A hateful voice is no more

Televangelist Pat Robertson has died at the age of 93. He was a malign influence on US politics, creating a toxic mix of religious bigotry and rightwing politics.

Robertson’s enterprises also included Regent University, an evangelical Christian school in Virginia Beach; the American Center for Law and Justice, which defends the first amendment rights of religious people; and Operation Blessing, an international humanitarian organization.

But for more than half a century, Robertson was a familiar presence in American living rooms, known for his 700 Club television show, and in later years, his televised pronouncements of God’s judgment on America for everything from homosexuality to the teaching of evolution.

Robertson started the Christian Coalition in Chesapeake in 1989, saying it would further his campaign’s ideals. The coalition became a major force in Republican politics in the 1990s, mobilizing conservative voters through grassroots activities.

The venom of his message was masked by his genial, avuncular manner and the occasional goofy pronouncements where he would blame all manner of human-caused and natural disasters on the LGBTQ+ community and other perceived enemies of his version of Christianity.

He claimed that the terrorist attacks that killed thousands of Americans on 11 September 2001 were caused by God, angered by the federal courts, pornography, abortion rights and church-state separation.

He called for the assassination of the Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez in 2005. Later that year, he warned residents of a rural Pennsylvania town not to be surprised if disaster struck them because they voted out school board members who favored teaching “intelligent design” over evolution. And in 1998, he said Orlando, Florida, should beware of hurricanes after allowing the annual Gay Days event.

Robertson helped solidify evangelical support for Donald Trump, dismissing the candidate’s sexually predatory comments about women as an attempt “to look like he’s macho”.

if you want to see more of his utterly appalling views, just go here where you will find such gems as: “The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”

Robertson played a major role in making the Republican party what it is today, taking it down the culture wars and anti-LGBTQ+ cul-de-sac.


  1. maggie says

    Maybe CNN will televise his funeral. That might improve their ratings. (She says sarcastically.) I will admit the story put a smile on my face this morning.

  2. says

    The blood diamond war criminal. Maybe if he were in a cell next to his pal and co-conspirator Charles Taylor, he’d still be alive.

  3. Holms says

    …he would blame all manner of human-caused and natural disasters on the LGBTQ+ community and other perceived enemies of his version of Christianity.

    It never seems to occur to that type that by accusing god of doing such mass retributive things, they indict his aim.

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    A piece I read decades ago about CBN noted that it excelled in one topic: disaster coverage. Storms, quakes, fires, whatev -- all grist for the “Last Days” mill but also a resource for disaster studies.

    Pat R did have scattered moments of public lucidity, prob’ly more than Jerry Sr and all three Bakkers and the Rev Moon put together, which excuses nothing but makes him marginally more interesting.

    An unsurprising pity Pat got away with his “family entertainment” network hustle. Short version: Christian Broadcasting Network’s viewers donated to create a cable channel devoted to superclean 50s-60s tv, The Family Channel. Alas, though managed by both Pat and Gordon, TFC lost money, so the Robertsons kindly lifted the burden from their faithful followers, paying tens of millions to take it private. Only then did they decide to invest in the higher-priced reruns like Andy Griffith™, do some serious marketing and advertising, all that boring business stuff. Voilà, TFC sprang to life, becoming so profitable that Rupert Murdoch’s empire paid almost $2B for what they imaginatively renamed Fox Family Channel. (Doubtless too late to prosecute Gordy by now, though Op Blessing surely cries out for an audit.)

    This (abridged) history testifies equally to Robertson’s God-given talents and the virtues of Free Enterprise®, amiright?

  5. steve oberski says

    “If you gave [Jerry] Falwell an enema he could be buried in a matchbox.”

    ― Christopher Hitchens

    Still applicable.

  6. brightmoon says

    Just got finished watching Jerry Falwell’s God by Roy Zimmerman. I couldn’t find one for Pat while skimming through the internet so I watched this one . Same type of toxic fundie!

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