Donald Trump’s campaign has given the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody a sneak peek at the members of a “pro-life advisory council” that the candidate is set to introduce today. Earlier this month, Trump sent a letter to “pro-life leaders” laying out a number of promises that he would make to their movement and announcing that Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the anti-choice electoral group Susan B. Anthony List, would spearhead the new anti-abortion coalition for his campaign.
Trump has given the anti-abortion movement some serious heartburn during his campaign as he’s continually reshaped his position on the issue and bungled their talking points, including at one point saying that women should face “some form of punishment” for abortion if the procedure is recriminalized. But since earning the Republican nomination, he’s started to win over many skeptical anti-abortion leaders with promises to appoint Supreme Court justices who share their views and to help them dismantle Planned Parenthood.
Brody writes that the full list released today “may indeed give comfort to those remaining evangelicals who are having a tough time making their way to the voting booth this Election Cycle.” Indeed, while Trump has attempted to say different things about abortion rights to different audiences, this new coalition shows that he is ready to go all-in with a movement that ultimately wants to ban the procedure without exception.
On the new list of Trump’s anti-choice allies are a number of legislators who have taken the lead on fighting abortion rights in Congress, including Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who led the House select committee investigating Planned Parenthood, Rep. Diane Black, Rep. Trent Franks and Rep. Chris Smith. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is on the list, as is Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin.
Also joining the new coalition are Religious Right activists including Tony Perkins and Ken Blackwell of the Family Research Council; Gary Bauer; Ralph Reed; the American Principles Project’s Frank Cannon; Bill Dallas of United in Purpose; Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance; C-FAM’s Austin Ruse; and Ed Martin, head of the late Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, who is apparently sympathetic to many of Trump’s views.
The list also includes anti-abortion activists Day Gardner of the National Black Pro-Life Union, Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life, Alveda King and Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, and former Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest, who now works for Bauer’s American Values.
Dannenfelser has made no secret of the fact that she eventually wants to ban abortion without exception (except for a narrow exemption for saving a woman’s life) and her group opposes some common forms of birth control, claiming that they cause abortions. Many of the activists in Trump’s new coalition have similarly extreme views and are confident that Trump will let them have their way.
Ruse, who works at the United Nations to attempt to stop the adoption of language friendly to LGBT equality and reproductive rights, has declared, for instance, that “comprehensive sexuality education” is “a phrase created in the pits of hell by wicked individuals who wanted to undermine the family and ultimately destroy any institution that stands between the family and the state.” After meeting with Trump earlier this year, Ruse said that the GOP candidate “doesn’t care about” reproductive rights and therefore will “let our side do exactly what we want to do.”
Others have presented different reasons for supporting Trump. Priests for Life’s Pavone, who has said that legal abortion is worse than terrorism, has been somewhat lukewarm about Trump but has argued that Trump’s promises on abortion overcome any other faults he might have.
In response to a caller to a Catholic radio program who said that Trump’s stances on things like nuclear warfare and going after the families of suspected terrorists aren’t exactly pro-life, Pavone said that the potential of Trump dropping an atomic bomb is less dangerous than the certainty of Hillary Clinton continuing the “raging holocaust” of legal abortion. On another radio program, Pavone argued that it is more important that a candidate be “right on abortion” than on “poverty, immigration, war and peace, homelessness [and] health care.”
Pavone, after Trump said he supported punishing women who have abortions, floated the possibility of legal punishments for abortion “accomplices,” such as the person who brings a woman to a clinic.
Pavone’s Priests for Life colleague, Alveda King, also has some extreme views on reproductive rights, including alleging that “chemicals and things” in birth control make women infertile and that Planned Parenthood gives women contraception in order to give them breast cancer.
Other activists in Trump’s coalition have been leaders of the effort to chip away at abortion access by attempting to regulate abortion providers out of existence. When Yoest was at Americans United for Life, she was at the forefront of what she called this “stealth strategy” of “trench warfare and gaining ground under the radar.”
Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson issued yet another warning about the perils of Dungeons & Dragons, this time after a viewer claimed that “really weird things” started happening in her house after her husband began playing an online game that “includes elements of witchcraft.”
Robertson urged her to “find a minister or some trusted adviser who will tell him this is a problem,” before going off on Dungeons & Dragons, which he said has lured people “into a fantasy world that really captured them.”
“It is demonic,” he said. “Demons are out to destroy you and your husband needs to understand that.”
Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson advised a viewer not to let her son attend a haunted house on Halloween and instead to explain to him that the devil is using the holiday to try to “destroy you.”
