Televangelist Pat Robertson took on violent video games last week during an episode of his daily TV program, and his conclusions might surprise even the most seasoned of his followers.
Speaking during Friday's taping of "The 700 Club," Robertson made the comments while responding to a viewer's question about "virtual sins." The Southern Baptist minister noted that committing sinful acts within a video game can be equivalent to sinning in real life. He also said video game "murder" is essentially as sinful as the act of murdering someone in reality.
"What do you think the Bible has to say about video games," viewer Nathaniel asked in his question. "Is there a way to interpret the Bible for 'virtual sins?' I'm not the type of person who would do half of the things in games in real life, but does God see it as a sin if we enjoy them in a virtual setting?"
Robertson replied that God is concerned with the actions of "your spirit," and that things that occur in cyberspace do not automatically get a free pass.
"Jesus said, if you look on a woman with thoughts of lust in your heart, you've committed adultery with her. So, that's a virtual sin," Robertson said, before admitting he's never actually played a video game before.
"I think mayhem, killing, 'Grand Theft Auto' -- some of those, they get pretty bizarre. And so if you're murdering someone in cyberspace, in a sense you're performing the act, like it or not," he added.
He went on to explain that these types of virtual sins can eventually force God to "chop off your access" to his spiritual wisdom, and cause you to "grow dead in your heart."
The colorful elder statesman of the religious right is often at the vanguard when it comes to criticism of pop culture phenomenons. In 2011, he warned that the Harry Potter series was "glorifying magic and the occult." Last year, he also called the Twilight franchise "evil" and "demonic."
"It may give you some kind of thrill," he said of the popular vampire series of books and films, "but it opens the door to the occult."
(Hat tip, Raw Story)