The patriarch of the Duck Dynasty TV show was put on "indefinite hiatus" by the A&E cable channel after he compared homosexuality with bestiality in an interview with GQ magazine.
"Everyone needs to leave Phil Robertson alone for expressing his beliefs," wrote Bristol Palin in a blog post. I think it’s so hypocritical how the LGBT community expects every single flippen person to agree with their life style. This flies in the face of what makes America great – people can have their own beliefs and own opinions and their own ways of life.
Everyone needs to treat others like God would, with love. "
Palin went on to say that Phil Robertson should take the Duck Dynasty TV show to another cable channel.
"I do think we should elevate the conversation, stand for free speech, and let people hold beliefs that you might make you uncomfortable. It’s what freedom sometimes feels like," wrote Palin.
Bristol's mom, Sarah Palin, also weighed in, albeit more succinctly in a Facebook post: "Free speech is an endangered species. Those “intolerants” hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us."
The Robertson family and cast members of the Duck Dynasty show live in Louisiana. On Wednesday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also issued a statement defending Phil Robertson's free speech rights.
“Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana. The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with. I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV. In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views. In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended."
While Robertson has publicly spoken out before against abortion, and made no secret of his fundamentalist Christian views, the popular TV show has steered clear of politics and religion. "The show chronicles the Louisiana bayou existence of a duck-call entrepreneur and his bearded offspring, all of whom are supported by a cast of country-glam wives who can bake. It’s widely considered wholesome and kid-friendly, and each episode ends with a supper-table prayer," reports The Christian Science Monitor.
Some conservatives say this controversy goes beyond Robertson's condemnation of homosexuality and see it in a larger American culture war and class divide, The Christian Science Monitor reports.
The flap also has come to epitomize what some academics have identified as a cultural gulf separating America’s coastal urban power centers and a rural America that remains steeped in hunting, fishing, and churchgoing.
“This moment definitely says something about where we are as Americans,” says Rob Weiner, a pop culture expert at Texas Tech University. “For so long … the more traditional sort of down-home Christian good ol’ boy, living off the land, hasn’t been seen. Now that he has, he’s touched a nerve. A lot of people find the show entertaining, but equal numbers of people find it offensive – the killing of animals and things like that.”
The attempt by gay rights groups to have Phil Robertson kicked off the show “may be an attack on ‘unsophisticated’ country folks as much as it is an attack on orthodox Christianity,” writes Matt Lewis, a conservative columnist for the Daily Caller. “It has as much to do with class and geography and culture and attitude as it does with religion.”