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Everyone's focusing on freedom of speech - what's more disturbing is the number of people who think it is acceptable for a person to be fired for stating their religious belief - employers can now discriminate against a person because of their religious beliefs.



Actually, employers being able to discriminate against or fire employees on the basis of religious beliefs or thoughts that have been expressed is a "Freedom of Speech issue".


Josh, I see it more as freedom of religion - can you practice your religion without threat of discrimination? Freedom of Speech is when the government makes laws against certain speech - but private employers can take action against speech it deems "abusive" ie Martin Bashir in employ at will states - employers can fire for whatever. Both Bashir and this DD guy can say whatever they wish but nothing in the Constitution protects their rights to be employed by anyone. But can an employer fire you for practicing your religion - quoting scripture as in this case.



I understand what you are szying perfectly weel. My point is that freedom of speech and freedom of religion are not two sxeparate freedoms. They are the same thing. Those ared just 2 differen t names or descriptions or examples of the right protected by the First Ammendment.

Scott Shaver


At what current point in this American reality do you find guarantee of any fair, balanced upholding of First Amendment rights either on the job or in the public square?

What the first amendment actually supports is a far cry from the way it's being interpreted both legally and culturally these days.

Even Christians disagree over what the First Amendment implies.

Your "rights" are largely dependent on your circumstances.


No Josh, I'm obviously not explaining this well. Freedom of religion and speech are not the same thing at all. You have freedom of speech to call your boss a blankety blank blank and he has a right to fire you. You didn't lose your freedom of speech. BUT if your boss fires you because you are quoting the Bible? Then you've lost your freedom to practice your religion. Part of freedom of religion is speech - but religious speech is more protected, as is political speech. And it's important to understand that the liberals are going after Freedom of Religion - notice how many liberal pols from the President on down use the phrase "freedom of worship" - liberals want religion to be practiced only behind the walls of a church. And then of course you could open a whole nother can of worms about the "hate crimes" laws which are all about regulating religious speech and even thoughts. This is about way more than speech.

I just read somewhere about a homeowner in Boston who has a tradition of putting up a religious Christmas display at their home - they allegedly received a letter from an irate neighbor telling them to keep their religion inside their home and stop forcing it on others. It's speech but not just speech that's at stake here. Do we have freedom of religion or freedom of worship if we are forced to keep our religion confined to the places libs deem acceptable?


The First Amendment keeps the government from infringing on the rights people have to free speech and religion.

A&E is a private, entertainment company, so we don't have a Free Speech or a Freedom of Religion case, in the true sense.

But people are right to sense that what is going on here in the attempt of a company to censor speech it does not like.

The real scandal in all of this is not that an entertainment company would have standards for what is said in its on air programming. The Bashir situation is mentioned above. Alec Baldwin comes to mind. As does Imus, and all the way back to Jack Paar.

It's not even that surprising that a company would have standards for what is said publicly in other forums. Former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker, and Jimmy the Greek come to mind.

When it comes to public speech, private companies do not recognize "no holds barred" type policies. No company wants to be associated with a spokesman who says offensive things.

There has been much consternation in the Christian community about the fact that A&E would take disciplinary action against Phil Robertson for expressing convictions about sin that are thoroughly biblical because it is an example of censorship. But that is not the real scandal here.

Christians are always expressing outrage at the latest overtly and inappropriate sexual, violent or immoral statement made by this or that person. Historically, Christians have been the ones who have asked for more aggressive policing of the public airwaves.

It is also not the fact that there is often a double standard that is employed in these matters.

What has Christians bothered, and rightly so, is that the standards are changing.

The obscenity practiced by the likes of Ms. Cyrus, Madonna, and others seems to come in for rewards at the end of the day.

And simple moral statement like the one Robertson made, which would have been understood and agreed with even 20 years ago, draws wrath. The kind of wrath that causes the loss of a job.

That is what has Christians upset. And rightly so.

The push back this time seems to be effective. But notice on what grounds. It is on the grounds that Robertson is not being allow to speak his mind or express his religion. Fair enough. I am glad the protest along that line is having some effect.

But the moral point - that God may punish those who engage in certain sexual activity, is NOT being entertained.

The fact that lots of poeple still believe that is the undercurrent supporting Robertson.

But the opponents are aware of this, and it is why they acted so quickly. Robertson is a public figure and he CANNOT simply be allowed to say such things without retribution.

That attitude is still very much in force here. Robertson may be allowed to slip out of the noose this time because he is beloved.

But thousands of people are facing similar choices in our Republic every day (look at the poor wedding cake bakers out West.)

What we yearn for is not for Robertson's show to stay on the air or for Robertson to avoid punishment.

