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In ‘Duck Dynasty’ hometown, local loyalty prevails

  • This Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 photo shows items showing the image of Phil Robertson and his catchphrase "Happy, Happy, Happy" displayed at the Duck Commander store in West Monroe, La. The town is the setting for the popular "Duck Dynasty"series, where show patriarch, Phil Robertson, was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people.   (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

    This Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 photo shows items showing the image of Phil Robertson and his catchphrase "Happy, Happy, Happy" displayed at the Duck Commander store in West Monroe, La. The town is the setting for the popular "Duck Dynasty"series, where show patriarch, Phil Robertson, was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

  • This Dec. 21, 2013 photo shows The Gingerbread House owner Mike Walsworth, left, laughing at a joke by Marilyn Lovett, 57, about the "Duck Dynasty" controversy in West Monroe, La. The town is the setting for the popular "Duck Dynasty"series, where show patriarch, Phil Robertson, was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

    This Dec. 21, 2013 photo shows The Gingerbread House owner Mike Walsworth, left, laughing at a joke by Marilyn Lovett, 57, about the "Duck Dynasty" controversy in West Monroe, La. The town is the setting for the popular "Duck Dynasty"series, where show patriarch, Phil Robertson, was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

  • This Dec. 21, 2013 photo shows Trish Singlteon, of Durant, Okla., taking a picture of her family outside the Duck Commander store in West Monroe, La. The town is the setting for the popular "Duck Dynasty"series, where show patriarch, Phil Robertson, was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

    This Dec. 21, 2013 photo shows Trish Singlteon, of Durant, Okla., taking a picture of her family outside the Duck Commander store in West Monroe, La. The town is the setting for the popular "Duck Dynasty"series, where show patriarch, Phil Robertson, was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

  • This Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 photo shows Jordan Williams, who goes by the stage name Tanzi Taylor, mixing a drink at Club Pink, a bar for Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transexual costumers owned by Tommy Stewart, left, in Monroe, La.  Monroe neighbors West Monroe, the hometown of Phil Robertson, the patriarch from the popular "Duck Dynasty" series. Robertson was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people.  (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

    This Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 photo shows Jordan Williams, who goes by the stage name Tanzi Taylor, mixing a drink at Club Pink, a bar for Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transexual costumers owned by Tommy Stewart, left, in Monroe, La. Monroe neighbors West Monroe, the hometown of Phil Robertson, the patriarch from the popular "Duck Dynasty" series. Robertson was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

  • Howell Henderson of Joplin, Mo., poses for a picture outside the Duck Commander store in West Monroe, La. Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013. The town is the setting for the popular "Duck Dynasty"series, where show patriarch, Phil Robertson, was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people.  (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

    Howell Henderson of Joplin, Mo., poses for a picture outside the Duck Commander store in West Monroe, La. Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013. The town is the setting for the popular "Duck Dynasty"series, where show patriarch, Phil Robertson, was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

  • Traffic passes a pro-life billboard next to the West Monroe water tower in West Monroe, La., Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. The town is the setting for the popular "Duck Dynasty"series, where show patriarch, Phil Robertson, was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people.   (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

    Traffic passes a pro-life billboard next to the West Monroe water tower in West Monroe, La., Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. The town is the setting for the popular "Duck Dynasty"series, where show patriarch, Phil Robertson, was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

  • This Dec. 21, 2013 photo shows a sign in West Monroe, La., supporting Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the popular "Duck Dynasty" series. Robertson was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people.  (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

    This Dec. 21, 2013 photo shows a sign in West Monroe, La., supporting Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the popular "Duck Dynasty" series. Robertson was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

  • This undated image released by A&E shows Phil Robertson from the popular series "Duck Dynasty." Robertson was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/A&E,)

    This undated image released by A&E shows Phil Robertson from the popular series "Duck Dynasty." Robertson was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/A&E,)

  • This undated image released by A&E shows Phil Robertson, flanked by his sons Jase Robertson, left, and Willie Robertson from the popular series "Duck Dynasty."   Phil Robertson was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people.(AP Photo/A&E, Zach Dilgard)

    This undated image released by A&E shows Phil Robertson, flanked by his sons Jase Robertson, left, and Willie Robertson from the popular series "Duck Dynasty." Phil Robertson was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people.(AP Photo/A&E, Zach Dilgard)

  • This undated image released by A&E shows Phil Robertson from the popular series "Duck Dynasty." Robertson was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/A&E, Zach Dilgard)

