By Tony Perkins
Family Research Council — It used to be offensive to support natural marriage — now it’s offensive just to like someone who does! Even, two Eglin Air Force officials found out, if that “someone” is a famous celebrity. In a mind-blowing story of political correctness run amok, a controversy is rocking a Florida military base over two tiny decals stuck to the back of employees’ personal vehicles. “I stand with Phil” is all the stickers said — but it’s enough, one government union argues, to get the officials fired.
The “Phil,” of course, is a reference to “Duck Dynasty’s” famous — and unabashedly Christian — patriarch. By supporting the Robertsons’ leader, who spoke out against same-sex “marriage” in December, the American Federation of Government Employees insists that base officials are somehow violating the Civil Rights Act — even though the display is on their personal property. Fox News’s Todd Starnes, who broke the story, interviewed the union rep, who said someone on base had reported the employee, “offended and disgusted that a senior management official would display the decal on their pod.”
“Duck Dynasty” fans need to be dealt with, AFGE told Todd. “It’s definitely 100% inappropriate for an organization that espouses a zero tolerance policy [on discriminatory views].” Ironically, this whole flare-up is taking place the same week A&E’s producer applauded the Robertson family for their compassionate ways. “I know Phil Robertson. I know his beliefs. I know how he treats a crew that has several gay people on it and people of different races and people from all different places. He has beliefs and stands by them. But that isn’t how he treats people — it is what he thinks.” If that’s the case, then “standing with Phil” means standing for civility and grace.
Meanwhile, one of the individuals targeted at Eglin Air Force base said his intent “was not to offend anybody. My intent was to support the show and to show support for his Christian values.” Still, he vows, he has no intent of peeling off the sticker. “I’m not taking it off. If they want to retire me early that’s what I’ll do. But I’m not backing down.” For now, he’s just angry at the smear campaign from the union, which emailed photos of his truck to hundreds of members.
Can you imagine if someone demanded a government employee tear off an Obama bumper sticker because the President is intolerant to Christian views? Or what about a rainbow flag? Obviously, this isn’t about offensive speech or inoffensive speech. This is about the Left’s campaign to shut down private expression if it counters their viewpoint. This goes back to the underlying emphasis and goal — not to debate the merits of whether someone is right or not. It’s to shut down debate. End of story.
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
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