It seems that every Religious Right group has put out a petition this week defending Phil Robertson, the Duck Dynasty star who was suspended after he made racist and homophobic statements in an interview with GQ. We are not surprised that the Right has pounced on the opportunity to play the victim and grow their email lists.
- This National Organization for Marriage’s petition claims Robertson was suspended merely for stating “his belief in the truth of the Bible,” insisting that “nothing that Phil Robertson said is hateful” and that A&E “succumbed to the demands of bullies like the HRC and GLAAD, which is disgraceful for an entity whose very existence depends on the free exchange of ideas.”
- The American Family Association has its own petition thanking Robertson for “declaring the truth of God’s word” and charging that the network undermined the reality star’s “rights to religious freedom and freedom of speech”…because apparently the First Amendment says that no one can ever be disciplined in their job over things they say.
- The group Faith Driven Consumers accuses A&E of holding “discriminatory,” “intolerant” and “un-American” views, claiming in its petition that the network “effectively censors a legitimate viewpoint held by the majority of Americans.”
- Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition is urging men to grow beards in “support for Phil and Christian Values,” while asking women to “lovingly tolerate the facial scruff” of men who grow their Phil-beards.
- Even the ex-gay organization Voice of the Voiceless has its own petition, warning that America will soon “turn into a fascist society” if gay rights groups aren’t stopped.
- Americans For Truth About Homosexuality head Peter LaBarbera complains that Robertson is a victim of “homo-fascism” while “Christians and moral-minded Americans must rally behind Phil Robertson.”
- Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel salutes Robertson as “a breath of fresh air in this Miley Cyrus culture” who is bravely restoring America’s Christian heritage.
- The Family Research Council also launched a petition and blasted “the totalitarian tactics of the Left.”
Clearly, making homophobic and racist comments is all it takes to become a Religious Right hero.
Update: Of course, the inevitable Rosa Parks comparison:
In a fundraising email to supporters, Ian Bayne, who is running in the Republican primary to challenge Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL) in the 11th District, compared Robertson to Rosa Parks. The fundraising email began: “Today, Ian Bayne called Phil Robertson, star of the A&E series “Duck Dynasty,” the ‘Rosa Parks’ of our generation.”