Evangelist: Unrepentant US faces attacks

Feb. 7, 2002 at 12:07 PM
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In a January broadcast of "The 700 Club" that has received scant attention, the Rev. Pat Robertson said that because America has not repented and turned away from sin since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, more are on the way -- and that San Francisco and Detroit are likely targets.

The Virginia-based televangelist cited several Biblical passages that suggested heavenly punishment and destruction would fall on people who turned away from God.

"People think their lives have changed," Robertson said, according to the broadcast, which United Press International transcribed. "The truth is people are right back where they were before. And although there's a small remnant who are really praying and seeking God and turning from sin, there hasn't been a sense of national repentance. We just haven't had that. We had a day of reconciliation, whatever that means, but we didn't have a day of repentance."

He also said: "Take this for what it's worth and no more than that, but I do believe that San Francisco is going to be a target and I think that Detroit is going to be a target."

He did not give a reason for citing those two cities but added, "I think something through ship" would be the way terrorists attack.

Shortly after identifying the cities he believed to be at risk, Robertson told 700 Club viewers that "certain perversions -- sexual perversions for an example -- are being touted as a privileged activity, and those who oppose it are being called evil."

Robertson also accused abortion rights advocates of having "reversed the equation" by making those who oppose abortion seem "bad."

"This is Isaiah the prophet, 'Destruction is certain for those who say evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter' ... and that's what's happening in this country."

He said that "America will survive what is coming, but it won't survive in its present form. The proud will be humbled and then the time will come that they turn to the Lord. In this country, God will lift us up. So, that's the good news."

Robertson was criticized following the Sept. 11 terror attacks for his apparent endorsement of remarks on The 700 Club by the Rev. Jerry Falwell blaming gays, abortion rights advocates and feminists, among others, for having brought on the strikes that caused more than 3,000 deaths.

Falwell later apologized, and Robertson said he had not understood what Falwell had actually said.

In a New Year's prayer message to staff that aired on The 700 Club, Robertson said, "People will forget the (Sept. 11) tragedy -- it will be life as usual, business as usual. Then the terrorists will begin. There will be panic and screaming, cries of the dying. What is coming will be too horrible for you to contemplate. Know that the Day of Judgment is very near."

Robertson said his views grew from an annual year-end prayer time "to seek what guidance I can receive from the Lord. And I always say, with some sense of humility, I think I'm hearing from the Lord, but I would certainly ask for confirmation or ask somebody to disagree with me, but nevertheless I'll share it."

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