It’s an explosive controversy right now, and maybe I’d be better off to keep my 2 cents worth to myself and not risk my reputation by taking a side, but where’s the fun in that? A lot of the talk revolves around the argument of free speech, but is that really an issue here? A&E definitely has every right to can anyone for pretty much any reason, and I can’t really say Phil’s freedom of speech was directly violated here, however, I (personally) feel this is not a desired outcome for anyone. It instills some fear in us all to ever express our true feelings or beliefs. It is one thing if someone is constantly harassing others with their beliefs, but when you are point-blank asked about them…? What was Phil to do? What was his only options in this situation? He could have 1. Remained silent, not answering the question at all. Which we would’ve all knew the answer at that point anyway, and he would’ve, in his mind, been a coward, not standing up for what he had dedicated his life to believing. Or 2. He could have just lied, again turning his back on his own convictions. Or 3. He could have done exactly what he did, state his true feelings and beliefs on the matter.
Which of those 2 first options would you have rather him to have chosen. Those were his ONLY other options. A&E needn’t not act so shocked, they knew exactly what this family was all about from the start. If you want to fire everyone on reality TV that isn’t exactly what you’d like your children to model their behavior after then guess what? There’s no reality TV left.
So in a way it does affect our free speech. It insights fear to state our own personal beliefs to anyone for fear of consequences from which we have no protection. What if a network decided it didn’t want anyone on its programming that was so openly pro gay marriage? Oh wait, that has happened. The gay community has scratched and clawed to try to protect people from such injustices, and in my mind this is a setback, even for them. You may not agree with anything the man said, but that doesn’t mean you will never be treated exactly the same for something you believe in that doesn’t align itself well enough with the beliefs of others.