When Phil Robertson, the bearded creator of duck calls whose family stars in the smash “reality TV” hit Duck Dynasty, was briefly suspended by the A&E cable network over homophobic religious comments he made to GQ magazine, Aaron Walker was ready to defend his right to free speech. Drawing parallels to his own Islamophobic cartoon blogging (because Walker is such a free speech hero), he never actually managed to articulate an objection to the right of a corporation to censor its own talent. But he did celebrate when the suspension was reversed, saying that “free speech is bigger than the First Amendment.”
However, something is missing from Walker’s defense of Robertson. He has so far ignored this distressing video that emerged after the Duck Commander was suspended. It is a recording of Robertson telling the Georgia Sportsmen’s Ministry in 2009 that men should marry 15 and 16 year-old girls because a woman of 20 is already an old maid:
Look, you wait ‘til they get to be twenty years-old and the only picking that’s going to take place is your pocket. You got to marry these girls when they’re about fifteen or sixteen and they’ll pick your ducks.
Walker has been conspicuously silent about the Duck Commander’s duck-picking, which is strange because just a few months ago Walker called this exact behavior “evil.” Except that he was saying it about Brett Kimberlin, and he was lying about Tetyana’s age at the time she met her husband. Remember those good times? We do. Here are Mr. Walker’s own words:
You see, folks, there is a reason why we make it illegal for a forty year old man to have sex with a fifteen year old girl. Because a girl that young is not mature enough to handle the situation with appropriate maturity. The danger of that older man dominating her in a way that is unhealthy are extremely high, when a more worldly man seduces a child.
And likewise, there is a reason why it is illegal for a sixteen year old to get married without parental consent or that doctor’s note. Again it is because of the danger that the child might not be mature enough to make an intelligent decision. By requiring parental consent, this means that his or her parents will have a chance to make sure the relationship is truly healthy.