Magazine article Church & State

TV Preacher Pat Robertson Asserts That Church-State Separation Is 'Nonsense'

Magazine article Church & State

TV Preacher Pat Robertson Asserts That Church-State Separation Is 'Nonsense'

Article excerpt

In an extended rant in April, TV preacher Pat Robertson warned America that militant Muslims and atheists are at work to "destroy the fabric" of society. Robertson opined that the only way to stop them is to put an end to this "nonsense" about separation of church and state.

Robertson's outburst on his "700 Club" TV program was apparently brought on by recent remarks by David Cameron, the prime minister of Great Britain, who has lately taken to issuing statements about how the U.K. is really a "Christian" nation and that this spirit should drive political life.

Cameron's comments were not uniformly well received, since lots of Britons these days are not Christians. Church attendance rates in the U.K. are anemic, and the official state church plays a mainly ceremonial function. Last year, George Carey, the former archbishop of Canterbury, went so far as to warn that the Anglican Church is going the way of the dinosaur.

"We ought to be ashamed of ourselves," Carey said. "We are one generation away from extinction and if we do not invest in young people there is going to be no one in the future."

Yet Robertson seems enamored of the British model. He praised Cameron's remarks, and similar ones by British Attorney General Dominic Grieve, telling his broadcast audience, "We could have some more of that here in the United States."

"This nonsense about the separation of church and state has gotten way, way beyond the bounds of what the Founders of our Constitution thought," Robertson bemoaned. "We're under assault by militant Islamists, militant atheists, secularists, those who want to destroy all the fabric of faith in our society. …

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