Phil Robertson “Indefinitely” Suspended: Yay or Nay?

Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, a self-proclaimed “Bible-thumper,” has ruffled some feathers during his recent interview with GQ.

Asked his definition of sinful behaviour, Robertson, 67, replied, “Start with homosexual behaviour and just go from there — bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”

The devout Christian went on to paraphrase a biblical passage.

“Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers — they won’t inherit the kingdom of God . . .Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

Despite his feelings on homosexuality, Robertson claims he does not judge people.

“We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job,” he said. “We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus — whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?”

Robertson went on to say that same-sex relationships are “not logical.”

“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me,” he added. “I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

What the duck?

After public outcry for his anti-gay statements, A&E announced an indefinite suspension late Thursday.

“We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty,” the statement reads. “His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.”

In response, the Robertson family released a statement via Duck Commander that same evening, stating “his beliefs are grounded” in the Bible and he “is a Godly man.”

“We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word,” the statement reads. “While some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible. Phil is a Godly man who follows what the Bible says are the greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Phil would never incite or encourage hate. We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right. We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm. We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty. When the A&E network suspended Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson for disparaging gay people, it may have followed a time-honoured TV tradition of quickly silencing a star who, for better or worse, speaks his mind. But in doing so it also ruffled the feathers of possibly millions of fans of its most popular show.”

And his family aren’t the only ones showing support. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin complained that his free-speech rights were being dismissed. Others argue that he was expressing his religious views, which should not be questioned. And not to mention, he is part of a reality show — isn’t this his reality?

T-shirts went on the market with the words: “I Don’t Give a Duck About A or E, Bring Back Phil.”

Duck Dynasty – on hiatus until Jan. 15 – is often the highest-rated cable show on television, and an episode last August that drew nearly 12 million viewers was the highest-rated of any show, cable or broadcast, that week.

So what are your thoughts on Robertson’s statements and his suspension?

Personally, I’m highly offended by his homophobic and hate-filled opinions. Stating that homosexuality is a sin that is “not logical” and comparative to bestality and terrorism is extremely dangerous. Is it really OK to group gay people with those who engage in sex with animals and with mass murderers?  Is this thinking truly what JC had in mind? Imagine the LGBT youth who read this interview and internalize his anti-gay and hateful beliefs.

He claims to be a man of God who does not judge others. I call BS! Using the Bible as a defense doesn’t work for me. I respect all religions, but if one truly does not judge others, all hate and bigotry would be eliminated from one’s heart/mind, regardless of what one’s religion might claim.

But was the suspension the right thing to do? I’m not sure. I agree that something serious needed to be done. But perhaps A&E could’ve seized this opportunity and broadcast follow-up shows? An educational piece on how we can all co-exist without hate and fear? An empowering story on how we can live in peace and unity, regardless of who we love?

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with A&E suspending Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty?

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