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    Posted December 20, 2013 by
    Farmersburg, Indiana
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    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     There's no freedom of speech issue when it comes to "Duck Dynasty," says k3vsDad. He's caught the show a couple of times and says he doesn't get it, "I do not understand the fascination of the viewing public. To me the show is boring with a capital “B,"' he said. But he does know for sure that the incident that left the show indefinitely suspended and network A&E doing damage control is not freedom of speech issue. 'Freedom of speech as enshrined in the Constitution deals with the government -- local, state, federal -- curtailing a person’s ability to express his or her opinion. That is not the case here,' he said. 'I cannot fathom how people are drawing the conclusion that this is about free speech. The same goes with religious liberty. The government is not abridging anyone’s right to practice or not practice one’s faith.'
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    Being  a staunch supporter and defender of the guarantees provided by the 1st  Amendment to the US Constitution, the current flap over the remarks of  Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson have me confused by both sides over how  this has risen to the issue it is and allusions to violations or  curtailments from all sides of those freedoms delineated therein.

    There  is no issue here on freedom of speech. All sides have freely exercised  their right to voice their opinions and perspectives. No one in  government has shut any of the sides down nor placed a muzzle on any of  them to express themselves. Free speech is very much alive and well and  on display in this incident.

    There  is no abridgement by government of the freedom of religion and the  exercise thereof. Any or all sides can continue without abatement the  practice of their particular faith or religion. All sides may also  choose to not practice or believe in any deity or religious organization  if they so choose. So again, religious liberty is not in jeopardy.

    Does  that mean any of those involved are completely blameless or not acting  foolishly or being opportunistic in extorting the issue for its own  benefit?

    No,  on the contrary, everyone is reaping the monetary and publicity rewards  which is truly indicative of a capitalistic or materialistic society.

    The  whole "scandal", of which all sides are guilty of exploiting, is, in  the words of William Shakespeare, "Much Ado About Nothing". No one  should be surprised by the remarks of Robertson nor the reaction of the  GLBT community nor of A&E's decision.

    Robertson  will be in high demand on the speaking circuit and in churches across  the country. The GLBT advocacy groups will be reaping in the bucks to  fight the "good fight". A&E is already seeing a ratings bonanza and  will be laughing all the way to the bank.

    Then  there are the political action figures who will line their campaign  coffers to help them stand up to the "godless" or to defeat "the forces  of intolerance and hate".

    I,  like many of the Christian faith, dearly love what is called the Golden  Text of the Bible, John 3:16. Unlike many, however, I put on equal  footing the very next verse where Jesus went on to say, "God did not  send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world may  be saved through Him." Many who profess to be a follower of Christ  often forget this verse.

    Too many of the Christian persuasion leave their condemners on full blast.

    This  reminds me - and you may recall from your Sunday School days - of the  story of King David and the prophet Nathan. Nathan came before the king  one day to tell him about a rich man and a poor man. Seems the rich man  had many flocks and herds, but the poor man had a sole ewe and little  more.

    The  rich man saw the poor man's ewe and broke one of the 10 Commandments  and coveted his neighbor's lone possession. Envy grew in the rich man.  He then broke other commandments. The rich man stole the ewe and then  killed the poor man to cover up his crimes thus breaking the commandment  against lying as well.

    David  rose up in self-righteous indignation. The king was ready to extract a  pound of flesh for the injustice committed by the rich man. Filled with  anger and his own sense of righteous, David screamed that he would right  the wrong.

    The  king asked Nathan who the perpetrator and lawbreaker was. Nathan looked  David in the eye and stated plainly, "You are the man."

    The same thing is happening here.

    Everyone  from all sides are allowing righeous indignation to spew over and out  of their mouths into the television cameras, the Twitter accounts, on  Facebook and in the newspapers. Each needs to stop and look in the  mirror. Everyone needs to realize, "You are the man or woman."

    Do  I agree with Robertson's interpretation of Scripture or the passage by  Paul in Corinthians? No, and other translations do not read it the way  the vesion Robertson's quote is based.

    Do  I agree with the calls from the GLBT advocacy groups for Robertson to  be fired? No, Robertson is firmly within his rights and freedoms whether  what he says is right, wrong, offensive or supportive.

    Do  I agree with A&E suspending Robertson from Duck Dynasty? I don't  think they should, but at the same time it is the right of the company  and a marketing boon for the network.

    Do  I agree with politicians milking voters while portraying themselves as  defenders of the 1st Amendment? I find these politicians opportunists,  but again within their constitutional rights to dupe the public.

    With  speech freedom and religious liberty there comes the acceptance of  reality. We have the right to speak our minds, but must accept others  may disagree or hold a differing view. We do not have the right to tell  others to shut up and sit down. Both have the right to speak and the  right to stand up.

    Yes,  we have the right to our religious beliefs or to have no religious  beliefs. However, others have the right to not believe as we believe or  to choose to believe rather than not believe. No one has the right to  compel the other or deny the other the right to believe or not believe a  certain way. We have the right to proclaim our belief the only true  belief, but others have the right to disagree and deny our belief is the  correct one.

    From the Cornfield, everyone on all sides need to take a chill pill.

    Life will go on.

    Robertson and the GLBT will continue on separate paths.

    The network is in the catbird's seat.

    The politicians...well, they are the politicians.

    Stop for a moment and hold true to the holiday tradition of peace, goodwill - at least for a few seconds.

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