Camille Paglia, a feminist, lesbian professor, harshly criticized the suspension of Phil Robertson for his statements supporting the traditional Christian view of sexuality, saying such condemnation rejects the freedom of speech.
“If people are basing their views against gays on the Bible, again they have a right of religious freedom there,” Paglia said in a Dec. 19 radio interview on the Laura Ingraham Show.
Paglia is a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and has described herself in the past as a “dissident feminist” as well as lesbian.
She spoke out against the treatment of the treatment of Robertson, who was placed on “indefinite hiatus” from Duck Dynasty, a reality show about his family, by A&E for his statements calling homosexual behavior sinful and illogical in an interview with GQ Magazine for its January edition, released online Dec. 18.
Robertson’s comments led to vocal opposition from many LGBT organizations, including GLAAD, which called the statements “some of the vilest and most extreme statements uttered against LGBT people in a mainstream publication.”
Paglia asserted that “people have the right to free thought and free speech in a democratic country” to express themselves in interviews, adding that she thinks “that this intolerance by gay activists toward the full spectrum of human beliefs is a sign of immaturity, juvenility.”
“In a democratic country, people have the right to be homophobic as well as they have the right to support homosexuality — as I one hundred percent do,” Paglia stated.
She said the call for censorship of Robertson by some groups is a demonstration of the “punitive PC, utterly fascist, utterly Stalinist” trends within left-leaning organizations “over the last several decades,” saying “the whole legacy of free speech” had been “lost” by these groups.
People should foster respect for opposing viewpoints, Paglia commented.
“I’m an atheist, but I respect religion.”
Harsh criticism and condemnation of some points of view “is not the mark of a true intellectual life,” Paglia went on.
“This is why there is no cultural life now in the U.S.,” she said, adding that the major media and elites “are not being educated in any way to give respect to opposing view points.”
“There is a dialogue going on human civilization, for heaven sakes. It’s not just this monologue coming from fanatics who have displaced the religious beliefs of their parents into a political movement.”
“And that is what happened to feminism, and that is what happened to gay activism, a fanaticism.”