The internet is currently ablaze with comments about Arts & Entertainment Network suspending Duck Dynasty family patriarch Phil Robertson after his comments in an interview with GQ, in which he quoted the Bible and said that homosexuals would not go to Heaven and that it will “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.” In the same interview, he also claimed that he worked in the cotton fields with blacks as a child and they were happier than they are now. "Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues."

I am a fan of the Duck Dynasty TV show. It’s funny, you can let your kids and grandkids watch it and not worry about them seeing sex or people using drugs or being blown to bits, and the family values they exhibit are great.

And while I personally disagree with Phil Robertson’s comments on homosexuals and African Americans and find them very narrow minded, I also support his right to say what he believes and respect him for doing so in the face of public opinion. And I completely disagree with A&E’s decision to suspend Mr. Robertson from the show.

So was Phil wrong to say the things he did? No, I don’t believe so. I believe that the things he said were wrong, but he was right in being faithful to what he believes and taking a stand, even if it is an unpopular stand. He is a man of deep religious beliefs and he doesn’t attempt to hide that. He is proud of his faith and puts it right out there for you to see.

In this politically correct world we live in, Phil Robertson is a dinosaur. That’s okay, I’ve been called a dinosaur myself many times. But I much prefer honest dinosaurs to chameleons that change their color to match the current environment.

And I’ve got a pretty good idea that Phil Robertson doesn’t give a damn what anybody else thinks. And you have to respect him for that, no matter how much you disagree. He’s not a politician who will slap you on the back and call you friend while he’s looking for some way to screw you at the same time. I think Phil Robertson feels that if you don’t like his message, pick up the remote control and change the channel. He wouldn’t be offended.

Was A&E wrong to suspend him? I think so. But again, it’s their network, and if you don’t like the decisions they make, pick up the remote control and change the channel. However, if you think sending e-mails or boycotting A&E will change anything, I’ll remind you of the recent hullabaloo when the Food Network fired Paula Deen. People bitched and complained and it didn’t make any difference to the bean counters at the network. I don’t expect anything different this time around.

And don’t worry about the Robertson family missing any meals. They may be rednecks, but they are not a bunch of uneducated rednecks. Phil and at least a couple of his sons have master’s degrees, and he is a shrewd businessman who made a fortune starting with nothing. Then son Willy built it up even more from there. They are millionaires a few times over and if the show went off the air tonight, they’d still all gather around the dinner table and be thankful for just being together.

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69 Comments on Was Phil Wrong?

  1. Aaron Borovoy says:

    I have to admit that I didn’t do my homework on Phil Robertson’s educational background. So now I know that a lack of sophistication allowed him to be manipulated into saying what he did in the GQ interview. Makes his comments bug me even more. However, he has a complete and absolute right to his opinion, and I believe that it was heavy-handed of A&E to suspend him over the comments. But it makes A&E look like the good guys, and I have no doubt that the first episode where Phil Robertson returns will be one of the highest-rated Duck Dynasty episodes ever. Shrewd marketing.

  2. Phil had every right to say what he said, even tho I wholehearted disagree with him. He is just one more example of the hatred exhibited by people who call themselves religious. The removal or suspension of him from the show is publicity on the part of A & E. The entire show is on the air because A & E wants to make a profit. What he says adds viewers and that’s the name of that game. If the show started losing money, he and his opinions will be gone immediately.

  3. Aaron Borovoy says:

    Oops–I meant to say that *it wasn’t* a lack of sophistication that allowed him to be manipulated into saying what he did in the GQ interview. Sorry about that.

  4. Berni says:

    Ok I must vent. I have a real issue with this whole duck dynasty thing. You can’t ask someone for an interview and then tell them what to say. He said how he felt and who are we to get upset because he didn’t say what we thought he should have or in a way we thought he should have. If you didn’t want to hear his answers you shouldn’t have interviewed him. PERIOD.

  5. Janice Williford Evans says:

    wow. . .now quoting the Bible is considered hatred. . .wow. . .wow. . .wow. . .unbelievable!

    I don’t watch Duck Dynasty. . .never will. . .but in AMERICA. . .the man has a right to state his Biblically Based opinion. . .that does not make him a hater. . .wow!

  6. Marcy says:

    His comments ere his own opinion – they affect no one. He is not stopping anyone from coming into a store, eating any food, doing whatever they want to do – He simply expressed his own opinion… Would someone else be treated the same by expressing opinions that are not agreed upon by a certain group? I don’t know. But to lose your job over an opinion? Not right… whether it is a tv reality show, or any other job.

