Pat Robertson: Sikh Temple Massacre Happened Because ‘Atheists Hate God’ August 6, 2012

Pat Robertson: Sikh Temple Massacre Happened Because ‘Atheists Hate God’

Almost as certainly as you can expect Westboro Baptist Church to protest the funerals of the Sikhs who died in yesterday’s shootings, you can expect the Christian Right to say something ridiculously stupid. (More than the usual, anyway.)

Cue Pat Robertson, who wonders why someone committed this tragic crime:

“What is it?… Is it satanic? Is it some spiritual thing, people who are atheists, they hate God, they hate the expression of God? And they are angry with the world, angry with themselves, angry with society and they take it out on innocent people who are worshiping God.”

“And whether it’s a Sikh temple or a Baptist church or a Catholic church or a Muslim mosque, whatever it is, I just abhor this kind of violence, and it’s the the kind of thing that we should do something about,” he added. “But what do you do? Well, you talk about the love of God and hope it has some impact.”

Actually, murderer Wade Michael Page was a “neo-Nazi who led a racist white-power band.” Not to mention one of his tattoos may have been a Christian symbol.

Even if he was Christian, though, it’d be crazy to suggest that he represents anyone but himself. But Robertson has no time for nuance like that. He’s happy to blame atheists as a whole.

Oh. And atheists don’t hate god anymore than Pat Robertson hates logic. Just because you don’t believe in something doesn’t mean you hate it.

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  • Tainda

    Wow.  Just wow.  

    You can’t hate something that doesn’t exist.

  • king_damond01

    Can this asshole just go away already?

  • Guilberube

    In what god do sikhs believe? I don’t think its the abarahamic one so Pat Robertson might be an atheist of that god. Is he angry about the sikh god?

  • I think the Christian logic is “They don’t like God, so they must hate him, just like we don’t like gays so they tell us we hate them. Tada!”

    Which, if you presuppose that God exists, makes some kind of perverse sense. You can’t effectively argue with someone who ignores facts and makes up things to fit their imagination.

  • Jchealey

    In Robertson’s case, he simultaneously disbelieves in and hates logic.

  • Tainda

    No, frustrating as it may be, you can’t.

  • gski

    Robertson son needs to be reminded, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”

  • Marguerite

    I grew up in Virginia Beach. It grieves me deeply that this man is associated with my home town.

    “I just abhor this kind of violence”

    As do we all.  But I somehow doubt talking more about the “love of God” will do much good in preventing this sort of tragedy. It’s not as if fundamentalists have been silent on the topic up till now.

  • and they take it out on innocent people who are worshiping God.”
    I find that very ironic since he probably believes those people went to hell for worshiping the wrong god.

  • This makes me so mad…

  • Newsflash Pat:  Many white supremacists are Christians.

  • Matto the Hun

    Didn’t he recently advise a caller to take and burn his friend’s statue or painting of Budda because it’s demonic? According to Pat, since Sikh’s aren’t worshiping the Christian God or any permutation of the Abrahamic god, wouldn’t the be demon worshipers like Buddhists must be?

    Why isn’t he victim blaming the Sikhs like he did with the Haitians? He should be claiming they made a pact with the devil and now they have beards and turbans to show their demonic allegiance or some such.

    Pat’s narratives have always been bat-shit crazy but you could still follow them, but now he’s just so confusing.

  • The Religious Right Bigot world is like a game of chess. There are black pieces and white pieces, black squares and white squares. There are no pieces of various shades of gray, nor are their squares of various shades of gray. Also, the game has only one sort of outcome: one side wins, and one side loses.

    And woe betide anyone who tries to put a rainbow-coloured piece on the board.

  • mike

    “and atheist don’t hate god anymore than Pat Robertson hates logic”
    But Pat Robertson does hate logic. It shows that his god doesn’t exist.

  • advancedatheist

    I guess our practice of slaughtering and eating cows shows that we hate the Hindu gods. 

