Palin: Duck Dynasty Firing Endangers Free Speech

Image: Palin: Duck Dynasty Firing Endangers Free Speech

Thursday, 19 Dec 2013 08:14 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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"Intolerants" are "hatin'" on "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says, complaining that his suspension from his family's reality show is an attack on all Americans.

"Free speech is an endangered species," Palin wrote on her Facebook page Wednesday beneath a picture of herself posing with the A&E Network's reality stars. "Those 'intolerants' hatin' and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us."

On Wednesday, the cable network suspended Robertson indefinitely from its top-ranked show after he compared homosexuality with bestiality in an interview with GQ Magazine.

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Robertson told the magazine — in anatomical terms — that being with a woman "would be more desirable" for a man. "She's got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I'm saying? But hey, sin: It's not logical, my man. It's just not logical."

He went on to say that "neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers — they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don't deceive yourself. It's not right."

A&E on Wednesday said that the network is "extremely disappointed" in Robertson's comments, emphasizing that its series Duck Dynasty do not reflect his opinions.

Palin and the Duck Dynasty family, including Robertson, have gotten close in recent weeks. They hosted the one-time vice-presidential nominee in Louisiana to help her promote her bestseller "Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas," reports Breitbart,  and she has been quoted as being "happy, happy, happy" that her children believe the Duck Dynasty family is "cooler" than she is.

Meanwhile, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention Wednesday called Robertson's suspension "ridiculous" while calling for "cultural conversation" instead of intimidation through restricting free speech.

"Suggesting that people who hold to what every branch of the Christian faith has held to for 2,000 years is somehow bigoted or hateful is not productive for speech," Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said.

"Silencing views one doesn’t agree with, rather than engaging them, is hardly open-minded."

Further, Moore pointed out that A&E hired Robertson to be "comedic and sometimes shockingly homespun." He admitted he found Robertson's anatomical comments "ill-advised and crude, but that doesn’t seem to be where the controversy lies."

But instead of suspending Robertson, Moore said on his blog, "why not engage one another, and have the debates in a civil fashion, without attempting to silence one another? Let's have the sort of cultural conversation that allows us to seek to persuade each other, not to seek to silence one another with intimidation. That’s what real diversity is all about."

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