A temporary suspension from a hit reality show isn’t nearly enough to sway Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson from his controversial beliefs.
The reality star – briefly placed under hiatus for anti-gay and racist statements he made in the January issue of GQ – has once again made his homophobic stance known, this time in an Easter Sunday sermon at his hometown church.
In a video posted to YouTube by Whites Ferry Road Church, Robertson blasts the “absurd” media coverage of his temporary dismissal by the A&E Network and defends his inflammatory comments. As a refresher, here’s what he told GQ about gay men: “It seems like, to me, a vagina – as a man – would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”
In the new video, Robertson attempts to rationalize the national outrage his quotes caused, telling the congregation that people were upset because “instead of acknowledging their sin, like you had better do, they railed against me for giving them the truth about their sins. Don’t deceive yourselves,” he warns.
He continues by paraphrasing a verse from Corinthians, saying, “Neither the sexually immoral, nor the idolators, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves, nor greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” Those words are met with applause.
“The news media didn’t even know it was a verse!” he adds. “They thought I was just mouthing off. ‘Is homosexual behavior a sin?’ the guy asked me. I said, ‘Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Don’t be deceived.’” The full video is below:
A&E reinstated Robertson at the end of December, saying he and his family “have publicly stated they regret the ‘coarse language’ he used and the mis-interpretation of his core beliefs based only on the article. He also made it clear he would ‘never incite or encourage hate.’”
Because of the incident, A&E began airing PSAs “promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people, a message that supports our core values as a company, and the values found in Duck Dynasty.” The network’s top-rated series, Duck Dynasty lost a big chunk of its nearly 12 million viewers after Robertson’s GQ interview went viral. The sixth season premieres June 11 at 10 p.m. ET.
EW’s requests for comment from A&E were not immediately returned.