For or against: Can Americans really express their beliefs in the wake of the "Duck Dynasty" comments?
In the wake of the recent controversy over the A&E Network's decision to suspend "Duck Dynasty's" Phil Robertson for his anti-gay remarks, the question for all of us is, can an ordinary citizen with a firm value system express their opinions without fear of reprisal?
Robertson and the "Duck Dynasty" family have built their brand on family values, religious beliefs and American ingenuity. Robertson and his family have recently seen strong opinions both in support of and against the recent comments made by Robertson in regards to his beliefs on homosexuality.
Without wading into the discussion about the rights and wrongs of the Robertson comments, the main issue for America seems to be the ability to freely express one's principles. There has been a recent trend that is increasingly against Americans with firm sets of religious and family values in favor of a more lenient and liberal way of thinking. Is it good for our country to restrict the rights of these Americans and the beliefs they have in favor of a more lenient way of life? If one group is given the ability to express their positions, shouldn't all sides be able to freely talk about their beliefs?
Robertson was asked his opinion, in which he freely responded. Due to their family's good fortunes, he is able to deal with the criticism and possible loss of revenue due to his honesty in commenting. But would the ordinary American be able to deal with sharing their values and the possible negative outcomes? Or would they be reprimanded, ridiculed, ostracized and perhaps fired from their jobs for having a strong belief system? We should allow all members of our community to have an opinion and feel free to stand firm in expression behind that opinion without fear of reprisal. When asked what they believe, one should not shrink from expressing but stand tall and speak with pride. It is your belief, it is who you are, and it makes us what we are as a nation.
- Tom Puskar, Warren