Eighteen. That’s the number of invites I’ve received on Facebook to like various pages supporting Phil Robertson and his right to free speech. Eighteen! I’m amazed at how this has exploded and worse, I’m amazed at how many people have jumped on one side of the debate or the other. Up until this very minute, I’ve not said a word nor have I liked any of the pages on Facebook, retweeted any of the tweets of support on Twitter or even unmuted the volume on the TV to hear the latest statement out of one camp or the other. It matters NONE to me. And whether you like it or not, it really doesn’t make a difference to you either. Honestly it just doesn’t.
Consider The Truths
Before you start crafting your response back to me, consider these little bits of truth:
I think there has been one statement out of the Robertson camp since this all began late last week. Just one. This family does not care one iota what you or me or your great Aunt Ida thinks. Their values are deeply rooted, just as yours are. And if you’re wondering how little they care, go take a look at that statement released over the weekend – they don’t acknowledge all of these Facebook pages and in fact, I can assure you not a single member of that family has liked any of these pages. They appreciate your “support and prayers”, but ask one of them to define that support, and I promise, he or she won’t be able to offer up a single specific show of support. Why? Because it doesn’t matter to them.
In the beginning, this family came together and agreed to do the reality show in order to spread their beliefs and love for duck hunting. It really was brilliant. I was a fan – I loved it, partly because my son loved it and it was something in common with him. And trust me – when your only child is grown and beginning to define his own life, you jump at anything to share with him. This was ideal.
By the time the second season rolled around, news began breaking that the family wasn’t signing any new contracts until the money was multiplied. Suddenly, it became less about the good ‘ol fashion Real Life Walton Family, faith and God and fell more into par with the Kardashian idiots. I lost interest at that point – and by the way, so did my son. I doubt that’s why he lost interest; he happens to have a bit of sense and knows there’s a life out there to live that doesn’t include A&E, Phil Robertson or any of the slogans made popular by the family.
Defining Your Beliefs
Contrary to what people are tossing around in social media and those jokesters that still refer to themselves as journalists, no one’s right to free speech is in jeopardy. In fact, this entire episode is proof that free speech is alive and well in this country. Again, go and take a look at all the Facebook pages. Go and view Cracker Barrel’s reversal on its decision. Make no mistake: free speech rules. Even the restaurant chain knew that much when it reversed its decision to carry Duck Dynasty merch.
A&E cares even less about your beliefs than the Robertson family. They have ratings and numbers and board members to answer to. They likely weren’t anticipating this type of backlash, but I can assure you they’re loving it. First, there are other networks ready to chomp on the Robertson family and might even pay good money to A&E to get them out of the contract. A&E hosted a Duck Dynasty marathon this weekend, too – they’re still making money off of this family (and perhaps even enough to offset the new contract numbers the family demanded last year).
If you were gay last Monday, I’m pretty sure you’re still gay today. Despite those who insist Phil Robertson is the do-all, end-all; I just don’t see him having that kind of power; the kind that could actually change someone’s sexuality. He’s not going to change you, A&E isn’t going to change its mind and you aren’t going to change Phil Robertson’s beliefs. Interestingly enough, Robertson is going to change something – it won’t be anyone’s belief, but you can bet his bank account is changing.
These Little Scandals
Finally, let me ask you this –
Name ONE scandal from this year that included a celebrity and a major brand moving away from that celebrity due to allowing one’s mouth to overload his ass. Can you think of a single one? Try this:
This summer, Wal Mart, Target and Food Network dropped Paula Deen for her use of a racial slur decades ago. Can you honestly recall any of the specifics – such as the lawsuit that started the scandal?
So see? These little scandals? Seriously – do you really think they’re going to matter six months from now?
It’s Christmas! Go be with your family and trust that all is good and right – as much as it can be – in the world for just this minute. Sleep well knowing you can still rely on your Constitutional rights of free speech – even if it does start a national debate.