Mr. Robertson gave an interview to GQ's Drew Magary for the January 2014 issue of the magazine, and his quoting of Scripture as well as his application of that Scripture to current popular culture's lifestyle did not go over well at all. In fact, it has seemingly cost him his job with A&E.
The common argument from the right has been "Phil has a First Amendment right to free speech!" and they are right.
The common argument from the left has been "A&E is free to fire Phil for his comments, get over it." and they are right.
Phil Robertson is/was an employee of A&E, and A&E has every right to suspend or fire him for comments they deem disparaging to their brand. Mr. Robertson's right to free speech is not being impeded by the government, but by his employer and therefore there is nothing illegal about this scenario and there is nothing worth getting worked up over from a Constitutional perspective.
What should be highlighted and noted is the actual content of the interview versus the reaction from detractors.
In fact, the author of the article, Drew Magary, makes no attempt to hide the fact that he himself is a detractor from the outset. His condescending tone is overwhelming throughout the article as he attempts to intertwine it with a feigned admiration of Mr. Robertson. Why else would so much vulgarity be necessary in an article about the biggest name in Christianity today?
Describing Mr. Robertson, Magary writes:
He spends most of his time out here, daydreaming about what he calls a “pristine earth”: a world where nothing gets in the way of nature or the hunters who lovingly maintain it.
No cities. No buildings. No highways.
Oh, and no sinners, too. So here’s where things get a bit uncomfortable. Phil calls himself a Bible-thumper, and holy shit, he thumps that Bible hard enough to ring the bell at a county-fair test of strength.Cute, right?
What Magary misses is the fact that Phil's entire point in the interview is that we are all sinners and if we could turn from the sin to serving God and loving Him with all our heart, things would be better in the end.
Says Phil -
“We’re Bible-thumpers who just happened to end up on television,” he tells me. “You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”
“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.”