The homosexual left claimed another scalp this week with the indefinite suspension of America’s favorite bearded backwoods hunter, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty. When GQ magazine asked Mr. Robertson a direct question about sin, he gave his most sincere answer which mentioned homosexuality. Most readers probably know his offending statement by now. The show’s network, A&E, quickly responded to the remarks by suspending Robertson. The Robertson family now says that they cannot go on with Dynasty without the show’s patriarch.
The curious case of the Duck Dynasty star is not about the first amendment as some have contended. The US Constitution does not bind private employers. Sometimes speech comes with consequences and sometimes those consequences mean losing your job. Ask Martin Bashir about that. I happen to think that the perpetually offended homosexuals at GLAAD should cease and desist with their childish temper tantrum and start modelling that tolerance thing they’re always talking about, but that doesn’t mean that Robertson’s rights have been violated.
While free speech may not be an issue here, religious discrimination is. Robertson was suspended for vocalizing his religious beliefs. It would be no different than asking a Hindu if he thinks eating beef is wrong then suspending him for saying yes. Cattle eaters of the world, of which I am one, have neither the persecution complex nor the well-funded, well-organized political machine that homosexuals have.
My contention that Robertson is the victim of illegal employment discrimination will not sit well with so-called liberals, who interpret religious discrimination so narrowly as to include almost nothing. These same people interpret discrimination based on sexual orientation so broadly that it means everything up to and including sexual conduct. Conduct is not orientation but applied law treats it that way for all practical purposes.
A liberal might say that he wasn’t punished for his religion but for making “bigoted” comments. That’s like saying that we didn’t fire you for being gay but for saying that you’re gay. A liberal might also argue that it’s not discrimination because A&E doesn’t have a blanket policy barring Christians. As long as they don’t suspend all Christians in one sweep there’s no discrimination. Another smokescreen. If A&E suspended one black employee for his skin color but continued to employ another, that would still be discrimination.
Mr. Robertson’s suspension clearly qualifies as discrimination under the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines which are based on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Liberals claim to revere that piece of legislation. The Duck Dynasty incident is putting their purported love for the law to the test and they’re failing miserably.
Here’s what the EEOC guidelines say: “In most cases whether or not a practice or belief is religious is not at issue. However, in those cases in which the issue does exist, the Commission will define religious practices to include moral or ethical beliefs as to what is right and wrong which are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious views. This standard was developed in United States v. Seeger, 380 U.S. 163 (1965) and Welsh v. United States, 398 U.S. 333 (1970).”
Leftists clearly don’t mean what they say when they sing the praises of nondiscrimination statutes. There is always a disconnect between their words and their actions when the victim of discrimination is a Christian. Take, for example, this quote taken from the US Department of Justice’s website: “People should be hired or not hired because of their skills and merit, not because of their faith. And people should not be forced to choose between their faiths and their jobs.”
Except Phil Robertson.
Liberals support anti-discrimination laws because it allows them to feel magnanimous. They like to think of themselves as the anti-bigots yet they can’t bring themselves to enforce the laws they pass when religion is the sticking point, particularly if that religion happens to be Christianity.
Liberals might point out that some people have pretty outlandish and offensive religious beliefs. If a Muslim expressed his religiously-inspired hatred for Jews, should it be illegal to fire him? No. Of course not.
But not because firing that Muslim wouldn’t be discrimination. Clearly it would be. His mullah tells him that Jews are pigs and apes and he believes it. Make no mistake–firing him for that belief would be religious discrimination.
The reason it shouldn’t be illegal to fire him is because all private sector nondiscrimination laws are stupid. They insert the government into the employment relationship, forcing one party to engage in a transaction against his will. In the absence of a contract, either party should be free to dissolve the relationship at any given time.
I am completely consistent about this. Some types of discrimination are indeed ugly and immoral but it isn’t the government’s business to force citizens to associate with people they don’t want to.
A&E is no exception. Personally, I think Phil Robertson should receive a medal for bravery rather than a pink slip, though that won’t happen because the network is clearly petrified of the tolerance bullies. Although he was clearly the victim of egregious religious discrimination, the laws prohibiting such discrimination should be repealed. The tiff between A&E and the cast of Duck Dynasty shouldn’t involve the government.
The proper way to deal with A&E is to express support for Mr. Robertson. Let the network know that bowing to GLAAD is an act of unforgiveable cowardice. Tell them that fourteen million Duck Dynasty viewers—the average audience size for any given episode—want to see more of the show they love