John Rich of country duo Big & Rich can, shockingly enough, think for himself, it seems. Rather than toe the Hollywood line about politics and culture, Rich has come out in support of Fred Thompson and against gay marriage in a new interview with The Tennessean.
John Rich left no doubt on where he stands after Wednesday's appearance on The Steve Gill Radio Show, which now features him as a regular commentator.
John is an avid supportive of Fred Thompson's presidential bid because he's a conservative who agrees with Fred's voting record.
"Big & Rich music is so out of the box and so wild and unrestrained," John tells me. "They probably just make assumptions that you're that way with everything. One reason why we are able to be so untethered in country music is because we have a really strong base and strong beliefs and core values."
The pro-lifer is against gay marriage.
"I think if you legalize that, you've got to legalize some other things that are pretty unsavory," he says. "You can call me a radical, but how can you tell an aunt that she can't marry her nephew if they are really in love and sharing the bills? How can you tell them they can't get married, but something else that's unnatural can happen?"
He spoke to his partner, Big Kenny, before coming out publicly for Fred.
"It's actually a risky thing for an entertainer to get into politics, but I'd rather take a chance on alienating some fans than sit by idly and watch Hillary Clinton go trotting into the White House."
Predictably, there's already been a backlash, prompting Rich to clarify his position.
My earlier comments on same-sex marriage don’t reflect my full views on the broader issues regarding tolerance and the treatment of gays and lesbians in our society. I apologize for that and wish to state clearly my views. I oppose same-sex marriage because my father and minister brought me up to believe that marriage is an institution for the union of a man and a woman. However, I also believe that intolerance, bigotry and hatred are wrong. People should be judged based on their merits, not on their sexual orientation. We are all children of God and should be valued and respected.
Hearing a celebrity think and speak for themselves, rather than keep to the mandatory liberal talking points, is so refreshing. It's even more surprising to hear about the rare conservative celebrities out there.
I encourage all of you to do your best to show your support for Big & Rich.