Cover of Phil Roberston's new book, "Happy, Happy, Happy," via A&E.

Cover of Phil Roberston’s new book, “Happy, Happy, Happy,” via A&E. (Image source)

It’s been a bumpy day for Phil Robertson, star of Duck Dynasty and paterfamilias of the family behind Duck Commander, a multimillion dollar company that produces duck-hunting merchandise. In an interview for January’s GQ, the reporter asked Robertson about his view of sin: “’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.’” His other remarks were even more graphic, suggesting that “a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus,” but “sin…[is] just not logical.”

The interview, made public on GQ‘s website today, has had potentially disastrous consequences for Robertson’s career. Variety reports that A&E, Duck Dynasty‘s parent channel, has placed Robertson on indefinite filming hiatus following his remarks:

“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 Robertson clan are not private about their faith, often praying together while filming their show, which has made them folk heroes for conservative evangelicals. Phil has been known to preach at duck-calling seminars (yep, they exist), and this isn’t his first time denouncing homosexuality. There are a number of Bible passages that deal with sexual behavior, and the passage Robertson paraphrased in his GQ interview was 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, which says “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.” The Greek word used for “sodomite” in verse 9 (arsenokoitai) is disputed by scholars, some of whom claim it means “homosexual” and others of whom argue that there was no Greek noun for “homosexual.”

Cultural momentum behind Duck Dynasty has been overwhelming, with 11.8 million viewers for its season 4 premiere. In a country that increasingly supports gay rights, including marriage, how Robertson’s remarks will play out remains to be seen. And after this kerfuffle–and his indefinite filming hiatus–so does he.

Categories: Beliefs

Laura Turner

Laura Turner

Laura Turner is a writer and editor living in San Francisco. In addition to being a regular contributor to Christianity Today’s “Her.meneutics” blog, she has also written for publications such as Books & Culture and The Bold Italic. She is interested in the intersection of church and culture.

82 Comments

  1. Rita Whittington

    Phil has every right to tell everyone How the good lord wants us to live. The sinners want us Christians to stop praying because they feel as though we are cramming our beliefs onto them. I really do not want my little ones to think all the sins are ok just because alot of people have decided to except the evil of others. God destroyed Sodom and Gammora for a reason .

    • Everyone sins in some form or another. The problem enough this world is certain people only allow their own sins as if they are superior to others. I know many Christians and others who say this is wrong but what they do is okay.. It’s a disgusting world and if there is a god he would not forgive those who call those who are born a certain way sinners. Only he can we don’t have that power.

      • The Duck Dynasty guy who likened homosexuality to bestiality makes a living helping people trick ducks into thinking they want to have sex with them.
        — God (@TheTweetOfGod)Yes.

          • Roman1 18-32 explains God’s punishment on man kind who waver from his desire of a man and woman. It is Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. Look at what FOX did to Hank Williams JR. They set him up. I stand behind Phil and DD. 100%.The….. Bible stands as basis

        • Dear Username God

          He never Likened homosexuality to bestiality he paraphrased coretheians about who inherits the kingdowm of heaver.

          maybee instead of reading a random news article that uses misleading quotes (every media ever) go read everything he said.

          And if you think its so bad… you are overly sensitive.

          He spoke what the church told him so if you wanna fight someone fight the church… and good luck

    • I support Phil ! The trash on tv and in this country a stand needs to be made. The culture war in this country has started and we need to stand tall as a godly country under attack . We need a president like Phil Robinson .

    • And A&E has every right to duck for cover when one of its employees says something offensive, produces bad publicity and likely to make advertisers annoyed. He is lucky to still be employed at all. This was just a token punishment.

  2. Katrina Parsons

    Phil & The rest of the Duck Dynasty Cast has my support! My only question i have for A&E is when are ya’ll bringing Phil back… #HAPPYHAPPYHAPPY

  3. Earold Gunter

    The vast number of folks who watch DD, will undoubtedly support Phil’s statement, just read the comments above, and his families success will continue. A & E is playing a P.R. game, and will, in a short amount of time, put everything as it was. Too much money involved for them to give up this cash cow.

    • Earold, you may be right.

      I will wait for the left, though, to explain how Robertson was anti-gay in actually discriminating against a person because of that person’s orientation. The left is outraged simply because most people believe there are moral tenets regarding sexual conduct. Robertson only presented his views regarding homosexuality as presented in his own religious context.

