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Phil and Kay Robertson (Roger Wong/INFphoto.com/Newscom)

Phil Robertson, the patriarch and star of A&E’s Duck Dynasty, is under attack for his religious views on homosexuality. The beloved TV personality was indefinitely suspended by A&E after saying homosexual acts are sinful.

A&E’s decision has sparked heated debates, particularly on Twitter, where “A&E” and “Phil Robertson” have been trending nationally for hours.

Even political leaders are speaking out about Robertson’s comments to GQ Magazine. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal defended Robertson, a resident of his state. He said yesterday:

Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana. The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with. I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV. In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) also weighed in:

If you believe in free speech or religious liberty, you should be deeply dismayed over the treatment of Phil Robertson. Phil expressed his personal views and his own religious faith; for that, he was suspended from his job. In a free society, anyone is free to disagree with him–but the mainstream media should not behave as the thought police censoring the views with which they disagree.

On their reality TV show, the Robertsons are open about their faith and are loyal to one another. Heritage’s Jennifer Marshall recently wrote about the family’s pro-life stance, commitment to sexual abstinence outside of wedlock, and outspokenness on spirituality.

The buzz about Robertson’s comments began as a result of outcry from the gay and lesbian group GLAAD. A spokesman for the group cheered A&E’s news of the suspension: “What’s clear is that such hateful anti-gay comments are unacceptable to fans, viewers, and networks alike.”

Robertson responded:

I myself am a product of the 60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior. My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together. However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.

Of course, Robertson isn’t the first to come under attack for his views on homosexuality. Chick-fil-A chief executive Dan Cathy, Guido Barilla of the Italian pasta maker, and former ESPN broadcaster Craig James have found themselves in a similar firestorm.

Heritage’s Ryan Anderson, the William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society, remarked:

The government will respect A&E’s rights to operate according to their sexual values, even if many Americans disagree with them. But in a growing number of instances, the government hasn’t respected the rights of people of faith to run their businesses in accordance with their views about sexuality. In cases involving adoption agencies, a photographer, a baker, a florist, a bed-and-breakfast, a T-shirt company, a student counselor, the Salvation Army, and more, government has not respected the free contract and free speech rights of Americans.

Christians are being criticized for simply expressing their personal religious beliefs on homosexuality, says The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway:

Our country might tolerate twerking Mileys, gay Rudolphs pitching Obamacare and polygamy. But this? This summary of St. Paul’s words was a bridge way, way, way, way too far. Christians who really believe what the Bible says about homosexuality? Not fine at all.