The blame game

Queering 9/11: Fallwell To Gays—”You Helped This Happen”

As we approach the tenth anniversary of 9/11, Queerty is profiling the people, issues and themes surrounding the tragedy that have made an indelible impact over the past decade, especially for the LGBT community.


Since ancient times it’s been common practice to blame homosexuals for any disaster, natural or otherwise. Look at Sodom and Gomorrah—what was actually a parable about hospitality got distorted  into a stern warning against anal sex. (Look it up.)

But at the dawn of the 21st century, the combination of the 24-hour news cycle, the increasingly entrenched cultural wars and the rise of the Internet meant that random brain farts from Fundamentalist mouthbreathers could (and would) be heard around the world instantly and ad nauseum.

Just two days after the World Trade Center attacks, Pat Robertson and the late Jerry Falwell were trying to pin blame for the tragedy on someone. (Because their God doesn’t let shit like that just happen.) During an episode of 700 Club on Thursday, September 13, 2001, they began the finger-pointing—literally.

Falwell: “The Lord has protected us so wonderfully these 225 years. And since 1812, this is the first time that we’ve been attacked on our soil and by far the worst results…. What we saw on Tuesday, as terrible as it is, could be miniscule if, in fact if, in fact God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve.

Robertson: Jerry, that’s my feeling. I think we’ve just seen the antechamber to terror. We haven’t even begun to see what they can do to the major population.

Falwell: The ACLU’s got to take a lot of blame for this.

Robertson: Well, yes.

Falwell: …The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. 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.”


We’re sure someone blamed abortionists and gays for Pearl Harbor and the Challenger explosion but with more dignity in the public forum—and the absence of YouTube videos—no one really heard much about it.

Since 9/11, though, the gays have been blamed—loudly and widely—for the Japanese tsunamis, Hurricane Katrina, the Haitian earthquake, the global recession and even the recent tremors in New York. Heck, there’s even a song in Sweden about it.

The fact that we all know about these accusations illustrates how much has changed since 9/11—perhaps its more a sign of information overload than anything else.  We wish everyone would go back to ignoring these morons. (Yes, we realize that puts some blame squarely on our shoulders.)