  • Octoberfurst

     Did you see what those idiots just did? They took an event of mass murder at a Sikh temple and then said that these kind of things have been happening in churches across America for years as if this was daily fair for Christians. What attacks on churches are the dopey duo talking about?  The only mass murder at a church that comes to my mind  is a couple of years ago in Tennessee when a right-wing loon shot a bunch of people in a Unitarian Church.  (Mind you, he was a “Christian” not an atheist.) So where does good old Pat get off saying that atheists are shooting up Christian churches?  Evidence please!  It’s just more BS from crazy Pat. Why oh why can’t he just go away?

  • Shaun

    Hmm.. I dunno. I think Pat Roberson DOES hate logic. Actively.

  • I just abhor this kind of violence, and it’s the the kind of thing that we should do something about

    There are other kinds of violence that Pat likes just fine and calls for, such as the assassination of Hugo Chavez and the nuking of the U.S. State Department.

    He has called Hinduism “demonic,” and Islam “satanic,” so it’s just a matter of time before he forgets the ugliness of this atrocity, and calls the Sikhs something similar, now that he knows they exist. The “innocent people who are worshiping God” are worshiping the devil as far as he’s concerned, and sooner probably than later he’ll say so.

    What he wants to do about “this kind of violence” he’s demonstrating. He wants to cluck about it showing false compassion, and he wants to scapegoat some other group who he thinks he can get away with smearing.

  • You’d think he’d wait until more was known about the gunman before he selected which cliche’ to trot out.

  • Gus Snarp

    I know I shouldn’t be surprised by this guy anymore, and I expect that he probably has always been the same way, but honestly, what the hell is wrong with him? Why on earth does anyone still listen to him? I mean the guy claims god speaks directly to him and tells him things that are going to happen, then those things don’t happen, but things like this shooting, that he didn’t predict do and he either blames, gay people, atheist, or satanic Haitians for it. And he seems to be getting nuttier, but maybe I’m just seeing more of this stuff lately. And yet he’s still treated by most of the media as if he’s some kind of fairly reasonable, main stream Christian. I just don’t get it.

  • Fergie248

    I’m waiting to hear what that Islamaphobic Michelle Bachmann has to say.  I’m sure she doesn’t have an ounce of guilt about the shooting. 

  • CultOfReason

    Take solace in the fact that Pat Robertson’s followers probably consist of an aging population, relics of the days of McCarthyism and the Cold War.   Soon, they will fade away and be replaced by today’s generations.  Polls on religiosity are heading in the right direction (down), so there’s hope.

  • Wait… you mean the gays aren’t responsible?

  • NewAtheist

    Best quote ever:

    “Oh. And atheists don’t hate god anymore than Pat Robertson hates logic. Just because you don’t believe in something doesn’t mean you hate it.”

  • Which would reveal how poorly informed she is. Sikhism has diddlysquat to do with Islam.

  • cipher

    When did the Sikh religion become an “expression of God” in Pat’s eyes? And don’t tell me it was today; I want to know what time.

    Meanwhile, to those of you wondering why this doddering old fool hasn’t gone on to meet his mythical maker – I sympathize completely, but it won’t help. His son, Gordon, is waiting in the wings to take over, and he’s a clone of his father. He even looks and sounds like him.

  • It’s amazing, isn’t it?  Now that he’s blaming atheists, he can conveniently align himself with the other religions against us.  But he’ll drop the alignment when he needs to make a point against them.

  • Evidence?  Crazy Pat doesn’t need evidence.  His evidence is that his brain thought it up and his mouth said it.  That’s all the evidence he has ever needed for his BS.

  • Annie

     Yes, and I really think he chose to call the Sikh temple a “house of worship” so he could purposely confuse his viewers into thinking they are some kind of Christians. 

  • Kodie

    How does he explain away all these:

    Poison of religion is that it gets to make up whatever it wants to believe, say it out loud and people agree with it without question and pass it along like a virus. Maybe it’s satanic, maybe it’s atheists. Suuuuure Robertson, atheists=satanic, sikhs=christians, wipe your hands clean of the whole mess having analyzed the incident to the best of your ability.

