A metro Atlanta sheriff is standing with "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson, arguing that his anti-gay, racist screed was simply "standing up for what is right."
And Sheriff Phil Miller says A&E's punishment–suspending Robertson from the hit show, even if briefly–was too much. So he's making it clear that A&E is no longer welcome in Douglas County.
On Friday, Miller posted this to his personal Facebook page:
A&E has suspended Phil Robertson for talking about his conservative Christian beliefs. None of us are without sin and I am not judging anyone. I am sure A&E made what they believe is a good business decision. Many people who disagree with A&E might choose to remain silent and there was a time when I might have done the same, but no longer. In my mind the punishment is unreasonable. I know it will not matter to A&E, but it will make me feel better. A&E has produced more than a half dozen programs with the assistance of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. They will not do any more with my assistance while I am sheriff. It is time for someone other than Hollywood and the news media to stand up for what is right!
The post generated hundreds of comments, scores of attaboys and lots of media coverage, including an appearance Monday on CNN (watch above) in which Miller said he'd protect anyone in his county, even folks who say things he doesn't agree with. Because, of course, Miller doesn't hate anyone. Not a one, he tells the Douglas County Sentinel. But he likes wing-nut Christians just a little bit more.
"I guess I need to learn to keep my mouth shut too," Miller said in a phone interview Friday night. "But they are punishing a man for being honest and answering a question that he was asked. When he answered and gave his understanding, pulling from his Christian beliefs, this happens. It's not right and I had to say something about it."
"I don't hate anybody and you can ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you the same thing. But where we are in this country now, where you are punished for simply saying what your understanding of your Christian beliefs are is just too much for me."
And the gays? No disrespect to y'all and the lifestyle you choose, Miller tells the AJC.
Miller joins a large backlash against the network for its actions. Miller said he agrees with Robertson’s point of view that the Bible sees homosexuality as a sin. But he stressed that he does not want to disrespect homosexuals.
“That’s what makes this country. There’s a lot of different beliefs,” he said. “If that’s the kind of lifestyle they chose, that’s America. I’m not judging anyone.”
Miller said of Robertson’s statements, “It was about a man stating his Christian beliefs without malice or judgment, and losing his job. That’s wrong.”
Who wants to tell the sheriff that "Duck Dynasty" creator Scott Gurney starred in a movie aout gay porn?