“Mother, don’t let your babies grow up to be demon-worshippers, if I can quote from Willie Nelson,” he said. “Don’t let him do it.”
Robertson said churches should organize their own alternative events with “all the nice, pretty girls and all the handsome boys” where “they’re praising the Lord instead of worshiping Satan.”
“Halloween has become a night when the devil rejoices,” Robertson added.
Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson responded to a story about conservatives criticizing Obama administration regulations by claiming that the president is a socialist who is hell-bent on destroying America.
“The left, ladies and gentlemen, the so-called progressives, want one thing: They want to bring socialized life to America and they want to control every aspect of the life you and I live,” the televangelist said.
Robertson said President Obama “is trying his dead-level best to impose his view of socialism on this nation and I think we need to call it what it is, he’s a radical socialist and he was nurtured in the school of radical, whatever you call it, revolution and his teachers are those who hate America.”
Obama’s policies, he added, will lead to government control over “everything you do” and “it will be death to this country.”
The evidence? That the man supposedly carries a Diazepam pen and once rushed to the stage during a campaign rally to help Clinton breathe.
In reality, this suspicious man is actually a Secret Service agent who went up on stage to help Clinton not because of a health crisis but because an animal rights activist protesting the event had gone over the stage barrier. The supposed Diazepam pen he was allegedly holding was actually a flashlight.
Robertson, citing the Drudge Report, wondered if “the heavy-set black gentleman” was Clinton’s “whisperer” and claimed that the man is not affiliated with the Secret Service.
“People are saying, ‘Who is this man?’” he continued. “There are some who are saying, ‘Maybe he’s a doctor who is with her and trying to help her along.’”
This isn’t the first time that Robertson has raised bogus questions about Clinton’s health.
Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson seized on the right-wing meme that Hillary Clinton is covering up major health issues, citing a photo he saw on the Drudge Report of Clinton nearly slipping on icy steps, which is apparently proof that she’s “got some neurological impairment.”
“She’s asking Trump to show his tax returns, and they’re going to be saying, ‘You better show your medical returns,’” he said, pointing to the fact that Clinton was photographed holding a railing while walking up stairs.
“I don’t know if it’s true or not,” he added.
Robertson even wondered if Vice President Biden will have to step in because Clinton’s supposedly flagging health may cause her to withdraw from the race.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio may stand by his belief that Donald Trump is a dishonest “con man,” but in an interview last week with the Christian Broadcasting Network, he said that pastors should support Trump anyway, noting that “Donald Trump is committed” to appointing Supreme Court justices in the mold of the late Antonin Scalia.
“I just don’t believe there’s any chance at all that Hillary Clinton will ever appoint someone to the Supreme Court with the views that Scalia had,” he added.
Yesterday, Donald Trump gave an interview to the Christian Broadcasting Network following his speech at the American Renewal Project’s gathering in Orlando, a speech that received a rave review from CBN founder and “700 Club” host Pat Robertson.
CBN reporter Jenna Browder asked Trump the question that has been on everybody’s mind: “You know, a lot of Christians believe that you have been chosen for such a time as this. Do you believe that’s true? Have you ever considered that maybe this is a divine calling?”
“Well you know, I’ve heard that from others,” Trump said. “I’ve heard it from pastors. I’ve heard it from others. I don’t really want to think about it because it’s too big of a burden but I can say this, that if I can do what I’m saying I can do, and I’m not only talking with the military and building up and safety and security, you know, our country’s in such bad shape in so many ways.”
When Browder asked Trump how he would “protect” the “Christian business leaders” who “are getting attacked because they don’t want to support gay couples or they don’t want to provide services,” Trump spoke vaguely about what he had said in his speech.
Robertson, meanwhile, hailed Trump’s “refreshing” remarks, while alleging that the IRS is persecuting “conservative Christians.”
Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson defended GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump over his recent comment that if Hillary Clinton is elected president, nothing could be done to prevent her and her judicial nominees from doing away with gun rights unless “Second Amendment people” stop them.
Robertson blamed liberal monitoring groups for the uproar, alleging that they twisted Trump’s remarks, before he himself went ahead and altered Trump’s remarks to make them more benign.
The televangelist told co-host Wendy Griffith that he feels for his “buddy” because he has been the victim of similar hit jobs from Media Matters and People For the American Way. (Right Wing Watch is a project of People For the American Way).
“I sympathize with Donald Trump. I had a group called Media Matters, I had another group called People For the American Way, they taped every single word that I said and I did about 10,000 broadcasts, I did many adlibs, and every time they would take my words and transpose—they would take connectors out and they would put it out, and there was somebody at the AP who was one of their clones and they picked [it] up and across the country would come these idiotic statements,” he said. “The same thing is being done to Trump.”