  7. Marcy says:

    *are not ere

  8. Barb says:

    Good grief, bologna like this is why folks should shun interviews. Phil’s beliefs are his, period. A&E may take more flak for banning him from one of the most highly rated cable shows ever, rather just simply stating that A&E does not share those in those beliefs..
    You can bet than other networks would line up to sign up that show. We watched Duck Dynasty a couple of times and while amusing, it was not my cup of tea. But those folks have their strong Christian beliefs and strong family values that should be commended. I don’t agree with what he said, but it would not stop me from watching the show is I enjoyed it..
    Another attempt at political correctness, which is getting very old..

  9. Barb says:

    Good grief, bologna like this is why folks should shun interviews. Phil’s beliefs are his, period. A&E may take more flak for banning him from one of the most highly rated cable shows ever, rather just simply stating that A&E does not share those in those beliefs..
    You can bet than other networks would line up to sign up that show. We watched Duck Dynasty a couple of times and while amusing, it was not my cup of tea. But those folks have their strong Christian beliefs and strong family values that should be commended. I don’t agree with what he said, but it would not stop me from watching the show if I enjoyed it..
    Another attempt at political correctness, which is getting very old..

  10. Brian Evans says:

    The problem here is not what Phil Robertson said or what A&E did. It is that one faction of the population is trying to shut out anything that goes against what they believe.

  11. joe jones says:

    Some people just hate it when anyone talks about the bible or God, possibly because they are afraid it is right and they don’t want to accept it in their heart.

  12. JB says:

    I don’t agree with Phil’s opinions but I sure defend his right to have them. One of the great benefits a democratic society is the fact that the majority supports the right of the minority to disagree. True here and back home in Canada.

  13. Barb says:

    This is the subject of talk radio today. I listen to Larry Elders, who said something interesting. He said that WalMart dropped Paula Dean like a hot potato for something she said 20 years ago.. How fast do you think WalMart will drop a money maker like Duck Dynasty, who sold over 400 million in product at WalMart… I don’t think so..
    95% of the callers are defending Phil and his right to say what ever he believes. Whether it was smart or not, who knows? The rest of the family will stand with their patriarch. There is no show without Phil.

  14. Barry Crocker says:

    I agree with you Bad Nick.

  15. Barry Crocker says:

    Oh, and I agree with Phil. There, I said it.

  16. Terry says:

    Has anyone taken a step back and ask what is wrong with this picture? I can’t walk into any store and not see the Duck Dynasty gang somewhere on something. Cups, shirts, pillows, bath towels they are everywhere. Guess who is running Duck Dynasty episodes all next week, all day Christmas day? That would be A&E. Now I am not saying Phil Robertson doesn’t have a strong Christian belief. I believe he does. But he is a smart man and knows how to make money. Why would Phil do anything with GQ. Did he think he was going to get questions about hunting or Miss Kay. My guess there is going to be a lot of Duck Dynasty merchandise sold this next week and a lot of people watching A&E Duck Dynasty episodes. Can we say happy happy happy or maybe money money money. Just something to think about.

  17. Fred Wishnie says:

    I disagree with his views, but he has every right to express them. A&E as a private company also has the right to enforce what their employees project to the public. I think it’s called a “morals clause”.

  18. Elizabeth says:

    THESE days anyway, people will always take offense at what the Bible clearly states, and the people who tell what it says. We go back to the original language for better understanding than the poorly translated English…especially in some places. But so far as I know, Phil basically stated what is there. He should have the right to do that. Of course, as with most media, they likely put out just whatever parts they chose to…skipping the whole of whatever Phil said. Most of us prefer that the WHOLE of what we say is repeated…NOT just the parts. Had a relative of the hubby who rather nastily called me on the carpet for something I had written to their dad…heh, the man has dyslexia BAD plus cannot read for beans…had to think a bit but finally remembered the word I had used (a bit longer than just 6 letters long) and though the 2 words started with the same letter, the words otherwise in no way resembled each other. I asked this person if those 2 words meant the same to her…of course, not! But just in case of confusion in the future, I told her, I would copy off EVERY SINGLE LETTER I wrote to him and send her a copy if something like that happened again. I did…and I was never asked for them. Heh…sometimes folks don’t REALLY want a solution and a fair one…they want us to BE WRONG so they can chew us up and spit us out. I suspect, maybe Phil was a victim of some such plan!! He is a wily ole fox however…heh, he is not stupid. Maybe he does NOT care if he is off the show for awhile…maybe he wanted a vacation!! Figured out how to get it!!

