A defiant “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson told a Bible study class in Louisiana Sunday that he isn’t backing down from his anti-gay stance, saying his controversial GQ Magazine comments came from the Bible and he’s not sorry he said them.
“I will not give or back off from my path, because you conquered death, Father, so we are not worried about all the repercussions,” Robertson, wearing his trademark camouflage headband, told the class at White’s Ferry Road Church in West Monroe, La., reports The Daily Mail.
The A&E Network suspended Robertson from his family’s hit show last week after his comments in the magazine interview. Among other things, he said: “Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong…start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Beastiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and those men.”
Robertson told the Bible class that he was “just reading what was written over 2,000 years ago. All I did was quote from the scriptures, but they just didn’t know it. Whether I said it or they read it, what’s the difference? The sins are the same. Humans haven’t changed.”
In addition, Robertson denied that he is “a hater.”
“I love all men and women,” he said. “I am a lover of humanity, not a hater.”
He also said that “sexual sins are numerous and many” and admitted he has “a few” himself.
“We murder each other and we steal from one another, sex and immorality goes ballistic,” Robertson said. “All the diseases that just so happen to follow sexual mischief…boy, there are some microbes running around now.”
But he said that Jesus said, “‘It is a man and a woman.’ But we looked at it and said it was an outdated stereotype. When you look back at the human race, the sins have always been the same. We get high, we get drunk, we get laid, we steal and kill.”
After the class, Robertson, 67, stayed for services, during which his oldest son, Pastor Alan Robertson, mentioned the controversy.
“Well, we’ve had quite a week. Shot some ducks, done some shopping, ignited a national controversy,” the pastor said.
Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne said Saturday he’d help the Robertsons find a new deal for their show if it leaves the A&E Network,according to The Times-Picayune in New Orleans.
“Regardless of one’s views on Phil Robertson’s statements, ‘Duck Dynasty’ has been an important representation of the state of Louisiana, inspiring prospective visitors and investors since its debut,” Dardenne said.
Meanwhile, the controversy has just made the Robertson family — which was already wealthy because of its duck-call business — prosper more. Walmart late last week reported Duck Dynasty’ merchandise is selling rapidly online as the furor continues.
According to Forbes, the Robertson family’s merchandise empire is worth $400 million, with Walmart sales totaling half of that amount.
The family also won’t be losing its Cracker Barrel sales. The restaurant chain caved in to pressure on Sunday and said it would put the “Duck Dynasty” merchandise back out for sale.