Perhaps the most famous televangelist is Pat Robertson, former presidential candidate, owner of CBN and the Family Channel, founder of the 700 Club, the American Center for Law and Justice and the Christian Coalition. Born Marion Gordon Robertson1 into a wealthy family in Virginia in 1930, Robertson was exposed to politics from birth. His father, Absalom, was a Democratic state senator for six years, followed by a stint as Commonwealth Attorney for Rockbridge County (after serving stateside in the army in World War I) and then 13 years as a state representative, a post he resigned to enter the US Senate for another 21 years. Robertson's father served on the Senate Committees on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, which wasn't much of a surprise given his close ties to the banking industry. The elder Robertson was a member of the Freemasons and considered himself a Baptist and a conservative.
The younger Robertson enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserves prior to receiving his degree from Washington and Lee University. Upon graduation with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 19502, he was sent overseas to serve in Korea. While overseas, he served with Pete McCloskey, who would himself later go on to become a presidential candidate for the Republican Party in 1972, although at the party's convention Richard Nixon was given the nomination. During the 1980s, McCloskey was sued by Robertson for libel after stating Robertson used his father's influence to land a post in the rear shortly after his arrival in Korea. Depending on what source you quote, either Robertson quickly dropped his case when a.) fellow vets not only backed up McCloskey's claims but also accused Robertson of carousing for prostitutes and harassing Korean women or b.) a judge threw the suit out of court for reasons not stated. (Perhaps the reason was fellow vets not only backed up McCloskey's claims but also accused Robertson of carousing for prostitutes and harassing Korean women! Pure speculation, I know...but I'm awaiting a return call from Mr. McCloskey to verify which version is true. Click here for Mr. McCloskey's clarification.) Ironically, McCloskey broke with party ranks in the 2004 election and endorsed John Kerry for president over Robertson's choice, George W. Bush.
Robertson received his law degree in 1955 and a masters of divinity degree in 1959. In 1960, Robertson raised the funds to purchase a bankrupt UHF television station in Portsmouth, VA. His biography on the official Pat Robertson site states, "Arriving with only seventy dollars in his pocket, Robertson proceeded to raise the finances to purchase the station." This makes it sound as if Pat were penniless when he arrived in Virginia and that it was miraculous that he was able to raise the funds. But Robertson's family was wealthy and he had many wealthy connections— certainly making it much easier to raise the funds than it would be for the average Joe.
Robertson formed the Christian Broadcast Network (CBN) in January, 1960, but it was almost two years later, in October, 1961, that CBN first went on the air. CBN's annual report for 2003 shows their total liabilities and net assets as being $179,893,000. Not bad for someone who came to Virginia to buy the station with only $70 in his pocket. Of course, I'm sure that the sale of Mr. Robertson's age-defying antioxidants, pancakes, and shakes helps out in the budget department.
Riding the wave of success for CBN, Mr. Robertson founded International Family Entertainment, Inc. in 1990. Its anchor was the Family Channel, which later was sold for $1.9 billion to become part of the FOX family, and later went on to be bought by Disney. Additionally, Mr. Robertson founded Regent University in 1977 in Virginia Beach, Virginia and continues to serve as its chancellor. The university offers both graduate and undergraduate degree programs from a Judeo-Christian perspective.
Somewhere along the line, amid all these other activities, Robertson also found time to found the American Center for Law and Justice3 (ACLJ— heck of a play on acronyms, inlcuding the fact that the J almost looks like a U.) The ACLJ touts itself as being an organization that "engages in litigation, provides legal services, renders advice, counsels clients, provides education, and supports attorneys who are involved in defending the religious and civil liberties of Americans." The only problem is that it seems you have to follow the Christian religions to receive their services. While they never say that, I've yet to hear of them take a case where they were defending the right of a pagan child to wear a pentacle to school, for example. If I'm wrong, and if the ACLJ has protected the rights of non-Christians, someone please point me to the case.