  19. Allan says:

    I agree with Nick’s position on this one. People have the right of free speech. Yes a company can fire any employee, they just may find out that it was not really a good decision. Phill’s morals were not good in his early life but his life has changed since he accepted Christ as his Savior. Even though Phill used some coarse language he did not do anything immoral that justified being fired on a morals clause. Like Nick said when interviewed he told the truth about what he believed from the Bible. We have politicians and the President lying to us, we should value someone that tells the truth and doesn’t change like some wishy-washy people we see in the news. By the way, Phill does not hate gays as someone mentioned. He treats everyone the same regardless of who they are or what they believe. The Louisiana Governor supported Phil stating “The political correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints except those that they disagree with”. It seems like anyone that does not agree with the President is accused of being racist and those that disagree with gay marriage are accused of hating gays. Come on people, can we not have different beliefs and opinions with without being accused of everything under the sun. Phill stated that he loves God and loves people and the world would be a better place if everyone did. I can agree with that.

  20. Bill says:

    Amen, Nick! You are right on.

  21. I wonder why no one mentions his racist speech about blacks. I suppose that’s in the bible too. Geez, I’m glad all you christians are so very christian. Must make you feel good. Instead of putting the christ back in christmas, you might want to consider putting the christ back in christians.

  22. Marnin Lack says:

    Hey Jan finally someone who makes sense in what they say. I have a problem with people who constantly quote certain sections of a book of fiction written hundreds of years ago. It amazes me how they select only certain sections of this book to follow and ignore others.

  23. Fred Hammer says:

    Jan, Read what Phil actually said. He gave no “racist speech.” His words were not for the black population inclusively; but were for those black co-workers with whom he walked and hoed the fields. Shall we now muddy the waters by claiming that Jan Goldfield’s first sentence is true? Perhaps she can show us the text of said speech. Of course, there are some here who would become incensed if I were to mention that in an Eastern Christian (Armenian) Adam-book (5th or 6th century) it is written: “And the Lord was wroth with Cain. . . He beat Cain’s face with hail, which blackened like coal, and thus he remained with a black face”. Yah, yah, I know: It’s only one of many translations….

  24. Fred Hammer says:

    “A book of fiction?” Well, Marin, you should only hope so. Call me from your death bed and let me know then if you feel the same.

  25. Thank you, Marnin. I often forget that we have people out there who believe Faux News, think the bible was originally written in English, do not realize that it was written some 400 years after Jesus’ death, so of course is to be believed at any cost. At least the younger generation (the millennials) are changing that. I hope they are learning to think critically even tho the politicians/priests are trying mightily to keep them dumbed down, so they vote the way the people in power want them too. Times, they are a changin’.

  26. Suzanne Ashlock says:

    I agree with you Nick in the fact that Phil certainly had the right to say what he believes even though I think his beliefs are wrong. That being said, A&E had every right to suspend him (or fire him for that matter) if he espoused controversial views detrimental to their product. If you work in a media centric occupation, you have to realize you can’t turn on the faucet in your mouth and let it drip. Lots of people in the entertainment industry have paid for saying things that their employers did not like. About 10 years ago, the Dixie Chicks paid with loss of revenue from their albums and playing time on stations because of the same type of “free speech” comments – of course the difference was they angered the conservative right base then with their comments, whereas Phil’s hit the left base. I was a public school teacher until I retired, and I knew there were things that I could not say without facing repercussions. It didn’t matter how strongly I believed them or how true they were, I just couldn’t say them in public. If Phil is as intelligent as some think he is, he should have known this. I have never watch DD, nor will I, as this type of program does not appeal to me, but everyone does need to remember that it is a show designed to make money for its producers. What better way to generate more income than having all of this controversy play out in social media and prime time news for free!

  27. Bess Weber says:

    The thing most of you are forgetting to do is check out what the bible says,you will find he was saying what the bible says, it was not just his belief, so quit trouncing Phil for stating he believes in the Bible and chooses to follow it.
    I don’t watch Duck Dynasty but I do stand for Phil’s right to his beliefs and to not hide them under a bushel.
    Check out both the new and the old testaments.
    Corinthians,Jeremiah Genesis and more also Matthew

  28. Connie Bradish says:

    Such is political correctness. It’s OK to say homosexuality is “normal” but wrong to disagree. And if you disagree with the PC police, you get tarred and feathered.

    Well folks, Phil is right. The male penis is designed to go into the female vagina not up another man’s anus. Have any of you ever seen pictures of or read what happens to the anal area and the colon of a male when it used by another man’s penis with friction back and forth? The man has to wear a butt plug because the anus is damaged and can no longer stop the fecal material from leaving. The lower intestine in not designed for the friction and gets tears that lead to damage of the lower intestine and entrance for the Aids virus and other infections. Also if the male is young and small and an adult male uses him, the colon can be so damaged that the young male can die. Everyone conveniently forgets the real physical damage when male homosexuals use one another in this way.

