Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, who was famously suspended from the show for nine days back in December for equating the "sin" of homosexuality with bestiality, has once again been caught preaching about the evils of same-sex relationships. In case we weren't perfectly clear on where he stands, a 43-minute fire-and-brimstone sermon of his -- reportedly filmed this past Easter Sunday -- has hit the Internet, and in it, Robertson quite clearly compares "homosexual offenders" with thieves, adulterers, and slanderers.
Whatever you think of Robertson's personal beliefs, I think we can all agree on one thing: NOT IT to be A&E this week.
In this latest video, Robertson alludes to the infamous GQ interview, saying he was unfairly targeted for what he said at the time:
Are you waiting on Jesus? Or are you afraid to see that sky busting, you see him coming? You got two lists ... I gave some guy one list. You say, were they mad at you about that list? They were mad at me.
He went on to say,
You want the verse? The news media didn’t even know it was a verse! They thought I was just mouthing off. Is homosexual behavior a sin? The guy asked me. I said, do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Don’t be deceived ... Neither the sexually immoral, nor the idolators nor adulterers nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves, nor greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God
Here's the clip, which was filmed at his church in West Monroe, LA:
So far, A&E has declined to comment, but I can just imagine the frantic discussions going on right now. After all, they set a precedent back in December by suspending him, didn't they? The network first distanced themselves from Robertson:
His personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community.
Robertson then issued a carefully crafted statement:
I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity.
And A&E ultimately backtracked, saying,
Duck Dynasty is not a show about one man's views.
However, the network ALSO said, "We will continue to represent our faith and values in the most positive way through Duck Dynasty," and claimed to share the Robertson clan's focus on "unity, tolerance, and forgiveness."
In other words, they can't really ignore this current controversy. They essentially crafted a scenario in which they could sidestep Robertson's anti-gay shitstorm by pointing out that "he and his family have publicly stated they regret the ‘coarse language’ he used and the misinterpretation of his core beliefs."
It should be incredibly obvious to everyone at this point that Phil Roberton's core beliefs were never misinterpreted. He believes homosexuality is a terrible sin, full stop. Is this offensive? Well, it certainly is to some people, while others fervently share his point of view. Robertson is of course allowed to believe whatever he likes, and say whatever he likes -- but he doesn't have the right not to experience repercussions as a result.
In my opinion, those who are upset by Robertson shouldn't look to A&E to punish him. The choice of tuning into the show or purchasing Duck Dynasty merchandise is up to us, the consumers. If you don't like what Robertson believes, then don't watch his show or buy his family's t-shirts and mugs. Advertisers and retailers can choose not to support this brand as well.
In fact, viewership for the fifth season premiere of Duck Dynasty was down by nearly four million as compared to season 4. It seems to me that we the people are perfectly capable of engineering the success or failure of this TV series -- but unfortunately for A&E, I don't think they have a choice at this point: they'll have to publicly respond. And no matter what they do, they're going to piss a lot of people off.
What do you think of Robertson's latest comments? Do you think he should be removed from the show?
Image via A&E