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Pat Robertson Shares Hate with Sikh Temple Shooter

For Immediate Release

Contact: Brian Magee, 202-238-9088, mobile: (202) 681-2425, bmagee@americanhumanist.org

(Washington, DC - Aug. 7, 2012) - Although it is not a surprise that Pat Robertson would try and link atheism with the mass killing that took place in an Oak Creek, Wisconsin Sikh temple over the weekend, it is certainly disappointing.

"Pat Robertson reacted to the hate crime in Wisconsin by cultivating his own brand of hate," said American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy Speckhardt. "By blaming atheists for this heinous crime, Robertson deliberately slanders nearly one in five Americans who don't happen to believe in a god.”

Robertson commented on the shooting by saying, in part, "Is it some spiritual thing, people who are atheists, they hate God, they hate the expression of God? And they are angry with the world, angry with themselves, angry with society and they take it out on innocent people who are worshiping God.”

“Of course, no single faith or philosophy is behind such senseless violence,” Speckhardt added. “But, ironically, it's precisely Robertson's style of dehumanizing people who are different from him that can provide the flimsy grounding for violent acts like this one."

The attack by Wade Michael Page resulted in six people being killed and four more being injured. Police later killed the 40-year-old gunman during a shootout.

"Robertson disregards his moral responsibility as a leader by using his platform to divide our country at a time it needs to be united in its condemnation of hate-based violence," Speckhardt declared. “Robertson’s words have done damage to all those who work to live in a peaceful, cooperative and just society.”

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The American Humanist Association (www.AmericanHumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, DC, its work is extended through more than 150 local chapters and affiliates across America.  Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.