"Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts recently noted on her Facebook page that it had been one year since the bone marrow transplant to treat her cancer.
However, Roberts' timing was not about the anniversary of her restored health, according to Pastor Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina.
Pastor Creech recently questioned Roberts' choice to come out, ignored her medical history and bone marrow anniversary in an op-ed for The Christian Post:
The timing of Robert's announcement begs the question: Why now?
Pastor Creech then recalled how Roberts interviewed President Obama when he decided to announce how he had evolved on gay marriage on May 9, 2012, only one day after North Carolina voted to ban gay marriage.
Pastor Creech writes:
Instead, the huge story on May 9th was President Obama's avowed support for same-sex marriage. Who did the interview of the President on the subject? You guessed it right – Robin Roberts.
Even though President Obama's interview with Roberts made no difference in North Carolina's law, Pastor Creech now believes that Roberts' Facebook announcement is just too close to 'Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson's condemnation of homosexuality.
In an interview with GQ magazine, Robertson compared homosexuals to terrorists and claimed that black people were "happy" under racist Jim Crow laws, which Pastor Creech did not mention.
Instead, Pastor Creech delved deeper into his conspiracy theory:
Phil Robertson is from the South. Robin Roberts is from the South. Phil Robertson is a beloved television personality. Robin Roberts is a beloved television personality. Phil Robertson attended a university in Louisiana. Robin Roberts went to a university in Louisiana. Phil Robertson is a person of devout Christian faith. Robin Roberts is someone who professes to be a person of devout Christian faith.
Coincidence? Hardly! Contrived? More than likely. Especially since Robert's "coming out" takes place in conjunction with Robertson's reinstatement.
Unable to shut down the voice of one who opposes the homosexual lifestyle from a biblical perspective, gay activists and their media supporters must counter with the voice of someone they believe might eclipse it. Twice now, Roberts is at the heart of an effort to squelch the clear and loud sound of opposition.
...But there is a concerted effort, a vast left wing conspiracy, if you will, to stamp out any Christian voice opposed to the LGBT agenda to normalize same-sex relationships.
Pastor Creech failed to mention that Roberts' lesbian relationship has been known for years by co-workers and by anyone who watched the ESPY awards in July 2013 when Roberts and her lover Amber Laign appeared together, noted the New York Daily News.
Before September of 2012, punter Chris Kluwe wasn’t a name known by those outside of Seattle, Minnesota, and those interested in pro football minutiae. He made the jump from the small-type on the sports pages to viral headlines after publishing a letter written to a Maryland politician, who had written a similar open letter to the Baltimore Ravens after linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo spoke out for marriage equality.
Since then he has written a book and been released from the Vikings; he remains an unsigned free agent.
What got people talking about him again is an essay published Thursday on Deadspin in which he describes his time with the Vikings and why he thinks he was fired (it wasn’t for poor punting).
Throughout his lengthy essay, Kluwe recounts, in a much more restrained style than his other writing, what it was like for him at practice and in the locker room after his first letter went viral. The main villain in the piece is Mike Priefer, special teams coach for the Minnesota Vikings and contender for the top spot, who “half-jokingly” would argue with Kluwe about his position on marriage equality. Kluwe writes that of his teammates “some didn’t agree with me, but our conversations were always civil and respectful,” but with Priefer it was different.
Towards the end of the 2012 football season, Kluwe describes a meeting in which he and his teammates were joking about him being the Grand Marshal of the LGBT Pride Parade, and Preifer felt the urge to comment. Kluwe recalls that Priefer, “in one of the meanest voices I can ever recall hearing said: ‘we should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows.’” The room then allegedly fell quiet and the “atmosphere was decidedly tense.” It was then that Kluwe noticed that he was receiving the same treatment from the coach as Ryan Longwell, a former placekicker, received before his firing.
Kluwe acknowledges “I will no longer punt in the NFL, especially now that I’ve written this account.” Yet, he remains charitable to the organization in general, hostile only towards Priefer, recently-fired head coach Leslie Frazier, and Vikings GM Rick Spielman, the latter two he calls “cowards.” He closes by saying that he doesn’t believe the NFL has an institutional problem with homophobia, but says that (like everywhere else) there are homophobic people in positions of power. “All we can do is try to expose their behavior when we see it,” he writes, “and call them to account for their actions.”
The world of sports media is even more saccharine and sanitized than almost any other news or entertainment. One could almost predict the answers to sports-reporters’ questions in news conferences:
Q: What does you think of the upcoming game with [insert team name]?
A:They are professionals and a challenge and let’s just hope for a good game.
