Falwell Suggests Gays to Blame for Attacks

ByABC News
September 14, 2001, 6:32 PM

W A S H I N G T O N, Sept. 14 -- Trapped in San Francisco, away from her partner and children in the nation's capital, Elizabeth Birch, a prominent spokeswoman for gay andlesbian causes, said she awoke this morning to more discomforting news.

It was Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif., calling to tell Birch about a Washington Post article on an exchange between Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson in which the two well-known Christian conservatives appeared to suggest homosexuals, abortion-rights supporters and liberal civil-rights activists were partly to blame for the terrorist attacks that toppled the World Trade Center and destroyed part of the Pentagon, killing thousands.

Birch fired off a statement deploring the comments, and so began one of the first distinctly political exchanges on Tuesday's tragedy.

'God Will Not Be Mocked'

The comments came as Falwell was appearing as a guest on Robertson's daily700 Club program. Both expressed their sorrow and outrage over the attacks and advocated a strong response to the terror. Then Falwell elaborated on who, in addition to the terrorists who perpetrated the attacks, was responsible for them.

God, he told Robertson, had protected America "wonderfully these225 years. And since 1812, this is the first time that we've been attackedon our soil and by far the worst results.

"Throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal courtsystem, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools," he said."The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will notbe mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we makeGod mad.

"[T]he 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," Falwell continued, "I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'"

"Well, I totally concur," responded Robertson.