Televangelist passes the buck on bigotry

It’s said that you can find justification in the bible for anything and everything. Rev. Pat Robertson found go-aheads for bigotry and discrimination, but it’s not his fault — he didn’t write the danged book.

During a program aired last year on the Christian Broadcasting Network that’s still on YouTube, a woman with an atheist fiancé asked, “How do you think we can interact with each other peacefully when it comes to spiritual matters?”

Robertson answered: “There is no fellowship between an atheist and somebody who is a believer in God. . . . I hate to tell you, you’ve got to go find somebody else. . . . I mean, he’s gonna be serving the Devil and you’re gonna be serving God. It’s just that simple.”

Dan Barker, Freedom From Religion Foundation co-president, rightly took umbrage and fired off a long letter Aug. 24 to Robertson, in his guise as chairman of CBN:
Barker called Robertson’s simple answer “a blanket prejudicial smear against the character of all nonbelievers,” and asked why it’s acceptable to slur only people who don’t believe in God.

“Discrimination is no longer socially acceptable. If it’s shameful to be racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic or homophobic, why is it laudable to be ‘atheophobic’? What gives you the freedom to engage in the irrational, fearful hate-mongering against secular people?”

Barker asked Robertson to apologize and said, “Your callous anti-family advice may have broken up a good marriage, a union between two people who obviously love each other and are searching for a peaceful way to live in tolerance. Instead of harmony, you preach exclusivity, Christian superiority and cultish segregationism.”

On Sept. 2, Robertson answered from Virginia Beach, Va., but failed to apologize:

Dear Mr. Barker:
Thank you for your letter.
If you don’t agree with the Bible, I suggest you contact the author and see if He won’t change His mind.
Pat Robertson
Chairman of the Board

Barker said he appreciates getting an answer from Robertson, but that, as a former evangelist minister, he tried for years and years to “contact the author” but finally gave up because there was never anybody home.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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