This has been driving me crazy replaying in my mind over and over and over. So, I’ve got to vent about it so that I can move on with life LOL.
First, let me tell you a story about a gay man that I know. He is an awesome guy who is funny, charismatic, attractive, polite, intelligent and talented. He is active in the gay community and likely active in the gay rights movement though we have never discussed that. Let’s pretend that he gave an interview and someone asked him about his stance on homosexuality and he answered them according to his background, history, sexual preferences and so forth. Then his boss suspended him for having beliefs different than the employer’s and different from the company’s traditional family views. Would it be okay to suspend or terminate this gay man from his employment based on his personal beliefs? My gosh I would hope not! I would be so angry with his employer. His employer should have no right to punish him based on his personal beliefs.
When I saw that Phil Robertson was being suspended from filming on the Duck Dynasty show, I was disturbed. First off, that’s my favorite show. Secondly, I do not think an employer should have the right to punish you based on your personal beliefs and certainly not based on your religious beliefs expressed outside of the workplace.
I understand that not all employers are “equal opportunity employers”. But, on the most basic level, American employees should be protected from being bullied by their employers. According to Wikipedia (yeah, I know…) “Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the first federal law designed to protect most U.S. employees from employment discrimination based upon that employee’s (or applicant’s) race, color, religion, sex, or national origin (Public Law 88-352, July 2, 1964, 78 Stat. 253, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 2000e et. seq.).”
As a non-lawyer, just a paralegal, Christian and citizen, what A&E did to Phil Robertson and the Duck Dynasty show sure did seem to me to be discrimination against him. And, if you know me at all, you know that I am a “rights” oriented young lady. I am seeking to learn exactly what my rights are as an individual American Citizen and specifically where it comes to exercising my faith and freedom of religion. See The Importance of Knowing Your Rights.
So, my anger with the Phil Robertson issue was that I saw what appeared to me to be (1) him being bullied by his employer, and (2) his constitutional and civil rights to exercise his religion being violated. Not cool in my book at all. (Though an attorney friend of mine later advised me that the employer technically did not do anything illegal or wrong.)
While we were out of town I was reading different articles and blogs and tweets about A&E’s dealings with Phil and Duck Dynasty and there was one that was my favorite but I cannot find it to properly quote it. It was a tweet from a news media outlet quoting a lesbian leader affiliated with the GLTB movement who said that Phil Robertson should be able to have the same freedoms and tolerances that the GLTB have and that he should not be treated with hate or intolerance for his views. Perfectly said, and I could not agree more.
But then again, I also believe that the Christian community could learn a lot from the legal community and the strength and unity of the gay and lesbian community. If “we” stuck together half as well as those groups do, we would change the world.
Social media hugs everyone and Happy New Year!!!