Conservative Christian talk show host Pat Robertson discussed "openly hostile" atheism during a recent broadcast of "The 700 Club," suggesting that those who grow excessively angry at the mention of God may have had a dysfunctional childhood.
Robertson and his co-host, Terry Meeuwsen, were fielding a question from Sandra, a viewer, who wrote in to the show regarding a coworker who is "openly hostile at the mere mention of God."
"I work with an atheist and at one time I thought I could witness to her and bring her to Jesus. She gets openly hostile at the mere mention of God. She gets very angry just hearing the word God. Should I just abandon the idea of being a positive influence on her and just let her perish?" Sandra questioned.
Robertson responded by saying he wasn't sure of Sandra was dealing with "something that is demonic" or "something that is deeply ingrained […] But to be that openly hostile to the word 'God,' it's something beyond the normal human experience. Something has happened."
"Maybe she had an abusing father, somebody who raped her and acted like he was preaching to her from the Bible," Robertson continued. "You just never know what's going on in somebody's childhood."
"All you can do is be understanding, and be loving, and don't try to push anything on her. Pray for her, but if she won't hear she won't hear. You've done what you can do but always in love, speaking the truth in love," Robertson concluded.
Robertson has previously referenced atheism on "The 700 Club," the flagship program of the Christian Broadcasting Network. In November 2012, Robertson warned his viewers to remember their religious freedom rights during the holiday season, suggesting that atheists can act as "The Grinch" and try to steal away holiday festivities.
"The Grinch is trying to steal our holiday," Robertson told viewers on the Nov. 19, 2012 episode of the "The 700 Club."
"Atheists don't like our happiness, they don't want you to be happy, they want you to be miserable," Robertson went on. "They're miserable so they want you to be miserable, so they want to steal your holiday away from you."
Robertson also made a connection between atheism and the mass shooting that took place at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., in Aug. 2012. On his August 6, 2012 airing of "The 700 Club," Robertson suggested that such violence comes about from a hatred for God. "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 worshipping God."
"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."