rotten > Library > Biographies > Religion > Televangelists > Pat Robertson|
Just two days after the World Trade Center attacks, televangelist Pat Robertson appeared on his television show The 700 Club. During the course of a conversation with his obese colleague Jerry Falwell, Pat mused on the ultimate source of the tragedy:
"We have allowed rampant secularism and occult, et cetera, to be broadcast on television. We have permitted somewhere in the neighborhood of 35 to 40 million unborn babies to be slaughtered in our society. We have a Court that has essentially stuck its finger in God's eye and said, 'We're going to legislate you out of the schools, we're going to take your Commandments from off the courthouse steps in various states, we're not going to let little children read the Commandments of God, we're not going to let the Bible be read -- no prayer in our schools.' We have insulted God at the highest levels of our government. And, then we say 'why does this happen?' Well, why its happening is that God Almighty is lifting His protection from us."
I know, I know: That sounded kind of harsh. Not to mention histrionic. But give the man some credit. Unlike you, Pat doesn't just sit back and gripe about America's flaws; he's out there working his ass off actually trying to do something about them.
The way he sees it, America has been stuck in the grips of moral decay for the past 40 years. For almost two centuries, our nation had been a shining example for the rest of the God-fearing world. Sure, we've had our share of problems -- for instance: slavery. But by divine providence, we corrected that and a whole host of other moral lapses over the years.
Beginning in the 1960s, however, the nation began to stray from God's teachings for some reason. Society began to embrace principles which were inimical to the American dream. So in just a handful of decades our country has become a haven for homosexuality, atheism, and false religions (anything other than Judeochristianity). Which makes us ripe for some retribution.
In keeping with this, Pat's fondest wish is to witness the Tribulation -- the bloody seven-year cataclysm through which God will restore His kingdom on Earth. It's going to be absolutely spectacular. The Lord will finally manifest His divine wrath against the Sodomites, the Feminists, the Secularists, along with all the other blasphemers. But that just can't happen until everything's exactly right. Jesus is waiting for us to restore some of America's godliness. Once that happens, He can get this Armageddon thing started and then it's party time. Until then, we're stuck in a holding pattern for the duration.
Banishing sinfulness and immorality from the United States is going to be no small task. But once we're done, things are going to be a lot different around here. We'll have a theocracy and all that entails: book burnings, compulsory religious services, forced conversions. Think Afghanistan under the Taliban regime, except without the ridiculous wardrobe. Plus, it will be based on the actual word of God, instead of some pseudo-religious cult.
The problem is, our nation is infested with small-minded ideologues caught up in their petty squabbles over utter nonsense. Nobody's focusing on fixing the important problems. Most people don't want to hear about how we need to prepare for the Second Coming. They'd rather indulge themselves by taking drugs, watching R-rated films, and engaging in intercourse outside of lawful marriage.
So let's face it: getting there from here is going to take a very long time. It took decades of neglect to get into this mess, and it will take at least as long to get out. At least, that's what your typical Christian minister might think.
What sets Pat apart from other religious leaders is that he's committed to seeing this thing through to the end. And he's getting old, so time is of the essence. Pat is ready to make this transformation happen by any means necessary. He's quickly running out of patience with the legal and peaceful means of effecting change.
Pat has been tirelessly doing what he can for decades to get America to snap out of it. It began with a TV station.
In 1960, Pat bought a struggling UHF television station for $37,000 and gave it an evangelistic format. It would be the beginnings of CBN -- the Christian Broadcasting Network. He launched a religious talk show in 1963 and called it the 700 Club. It showcased lots of trippy religious stuff, including glossolalia -- speaking in tongues. This was later removed from the show in the 1980s.
In addition to being a media mogul, Robertson became well-known as a faith healer. In one of his 1981 sermons, thankfully preserved on videotape, Pat told his congregation:
"Satan has gone! God has just healed somebody! A hernia has been healed! Several people are being healed of hemorrhoids and varicose veins! People with flat feet! God is doing just great things to you!"
Gerard Straub, a former 700 Club producer, published Salvation for Sale in 1986. It was a nasty tell-all describing what it was like working with Pat at CBN. It portrayed Robertson as something of an overbearing asshole with delusions of grandeur. In 1979, the network started making detailed preparations to televise the Second Coming of Christ, which they figured was due at any moment. This was known internally as God's Secret Plan, or GSP:
The greatest show on earth was in our hands. I wondered where we would put the cameras. Jerusalem was the obvious place. We even discussed how Jesus' radiance might be too bright for the cameras and how we would have to make adjustments for that problem. Can you imagine telling Jesus, "Hey, Lord, please tone down your luminosity; we having a problem with contrast. You're causing the picture to flare."
While he was waiting for Jesus to get off His ass and get down here, Pat decided to work his way into the national political scene. Luckily, there just so happened to be a born-again Christian in the White House.
Ingratiating himself with the Republicans, Pat joined in the effort to support the Contras in Nicaragua. After Congress refused to give any more money to the guerrillas, Pat chided: "It's appalling to me that we would debate over $14 million... one attempt to dislodge a communist dictatorship in Central America causes Congress to go into a tizzy over $14 million in aid. There's something wrong with our sickly government, in my humble opinion."
