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WASHINGTON — Sarah Palin and Gov. Bobby Jindal are among those coming to the defense of “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson over his comments on homosexuality, but their words pale in comparison to Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, who is targeting the star’s network with both guns blazing.
A&E Network suspended “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson from his own television show after calling homosexuality illogical, while proffering his male viewpoint preferring female anatomy to that of other men.
The congressman from Texas said he is “fuming” over the controversy.
“Your personal views on private relationships aside, the radical left once again seeks to personally destroy anyone who voices an opinion different than theirs,” writes Stockman.
He continued, “The liberal war on speech must end now. Liberals define “tolerance” the same way the Soviets defined “peace” — the eradication of opposition. They are on a mission to eradicate dissent. Please stand with Phil today.”
He pointed out that Robertson never personally condemned anyone and simply stated what his Christian faith teaches, but may have lost his job.
“And trust me, you are next,” the Texan claimed, warning, “They will target YOU in YOUR workplace if we don’t punch back.”
Whether one agrees with Phil Robertson or not, said Stockman, “it is wrong to take away a man’s job for voicing his personal religious beliefs.”
Stockman also noted he stood up for Tuffy the Rodeo Clown “when the radical Left took away his job for taking part in a skit that has mocked all presidents past and president.”
The group posted this statement on their website:
The gay lobby bullies are at it again. This time they’ve attacked one of the most popular Christians in America — Phil Robertson, patriarch of Duck Dynasty’s Robertson family. They are calling him “vile” and say he is pushing “extreme stereotypes” and “lies.” The grossly misnamed Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and their Hollywood ally GLAAD have demanded that Phil be punished and, incredibly, Wednesday night A&E succumbed to the gay bullies and suspended Phil Robertson!
What is this man guilty of that would spur such “outrage” and result in him being banned by A&E?
Even the words of President Ronald Reagan appear to apply to the arguments today. At a Dallas prayer breakfast in 1984, Reagan addressed the importance of religion in America.
“Those who created our country, the Founding Fathers and Mothers, understood that there is a divine order which transcends the human order,” he said. He cited the Mayflower Compact (“In the name of God”), the Declaration of Independence (“Nature’s God”), and the fact oaths of office are oaths “before God.”
“The state was tolerant of religious belief, expression and practice. … Society, too, was tolerant,” he said. Until the courts took prayer out of schools, and the attacks began.
“Those who are attacking religion claim they are doing it in the name of tolerance, freedom and open-mindedness. Question. Isn’t the real truth that they are intolerant of religion?”
Stockman's fellow Texan, Sen. Ted Cruz also weighed in, posting this message on his Facebook page:
Free Speech Matters
The reason that so many Americans love Duck Dynasty is because it represents the America usually ignored or mocked by liberal elites: a family that loves and cares for each other, believes in God, and speaks openly about their faith.
If you believe in free speech or religious liberty, you should be deeply dismayed over the treatment of Phil Robertson. Phil expressed his personal views and his own religious faith; for that, he was suspended from his job. In a free society, anyone is free to disagree with him--but the mainstream media should not behave as the thought police censoring the views with which they disagree.
Fans of "Duck Dynasty" have turned to social media to oppose the suspension, with at least seven variations of “Bring Back Phil Robertson” pages now on Facebook.
The Facebook page features a link to a petition calling on A&E networks to “end the wrongful suspension of Phil Robertson." The petition had over 32,000 supporters early Thursday morning.
And the website IStandWithPhil.com has also launched a massive petition to fight A&E’s treatment of Robertson.
The Arts & Entertainment Network, better known as A&E, gave Robertson the boot Wednesday after learning of his remarks.
"It seems like, to me, a vagina – as a man – would be more desirable than a man's anus, " said Phil Robertson. "That's just me. 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."
"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," A&E said in a statement. "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."
Robertson's comments came in an interview with GQ magazine, where he championed biblical values and the battle against breaking God's commandments.
"Everything is blurred on what's right and what's wrong ... Sin becomes fine. 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 said.