    This undated image released by A&E shows Phil Robertson from the popular series "Duck Dynasty." Robertson was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/A&E, Zach Dilgard)

  • This undated image released by A&E shows brothers Silas "Uncle Si" Robertson, left, and Phil Robertson from the popular series "Duck Dynasty." Phil Robertson was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/A&E, Zach Dilgard)

    This undated image released by A&E shows brothers Silas "Uncle Si" Robertson, left, and Phil Robertson from the popular series "Duck Dynasty." Phil Robertson was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/A&E, Zach Dilgard)

  • Wille Robertson, center, star of the TV series "Duck Dynasty" leaves the White's Ferry Road Church of Christ, in West Monroe, La. Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. Willie's father Phil, the patriarch of the Robertson family, was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

    Wille Robertson, center, star of the TV series "Duck Dynasty" leaves the White's Ferry Road Church of Christ, in West Monroe, La. Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. Willie's father Phil, the patriarch of the Robertson family, was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

  • Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the "Duck Dynasty" TV series, center, leaves the White's Ferry Road Church of Christ in West Monroe, La. on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. Robertson was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

    Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the "Duck Dynasty" TV series, center, leaves the White's Ferry Road Church of Christ in West Monroe, La. on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. Robertson was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

  • This Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 photo shows Fred Baisden, 67, of West Monroe, La., outside the Duck Commander store in West Monroe, La. West Monroe is the setting for the "Duck Dynasty"  TV series. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

    This Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 photo shows Fred Baisden, 67, of West Monroe, La., outside the Duck Commander store in West Monroe, La. West Monroe is the setting for the "Duck Dynasty" TV series. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

  • This undated image released by A&E shows Phil Robertson from the popular series "Duck Dynasty." Robertson was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/A&E, Zach Dilgard)

    This undated image released by A&E shows Phil Robertson from the popular series "Duck Dynasty." Robertson was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/A&E, Zach Dilgard)

  • This Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 photo shows items showing the image of Phil Robertson and his catchphrase "Happy, Happy, Happy" displayed at the Duck Commander store in West Monroe, La. The town is the setting for the popular "Duck Dynasty"series, where show patriarch, Phil Robertson, was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people.   (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
  • This Dec. 21, 2013 photo shows The Gingerbread House owner Mike Walsworth, left, laughing at a joke by Marilyn Lovett, 57, about the "Duck Dynasty" controversy in West Monroe, La. The town is the setting for the popular "Duck Dynasty"series, where show patriarch, Phil Robertson, was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
  • This Dec. 21, 2013 photo shows Trish Singlteon, of Durant, Okla., taking a picture of her family outside the Duck Commander store in West Monroe, La. The town is the setting for the popular "Duck Dynasty"series, where show patriarch, Phil Robertson, was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
  • This Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 photo shows Jordan Williams, who goes by the stage name Tanzi Taylor, mixing a drink at Club Pink, a bar for Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transexual costumers owned by Tommy Stewart, left, in Monroe, La.  Monroe neighbors West Monroe, the hometown of Phil Robertson, the patriarch from the popular "Duck Dynasty" series. Robertson was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people.  (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
  • Howell Henderson of Joplin, Mo., poses for a picture outside the Duck Commander store in West Monroe, La. Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013. The town is the setting for the popular "Duck Dynasty"series, where show patriarch, Phil Robertson, was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people.  (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
  • Traffic passes a pro-life billboard next to the West Monroe water tower in West Monroe, La., Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. The town is the setting for the popular "Duck Dynasty"series, where show patriarch, Phil Robertson, was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people.   (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
  • This Dec. 21, 2013 photo shows a sign in West Monroe, La., supporting Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the popular "Duck Dynasty" series. Robertson was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people.  (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
  • This undated image released by A&E shows Phil Robertson from the popular series "Duck Dynasty." Robertson was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/A&E,)
  • This undated image released by A&E shows Phil Robertson, flanked by his sons Jase Robertson, left, and Willie Robertson from the popular series "Duck Dynasty."   Phil Robertson was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people.(AP Photo/A&E, Zach Dilgard)
  • This undated image released by A&E shows Phil Robertson from the popular series "Duck Dynasty." Robertson was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/A&E, Zach Dilgard)
  • This undated image released by A&E shows brothers Silas "Uncle Si" Robertson, left, and Phil Robertson from the popular series "Duck Dynasty." Phil Robertson was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/A&E, Zach Dilgard)
  • Wille Robertson, center, star of the TV series "Duck Dynasty" leaves the White's Ferry Road Church of Christ, in West Monroe, La. Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. Willie's father Phil, the patriarch of the Robertson family, was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
  • Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the "Duck Dynasty" TV series, center, leaves the White's Ferry Road Church of Christ in West Monroe, La. on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. Robertson was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
  • This Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 photo shows Fred Baisden, 67, of West Monroe, La., outside the Duck Commander store in West Monroe, La. West Monroe is the setting for the "Duck Dynasty"  TV series. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
  • This undated image released by A&E shows Phil Robertson from the popular series "Duck Dynasty." Robertson was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/A&E, Zach Dilgard)

‘Faith. Family. Ducks.”

