God Gave U.S. 'What We Deserve,' Falwell Says
By John F. Harris, Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 14, 2001; Page C03
Television evangelists Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, two of the
most prominent voices of the religious right, said liberal civil
liberties groups, feminists, homosexuals and abortion rights supporters
bear partial responsibility for Tuesday's terrorist attacks because
their actions have turned God's anger against America.
"God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of
America to give us probably what we deserve," said Falwell,
appearing yesterday on the Christian Broadcasting Network's "700
Club," hosted by Robertson.
"Jerry, that's my feeling," Robertson responded. "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."
Falwell said the American Civil Liberties Union has "got to take
a lot of blame for this," again winning Robertson's agreement:
Then Falwell broadened his blast to include the federal courts and
others who he said were "throwing God out of the public
square." He added: "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.' "
People for the American Way transcribed the broadcast and denounced
the comments as running directly counter to President Bush's call for
national unity. Ralph G. Neas, the liberal group's president, called the
remarks "absolutely inappropriate and irresponsible."
Robertson and others on the religious right gave critical backing to
Bush last year when he was battling for the GOP presidential nomination.
A White House official called the remarks "inappropriate" and
added, "The president does not share those views."
Falwell was unrepentant, saying in an interview that he was
"making a theological statement, not a legal statement."
"I put all the blame legally and morally on the actions of the
terrorist," he said. But he said America's "secular and
anti-Christian environment left us open to our Lord's [decision] not to
protect. When a nation deserts God and expels God from the culture . . .
the result is not good."
Robertson was not available for comment, a spokeswoman said. But she
released a statement echoing the remarks he made on his show. An ACLU
spokeswoman said the group "will not dignify the Falwell-Robertson
remarks with a comment."