He also talked about how all the black people he knew in the South prior to "welfare and entitlement" were "godly" and "happy" and he never saw any of them treated badly.
Now we can debate about whether A&E should have suspended him (after all, what did they expect from such a person?). Supporters, of course, are talking about free speech and what not. But free speech has nothing to do with it. He's not being jailed for what he said. And I'm sure that there is probably language in his contract with A&E that gives them the right to suspend him from the show if he does or says things that reflect poorly on A&E. The same way that you'll probably get in trouble if you say or do things that reflect poorly on your place of employment.
An evangelical Christian on Facebook likened this "censorship" of Phil Robertson to the silliness of people's reaction in the 1960's to the Beatles and Elvis. Which I find odd since it was evangelical Christians who wanted to censor the Beatles and Elvis. But anyway, no one is "censoring," or even calling for the censorship, of Phil Robertson - as evangelical Christians did with the Beatles and Elvis. Being suspended from your reality show for making offensive comments in national media is not "censorship." No one is burning Duck Dynasty DVD's.
Furthermore, how do you suppose, for instance, that TBN (an evangelical Christian network) would respond if one of their employees made comments in national media that were offensive to an enormous swath of TBN's viewership and not in keeping with TBN's own views? Keep them on the air? Or suspend, or even fire, them? I think we all know the answer.
But what really annoys me is how so many of Robertson's supporters are acting like he's being persecuted or treated unfairly because of his views. A friend of mine (who will likely read this post) referred today to Mark 13:13 in regards to this issue. That verse has Jesus "predicting" that people will persecute (actually, it says "hate") future Christians because they follow Jesus.
Let me be very clear here: Phil Robertson has not gotten in trouble because he's a Christian or Christ-follower. He's gotten in trouble because he's an unapologetic bigot.
Being an unapologetic bigot against gays is not part of what it means to be a Christian. In fact, it's decidedly un-Christian in every sense of the word.
And I could care less what anyone thinks Paul said about homosexuality in 1 Corinthians or 1 Timothy or Romans. After all, Paul also said, in Ephesians: "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up." Why are no evangelical Christians condemning Robertson for tearing people down with hurtful words, likening their human relationships to illicit sex with animals?
I don't like Duck Dynasty. It's amusing at times, but it's heavily staged and scripted and I'm not much a reality TV fan anyway. Be that as it may, I couldn't care less what the stars of the show believe or think or do or say. They have become heroes to evangelical Christians and that's totally fine with me. Everybody needs their heroes. It wouldn't have bothered me if A&E had not suspended Phil Robertson for what he said. As I said above, what, exactly, do they expect from such a person?
But please don't act like these people represent Christianity, or all Christians, or act like Robertson's punishment is equal to censorship or persecution of Christians. That's just nonsense.