Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson’s anti-gay comments sparked national outrage and resulted in A&E’s suspension of the reality TV personality earlier this week. Now, Robertson’s family is speaking out in defense of their patriarch.

Robertson Family On Phil's Anti-Gay Comments

“We want to thank all of you for your prayers and support. The family has spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E's decision,” the Robertson family’s official statement began. “We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word.”

“While some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible,” the statement continued. “Phil is a Godly man who follows what the Bible says are the greatest commandments.… Phil would never incite or encourage hate.”

Phil Robertson Talks Homosexuality, Sin, Black People

The “unfiltered comments” made by Robertson that the family refers to included equating homosexuality with bestiality. According to the Duck Dynasty star, homosexuality is the epitome of sinful behavior. "Start with homosexual behavior and just go from there,” he told GQ magazine. “Don't be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers — they won't inherit the kingdom of God. Don't deceive yourself. It's not right."

Not only did Robertson make comments that were offensive to the LGBT community, he also offended African Americans, belittling the history of racism in the South prior to the Civil Rights Movement. “I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once,” he said. “Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field…They’re singing and happy.”

A&E Puts Robertson On Hiatus, Family Threatens To Leave Duck Dynasty

Due to the backlash following Robert’s comments, A&E decided to do some damage control and place the star under hiatus indefinitely. “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,” A&E’s statement read. “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 network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.”

The Robertson clan is far from pleased that their patriarch received a suspension for his remarks, which they believe were merely an expression of faith. Their statement underscores the possibility that should A&E not permit Robertson back on the show, the family will back out of Duck Dynasty entirely.

“We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right,” the statement said. “We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm. We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty.

– Chelsea Regan

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