In the wake of its growing "Duck Dynasty" controversy, the A&E cable network needs to adopt a "worldview" and be more open to different opinions, including the teachings of the Bible, says Chris Stone, president of Faith Driven Consumer.
"Our culture has conditioned us to the response of, if anything is contrary to certain agendas, then it must be shouted down and censored," Stone told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"And our viewpoint is … let the marketplace decide."
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Stone, whose group strives to create a more faith-compatible marketplace, has launched IStandWithPhil.com, an online petition calling on A&E to immediately reinstate Phil Robertson to "Duck Dynasty."
Robertson, a born-again Christian, was suspended from his show because of controversial comments he made about gays to GQ magazine.
"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, 67, told the magazine.
He then paraphrased from the New Testament: "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."
Stone said A&E must have more tolerance, and is certainly seeing the wrath of Richardson's supporters.
"We've had tremendous support; a little over 120,000 people have signed the petition. We've had over 2 million page views of our website — just a tremendous outpouring of support," he said.
"Curiously, we've had even commenters who signed the petition who said they were in fact members of the LGBT [Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] community and said that while I don't believe and I don't share Phil's point of view, I do support his ability to say it."
Stone wasn't surprised by the cable network's reaction, but wants its executives to do some soul searching.
"First and foremost, we're asking for Phil to be reinstated, and that will be a business decision that A&E will have to make. We're also asking A&E to consider an alternative worldview; a worldview simply as the lens through which we all see the world," he said.
"What we have is a collision of two worldviews here: those people who have biblically-based, an orthodox biblical worldview, and those that have a different point of view."
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