Liberals Blamed For 'God's Wrath'

July 7, 2008 - 7:03 PM

( - "It is happening because God Almighty is lifting his protection from us," said religious broadcaster Pat Robertson, in a statement explaining the terrorist attack on America.

Appearing on Robertson's television program The 700 Club, the Rev. Jerry Falwell this week suggested that homosexuals, abortionists, and pagans have made God mad: "All of them who have tried to secularize America - I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen,'" Falwell said on the program.

In a similar vein, Robertson lamented that many Americans have focused on "the pursuit of health, wealth, material pleasure and sexuality," and he singled out pornography, "rampant secularism," abortion and the removal of prayer from schools as insults to God.

Saying that he is "filled with compassion" for the families of the people killed and injured on Tuesday, Robertson called for a spiritual revival, in which Americans pray for help, healing and forgiveness.

In a press release, the pro-life group Operation Save America noted, "The horrific attack on America...was no coincidence...America has been given its own warning over the shedding of innocent blood...We have turned our backs on God and are now reaping the horrible consequences of our error."

Falwell indicated that the American Civil Liberties Union has "got to take a lot of blame for this." Falwell named the ACLU and People for the American Way as the culprits in trying to "secularize" America.

He also heaped blame on "the pagans," feminists and gays and lesbians "who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle."

Common Cause, the liberal advocacy group best known for its support of campaign finance reform, condemned the remarks of the two evangelical ministers.

"Intolerance and vigilantism are never acceptable, least of all at a time like this," said Scott Harshbarger, president of Common Cause. "That is why I want to speak out in the strongest possible opposition to the extremely hateful and intolerant statements about other groups of Americans made by" Falwell and Robertson.

"Their claim that these attacks are God giving America 'what we deserve' is reckless and absurd," said Harshbarger. "That kind of reflexive finger pointing is exactly the kind of behavior we should be avoiding."

A statement by Falwell Friday said his remarks were "taken out of context."

"I hold no one other than the terrorists and the people and nations who have enabled and harbored them responsible for Tuesday's attacks on this nation," said the statement.

"I sincerely regret that comments I made during a long theological discussion on a Christian television program yesterday were taken out of their context and reported," Falwell said. "My thoughts--reduced to sound bites--have detracted from the spirit of this day of mourning."