Phil Robertson is standing his ground, speaking publicly for the first time since getting suspended from the hit A&E show, “Duck Dynasty.”
After sparking a media firestorm with remarks about the “sin” of homosexuality, Robertson, 67, opened up about his beliefs while leading a Bible study on Sunday at his local church in West Monroe, La.
According to the U.K.’s Daily Mail, the “Duck Dynasty” patriarch granted the newspaper exclusive access to the church, during which he was quoted as saying, “I will not give or back off from my path,” later adding, “I love all men and women. I am a lover of humanity, not a hater.”
Robertson, who addressed the group for roughly 45 minutes, said, “I have been immoral, drunk, high. I ran with the wicked people for 28 years and I have run with the Jesus people since and the contrast is astounding. I tell people, ‘You are a sinner, we all are. Do you want to hear my story before I give you the bottom line on your story?’ We murder each other and we steal from one another, sex and immorality goes ballistic. All the diseases that just so happen to follow sexual mischief… boy there are some microbes running around now. Sexual sins are numerous and many, I have a few myself. So what is your safest course of action? If you’re a man, find yourself a woman, marry them and keep your sex right there.”
The Daily Mail reports that at one point, Robertson said, “Jesus will take sins away, if you’re a homosexual he’ll take it away, if you’re an adulterer, if you’re a liar, what’s the difference? If you break one sin you may as well break them all.”
The controversy all started after Robertson was asked his definition of sinful behavior in an interview with GQ. "Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there…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," he was quoted as saying. A&E later suspended him from the hit series. Many local fans have since expressed support for Robertson.
For more on Robertson’s Bible study comments, go here.
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