The women of the Palin family are coming to the defense of Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson, after the reality star was placed on indefinite hiatus over comments he made about homosexuality and race.
In an interview with GQ, Robertson made parallels between homosexuality and bestiality, proudly accepting the "Bible thumper" moniker.
Amid the instant outrage from left-leaning circles, A&E, the network that airs runaway hit Duck Dynasty, immediately reacted, suspending Robertson indefinitely. This time, the backlash was from the political right, led by Tea Party darling Sarah Palin.
"Free speech is an endangered species," Palin said in a post on her Facebook page. "Those “intolerants” hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us."
Her daughter, Bristol, joined in, posting a photo of Robertson with the caption: "I support Phil Robertson and his right to express his faith and his beliefs. Shame on A&E."
Robertson's offending comments placed the blame on homosexuality for a slew of ills.
“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong,” he said. “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,” he said. “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.”
His comments on homosexuality got the most attention -- and caused the most outrage -- but Robertson touched on plenty of other hot-button topics in ways that are less than politically correct.
"I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person," he said. "Not once. 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. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, 'I tell you what: These doggone white people' -- not a word! ... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues."
The Robertsons, for their part, have backed their patriarch and said they are in ongoing discussions with A&E about the future of the show.
"The family has spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E’s decision," the family said in a statement. "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."
[GQ] [Sarah Palin on Facebook] [Bristol Palin on Facebook]