In April 1985, Robertson attended a fundraising dinner for the Nicaraguan Freedom Fund. Pat gave the invocation and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. President Ronald Reagan delivered the keynote address. Despite the group's humanitarian-sounding name, the proceeds went to arm and equip the Contras. Sort of. In fact, the $250-a-plate dinner barely broke even. It spent $218,376 to collect $219,525. Actually, the Nicaraguan Freedom Fund was just a diversion, providing a plausible source for all the cash and supplies flowing to the Contras. In reality, the bulk of the money was handled through other, more clandestine channels.
The following month, the Christian Broadcasting Network announced they would be sending $20 million for "humanitarian" supplies to Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. It was supposed to be food and medicine -- supplies "of a strictly humanitarian nature" -- for refugees. CBN paid the $2 million shipping bill. Talking to a reporter aboard a C-130 cargo plane carrying medical supplies, Pat admitted that "some may get to the Contras." Ultimately, CBN was one of the top sources of private funding for the Contras. In appreciation, the guerrillas named one of their units the Pat Robertson Brigade.
Unfortunately for CBN, giving money like this to a government cause would be considered by many to be a political contribution. And, for one thing, it would jeopardize their tax-exempt status. When the news finally broke, they attempted to deny it in a written statement: "CBN is helping starving and displaced persons in 15 countries, including some in Central America. The help is absolutely non-political. Articles claiming support by CBN of the Contras in Nicaragua are incorrect." Later, somebody asked Pat about it. He answered: "The fact is that the Communists make people suffer. If that makes it political, then, I'm sorry, we're still going to help them."
Running for President
The book by former 700 Club producer Gerard Straub, Salvation for Sale, appeared right around the time Robertson started making noises about wanting to run for President. Upon learning Pat's political aspirations, Straub opined: "I'd be very concerned about a man sitting next to a button who believes Jesus is telling him to press that button."
In his own inimitable style, Pat's first newsworthy statement to the New York Times indicated he had a divine endorsement. In June, Pat had led a prayer vigil urging God to spare Virginia Beach from the wrath of Hurricane Gloria. Perhaps God was listening, because Virginia Beach was spared. (But then again, Gloria landed on Long Island and Boston, inflicting $320 million in damage. Couldn't God have simply caused the storm to dissipate?) Anyway, Pat told the Times that the event was "extremely important because I felt, interestingly enough, that if I couldn't move a hurricane, I could hardly move a nation."
In September 1986, Pat announced that he would be willing to seek the Republican party's nomination for President if and only if three million people would sign up as volunteers on his campaign over the next year. It worked, and the political donations flowed in. Pat had generated a heaping war chest by the time he officially announced his candidacy in September 1987. But even with a big chunk of change in his pocket, he was still swimming uphill against Vice President George Bush.
Robertson's political platform could have been summed up in a single phrase: pro-Christian. If elected President, Pat promised that his administration would:
- Eliminate illegal drugs.
- Eliminate pornography.
- Revamp the public school system, and reintroduce the Bible to classrooms.
- Sever diplomatic relations with the elected government of Nicaragua and recognize the Contra rebels as the nation's "government in exile."
- Eliminate the following agencies:
- Department of Education
- Department of Energy
- The Legal Services Corporation
And although Pat never publicly advertised it, there was another work item on his agenda:
- Disregard any and all Supreme Court rulings.
In a March 1986 speech to Yale University Law School, Robertson admitted one possible reason why he failed the New York Bar Exam (and thus, never practiced law):
"When I was at law school, I studied constitutional law for a whole year. I read a thick book of cases on constitutional law. I did all kinds of research. But I confess to you, I never read the Constitution. I graduated without anybody asking me about that."
Pat agreed that the Establishment clause forbids the federal government from instituting an official religion. But this is because the Constitution grants that prerogative to the individual states:
"The first point in the Bill of Rights, the First Amendment to the Constitution, said 'Congress shall pass no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.' There were certain states at that time that had established religions. Massachusetts was a case in point. They had a state religion. And they didn't want this enormously powerful Congress to superimpose a religious system on their state system. To guarantee the states retained critical rights, the tenth amendment said, 'All the power that is not expressly delegated to the federal government is reserved for the states.' The intent? The people -- i.e. the states -- have delegated power. They gave up some powers, but they did not give up all powers because they are sovereign states."
Of course, if Pat's position ever prevails, there are frightening implications. The First Amendment contains a whole lot more than the separation clause. For reference, here's the entire text:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
According to Pat, if you happen to live in a locality where these freedoms are protected, perhaps in the state's constitution, consider yourself lucky. Otherwise, you're subject to the whims of popular approval. In Robertson's view, an American citizen possesses the following inviolable rights only when they happen to be on property of the federal government -- in a Post Office, national park, federal building, military base, or the District of Columbia:
- freedom from official religion
- freedom of speech
- freedom of the press
- freedom of assembly
- freedom to petition the government
Accordingly, Robertson has come to hate the Supreme Court. Every time they hand down a ruling on the First Amendment which countermands state laws, Pat believes it's an illegal encroachment on the federal system of government. Perhaps as a result, Pat doesn't believe in the legal doctrine of judicial review. He sees Marbury v. Madison as a usurpation of power, without legal merit or Constitutional foundation. (Actually, he has a point on that one.)
