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Topics: Cultural Engagement, Current Events, Marriage, Politics, Public Square

When They Came for Phil Robertson, I Was Not a Duck Commander, So . . .

December 20, 2013

By Jeremiah G. Dys, Esq.

With apologies to Martin Niemoller . . .

First they came for the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, but I wasn’t a retreat center, so, I did nothing.

When, they came for Tim Tebow, I wasn’t a Heisman-winning quarterback, so I did nothing.

When they came  for Craig James, I wasn’t a retired running back and sportscaster fired by a huge media conglomerate because I believed that marriage is between one man and one woman, so I did nothing.

When they came for Elane Huguenin, I was not a wedding photographer who had a moral objection to lending her art to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony, so I did nothing.

When they came for Staff Sgt. Monk, I was not a 19-year veteran of the US Air Force who was fired by his lesbian commanding officer for refusing to endorse same-sex marriage, so I did nothing.

When they came for Pastor Scott Rainey, I wasn’t a pastor who prayed, “In Jesus name” at a Memorial Day service, so I did nothing.

When they came for Jonathan Morgan, I wasn’t a third-grader who gave my friends pencils with the phrase, “Jesus is the reason for the season” written on it, so I did nothing.

When they came for Dr. Frank Turek, I wasn’t an employee of Cisco who kept my opinions to myself at work, but was fired after writing a book on my personal time about my personal belief in marriage between one man and one woman, so I did nothing.

When they came for Audrey Jarvis, I wasn’t punished as a college student for wearing a cross necklace at a student organization fair, so I did nothing.

When they came for Erin Shead, I wasn’t a 10-year old girl from Memphis that was told she could not draw a picture of God as her hero, so I did nothing.

Look, I could go on and on and every single day point you to half a dozen instances in which people of faith in this country are attempting to quietly live, learn, and do business according to their faith, but, in some form or fashion, are being unjustly denied that right – that God-given, government affirmed right – to do so.

There are so many cases of open hostility toward otherwise protected (by God and country) religious liberty, in fact, that it is simply undeniable.

So, if Phil Robertson is not worth quacking about, who is?  And, if there is a worthy time, place, and person for whom we are permitted to make a firm and gracious defense, will we have the freedom at that time to do so?  Will we have the guts?

Rather than consider Phil a decoy, let us use this moment to make a gracious defense of religious liberty that, through us, more may be happy, happy, happy.



Jeremy Dys is Senior Counsel at Liberty Institute, a nationwide religious liberty law firm.  Dys is regularly featured in local, state, and national print, radio, and television outlets. He lives close to Charleston with his wife and growing family.

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