09/11/2014 11:29 am ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

'Duck Dynasty' Star Phil Robertson Says STIs, AIDS Are God's Penalty For 'Immorality'

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"Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson is sharing his thoughts on how AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases can be traced back to God's wrath.

The reality star sat down Tuesday for a radio interview with Tony Perkins, president of conservative Christian group Family Research Council. Perkins asked Robertson about the controversy he ignited last year after telling GQ magazine that homosexuality is a "modern immorality" and a sin comparable to bestiality.

Answering Perkins' question, Robertson delved into how he thinks life-threatening disease are associated with acts outside of God's "one man, one woman" rule.

"If you just look at the physiological downside to immorality," he began, "I mean, a great question to ask is ... do you think that it's a coincidence that all of these debilitating -- and, literally, it can cause death -- diseases follow that kind of conduct. God says, 'One woman, one man' and everybody says, 'Oh that's old hat. That's that old Bible stuff.' And I'm thinking, 'Well, let's see now, a clean, disease-free guy and a disease-free woman they marry and they keep their sex between the two of them, they're not gonna get chlamydia and gonorrhea and syphilis and AIDS.' It's safe. Now, to me, either it's the wildest coincidence ever that horrible diseases follow immoral conduct or it's God saying there's a penalty for that kind of conduct. I'm leaning towards there's a penalty toward it.

"So, you read in the Bible, 'One man, one woman.' Any logical person would say what the guy is saying -- that'd be me -- is if you want to be safe from a lot of debilitating diseases that's the route to go and it agrees with what God says. So, it's just one argument after another, Tony, but what can I say? All you can do is just show 'em that and say, man, people ought to think about this Jesus stuff."

There are 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) each year in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which says STIs "affect men and women of all backgrounds and economic levels." HIV can spread by not only unprotected sex, but also by other means including sharing needles or mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy.

Robertson's latest remarks come on the heels of his "Good Morning America" interview, during which he spoke about being a homophobe.

“I’m as much of a homophobe as Jesus was," he said last week. "People who are participating in homosexual behavior, they need to know that I love them.”

h/t Think Progress

Listen to Robertson's full interview below.



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