Phil Robertson, the "Duck Dynasty" star whose controversial remarks about gays and African Americans in the segregated South got him briefly suspended from his hit A&E show, is speaking out once again.
In a fiery sermon reportedly delivered on Easter Sunday at the Whites Ferry Road Church in West Monroe, La., Robertson defended the comments about homosexuality that turned his family's lighthearted reality show into a new front in the culture war.
“They were mad at me,” he says in a 43-minute video of the sermon, presumably referring to the outrage that followed his comments in a GQ magazine interview. “You say, ‘Why’d they get mad at you?’ ’Cause instead of acknowledging their sin, like you had better do, they railed against me for giving them the truth about their sins. Don’t deceive yourselves.”
He continued, paraphrasing verses from 1 Corinthians: “You want the verse? The news media didn’t even know it was a verse! They thought I was just mouthing off. Is homosexual behavior a sin? The guy asked me. I said, do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Don’t be deceived. ... Neither the sexually immoral, nor the idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves, nor greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."
After Robertson's first round of comments came to light, A&E decided to suspend the duck-call inventor from the series temporarily, even though production on the season was almost complete.
The suspension in December sparked a widespread counter-protest from fans and from the Robertson family themselves and was quickly lifted. Since the initial flare-up died down, A&E has continued to embrace "Duck Dynasty" and its stars, boasting of the show's performance at its recent upfront presentation in New York City.
Following the GQ controversy, ratings for the series have fallen to an average of about 6.5 million viewers, down from a Season 4 high of 9 million. It's unclear whether Robertson's remarks hastened the decline in viewership; most reality shows, even hits such as "Duck Dynasty," tend to have relatively short shelf lives, and of course 6.5 million viewers is still nothing to quack at.
The latest comments are coming to light just weeks before the show's Season 6 premiere on June 11, in which Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, one of the family's most vocal supporters, is scheduled to appear.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times