An Alabama lawmaker is preparing to formally honor Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson. The patriarch was suspended "indefinitely" by A&E from his hit reality show for his comments about homosexuality and race in an interview with GQ magazine.
According to a report from Alabama paper the Daily Home, state Sen. Jerry Fielding plans to introduce a resolution next month supporting Robertson, joining a series of Republicans who have spoken out in support of Robertson's commentary -- including Sarah Palin, who recently admitted that she hasn't actually read the comments. Fielding says the values espoused by Robertson in the interview are common, and that A&E bowed to pressure from "liberals" rather than respect Robertson's right to express his biblical views.
The network is taking fire from both sides. A&E decided to place Robertson on hiatus after the interview caused a storm of criticism. But nearly a quarter of a million people have signed a petition criticizing A&E's position (hosted at istandwithphil.com) which 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."
“Phil Robertson’s family values are shared by the vast majority of Alabamians, who are rightfully concerned by the vitriol aimed at his Christian stance,” Fielding told the Daily Home. “There’s a clear double standard in the media favoring a liberal worldview. When it’s used to silence and punish Christians for stating their beliefs, that’s when we must defend the rights of individuals to exercise their free speech without fear of politically-motivated repercussion. I join thousands across Alabama and our country by standing with Phil Robertson, and urge A&E to reverse their action against him.”
The resolution will include the following, according to the Daily Home:
“Whereas, renown entrepreneur, Louisiana outdoorsman, and reality television star Phil Robertson has positively impacted countless lives through the powerful testimony of his steadfast faith in Jesus Christ and how it has transformed his life; and Whereas Phil Robertson, along with his family, who are featured on the reality television show, Duck Dynasty, have served as ambassadors of the love and grace of the Heavenly Father through their exemplary lives on and off the camera; they have used their fame as a platform to promote wholesome ideals involving family and home life and worship of the Lord; and Whereas recently, Phil has received backlash for expressing his personal views on homosexuality that were based on scripture in the Bible in an interview with GQ Magazine; ultimately, the Arts and Entertainment Network (A&E) punished him for his beliefs and suspended him indefinitely from the reality television show, Duck Dynasty, even though he did not address his views in correlation with the program; and Whereas a portion of the politically correct populous, which strongly encourages tolerance and open-mindedness, is now contradicting themselves with extreme intolerance and close-mindedness towards Phil and his personal beliefs, which stem from his rock-solid Christian faith; and Whereas while Phil does not condone certain lifestyles or behaviors, he issued the following profound statement abounding with love and tolerance: 'I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me; we are all created by the Almighty, and like Him, I love all of humanity'; and Whereas Phil should not be penalized in any way for practicing freedom of speech, but should be celebrated as a hero for courageously revealing his self-truth and Christian ideals in a world that can be unkind towards those with a conservative mind-set; and Whereas Phil Robertson and his family's admirable stance on marriage, family, and faith reflects the meritorious ideals of the fine citizens of the entire State of Alabama, and it is a tremendous privilege to express our utmost solidarity for them; now therefore, Be it resolved by the Legislature of Alabama, both houses thereof concurring, that this chamber of persons stand united in support of Phil Robertson and his family, and in opposition to the A&E Network's deplorable action of suspending Phil indefinitely from Duck Dynasty for relaying his Christian beliefs.”
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