    If this is too graphic, I make no apologies. Sometimes people need to be reminded that the concept that “It’s OK they aren’t hurting anyone” is false. While I believe in personal freedom I don’t believe in blessing something that clearly is damaging to an individual.

    And to all of you believing the Bible is a book of fiction, you have a right to your opinion. But Phil and I have a right to believe that the Bible is inspired by God and is his word. And I’m tired of everyone thinking that it’s hip and modern to be against the Bible and Christians. No, this has been going on for generations. People turn to God and then away from God. And their existence and life ebbs and flows as compared to their beliefs. This is only one of many times when a people have begun turning away from God. And for we who believe we are sorry to see America in decline both morally, ethically and economically.

  29. Al Hesselbart says:

    It continues to be shown that politically correct is usually a 5 letter word…. WRONG

  30. OMG, Connie Bradish. Do some research before you make comments about butt plugs. You would be laughed out of the bathhouse.
    And hey, you christians, stop using your gold embossed, monogrammed bibles as a club. Your judging of what people do with their genitals is getting old.

  31. Aaron Borovoy says:

    I cannot let Connie Bradish’s comments go without further comment. As a gay man who has been around the block a few times, I can tell you that whoever you got your information from is completely full of fecal material him/herself. I have never known anyone where this has happened, nor have I ever heard of it happening. You have a right to your beliefs and you have a right to express them, of course. This is America. But your right to swing your fist (or Bible) ends where my nose begins. And get your facts right. Let’s respect each other.

  32. Curt Greenfield says:

    The Bible says it.
    I believe it.
    That settles it!
    Why?
    Because I’m an idiot!

  33. So many people forget that the Constitution, not the bible is what guides the US. And until that is changed, we, as gay people, will continue fighting for our rights. You know, those same rights that you had when you were born, take for granted, but figure that we don’t need/deserve them. We are winning tho. 17 states as of yesterday. Although voting on rights is totally unprecedented, we are still winning.

  34. Dave W5 (doreen - the wife) says:

    Its called “Freedom of Speech” A&E once again, GET OVER IT.
    Once again our freedom of Religion has everyone making rude comments at each other. Isn’t this why we are in other countries (Supposedly) fighting because of their religious factions not letting their people do what they want and disagreeing with them?

  35. Do Patrick says:

    I agree with what Phil said and his right to say it. If his sond do not stand up for Phil and refuse to do the show without him they have no balls and should shave their beards off.

  36. Paul Stough says:

    I dont see this as a free speech issue, but as a religious issue.

    The issue involved with Phil’s suspension is; can an employer suspend an employee for expressing his or her religious beliefs, just because the employer disagrees with those beliefs? Phil’s religious belief that homosexuality is a sin is a common belief amongst millions of Christians. Many others disagree with that religious belief, but does that mean he can be suspendeded for having and expressing such a religious belief?

    There are many religious beliefs that others hold that I disagree with, for example, can a Muslim who says they believe in Sharia Law, a major tenant of Islam, be suspended from their job if they express that belief publicly just because their employer doesnt believe the same way?

    If this situation becomes the standard, where does it end?

    The next question then becomes; should we make certain religious beliefs illegal?

    Paul

  37. Far too many folks appear not to know the difference between the protections guaranteed by the First Amendment and the consequences of private speech. There is no First Amendment issue involved in the Duck guy’s suspension by A&E. The network did not want to be associated with his opinion. It is a private company. His contract with the company is private. He can indeed say what he wants, and he now knows that there are consequences. That’s true for all of us. There is no government action involved here. Sheesh! Basic civics, folks.
    One final note: although his remarks about gays have garnered more media attention, his assertion that the Blacks he grew up with we’re “happy” under Jim Crow “before the entitlements” likely did not set well with A&E either.

  38. Fred Hammer says:

    OK, let’s talk PC. “Gay” used to be a very nice little word, but a small percentage of people objected if they were called “homosexual” (even though is very accurate), and through forced and repeated usage another meaning developed. They also objected to the word “queer” although the definition of that word is certainly more accurate than “gay.”

  39. Chris says:

    It’s all been said. Congrats Nick for another pot-stirring!

  40. Deb Peters says:

    IMO, Phil Robertson signed a contract with A&E to do the show. They made him the brand that he is and gave him a platform. I’ll bet dollars to donuts that the contract states what he can and cannot say while representing his “brand.” In the magazine interview, he should have declined to answer those questions. I have a contract with my employer. While I’m wearing that uniform I cannot and do not share my personal beliefs with the public because I represent my employer. His employer had the right to suspend him for breach of contract.

