Rising from the culture war over Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson and his anti-gay, religious rants, came this unexpected tidbit from Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. Posted on its Facebook feed Friday:
"Cracker Barrel’s mission is Pleasing People. We operate within the ideals of fairness, mutual respect and equal treatment of all people. These ideals are the core of our corporate culture.
"We continue to offer Duck Commander products in our stores.
"We removed selected products which we were concerned might offend some of our guests while we evaluate the situation.
"We continually evaluate the products we offer and will continue to do so."
Dear Cracker Barrel Customer:
When we made the decision to remove and evaluate certain Duck Dynasty items, we offended many of our loyal customers. Our intent was to avoid offending, but that’s just what we've done.
You told us we made a mistake. And, you weren't shy about it. You wrote, you called and you took to social media to express your thoughts and feelings. You flat out told us we were wrong.
Today, we are putting all our Duck Dynasty products back in our stores.
And, we apologize for offending you.
We respect all individuals right to express their beliefs. We certainly did not mean to have anyone think different.
We sincerely hope you will continue to be part of our Cracker Barrel family.
The Robertson family put forth a measured "official statement" on Thursday, saying they likely will not participate in the show without Phil:
"We want to thank all of you for your prayers and support. The family has spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E's decision. We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word. While some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible. Phil is a Godly man who follows what the Bible says are the greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Phil would never incite or encourage hate. We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right. We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm. We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty. Again, thank you for your continued support of our family."
TMZ unearthed some footage that same day showing that Robertson has a history of making similar anti-gay statements. In the clip, Robertson refers to "gross sexual immorality," along with a paraphrase from Romans, then finishes with his own personal sentiment:
"Women exchange natural relations, and were inflamed with lust for one another. And the men were inflamed with lust for each other. Women with women. Men with men. They committed indecent acts with one another. And they received in themselves the due penalty for their perversions.... They invent ways of doing evil!
''That's what you have 235 years roughly, after your forefathers founded the country. So what are you going to do, Pennsylvania? Just run with them? You're going to die!"
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