(CNSNews.com) – The controversial GQ interview of Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson, which led to his temporary suspension from the popular A&E show in December – and sparked a national debate on free speech and sexual morality – was a form of “spiritual warfare,” said Jase Robertson, who added that as the interview went on, “it felt more like an attack because our family has a prayer at the end of the show.”
Duck Dynasty’s Jase Robertson, the second oldest son of Phil and ‘Miss Kay’ Robertson, related his experience of that GQ session -- which was initially attended by the show’s entire cast but they eventually walked out because of its hostile questioning – in an interview with CNSNews.com on July 8 in Washington, D.C.
Jase Robertson and his family were at the nation’s capital to attend a press conference to raise awareness about cleft palate and lip, a condition their 10-year-old daughter Mia was born with and for which she has undergone several corrective surgeries.
Prior to the press conference, CNSNews.com spoke with Jase Robertson about his new book, Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Fowl, where he touches on the GQ interview, stating it was the only one he ever walked out on and that he had asked his father “to stop the interview because the questions were hypothetical, argumentative, and controversial.”
CNSNews.com asked Robertson, “You said it got to the point where you thought it was an ordeal that, you said the whole ordeal was ‘a form of spiritual warfare.’ I was wondering if you could explain specifically what you mean by spiritual warfare?”
Robertson said, “What I came to realize there is, because we had done so many interviews before and I’d never sensed any kind of animosity toward our faith in God and belief, but this guy, he knew who we were, he was in my dad’s home. And, you know, in the South, when you come into somebody’s house, you show a certain amount of respect. And it occurred to me that he knew we were people of faith.”
“He was using four-letter words, a lot of F-bombs, he was making fun of some of the things we hold true,” said Robertson. “The first statement of the whole process was, he looked at me and said, ‘Do you actually expect people to believe that you waited until you got married before you had sex?’ That was the first statement out of his mouth. Well, I kind of looked around at the publicist and I thought, ‘Is this the interview?’ I mean, because this was just the way it came across.”
As Robertson explains in Good Call, both he and his future wife, Missy Robertson, stayed chaste until their wedding night, a fact that Mrs. Robertson also affirmed to CNSNews.com.
Jase Robertson continued, “So, as it [the GQ interview] went on, I realized that it felt more like an attack because our family has a prayer at the end of the show. That’s what I felt like was a spiritual war.”
Asked whether the questions were deliberately designed to hurt the family or the Duck Dynasty show, Robertson said, “No, I don’t want to get into the mind, but the questions were only about controversial things. He asked about, he looked at my dad and said, ‘What do you think of homosexuality?’ Which my dad didn’t really answer but, you know. And so it went from there. You see what I mean?”
“And so, I think it was just a plan to get some, some of that [which] caused us some trouble,” said Robertson. “But, you know, we don’t hold anything against him, so. Or even by trying that. My dad thought he wanted to take a stand in his house, and I don’t blame him.”
The GQ interview of Phil Robertson was published in the January 2014 issue of the magazine but excerpts were released in mid-December 2013. Some of those excerpts sparked major criticism from homosexual activists and liberal critics, to the point that the A&E channel suspended Robertson “indefinitely” on Dec. 18.
However, the suspension generated a major backlash from fans of the show and many people who support free speech and religious expression in general, which led A&E to end the suspension of Phil Robertson on Dec. 28.
The comments that sparked controversy included Phil Robertson’s remark about homosexuality, in which he said, “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”
Also, when asked by the GQ interviewer “What, in your mind, is sinful?” Robertson said, “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men."
Robertson then paraphrased Corinthians I (6:9-10), “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
Duck Dynasty, now in its sixth season, is the most highly rated reality-TV show in cable history. An average 10.5 million viewers watch the show each week. At the end of every episode, the family gathers around the dinner table and says a prayer of thanksgiving to God.