TRANSCRIPT: JUNE 24, 1998 "700 CLUB"

TV preacher Pat Robertson has expanded on his June 8 assertion that Orlando, Fla., may suffer divine punishment for showing tolerance to gay people. On the June 24 episode of Robertson's "700 Club" broadcast, a news report focused on the fires in Florida. After the segment, Robertson gave his view.

ROBERTSON: This is a terrible tragedy in Florida. And you know, as I've been reading and praying, we had a quite a flap the other day when we were talking about that gay pride day in Orlando and everybody laughed, but nevertheless, here's what I saw in the Bible. There are two things that I think are very significant. And what happens to these fires in Florida could be a prelude to some things that are going on all around the world. It just has to do with terrible drought, but it also is caused by lightning. Lightning keeps striking.

And this is in the Book of Revelation; you'll find it very interesting. [Quoting Revelation 8:7] "There was an angel who sounded," it said, "his trumpet and there came hail and fire" and, of course, fire is lightning "and it was hurled down upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up." And that's exactly what is happening. It was lightning strikes. And I saw on CBS last night the reporter said these fires cannot be stopped by man and says nature is not cooperating. That was the words of the announcer. Well, what do you do about it? They need rain, so this is the antidote if you will to this problem.

And this is what God said to Solomon. [Quoting II Chronicles 7: 13-14] "When I shut up the heavens so there is no rain, or locusts, command locusts to devour the land or send a plague. If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land."

If there was ever a time that the pastors in Florida should call a fast, repent, ask the other people, maybe city councils and mayors and others could literally declare a day of fasting and prayer, and I think God will hear and He'll send rain and put these fires out. I really think that's it. So in a sense, the Christians, it's in your hands what happens. But I do believe that people can say, "God, we're sorry; we have offended your laws and we ask that you would forgive us. And come now and heal our land." Because this is a devastating thing and many wonderful people are going to be injured in these fires. So that's the solution to what's been happening and I believe that that's certainly biblically correct. If my people which are called by name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then God says I'll hear from heaven, forgive their sin, heal their land.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, 1998. All rights reserved.

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