  • Kodie

     I can’t help but think it’s more awkward when many news outlets are reporting this shooting as if it were a case of mistaken identity and perhaps it is, but that’s not the point. I thought this embarrassment was cleared up yesterday, but I just heard that “now, more than ever,” it’s important to know the difference between Sikhs and Muslims. Why? For humanity’s sake, I agree, it’s nice to not be so fucking ignorant, but if you meant to shoot up a mosque instead of a sikh temple, I think you have other problems and the priority is not shoot either of them or anyone else, not before you know the difference and not after.

  • Jeesh.  

  • JohnnieCanuck

    Euphemistically speaking?

  • Ray

    Has Pat ever talked to an atheist? If so did he pay attention? 

  • Randomfactor

    I suspect the reason for this shooting was hatred of Islam.  And this guy were really an atheist, he’d have known the difference between Sikhs and Moslems. 

  • Coyotenose

     *thinks* I’d venture to say that 99% of them are. Isn’t white supremacist apologetics rooted in Christianity?

  • Baby_Raptor

    Anything to keep the base riled up. Jesus will forgive them.

  • Baby_Raptor

    No, because either way he was going to pin the blame on “anti-christian” people. If the shooter turns out to be a christian, the Right will just start screaming that he’s a Liberal plant. 

  • Baby_Raptor

    What time? Whatever time this guy needed it to be to prove his point.

    Figure out the time he made the statement and there’s your answer. 

  • James

    Don’t worry, everyone! Pat Robertson is old. He will die soon and thus be completely irrelevant. Then we can go on with our normal, everyday God-hating and atheist violence.


  • Cue all the so-called “reasonable” Christians out there, who’ll be among the first to say they’re outraged over what Robertson said … yet they won’t so much as lift a finger to do anything about him, or to prevent him from saying anything else like it again.

    My guess is, most Christians actually like hearing this spew. They have to, because if they didn’t, there’d hardly be any reason for Robertson to say such things in the first place, and they’d have done something long ago to stop him.

  • B_R_Deadite99

     “Pat Robertson: Sikh Temple Massacre Happened Because ‘Atheists Hate God’”

    Pat Robertson: Suck My Dick.

  • B_R_Deadite99

     It’s the senility setting in.

  • Miss_Beara

    He’ll never die. You need a heart for that to happen.

  • Miss_Beara

    Or he wasn’t a True Christian. The devil got to him. 

    Or something.

  • Randy

    “And atheists don’t hate god …”

    That doesn’t make any sense to me.

    Did you mean:
    (a) “And atheists don’t hate God …”
    (b) “And atheists don’t hate any gods …”

    I’m assuming you mean (a).

    ” Just because you don’t believe in something doesn’t mean you hate it.”

    True, but why so defensive?  The God as described in the Bible is a character worth hating, particularly given the PR campaign people are waging for him.

    Some atheists say you can’t hate what doesn’t exist, conveniently forgetting that God does exist, as both a character in a widely-circulated book, and as a concept in people’s minds, and in both contexts God is assumed to have free will (informed by omniscience and enabled by omnipotence) and is said to have massacred nearly all life on the planet at least once.  He has a number of negative personality traits in addition.  Hate is well within the range of reasonable responses to such a character.

  • Kodie

    When Christians say “atheists hate god” they mean to assume we all take for granted the deity exists and that atheists hate the actual deity. So no, it has to be corrected and specified that hate for a deity that doesn’t exist is impossible. At other times, atheists argue over the concept of god and the fictional character, as Christians make claims and atheists find contradictions to those claims right in the same bible they are using to make their claims.

  • hallucination

    also a brain

  • TCC

    And the Onion wins again.

  • Good and Godless

    More likely it happened because creating an environment of “religious tolerance”  created an environment of  “religious legitimacy” for hundreds of flavors of religion. 

