A controversial but influential televangelist does not like the idea of expanding security camera surveillance because it may signal the End Times.
Pat Robertson, a longtime mouthpiece for the religious right, made the unusual suggestion during Tuesday's episode of his daily "700 Club" program on the Christian Broadcasting Network.
The program began with a segment on surveillance cameras in America, reporting that following the successful use of security camera footage to identify and capture Boston bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, other cities were looking into increasing their surveillance network as well.
(CBS News reports that police and city officials in Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Houston, among others, have indeed expressed interest in creating a more expansive camera network.)
Robertson, however, argued that more cameras will mean an end to American privacy freedoms, ushering in a 1984-like scenario where "there is no freedom."
“We're coming to that now, it's not a pleasant situation," Robertson told his viewers. "But this is what the Bible talks about when you can’t buy or sell without the Mark of the Beast. You have to be part of that world system and a few, and very, very few can escape, because right now they can go down into the bush in the darkest Africa and hunt you down.”
According to Revelation 13:16-18, the coming of the Antichrist will involve the "marking" of all humans so that "no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."
"You say well, we're going to feel secure, secure from whom?" Robertson continued, moving away from scripture. "I think the American people are more afraid of the overreach of big government than they are some occasional bomber, even if the bomber kills a few people."
Robertson, who once told a girl that she would be wise to pray over Goodwill sweaters because it doesn't "hurt anything to rebuke any spirits that happened to have attached themselves to those clothes,” often sees Biblical signs in unusual places.
In 2011, the evangelical leader said that an earthquake in Washington, D.C., meant "that we’re closer to the coming of the Lord," and identified the Antichrist as Islam.