Some Duck Dynasty merchandise was pulled from off the shelves of Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores on Saturday. This decision by the restaurant company, based in Lebanon, Tennessee, was made because they didn’t want to carry products which “might offend some of our guests.” Cracker Barrel will, however, still continue to sell some merchandise from the Robertson family business, Duck Commander.
After some comments that the Duck Dynasty family patriarch, Phil Robertson, made in an upcoming GQ article, A&E has temporarily suspended him from the show. In the same article, Robertson was stated that during his childhood, before the Civil Rights movement began, he never saw an instance of blacks being mistreated.
Fans of Duck Dynasty, as well as supporters of the First Amendment, have stood firmly behind Phil Robertson and his right to express himself as guaranteed under the First Amendment. Many of his supporters also have said that Robertson should be allowed to express his religious beliefs without being penalized.
According to a statement from Cracker Barrel, just as they regularly evaluate all of their products, they will continue to do so with the Duck Dynasty merchandise that has been removed from their stores. The statement from Cracker Barrel says that they “operate within the ideals of fairness, mutual respect and equal treatment of all people.”
One of Phil Robertson’s quoted remarks refers to people he stated “won’t inherit the kingdom of God.” Among those he mentioned are “the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders” and others, such as “the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers.”
Whether or not you may agree with Phil Robertson’s statements and religious beliefs, or you think he’s a “Mallard brain,” as Charlie Sheen wrote in a Twitpic on Saturday, he is entitled to his freedom of speech and his opinions.
But, A&E has a right to suspend him, also, if they believe that the remarks of Phil Robertson might be offensive to some of their viewers. Also, Cracker Barrel has a right to yank from their shelves any products they deem to be potentially offensive to their customers.
Did Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty express what the Bible really means?
Is Phil Robertson entitled to his interpretation of the Bible? Most definitely, he is — just as everyone else is entitled to their own personal and religious beliefs, whether or not we might agree with them.
Phil Robertson also said that it’s “the Almighty’s job” to “judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell.” It’s not up to anyone else. In fact, Robertson stated about homosexuals and everyone else that we should “just love ‘em, give ‘em the good news about Jesus — whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists.”
Though A&E has suspended Phil Robertson from the Duck Dynasty TV series, when its fifth season premieres in January, he will be in some scenes that were previously recorded.
The future of Duck Dynasty, though, is up in the air. The program has millions of fans who will be very disappointed if the series doesn’t continue, but the rest of the Robertson family who appear on Duck Dynasty have expressed their intent to stand behind the family patriarch, Phil Robertson.
On duckcommander.com, a statement from the family says that though some of Phil’s “comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible.” The statement adds that “Phil would never incite or encourage hate” and that he is “a Godly man who follows what the Bible says.” Also, the statement went on to say that the family “are in discussions with A&E” as to the future of Duck Dynasty.
Written by: Douglas Cobb