DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. - The Douglas County sheriff said he is taking a stand against a television network that suspended a reality star over controversial comments he made in a recent a magazine article.
Sheriff Phil Miller spoke out with a Facebook post now getting national attention.
"If you believe in that book and you say you believe in it, you ought not to be punished for it," Miller told Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh.
Miller pointed to the Bible on his desk. He said it's the reason he's speaking out about Robertson's comments, and network A&E's decision to suspend him.
"You can't ask us to be tolerant of people's rights when you're not tolerant of us," Miller said.
In a recent article with GQ magazine, Robertson spoke out against homosexuality.
Loosely quoting a Bible passage he said:
"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."
The sheriff said he has not read the entire article, but has read about it.
"I don't want anybody getting the impression that I'm against anything. They have that right and I'll protect that right and I have for 43 years. It's just standing up for what I believe is right," Miller said.
Miller wrote on Facebook he would no longer work with A&E as long as he is sheriff. The network has shot several reality shows with Douglas County.
Kavanaugh showed the article to Sen. Vicent Fort, D-Atlanta. He also pointed out other Robertson quotes where he talks about African-Americans in pre-civil rights Louisiana.
"I would caution them to be cautious in using the Gospel to condemn your fellow man," Fort said.
Robertson told GQ "Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues."
"Public words have public impact so we all as celebrities, elected officials and others. We all need to be concerned with that," Fort said.
Initially, A&E said it had suspended Robertson indefinitely. There were reports Monday that Phil Robertson will be back in action in the next season of "Duck Dynasty."
Miller said he may still be sending A&E a letter expressing his disappointment in how they responded. Fort said he will likely be sending a letter of his own.
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