“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “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.”
"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 network said in a statement Wednesday. "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."The Robertson family responded to A&E with a statement of their own.
We want to thank all of you for your prayers and support. The family has spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E's decision. 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. 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. Again, thank you for your continued support of our family.In response to Phil's suspension millions of people have come to his defence. A Facebook page with over 1.4 million likes and a petition with over 300,000 supporters. Another Facebook page, with over 274,000 likes, and another petition, with over 100,000 supporters, and that is just a sampling. It is clear that there are a large number of people who support Phil's right to state his beliefs without losing his job.
It is surprising to me that this has caused such a stir. Those who oppose the LGBT movement are often dead ducks. Phil Robertson's comments brought him into the cross hairs of this community, and they do not take any prisoners. The cultural acceptance of LGBT behaviour seems to be "un fait accompli", which is why the backlash against A&E is so surprising. However, we did see a similar uprising with Chick-fil-A controversy, which saw their sales increase to 12% in 2012, but this was before DOMA, the tipping point of LGBT acceptance by the mainstream.
I think we have reached a possible cultural turning point. If the Robertson's stick to their guns and don't become lame ducks, it could change the tide of LGBT approval. Howard Bragman, unknowingly made a very insightful comment on the choice the Robertson's need to make.
And blow over it will, eventually, says veteran Hollywood crisis publicist Howard Bragman, who added that Robertson will likely return to the show as well, perhaps after making a heartfelt apology.
"There's too much money at stake," said Bragman, vice-president of reputation.com. "Although he plays kind of a hick on TV, I don't think he's dumb. I think he gets what's at stake here. And I hope people on his team, the network and his producers get the message that what he did was wrong."The Robertson's need to decide between an earthly kingdom and what they believe. This is not unlike a well known character in the Bible name Esther, which my wife reminded me of. The Robertson's have become kings and queens in our celebrity driven culture, just like Esther became queen of Persia. When Mordecai, Esther's uncle, heard of a plot to kill the Jews (their people), he enlisted her help. He asked her to go to the king to plead their case, but she was fearful because it was possible that she could be put to death for entering the king's court uninvited (Esther 4). When Mordecai heard her response, he replied saying:
Do not think to yourself that in the king's palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this (Esther 4:13-15)?Her is my reply to the Robertsons:
Do not think because your are rich that you will escape from the LGBT more than all of the other Bible believing Christians. For if you keep silent at this time, God will raise up others to stand up against what He condemns, but you will have lost your reward. And who knows whether you have not become famous for such a time as this.I believe that the Robertson's will have the courage to stand up for the truth and let the criticisms be like water off a ducks back, but Christian's need to pray just like Esther asked her people (Esther 4:15-16). The LGBT may think they have all their ducks in a row, but God is the one who determines history. There is obviously still a large number of people who don't appreciate the tactics of the LGBT, even though the media would have us think otherwise. Don't duck the knock-out punch that is coming, but stand firm because who knows what God's plan is for a time such as this.