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The Helena Arkansas Daily World - Helena, AR
  • Freedom of speech is non-negotiable

  • Freedom of speech is not negotiable – period, end of statement.All of the flack between Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson and the A&E Cable network has made this inalienable right a major issue. It seems the gay community was offended by comments Robertson made in an interview in Gentlemen's Quarterly (GQ) Magazine. ...
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  • Freedom of speech is not negotiable – period, end of statement. All of the flack between Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson and the A&E Cable network has made this inalienable right a major issue. It seems the gay community was offended by comments Robertson made in an interview in Gentlemen's Quarterly (GQ) Magazine. In retribution, A&E decided to suspend Robertson from participation in the widely popular Duck Dynasty TV series. Incensed by the network's decision, the public put on the heat rallying behind Robertson. As I recall, the U.S. constitution protects a person's right to express his or her opinion without fear of retaliation. Where's the beloved American Civil Liberties Union when you need them? Oh, I almost forgot, this was a Christian conservative quoting The Bible and was considered an immediate threat of exposing the public to Christian principles. English writer, Evelyn Beatrice Hall, who wrote under the pen name of S.G. Tallentyre and best known for her biography of French philosopher, writer and historian, Voltaire, wrote, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” It seems that A&E's censorship of Robertson was more lip service than it was action. None of the rerun episodes of Duck Dynasty with Phil in them were pulled and the forthcoming new season was already 90 percent videotaped and almost ready to go. Meanwhile, the public began to say, “enough is enough” and boycotts of the network and some of its sponsors were being encouraged throughout the social media. Of course, A&E was not about to turn loose of the megabucks brought in annually by the Robertsons. For most Americans money doesn't make the world go round but a necessity to survive and keep going. However, to cooperate America, money is the center of the universe. So, middle class and folks from America's heartland hit A&E right where it hurts them the most – the pocketbook. Meanwhile, the Constitution of this great nation cannot be changed by an improper interpretation of a group of liberal Supreme Court justices. Freedom of speech is exactly what it is – the right to express one's opinion without repercussions. It is one of the fundamental rights on which our nation was established.
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