Some trends completely escape me, either because I was not paying attention (generally youth phenomena) or because I choose to ignore them. The national fascination with Duck Dynasty falls into the latter category. I am aware that it is a trend, and I am aware that some people watch the show and enjoy it. I do not, nor do I wish that my day included sufficient time to do so. I am sure that I have friends who enjoy the show, and I am certain there are readers of this blog who are avid fans. That my political ideology is somehow mixed up with the hirsute denizens of the Louisiana swamp leaves me no closer to them personally, nor any more interested in their lives or their business. All that is a very long-winded way of saying I don't give a crap about Duck Dynasty.
Quite near Duck Dynasty on my "give a crap" scale is the gay rights lobby/movement/jihad. I generally tend to believe that what we do with our privates is, um, private, and I do not like the idea of people not being able to do things that others can simply because of what they do with their privates. I have no affinity for the actual mechanics of what gay people do with their privates, but that is neither here nor there.
That these two trends/interest areas have come in conflict lately has been somewhat amusing, with the right taking to their ideological ramparts to defend "free speech" and the left taking to theirs to decry "gay bashing". I write this today only because several readers have asked me my views on the subject, and I thought it would be a way to kill a little time.
Let's face it folks, the system worked. A private citizen employed by a non-governmental, capitalist corporate entity, expressed his personal opinions, influenced though they were by his religious beliefs. Presumably employed at will, the corporation made a decision to disassociate itself from him. No one's free speech was abridged. Mr. Duck Dynasty said what he wished, and the corporation did what it wished. Everyone wins.
Did A & E make a good decision? I really don't know. What I do know is that they made a business decision, and time will tell whether it was a good one or not. Did Mr. Duck make a good decision? I don't know. What I do know is that he expressed a personal opinion that his employer--one beholden to an audience--believed was anathema to its corporate goals. Should Mr. Duck's contract have been abridged in an actionable way by the employer, I would support his filing suit. But I suspect his contract was at will, or at the very least, contained language which appropriately empowered his employer to terminate him.
The Freedom of Speech we enjoy under the first amendment applies to the CONGRESS specifically and government generally, and their inability to make laws abridging the same. A &E is not the government.