By Jeff Schapiro
Supporters of Phil Robertson, the "Duck Dynasty" star who was suspended by A&E because of his recently published comments about homosexuality, are ordering rubber ducks to be sent to the network in protest of Robertson's suspension.
Janet Porter, president and founder of Faith2Action, told The Christian Post on Thursday that "thousands" of ducks have been ordered since the organization began offering them through MailTheDuck.com on Monday, though she was unsure of the exact number. Vision America, an organization that is partnering with Faith2Action for the campaign, said in a press release that more than 2,000 ducks were ordered in just 48 hours.
Porter says it is "insane" to launch a campaign the week of Christmas, but even on Christmas Day people were ordering ducks and sending postcards to A&E through the website.
"I can't believe it," said Porter. "But people feel strongly about this, and this is a tangible way they can stand for freedom."
The name, city and state of each person who orders a rubber duck will be attached to the duck along with the message: "We cry fowl-Reinstate Phil!" The ducks will be sent to Nancy Dubuc, president and CEO of A&E Networks, and Porter says the first load will be sent sometime this week.
Petitions might be easy for the network to ignore, Porter says, but "you cannot help but notice thousands and thousands of ducks coming into the door."
Protestors can pay several dollars to send a rubber duck through MailTheDuck.com, or they can send Dubuc a postcard at no cost. The cards, which say, "You can't camouflage anti-Christian bigotry" and promise a boycott of A&E and its advertisers until the network apologizes and reinstates Robertson, will also help catch the network's attention.
"The homosexual agenda has been running over people since Anita Bryant in the '70's," said Porter in a statement. "They have steamrolled over the rights of florists, photographers, and bakers. Now Phil Robertson is standing in front of the tank in Tiananmen Square – the only difference is: America is standing with him."
Robertson was suspended indefinitely by A&E last week after an interview was published by GQ magazine in which he called homosexuality a sin. Since that time, hundreds of thousands of people have signed petitions opposing the network's decision and more than 1.8 million people have "liked" a Facebook page that encourages people to boycott A&E until Robertson's suspension is lifted.
The Robertsons have also defended the family patriarch, saying his words to GQ were "coarse" but his beliefs are rooted in the Bible.
"Phil would never incite or encourage hate," the family's statement reads, in part. "We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right."
Rick Scarborough, president and founder of Vision America, is among those who have praised Robertson for sharing his beliefs.
"In an age when many who profess biblical values are ducking their responsibility and diving for cover, it's heartening to see a superstar like Phil Robertson who's unafraid to defend Judeo-Christian morality," said Scarborough in a statement. "And it's equally encouraging to see tens of thousands of concerned citizens who are willing to back him up."
In addition to Vision America and Faith2Action, the campaign to see Robertson reinstated is also being sponsored by The Oak Initiative and Liberty Counsel.