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Opening Arguments

Ducks and cover

When even a famous gay atheist like Camille Paglia takes aim at at A&E's suspension of "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson, you know it's destined to go down as one of the most epic hysterical overreactions in history:

“In a democratic country, people have the right to be homophobic as well as they have the right to support homosexuality — as I one hundred percent do. If people are basing their views against gays on the Bible, again they have a right of religious freedom there,” she added.

[. . .]

Robertson has been suspended from Duck Dynasty due to comments he made to GQ that have been deemed “anti-gay.” According to Paglia, the culture has become too politically correct.

“To express yourself in a magazine in an interview — this is the level of punitive PC, utterly fascist, utterly Stalinist, OK, that my liberal colleagues in the Democratic Party and on college campuses have supported and promoted over the last several decades,” Paglia said. “This is the whole legacy of free speech 1960’s that have been lost by my own party.”

"Utterly fascist" describes not just this incident but, unfortunately, the direction in which the country is headed.

I haven't been one of the show's 14 million viewers -- I just don't get the appeal of reality shows --but I understand the family depicted is pretty straightforward about its conservative, religious values, so the outrage over Robertson's remarks is coming across as totally manufactured.  If the gay lobby thought this would advance its cause, well, oops.

Personally, I'm outraged at the attempted suppression of free speech. I think we should boycott A&E and all its sponsors and . . . oh, wait, that's their tactic. Sorry.

Last word to Brandon Ambrosino at time.com:

Why is our go-to political strategy for beating our opponents to silence them? Why do we dismiss, rather than engage them? One of the biggest pop-culture icons of today just took center stage to “educate” us about sexuality. I see this as an opportunity to further the discussion, to challenge his limited understanding of human desire, to engage with him and his rather sizable audience — most of whom, by the way, probably share his views — and to rise above the endless sea of tweet-hate to help move our LGBT conversations to where they need to go.

G.K. Chesterton said that bigotry is “an incapacity to conceive seriously the alternative to a proposition.” If he is right — and he usually is — then I wonder if the Duck Dynasty fiasco says more about our bigotry than Phil’s.