I think it is interesting to note what is NOT on the official Pat Robertson biography page: there is no mention whatsoever of the Christian Coalition, the PAC formed by Robertson that was in hot water with the FEC on many occasions for their partisan voter's guide. I'm not going to address any of the shenanigans of the CC here since that will be covered in the "Organizations" section. But one has to wonder why there is no mention of the CC in Mr. Robertson's biography.
Something else that is not mentioned is Mr. Robertson's involvement with Charles Taylor, the recently deposed brutal dictator of Liberia, whose ties to terrorism have been condemned by both the US and the UN, both of whom have also imposed sanctions against Taylor's regime. In 1998, Robertson entered into a gold-mining venture in Liberia, in partnership with Taylor. Freedom Gold Limited, a for-profit, offshore company registered in the Cayman Islands (notorious as a haven for tax-evasion purposes), was formed as a result of this deal, which gave Robertson's company rights to gold mining interests in return for a 10% kick back to the Taylor government. Robertson, according to the company's charter, is the company president and chairman of the board. He is also the board's only member. [Sources can be found here and here]
The long and the short of it is that Pat Robertson is a hypocrite, a power-monger, a fear-monger and, in my humble opinion, the closest thing to the anti-Christ we have living in today's world. (Although I must admit that James Dobson is making a run for that "honor" as well.) This man takes the message of Love taught by Jesus and transforms it in to a message of conformity, intolerance, blame and hatred. Many of the things Mr. Robertson rails about with respect to others are exactly the same things he does himself.
There are a couple very good and well-documented sites that demonstrate that Mr. Robertson meets the definition of terrorist as given by President Bush. You can view two examples here and here. Just with the last several years, Mr. Robertson has
- advocated dropping a nuclear bomb on the US State Department building in Washington, DC [Source]
- has warned Orlando (where Gay Days was celebrated at Disney World) that they were "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." ["The 700 Club" June 6, 1998][Click here for the statistical analysis that proves him wrong.]
- agreed with Jerry Falwell who blamed gays, feminists, pro-choice advocates, pagans, the ACLU, PFAW and other secular organizations for 9/11 [See here to view a copy of the transcript of that episode of the 700 Club]
- predicted a "blow out" win for George W. Bush because, he said, he was "hearing from the Lord" that that's how it was going to be. [Click here for a copy of the AP article by Sonja Barisic on January 2, 2004] It should be noted that Bush won by the slimmest margin since Woodrow Wilson beat Thomas Dewey back in 1916.
- said in an interview with Paula Zahn that "[Bush] could make terrible mistakes and come 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 is blessing him." [CNN Transcript]
- seemed to admit the existence of other deities, although claimed his was more powerful when he spoke to an audience gathered to hear Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon speak on the about the situation in Israel that, organizers claimed, the mainstream media ignore or distort. Robertson said, "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." [Source] I guess acknowledging the existence of other gods is okay as long as you don't worship them?
- called for the assassination of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. [Source]
- said that Ariel Sharon's stroke was the result of Israeli policy of diving up God's land and giving some to the Palestinians. [Source][Author's Note: After Robertson made this comment, Israeli officials announced they would no longer do business with Robertson or anyone who agreed with his statements. Robertson was set to finance a Bible-based theme park on the shores of the Galilee and only offered an apology after Israel said it was going ahead with the project but without Robertson. You gotta love karma...]
- predicted mass killings in the US in 2007, probably in the form of a terrorist attack that he is hinting will be nuclear. (If he's as wrong about this as we was about the hurricanes for Orlando, can we call him a false prophet?) [Source]
These are only a few of the radical ideas Robertson has advocated. There are many sites all over the internet that reveal even more about this man and his true purpose. I've listed only a few.
Positive Atheism's Big Scary List of Pat Robertson Quotations
Humanist Society of Gainesville Pat Robertson Quotes
Political Amazon Quotes from Hell
I have been following the rise of Pat Robertson for more than a decade now. And this man scares me like nothing has ever scared me. To paraphrase Frodo Baggins, when speaking about his first impressions of Strider (Aragorn), "A servant of the enemy will look fairer but feel fouler." This man feels more foul to me than anything I have ever encountered. Do not dismiss him as some whacked out religious fanatic. This man has put his money and his mouth behind George W. Bush. And he's got a lot of money. According to Greg Palast in his book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Robertson's net worth is between $200 million and $1 billion dollars. (I guess no one can be sure how much money his offshore ventures like Freedom Gold Limited are making him since they're chartered in the tax-haven of the Cayman Islands.)