Almost 20 years later, Pat's frustration with the Highest Court of the Land finally boiled over when the Supremes struck down the Texas anti-sodomy statute in Lawrence v. Texas. The pro-buttfucking majority opinion finally forced Robertson to publicly urge his followers to pray for God to remove the three most liberal jurists. As he wrote on his website:
One justice is 83 years old, another has cancer and another has a heart condition. Would it not be possible for God to put it in the minds of these three judges that the time has come to retire?
When Pat said retire, many people took that in the
Blade Runner sense: a codeword for "assassinate with extreme prejudice." Naturally, the secular news media freaked out. Robertson was forced to defend his statement in a CNN interview:
||This particular court, in my opinion, has turned the Constitution on its ear. It started way back in the '60's and we have had assault after assault after assault on religious values, on other things, and this recent decision, in my opinion, is shocking. It was so broad based. ... And just think, Paula, we've slaughtered something in the neighborhood of 43 million unborn babies because of Roe v. Wade. And I think the American people are tired of this. They want conservative judges.
||But Rev. Robertson, do you understand why some people are offended, even though you're saying you're not telling your followers to pray for ill health for these three justices, that they could actually interpret it that way.
||Well they can interpret it any way they want to. I'm talking to God, and it's up to Him to make a decision and if some of these folks don't like what I'm praying for and want to pray the other way -- have at it! Let the Lord decide.
Got that? He's just praying for their retirement, folks. If other people decide to take it upon themselves to suggest to the Big Man Upstairs that he ought to whack those judges, who's Pat to tell them they're wrong? It's the Lord's call whether to impose retirement or summary execution on the offending Justices. So don't blame Pat if God opts for capital punishment. Understood?
Presidential campaign derailed
Back to the 1988 campaign. Robertson started out with a pretty good shot. He possessed a large, dedicated core constituency and a big pile of dough. He might have beaten Bush to the nomination, if he hadn't gotten tripped up by a series of major catastrophes.
First there were the financial and sex scandals of 1987-88, surrounding televangelists Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart. Those guys screwed things up for everyone in the industry. People felt betrayed by these men of the cloth. Ratings suffered dramatically, and contributions took a hard hit.
Robertson tried hard to distance himself from the televangelism scandal, partly because he needed to connect with non-Christian voters. So he was more than happy to acknowledge that, as President, his responsibility would be to the American people as a whole, and not just the Jesus freaks. In fact, he told Time magazine in September 1987 that he had no plans of staffing his administration with born-again Christians exclusively. He was also planning on including some devout Jews. As he later wrote:
When I said during my presidential bid that I would only bring Christians and Jews into the government, I hit a firestorm. "What do you mean?" the media challenged me. "You're not going to bring atheists into the government? How dare you maintain that those who believe in the Judeo-Christian values are better qualified to govern America than Hindus and Muslims?" My simple answer is, "Yes, they are."
That was a problem, certainly, but nothing that couldn't be handled. Then Pat hit a real snag, and it killed his Presidential bid.
In his campaign literature, Robertson claimed to be a "combat Marine" who had served proudly in the Korean War. It didn't take long for Marines who remembered Pat to rebut this statement. They remembered him as the only jarhead with a U.S. Senator for a father. And who, coincidentally, was pulled out of his combat unit and reassigned to a cushy desk job. In fact, Lt. Robertson was known colloquially as his unit's "liquor officer," because it was his assigned responsibility to keep the officer's club stocked with alcoholic beverages from Japan.
Robertson had never spent a single day in a combat environment, and his claim of having been a "combat Marine" infuriated a lot of people. One of them wrote a letter to his local newspaper, published in February 1988:
There is a person who calls himself a combat Marine. He is not. His name is Pat Robertson. I saw him often in the division headquarters where he was clean-shaven and clothed and showered. He was in charge of making sure that the officers' booze ration was handed out and re-supplied. He was a lieutenant. He was in my battalion.
The line company marines I saw smelled badly, looked poorly. For months at a time they were cold, eating C-rations. Trying to stay warm and dry was a constant battle. These line-company men were the combat Marines of the First Marine Division. Neither Pat Robertson nor I could carry their gear.
He is trying to get elected by standing on those frozen bodies I saw, by putting himself in the company of those seven Marines who repulsed the enemy. Imagine a person who aspires to be President being so loose with the truth, so lacking in grace and so dishonorable.
He says God talks to him. I'd like to hear what God says to him about this.
Self-aggrandizement by way of dishonoring your nation's war dead is really something you should avoid if you want to run for office... any office, much less President of the United States. People just don't like the idea that their candidate is a lying sack of shit who would say anything just to get elected.
