The full statement is below:
We want to thank all of you (fans) for your prayers and support. The family has spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E's decision. 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.
Phil is a Godly man who follows what the Bible says are the greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Phil would never incite or encourage hate.
We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right. 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. Again, thank you for your continued support of our family.
It is indeed his constitutionally protected right to express his feelings (via the First Amendment's protections for free Speech). However, nowhere in the Constitution does it say he cannot be fired for any statements he makes.
Earlier in the week, A&E indefinitely suspended the family's patriarch, Phil Robertson, over anti-gay statements he made in a GQ interview. Since then, it's been confirmed that Robertson has had these beliefs for a considerable time.
Many have come out in support of Robertson, including petitions that have risen above 100,000 signatures, posts on A&E's Facebook page, and people like Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin backing him up.
Reportedly, "Duck Dynasty" is the highest rated cable reality TV show in history, so we shall see if A&E blinks.