UPDATE - The Robertson Family issued a statement Thursday, boiling down to this: "...As a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm."
Last Thursday morning, A&E's big news was that their very popular reality series "Duck Dynasty's" Christmas special had skyrocketed off the charts with over 8.9 million viewers. This morning, the news from A&E is that they've suspended the family's patriarch Phil Robertson indefinitely.
What the Duck? It's all because he shared his thoughts about "modern immorality" with a GQ reporter while riding around the Robertson's property in Phil's camoflage-painted ATV. The section of the interview that drew A&E's wrath goes like this:
Out here in these woods, without any cameras around, Phil is free to say what he wants. Maybe a little too free. He’s got lots of thoughts on modern immorality, and there’s no stopping them from rushing out. Like this one:
“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. 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.”
Perhaps we’ll be needing that seat belt after all.
Robertson went on to refer to Scripture to back up his assertion that homosexual intercourse is a sin, and that was the straw that caused A&E's back to break:
What, in your mind, is sinful?
“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.”
GQ has to be delighted with the huge controversy that paragraph has caused, because now the gay rights activist group GLAAD - although it never said a word about Alec Baldwin's anti-gay public slur last week - now is calling for Duck Dynasty sponsors to drop A&E's biggest money-making series.
After learning of his suspension, Robertson issued this statement Wednesday:
"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.
"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."
Folks are lining up on either side of the debate, news broadcasts are packed with references to the debate. There's no doubt if an outlet wants controversy and outrage to boost readers or viewers, dare to touch the third rail: anything critical of the homosexual lifestyle.