By the time the Republican national convention rolled around in August, Pat had been washed-up for a long time. In a gracious speech, he urged his remaining supporters to vote for Vice President Bush. But he didn't leave politics. Quite the contrary, in fact.
Following his unsuccessful bid for President, Pat acknowledged that he had some explaining to do:
In the quest for the highest secular prize our nation has to offer a third place finish is respectable. But my supporters were devastated. It was as it they mourned for the dead. Because they felt -- as I did -- that God had called me to win, not run third.
So in New Orleans they were asking and I was asking one simple question -- did God call me to run for president or not? And if He did call me to run, why did I lose? And why, with the loss, was there such incredible personal abuse and such enormous financial sacrifice?
Whatever the answer, Pat realized that he could never run for office again. It was pointless. But that didn't mean he couldn't get somebody else elected. He immediately set to work building his own political organization. He called it the Christian Coalition. It was conceived as Pat's attempt to insinuate himself into the Republican party leadership.
The Christian Coalition became a huge force, almost overnight. In a fundraising letter from the Democratic National Committee, the chairman wrote: "Pat Robertson has the most powerful political organization in America." Another observer noted:
A blaring neon example of the group's intentions to influence politics directly came on September 17th of 1997, when Pat Robertson addressed about 100 members of the Christian Coalition's state branches. He made a speech wherein he spoke admiringly of the Tammany Hall political machine and declared his desire to select the next President.
In its heyday, the Christian Coalition campaigned hard for high-profile, Christian-minded candidates. They supported Oliver North's run for the Senate seat in Virginia. Likewise, John Ashcroft's Senate bid in Missouri. And, of course, they endorsed both George HW Bush (grudgingly) and George W Bush (enthusiastically) in their Presidential campaigns.
Then they got caught improperly using funds to promote specific candidates, and the FEC slapped them with fines. The membership dwindled, and Pat abandoned the organization in December 2001.
If there's one thing Pat understands, it's that religion and business don't mix (except when they do). To underscore this point during his campaign for President, Pat's wife told reporters: "He is not a television evangelist. He has never been an evangelist. He is a television broadcaster. He has a law degree. He's a businessman. He has a multi-million dollar business that he started with $70. He's a good businessman."
Let's start with the mundane stuff. Pat pushes pancake recipes and other nutritional crap. Before that, he sold vitamins and other health supplements through a sketchy multi-level marketing scheme called KaloVita. Eventually, Robertson pulled out of KaloVita after a scathing Newsweek magazine story in 1994.
In April 2002, Robertson acknowledged owning a race horse, named "Mr. Pat." He told a New York Times reporter that his interest in the horse was based purely on its aesthetics. "I don't bet and I don't gamble. I just enjoy watching horses running and performing." Harder to explain was why he spent $520,000 on the horse and intended the beast to compete at the track. But the resulting furor over Pat's direct participation in a gambling racket eventually caused him to sell the horse a month after the Times story broke.
But the racehorse scandal was just small potatoes. In the mid-1990s, Pat struck up a friendship with Mobutu Sese Seko, the brutal tyrant of Zaire. He took a trip to the African nation with a large entourage on one of Mobutu's personal planes. Then the group was whisked off to his presidential yacht, which took them to his estate. One member of the party characterized their host as quite congenial: "Pat Robertson and Mobutu get along extremely well. Mobutu was interested in bringing in people to get the mining and agriculture operations going again."
Robertson purchased rights from Mobutu to dredge for diamonds in a remote portion of the Zaire river near Tshikapa. Diamond mining is an expensive proposition. It requires a constant influx of miners and equipment parts. In order to keep his operation supplied with manpower and gear, personnel and materiel had to be flown in from other places. That can get expensive.
In a cost-cutting move, Pat ferried his cargo aboard planes owned by Operation Blessing, a tax-exempt charity of Robertson's working to deliver medical supplies. In fact, according to two pilots who worked for Robertson, nearly all of the flights they made on the Operation Blessing planes were delivery trips to and from the mining site. Later, one of them told a reporter:
"My first impression when I took the job was that we'd be called Operation Blessing and we'd be doing humanitarian work. We got over there and 'Operation Blessing' was painted on the tails of the airplanes, but we were doing no humanitarian relief at all. We were just supplying the miners and flying the dredges from Kinshasa out to Tshikapa."
Even after the mining operation went bust a few years later, Robertson kept in touch with Mobutu. Reports claim that he sent a personal messenger "offering his assistance and cooperation" in 1996, when rebels were about to overtake the government's military strongholds. Pat unsuccessfully lobbied the State Department to reinstate Mobutu's visa so he could come to the United States.
In 1999, Pat struck up a relationship with another African dictator, Liberian strongman Charles Taylor. Robertson stuck an $8 million deal to pursue more mining in his country. This time, he wasn't hunting for diamonds -- he was hunting for gold. According to a Liberian government press release, Pat told Taylor: "I pray that this investment may become a wonderful blessing to the people of Liberia and will be one of the many significant investments that will be made under your administration in the nation of Liberia."
