A lot of people, including most of the media, seem to be missing something about this whole Duck Dynasty thing. Everyone is treating this like it is a 1st Amendment thing, and missing a crucial element — A&E is Pat Robertson’s employer.
That means that we shouldn’t be looking at the 1st Amendment, which governs interactions between people and their government. The correct place to look for interactions between an employee and his employer is the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
SEC. 2000e-2. [Section 703]
(a) Employer practices
It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer –
(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin;
There is no doubt that the suspension was, and was intended to, act as a disciplinary action. What were they disciplining? Explicitly religious speech. There wasn’t the gray area that other people have gotten into where they say something about homosexuality that they later tie into religion — Robertson specifically couched his statements in the context of sin.
What, in your mind, is sinful?
“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
This is religious speech. Full stop.
For this, Robertson was disciplined. No other reason.
On top of that, Robertson could easily show a pattern and practice of anti-Christian bias by A&E. Earlier this year, they began censoring certain speech of his as if it were profane. What were they censoring? The word Jesus in prayers. The word can be reasonably censored to avoid offending the devout, if it were used in vain. This was far from it — there can be no more reverent use of the word than in a prayer. It was anti-Christian bias, straight up.
At the end of the day, A&E has shown a consistent anti-Christian bias, and now they are basing detrimental employment decisions on A&E’s anti-Christian bias. It’s time for the EEOC to become involved — but that won’t happen, because Eric Holder is the attorney general, and he’s a bigot.