  41. Greg White says:

    I’m really surprised that Jan Goldfield, being such a self-professed Biblical scholar, doesn’t know that 80% of the Bible The Old Testament) was written hundreds to even thousands of years before Jesus was born.

    And 1 Corinthians, which Phil Roberson was paraphrasing, is acknowledged by Biblical scholars to have been written approximately 50 years after Jesus’ death.

    The 400 AD date that Jan Goldfield misappropriates for when the Bible was written is the approximate date for when the Catholic gathered all the various writings together and codified it into “The Bible”.

    I also find it kind of funny that Jan Goldfield acknowledges that Jesus lived, since she said that the Bible “was written some 400 years after Jesus’ death.”

  42. Gee, thanks Greg. I am so glad we have you to make sure we realize how smart you are. What on earth would we do without you?
    To sum up the argument, I hark back to comment #37, said by a lawyer friend of mine who eloquently and concisely states what the entire controversy is about.

  43. Karen says:

    Why is it that both sides of this discussion want to deny the other side the right to express their opinion, by their negative comments. Can’t we agree to disagree with each other while stating that everyone has a right to express their feelings and beliefs. And we also have a right to not listen to the others opinions. These arguments never solve anything and very, very rarely change the other person opinions. So in this season of “peach on earth and good will towards men” lets practice some!

  44. Karen says:

    Sorry, not peach on earth but “peace on earth”, but you all knew that right!

  45. Paul Stough says:

    @Jan-I agree in part. This is not a free speech issue, it is a religious issue.

    Paul

  46. Paul: private person, private company. They can make contracts between/with each other binding both parties that have nothing to do with religion or free speech. Either party can say/behave however they wish, but must realize that their speech/behavior has consequences.
    All the foregoing conversation only touches on what is really going on – This is one helluva brilliant marketing move.

  47. Jerry Wilson says:

    I just think it’s sad that peaceful protesters who are sitting down get sprayed in the eyes with pepper spray for trying to exercise their right to free speech and the country remains largely silent, but a redneck from a reality TV show says something that gets him fired by a TV station and the whole country goes into a First Amendment frenzy.

    And I’m not saying the protesters were right or wrong… I’m just saying that was actually a free speech issue, yet no national discussion rose from it. But let a reality TV show person say something in a magazine interview and we’re all suddenly activists.

  48. Paul Stough says:

    @Jan-I agree private person, private company. So lets reverse the situation. Since Phil believes that homosexuality is a sin, would he have the right to fire an employee who publicly said that they believed that homosexuality was not a sin?

    Paul

  49. Tom Lehrer says:

    For starters, the bible was written by men. It’s filled with gems like executing whole populations due to the sins of a few, incest, murder, killing for small infractions, etc. I’m always amused when someone cites it as justification for their xenophobic, or homophobic, or racist beliefs. More people have been killed by “right thinking Christians” than by Hitler, times ten – just start with the numbers burned as witches or killed by the Inquisition, tack on the Crusades, and maybe throw in the genocide in the Americans of the native populations so that the Christian god could be brought to them. But Christians, who incidentally, are in the minority as far as global religion goes, seem uniquely willing to ignore the history of the religion, and instead spout what they think the religion or their holy book says. Here are the facts: Homosexuality is routinely observed in nature. Animals of all kinds. So the idea that it’s “unnatural” is basically not only ignorance of reality, but also of what the word means. As to the darkies being happier in the fields, yes, I’m sure that it was a sad day when they left, just as it was a sad day for the plantation owners. Phil is a bigot and a fool using his religion to justify his beliefs, just as some Muslims justify their hatred with theirs. A&E made the right call: we don’t want to glorify bigotry and stupidity.

  50. It would depend on what their contract said. If an employee broke a contract that forbade people from talking about being gay or queer or otherwise making sexual remarks by saying homosexuality was not a sin, yes, he could easily be fired.
    All this is why we hire contract lawyers and why it’s so complicated.

    Example: Let’s say you worked in an office with 10 people and decided that too much swearing was happening. You make a ‘swear jar’ and everybody who swears has to put a quarter in the jar every time they swear. OK, that’s a contract. Now, some outsider, maybe even the big boss, comes in a turns the air blue. Does s/he have to put a quarter in the swear jar cuz he didn’t know about any contract? And what if an employee says,”Oh snap, “a now acceptable way to say “Oh shit.” Now the contract gets more complicated and more additions, definitions are needed and the contract changes.
    More reasons why contract law is so very complicated.

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