IStandWithPhil.com is a website produced by Faith Driven Consumer that encourages supporters of the beleaguered “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson to sign a petition calling on A&E to reinstate Robertson amid his controversial suspension from the popular show.
In part, the petition reads:
Dear A&E Network,
I am writing to you regarding your network's intolerant, discriminatory, and punitive treatment of Mr. Phil Robertson… Mr. Robertson’s comments in GQ Magazine are simply reflective of a Biblical view of sexuality, marriage, and family – a view that has stood the test of time for thousands of years and continues to be held by the majority of Americans and today’s world as a whole.
As a Faith Driven Consumer, I am signing this petition to demand that my views be treated with equality and respect in America’s rich rainbow of diversity… I am asking your network to immediately reinstate Mr. Robertson to Duck Dynasty, and to formally apologize to him, his family, and the millions of viewers who tune in every week, stand by him, and share his worldview.
As of the writing of this article, the petition had been signed by approximately 228,000 supporters, just shy of the petition's stated goal of 250,000.
While the petition acknowledges that “many members of the LGBT community may not agree with this view,” it states that “the notion that a free-thinking American should be discriminated against simply for expressing a perspective that is in conflict with another is patently un-American and flies in the face of true tolerance and civility.”
WebProNews on Dec. 25 analyzed the petition and asked: When people sign the “I Stand With Phil” petition, what is it that they’re actually standing with?
Indeed, the petition would seem to be equal parts espousing freedom of speech, while at the same time backing a freedom to “hate openly.”
“What is being argued regarding Phil Robertson is really about bigotry in America: The freedom to hate and hate openly. The problem is that yes, you are free to do that. This is why the KKK and other hate groups are able to have parades and meetings, despite a history of murder and terrorist-actions orchestrated by persons related to such groups. Yes, as an American you are free to hate other people for any reason you want to or for no sensible reason at all. No one has taken that right away.” – Toni Matthews-El, WebProNews Politics.
The reality is that “you cannot hold an unpopular opinion and be unprepared to see consequences for that opinion or actions that back it up,” says Matthews-El.
Faith Driven Consumers, an organization that connects Christian consumers with “faith-compatible companies,” sponsored the petition after A&E reportedly sacked Robertson from the popular reality show.
On Dec. 23, Robertson said he was not backing down from his comments, despite his controversial interview with GQ and his subsequent suspension from the series.
Allowing a media member to join his family’s church group in West Monroe, La. last week, Robertson vowed he would not "give or back off" of what he said regarding gays and lesbians.
“I love all men and women,” Robertson said in response to his critics. “I am a lover of humanity, not a hater.”
Speaking of his interview with GQ and the comments he made, Robertson said, “I didn’t think much of it at all, but it seems a lot of other people did.”
Robertson was suspended indefinitely by A&E after saying that “everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong... Sin becomes fine… Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”
Robertson said of the reaction to his comments:
“I am just reading what was written over 2,000 years ago. Those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom. 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.”
Will you, or have you signed the petition? What are your thoughts? Leave your comments below.