The 700 Club's Pat Robertson has blamed atheists and people who "hate God" for the Sikh temple shooting in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
The Huffington Post reports Robertson said: "...people who are atheists, they hate God, they hate the expression of God, and they are angry at the world, angry with themselves, angry with society and they take it out on innocent people who are worshipping God..." According to Robertson, speaking on the 700 Club, "Whether it's a Sikh temple, or a Baptist church, or a Catholic church, or a Muslim mosque – whatever it is – I just abhor this kind of violence, and it's the kind of thing that we should do something about."
The religious convictions of Wade Michael Page, if any, are however uncertain, The Huffington Post reports. Digital Journal reports he has, however, been identified as a 40-year-old Army veteran. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Michael Page was a neo-Nazi and a one time leader of a white supremacist group. Raw Story reports SPLC’s Heidi Beirich said there was “no question” that the suspect was part of the white supremacist movement and had attended “hate events” around the country.
Reports say Page allegedly had a number of tattoos, including one that said “9/11″ and a Celtic knot used a symbol of the Christian Holy Trinity.
Mediaite also notes that Robertson ignores the fact that white supremacist groups, including neo-Nazi, Aryan groups and the KKK all subscribe to a jingoistic Christian nationalist ideology which may explain why Page had a tattooed Celtic symbol of the Christian Holy Trinity.
Right Wing Watch reports Robertson recommended that people should “talk about the love of God and hope it has some impact” to stop violence.
According to The Huffington Post, Rajwant Singh, chairman of the Washington-based Sikh Council on Religion and Education, told AP that the attack was due to ignorance. He said: "This is something we have been fearing since 9/11, that this kind of incident will take place. It was a matter of time because there's so much ignorance and people confuse us (as) being members of Taliban or belonging to (Osama) bin Laden."