updated 12/23/2013 AT 12:00 PM ET
•originally published 12/23/2013 AT 8:25 AM ET
“I will not give or back off from my path.”
So said a defiant Phil Robertson on Sunday, speaking to a Bible study group at his hometown church in West Monroe, La., and making his first public statements since being suspended by A&E for his controversial remarks to GQ about gays and African-Americans.
But the Duck Dynasty patriarch’s latest remarks could have people quacking all over again.
“I love all men and women,” said the camouflage-clad Robertson, who granted the Daily Mail exclusive access to his Bible study talk. “I am a lover of humanity, not a hater.”
Robertson, 67, addressed the small class at White’s Ferry Road Church for 45 minutes, defending his positions and quoting from the Bible days after likening homosexuality to bestiality and claiming African-Americans were “singing and happy” pre-Civil Rights.
“We murder each other, and we steal from one another, sex and immorality goes ballistic,” he said. “All the diseases that just so happened to follow sexual mischief boy there are some microbes running around now.”
He continued: “Sexual sins are numerous and many. I have a few myself. So what is your safest course of action? If you’re a man, find yourself a woman, marry them and keep your sex right there.”
“Common sense says we are not going to procreate the human race unless we have a man and a woman,” he told the class.
Robertson said that over the last 2000 years, “the sins are the same” and “humans haven’t changed.”
“We get high, we get drunk, we get laid, we steal and kill,” he stated. “Has this changed at all from the time God burnt up whole cities because their every thought was evil?”
Robertson urged homosexuals to turn to Jesus, saying, “Jesus will take sins away, if you’re a homosexual he’ll take it away, if you’re an adulterer, if you’re a liar, what’s the difference? If we lose our morality, we lose our country.”
Robertson also defended his own intelligence, saying, “I am not uneducated. I have a degree from Louisiana Tech. But this week I have been called an ignoramus.”
Show to Remain
Entertainment Weekly reported Sunday that A&E intends to keep Robertson on the air, hoping the furor will die down over the holidays, and that footage featuring the family elder will remain intact when new episodes begin airing on Jan. 15.
After his class, Robertson joined his congregation for a church service led by his eldest son, Pastor Alan, and even tried to make light of all the controversy.
“Well, we’ve had quite a quiet week, shot some ducks, done some shopping, ignited a national controversy.”