      The left calls him ‘Vile.” That same left, however, has yet to criticize Podesta for comparing Republicans to Nazis. Why the double standard? That’s an easy answer: The left has no other standard than what it invents for itself. It recognizes no metaphysical structure to religion; it recognizes only “me” and how “me” “feels” about something. It has its willing accomplices in the media and, thus, gets lots of attention.

      One would think the big uproar over Robertson ane every other gay issue is about offending most of the country when, in fact, homosexuals constitute no more than 2% of the population. When the big mouths in the 2% have the media’s support, though, the public easily comes to think that the gay population is much larger. That is part of the gay game plan, as it is part of every other leftist plan.

      No, I do not condone discrimination of any group (radical Islamists excepted), but I have a real problem with the left first redefining terms in order to legitimize their illegitimate use of common ordinary speech.

      Unfortunately for liberals, they think that anyone who disagrees with their convoluted “thinking” about a wide variety of topics is either vile or stupid. That comes from the insane attitude they have about their own personal importance. “I am offended; therefore, it is wrong.” Try to defend that philosophically. Nope, they “move on” to other topics.

      • You seem to be of the opinion that people are automatically exempt from the consequences of their actions if you agree with them.

        Robertson said something rather stupid, offensive and likely to cause a ruckus among his media employers and their advertising revenue sources. That sort of behavior easily costs said employers real money. But I guess personal responsibility is just one of those things Christians talk about only when referring to anyone but themselves.

        You have a right to be an insulting jerk in a public manner, it does not mean you are immune to criticism or social sanction for it. Just because you wrap bigotry in religious trappings it doesn’t mean it suddenly becomes respectable or immune to causing offense.

  4. Roger Turner Jr.

    Phil Robinson was doing fine before “Duck Dynasty” the show needs him a Hell of a lot more than he needs that show, and A & E needs him, I am sure his sons, brother Si, and employees on the show are going to back him and his beliefs, and without them….THERE IS NO DUCK DYNASTY! So……… A & E isnt gonna let the # 1 show on TV go just because of a paraphrased Bible quote, and besides it isnt like the “gay” community is the key demographic for the show!

  5. sounds to me like phil robinson may be much wiser than even the show evens lets out! I say phil robinson for president and you will see some change for the good in the us!

  6. Amanda Farthing

    To Phil: Do not be swayed by all this rigamaroar! It’s the enemy trying to find a way to bring you down. You stood for the lord and the truth on so many episodes in front of the world. The enemy hated it, and is raging in fear that you may reach people, which I am sure you did. So few will stand up anymore and call sin by its name. Good for you. God is proud of you. Secure your seat in the kingdom. No one can do it for you. The lord giveth and the lord taketh away, not mammon.

  7. Dear Brother, Stand by the KJV and its truths. God Bless you and your family for speaking Gods word. If that upsets others, Then they should search there hearts.

  8. What has happened to our rights? We used to have the freedom to speak. If you don’t like what you hear then change the channel. I am a fan of the Robinson family and what they represent. God be with you Phil

    • Kay—–I agree with you 100%—We need more TV like the Robinson’s and if A&E
      is so narrow —then they do not deserve to have a hit TV show–I’m sure another
      channel would pick them up in a minute and HERE’S TO YOU
      MR. ROBINSON–may you forever remain the same–God loves us all

  9. Stuart D. Wright

    Phil was totally baited by GQ, they knew he would speak the truth. I am with Phil, homosexuality is a sin and I doubt any of his comments would have offended any of the shows 11 million viewers. The gay and lesbian crowd don’t watch his show as they are too busy worshiping their lord and savior, His Royal Anus, King Barry.

    • And you must know that Mr. Phil who is actually quite educated and a successful businessman has been waiting for that very bait. His show is about Truth, he has made that clear in every interview. He knew exactly what he was doing and what would happen when the truth was told. He also knows the long term impact of this dust-up on his and the family’s bottom line will be negligible, if not actually beneficial. They play dumb and simple but in reality they are very shrewd folks – in a very Jesus way.

    • When you are a public figure and your earnings are based on projecting an image people want to associate with hawking their goods, you usually have to try to avoid being an offensive moron to keep employed. That’s just good business sense and capitalism.