    It is unfair this avenue for social treason was not clearly and fully excluded when the 1st Amendment was drafted. It is time to correct that flaw left by our founding fathers and end constraints imposed by myth and superstition.

  • Keulan

    Watching Pat Robertson speak makes my brain hurt. There aren’t enough facepalms in the world for his “logic.”

  • Joseph

     No… the gays are only responsible for natural disasters, like earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes.  Don’t you get the 700 Club Newsletter???

  • Dumbfuckistan

    If someone wants to take a shøt at Påt Robértson’s tempIe, this atheıst will be glad to take the blame for it.

  • I can’t think of a person I’d want to suck my dick less than Pat Robertson.

  • Georgina

     Why so Hard on Ms. Bachmann?
    Ok , so I don’t like her either but “There appears to be indications that this woman’s family are plotting against the US – did she get the usual vetting before being employed” is a reasonable question.
    A straight, “Yes, she was checked” would have saved everyone a lot of trouble.

    Oh yes, and she is not islamophobic, but when a few million people consider America the enemy, one really should take them seriously.

  • amycas

    Like chess, but without the logic…

  • Agreed. In the words of the late, great George Carlin:

    I wouldn’t f*ck (him) with a stolen dick!

  • [grammar police mode]
    … except that it probably should be “any more”. “Atheists don’t hate god anymore” reads like atheists used to hate god, but don’t anymore.

  •  Please, anyone, do not turn Pat Robertson into a martyr.

  • Mythra

    I’m going to throw a party when that sick old man dies. Not because he’s dead but because the world will be just a little bit better without him.

  • Morgan D

     Everyday: Not the same as every day.

  • Themiddleme

    It’s like with homosexuality — the big Chick Fil A thing going on where people say Chick Fil A HATES gays when they just don’t believe in it. They don’t believe (based on their interpretation of the Bible or whatever) that homosexual acts are okay but I don’t see how on earth that automatically translates into HATING someone. I hate smoking but I don’t hate smokERS. I would love to stop people from smoking due to my views but that doesn’t mean I am doing it out of wanting to hurt smokers. I think the religious folks perceive being gay as a threat to them. Gotta look at it logically, not emotionally. 

  • Themiddleme

    “Just because you don’t believe in something doesn’t mean you hate it.”

    Yeah like I said when it comes to religious people and homosexuality. Just because they don’t believe in it doesn’t mean they HATE it or gay people. SOME do but it’s not a logical conclusion based on the idea of belief that should be applied in general.

  • Themiddleme

     So wait, Christians in general are responsible for when a Christian says or does something stupid? So atheists are somehow responsible when one of their kind does or says something stupid and they have to intervene somehow? How does that make sense?

  • Themiddleme

     But in a weird way, because we can think of it, it does exist in a way. Let’s put it this way: I hate Hitler. But Hitler does not exist. But I still hate him.

    I can hate black holes (they suck! hahah get it?) but we have no evidence that black holes exist.

    I can hate feelings, ideas, and lots of intangible, unquantifiable things. I can hate fantasies I come up with (again, they do not exist.)

    I hate books characters that also don’t exist (Joffrey, I’m looking at YOU).

    It’s all very existential. You can not confine the expanse of the mind.

  • Kodie

    Gay people exist – and some people actively want them to have no rights or pay money to an organization which harms them or kills them. That is HATE.

    God doesn’t exist, not something you can look at or show me. Your analogy is the dumbest thing I’ve heard in a long time. That you think this is an adequate rationalization for Pat Robertson’s assertions and people supporting Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A while you’re at it is AMAZINGLY, STUPENDOUSLY dumb dumb dumb! Can you read what you wrote and believe it?

  • Themiddleme

     You know who hates logic? People who speed. They have this silly idea that speeding will get them somewhere faster, when there are still so many obstacles like stop signs, speed bumps, red lights, and cops etc. that they don’t actually get anywhere faster. It’s incredibly illogical, but people do it anyway. And you don’t even need to believe in God to be illogical.

  • Themiddleme

    “His evidence is that his brain thought it up and his mouth said it.  That’s all the evidence he has ever needed for his BS.”

    That is a great explanation for a lot of BS in the world, actually. It goes beyond borders and beliefs. There’s always someone who thinks something up and then insists it’s real because their brain told them so.

  • Themiddleme

     What is really illogical is continuing to voluntarily listen to him speak when you know he makes your brain hurt. You seem to be expecting him to say something different when logically you know he won’t. He’s a known quantity. It’s as logical as sticking your hand into a flame over and over just so you can complain at how it burns. That’s definitely not logical, especially since the flame is the flame and isn’t going to change and your hand is being injured over and over. Illogical all over.

  • Themiddleme

     So atheists hate CHRISTIANS, not “God.”
    I don’t believe that it is impossible to hate something that doesn’t exist. See my examples above. It is entirely possible because humans have the capacity for thought and imagination. It begs the question, “What is real? What is reality?” If God is something you can not see and therefore is not real, then anything we can’t see is not real. If God is something you can not touch and therefore is not real, then anything we can’t touch is not real. Are feelings real? Are memories real? Are thoughts themselves real? We can not prove it, we have to take it at its word. God as some kind of entity may be real, or just the idea of God may be real. God as a deity is up to those who decide it to be so — the concept of deity is a human idea. “It” has not confirmed or rejected the human labels or ideas — does that mean “It” doesn’t exist or that it could exist but not in a way we understand? When Christians say atheists “hate God” they mean it as THEY see God. It is almost apples and oranges. because a Christian sees an apple and an atheist sees an orange doesn’t mean that one can not hate an apple (or an orange.) It’s a mind game, it’s perception only. You can hate things that don’t exist but once thought of, the thing has been made into *something.* Cogito ergo sum. (That is my interpretation and belief, btw. Your mileage may vary.)

  • Themiddleme

     That is illogical. All living things must eventually die. And some things have lived without organic hearts (thanks to Dr Jarvic et al.) and then died. Pat’s memory may never die (as long as there is someone left to do the remembering.) Logically speaking, your argument makes no sense. /Spock

  • When an atheist says something stupid, you’ll generally see a huge critical outcry on the blogosphere. Xtians criticising their own? Not so much.
    Point in case- the Elevatorgate kerfluffle inspired alot of misogynist commentary, and you’ll still see criticism of the more egregiously ignorant positions now, how many months later?

  • But how can he hate logic if he doesn’t believe it exists?

  • There’s a small population of Asatru white supremacists, mostly in prison. Certainly less than 1% I’d say.

  • Why so hard on Bachmann? If you have to ask that question, you haven’t been paying much attention.

  • Are you kidding?!  Bachmann has produced no credible evidence whatsoever that the Muslim Brotherhood, much less Abedin’s family, are involved in any sort of anti-American plot.  The Muslim Brotherhood has never attacked the US, and hell, they even released a statement that Bachmann’s accusations are flat-out nuts.  And anyone who wouldn’t think the aides of the Secretary of State aren’t vetted prior to being appointed is an idiot.

    It’s not a “reasonable question” when the question is being asked soley because of someone’s religion and ethnicity.

  • Tainda

    I actually don’t hate things that don’t exist.  I know Joffrey is a character in a book/series and I dislike that character intensely but I do not hate him.

    Hate is what I felt for my abusive ex-husband.  I don’t hate him anymore because I don’t care enough about him to hate.

    I guess it’s all subjective.  Hate for me is very personal and I have only really hated a few people in my life.

  • B_R_Deadite99

    He’d be too feeble to pull it off, so it’s an empty insult.

  • Kullervo

    Is it possible to hate something that doesn’t exist?

  • Kevin S.

    Other than the possibility of getting pulled over, those obstacles exist for people doing the speed limit too. Speeding is reckless, irresponsible and sometimes costly, but it does typically get you where you’re going faster.

  • Kevin S.