Pat chartered Freedom Gold Ltd. in the Cayman Islands and dispatched geologists to southeastern Liberia for prospecting. They didn't find much. But that hasn't diminished Robertson's zeal. When President George W Bush started making noises about Charles Taylor having to step down in order to halt the Liberian civil war, the preacher publicly excoriated Bush for failing to support the leader of a sovereign Christian nation, even if he had perpetrated crimes against humanity on a massive scale.
And then there's China. Pat has business interests in the Communist nation. So when Robertson appeared on CNN defending China's forced-abortion policy, it didn't surprise veteran Pat watchers. Here's what he said: "Well, you know, I don't agree with it, but at the same time, they've got 1.2 billion people and they don't know what to do... If every family over there was allowed to have three or four children, the population would be completely unsustainable... so I think that right now they're doing what they have to do."
Surprisingly, Pat's primary objection to the policy appeared to be rooted in eugenics. As a result of aborting almost exclusively female babies, Pat observed that China will eventually face "a critical shortage of wives. The young men won't have any women to marry, so it will, in a sense, dilute the -- what they consider the racial purity of the Han Chinese. And that to them will be a great tragedy, because then they will have to be importing wives from Indonesia."
Isn't that really beside the point? Whatever happened to "abortion is evil"? Seems like Pat just doesn't want to piss off his Communist business partners.
in the final analysis
But none of that stuff really matters. The world is going to end any day now, and these piddling indiscretions will be completely forgotten. The only question is: when?
In 1980, Pat announced that the Tribulation would begin in "the Fall of 1982." Unfortunately, this simply did not happen. In his 1990 book The New Millennium, Robertson proposed that the Tribulation would begin on April 29, 2000. Again, no dice. Things like that can be very disappointing. It's almost as though God were purposely fucking with Pat. It's enough to make you question your faith.
Does Pat still believe that God loves him? Does he actually think that God is protecting him and wants him to be happy? In February 2003, Pat announced that God had afflicted him with potentially life-threatening prostate cancer. Did he turn to faith healing? No. He turned to secular medicine; surgeons excised the cancerous tissue.
Think about it. Among other things, Pat Robertson is one of the world's most famous faith healers. He does it every day on his television show, The 700 Club. He solicits donations and prays on camera for God to heal people's infirmities. Suddenly, Pat's got cancer. Does he pray the tumor away? No. He hires a surgical team to do God's work for Him.
Maybe Pat should consider the possibility that the cancer is just God's way of imposing forcible "retirement."
|22 Mar 1930
||Pat Robertson born, Lexington VA.
||Juris doctor degree, Yale University Law School.
||Master of Divinity, New York Theological Seminary.
|11 Jan 1960
||Founds the Christian Broadcasting Network.
|1 Oct 1961
||Christian Broadcasting Network begins broadcasting.
||Pat Robertson declares at the "Washington for Jesus" rally: "We have enough votes to run the country. And when the people say, 'We've had enough,' we are going to take over."
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson declares: "I guarantee you by the fall of 1982, that there is going to be a judgment on the world, and the ultimate judgment is going to come on the Soviet Union. They are going to be the ones to make military adventures... by the fall undoubtedly something like this will happen which will fulfill Ezekiel ."
|30 Dec 1981
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson declares: "The Constitution of the United States, for instance, is a marvelous document for self-government by the Christian people. But the minute you turn the document into the hands of non-Christian people and atheistic people they can use it to destroy the very foundation of our society. And that's what's been happening."
|30 Dec 1981
||Pat Robertson tells The Washington Post: "I am bound by the laws of the United States and all 50 states...I am not bound by any case or any court to which I myself am not a party... I don't think the Congress of the United States is subservient to the courts...They can ignore a Supreme Court ruling if they so choose."
||In a speech, televangelist Pat Robertson declares: "What's coming next? ... I want you to imagine a society where the church members have taken dominion over the forces of the world ... no drug addiction ... pornographers no longer have any access to the public whatsoever ... the people of God inherit the earth ... You say, that's a description of the Millennium when Jesus comes back ... [but] these things can take place now in this time ... and they are going to because I am persuaded that we are standing on the brink of the greatest spiritual revival the world has ever known!"
||Pat Robertson tells Conservative Digest: "It's amazing that the Constitution of the United States says nothing about the separation of church and state. That phrase does appear, however, in the Soviet Constitution, which says the state shall be separate from the church and the church from the school. People in the educational establishment, and in our judicial establishment, have attempted to impose the Soviet strictures on the United States and have done so successfully, even though they are not part of our Constitution."
|11 Apr 1986
|| On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson declares: "The First Amendment says Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof -- nothing about a wall of separation, nothing about separation of church and state! Merely, Congress can't set up a national religion. End of story."
|18 Aug 1986
||Pat Robertson tells New York Magazine: "It is interesting, that termites don't build things, and the great builders of our nation almost to a man have been Christians, because Christians have the desire to build something. He is motivated by love of man and God, so he builds. The people who have come into (our) institutions (today) are primarily termites. They are into destroying institutions that have been built by Christians, whether it is universities, governments, our own traditions, that we have.... The termites are in charge now, and that is not the way it ought to be, and the time has arrived for a godly fumigation."