      Advertisers are notoriously gunshy of controversy, least of all when it involves bigotry or religion. A&E only cares about the bottom line here. Their ability to make money off of Robinson. If that is impaired by negative publicity, it needs to be addressed. That is just the money talking.

      • Does anyone really think that Phil cares if he works for A&E. That family is happy in their faith.

        Larry acts like Phil is hanging on to A&E’s coat tails. Please, it’s the other way around!!!

  10. I am a youth minister, and one of my teens texted me while during class and asked me to read the article… I had not yet heard of what happened, and once I read the article I was outraged… First of all, when has this become a country of “Not having freedom of speech?” Secondly, if Phil stood with the beliefs of GQ and A&E than he would be lying to the entire country and be portrayed as a fake… Everyone has a right to their opinion, but that doesn’t mean we have to agree with them… He is 100% correct in his statements because whether or not people choose to believe it, there is a God who brought His Son into this world of hate to save it and we have to follow his laws if we are to ever want peace and love to take over our world… I’m not saying judge anyone or hate anyone who thinks differently than we do, but for someone to stand up for truth and what is right and then be crucified for it, is wrong on every single level…They are doing the exact same thing that society says that “Christians” do, so who then is actually at fault??? I stand behind you Phil, and I will support you in anything.. Thank you for having enough guts to stand up for what you believe in and what is truth! May God Bless you Always!

  11. Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    The purpose behind the angry furor attacking Robinson’s remarks is to terrorize people into silence on matters of moral–or-immoral behavior regarding sexual practices. The last thing Gay activists want is a real honest and open debate on the diseases some sexual practices spread and the negative effects those practices can have on cultures or nations.

  12. I may not agree with him, but he has every right to believe as he sees fit just as I do. Why should anyone try to censor him or anyone else. Him saying it does not make anyone have to agree with him. I admire him for his honesty. Some are upset because they cannot handle honesty anymore. Political correctness is for those that will not stand behind their convictions and liars. Phil needs to advise the President on honesty.

  13. Anyone who has a complaint with Phil and his comments really has a complaint with GOD; since Phil QUOTED GOD’S WORD from I Cor. 6:9 – 10, as accurately stated in this blog posting. God has a problem with the behaviors cited by Phil, and as Phill also pointed out, God’s solution was the death of His Son on the cross to provide forgiveness for the SIN listed in the verses. Without that forgiveness, those practicing such behaviors will be judged for rejecting God’s grace and choosing His wrath instead. Phil should be Praised for clearly sounding the warning for those engaged in such activities to escape the judgement to come. And contrary to the secular humanists view that human government can lead to Utopia, when Utopia arrives, They Will be excluded along with all their friends and supporters. Phil is just trying to be inclusive and let them “come to the party” when “Peace on Earth, Good will to men” arrives.

  14. I AGREE WITH PHIL’S COMMENTS & SUPPORT HIS RIGHTS OF FREE SPEACH & RELIGION.WE NEED MORE GODLY MEN LIKE PHIL WHO WILL TAKE A STAND FOR WHAT GOD’S WORD SAY’S & WILL NOT BE SWAYED BY THE UNGODLY!!! PHIL WILL BE REWARDED FOR STANDING ON GOD’S WORD!!!!JUST AS WE RESPECT OTHER GROUPS & RELIGIONS RIGHTS TO FREE SPEACH & RELIGION, I BELIEVE A&E SHOULD RESPECT MINE & PHIL’S RIGHTS, ALSO!!!!!

  15. Read Romans 1:5. It is plain as day and night what God Boundaries are. You don’t like it take it up with God on judgment day like the rest of us. Christians do not just point out one sin. So quit playing on that you none Christians. Sin is sin gay, drunkards, sex out of wedlock, witchery, gossip. Gays just do not want to face that God points it out as sin. And the other thing we are all born with sin. You choose what you want to do with it gay, drink, have sex out of marriage, lie,… Read a bible those that want to fight it and educate yourselves to His word before you speak. Let Phil have his rights just like you want yours.

  16. I haven’t heard all the details on how the interview was initiated by the magazine. But, if it was requested by the magazine and they asked the question like has been reported, then what I don’t understand is why would anyone have the right to complain about the answer he gave? He gave his personal opinion and the source supporting his belief. He DID NOT solicit the forum to rail on the subject.
    Nor did he go out on a corner with a sign or protest any organization that would not agree with his views. I believe he was set up by A&E and the magazine to
    draw attention and spark the controversy. It would be interesting to find the parent company of both A&E and the magazine. As for me and my home A&E and the magazine are blocked. I agree with Phil and have been an avid fan of the clean wholesome all American show that I watched with my son and grandson!!!!
    Jesus saves.

