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Talking Points

Bill O'Reilly: What the Duck Dynasty controversy is really all about

By Bill O'Reilly

This man, Phil Robertson, 67-year-old head of the "Duck Dynasty" TV dynasty has said publicly that a number of folks are going to hell. Among them adulterers, greed heads, drunkards, slanderers and homosexuals. It is the last group that has ignited a firestorm.

The A&E Network has suspended Mr. Robertson for what they perceived as anti-gay remarks. And now his family is threatening to quit the show "Duck Dynasty" which could cost the Disney and Hearst companies which own A&E hundreds of millions of dollars.

The reaction to Phil Robertson's remarks has been intense to say the least.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: To get rid of the most popular patriarch on television today, I tell you there are other networks that would just nab these guys up in a heartbeat. A&E really screwed up on this one.

WILSON CRUZ, GLAAD SPOKESMAN: The country is changing and even the state in which Mr. Robertson lives is changing and he needs to get in line.

BOBBY JINDAL (R), GOVERNOR OF LOUISIANA: I was very disappointed in A&E. But I think you see a growing political correctness amongst the left where, again, they say they are for tolerance, they say they're for diversity, but only if you agree with them.

GOLDIE TAYLOR, MSNBC ANALYST: The unfortunate thing about all of this is we are champing this as a First Amendment issue when it couldn't be any anything further from that no one has a constitutional right to a reality show or a paycheck or anything else.

JON STEWART, THE DAILY SHOW: I think this is guy that is ignorant. I also have an inclination to support a world where saying ignorant (EXPLETIVE DELETED) on television doesn't get you kicked off that medium.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is what happens when you have true freedom of speech. You can say these things and then you have to suffer the consequences. It's offensive to me. I do believe in the right to free speech, but I think the marketplace should decide what should happen to this franchise.

GERALDO RIVERA, FOX NEWS HOST: I would have said something on the order of his views are vile, according to many people, we don't agree. We don't endorse his views but he has the right to have his point of view. And, you know, it is his legitimacy and his frankness that makes him so appealing to people.

MARC LAMONT HILL, HUFFINGTON POST: This is someone who is clearly bigoted, someone who clearly doesn't have a sense of history. And someone who represents quite honestly a mindset that isn't exclusive to him. There are many people in America who believe this the corporations have a right to say we don't want to stand next to this type of person.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: "Talking Points" believes Mr. Robertson has a constitutional right to define his religious beliefs but is misguided by targeting specific groups of people for damnation. If you adhere to the Christian philosophy you know that Jesus was quite clear, all judgments about the consequences of sin are to be made by God and God alone. We're all sinners, and because of that the Gospel of Luke 6:37, mandates -- mandates that Christian human beings refrain from judging others. Again, that is God's prerogative.

Now you either buy into Christianity or you don't. So Mr. Robertson's vision is flawed, according to Luke. As I said last night, this controversy is helping anti-Christian forces in the USA. The secular progressive movement seizes upon stuff like this to portray Christians as cruel fanatics. People only interested in imposing their point of view on the nation.

I don't know Mr. Robertson, but I believe he is acting according to his conscience. But, in the process, he's actually hurting his own cause.

Having written a book about Jesus, I know this much: he was adamantly against bad behavior that injures other people but he would not condemn a woman in his presence who was an adulteress.

And time and time the Nazarene persuaded folks that his way of living was worthy because it was so compassionate. Homosexual Americans should not be demonized just like devout Christians should not be demonized and people who have strong beliefs should understand the big picture. Portraying gay Americans as sinners gives license to harm them. It's insulting and demeaning.

Jesus would persuade not condemn. There has been no one more involved in protecting Judeo-Christian tradition in America than me. I fully understand how the far left Secular Progressives want to change this country and in order to do that, they have to marginalize people of faith, people like Mr. Robertson who oppose unfettered abortion, gay marriage, and other SP causes.

But you win the battle by reason and by putting forth the strongest argument for the greater good of all Americans. No one on earth can read the hearts of fellow human beings. No one but God knows why people do what they do. Phil Robertson is a man of strong faith and that should be respected. A&E was wrong for suspending him, but not wrong for challenging his methods. We in America are all in this together and that includes gay people.

Right now we are divided by ideology, race, moral philosophy and personal conduct. The more we all -- we all try to bridge those gaps, the stronger this country will be.

And that's "The Memo."