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.

Image that has nothing to do with this story, except that the cat can't believe what he's hearing, from MorgueFile.
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.

  1. The Cons just like to whine. Pay them no never mind. It is passing strange that people who have no self-direction feel compelled to direct other people. But, maybe it’s just a compensatory mechanism. If these same people are hung up on free speech, it’s probably because the gift of gab is all they have.

    1. What does this comment mean???

  2. Here is how Camile Paglia, an openly liberal woman has weighed in on the matter:

    “In a democratic country, people have the right to be homophobic as they have the right to support homosexuality – as I 100 percent do. If people are basing their views against gays on the Bible, again they have a right to religious freedom there … to express yourself in a magazine in an interview. This is the level of punitive PC, utterly fascist, utterly Stalinist, okay? – that my liberal colleagues in the Democratic party and on college campuses have supported and promoted over the last several decades. It’s the whole legacy of the free-speech 1960s that have been lost by my own party.”

    1. I’m not quite clear of your position here:

      Are you saying this weird hillbilly dudes rights to free speech have, or have not, been violated?
      If you are saying his rights haven’t been violated I’m in agreement, if you are saying they have been violated, how?

      It appears to me he is expressing himself quite clearly and throughout the land for that matter.

      Or are you saying you want the constitution to be amended to prevent anyone from being fired, no matter what kind of stupid shit they say?

      As far as I know hillbilly Joe’s right to free speech is protected and hasn’t been violated. To my knowledge he wasn’t arrested, nor have I seen any governmental censorship of his comments. (Being fired for being a dumbass is not censorship.)

      There is no constitutional protection from “employment termination due to cranial rectal inversion.”


      1. I suppose what I am saying is I agree with Camile. In addition, I suppose A&E can contract with whomever they wish. We can watch or not watch, listen or not listen. I wish people would not say ugly stuff about other people, but they do. You for instance seem to avoid polite conversation with you ad hominem

        I can’t figure what you get by calling names such as “weird hillbilly dudes, stupid shit, and dumb ass.”

        1. I agree with Camille that a person has the right to believe and say whatever nonsense they wish. Whether it be hateful things about gay folk, delusional opinions about black folk or voicing their opinions about an ancient, fact-less, man-made book of superstition with fairytale deities they wish me to adhere to. That is completely within their rights and I defend that. I completely disagree with Camille that to voice ones opinion against a person who holds such beliefs is fascist, Stalinist or that one has succumbed to PC correctness, that is simply bullshit. Free speech is a messy, two way street.

          Now, using the term “weird hillbilly dude” is truly offensive to you? Kinda minor league insult don’t you think? I refer to him that way because that is what he is, and how he has marketed himself. I defend his right to talk his offensive brand of smack. I also defend a business’s right to remove him, others to speak against him, and my right to make fun of his backwater beliefs and dashing hillbilly looks.

          As for as how I write and the words I use? I use the words and language that I hear around me, from virtually everyone, everyday. If it offends or doesn’t appeal to you, I understand. As my mother says “Trevor is an acquired taste.” But I would suggest simply ignoring me, my comments and my writing. Like Camille, I think you want your cake and eat it too – I find your desire for polite discourse to be disingenuous, I suspect you have a one sided definition of ad hominem. You seem to support a bible thumpers right to be ugly, but my comments are just a word too far for you.


          1. Ah, and just when I thought we were coming together … such a shame.

            Let me know when you come off the fence and no longer want it both ways. Free speech for the ignorant bumpkins of reality TV, while the rest of us respectfully ignore it, quietly whisper and stick to your dictums of polite conversation.


  3. H. L. Mencken had some thoughts that cover these views:

    Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

    The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.

    1. So who is the truth teller here Dave?

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