“Out of context, twist it around, and then throw it out, ‘Robertson just said,’ and around the world,” Robertson continued. “So they’re doing to Trump now. There’s a whole team of people just looking for every word he speaks to make him look silly. What he said yesterday I think, or the day before, whatever, the Second Amendment crowd would give me a hand, and what he’s talking about are those who are concerned about gun control, and what he’s saying is a new Supreme Court judge, it’s been virtually a tie on it, and the next time they put a liberal judge on, they’ll be reversing the Second Amendment. So he said the Second Amendment. So what his opponents are saying, Donald Trump is encouraging people to shoot Hillary, it’s just nonsense.”
These supposed lies about Trump and himself, Robertson explained, are inspired by the same source: Satan.
“Every time they’re going to twist the words, I know what it’s like, he has my profound sympathy but these people are profound liars and they’re set up as liars,” he said. “The devil is a liar and the father of lies, according to the Bible.”
Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson offered GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump some campaign advice: Avoid the devil’s attempt to “get you off on rabbit trails.”
“The Lord has handed Mr. Trump a gift of 1.2 percent GDP growth, which is absolutely pathetic and horrible,” the televangelist said, noting that instead of talking about economic growth, Trump is talking about “Muslim heroes or fallen warriors.”
“Stay off that and talk about the economy,” he advised.
When cohost Wendy Griffith asked why Trump seems to be so easily “baited by these tweets and all these things,” Robertson said that “with Christians, the devil will get you off on rabbit trails every chance you get.”
“If you are susceptible to them and if you respond, then he’ll — there will be incitement constantly in your life,” he said. “You have to block all that stuff out and concentrate on the one thing that is important. In the election right now, stay on message. It is the economy.”
Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson congratulated Donald Trump, who has repeatedly courted the televangelist's support, for officially securing the GOP nomination for president, claiming that Trump is “professing his faith” on the campaign trail.
Robertson said that Trump “understands that the evangelicals are crucial to winning this election,” which is why he has pledged to only appoint solidly conservative judges to the bench and push the Religious Right's political agenda.
“Trump is willing to say, ‘Okay, you back me on this and I’m going to back you on your issues,’ and I believe him,” Robertson said. “He looks after his friends.”
The televangelist added that the Supreme Court is “at stake” in the election, along with “all the legislation having to do with all the sexual activity of the United States people, same-sex marriage and all that stuff, plus abortion, that’s on the table. If you’re interested in guns and the Second Amendment, that’s going to be on the table without question. You can go right down the list of key issues that are going to be decided by the Supreme Court and we’re looking at at least two to maybe three vacancies on the court for the next president.”
Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson fielded a question from a viewer who asked if church-state separation groups like the Freedom From Religion Foundation and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State “ever fight against any other religions” besides Christianity.
Robertson said that such groups exclusively target Christians because “they understand Christianity is where the power is — the power doesn’t exist in Islam, the power doesn’t exist in Baha’i or any of these fringe religions.”
“They fight against Christianity because Christianity touches the souls of people and the devil regards Christianity as a threat, and of course it is a threat because we’re going to overturn him and his kingdom.”
Marriage equality opponents like Pat Robertson often argue that same-sex couples shouldn’t have a right to get married because the U.S. government should follow the “biblical” rule that marriage is reserved for one man and one woman.
However, in response to a question today on “The 700 Club” about whether Jews in the Old Testament who were in polygamous marriages were committing adultery by having more than one spouse, Robertson said that such marriages weren’t “considered adultery” according to the Ten Commandments.
Robertson, nonetheless, said that now polygamy will become legal “because the only reason they have laws against polygamy is because it is said it is unbiblical and unchristian and therefore you shouldn’t do it."
"If you can have all the other things the Supreme Court has ruled on, believe me they are going to rule it’s unconstitutional to forbid polygamy," he said."
He clarified that while the New Testament forbids polygamy, men in the Old Testament who had multiple wives still had “covenant relationships with all of them — that’s in the book.”
Pat Robertson reacted today to the “terrible” Supreme Court ruling striking down parts of a Texas anti-abortion law by declaring that America will face divine judgment for allowing abortion to be legal.
We have slaughtered over 55 million unborn babies in this country and we’re going to pay a terrible price as a nation for allowing that. And when it’s sanctioned and approved of by the highest court in the land, then we all stand responsible for it and we will pay, all of us, as a nation, because the Supreme Court and the president and the leaders of our country said that’s what they want.