We yearn for a return to a culture that discerns right from wrong.

We are a long way off from that, regardless of what happens to the Duck Dynasty.


It's really very simple - you can lose your job for something you say. You cannot be fired for practicing your religion. Or at least you're not supposed to be discriminated against based on your religion.

Bill Mac

The only problem is that if we think employers cannot fire employees for exercising their religious beliefs, then Christian organizations will not be able to take action against employees that they discover do not share their beliefs, or even openly act against their beliefs.

The market will work the A&E issue out. I suspect Phil's "suspension" will last until the next round of filming is to take place. If the remainder of the family have unwisely contracted to continue without the patriarch, they will have to abide by it or break the contract and endure the consequences.


"What has Christians bothered, and rightly so, is that the standards are changing."

A lot of Christians agree with GLAAD. Some don't realize that but others do. It is an unbrave new world, folks.

For me, this is not a "Christian vs Evil culture" issue. There is plenty of evil in what passes for Christendom today like protecting those who protect child molesters and seeking power and control over people.

For me, this is more an issue of McCarthy type tactics
coming back in full force. It is simply a witch hunt to shut down any dissenting opinions. This guy was on GLAAD's blacklist. And I think conservative Christians make a HUGE mistake when they focus on this as a culture war issue. It is a freedom issue...not a legal one but an ethical/moral one. Do the average folks out there outraged over this guy's comments realize they are playing into Orwell's big brothers hand? I know the elites are loving it.

The only thing I knew about this show were the tacky merchandising items in Walgreens. So when this came out I did some digging. You know what? He stated a lot of sins and said we are all sinners. The NERVE of him having an opinion. It is not like A&E had no idea of his views for crying out loud.

But what is even more telling is he never said what should be done about homosexuals. He simply stated his opinion. And stated HIS experience of working along side African Americans. In fact, his experiences of them mirror mine as a child when I attendedchurch with many salt of the earth African Americans. And yes, that was in the SBC of all places.

A&E SHOULD become known as the no free speech corporation in my view. It won't but that is another sad story. People are so gullible.


"The only problem is that if we think employers cannot fire employees for exercising their religious beliefs, then Christian organizations will not be able to take action against employees that they discover do not share their beliefs, or even openly act against their beliefs."

This is coming and guess what the answer will have to be? We will have to cease our love of being tax exempt non profit corporations, ourselves. The gravy train of tax breaks will go. Christianity will no longer be a source of wealth and fame for many. Perhaps we had it coming?


The same Constitution which protects an individual from being discriminated against based on religion also protects religious organizations from employing those who are against their religious beliefs. So right now you can have, a seminary for instance, fire a woman based on religious beliefs. People who think women should sue religious schools because of discrimination must also support those religious schools being forced to hire homosexuals. The day will come. Hasn't happened yet, but the liberals are trying to force the issue through the courts.

Chris Roberts


Is it okay for a church to fire a pastor who converts to Islam or becomes a Calvinist, etc? Why are churches the only employers allowed to hire/fire on the basis of religious belief? If firing on the basis of religious belief is a violation of our right to religious freedom, why do churches get to violate the constitution?

It's not a constitutional issue when an employer hires/fires in line with the company/institution/entity's values.

The point is moot anyway - A&E took a somewhat squirmy path by suspending Phil without firing him. He is still employed, just not going to be on the air.


Chris, churches/religious orgs are protected by the Constitution just as individuals are protected by the Constitution. NO ONE can be discriminated against because of their religion UNLESS it's by a religious organization. It's all in the First Amendment - individuals and churches are all protected. A&E is a private entity and cannot discriminate based on religion because of the Constitution. Your church can fire you if you convert to Islam because of the Constitution.

Look at cases of Muslim women who want to wear head coverings - courts are ruling company's cannot make policies restricting those women's right to head covering. And just this past year the Supremes ruled that a Lutheran School could decide who was acting in the role of "minister" and fire that person who refused to follow the churches rules regarding complaints. Individuals and Religious Organizations are both protected under the Constitution. The State cannot interfere in a religious orgs business (except in limited ways) and neither private nor public entities can discriminate against an individual based on a person's religion. Seriously, it's Con Law 101. Back in my paralegal days it was one of the first classes. The law school cases get a little more complicated. This is not complicated.

Bill Mac

And it ends as I suspected it would, with A&E backing down, although a bit earlier than I expected. I think this may be the shortest indefinite suspension in history. The market wins.

peter lumpkins


Sorry I've been unengaged in this thread--a worthy subject to pursue for sure. Bill Mac is right, however. In this case, liberty won albeit not personal liberty per se. Rather the free market won.

Lord bless...

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