I Stand Behind A&E’s Decision to Suspend Phil Robertson

This entry is part of 6 in the series Jurisdictions

When I state that I stand behind A&E’s decision, what I mean is, I stand behind their right to suspend Phil Robertson.  Hear me out.

I love Duck Dynasty, and the whole Robertson family.  I find the show hilarious, and Jason and I really enjoy watching it.  We preview the episodes before allowing our Happy happy happychildren to watch it because…. well…. because it’s the Robertson’s, and we are never sure exactly what they might blurt out (which is part of the reason we love them!).  Anyone who has watched them understands that about them.  I love these guys.  Have I mentioned that I love them?

With that said, I just want to bring up a point that most folks haven’t.  The Robertson’s are under contract, and are employees of A&E.  A&E has the jurisdiction to suspend Phil Robertson.  As a company, and not a federal government institution, they have the right to do what they wish with their employees, within the boundaries of the laws of our country.  Do I like what they have done?  No!  Do I think it’s a messed up society that believes that Phil is wrong, and Mily is okay?  YES!

But, no laws have been broken.  No rights have been taken away.  It is a matter of jurisdiction.

As employees of A&E, the Robertson family has chosen to place themselves in an employee/employer situation.  The Robertson’s are free to quit their job (they are under contact, and I don’t know the details of that contract, so they are free whenever that contract expires).  They are not being forced to never speak.  They are being told, that if they wish to continue to be an employee of A&E, they need to act a certain way.

Do I stand behind the Robertson family?  You bet I do.  In every sense of the word!  Do I boycott companies?  Yes.  Welcome to capitalism.  Do I think that A&E has made a huge mistake?  You better believe it!  Do I think that the Robertson’s 1st amendment right has been violated?  No.  I don’t.  Constitutional Rights aren’t violated unless congress passes a law.

Let me restate… as a company, A&E has the right to set the standard for their employees.

So, let capitalism work.  Allow A&E’s ratings to drop.  Post things in support of the Robertson family.  Pray for our country like never before.  But please, don’t say that the Robertson’s constitutional right to freedom of speech has been violated.  Because it hasn’t.

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  1. I agree with this, RaShell — I think a better case (not perfect or right, just better) could be made that laws regarding freedom of religion have been broken, because laws have been passed based on Constitutional Amendments to protect people from 3 types of discrimination: based on gender, race, and religion. Non-discrimination laws protect employees from being fired based on any of these 3 classes. So it is closer to correct to say that Phil was wrongfully terminated as a result of his religion, than to cry foul based on freedom of speech; A&E has that same right of free speech, and freedom of contract to hire/fire at their discretion outside of those 3 protected classes. I think the bigger issue is one of the heart. What has our society become? A business can be legally forced to provide services that support a lifestyle that they find morally wrong based on religious beliefs, and at the same time, an employee can be terminated because of simply voicing a belief outside of their work setting. Our courts are applying their version of the law consistently in favor of a homosexual agenda. So I think some of the discussion is articulated in a flawed manner. What some people are meaning when they say free speech has been violated, is that IF freedoms are violated when a Christian company refuses to service a gay wedding, THEN freedoms are also violated when a secular company refuses to work with a Christian man. I think many people’s gut reaction to this is right on, but they don’t have the knowledge of our Constitution and legal system to articulate it. They assume that our courts are correct. And sadly, this affects what the laws, in effect, actually are. For example, I think a Parental Rights Amendment is CONSTITUTIONALLY unnecessary, because our Constitution already limits the powers of government as it relates to family; but in a PRACTICAL sense, because of the way our courts are applying the law, it has become necessary. In that sense, IF our courts are going to apply one standard to homosexuals, THEN they must also apply that same standard to Christians. Do I think this issue with Phil should be fought out in court? No. I don’t think that is Constitutionally appropriate. As you said, only the government can violate Constitutional freedoms. (Although laws passed by the government to ensure Constitutional rights can be broken.) But I think it is a fair discussion to point out the inconsistencies in what our court system says on the matter.

  2. You are right on Kelly! I totally agree with you. I would love to have you write a guest post on our blog. I should have thought this out a little more, and pointed out what it is a violation of instead of only discussing what it isn’t a violation of. After further thought, there may have been a law broken, but not a constitutional right. I need to think this through further. :)
    Team Southerland recently posted…I Stand Behind A&E’s Decision to Suspend Phil RobertsonMy Profile

  3. I love that you can post something that is right on, and it gets me thinking more to clarify my own thoughts, and then you can think more, and I can think more . . . Iron sharpens iron, right? :)

  4. I need all the sharpening I can get! Thank you! Keep the comments and thoughts coming. I need it! :)
    Team Southerland recently posted…I Stand Behind A&E’s Decision to Suspend Phil RobertsonMy Profile

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