Shootin' the Breeze

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Archive for the tag “Billy Ray Cyrus”

Honest Abe, Free Speech, Hot Topics

Abraham Lincoln was frustrated by political correctness.  He encouraged free speech.  He did not duck an unpopular, divisive issue.

Slavery, thank goodness, is no longer a political issue in America because it was ended in the Civil War.  However, before the Civil War, it was a hot topic.  The quote below is something  Abraham Lincoln said in a campaign speech that he gave in 1860.   He chided the politically correct of his day who avoided talking about ending slavery because it made some listeners, well, uncomfortable.

Let us apply a few tests.  You say that you think slavery is wrong, but you denounce all attempts to restrain it.  Is there anything else that you think wrong, that you are not willing to deal with as a wrong?  Why are you so careful, so tender of this one wrong and no other?  You will not let us do a single thing as if it was wrong; there is no place where you will allow [slavery] to be even called wrong!  We must not call it wrong in the Free States, because it is not there, and we must not call it wrong in the Slave States because it is there; we must not call it wrong in politics because that is bringing morality into politics, and we must not call it wrong in the pulpit because that is bringing politics into religion; we must not bring it into the Tract Society or the other societies, because those are such unsuitable places, and there is no single place, according to you, where this wrong thing can properly be called wrong!

Substitute for slavery whatever hot topic you choose.  What do you think is wrong (or right)? Abortion?  Gay marriage?  Capital punishment?  Gun control?  Obamacare?  Illegal immigration?  Legal marijuana?  Prayer in the schools?  Christmas decorations in public places?  Military involvement in the Mideast?  Budget cuts?  Budget increases?  Fracking?  Twerking?  You may, under your First Amendment rights as an American, say that you believe something is wrong.  Others may disagree with you.  And vice versa.  We will call that free speech.  It is not just for liberals nor just for conservatives nor just for “the politically correct.”

By the way, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty can participate in the public forum as well.

Everyone should be allowed to speak their piece — with the possible exception of Billy Ray Cyrus.  That is where I draw the line!

Miley Cyrus and Duck Dynasty

I am using this post to exercise my constitutional right to free speech.

Recently, Miley Cyrus performed in a manner known as twerking, which appears to be simulated sexual acts, and swung nude on a wrecking ball.  Although she got some flak for it from people whose morals were offended, her performances were certainly not censored and she continues to perform.

Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty has been indefinitely suspended from that reality TV show for, get this, something that he did not say on the TV show but what he said in an interview by GQ magazine.  We have been told by the administrators of political correctness that practicing various sexual acts in privacy, yet talking about it (which is not so private), should not jeopardize a person’s job.  Imagine the hubbub that would occur if a gay actor was fired for saying he is gay.  Now try saying you are not gay  — that is where we draw the line!

Phil talked about sex acts that he does not practice or condone, and he is in big trouble.  For what?  For saying what he believes.

By the way, he was not self-righteous.  If you read the entire quote, it includes him talking about his own past with remorse for what he considers sins.  He even calls himself white trash.

He also talked about working with blacks.  He said that he did not himself witness discrimination against them.  He did not say there was no discrimination.  But even if he said racist and homophobic things, does he not have the right to say what he thinks or experienced as white trash?

It seems inconsistent and hypocritical for the political correctness police to defend the free speech rights of everyone except those who do not agree with them and are therefore not politically correct.

Our Founders were wise in adding the Bill of Rights to our Constitution.   The right to free speech is not conditioned on whether it offends anyone, and especially not on whom is offended.   You can speak in favor of or against Christianity and you can speak in favor of or against Islam.  You can speak against abortion and you can speak advocating abortion, or the death penalty, or gay marriage, or ANYTHING.  You don’t have to be in the majority.  The right is more important if you are not in the majority.

If I was the lawyer advising A & E, the network that makes lots of money from Duck Dynasty, I would tell them they needed only to say that the show producers did not air the GQ interview remarks yet stand by Phil’s right to free speech even if the network executives “do not necessarily agree with the views expressed” in the GQ article.

As A&E’s lawyer, I would tell the LGBT folks and NAACP folks to read the Constitution.  Even Christians have civil rights.  Phil may express an opinion on what he considers sinful behavior.  It is not just in the Bible, it is in the Constitution.  Pouting by opponents is allowed.  Disagreeing with Phil is allowed.  However, suspending Phil for his remarks is not a good legal decision.

If tolerance is the highest value for the politically correct, then should there not be tolerance for Phil as much as for Miley?

Go figure!

P.S.  I know what you are thinking, but it is not nice (or politically correct) to call Miley white trash.  Billy Ray?  That is another story.  Go ahead.  Make my day!

Achey Breaky Heart

Billy Ray Cyrus and I have little in common.

He has one more hit song than I do.

He had a mullet when I missed out on that fashion trend.

I still have a career.

However, we are both fathers of daughters.  And there the similarity ends.

As one father to another, I have some advice for Mr. Cyrus.

My advice is to tell his daughter, Miley, to “knock it off.”  As a general rule, it is important to be supportive of one’s offspring, yet being supportive of destructive behavior is being complicit in damaging your own child.

Miley’s recent antics break my heart.  Why not yours, Billy Ray?

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