The cheerleaders for Tolerance and Diversity were exposed as players for the other side. When they realized they had been discovered, they backed off and went away.
This is the significance of the firing of Phil Robertson at the behest of groups like GLAAD by A&E: They want to silence those who disagree with them and they want the power of government to help them do it.
As in the Chick-fil-a episode, they have been foiled again. But they will be back.
Yesterday's decision by A&E to return Phil Robertson to his family is being called hypocritical by the people who hypocritically talk about tolerance but don't want to practice it. Their critics are right, of course, A&E is simply caving.
Gay rights groups are now running a left-wing political protection racket wherein they pressure cultural institutions to demonstrate their loyalty to the gay rights cause by suppressing any expression of dissent from the New Intolerance in return for political support. Domestic partner benefits, mandatory "diversity training," support for same-sex marriage—these are some of the payoffs.
And for most institutions most of the time, this is a fairly painless process. But every once in a while, it proves costly, as it now has for A&E. It was willing to go along with the demands until it actually threatened to disturb their bottom line.
Now they've not only made conservatives mad by attempting to silence Phil Robertson, they've made groups like GLAAD furious by reversing their decision. And the bone they're throwing to GLAAD—public service announcements on "promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people"—isn't going to mollify them.
Besides, are these public service announcements to be taken as acknowledging that in silencing Phil they were violating these principles and are now following them or another threat that anyone who deviates from the politically correct position on such issues is still on notice?
A&E won't suffer financially from this, in fact, they'll probably benefit. If people didn't know about Duck Dynasty before, they do now. The ratings juggernaut will only gather steam and Phil Robertson is going to continue talking without much risk of future repercussion.
Good for him.
But the executives at the cable network will probably have to keep a low profile at those fashionable Hollywood parties they go to with all the other tolerant people who want to profit from portraying the average American in their programming but don't actually like them.
At least they can eat caviar while they're being shunned.
The dissenting position on gay rights issues wasn't terribly controversial back when I started this blog, but ever since then many so-called conservatives have caved on this issue every bit as ignominiously as A&E did in firing Robertson—and in reinstating him.
Did anyone notice how the conservatives who have run and hid on these issues over the last several years suddenly got a backbone when a chorus of Americans protested Robertson's firing? And even in defending Robertson, they have mostly hidden behind the First Amendment and punted on what Robertson actually said.
And what did he say? Not much more than what the Apostle Paul said. In fact, part of it was a direct quote. But Paul won't find many defenders now on either side of the political spectrum. Many on both sides will talk about Christian kindness but very little about what the Bible actually says about things like homosexuality.
If you're not reading the Bible as if it were just another motivational bestseller—and pretending that Paul is saying nothing different than Joel Osteen—why, then, then you're just misinterpreting it.
And, of course, just as soon as they have finished their tiresome sermon on the evils of hating people because they are different, they turn right around and hate on people like Robertson. By the same logic that Robertson was making anti-gay remarks in saying he considered homosexuality a sin, remarks by gays that Christian beliefs are "bigoted" should be considered anti-Christian. But, again, these are people who expect others to live up to expectations they don't impose on themselves.
The more careless critics claim that Robertson "compared homosexuality to bestiality." C'mon. He gave a list of sins, some bad, some worse. If he was comparing homosexuality to bestiality, then he was also comparing heterosexual philandering to bestiality—and idolatry, greed, slander, and swindling.
And what's the liberal argument against bestiality anyway? That it's cruel to animals? Why isn't it just a taboo like they've categorized just about every other traditional sexual restriction? Ultimately it won't matter: After their morally corrosive logic has been extended to polygamy (I give that two years, max), then there will be rights for incestuous couples and then those who practice bestiality.
When the long march of permissivism is over, the people now pushing gay rights will be scratching their heads wondering why anyone would have made all these blue laws in the first place—and denying that they were once against them too.
This was a defeat for gay rights groups, no doubt about it. But who knows how long the embarrassment over this blatant act of intolerance will last for the folks at A&E. Probably not long in these days of lightening quick news cycles. The Tolerance Police will retreat to their barracks to sulk for a while, but they will reassert themselves and the conservatives who have experienced this brief bout of courage will disappear back to their hiding places, leaving people like Phil Robertson to do their work for them.
In the meantime, it's nice that the good guys won for a change.