TV preacher Pat Robertson lashed out at a “Jewish radical” on Thursday who he said was responsible for God being removed from the Air Force oath.
This story has been updated. Please see below.
The Air Force announced on Thursday that the words “so help me God” were an optional part of the oath after an atheist airman crossed out the words on his reenlistment paperwork. Military officials had initially refused to accept the paperwork, but Department of Defense General Counsel eventually ruled that the words could be omitted.
Although the American Humanist Association had represented the airman, Robertson on Thursday blamed Military Religious Freedom Foundation President Mikey Weinstein for the movement against religion in the armed services.
“There’s a left-wing radical named Mikey Weinstein who has got a group about people against religion or whatever he calls it, and he has just terrorized the armed forces,” Robertson opined. “You think you’re supposed to be tough, you’re supposed to defend us, and you got one little Jewish radical who is scaring the pants off of you.”
“You want these guys flying the airplanes to defend us when you got one little guy terrorizing them?” he asked. “That’s what it amounts to.”
“You know, we swear oaths. And ‘so help me God,’ well, what does it mean? It means with God’s help, and you don’t have to say you believe in God. You just say, ‘I want some help besides myself [with] the oath I’m taking.'”
The televangelist concluded that the entire situation was “crazy.”
“What is wrong with the Air Force? How can they fly the bombers to defend us if they cave to one little guy?”
Update, 4:19 p.m. EST: Weinstein responded to Robertson’s remarks in a brief statement to The Friendly Atheist.
“Pat Robertson is to human dignity and sanity and integrity and character what dog sh*t is to a fine French restaurant on the menu,” Weinstein was quoted as saying.
Watch the video below from CBN’s The 700 Club, broadcast Sept. 18, 2014.