Q: How does [insert specific sport achievement here] feel?
A: It feels great, but I didn’t do it alone. I have to thank [insert back-up teammembers’ names here].
Q: What about [insert specific controversial question here]?
A: I just want to get back to the fundamentals and play good [insert sport name here].
Despite what the fans-at-large may have thought of Kluwe’s positions or tone (or mediocre punting numbers), one cannot deny that he brought something vital back to sports: honesty.
Kluwe asserts that he was fired for the specific position he took, which may be true. It’s especially interesting to consider in light of the Duck Dynasty fiasco that was most likely all marketing. However, what seems more likely is not that Kluwe was fired for his specific position, but for taking a position at all. The NFL does not handle controversy well, especially if the controversy is aimed at a specific team or the NFL itself. If the problem is a specific player with mid-level numbers and no commercials running on Sundays, cutting him loose is the best way to rid themselves of it.
Rev. Franklin Graham Scolds Christians for Not Supporting Phil Robertson, Who Slams Japanese, Muslims (Video)
The Rev. Franklin Graham recently complained about Christians who were unwilling to stand beside "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson.
During an interview with GQ magazine, Robertson compared homosexuals to terrorists and claimed that black people were "happy" and "singing" while living under racist Jim Crow laws.
On Monday, Rev. Graham wrote on his father's website BillyGraham.org:
I appreciate the Robertson family’s strong commitment to biblical principles and their refusal to back down under intense media pressure over Phil Robertson’s comments in a recent interview. As the Robertson controversy winds down—at least for now—I have been amazed at how many churches have apparently ‘ducked’ out on the issue (sin).
If we Christians banded together and took a stand, perhaps we wouldn’t be losing so much ground in what the media is calling the “cultural war.” However, it is not a cultural war—it is a religious war against Christians and the biblical truths we stand for. Some churches have fallen into the trap of being politically correct, under the disguise of tolerance.
A 2008 video (below) of Robertson attacking Muslims and Japanese people (Shintoists) recently surfaced, notes Mediaite.com.
Robertson was preaching at the Hillsboro Church of Christ in El Dorado, AR when he stated, "That’s why they run jet aircraft into buildings, because they’re under control of the evil one, that’s why they rob and kidnap and rape and pillage, because they’re under control of the evil one. That’s why they murder, from the Nazis, to the Shintoists, to the communists to this latest crop!”
Robertson made no mention of the US killing people in foreign lands, but added, "You say ‘Why do they murder, why do they hate us? Because all of them, those four groups, 80 years of history, they all want to conquer the world, they all rejected Jesus, and they’re all famous for murder. Nazis, Shintoists, communists, and the Muhammadists.”
The gay adovcacy group GLAAD put out a statement Friday that it is disappointed that A&E Networks is allowing Phil Robertson to returned to “Duck Dynasty” despite his anti-gay and racially charged remarks in a recent GQ interview.
GLAAD, formerly the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, accused the network of erring on the side of profit.
"Phil Robertson should look African American and gay people in the eyes and hear about the hurtful impact of praising Jim Crow laws and comparing gay people to terrorists," the group said in a statement. "If dialogue with Phil is not part of next steps then A+E has chosen profits over African American and gay people – especially its employees and viewers."
“Duck Dynasty is not a show about one man's views,” network executives wrote in a statement this week. “It resonates with a large audience because it is a show about family … a family that America has come to love. As you might have seen in many episodes, they come together to reflect and pray for unity, tolerance and forgiveness. These are three values that we at A&E Networks also feel strongly about. So after discussions with the Robertson family, as well as consulting with numerous advocacy groups, A&E has decided to resume filming Duck Dynasty later this spring with the entire Robertson family.”
The show will continue with the entire Robertson family, who runs a duck hunting charter in West Monroe, La. Filming of the show’s next season will resume in the spring.
“We will also use this moment to launch a national public service campaign (PSA) 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,” A&E added. “These PSAs will air across our entire portfolio.”
"Duck Dynasty" Star Phil Robertson, who compared gay people to terrorists and bestiality, has had his suspension lifted by A&E Networks.
The suspension began on Dec. 18 following Robertson's statements to GQ magazine. In that interview, Robertson also claimed black people were "singing" and "happy" under racist Jim Crow laws, noted TalkingPointsMemo.com.
An A&E statement to The Hollywood Reporter boasted of A&E's own "core values" that are "centered around creativity, inclusion and mutual respect."
A&E then falsely claimed it reacted "quickly and strongly to a recent interview with Phil Robertson," which was only a suspension from non-filming days.
