PAT ROBERTSON SAYS,
"AMERICA ASKED FOR IT!" - BLAMES ACLU AND VICTIMS FOR VICIOUS ATTACK ON AMERICA
American Atheists today expressed sadness that certain prominent televangelists were exploiting the tragedy of the World Trade Center bombings to attack their fellow Americans and institutions.
Ellen Johnson, President of American Atheists, said that recent statements made by Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell "divide our nation in a time of crisis to further their own divisive sectarian agenda."
On Thursday, during an airing of his "700 CLUB" program, Robertson had an exchange with another prominent religious right leader, Jerry Falwell. In discussing the airplane hijackings and destruction in New York and Washington, Falwell said that "God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve." He then added, "The ACLU's got to take a lot of blame for this," a questionable statement that Robertson then agreed with. In a separate three page statement, the fabulously wealthy Robertson also excoriated Americans for being "consumed by the pursuit of ... health, wealth, material pleasures and sexuality," and chided the courts for permitting abortion and ending prayer in public schools. He also expressed hope that a religious revival would put an end to people "yapping" about the "separation of church and state."
"This goes to show how out-of-step Robertson and Falwell are with the American people," said Ms. Johnson. "With his strident denunciations of a lifestyle which is the result of hard work, creativity and entrepreneurship, Pat is sounding more and more like a resentful and cranky Islamic mullah."
Ms. Johnson added that concerns about the First Amendment separation of church and state are not "yapping" but involve important issues and debate.
"Getting rid of the First Amendment is something that Osama bin Laden and other theocrats would like to do," said Ms. Johnson. "And violating the constitution by putting mandatory prayer back in public school classrooms is not a panacea for everything no more than Pat Robertson's "Shake for Life" drink (which he advertises on the Christian Broadcasting Network web site) is the fountain of youth."
Ron Barrier, Communications Director for American Atheists, said that Robertson should stop criticizing his fellow citizens and trying to exploit tragedy. "By saying that God Almighty is 'lifting his protection' from us, he is essentially blaming the victims for the despicable events of last Tuesday. This was a national tragedy, and thousands of totally innocent people lost their lives. Shouldn't we try to honor them, instead of advancing a harsh political agenda that echoes the same sentiment as bin Laden?"
American Atheists is a nationwide movement founded by the late Madalyn Murray O'Hair to defend the civil rights of nonbelievers and the separation of church and state, and address matters of First Amendment public policy.
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