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When “Duck Dynasty’s” Phil Robertson paraphrased the Bible’s sentiment that there are some things, including homosexuality, that are sin, he ran face-first into the buzz saw of politically correct censorship: the idea that in American, there are some things you simply cannot say.
Even though there’s all that stuff about freedom of speech and such that the nation’s founders wrote up and put in something called the First Amendment.
In Robertson’s case, it was the homosexual activist group called GLAAD that wanted to shut down Robertson’s opinions and expressions because it did not agree with the reality television show mega-star.
In that case, Robertson actually won the standoff even though Arts & Entertainment Network initially suspended him from the show, by stating forthrightly that he was not going to change his biblical views and values.
But that’s the rarity in such disputes, as author Alan Korwin explains in his book “Bomb Jokes At Airports and 186 Other Things You’d Better Not Say.”
In fact, the homosexual promoters are just one of the factions that have grabbed America’s speech and imposed restrictions on it, he explains.
There’s also the government – just try one of those bomb jokes at an airport and see how free your speech is. And the “aggressive racism” community, and other political-correctness advocates. There are college campuses, where many “free-speech zones” exist, making one question what speech is allowed on the rest of the campus.
Korwin, who has written dozen of books, mostly on Second Amendment issues, explains in describing his book that speech is being attacked from many sides.
For example, he explains, the Washington Post calls “Are you married?” an illegal question. Technically, it’s the government, through its “equal” opportunity arm, that bans such queries.
Then there’s an ad for living space, that states, “Apartment for rent with picture window, walk-in closet.” That’s muzzled by the FHA.
“Tart cherries are good for you.” They may be, but the FDA limits such statements.
And New York school administrators have put the kibosh on “How many roads must a man walk down, before you can call him a man.”
“Vote for John McCain” is illegal in broadcasts within 60 days of an election under the campaign reform act written partly by Sen. McCain.
Mainstream newspapers squelch “Guns save lives” and department stores crack down on “Merry Christmas.”
From his book, “Hardly a day goes by when there isn’t at least one story of someone in trouble for saying something. Start watching for it yourself, it’s there, you just haven’t been looking. Dimly, people seem to think most of these are just fine – well that ought to be illegal, well that’s deceptive, divisive, derisive, harmful, hurtful, hateful, racist, sexist, biased, bigoted, intolerant, insensitive, offensive, not funny, well that’s just plain wrong, well free speech certainly shouldn’t protect that…”
He explains, “People feel so self righteous and justified about who really ought to be stopped from speaking that we lose sight of the Founders’ inspired genius: Everyone gets to speak. Every attempt to ban speech – even speech that really should be banned – is significantly worse than the speech that needs banning. Usually.”
Robertson’s comments came in an interview with GQ magazine in which he championed biblical values and the battle against breaking God’s commandments.
“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong. … Sin becomes fine. 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 said.
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Paraphrasing a passage from the book of I Corinthians, he said: “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.
“We’re Bible-thumpers who just happened to end up on television,” he said of his family’s instant rise to fame. “You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”
Korwin told WND in an interview that speech limits have gone so far as to harm the speaker with threats, job loss, intimidation, jail time, and the like.
And it’s just wrong, he said.
“I have a hard time with that. When you look at all the illegal questions, things we no longer are allowed to say … it’s not a free country,” he said. “You can’t tell jokes.”
He said airport bans on joking about bombs are an example.
“You go through the sniffer, the wiper, X-ray machine that shows you naked. They examine your bags. Then on the other side, you still can’t tell a joke,” he wondered. “The machines didn’t work?”
“What happened to the Fourth Amendment?” he asked. “Telling a joke is not probable cause.”
But he said the situation is not really about bomb jokes – it is about “putting the government in charge of your life and taking away your freedoms.”
“Sure, saying Merry Christmas could get you fired,” he said, “but revealing that our own government is supplying guns to Mexican drug lords, or that the NSA is spying on all of us can force you into hiding, just for speaking truth to power.”
He said he was censored recently in Phoenix for saying “Guns save lives.”
The book looks at more than 200 people, some of them murdered, many arrested, bankrupted, ruined, suspended or just humiliated, for saying things that met with disapproval, and were no longer protected under the classic belief that, “It’s a free country and I can say what I want.”