Fundamentally this is an issue not so much of “freedom of speech” but this is simply the latest front opened up in the ongoing culture wars between the hard core left and the religious right.
The comments made by Phil Robertson are essentially a mild restatement of the biblical New Testament statements about homosexuality and sin, peppered with a bit of Phil’s trademark colorful backwoods coarseness.
The reason Phil has landed in the crosshairs of the left’s personal destruction machine is because he has committed the most hated of all behaviors to the hardcore left. He has expressed Christian values on morality and sin, and has stated that people will ultimately be judged for their behavior. This is like waving red meat in front of a starving tiger.
I have to believe that Phil is smart enough to have realized the consequences of his statement. He has to know that the Left is, and has been for years, engaged in open and all-out war against Christianity. He has to have known that making a public statement about Christian views on homosexuality would light the fuse of outrage and retribution that has fallen on him now.
So I have to believe that this is deliberate, and that Phil wanted to directly confront the left on this issue.
If so I understand the desire to do so. However, I think that our society has long ago passed the tipping point on this issue and there is no way that Phil and the religious right can win this thing. In the end it will almost certainly result in the cancelation of “Duck Dynasty” and the permanent destruction of Phil and the rest of the Duck Dynasty family in the realm of public opinion. The stakes are simply too high for the left. Phil has committed the ultimate sin against the left, and he must be made an example of.