The upcoming fifth season was not affected in any way because "Duck Dynasty" has been on hiatus for duck hunting season, which continues through Jan. 26 in Louisiana.
A&E added, "So after discussions with the Robertson family, as well as consulting with numerous advocacy groups, A&E has decided to resume filming Duck Dynasty later this spring with the entire Robertson family."
A&E then stated it would "launch a national public service campaign 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."
However, Robertson's attacks against gay people and false statements about black people are contrary to A&E's upcoming public service campaign.
There have been numerous online petitions demanding that Robertson be allowed back on the show and at one point his family said: "We cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm."
Robertson has also seen support from Fox News, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) and the Christian-based ministry Focus on the Family, which sent out an e-newsletter this morning praising Robertson for his anti-gay comments:
Just ask television's "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson and Chick-fil-A's CEO Dan Cathy. Both men encountered cultural backlash targeting their businesses—instigated by homosexual activists—when they "dared" to speak publicly about God's design for sexuality.
However, Robertson's business Duck Commander was not targeted by "homosexual activists." Focus on the Family also failed to address Robertson's claims that black people enjoyed racist Jim Crow laws.
Sarah Palin, who was one of the first conservative pundits to defend the suspended “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson, admitted to Fox News that she never read the interview.
Palin appeared on “On the Record” Monday night when host Greta Van Susteren asked whether she felt Robertson’s anti-gay remarks were in any way graphic or offensive.
“I haven’t read the article. I don’t know exactly how he said it,” Palin said.
“But, Greta, what he was doing was in response to a question about a lifestyle which he disagrees with,” she added. “He was quoting the gospel. So people who are so insulted and offended by what he said, evidently, are offended by what he was quoting in the gospel. So that’s another interesting aspect in all of this.”
When GQ asked Robertson “What, in your mind, is sinful?” he responded: “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 says.
He paraphrased Corinthians: “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.”
Palin was an outspoken critic of A&E for suspending Robertson indefinitely.
"Free speech is an endangered species," Palin wrote last week on Twitter and Facebook.
Van Susteren, a former attorney, implied that it’s not an issue of free speech.
“I think people loosely use the term ‘free speech,’ meaning all the sudden people jumped someone for saying something and that you don’t jump others,” Van Susteren argued. “On the same token, if the market wants to be such that people don’t want to watch someone, so be it.”
Palin said she'd let attorney's decide if it's a free speech matter. She said now the question has become “whether we’re allowed to express our personal opinions without threats of intimidation and mockery and criticism and loss of jobs and revenue.”
After Robertson’s suspension, his family issued a statement admitting the language he used was “coarse” and “unfiltered.” The family feels, however, that they can’t continue the show without him.
"It's the network's option, not theirs,” the insider said. “"Plus the family makes far too much money selling merchandise because of the show. It would be a bad business decision to leave it."
Fans of Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson flocked to Twitter to voice their support for the star, but for some reason it appears Twitter blocked users from tweeting IStandWithPhil.com — a website supporting Robertson’s controversial remarks.
The hashtag #IStandWithPhil has been trending on Twitter for days, though actual links to the site, run by Christian group Faith Driven Consumer, were met with error messages and flagged for spam.
On Dec. 23, a Twitter spokesperson explained that the outside organization that tracks spam accidentally flagged the URL and that the site has since restored access to the link.
Despite the reinstatement, Faith Driven Consumer complained that this was the third major shutdown of pro-Robertson media since his comments were published in GQ magazine. However, the group did not list other major shutdowns.
Twitter has declined to offer further comment on the targeted link, noting that the company does not comment on actions relating to specific accounts or sites.
Robertson has been under fire since his ideas on homosexuality were published in GQ. During the interview, he defined homosexuality and bestiality as sinful, among other things.
“It seems like, to me, a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus,” Robertson said. “That’s just me.”
Robertson also romanticized the “pre-entitlement” and “pre-welfare” days of Jim Crow South.
Cracker Barrel reversed its decision to pull “Duck Dynasty” merchandise from its shelves less than 48 hours after the announcement that they would stop selling the items.
The company posted to Facebook Sunday morning that it will resume sales despite the anti-gay and racially charged comments of cast member Phil Robertson to GQ magazine.
"When we made the decision to remove and evaluate certain Duck Dynasty items, we offended many of our loyal customers. Our intent was to avoid offending, but that's just what we've done," Cracker Barrel wrote.
“You told us we made a mistake. And, [sic] you weren’t shy about it. You wrote, you called and you took to social media to express your thoughts and feelings. You flat out told us we were wrong,” the statement said. “We listened."