It’s the unofficial motto for the family featured in the TV reality show Duck Dynasty and that homespun philosophy permeates nearly everything in the small north Louisiana town of West Monroe.

It’s perhaps most on display at the White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ in West Monroe, where the Robertson family prays and preaches most Sunday mornings.

The family – including patriarch Phil Robertson, who ignited a controversy last week when he told a magazine reporter that gays are sinners and African-Americans were happy under Jim Crow laws – were in a front pew this past Sunday. And standing by beliefs they say are deeply rooted in their reading of the Bible.

The rest of the flock, decked out in Duck Dynasty hats and bandannas, stood by the family and the sentiments Phil Robertson expressed.

Alan, Robertson’s eldest son, helped deliver a Christmas-themed sermon. He started off by referring to last week’s controversy.

“Hope your week went well,” he dead-panned. “Ours was kinda slow.”

He was referring, of course, to Phil’s forced hiatus: TV network A&E suspended Phil last week after his remarks about blacks and gays caused a public uproar.

But the controversy barely resonated above the organ music at White’s Ferry Road Church. Son Willie put on camouflage wader overalls and baptized three people, including one man with cancer.

To the people of West Monroe, this is the Robertson family: honest, family-focused, and filled with the love of God and Jesus. It’s the family that brought the spotlight to West Monroe, population 13,000, and in doing so put in sharp relief the cultural, political and religious differences that define – and often divide – America.

Folks here don’t care that Phil Robertson told a GQ reporter that gays are sinners who are going to hell. Or that as a youth he picked cotton with African-Americans and never saw “the mistreatment of any black person. Not once.”

They do care that A&E suspended Phil. The move, they say, was unfair and an affront to viewers, to the Robertsons and to Christians everywhere.

“The program and his comments take a snapshot and it doesn’t represent the totality of what the guy is all about,” said Richard Laban, the owner of Redneck Roots, a downtown West Monroe store that sells some Duck Dynasty T-shirts and souvenirs.

“A&E reacted entirely too quickly,” added Laban. “They really treated Phil as if he was a terrorist.”

Dear Hunter_Dan, Well said. It seems to me that the whole story is simply a TMZ style marketing bonanza for many parties; Tea Partiers / Religious Extremists are all using the Robertsons and A&E to further their political agenda. Mr. Robertson certainly has the freedom of speech we all enjoy. To say otherwise is simply not correct. Meanwhile, these otherwise hard working well meaning Americans are coerced into supporting a corporate machine (Koch) in which they claim to rebel against. All opinions aside, Merry Christmas Everyone.

as usual the liberal CM rag is about a week late with a major news story . This story has already crossed America like a wildfire. shame on the editors

I was wondering when I was going to see something in the Monitor about this. There are REAL stories to talk about. Real important, dangerous, wonderful, meaningful things going on in the world at this time. And we're given bread and circus. We're focused on this "he said, she said" bs. Mr. Robertson has a right to say what he said. I do not agree with what he said but I would defend to the death his right to say it. But his 1st amendment rights do not extend to protecting him from any and all repercussions he may face in the "private sector" business world of his employer. That said, both sides are once again, taking this relatively meaningless event and using it as a cudgel to beat their opponents with. THAT is the problem. We should dispense with the bread and circuses and concern ourselves with the healthcare mess, the fact that disabled veterans aren't getting the benefits they deserve, the homeless vet problem(which is getting better), etc. etc.

I agree with you whole heartedly. I also agree that what happens in the private sector should stay there. If people don't like what he said, they can simply not watch the show. I feel the same about some companies run by uber-progressives and I will not trade with them. Speaking out in public has its consequences, unfortunately. Everything is personalized today because neither side wants to give an inch. When either party is in power they attempt to decimate the opposition. I would add to your closing list that we need to stop demonizing the second amendment due to crazies and blame guns. It is the person pulling the trigger and the looseness of our society coupled with decaying morals and the failure of parents is to blame.

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