- - Tuesday, December 31, 2013


So someone asked Phil Robinson what he thought about an issue, and he gave an honest answer. Where’s the controversy in that? Was he wrong to say what he thought, or was he wrong to think it (“Mighty duck: A&E reverses course, ends Phil Robertson suspension,” Web, Dec. 27)?

Here’s a quaint but fundamental principle: Free men and women have the right to speak their minds. In fact, we all have the right to be insensitive, inconsiderate, inflammatory, insulting, intimidating and even incoherent, but most especially we have the right to be inconvenient. We also all have the right to be unorthodox, unreasonable, unkind and most definitely unpopular. We all have the right to be wrong.

If someone disagrees with someone else, he or she has the right to debate, dispute, refute, ridicule or simply ignore the other person. If someone’s views hurt your feelings or make you feel uncomfortable, you have the right to feel hurt or uncomfortable. If you don’t like what someone else says, you don’t have to listen to them.

Finally, if you really don’t want to know what someone actually thinks, then don’t bother asking them. What a boring and oppressive existence this would be if everyone thought the same thoughts, or was expected or even required to do so.

Riverview, Fla.

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