Conservative Christian television evangelist Pat Robertson told citizens of a Pennsylvania town that they had rejected God by voting their school board out of office for supporting "intelligent design" and warned them yesterday not to be surprised if disaster struck.
Robertson, a former Republican presidential candidate and founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network and the Christian Coalition, has a long record of apocalyptic warnings and provocative statements.
"I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God -- you just rejected Him from your city," Robertson said on his daily television show, "The 700 Club."
"And don't wonder why He hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I'm not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that's the case, don't ask for His help because he might not be there," he said.
In voting Tuesday, all eight Dover, Pa., school board members up for reelection lost their positions after trying to introduce "intelligent design" to high school science students as an alternative to the theory of evolution.
Adherents of intelligent design argue that certain forms in nature are too complex to have evolved through natural selection and must have been created by a "designer." Opponents say it is the latest attempt by conservatives to introduce religion into the school science curriculum.
The Dover case sparked a trial in federal court when the school board was sued by parents backed by the American Civil Liberties Union. The board ordered schools to read students a short statement in biology classes informing them that the theory of evolution is not established fact and that gaps exist in it. The statement mentioned intelligent design as an alternate theory and recommended students read a book that explained the theory further.