In case you have been living under a rock for the last 24 hours, some guy that hunts ducks doesn't think anal sex is awesome. This is apparently the most important thing that has ever happened, so I'll give you a few moments to rage.
Feel better? No? What if I told you he got fired for it? Now do you feel better?
You shouldn't. Yes, yes, the guy is a dick. His views are bigoted, and not appreciated by a large segment of society. But there's a larger issue at play here, and we'd be foolish to ignore it. The man was "suspended" from his own TV show, because his personal views do not line up with those of A&E, who claim to support LGBT rights. That may seem reasonable at first glance - afterall, most of us would be likewise fired if we made racist or homophobic statements aloud at work. Here's the thing, though: Duck Dynasty, from what I have read (I'm not exactly up on the latest in "reality TV"), is about openly conservative Christian hunters from Louisiana. Now, I hate to stereotype people, but just from that description, I can assume, probably safely, that they do not drape themselves in rainbow flags at the end of the day. I can also assume that A&E was well aware of the fact that they would have the occasional controversial view. In fact, the more I read about this show, the clearer it becomes to me that A&E was banking on it. Let's be honest - you don't create a show about conservatives from the deep south to appeal to an ultra-liberal audience, unless you're counting on the trainwreck syndrome to work in your favour. Whatever the truth of the matter is, A&E had to know this would happen at some point, and is likely to get more ratings out of the deal, one way or another. Bluntly put, they fired one of their employees for doing exactly what they knew and hoped he would do. Not cool.
But it goes even deeper than that. I vehemently disagree with everything he said. I think it was bigoted and crude, and sorely uneducated. And I completely support his right to say it. This whole "free speech comes with responsibility" and "public figures shouldn't voice their personal views" argument is utter bullshit. No one - not you, not me, not homosexuals, nor Christians, have the right to not be offended. Sorry, but we just fucking don't. Everyone should be very disturbed by the precedents set by stories like these. I'm not generally one to employ a slippery-slope argument, but I can't deny seeing the potential for one here, for two reasons: