Whenever America experiences a tragedy like a natural disaster or a mass shooting, certain events are never far behind. And those are: first responders showing immense bravery, the sitting president offering prayers, and the Reverend Pat Robertson declaring that this was God’s punishment for [fill in the blank].
In the case of Sunday’s machine gun massacre in Las Vegas, Robertson did a quick pow-wow with the Lord and announced that the reason why God killed and injured hundreds of innocent music fans was… lack of respect for the National Anthem.
“There is disrespect now for our national anthem, disrespect for our veterans, disrespect for the institutions of our government, disrespect for the court system,” announced the televangelist in the wake of the shooting. “Until there is biblical authority, there has to be some controlling authority in our society and there is none.”
Robertson also blamed the shootings on — shocker — lack of proper reverence for President Trump. But while the “sins” of inadequate anthem decorum and disrespect for a man who has risen “like the Phoenix” certainly fit the Robertson playbook, there was a notable omission of some of the preacher’s favorite targets.
Like “the gays,” whom Robertson blamed for 9/11, along with “the abortionists,” feminists, and the ACLU. Or Middle East peace talks, which allegedly inspired God to give Ariel Sharon a stroke. Or the end of slavery, which Robertson blamed for the 2010 Haitian earthquake. Where are these time-honored culprits now?
Maybe the aging preacher is losing his touch as he creeps ever closer to joining fellow televangelists Jerry Falwell and Oral Roberts at that Big TV Set in the Sky. Or maybe he’s just keeping it fresh late in life, as he finds new and creative ways to offend nearly every American who doesn’t personally work for him.
Offensive though he might be, you must credit Robertson with this: no matter whom he scapegoats for mass shootings, he’s completely in step with millions of Americans in his instinct to blame literally anything but actual guns.