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Keep free speech in America

OpEd

By

By Glenn Mollette     

Arts and Entertainment television was out of line for suspending Phil Robertson, of the “Duck Dynasty” TV show, for a recent statement that the network executives did not appreciate. They may not have liked his Bible quote, but he was stating his personal belief and not speaking on behalf of the network. I realize that he is employed by the network, but that should not prohibit him from stating his opinion.

Every American, in most circumstances, has an opinion, and many will disagree or agree depending on the subject. Because someone states something does not mean that it is reality, except in that person’s mind. However, there are many circles of shared belief throughout our world. I happen to believe some are right but some are also wrong, in my opinion.

My opinion is based on my background, upbringing, Bible reading, education, personal studies, media, folktales and even common sense.

I don’t like everything I see on television, read in the paper or hear on the radio. However, I have yet to eliminate any of the three from my life. I don’t like everything I see and hear in church, but I still go. Yet, I believe in the freedom of religion just like I believe in the freedom of people to state their opinions and quote their favorite books, whether it’s the Bible or Reader’s Digest.

As a free society, our task is to muddle through the free speech and make a sensible determination. Free speech encourages or offends people.  But the goal of speech should never be to limit human rights to anyone. A worthy goal for us all is to use our free speech to make America better, even though words can burn, as in the case of Robertson’s statements. Again, just because somebody makes a statement does not mean that it is reality, except in the mind of the person who made the statement. The statement simply is a window into that person’s soul.

I may not agree with what you say, or even like it, but let’s please preserve the First Amendment. A good America is a free America and a free America means free speech.

Glenn Mollette is an American columnist read in all 50 states.  Contact him at GMollette@aol.com.   Like his facebook page at facebook.com/glennmollette.

  • Tom Sokolowski

    If some ignorant backwoods duck hunter wants to rant homophobic and racist opinions over the air, no problem. If the company he works for decides to suspend him as a liability for those rants, no problem either. A&E wasn’t out of line at all; they were simply doing business as they saw fit, and suspending him for a couple of weeks was a business decision. It was also a business decision when they re-instated him after a couple of weeks of fake right wing outrage, inaccurately
    calling his suspension an infringement of free speech.

    Of course when Liberal’s makes the same kinds of statements they are fired immediately with no discussion or outrage, as in the recent cases of Martin Bashir and Alec Baldwin.

    The most recent rant from the ignorant backwoods duck hunter was to encourage men to marry 15 year olds. Let’s see how the right wing responds to that one.

  • Phineas Worthington

    I agree with the basic premise of the author. However the language we choose to defend ourselves and our rights is important. The phrase human rights is classic Carteresque agit-prop. The proper underlying principles of our law are individual rights, not collective human rights. The first amendment also is a restriction upon government, not private entities. It is a restriction established to protect the individual right of conscience.