First all the caveats in the world...
Phil Robinson is an asshole and what he said has as little to do with the first amendment as Hostess Ho-Ho has to do with cold fusion.*
(*When -- eventually -- it is discovered that Hostess Ho-Ho's are, in fact, the KEY to cold fusion, I will deny I've ever written these words.)
Further, no one has a right to be on TV and everyone has a right to watch (or NOT watch) whatever the heck they like.
All that out of the way, I'd like to propose two t-shirts, worn by identical twins, on the same day at the same public school in Anywhere USA.
The first t-shirt says...
God is gay.And the second t-shirt says...
Gay is sin.My question:
Should either of these students or both of these students or neither student be asked to change their shirt/be sent home?
I ask because I wrestle, honestly, with the fact that these t-shirts are, in my mind, essentially the same.
(And, by the way, being a cultural Heeb, I think both t-shirts are ALSO the same as one that says "God is Jewish" and another that says "Jews are damned.")
They are two shirts which espouse a points of view that challenges (to say the least) the firmly head beliefs of a subset of society and both are likely, depending on where the shirts are worn, to make someone uncomfortable.
And yet... should we... or can we... silence beliefs?
Moreover, isn't is the subverted thought... the festering/silent/unspoken hatred/challenge... that is the truly dangerous one and, if so, shouldn't we welcome people bringing their ideas (even antiquated) into the public square to be debated?
To that end, though I PERSONALLY find nothing at all offensive about the first t-shirt while finding the second t-shirt small minded and bigoted, I say both kids should be asked to change shirts until the final bell and then... well... they can deal with the consequences, good and bad, after the final bell rings.
That said... I put the question out there and look forward to your thoughts.