  17. I can’t believe TV can show us all the subversive content and take away a mans right to his God given opinion. I hope my Grand kids listen to his understanding why a man and a woman were designed for each other. If I have to be heald to the standards of the population that only has their opinion then where do I get my freedom to be me. I think Phil is a good american and has a god given right to his understanding just like the hypicrates that persicute him. It is not vogue to make love to a woman any more………Shame on you. . Now you can bash me….

  18. “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”

    Phil is speaking from personal experience. If given enough time, there is not a man, woman or beast he will not fornicate with.

  19. A huge tsunami of support is coming in for Phil Robertson. Those A & E crooks better learn how to swim quickly.

    62,000 signatures for Robertson so far on Change.org, plus 420,000 “likes” on Facebook “Bring Back Phil Robertson” gig. The numbers aren’t going to go away.

    Time to put some American heat on A & E’s seat!

  20. Phil has the right of it we all have the right to speak the truth. You here liberals say derogatory things about Christians and conservatives but they are all most never reprimanded or disciplined but Christians and conservatives are all ways attacked Phil just want to say God Bless and a&e will not be supported in my house no more since a lot of the shows they have on are trash bates, rodeo girls ect.

  21. Phil should sue the hell out of A&E. What did they expect from a reality TV star, they paid him to speak his mind and now they all of a sudden got religion. I think Phil was set up by by the liberal media. Alec Baldwin said much worse and nothing happened to him. I think the Duck Dynasty crew should all quit and take the show to another network. FU A&E.

  22. What about Bill Mar and his anti-Christian remarks. I guess it doesn’t count because he is a liberal. It is the time to boycott A&E and there sponsors. Send a clear message, we are not going to take this abuse anymore for our beliefs.

  23. Of course Phil has the right to free speech and religion. But those rights haven’t been violated. He isn’t going to jail, he isn’t paying a fine of any kind, he’s in no legal trouble what so ever. Freedom of speech doesnt extend to what’s socially exceptable, it only extends as far as what is legal or not. He absolutely has the right to think that way. But if A&E thinks that what he said could hurt their business or whatever reason they had to fire him, they have that right. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s up to them. So all these people saying his first amendment has been violated, it hasn’t. I think this has been made a lot bigger deal than it had to be. It’s like if i walked up and called my boss a bitch, is it against the law? No. Will I get arrested for it? No. But I’ll be fired.

    • Thank you for your considered comments. It’s a pleasure to read the thoughts of someone looking to evaluate and understand and not simply to raise a ruckus or a call to arms.

  24. What are the people on A&E thinking. Phil was speaking the truth. God’s word is the truth. Duck Dynasty is the only reality show that is not any cursing and just plain funny. I love the show and Phil. Please don’t take him off the show. People need to know God and that may be the only way they hear about Him. The show is the truth and only the truth. BRING PHIL BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Faye Avery Dec 19,2013 6:05 pm

  25. I will stand behind Phil and Kay he has his right to tell what he believes because the Bible doesn’t say anything anywhere about steve and steve or eve and eve.Gods word says multiply and 2woman together or 2 men cannot multiply.Look what else is on A&E trashshows.Duck Dynasty is the Best. Phil, you and your family keep your head held high this is as always Satan trying to attack and with God on our side we will WIN LOVE ALL OF YOU. I think its a shame the way our children are taught today in this cruel world God did not make it this way sinful people did.For all you sinners GOD SAID ONE DAY ALL WILL BOW BEFORE HIS THRONE.GOD PLEASE HELP OUR CHILDREN.DUCK DYNASTY WE LOVE YOU>

  26. The thing to remember is, the company produces a product for hunting and/or wild gaming. They will have the support of the NRA. With that said. Look at the history of this great country. It was founded on the principles of the HOLY BIBLE! When you add all that together they WILL BE endorsed by the people of free speech even harder.
    This country has gotten so far from what it was founded on! There’s what’s called the FREEDOM OF SPEECH and THE FREEDOM OF RELIGION! That’s why I said that about the NRA! They have been pushing for the constitutional rights of Americans.
    I’m a bishop in the Lord’s church and I’m ABSOLUTELY SICK of this GAY RIGHTS MESS! We need to get back to the word of God!

