Duck Dynasty star does not deserve judgment

Opinions Columnists | Journalism senior

Society should not be so quick to judge “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson for exercising his freedom of speech and giving his opinion about a subject that clashes with his family’s Christian beliefs.

From the first episode of the popular A&E television series, Robertson made it very clear to viewers that he and his family are Christians. It was not overstated or made into a big deal, but fans of the show knew that the family from Monroe, La., followed the teachings of the Holy Bible. As the family gathered around the dinner table, Robertson would say a prayer before supper. It does not matter if other people agree with the family’s beliefs or not, Christianity is evidently important to them and influences how they choose to live.

Knowing this, it makes sense that Robertson would feel the way he does about gay marriage. Now, I am not saying that Robertson should have said what he did. I am simply stating his comments should not come as a surprise to anyone. If there are people who have a problem with his way of thinking, they can simply make the decision to not watch the show. In no way should he have ever been suspended from the show for merely speaking his beliefs. As American citizens, everyone should be able to express his or her opinions, even if it has become culturally unpopular.

According to a December 2013 article from Fox News, Robertson paraphrased Paul’s letter to the Corinthians in the Bible by saying, “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

Of course, not everyone is going to agree with Robertson’s way of thinking, and that is perfectly all right.

Many people view Robertson as a hateful, insensitive redneck. I do not believe it is right to decide someone is hateful and intolerant just because they do not support gay marriage. Whether or not Robertson’s comments were out of line, they are the beliefs which he holds to be true, and it certainly does not make him a bad person for saying so.

As a fan myself, I like Duck Dynasty because unlike so many other reality TV shows that are just garbage, the television series is a family show. According to the same Fox News article, Duck Dynasty became the most-watched non-fiction cable TV show of all time in 2013. There must be a reason for this, and I believe it is because parents are so tired of their children watching shows that put negative values on display. Teen Mom, for example, very obviously promotes teen pregnancy. On the other hand, Duck Dynasty sends a totally different message, and it is quite refreshing. There is little to no cursing in the show, no backstabbing and nobody gets naked. Our world would be a better place to live in if people decided to act more like the Robertsons and less like the Kardashians.

Christianity aside, Phil Robertson is a decent guy with good morals and values. He should not have been temporarily suspended from his show nor judged so harshly for expressing his beliefs. If someone does not agree with his opinions, that person should not watch the show. It really is that simple.