I don't watch Duck Dynasty. The only thing I know about the show is: Jesus, beards, and backwoods. The only thing I know about the family is the beautiful charity work that Willie Robertson and his wife does and how vocal they've been about the social good of adoption (which I love). A few things are troubling me:
First, I did a Google search: the first 15, FIFTEEN hits were strictly about his anti-gay remarks. The 16th link was to an Afr.-Am. site and they included both the race remarks and the anti-gay remarks. So I ask, where is the solidarity between marginalized, disenfranchised groups? I get that LGBT equality is the contemporary issue, but isn't race, still? Contrary to what the GOP might have you believe, Rosa Parks did not end racism.
Second, on the freedom of speech trap. Phil has the right to feel whatever type of way he wants in America and be absolutely free from government scrutiny. That's true. However, he is a public figure, employed by a company to be one of the faces of said company. Included in that, are all kinds of conduct clauses and contractual obligations he is forced by law to abide by. He chose to disregard them and morally and economically, A+E should cut their loses and fire him. Freedom of speech doesn't make you any less of a bigot.
Third, "love the sinner, hate the sin." (which is basically Phil's defense on his remarks) Too often, we Christians use this rite as an excuse to validate why we bash someone's entire being, but then two-facedly still associate with said people. Look, I get it. We're human. No matter how much you dislike someone's choices, denying other human connections is hard, but you don't get to call me a monster and then say 'But I'll treat you like a human.' No. I don't know where the answer is, but figure it out or if you're conflicted, just keep it to yourself or just listen to the Pope on the subject.
Finally, I don't think Phil Robertson is a 'racist' (at least not based on this article) and as unfortunate as his remarks were, I wouldn't say they were racist either. Naive, definitely. Misguided, sure. He was speaking anecdotally, speaking about what he believes were real events involving race in his life. I believe he has a lot of racial prejudices in him, but I believe that he wouldn't treat any person a type of way if he saw them on the streets. Or at least I would hope not, seeing as he as a black grandson and a Taiwanese granddaughter (they say proximity brings value), but hey, nothing's impossible in the universe.
At the end of the day, Phil Robertson will have to answer to his family, himself, and God. I just pray that all this negative press doesn't push him back into drugs and alcohol or undermine the good will his family is spreading.