Sometimes the less said the better.
My husband reminds me of that from time to time.
It’s not bad advice and it’s advice leaders in the gay and lesbian community should consider as the ridiculous debate about Phil Robertson and his inane remarks to GQ magazine roars on.
Phil Robertson owes nothing to anyone.
He’s not a politician with constituents to represent or answer to. You might be contributing to his financial success by watching his show or buying Duck Dynasty dolls or other Duck Dynasty paraphernalia, but he doesn’t work for you.
He absolutely has the right to freedom of speech, and thank God and all of our veterans that he does.
But he does, in some contractual way, I assume, answer to the A&E Network which airs his money-making machine of a show. Freedom of speech protects him from being prosecuted for making offensive comments, but it certainly doesn’t protect him from ramifications from his employer.
I’m sure every network employee who has anything to do with the show has long been familiar with Robertson’s beliefs regarding gay people.
He doesn’t appear the type to keep that sort of thing close to his chest.
Since the network is largely in charge of the edit button, any remarks Robertson makes on the subject during filming can be conveniently and quietly swept from the cutting room floor.
But now he has gone and let loose to a GQ reporter who I’m guessing knew exactly what he was doing when he posed those questions. The first lesson in journalism is to never ask a question that you don’t already know the answer to.
Robertson of course said homosexuality was a sin like bestiality and drunkenness and did a tasteless comparison of anuses and vaginas.
It would appear Robertson let himself out of the closet this week when A&E mucky mucks weren’t looking.
The battle is between Robertson and A&E, and it’s all messy and offensive, and the LGBT community will be wiser to leave it there.
There have been great inroads made in the battle for equal rights for gays and lesbians. This year marked the 10th anniversary of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling, Goodridge vs. Department of Public Health, a landmark marriage equality case.
Today, 17 states plus Washington, D.C., allow and fully recognize the rights of gay men and women to marry.
The successful campaign for marriage equality in Maine was tackled with an incredible sense of dignity and respect.
While not having the fame or finances of Robertson or his clan, the campaign brought some temporary celebrity for people like Paul and Jeanette Rediker of Fort Fairfield who themselves struggled with their Catholic faith while coming to terms with their daughter’s sexuality.
And there was the Gardner family of Machias. Four generations of that family gathered around their supper table to discuss the hope that one of their own might someday have the right to marry the person she loved.
The campaign educated — it didn’t bully or shame — and it worked.
Trying to shame those who denounce homosexuality because of their personal religious beliefs is not productive and, if we’re not careful, it is exactly where the debate into Robertson’s remarks and A&E’s decision to suspend him from the show could lead.
In this case everyone, including Robertson may want to open their own Bibles to Psalm 141:3, which reads, “Set a guard, O’Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!”
Or take my husband’s advice and simply remember that on some occasions, the less said the better.
You can reach Renee at firstname.lastname@example.org.