By now you’ve no doubt heard that A&E, the company that produces “Duck Dynasty,” is trying to censor Phil Robertson, a patriarch in the show’s central family. A&E took exception to some comments Phil made in an interview with a men’s magazine (a completely separate company), about what constitutes sin, and whether homosexuality is a sin. A&E seems to be talking out of both sides of its mouth. On one hand, they are trying to act as though they side with homosexual activist groups, by placing Phil on an indefinite hiatus because he gave honest answers to baited questions posed by people who doubtless already knew what he believed before they asked. In essence, A&E kicked Phil off his own show because he has the courage and commitment to say in public that what the Bible teaches is what he believes. On the other hand, however, A&E has not cancelled the show. They seem to think they can have their cake and eat it too. They want the money the show’s viewers bring to them via advertising dollars, but they don’t want to be seen as even tolerating the fact that Phil has publicly made a statement of faith that is biblically based. So not only is Phil supposed to speak only what A&E tolerates while he is being filmed for their show, but he is also supposed to speak only what A&E tolerates even while he is elsewhere, minding his own business with regard to what he chooses to say in public.
First, let me say that A&E is certainly within their rights to kick him off. They are free to side with the homosexual agenda. They are even free to try to continue airing the show, if their contract allows and the family members are unable to legally stop it. However, viewers and all other people in the American society are also free to make some choices as well. Below is a petition you may choose to sign. While I am not personally a consumer (viewer) of cable network programming, I agree in principle with the content of the petition, and support the message it sends to A&E.
Here’s the full petition:
PETITION TO THE A&E NETWORK DEMANDING THE IMMEDIATE REINSTATEMENT OF DUCK DYNASTY’S PHIL ROBERTSON — #ISTANDWITHPHIL
Dear A&E Network,
I am writing to you regarding your network’s intolerant, discriminatory, and punitive treatment of Mr. Phil Robertson, star of A&E’s #1 hit show, Duck Dynasty.
Mr. Robertson’s comments in GQ Magazine are simply reflective of a biblical view of sexuality, marriage, and family—a view that has stood the test of time for thousands of years and continues to be held by the majority of Americans and today’s world as a whole.
Many members of the LGBT community may not agree with this view, but the notion that a free-thinking American should be discriminated against simply for expressing a perspective that is in conflict with another is patently un-American and flies in the face of true tolerance and civility. A&E’s position, which in your own words is “championing” the gay and lesbian community—which I believe you have the freedom to do—excludes the views of Faith Driven Consumers and effectively censors a legitimate viewpoint held by the majority of Americans.
As a Faith Driven Consumer, I am signing this petition to demand that my views be treated with equality and respect in America’s rich rainbow of diversity.
I am asking your network to immediately reinstate Mr. Robertson to Duck Dynasty, and to formally apologize to him, his family, and the millions of viewers who tune in every week, stand by him, and share his worldview. While the LGBT community may be offended by his opposing viewpoint, your rash, discriminatory, and unfair treatment toward Mr. Robertson—a recognized symbol of the faith community—is a slap in the face to Faith Driven Consumers and everyday Americans alike.
There are 46 million Faith Driven Consumers in America today who spend 1.75 trillion dollars annually. Should you refuse to equally respect and welcome our legitimately held views, we will gladly stop watching this and all other A&E programming and turn to any reformulation of Duck Dynasty on another network—while simultaneously supporting brands that stand with the show and the Robertson family.
John Q. Public
Faith Driven Consumer