Bring back Phil Robertson on Duck Dynasty petition launched online by Christian organization and Facebook
Multiple petitions have been launched to bring back Phil Robertson on A&E's Duck Dynasty reality show.
The network suspended the Robertson family patriarch "indefinitely" for his recent comments on the January issue of GQ magazine, in which he stated that homosexuality is a sin.
Fans of the show have launched a number of "Bring Back Phil Robertson" Facebook pages. One such page already garnered 882,000 followers.
Another online petition on backphil.com has already received over 300,000 signatures and 1.3 gained 1.3 million followers on Facebook.
The Robertson family are devout Christians and have openly spoken about their faith.
Robertson told GQ: "Everything is blurred on what's right and what's wrong ... Sin becomes fine. Start with homosexual behaviour and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men."
He continued, "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."
A&E network released a statement on Phil Robertson's suspension. "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. 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."
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The 67-year-old also released a statement regarding his comments: "I myself am a product of the Sixties. I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Saviour. 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. 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."
Meanwhile, Christian organization Faith Driven Consumer has launched a petition drive on IStandWithPhil.com, calling for A&E immediately reinstate Mr. Phil Robertson to Duck Dynasty.
Chris Stone, founder of Faith Driven Consumer, stated: "Simply put, Phil Robertson is being censored and punished for quoting the Bible, and A&E's treatment of him is punitive and highly discriminatory. Everyday people will not stand for this, they know bullying and violation of religious freedom when they see it. A&E's actions are censoring Faith Driven Consumers and eliminating them from an entertainment choice that they have overwhelmingly supported."
The IStandWithPhil.com online petition drive calls for the American right to free speech. It states: "A&E's position, which in your own words is 'championing' the gay and lesbian community...excludes the views of Faith Driven Consumers and effectively censors a legitimate viewpoint held by the majority of Americans."
Along with the reinstatement of Robertson, the online petition also calls for the A&E network to "formally apologize to him, his family, and the millions of viewers who tune in every week, stand by him, and share his worldview."
A&E's Duck Dynasty is one of the most-watched cable shows in the U.S. The show is based around the Robertson family, who run a duck-call manufacturing business. Duck Dynasty is so popular that merchandise associated with the brand have been launched, including Duck Dynasty wine. The family also released a family Christmas album called Duck the Halls.