The federal judiciary is more of a threat to the United States than al-Qaeda terrorists, TV preacher Pat Robertson said recently.
Appearing on ABC’s “This Week” program May 1, Robertson opined that the “runaway” federal judiciary is the greatest threat to American life. He said federal judges present more of a danger to America than did the Civil War and the Nazis during World War II.
But Robertson did not stop there. He went on to say that federal judges pose a “more serious [threat] than a few bearded terrorists who fly into buildings,” referring to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in which nearly 3,000 Americans were killed.
“This Week” cohost George Stephanopoulos asked Robertson if he really believes federal judges are worse than terrorists who slaughter innocent civilians.
“George, I really believe that,” Robertson said. “I think they are destroying the fabric that holds our nation together. There is an assault on marriage. There’s an assault on human sexuality, as Judge Scalia said, they’ve taken sides in the culture war and on top of that if we have a democracy, the democratic processes should be that we can elect representatives who will share our point of view and vote those things into law.”
An incredulous Stephanopoulos tried again.
“But, sir, let me just stop you there,” he said. “How can you say that these judges are a more serious threat than Islamic terrorists who slammed into the World Trade Center?”
Unfazed, Robertson replied, “It depends on how you look at culture. If you look over the course of a hundred years, I think the gradual erosion of the consensus that’s held our country together is probably more serious.”
Robertson also reiterated his belief that only Christians and Jews are fit to hold public office and bashed Islam.
“[T]he Islamic people...divide the world into two spheres: Dar al-Islam and Daral-Harb,” said Robertson. “The Dar al-Islam are those submitted to Islam. Dar al-Harb are those who are at the land of war. And they have said in the Koran there’s a war against all the infidels. Do you want somebody like that sitting as a judge? I wouldn’t.”
From there, Robertson went on to assail Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, implying that she has communist sympathies because she once worked for the American Civil Liberties Union, a group Robertson asserts was founded by communists.
A few days after the appearance, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) wrote to Robertson and asked him to clarify his remarks.
“It was shocking to hear your cavalier dismissal of the atrocious 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon by describing them as ‘a few bearded terrorists who fly planes into buildings,’” wrote Lautenberg, who urged Robertson to apologize.
“[I]t is my feeling that no crazed terrorists hiding out in mountain caves on the border of Afghanistan can threaten America,” wrote Robertson in reply. “It is my firm conviction that Supreme Court decisions which have led to the wanton slaughter of 40 million unborn babies; the removal of cherished religious truth from the classroom and the public square; the usurpation of the constitutional powers of our elected representatives, such as yourself; the sanctioning of pornography and the potential destruction of marriage, are all of themselves graver dangers in the decades to come than the terrorists which our great nation has defeated in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
Robertson was roundly criticized for his extreme comments. The liberal group MoveOnPAC announced that it would air television ads criticizing Robertson and calling on House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) to repudiate the TV preacher. The ads will air in Texas, Tennessee and Washington, D.C.
The religious broadcaster was also scored by Islamic leaders and families of Sept. 11 victims.
“I’m disturbed by the fact that a religious man chose to marginalize the tragedy of Sept. 11 for the purpose of shock value,” said Adele Welty, whose son, Timothy, a New York City firefighter, died during the attacks.