Does the suspension of Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty by A&E mean that A&E has labelled the Bible as hate literature?
When news that Phil Robertson, of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty”, was indefinitely suspended from the show for anti-gay comments made in GQ was released, it was only normal for there to be backlash, because it is one of the most watched reality shows on cable TV. But the response was overwhelming. Phil’s supporters flooded A&E’s official Facebook page, which has over 7 million likes, with angry posts. Another Facebook page, titled “We Stand With Phil”, skyrocketed to over 516,000 likes in a little over 12 hours according to Huffington Post.
Comments ranged from hard-right homophobes, to outrage over Phil’s constitutional rights. But there is far more at stake here than just rude remarks by an old redneck. First, there is law that protects religious freedom. Robertson simply stated what he was taught by religious leaders quoting their holy book, the Bible, and what has since become his personal religious belief. Second, is freedom of speech, and the right for people to have their own opinions, of which Phil shared his freely. And, third, and most important of all, is that by its actions, it appears A&E has officially proclaimed the Bible hate literature.
If the Robertson family choose legal recourse, could it set legal precedent making the Bible hate literature under existing law? If so, that certainly bodes badly for all religions, because many of them share similar stances on homosexuality and other contentious issues. With so much at stake, one thing that we can be certain of, and that is this is one action guaranteed to garner a lot of reaction both now, and well into the future. And, whether right or wrong, Phil Robertson has now become the most popular person in the United States.