The First Amendment? Thoughts on public debate

“Whether you agree or disagree with Phil Robertson’s comments is irrelevant. If we are to accept, as leftists are arguing, that controversial comments should not be allowed in the public domain, then the Bible and the Qur’an should be removed from tens of millions of churches worldwide since they both condemn homosexuality.

Openly gay feminist Camille Paglia nailed it when she stated, “In a democratic country, people have the right to be homophobic as well as they have the right to support homosexuality — as I one hundred percent do. If people are basing their views against gays on the Bible, again they have a right of religious freedom there.”

A&E had a right to suspend Robertson because they are a private company and can operate as they like in a free market. However, imagine the backlash that would have ensued if a major corporation had suspended a television personality over pro-gay comments. It’s not going to happen because political correctness only protects the free speech rights of certain groups of people while discriminating against others.

The First Amendment guarantees the right to free speech for all. In a truly free society, controversial opinions should be freely exchanged and debated, even if they cause offense, without the threat of reprisals.”


A&E is not the government. The network is a private business. It had a business relationship with the Robertson family. If A&E wants to sever that relationship according to contractual specifics, then it can do so.

The First Amendment applies to what Congress can and cannot do. It is very clear on what agency is involved, and it’s not private businesses like A&E:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

A&E made a marketplace, business decision, for good or bad. Time will tell.

No one is prohibiting Phil Robertson from saying anything about what he believes. He is not being censored. He can speak to anybody he wants to about this or any subject. He can take a full-page ad out in a newspaper, and the paper can take his money and print the ad. Or it can decide not to print it for whatever reason. The First Amendment does not apply.

If A&E is within its rights to fire someone for what he says about homosexual behavior, then why is it wrong for a business owner to refuse service to someone who holds contrary beliefs about homosexuality?

A&E shouldn’t be forced by the government to rehire Phil Robertson, and the government should not force a bakery to bake a cake for a couple that admits to engaging in same-sex sex. They’re both businesses, and the government has no business getting involved in their businesses unless a business crime like fraud or breach of contract has taken place.

Why Did GQ Magazine Print Phil’s Comments If they Were So Vile?


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