Pat Robertson has blamed LGBTQ people for earthquakes, hurricanes, and terrorism, and said marriage equality would bring on a global financial crisis. Now the wingnut televangelist has a new prediction of dire harm that will be caused by the gays: If the Equality Act becomes law, the U.S. will suffer devastation that may include “atomic war.”
Robertson made the forecast on Tuesday’s edition of The 700 Club, shortly after he had interviewed Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver, who has offered his own wild projections about the horrible consequences of the LGBTQ rights bill currently pending in Congress. Robertson had a bit of trouble with the title of the act and had to be reminded of it by cohost Terry Meeuwsen, but after that he urged viewers to call their member of Congress and ask them to vote against the Equality Act, then went into his diatribe.
“This is a devastating blow to religious freedom and to the sanctity of America,” he said. “If you want to bring the judgment of God on this nation, you just keep this stuff up. You know, I was reading in Leviticus where it said, ‘Because of these things, the land will vomit you out.’ Vomit you out. I think God will say, ‘I’ve had it with America, if you do this kind of stuff, I’m going to get rid of you as a nation.’” He went on to warn of “the potential of atomic war” and the possibility of an attack on the nation’s electric grid.
Although we can’t imagine that many people take Robertson seriously, he does have some loyal followers, and he’s fed them homophobia and threats of God’s judgment for decades. In 1994 he blamed gays and lesbians, along with pro-choice activists and “perversity,” for the severe earthquake that hit Los Angeles. In 1998 he warned that Pride flags flying for Gay Days at Disney World in Orlando would bring God’s wrath in the form of a hurricane; instead the hurricane veered north and hit the section of Virginia where Robertson is based.
Shortly after the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, Jerry Falwell Sr. appeared on The 700 Club and said that “the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians … helped this happen.” Robertson said he concurred — a remark he had to walk back, claiming he didn’t understand what Falwell was saying. And after the Supreme Court ruled for marriage equality in 2015, Roberson predicted it would bring the world’s financial framework crashing down. That hasn’t happened, although Donald Trump’s plan to raise tariffs on goods imported from China is creating a bit of chaos in the stock market right now.
Watch a clip from Roberson’s rant below, tweeted by Brendan Suen of Media Matters for America.