'Duck Dynasty' patriarch Phil Robertson on why cancel culture is antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus

Phil Robertson
Phil Robertson | HARPER COLLINS

Phil Robertson knows firsthand what it means to be a victim of cancel culture. 

In 2013, the “Duck Dynasty” patriarch was suspended from the popular A&E show over his candid comments about homosexuality and religion in a GQ profile. He was swiftly condemned as a bigot by LGBT activist groups, including The Human Rights Campaign and  GLAAD.

“Five or six years ago, a guy came up and asked me, did I believe homosexual behavior was a sin,” the 75-year-old duck hunter told The Christian Post. “I quoted 1 Corinthians 6:9-10: ‘Don't be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the thieves, the greedy drunks, they won't inherit the Kingdom of God,' Robertson said, citing [Paul's letter] to the church at Corinth. ‘But you've been washed, you've been cleansed by the blood of Jesus,’” he added.

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“I just simply quoted him a verse, a Bible verse, where God stated what it is,” he added. “So it took him two weeks to figure out all I did was quote a Bible verse. He asked me a question … and I just quoted [the Bible]. And when I quoted it, he took it and ran with it, because he thought I was just blowing smoke just off the top of my head.”

Though backlash from the secular media was swift, the father, grandfather and great-grandfather pointed out that as a result of his boldness, “a lot of good came forth.”

“We converted way more after that,” he said. “See what I'm saying? God works in mysterious ways.”

Today, Robertson bears no ill will toward those who wanted to see him “canceled”: “They rail against me in a lot of ways, but I forgive them, I love them all,” he stressed. Yet, that incident sparked in him a fierce desire to push back against cancel culture, a phenomenon he believes is both antithetical to the Gospel and threatens to destroy free speech. 

“The two greatest commandments in the Bible, according to Jesus, was to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love your neighbor,” he contended. “What's happened is the so-called ‘cancel culture’ are digging up the past of individuals, finding out where they made a mistake, finding out where they sin, and they pile on, they try to get them fired, and they do get them fired. They attack people. The problem with that type of thinking is that all of us have made mistakes, and all of us have sinned.”

Scripture is clear that those who pass judgment on others ultimately condemn themselves, Robertson said, adding: “Sinners are attacking everyone else, not realizing that they're condemning themselves because they're sinners too.”

“Everyone out there should remember everyone who cancels others, here and now, they themselves will be canceled later,” he continued. “So we better learn how to love one another, love God. And we better learn how to forgive people that make mistakes around us, or we ourselves will be canceled.”

The founder of the Duck Commander Company cited 1 John 3:1, which reads: “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God.”

“Those are the uncanceled,” he explained. “He (God) took away the written code and replaced it. ‘Just love God and love your neighbor; I've removed all your past sins, they're blotted out. I'm not counting any of your future sins against you if you just trust me.’”

“Those who put their faith in Jesus are uncancelled by the blood of Jesus; He got us out from under the written code and put us under a system of grace,” Robertson added. “It can't be earned. It's not, ‘maybe if I do this.’ Just Love God. Love your neighbor, for crying out loud. It's really simple when you get right down to it. So He provided that for us.”

Driven by a desire to promote the countercultural, unifying message of Jesus, Robertson penned his latest book, Uncanceled: Finding Meaning and Peace in a Culture of Accusations, Shame, and Condemnation.

“I would say right now, if you're not following Jesus, you should because the suicide rate is up, the murder rate is up, the death rate is up," Robertson told CP. "The cancellation crowd, that’s all up. People who made mistakes 200 years ago, we drag it up, take their statue down and bad mouth them, and I'm like, ‘Whatever happened to forgiveness and love?’ So if we don't love God and don't love our neighbor, we've got some pretty rough days ahead of us here. For me and my family, we trust the Lord. We're going with God.”

In Uncanceled, Robertson examines the motivations behind why people have the inclination to “cancel” one another, both in the secular world and in the Church. He argues that in a culture so obsessed with political correctness, the importance of respectful dialogue has been all but forgotten.

“In America, you won't even get but three strikes, and you're out. But Jesus said … ‘Forgive them 70 times seven.’ That way, you're not all torn up over people and what they say, who curses you [who says] evil things about you. It's just the way the world is. You just learned to live with it, point them to Christ, keep moving, don't hold it against them. Be quick to forgive.”

“Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. We expect it. We embrace it. But we don't hold it against them. We just pray for them,” he said. 

Christians must realize, Robertson emphasized, that the goal isn’t to get the approval of man or to win a culture war — it’s to worship the God of the Bible instead of the god of political correctness. 

“It's not rocket science, but it does require a change of heart,” he said. “I'm 75. I came to know Jesus when I was 28, because I was like a dog chasing his tail. I just wasn't getting anywhere fast. I came to Jesus,” he said. 

“Think about this: Immortality is riding on how we live our lives on the Earth,” he posited. “Loving God and loving each other is worth it. Immortality is at stake. When you were dead in your sins … and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code with its regulations. … He took it away, thank God, nailing it to the cross. Having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. What a beautiful thing God has done for us. I'm just trying to get others to join us.”

Resting in the understanding that Jesus already paid for our sins allows a person to treat others with grace and live a life of freedom, Robertson said — and will hopefully help unite an increasingly divided society. 

“I’m pretty fired up about this,” he said. 

“We need to put in the practice and be very forgiving and longsuffering, not holding things in the past,” Robertson added. “Put into practice the attitude of your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, how He operated. You read it, and you say, ‘I need to do that. I need to be like that.’ So give people time. Hopefully, their hearts will change. And they'll reach out to their neighbors and put into practice … the greatest commands in the Bible, according to Jesus: Love God, love your neighbor. It always comes back to that.”

Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at:

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