civics lesson

So a white southern evangelical Christian star of a reality TV series about his backwoods family got his ass suspended from said television series (on A&E, in case you’re wondering) for quoting the bible and comparing homosexuality to bestiality and the like.

file000858445769I don’t know which part of that sentence least surprises me. Maybe the A&E part. Not that the network suspended Phil Robertson, but that he was ever on there to begin with. Or maybe not.

And the Sarah Palins, Bobby Jindals, Rush Limbaughs and Ted Cruzes of the world are OUTRAGED I TELL YOU OUTRAGED because of the network’s denial of Robertson’s First Amendment rights of free speech.

I say this again, mostly on Limbaugh’s account, because the other three — being former or current ELECTED OFFICIALS — ought to know already, but THE FIRST AMENDMENT PROTECTS SPEECH FROM CONGRESSIONAL INTERFERENCE not business decisions.

Yes, that’s right, high school freshman civics students … oh wait, they probably don’t even teach that anymore. But my point is, the First Amendment does not guarantee anyone the right to be paid by a private company to say whatever they want. Said private company can pay someone to do just that (see Limbaugh, Rush), but if that same company does not wish to sanction any old thing that comes out of the mouth of a southern evangelical star of a reality TV series about his backwoods family, then the aforementioned company doesn’t have to pay him. He can be suspended, fired, slapped on the wrist or even given a parade. The First Amendment doesn’t cover it.

Ole Phil has a right to say whatever he wants, because the government can’t make any laws denying him that right. He can even note that when he dug the fields with black folk dey wuz all happy an singin fo’ da massa an he nevva heard a single one complain bout da white man. Oops, he didn’t say that. Well, not like that. Yet, that is what he said:

I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.

I don’t know about you, but the hypocrisy of Palin, Jindal, Cruz and Limbaugh et al really bugs me, perhaps because I just don’t like hypocrisy. See them all whining now, but should a liberal say something … say, Martin Bashir making stupid comments about Palin … well, the outrage isn’t there. Not.A.Peep. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. They don’t mind the American Family Association’s decades long attacks on just about anything progressive aired on television — the AFA’s constant attempts to get networks, companies to cut ties with anything they don’t like.

It’s the same way these religious extremists insist that the government stay out of their lives — but meddle in everyone else’s. See, I really don’t care what people like the Robertsons or the Palins or even the Jindals, Cruzes and Limbaughs think or say. I do care when they try to legislate their lifestyle at the expense of others.

Take, for example, same-sex marriage (or gay marriage or marriage equality or whatever the phrase du jour is). Who does that hurt? NOBODY. Legislating against it? That hurts gay couples. Sounds pretty darn simple to me.

And now 17 states agree. That’s a full third of the country — closer to 40 percent if you count it by population. New Mexico, just today, became the first southwestern state to join the 21st Century. Full disclosure: I have no desire whatsoever to partake in an institution I find archaic and absurd, but I will defend the rights of others to do so if that’s what they want. The addition of another state makes me happy.

And yet … I’m dismayed, watching the circle of modernity enclose around my beloved South, my home, my heart. I worry when Governor Rick “GoodHair” Perry talks about secession, or anyone else for that matter, knowing full well how that went last time around. I worry even more when so-called liberals say Washington should just let the South secede.

I worry because that would just create an instant Third World country right on the US border — a country where the population is swinging wildly out of control, where laws protect the majority and punish the minority, where a majority depends on government for subsistence and where that government USED to depend on the federal government for its own subsistence. A country of which I would be a citizen.

Oh, but what the hell. Nothing surprises me anymore, especially not where ignorance is concerned. The Constitution doesn’t say anything about that either. And it is alive and well.

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KC Wildmoon

KC Wildmoon

KC Wildmoon is an accidental journalist who never even bothered to finish school since her accounting major was incredibly boring. Instead, she opted for being a minor rock star and annoying as many government officials as possible on a regular basis. After 16 years at CNN, she's now doing forensic journalism for Ireland-based Storyful.