"People weren't shy. They wrote, called and took to social media," company spokesman Jeff Eller told ABC News.
“Claiming mission of ‘pleasing people,’ Cracker Barrel chooses to insult people of faith by pulling Phil merchandise,” tweeted Dallas AM radio show host Mark Davis on Saturday.
“Duck Dynasty items removed at Cracker Barrel. Better to offend 250 million Christians than a few gays? Bet not,” tweeted another Texan.
“Bad business decision, Cracker Barrel. Somehow I don't see the LGBT community coming in to eat catfish for breakfast,” said another user.
Some were dismayed by the company's flip-flopping.
“I’m terrified that there is a group of Americans that categorize forcing Cracker Barrel to carry Duck Dynasty merchandise as a moral victory,” another tweeted user today.
Louisiana Lt Gov. Offers Filming Support for Duck Dynasty, Claims He Doesn't Endorse Phil Robertson's Statements
Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne recently wrote an open letter of support to the Robertson family of A&E's Duck Dynasty following the anti-gay and false claims about black people made by Phil Robertson.
According to RawStory.com, Lt. Gov. Dardenne promised "to use his influence among Louisiana’s growing motion picture industry to seek out alternative production options" if Duck Dynasty is canceled by A&E.
Lt. Gov. Dardenne claimed his open letter was not an endorsement of Phil Robertson’s statements on homosexuality or race.
In an interview with GQ, Robertson compared homosexuals to terrorists and drunks, He also graphically described what he saw as the difference between heterosexual and homosexual sex.
When asked about black people in Louisiana during the Jim Crow era, Robertson claimed they "were happy; no one was singing the blues."
Lt. Gov. Dardenne simply ignored Robertson's statements in his support of the TV show.
"Regardless of one’s views on Phil Robertson’s statements," stated Lt. Gov. Dardenne. "Duck Dynasty has been an important representation of the state of Louisiana, inspiring prospective visitors and investors since its debut. Their show draws tens of millions of viewers each year, reaching an audience eager to visit Sportsman's Paradise."
"If the Robertson family cannot come to an agreement with A&E and wants to continue the show, Louisiana already has the infrastructure in place to maintain their record-breaking program," added Lt. Gov. Dardenne.
In more Duck Dynasty fallout news, GLAAD, a pro-gay group that opposed Robertson's remarks, is experiencing record levels of backlash.
"In the five-and-a-half years I've worked at GLAAD, I've never received so many violently angry phone calls and social media posts attacking GLAAD for us speaking out against these comments," the media watchdog organization's vice president of communications Rich Ferraro told TheWrap.com.
"I don't think this is about the first amendment," added Ferraro. "I feel it's more about the America we live in today. That is one where Americans, gay and straight, are able to speak out when people in the public eye make anti-gay and racist remarks."
Juan Williams: The Right Wanted Martin Bashir, Bill Maher Fired, But 'Cry Foul' For 'Duck Dynasty'? (Video)
Fox News analyst Juan Williams told “Fox News Sunday” that conservative outrage over “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson’s suspension is hypocritical after they called for the heads of MSNBC’s Martin Bashir and HBO’s Bill Maher.
Williams said Robertson’s suspension for making anti-gay remarks to GQ is “not a first amendment issue.”
He said the GOP is not interested in preserving freedom of speech when it applies to people who are critical of conservative values.
Fox News host Chris Wallace asked a panel, “Is political correctness killing our freedom?”
“The reason that the right is so strongly backing this is because they think this is a potential wedge issue, especially with older, white, evangelical voters,” Williams said.
“You think this is all just politics?” Wallace asked.
“Oh, yes. It’s heavily political,” Williams responded. “As everyone has said on this panel, it’s not a first amendment issue.”
“My point is this is not about honest debate,” he added. “What was said actually shuts down debate. It was ugly language about homosexual acts. It invites bigotry. It invites people to hate people who are gay. And this is amazing, because it is not in the Christian tradition, to make judgments about them and to put them in a box.”
“The right goes after Martin Bashir, they wanted Martin Bashir fired,” Williams said. “Remember Dixie Chicks, or Tim Robbins, or Bill Maher? All of that, the right says get them out of here. But they then want to cry foul when people are intolerant of them.”
Illinois GOP congressional candidate Ian Bayne compared Robertson to a modern-day Rosa Parks on Friday.
“In December 1955, Rosa Parks took a stand against an unjust societal persecution of black people, and in December 2013, Robertson took a stand against persecution of Christians. What Parks did was courageous … What Robertson did was courageous too,” Bayne said in a fundraising email.