Phil Robertson stands by his now-infamous homophobic comments to GQ, addressing fans for the first time at a Bible study in West Monroe, La.
“I will not give or back off from my path,” he told those gathered in a recording obtained by the Daily Mail.
Robertson said he was only quoting from the scripture when he said gays were sinners.
“I am just reading what was written over 2000 years ago,” he claimed. “Those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom. All I did was quote from the scriptures, but they just didn’t know it. Whether I said it, or they read it, what’s the difference? The sins are the same, humans haven’t changed.”
Even so, the suspended Duck Dynasty star called himself a “lover of humanity.”
“I love all men and women,” he told the congregation. “I am a lover of humanity, not a hater.”
During his 45 minutes speech, Robertson also admitted his own failing. He said he had to been “immoral” and “ran with the wicked” before finding Jesus. He even admitted to having committed “sexual sins.”
“Sexual sins are numerous and many, I have a few myself. So what is your safest course of action? If you’re a man, find yourself a woman, marry them and keep your sex right there.”
Robertson went on to summarize the oft-quoted argument of gay marriage opponents.
“Commonsense says we are not going to procreate the human race unless we have a man and a woman. From the beginning Jesus said, ‘It is a man and a woman.’ Adam was made and Eve was made for this reason. They left their fathers and mothers and united to become one flesh, that’s what marriage is all about.”
He also expressed dismay that A&E decided to persecute him after the magazine interview, when he had been spreading his gospel long before.
Robertson’s hometown supporters continue to rally behind him.
“The program and his comments take a snapshot and it doesn’t represent the totality of what the guy is all about,” Richard Laban, the owner of Redneck Roots, a store in West Monroe that sells “Duck Dynasty” merchandise, told the Associated Press.
“A&E reacted entirely too quickly,” added Laban. “They really treated Phil as if he was a terrorist.”
Robertson’s minister and friend of 35 years, Mike Kellett, told People magazine that the Christian community at large was behind Robertson.
“There’s great support and encouragement from folks at the church and churches all over the country. We’ve received hundreds and hundreds, probably even thousands of emails and phone calls just voicing support or encouragement.”