I am deeply saddened that in the wake of this week's devastating terrorist attacks, Religious Right political leaders Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell have chosen the path of division rather than unity.
At a time when political leaders of both parties are urging bipartisanship and national unity, it is truly unfortunate that Americans who watched today's edition of Pat Robertson's 700 Club television program received a far different message from Robertson and Falwell.
This is a time for a shared national commitment to bringing those responsible for the terrorist attacks to justice. It is also a time to renew our commitment to protecting the constitutional liberties and democratic values that sustain our free society. Today's comments by Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell can only impede efforts to bring the nation together in pursuit of these goals.
Below is a video & partial transcript of the 700 Club television program
from Thursday, September 13, 2001.
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Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson on the 700 Club, September 13, 2001
JERRY FALWELL: And I agree totally with you that the Lord has protected us so wonderfully these 225 years. And since 1812, this is the first time that we've been attacked on our soil and by far the worst results. And I fear, as Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense, said yesterday, that this is only the beginning. And with biological warfare available to these monsters - the Husseins, the Bin Ladens, the Arafats - what we saw on Tuesday, as terrible as it is, could be miniscule if, in fact - if, in fact - God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve.
PAT ROBERTSON: Jerry, that's my feeling. I think we've just seen the antechamber to terror. We haven't even begun to see what they can do to the major population.
JERRY FALWELL: The ACLU's got to take a lot of blame for this.
PAT ROBERTSON: Well, yes.
JERRY FALWELL: And, I know that I'll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way - all of them who have tried to secularize America - I point the finger in their face and say "you helped this happen."
PAT ROBERTSON: Well, I totally concur, and the problem is we have adopted that agenda at the highest levels of our government. And so we're responsible as a free society for what the top people do. And, the top people, of course, is the court system.
JERRY FALWELL: Pat, did you notice yesterday the ACLU, and all the Christ-haters, People For the American Way, NOW, etc. were totally disregarded by the Democrats and the Republicans in both houses of Congress as they went out on the steps and called out on to God in prayer and sang "God Bless America" and said "let the ACLU be hanged"? In other words, when the nation is on its knees, the only normal and natural and spiritual thing to do is what we ought to be doing all the time - calling upon God.
PAT ROBERTSON: Amen