At the Republican National Convention, Robertson once again attacked gays and is caught on television making slurs against gays on the Larry King Live show. It shows how worried he is about his image as well as the coaxing by his "people" as to how to manipulate the show to get out his message and make him look good.
Robertson is, in my humble opinion, a genius along the same lines that Hitler was a genius. He understands the power of mass media, he understands how to play on people's fears and uses that fear to garner support for his agenda. His agenda is to support HIS faith—because he does not think all Christians are true Christians. During the broadcast of The 700 Club on January 14, 1991, Robertson said, "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." I'd like to know what Bible Mr. Robertson uses since mine doesn't ever show Jesus being mean to anyone but the moneychangers in the temple.
Make no mistake about it: Robertson's goal is to make the United States of America a Christian nation and, once that is accomplished, to strive to make the world a Christian world. Or at least his version of Christianity, which to my way of understanding has nothing to do with the message of Love that Jesus the Christ taught his followers. How can we stop him? For answers to that question, please read my thoughts on the matter.
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1 Commenting on his nickname, Mr. Robertson says that while he was "defenseless to protest 'Pat'", he stuck with it in later life because he "felt that 'Marion' sounded a touch effeminate". [Source: Origins of His Nickname] I guess Mr. Robertson didn't want to take any chances that someone might think he was gay. His bigotry was evident even then.|
2 Not even his official biography says what that degree was in. It should be noted that at the time Mr. Robertson attended Washington and Lee, a liberal arts college, it was an all-male school. Females were not admitted until 1972 and then only in the post graduate law program. Female undergrads were not admitted until 1985! Does Mr. Robertson believe in the principle of "separate but equal"?|
|3 While researching the ACLJ, I went to their website. On Nov. 5/6, 2004, they had a quick poll that asked "Has Pres. Bush received a mandate - a clear authorization to act - from the American people?" 89.5% of respondents said "Yes"! This from the president who garnered the most opposition votes and who won by the narrowest of margins since Woodrow Wilson's defeat of Thomas Dewey in 1916. A mandate is not given when one gets barely 51% of the vote, yet this is the way the RRR and its supporters feels.|
|I have over the course of the years written many articles about Mr. Robertson and the various organizations he either runs or founded. Click on the title of the article and it will open in a new window that you can close when you're finished. There are also other articles here that will give you further insight into Pat Robertson.|
||Debunking Robertson Propaganda|
|Synopsis: Debunking a pretty piece of propaganda put out by the Christian Coalition about Pat Robertson.|
||A Nation Under Attack|
|Synopsis: An article I wrote about the beginnings of the attack by the radical religious right. |
||World Watch: More Propaganda|
|Synopsis: Debunking the propaganda in a CBN publication called "World Watch". |
||Still More Propaganda|
|Synopsis: Unspinning the propaganda in a Legal Defense Fund solicitation letter.|
||NY Times Article|
| Synopsis: Robertson says that in a prewar conversation with Bush, he warned the president to prepare Americans for casualties. Bush responded that there would be none. The White House denies this conversation ever took place.|
||Reprint of a Freedom Writer Article|
| Synopsis: Belief in UFO's falls under the category of idolatry, which means that the one believing in such should be stoned to death.|
||A CNN Story|
| Synopsis: On the CBN website, Robertson asks his audience to pray for three justices to retire, including the only two women.|
| Synopsis: A reprint of an article that appeared in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal on April 28, 1997 that discusses the use of Operation Blessing aircraft for Pat Robertson's private diamond mining ventures.|
|| Even More Articles|
| Synopsis: A listing of articles about Robertson from organizations such as Americans United for Separation of Church And State and the Institute for First Amendment Studies. It appears as if the list has not been updated since 1998 and many articles show 404 error messages, but there's still enough there to give you an idea of just how power-hungry and manipulative Pat Robertson and the Christian Coalition are.|
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