Not a free speech issue
In his Dec. 24 letter, David Wallace complains that Phil Robertson, a character in “Duck Dynasty,” has been denied his right to free speech, apparently because A&E indefinitely suspended Robertson following the publication of homophobic comments by him.
Wallace does not understand our country’s guarantee of freedom of speech, which, thank God, assures that we cannot be imprisoned or punished for expressing our opinions. However, the Bill of Rights does not grant us freedom from all consequences for what we say. When we say or write offensive statements, we should be prepared to be criticized and shunned.
For example, if you work for a private employer, such as A&E, you might be disciplined or fired if you were to use obscene language in front of customers, to comment derisively about their race or to proselytize them on behalf of your religion. This is not depriving you of your right to express your opinions; it merely says that your opinions may not be welcome on your employer’s turf.
I, for one, am sick to death of homophobic bigots trying to hide behind claims of freedom of speech.