  27. A&E put on a show with christian values then when Phil speaks from the heart on his Christian values they want to get rid of him. What hypocrites. THE HOLY BIBLE LEVITICUS 18:22,23 backs up what he says.

  28. great job I agree with you. Its time Christians stand up for GODs word I have never understood how 2 men or 2 women can multiply as GOD tells us to I love the Duck Dynasty show Thanks Phil Keep up the GOD work .

  29. Carol Connelly

    I agree with phil..wafare was the worst thing it put people in slavery with the government pulling the strings .gays& blacks all blame everyone else when
    they make there own problems.

  30. I think it’s awesome that every poll I’ve seen shows OVERWHELMING support for phill….

    Speak your mind. Practice our first amendment right ALL THE TIME!!!

    #happyhappy

  31. Charles Austin

    Let us be very clear. This is not censorship. Mr. Robertson is free to say whatever he wants to say. The television network is also free to say “we don’t want those comments on our television network.”

  32. Phil Robinson interviews with a left wing extremist Democrat rag and gets baited into discussing his Christian beliefs, which were then twisted in order to portray Robinson as a racist homophobe. This is a common tactic that anti Christian bigot Democrats use in order to destroy Christians. If Americans keep knuckling under to this Democrat political correctness propaganda, and keeping quiet about these con games, you are surrendering your Constitutional rights to a political party that pretends to be open minded and tolerant, but in reality is quite the opposite, as they have no tolerance for anyone who doesn’t buy into their left wing ideology. The Democrats are the creators of political correctness in order to silence political dissent. Democrats want to control what we are allowed to think, what we are allowed to say and what we are allowed to do. Quite the opposite of FREEDOM!

  33. This is just one more incident supporting the war on Christianity and case for political correctness. Here is a man who quotes the Bible and his beliefs with no attack directed at any particular person and is condemned while some liberal hack can verbally personally attack a woman without any reproductions what happened to chivalry or the woman’s movement, who defend all liberal women and not conservative women (subject for another day). Unfortunately for Phil the silent majority has been asleep and continues to sleep, however this is gradually changing and is one step in causing more to be involved and like the famous quote we have awaken the sleeping giant. To the progressives dismay.

  34. Speak the Word

    I support Mr. Robertson. Not many pastors are willing to speak the truth of Gods word as he has done. So I appreciate his honesty. What is the problem? Can we as Christians not voice our beliefs without being accused of being mean or insensitive. Those who believe in homosexual and practice it, it is your life live it how you want, but don’t try and convince us that your choice should be ours….it is your lifestyle. I pray that we as Christians will not be held hostage to the masses but stand firm on the word of God! If we preach the word of God and believe what we preach then we will not be afraid to speak the truth.

  35. My son and I who are avid hunters,watchers of the show and believers in the Almighty God totally support Mr. Phil Robinson in his statements. This PC world everybody tries to be such a huge part of actually is making people soft and afraid to say what they truly believe because they’re scared of repercussions from gutless groups that are afraid to actually say things how they actually see them too. It takes a set of balls to stand up for what you believe and not care what a small minority group will backlash with.

  36. Phil is correct! Bible does NOT CHANGE FOR SECULAR LIVING!!!! God created Adam and Eve to create life, and love. Not Adam and Steve!!!! Man, laying with man is against NATURE and an abomination against every religion NOT JUST CHRISTIAN! Its a Jewish law, Christian, and Islamic! Just because people are excepting of other peoples life style does not make it RIGHT!! our own me tolerance of sin has numbed people to what is right and wrong!!!! 2013 we are more concerned with doing our own thing divorce, liars, lovers of money! Phil has courage!!! I Cant understand why more are not speaking out in the religous world!? God gave women, Vagina, and Men a Penis that fits perfectly naturaly and creates life! Come on people wake up, homosexualality os sin of flesh, it is NOT OKAY!

  37. The world would be a better place if we had more men like Phil Robinson.
    I fully support Phil, A&E needs to bring him back. Otherwise I will be reconsidering my program choices. A self made millionaire in America, we could use more like him and less dependent on Government handouts! Just maybe there is a network out there who has the courage to stand up for a man like Phil !

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