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Extremist 'Mainstream' Views

Read a sampling of extremist views espoused by 'mainstream' politicians, preachers, and columnists in the wake of September 11.

One remarkable aspect of the reaction to September's terrorist attacks was the often highly intolerant commentary that came from "mainstream" politicians, preachers and columnists.

Here is a brief sampling of some of their more egregious comments:

John Cooksey
U.S. Rep. (R-La.), Republican candidate for U.S. Senate

"If I see someone [who] comes in that's got a diaper on his head and a fan belt wrapped around the diaper on his head, that guy needs to be pulled over."

When a reporter noted that this implied illegal racial profiling, Cooksey said it was clear "that some people, that 100% of the people who were involved in this, met a certain profile. ... [W]e can and should scrutinize people that fit that profile."

Jerry Falwell
Television evangelist

"I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.'"

Falwell went on to blame federal courts as well. He backed away from all these comments after the White House and many others criticized them.

Ann Coulter
Contributing Editor for National Review On-Line

"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."

Rusty Lee Thomas
Columnist for Operation Save America (formerly Operation Rescue)

Blaming the attack on legalized abortion in America, an editorial on the group's Web site said: "The astounding events of this morning are just another sign of the judgment of God upon our nation. We have turned our backs on God and we are now reaping the horrible consequences of our error. ...

"If we do not return to the God of our fathers we will continue to reap the whirlwind of our own foolishness."

Pat Robertson
Television evangelist and host on Christian Broadcasting Network

Responding to a statement from fellow evangelist Jerry Falwell partly blaming various liberal groups for the terrorist attacks, Robertson seemed to agree, telling his guest on the "700 Club," "Jerry, that's my feeling." He also agreed with Falwell when he said the American Civil Liberties Union has "got to take a lot of blame for this."

Later, after a barrage of criticism, Robertson softened his comments but still said that groups that "strip religious values from our public square" help to "take away the mantle of divine protection" that protects America from harm.