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Over 50 people were killed and hundreds injured in Las Vegas on Sunday night after a gunman fired into a festival crowd from the Mandalay Bay hotel. The deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history has left the nation shaken and many don’t know what to make of such violence and where to go from here.
Except for televangelist Pat Robertson. He has the answers: Blame anti-Trump activists for the mass shooting.
During a televised sermon with The 700 Club, Robertson addressed why violence seems to be on the rise within the U.S. Instead of talking about the heightened political climate, lacking gun control laws, or sociocultural contributing factors, Robertson pointed the finger somewhere else. He blamed people who dislike President Donald Trump and kneel during the national anthem.
“The fact that we have disrespect for authority—there is profound disrespect for our president, all across this nation they say terrible things about him,” Robertson said, according to a video obtained by Right Wing Watch. “It’s in the news, it’s in other places. There is disrespect now for our national anthem, disrespect for our veterans, disrespect for the institutions of our government, disrespect for the court system.”
Robertson went on to say that America needs a “controlling authority in our society,” claiming that none currently exists because the Trump administration experiences such a “profound disrespect.” And because Americans have abandoned God, Robertson thinks the Las Vegas shooting is what happens when religion isn’t a part of our everyday lives.
“We have taken from the American people the vision of God, the whole idea of reward and punishment, an ultimate judge of all our actions, we’ve taken that away,” Robertson continued. “When there is no vision of God, the people run amok.”
Robertson might believe Christianity will solve our problems of order and respect, however, a recent study revealed that religious people are meaner and less generous than their non-religious brethren. Then there’s the long history of God-fearing men and women hurting their fellow human beings—like stopping the poor and the marginalized from getting the healthcare they need. But Robertson isn’t the first to have a simplified hot take about a very heartbreaking, complicated matter, and he likely won’t be the last.
Ana Valens is a reporter specializing in online queer communities, marginalized identities, and adult content creation. She is Daily Dot's Trans/Sex columnist. Her work has appeared at Vice, Vox, Truthout, Bitch Media, Kill Screen, Rolling Stone, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and spends her free time developing queer adult games.