    Not believing in homosexuality (whatever that means) doesn’t automatically equate to hatred of LGBT. Voting against their rights without any rational basis, or funding those who work to take away their rights, does. Don’t let social conservatives get away with conflating disagreement and action.

  • matt

    Really? Everyone dies??  You don’t say.  I think the comment was intended to be funny.  I thought so.

  • Gunstargreen

    Oh brother, give me a break.

    Yeah, obviously only an atheist would shoot up  a place of worship. There’s no way a Christian would shoot up a non-Christian place of worship. Nope. Absolutely no precedent of that! My eyes can’t roll any harder at this video clip though really I should expect nothing less from Pat Robertson.

    I’m sure the shooting had nothing to do with the fact that this guy was incredibly racist, constantly saying there was a war coming, and that the victims were brown and wear turbans. Nope, he must be an atheist and only did this because he hates god. The only explanation!

  • pagansister

    Isn’t it time Pat Robertson joined his maker?  I mean really—he is such a waste of space.  Since he ( I expect) knows his god personally, he really wouldn’t be dead, just changing from this earthly form to what I guess he thinks would be better.  Be gone, thou useless being.   You do NOT represent any Christian I have met recently.  

  • I’m just impressed that he characterized Sikh’s as worshipping God.

  • Are all Christians “responsible” for what Robertson said? No. Not directly. And I never said they were. I thought I was clear as to what I actually was saying, but since you’ve found some other meaning in my words, I see the need to spell it out more clearly and more simply:

    Robertson would not have said such a thing at all, if he did not think a lot of other Christians would agree with him (and thus send in donations). He would previously not have blamed the Haiti earthquake on a curse on that country. He would not have said any of the numerous outrageous things he’s said in the past. And why? He would have had no reason to do so; other Christians would not have supported him, afterward.

    As for what Christians ought to do about the guy, given his continual habit of outrageous comments of this kind … I can tell you that, if I were myself a Christian, I’d long ago have tired of hearing a putative spokesman for my religion saying such things all the time. They may not have directly caused him to say these things, but their inaction in the wake of his by-now-well-known habit of saying them, speaks volumes.

    If you want to excuse yourself of the duty of dealing with a supposed spokesman for your religion, that’s your choice. But you made it. And you must therefore accept the consequences and ramifications of that choice. Look, I get that Christians want to just walk away from the guy and act as if he doesn’t exist. But that’s not rational. He does exist, he does (claim to) speak for their religion, so that means Christians must deal with it.

  • SpamBeGone

    There are many flavors of Christianity. Unfortunately, Pat Robertson’s flavor is often what non-Christians and even casual Christians think of because right-wing fundamentalists have largely co-opted the term. There are many Christians who abhor Robertson, Phelps and their ilk and speak out vociferously against their rantings, but this never seems to get covered by the media so you don’t hear about it.

  • Re: “Unfortunately, Pat Robertson’s flavor is often what non-Christians and even casual Christians think of because right-wing fundamentalists have largely co-opted the term.

    Robertson and his ilk can have successfully co-opted the term “Christian,” only if other Christians consented to them doing so.

    Re: “There are many Christians who abhor Robertson, Phelps and their ilk and speak out vociferously against their rantings, but this never seems to get covered by the media so you don’t hear about it.

    I would think that, after decades of hearing his spew, those Christians whom you claim “speak out vociferously against [his] rantings,” would by now have managed the feat of finally shutting him up. That he’s still on the air and still reeling out his bilious remarks, means you just have more work to do.

    As I said before, and as I will continue to repeat: It’s your religion. If you don’t respect it enough to police it and put the brakes on miscreants within it, then you can’t reasonably expect outside observers such as myself to respect it … or respect you for believing in it.

    Robertson is your problem. Not mine. You can choose either to solve that problem, or you can do nothing and allow it to fester.

  • You have a point. Another example … the recent post in this very blog about “Reddit atheists” hurting atheism. Anyone who claims the company of non-believers is not introspective, and not willing to examine its own collective behavior, is lying. 

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