|17 Sep 1986
||Televangelist Pat Robertson announces his intention to run for President in 1988, if he can gather 3 million supporters over the next year.
|21 Oct 1986
||Republican Presidential candidate Pat Robertson files twin $35 million libel suits against Congressman Andrew Jacobs and Congressman Paul McCloskey Jr.
|29 Sep 1987
||In order to effectively campaign for President, Pat Robertson resigns from his religious ministry.
|3 Nov 1987
||Presidential candidate Pat Robertson claims that 25% of American autoworkers are drug users, which contributes to their decline in productivity.
|7 Mar 1988
||At Pat Robertson's request, a federal judge dismisses his $35 million libel suit against Indiana Congressman Paul McCloskey. The case is dismissed "with prejudice." Robertson is ordered to pay $28,000 of McCloskey's court costs, and is prohibited from suing McCloskey again over the Korea story.
|16 Aug 1988
||At the Republican party's national convention, Presidential candidate Pat Robertson concedes defeat and endorses George HW Bush.
||Founds International Family Entertainment, Inc.
|20 Jun 1990
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson declares: "Many observers say that AIDS is the hammer and gun of the homosexual movement, an effective vehicle to propel the homosexual agenda throughout every phase of our society."
|2 Oct 1990
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson declares: "The courts are merely a ruse, if you will, for humanist, atheistic educators to beat up on Christians."
|14 Jan 1991
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson declares: "You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense. I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist. I can love the people who hold false opinions but I don't have to be nice to them."
|9 Apr 1991
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson warns: "[Planned Parenthood] is teaching kids to fornicate, teaching people to have adultery, every kind of bestiality, homosexuality, lesbianism -- everything that the Bible condemns."
||Among the America's 100 Cultural Elite, by Newsweek magazine.
|17 Mar 1992
||Pat Robertson's book The New World Order published. Happy St. Patrick's Day!
|18 Mar 1992
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson opines on South Africa's political system: "I think 'one man, one vote,' just unrestricted democracy, would not be wise. There needs to be some kind of protection for the minority which the white people represent now, a minority, and they need and have a right to demand a protection of their rights."
|17 Sep 1992
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson declares: "It's one thing to say, 'We have rights to jobs... we have rights to be left alone in out little corner of the world to do our thing.' It's an entirely different thing to say, 'Well, we're not only going to go into the schools and we're going to take your children and your grandchildren and turn them into homosexuals.' Now that's wrong."
||In an interview with Molly Ivins, Pat Robertson declares: "Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. It's no different. It is the same thing. It is happening all over again. It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-based media and the homosexuals who want to destroy the Christians. Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America today. More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history."
|21 Jan 1993
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson declares: "Many of those people involved with Adolf Hitler were Satanists, many of them were homosexuals -- the two things seem to go together."
|28 May 1993
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson declares: "I am absolutely persuaded one of the reasons so many lesbians are at the forefront of the pro-choice movement is because being a mother is the unique characteristic of womanhood, and these lesbians will never be mothers naturally, so they don't want anybody else to have that privilege either."
|14 Sep 1993
||Pat Robertson tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-biased media, and the homosexuals who want to destroy all Christians."
|27 Sep 1993
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson declares: "The public education movement has also been an anti-Christian movement... We can change education in America if you put Christian principles in and Christian pedagogy in. In three years, you would totally revolutionize education in America."
|23 Dec 1993
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson declares: "God and morality, the Clinton administration wants out of the country."
|18 Feb 1994
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson declares: "These socialists, and they're in there now, starting with the President and his associates ... they want to squeeze out religion because if people read the Bible, they can't be enslaved. You'll never have a socialist government where everybody's Christian."
|18 Jan 1995
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson declares: "[Homosexuals] want to come into churches and disrupt church services and throw blood all around and try to give people AIDS and spit in the face of ministers."
|22 Jan 1995
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson declares: "[Separation of church and state] was never in the Constitution. However much the liberals laugh at me for saying it, they know good and well it was never in the Constitution! Such language only appeared in the constitution of the communist Soviet Union."
|23 Mar 1995
||A voiceover during a segment on Pat Robertson's television show The 700 Club, declares Hinduism to be "demonic."
|29 Mar 1995
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson declares: "We abhor violence against homosexuals. We would counsel strongly -- in relation to homosexuality -- that you can hold your religious beliefs without beating people up and being violent."
|7 Oct 1995
||Televangelist Pat Robertson occupies a seat near Pope John Paul II during a Mass held in New York. Robertson later hands the Pontiff a letter urging closer relations between Catholic and Protestant denominations.
|7 Dec 1995
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson declares: "God in his great mercy has blessed America, and made this a haven for Christians and Jews alike. But we've gone away from our Christian heritage. And God has little obligation at the present time to spare America, because we are polluting the world with our television programs, our movies and so forth, our books. We are polluting the whole world. We've made the world drunk, if you will, with the wine of our fornication. The whole world has been affected by Hollywood."