Paraphrasing Corinthians, he says, "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're Bible-thumpers who just happened to end up on television," he says of his family's instant rise to fame. "You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let's get on with it, and everything will turn around."
But Phil, 67, also indicated he's not too concerned with how other people are living.
"We never, ever judge someone on who's going to heaven, hell. That's the Almighty's job. 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?"
See why Duck Commander Phil Robertson is "Happy, Happy, Happy." And get up close and personal with The Duck Commander Family
Sarah Palin says the suspension of “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson over recent comments he made about homosexuality is an attack on free speech.
Palin re-posted a picture of her meeting with the stars of the A&E show on her Facebook page Wednesday night, writing that “intolerants” were behind the suspension of the show’s star.
“Free speech is an endangered species. Those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us,” Palin wrote.
Earlier this month, Palin met the cast of the show when she was in Monroe, La., on her book tour and posted several photos of their time together on her Facebook page.
Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., also criticized Robertson's suspension by A&E.
"I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended," said Jindal in a prepared statement sent through email and Twitter this morning.
The governor also described Robertson and his family members, who all appear on the reality television show together, as "great citizens of the state of Louisiana."
"The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with. I don't agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV. In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views," said Jindal.
The homosexual activist group GLAAD is blasting Robertson's remarks as "vile."
"Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil's lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe," said spokesperson Wilson Cruz.
"He clearly knows nothing about gay people or the majority of Louisianans – and Americans – who support legal recognition for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples. Phil's decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors who now need to reexamine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families."
"The long knives are out for Phil Robertson," noted radio giant Rush Limbaugh. "The left is hysterical. Rather than just let it go ... they're making a huge, huge deal out of it. It's outrageous. But his views ... they line up almost exactly with the views of the new BFF (best friend forever) of the libs, the Catholic Church."
The controversy has prompted Robertson to issue somewhat of a backtrack, as A&E released a statement Wednesday from Phil.
"I myself am a product of the '60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior. My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together," says the duck hunter.
Robertson continues, "However, 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. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other."
Regarding the future of his megapopular television show, Robertson said the end is at least fairly near.
"Let's face it," he says. "Three, four, five years, we're out of here. You know what I'm saying? It's a TV show. This thing ain't gonna last forever. No way."
And on sacrificing the family's privacy in order to spread the good word:
"For the sake of the Gospel, it was worth it. ... All you have to do is look at any society where there is no Jesus. I'll give you four: Nazis, no Jesus. Look at their record. Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them? None. Communists? None. Islamists? Zero. That's eighty years of ideologies that have popped up where no Jesus was allowed among those four groups. Just look at the records as far as murder goes among those four groups."
The interview is sparking plenty of public reaction online, including:
- "Well, I guess that's the end of Duck Dynasty. No way the show won't be canceled now."
- "I'm glad someone with notoriety is standing up to these perverts and their demented lifestyle."
- "Atta boy, Phil! I applaud you for saying what you mean and meaning what you say. Hang in there ... as our pastor always says ... be worried when you are not getting crucified and attacked by people, because that means you are not doing what you are supposed to be doing being a follower of Jesus Christ. And, if you are getting attacked and criticized, then you must be doing something right! Thank you, Phil, for taking a stand! Satan will do anything to cause turmoil and conflict between believers and deceive. Kudos to Phil!"
- "Praise God for these men to have the courage to stand 'UP' for God's word in what is right and what is wrong. Wrong is sin."
- "Phil's not anti-gay. He's pro-vagina!"
The slew of Twitter reactions made Phil Robertson a trending topic on Wednesday and Thursday. The hashtag #IStandWithPhil gained popularity after A&E released a statement about Robertson's suspension.
“Duck Dynasty” has been a ratings juggernaut for A&E, recently drawing nine million viewers for its Christmas special.
Robertson may appear in some previously taped scenes when "Duck Dynasty" returns Jan. 15 for its fifth season, a network rep said.