'Duck Dynasty' Family Justifies Phil Robertson's Anti-Gay Statements: Hey, The Bible Says It's Okay

It's not surprising that the Duck Dynasty clan is sticking to its patriarch, following Phil Robertson's anti-gay comments that landed him in suspension at A&E. (Robertson compared homosexuality to bestiality in an interview with GQ, and claimed to not understand the concept, since "It seems like, to me, a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus.") After all, the family that is intolerant together, stays together! What is surprising is that while the Duck Dynasty cast didn't quite second his comments, calling them "coarse," they essentially supported them, using everyone's favorite motel reading material as a defense. Said the Duck Dynasty family in a statement released Thursday night:

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.

Despite Robertson's words that "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," the family claims that the reality star preaches love.

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.

Also, since the scandal took over media, Twitter, and, undoubtedly, dinner tables across the Midwest, a video clip hit the Web of Robertson making more homophobic statements. In a set of videos, reportedly filmed in 2010, the reality star purportedly claimed homosexuals were, among other things, "full of murder" and "liable to invent ways of doing evil."

But it's hardly the only thing Robertson expressed that is drawing criticism. The Atlantic also pointed out Robertson's words about African-Americans in the South, which have been buried in the anti-gay controversy. When talking about the Jim Crow South, Robertson claimed that, "I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once ... They’re singing and happy." As Atlantic writer Jonathan Merritt points out:

His recollection is oddly reminiscent of the Song of the South vision of the past, long since abandoned by even fringe historians ... He may envision a Jim Crow South where blacks were treated well and sang happy spirituals all the day long, but this is not the South many African-Americans knew in this era.

But, for fans of the hit A&E series (and, oh, there are many), the last section of the family's statement might hit the hardest. Because, without Robertson, is there Duck Dynasty at all?

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 ofDuck Dynasty. Again, thank you for your continued support of our family.

But more worrisome than the idea that a reality star said terrible things (we've known for some time that many do just that) is the fact that Robertson's statements are inciting a culture war. Politicians and fans alike have head to Twitter to support Robertson, and condemn detractors, A&E, and, yes, homosexuals. And Duck Dynasty fans even jumpstarted a petition to reinstate Robertson on the series.

But, with all this talk about the Bible, really, what does God think about all this nonsense?