|1 Jan 1996
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson reveals that God warned him about abortion rulings: "The word I got is that if the judges appointed by man will not deal with those who take innocent human life, then the Lord is going to enter in and bring justice. And when that happens many of the innocent will suffer along with the guilty."
||International Family Entertainment, Inc. sold to Fox for $1.9B.
|13 Sep 1997
||Speaking at the (nonprofit, nonpartisan) Christian Coalition's "Road to Victory" luncheon, Pat Robertson declares: "We said we'd have conservative control of Congress by '96; we did it in '94. We've had a major presence in one of the major parties; we still haven't gotten the influence I think we ought to have inside the Republican Party; we're still not totally like we should be. And we also said by the year 2000 we'd have the presidency and that's to me the next goal. We can hold Congress, get in some more good people into the Congress and into the governors' mansions and then focus in on the White House."
|13 Sep 1997
||Speaking at the (nonprofit, nonpartisan) Christian Coalition's "Road to Victory" luncheon, Pat Robertson declares: "We just tell these guys, 'Look, we put you in power in 1994, and we want you to deliver. We're tired of temporizing. Don't give us all this stuff about you've got a different agenda. This is your agenda. This is what you're going to do this year. And we're going to hold your feet to the fire while you do it.'"
|3 Dec 1997
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson declares: "[The National Organization for Women] is saying that in order to be a woman, you've got to be a lesbian."
|6 Jun 1998
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson vows that God will not permit "Gay Day" at Walt Disney World: "I would warn Orlando that you're right in the way of some serious hurricanes, and I don't think I'd be waving those flags in God's face if I were you, This is not a message of hate -- this is a message of redemption. But a condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. It'll bring about terrorist bombs; it'll bring earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor."
||Liberian dictator Charles Taylor and Pat Robertson sign a "Mineral Development Agreement between the Republic of Liberia and Freedom Gold Limited," permitting Robertson's company to search for gold in Liberia.
|18 May 1999
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson declares: "In Europe, the big word is tolerance. You tolerate everything. Homosexuals are riding high in the media. For example, in the Cayman Islands, which is a British colony or whatever they call it now -- it's an independent thing -- in order to establish full relationships with England, England is insisting that they recognize homosexuals and the Cayman Islands are saying: 'We're Christians and we'd rather not do it.' And in Scotland you can't believe how strong the homosexuals are. It's just simply unbelievable. And so as far as the vestiges of John Knox and some of these heroes, I don't think it exists any more. And what could happen? It could go right back to the darkness very easily."
|9 Aug 1999
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson declares: "I know it sounds somewhat Machiavellian and evil, to think that you could send a squad in to take out somebody like Osama bin Laden, or to take out the head of North Korea, but isn't it better to do something like that, to take out Milosevic, to take out Saddam Hussein, rather than to spend billions of dollars on a war that harms innocent civilians and destroys the infrastructure of a country?"
|6 Feb 2001
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson declares: "The worse thing in the world for somebody who is a person of color, black, African American, whatever term is in vogue these days to hold grudges and say well 100 years ago my ancestors were in slavery, and therefore I hate you. That doesn't fly. And to live in the past is the most numbing experience because what it does is sap your energy for the future. And, what everybody's got to do is to say before God I'm going to ask God to bring forgiveness into my life. And, I am just totally against these leaders who stir up the divisions and the hatred. You've seen it -- talking about all these offenses and things that happened. And, they're doing it for publicity. They're doing it to raise money. They're doing it to get a following so they'll be elected to some office, and so forth. That's wrong. To play on the hatred of people for your own personal gain is abhorrent, and there are many people who do that."
|13 Sep 2001
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson declares: "We have allowed rampant secularism and occult, etc. to be broadcast on television. We have permitted somewhere in the neighborhood of 35 to 40 million unborn babies to be slaughtered in our society. We have a Court that has essentially stuck its finger in God's eye and said, 'We're going to legislate you out of the schools, we're going to take your Commandments from off the courthouse steps in various states, we're not going to let little children read the Commandments of God, we're not going to let the Bible be read -- no prayer in our schools.' We have insulted God at the highest levels of our government. And, then we say 'why does this happen?' Well, why its happening is that God Almighty is lifting his protection from us. And once that protection is gone, we all are vulnerable because we're a free society, and we're vulnerable. We lay naked before these terrorists who have infiltrated our country. There's probably tens of thousands of them in America right now. They've been raising money. They've been preaching their hate and overseas they've been spewing out venom against the United States for years. All over the Arab world, there is venom being poured out into people's ears and minds against America. And, the only thing that's going to sustain us is the power of the Almighty God."
|1 Oct 2001
||Televangelist Pat Robertson announces: "The Lord is getting ready to shake this nation. We have not yet seen His judgment on America. This thing that happened in New York was child's play compared to what's going to happen. It was a great tragedy. It tore at our hearts when we saw that suffering, but it was a wake-up call from God." Among other offenses inciting God's wrath, Pat cites "rampant Internet Pornography."
