Phil Robertson spoke out personally on Sunday for the first time since his controversial comments on homosexuality were made public last week and a bunch of people that had never heard of Duck Dynasty before flipped a lid about it.
In case you somehow missed it because you live under a rock or perhaps were in a coma, the patriarch of one of TV’s most popular reality shows ever paraphrased some scripture in which he said that homosexuality is a sin and that blacks could find happiness in Jesus, even under Jim Crow laws.
Then A&E, the network that runs Duck Dynasty, basically fired Phil. Then folks like Sarah Palin and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said that was way uncool, because Phil has a right to his beliefs. Then of course liberals got upset because they thought these people were saying that A&E didn’t have a right to fire him.
Of course A&E has the right to act stupidly. Geesh. Doesn't mean they did the right thing.
Anyway, it’s been crazy to see the support rolling in for Phil and the whole Robertson crew. When Cracker Barrel said they were going to stop selling the show’s merchandise, backlash against the restaurant was swift. Within two days, the company reversed its decision.
"Our intent was to avoid offending, but that's just what we've done," the company announced. "Today, we are putting all our Duck Dynasty products back in our stores ... you told us we made a mistake, and you weren't shy about it."
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On Saturday, Entertainment Weekly claimed that Phil will be continuing on the show when filming resumes in January. The source said, “The network also hopes the media and fan furor will cool down over the holidays and that tensions over shooting future episodes can then be resolved. There’s no negotiation to have; we’re doing the show.”
On Sunday Phil spoke publicly for the first time since the family as a whole put out a press release late last Thursday. He led a Bible study at the church where his eldest son Alan preaches and where it’s clear the vast majority of parishioners supports him.
When someone thanked him for his comments, he said, “I didn’t think much of it at all, but it seems a lot of other people did.”
He also said, “I have been immoral, drunk, high. I ran with the wicked people for 28 years and I have run with the Jesus people since and the contrast is astounding ... I tell people, ‘You are a sinner, we all are. Do you want to hear my story before I give you the bottom line on your story?’”
And of course he reiterated that while he does still believe homosexuality to be a sexual sin, he really cares more about people knowing Jesus than whom they want to sleep with.
“I have made hundreds and hundreds of speeches and you can pick them apart and the center has always been Jesus Christ," he said. "Do many people get up and walk out? Yeah, all the time, do I hold it against them? No. Anybody can get up and stop listening. We are all just humans on this planet."
He also noted, “I love all men and women. I am a lover of humanity, not a hater.”
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Image via A&E