Reactions to Phil Robertson's suspension, supporters question A&E's decision: 'Miley Cyrus gets a laugh but Phil Robertson gets suspended'
The Louisiana governor, Bobby Jindal, has waded into the Phil Robertson controversy after the reality TV star was suspended from the Duck Dynasty show this week.
The A&E network took the decision to suspend Robertson over his comments on marriage and homosexuality in an interview with 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," Robertson told the magazine.
"Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.
"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."
Robertson went on to challenge homosexuality in more explicit terms, saying the woman's body had "more to offer" a man than another man's body.
Explaining its decision to suspend Robertson, A&E said it was "extremely disappointed" by his comments and that it did not share his views.
"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 TV network said.
Louisiana governor Jindal blamed the current situation on political correctness as he pointed to the tolerance shown towards pop star Miley Cyrus, who has made a name for herself with lewd performances and 'twerking'.
"Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana. The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with," said Jindal.
"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. In fact, 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."
The Robertson family issued a statement on Thursday calling into question the future of Duck Dynasty, which has been a massive ratings hit for A&E in the US.
In the statement the family thanked people for their support and said they had spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E's decision.
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"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," the family said.
"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."
The US-based Family Research Council criticised A&E's "knee-jerk" reaction in a statement.
"The Left knows that if it can intimidate the Robertsons, stars of the most popular cable show in TV history, no one will dare challenge the lies liberals are spreading in our schools, the media, our public policy, and even in some churches," it said.
"Unlike other attacks, this one gets to the heart of the debate, which is the freedom of Americans to articulate biblical principles on any issue. In this brave new world of selective tolerance, have Christians lost the right to quote from the Bible? If so, then there's a clear double standard at work."
Sarah Palin, who received a warm welcome from the family when her book tour made a stop in West Monroe, Louisiana, said on Twitter: "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."
Phil Robertson has also issued a personal statement, saying that he would never disrespect anybody.
"I myself am a product of the Sixties. I centred my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Saviour," he said.
"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."