|5 Dec 2001
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson declares: "We're legalizing Sodomy. We're now teaching witchcraft in the schools. We're legalizing sodomy. Adultery is thought of as no big deal. We haven't quite got to bestiality yet, but it's on the Internet. And, incest is more and more prevalent and the sacrifice of children through abortion is in the 30 to 40 million range. We're doing all the things that God said were so repugnant that the land itself would be repulsed and would vomit its inhabitants out. And, if there was ever a time that we need God's blessing, it's now. We don't need to bring in heathen, pagan practices to the United States of America."
|17 Feb 2003
||Surgeons remove faith healer Pat Robertson's cancerous prostate gland, inflicted upon the televangelist for reasons known only to God. For reasons known only to Robertson, he opted for humanistic surgery, rather than relying upon the power of prayer.
|17 Jul 2003
||Televangelist Pat Robertson tells CNN: "I prayed for the downfall of the Soviet Union. I thought that Communism, the tyranny of Communism, was an abomination and I beseeched God to bring that terrible evil down and he did. It was a great triumph, it took awhile, but it happened."
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson suggests that a terrorist should nuke the offices of the U.S. State Department when he tells author Joel Mowbray: "I read your book. When you get through, you say, 'If I could just get a nuclear device inside Foggy Bottom, I think that's the answer,' and you say, 'We've got to blow that thing up.' I mean, is it as bad as you say?"
|14 Oct 2003
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson declares: "Every society which has embraced homosexuality -- normalized it, legitimized it, et cetera, embraced it as part of their culture -- every one of those societies has gone down in flames. And if we want to destroy the United States of America, take it down, this is the best way to do it. So the homosexuals will have managed to win what's known as a pyrrhic victory -- they may win their temporary battle, but they'll lose the war 'cause they will destroy the society, and that's happening."
|2 Jan 2004
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson declares: "I think George Bush is going to win in a walk. I really believe that I'm hearing from the Lord it's going to be like a blowout election of 2004. It's shaping up that way. The Lord has just blessed him. [...] I mean, he could make terrible mistakes and comes out of it. It doesn't make any difference what he does, good or bad. God picks him up because he's a man of prayer and God's blessing him."
|22 Aug 2004
||During a reception for Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon at the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, Virginia, Pat Robertson declares: "The entire world is being convulsed by a religious struggle; the struggle is whether [...] the moon god of Mecca -- known as Allah -- is supreme, or whether the Judeo-Christian Jehovah, God of the Bible, is supreme."
|19 Oct 2004
||In an interview with CNN's Paula Zahn Now, Pat Robertson declares: "I warned him about this war. I had deep misgivings about this war, deep misgivings. And I was trying to say, Mr. President, you better prepare the American people for casualties. 'Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties.' Well, I said, it's the way it's going to be. And so, it was messy. The Lord told me it was going to be A) a disaster, and B) messy. And before that, I had deep -- in my spirit -- I had deep misgivings about going into Iraq."
|19 Oct 2004
||In an interview with CNN's Paula Zahn Now, Pat Robertson declares: "I thought it was going to be a blowout, but I think it's razor thin now. But the President, in my opinion, in the next couple of weeks -- we only got two more weeks -- is going to pull ahead of Kerry and I think he will have a substantial Electoral College victory when it's all over."
|20 Oct 2004
||Pat Robertson declares: "I emphatically stated that I believe 'the blessing of heaven is upon him,' and I am persuaded that he will win this election and prevail on the war against terror in order to keep America safe from her avowed enemies."
|23 Aug 2005
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson publicly advocates the murder of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez: "You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war, and I don't think any oil shipments will stop. [...] We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strongarm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."
|24 Aug 2005
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson denies having advocated the murder of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez: "I said our -- our special forces should (quote) 'Take him out.' And 'take him out' can be a lot -- a number of things, including kidnapping. There are a number of ways to take out a dictator from power besides killing him. I was misinterpreted by the AP, but that happens all the time."
|24 Aug 2005
||The Christian Broadcasting Network issues a written press release, purportedly authored by Pat Robertson: "Is it right to call for assassination? No, and I apologize for that statement. I spoke in frustration that we should accommodate the man who thinks the U.S. is out to kill him."
|12 Jan 2006
||Pat Robertson conveys a letter of apology to the family of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, after having publicly suggested that his recent stroke had been God's wrath: "My zeal, my love of Israel, and my concern for the future safety of your nation led me to make remarks which I can now view in retrospect as inappropriate and insensitive in light of a national grief experienced because of your father's illness. I ask your forgiveness and the forgiveness of the people of Israel for saying what was clearly insensitive at the time."
|2 Jan 2007
||On his television show The 700 Club, Pat Robertson shares a revelation from his recent prayer retreat: "[E]vil men, evil people, are going to try to do evil things to us and to others during the last part of this year. I don't know whether it'll be in the fall or September or later on, but it'll be the second half somehow of 2007. There will be some very serious terrorist attacks. The evil people will come after this country and there's a possibility that -- not a possibility, a definite certainty -- that chaos is going to rule. [...] It's going to happen. And I'm not saying necessarily nuclear, the Lord didn't say nuclear, but I do believe it'll be something like that, that'll be mass killing -- possibly millions of people, major cities injured."