A jury has found an independent “Baptist” church (which doesn’t actually appear to have anything to do with the Baptist Church) in Topeka, KS, guilty of inflicting emotional distress on the bereaved family of a Marine killed in Iraq. The “church” (i.e. cult) members had protested at the funeral of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder against the US military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays. There is no reason to think Snyder was gay, but the “Church members said the soldier’s death was God’s punishment of America for tolerating homosexuality” . . . according to Reuters.
This is the time to remind everyone that after September 11, the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, who inflicted the inaccurately labeled and proto-fascist ‘moral majority’ on the rest of us, said that God had ‘allowed’ 9/11 because the US tolerated gays and feminists. And Pat Robertson, the host of the 700 Club on which the remarks were made, agreed entirely and even issued a subsequent statement to the same effect.
Here is the text:
‘FALWELL: 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.
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.
FALWELL: The ACLU’s got to take a lot of blame for this.
ROBERTSON: Well, yes.
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.”
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.
In a subsequent news release, Robertson stated:
We have allowed rampant pornography on the Internet, and rampant secularism and the occult, etc. to be broadcast on television. We have permitted somewhere in the neighborhood of 35-40 million unborn babies to be slaughtered by our society.
We have a court that has essentially stuck its finger in God’s eye and said, “We are going to legislate You out of the schools and take Your commandments from the courthouses in various states. We are not going to let little children read the commandments of God. We are not going to allow the Bible or prayer in our schools.”
We have insulted God at the highest level of our government. Then, we say, “Why does this happen?” It is happening because God Almighty is lifting His protection from us. Once that protection is gone, we are vulnerable because we are a free society.
Don’t ask why did it happen. It happened because people are evil. It also happened because God is lifting His protection from this nation and we must pray and ask Him for revival so that once again we will be His people, the planting of His righteousness, so that He will come to our defense and protect us as a nation.” ‘
Falwell later issued a faux apology of the ‘I’m sorry you’re fat’ variety; Robertson’s organization tried to weasel out of responsibility by claiming he hadn’t understood Falwell, which is impossible given the texts above).
So, I say that Falwell’s and Robertson’s organizations owe the rest of us Americans $10 million each for emotional distress.