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Instead of focusing on the true meaning of Christmas, the public in this final week before the holiday appears focused on the rantings and ravings of Phil Robertson, the “patriarch” of the family portrayed on the highly-scripted “Duck Dynasty” “reality” show on Arts and Entertainment Network.
Robertson, in a magazine interview, equated homosexuality with bestiality, misquoted the Bible and claimed African-Americans were “happy” during the days of segregation of racial discrimination.
A&E exercising its right as an employer, suspended Robertson from the “reality” show and a firestorm of protest erupted from those who share his beliefs. They say Robertson is a “man of God” who only crime is “quoting the word of God.”
Some close to the Robertson family believe his Christianity is part of a carefully-created “persona” designed to bring fame and monetary rewards, not salvation. Others disagree.
The man who created the Duck Commander duck call company in 1972 and is now a multimillionaire may or may not be who he claims to be.
Robertson portrays himself as a “simple country man.” He came from a poor family in Louisiana but is also a graduate of Louisiana Tech and a former school teacher with a Master’s Degree in Education. This “man of God and family values” married 16-year-old Marsha Kay Carroway in 1966 after she was pregnant with their oldest son, worked as a commercial fisherman and was known around town as an alcoholic who abused his wife and children.
His violent behavior had him running from the law in his 20s when he beat up the couple who owned the bar he leased — putting both in the hospital.
With a warrant out for his arrest, Robertson fled the state and hid in the woods. He was also arrested and charged with other crimes.
The couple later filed a restraining order against him. He separated from his wife after throwing her and his kids out of their home several times during drunken rages.
Robertson says he later found God, cleaned up his life and reunited with his wife and family.
Others say the man who preaches loudly against “promiscuity” and sin was guilty of statutory rape with the then 15-year-old woman who later became his wife and the man who now issues rants against “adultery” was an adulterer himself.
In his interview with GQ magazine, Robertson had this to say about homosexuality:
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.
Those who support Robertson says he was speaking “the word of God” in his remarks about homosexuality.
In 2010, Robertson spoke at Berean Bible Church in Pottstown, PA, and condemned homosexuals. In a YouTube video, he is shown saying:
They committed indecent acts with one another. And they received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. They’re full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant God haters. They are heartless. They are faithless. They are senseless. They are ruthless. They invent ways of doing evil.
Again, Robertson’s die-hard supporters insist he is a “man of God” who is “repeating God’s word.”
Opponents say the words he are speaking are anything but those of a deity.
(Edited at 1:10 p.m. )