly, I'm not taking a side in this post or stating my thoughts on what he said.  I just have some things that I want to say about the whole situation.

Some of Phil's supporters have gone a little wild over his right to free speech.  I do see their point.  We live in a free country, and we have the right to speak our thoughts and our beliefs.  However, Phil and his family do have a contract with A&E, and it is their right to suspend someone if they want to.  My cousin made a good point the other day that his right to free speech was not violated.  It's not as if he was sent to jail for speaking his beliefs.  The problem is that, thanks to social media, everyone has an opinion.  If you don't agree with what he said?  That's your opinion.  It's your right to have one.  If you do agree with him?  That's your opinion.  It's your right to have one.  That's the beauty of a free country. 

Why do people in this country have to criticize each other all the time?  Think about it.  Someone in the public eye makes a statement, and everyone jumps all over his or her back!  In this case, people are calling Phil homophobic and racist.  Isn't that, in fact, passing a judgment, too?  Especially, because he later states, "'We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus...'" (Quote directly from article linked aboveIn other words, just because he and his family don't agree with someone's lifestyle, doesn't mean they hate them.  They just want to tell them about Jesus and what His word says.

Is that so wrong?

To be honest, even non-celebrities can cause controversy with their thoughts simply by posting a status on Facebook or sending a Tweet!  I've seen some insane arguments in Facebook comments based on people's statuses, which, again, is their right to post on their own page.

People think they have a right to disagree with Phil's beliefs, but he can't disagree with theirs.  It just feels like in today's society, people can't agree to disagree.  A person is not "bad" because they don't believe the same way you do.  People are criticizing Phil for his statements about what he believes in, but he can't state that he disagrees with certain lifestyles.  It seems like a double standard to me.  You could phrase it this way, "You can believe whatever you want, as long as I agree with it."

This has really just been on my mind since I heard about this whole thing.

I'm just so tired of people judging others all of the time.  And frankly, the people criticizing Phil are being just as judgmental as they think he is.  One last time, he has the right to state his thoughts.  So do they.

So do you.

Do you have any thoughts on this topic?


Jane said...

I love how you broke this down. I really agree with you. I don't think his free speech rights were violated. He isn't going to jail. You can't make your employer look bad. There are certain things you just shouldn't say as a public figure, and he shouldn't have made those comments. But, while I personally disagree with what he said, he absolutely has the right to those beliefs. And, I really don't think he was coming from a place of hate.

Sarah Alway said...

My thoughts are similar to yours in that I'm just sick of everyone judging each other all the time. In other news, I've never seen this show and only just recently really heard about it, but lately I've been seeing it everywhere! I got a Duck Dynasty board game in our white elephant gift exchange, and now I'm seeing it again today on your blog... weird!

Kristin said...

I agree with the idea that he wasn't saying it from a place of hate; he was speaking his personal truth. Truths are different for everyone, but in this case, we've been Duck Dynasty fans for almost a year, and you know what? Good for him. This family seems to not be in it for the fame, so they'll outlast this.

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