People offended by "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson's comments about homosexuals are also offended by what he was quoting in the Bible, says former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
"He was quoting the gospel," Palin told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren Monday evening. "So people who are so insulted and offended by what he said evidently are offended by what he was quoting in the gospel."
The A&E Network last week suspended Robertson
from his family's reality show after he was quoted in a GQ Magazine article as saying homosexuality is a sin and that black people in Louisiana were "happy" before the Civil Rights Movement.
"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," he told the magazine, among other comments.
Palin was among the first to come to his defense, saying his suspension endangers free speech rights
. She made that point again to Van Susteren.
"This is becoming a discussion outside the legal realm," said Palin, noting that attorneys for Robertson and A&E will have to determine whether his suspension was legal. "Now it's becoming more of a discussion of ideas, [about] whether we're allowed to express our personal opinions without the threat of loss of jobs. It's becoming a bigger issue than what it started out to be."
Van Susteren, a former attorney, noted, however, that "it is one thing to express your opinion," and quite another to offer in a magazine article what "is a rather graphic and offensive, or at least I think offensive, description of it."
She asked Palin, who is a Fox News contributor, if she has any objections about the way in which Robertson presented his opinions.
"I haven't read the article," Palin admitted. "I don't know exactly how he said it. But, Greta, what he was doing was in response to a question about a lifestyle that he disagrees with."
Palin also insisted that Robertson "doesn't hate the person engaging in a lifestyle that he disagrees with" but was simply "quoting the gospel."
The former governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee also criticized the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain for pulling Duck Dynasty items from its shelves in response to Robertson's comments, only to reverse its decision 24 hours later under pressure from customers.
"They were appalled [at Robertson's remarks] until they realized that the majority of Americans were saying, 'Come on, you guys. Thicken your skin. Quit being so intolerant of people expressing public opinion and private opinion,'" Palin said.
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