Freedom of Speech

UPDATED at 10:40AM Mountain Time: If you have to chose between articles to read on this issue choose this one at Desiring God. Well put and worth reading: This is Not Worth Quacking About. _________________________________________
My original post:

I’m a day late on the big A&E vs. Phil Robertson (Duck Dynasty) buzz. I have to admit that I actually don’t watch Duck Dynasty, not because it doesn’t have its merits, I just don’t pay money for TV. When I opened my Twitter and Facebook accounts this morning this was the topic of the day, yesterday and today. So, I’ve been busy catching up on the issue. After reading a few articles, I’ve decided that there is some misunderstanding about freedom of speech. I’ll agree with many that the decision to suspend Phil Robertson from the show seems to be a bad move by A&E. Then again, it’s their network.

It’s a good thing that we live in a country where a private company can say what they want. I respect that an owner of a company like Chick-fil-A has the right to freely speak and keep his business. I like that Hobby Lobby can stand against the government about health care requirements that violate their religious views. I like that Starbucks can say they don’t care about the market share of conservative Christians who believe the Bible and are allowed to stay in business after they say that. That’s a good thing.

No one is keeping Phil Robertson from speaking. I just read the article from the Chicago Tribune. No one is even censoring what he said… They are quoting him. No one has told Phil Robertson that he is no longer allowed to talk. As a matter of fact, I suspect that he will have more opportunities to talk than ever before. America, unless providentially hindered by God, you will hear (uncensored) Phil Robertson again.

Here raised a few thoughts for me. This decision by A&E will likely not cut into the market share of Duck Dynasty. Supporters will speak out, and have been. A&E has a right to air what they want within their legal privileges and contractual agreements to the preferences of their own market-share watching audience. I don’t watch A&E because I don’t pay for TV. I’m not offended that A&E did this.

No born-again believer, who’s reading their Bible, should be shocked. And yet every American citizen should be watching how this freedom of speech issue pans out in the end. Thus far, this is a private market issue. When it becomes a government issue is when your wide-eyed attention should not leave the issue alone.

This past month a cake baker in Colorado is facing government sanctions, fines and potential jail time if he doesn’t bake a wedding cake for a homosexual wedding in a state where homosexual weddings are illegal, at least for now. The court order, according the NBC, reports that the baker must “cease and desist from discriminating” against homosexuals.

For the past year and a half an American citizen, pastor, has been in an Iranian jail with little government intervention. These are issues that are of greater interest for me. When a government acts against or ignores the rights of my fellow countrymen my eyes look to the heavens. It is at this point that all Americans should have concern, all Americans.

I respect and appreciated seeing the support for Phil Roberson, I support his right to speak too. I expect him to continue to speak. I’ll hope that God will continue to bless their industry with success. But rest assured, no one has removed his liberty to speak. As a matter of fact the Chicago Tribune article cited the GQ interview that is due to be on magazine racks in January. I went and read the GQ article, there was little, if any, censoring of speech going on. I can’t reference it without warning the reader to be aware, there is some language issues that may not be appropriate for all ages.  

Finally, I am watching this unfold with interest. I think it shows the Bible believer of the disdain of the carnal world for the things of God. Be aware, be prepared, there may be a moment for you to speak the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in the most unexpected day as you advance the Gospel banner. There is an enemy of the cross. He is strong, but not stronger.

Don’t forget, faithful follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, there is a baker in Colorado facing government sanctions because he’s acting on conviction. Don’t forget, professor of Christianity, there is an American citizen, pastor, in jail in Iran, he’s been there for 18 silent months. Don’t forget, bible-reading God worshiper, we are warned of an enemy of the cross. When you speak out in support of a celebrity Christian who has a voice don’t forget the suffering faithful who are easily forgotten because they are not allowed a voice.

7 Comments

  • Mike Davenport

    December 19, 2013 at 10:24 AM Reply

    …wise words, my brother…hope you and your family are well…press on for Christ…

  • Jill

    December 19, 2013 at 2:08 PM Reply

    You are spot on that this is a market issue. If the Conservatives want to make a statement they need to first identify the problem, (free market versus freedom of speech) and two act in a way that indicates their displeasure. Don’t buy the products that support A&E.

  • Kalee

    December 20, 2013 at 10:22 PM Reply

    I agree! Paul, I read this and thought of you. What do you think? I do understand and agree with you about personal conviction and the baker but I thought this article had some good points. http://theamericanjesus.net/?p=11235

    • Paul

      December 20, 2013 at 11:44 PM Reply

      Kalee, it’s always a pleasure to hear from you guys. I have opened the article you posted. I will read it tomorrow with interest. I’ll get back to you on it too. Thanks.

  • James F Barry

    January 6, 2014 at 10:13 PM Reply

    *The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that comprise the Bill of Rights….
    **Remember you have the right to worship/believe freely in America BUT I have the right not hear/be effected by or made to feel less human by your Beliefs….
    They are your beliefs but not mine…..
    The most import line is the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion……….That line keeps us all free…..
    Because Bigotry wrapped in religion is still bigotry……..

    • Paul

      January 7, 2014 at 10:44 AM Reply

      James, Thanks for reading and commenting.
      I was not writing to advocate for law reform or mandate that people agree with me or support my desire to live in a state or nation that will not allow a marriage to take place that violates the laws of God. Homosexual marriages don’t make my marriage less or more.

      My government uses my tax dollars for things I don’t agree with. That mandated law doesn’t make me feel less of a person or hinder me from being who I am.

      I respect that some people feel that they are not complete as a person because the government restricts or even passes law to allow someone to do what they want to do. I get that and respect that. I’ve wanted to steal before, I’ve thought about doing things that are against the law, I’ve wanted things that would only hurt me if I did it, but it was against the law. My old way of doing things would be to do what I want to do and who can stop me? But I’m no longer that person. I’m under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. I’m not trying to force anyone to believe in Him or obey him.

      thanks

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