And those unborn babies are crying out, their blood will cry out against us as a nation and one of these days what’s going to be happen is going to be horrible. So, this is the law, you can talk about the law, it’s legal to have an abortion, Roe v. Wade, and so forth. But what is happening is the slaughter of the unborn is exceeding in America the slaughter in any nation I am aware of in the history of mankind.
Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson accused President Obama of coddling the Muslim Brotherhood and bringing the group into “the inner circles of the government of the United States.”
Robertson hinted that the president may be a secret Muslim, falsely claiming that Obama attended an Islamic madrassa while living in Indonesia. He also falsely claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood inspired the Palestine Liberation Organization and Hezbollah, secular and Shiite rivals of the group, respectively.
After declaring that “the government doesn’t want us” to fight terrorist groups, Robertson said that extremists are the ones who truly follow Islam: “The people who are distorting Islam are not these radical groups, they are following right down the line what the Quran says. The ones who are distorting it are the so-called moderates who refuse to go along with it.”
“It’s shocking, it should be horrifying and it’s time the American people stand up against it,” Robertson said. “We’re being taken over, it’s a very subtle thing. Europe is being overrun and taken over and country after country after country are facing Islamic extremists and it is very hurtful.”
“We have got to do something in this country,” he added. “We’re looking at a revolution in England and maybe looking for a revolution in this country. We’ve had enough.”
Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson railed against America’s “culture of death” that “delights in killing people,” warning that God will soon punish America for making abortion legal.
Robertson said that “we have to look at the spiritual roots” of abortion rights, blaming the right to abortion on Satan: “The enemy of our soul is Satan and he hates people, he hates human beings, and the idea is if humans can kill other humans, the devil wants to do everything to help it.”
“It’s a shocking holocaust,” he said. “And we as Americans seem to think it’s okay. Well, it’s not okay. And one day, a righteous, holy God is going to demand an accounting for every drop of blood that has been spilled of innocent, unborn babies. And we just keep it mind, when it happens it’s going to be awful.”
Today on “The 700 Club,” televangelist Pat Robertson reacted to the massacre at an Orlando gay club by making the absurd claim that liberal LGBT rights advocates have aligned themselves with radical Islamists and are now reaping what they have sowed.
Robertson said that liberals are facing a “dilemma” because they love both LGBT equality and Islamic extremism, and that it is better for conservatives like himself not to get involved but to instead just watch the two groups kill each other.
“The left is having a dilemma of major proportions and I think for those of us who disagree with some of their policies, the best thing to do is to sit on the sidelines and let them kill themselves,” he said.
Earlier in the program, Robertson went into more detail about what he called “the dilemma of the liberals, the so-called progressives, because they have two favored groups. One, the Muslims. Number two, the homosexuals.”
We’re looking at a favored group by the left, the homosexuals, and that in Islam is punishable by death or imprisonment or some sanction, so what are the left going to do? How are they going to describe it? And they don’t know quite what to do now. The fact that this Islamic gentleman opens fire in a gay nightclub and kills almost 50 homosexuals, that says something and tells the fact that Islam is against homosexuality, so the liberals are going to be scrambling to find some rationale, I think they’re going to have a hard time doing it.
In the meantime, Donald Trump is riding high because he said we should screen these people and he’s absolutely right. We should screen them. So the left is saying, ‘Oh you’re anti-Muslim, you’re racist’ and all this. Suddenly, that part of the narrative doesn’t play too well and they’re stuck as to what to do. But Trump is enjoying a victory.
Robertson went on to criticize President Obama for being soft on terrorism and sticking to “the narrative” that Islam is not inherently violent, irresponsibly ignoring the fact that “radical Islam is in the religion of Islam.”
He added that the issue of homosexuality and the Islamic world is “a murky picture” because Lawrence of Arabia may have spent the night with a sheikh who tried to “perform homosexual acts” on him.
UPDATE: The Christian Broadcasting Network released a statement today saying that Robertson was “clearly” using the word “killing” metaphorically during his discussion of a mass murder.
Please view The 700 Club's official statement regarding the context of Pat Robertson's comments on today's show. pic.twitter.com/qgL7AvwXaM— The 700 Club (@700club) June 14, 2016
In August of last year, shortly after the Supreme Court handed down the landmark Obergefell marriage equality ruling, televangelist Pat Robertson discussed the ruling with Steve Strang, the founder of the Pentecostal magazine Charisma, on his podcast.
Robertson warned that “the homosexuals don’t want equality, they don’t want equal treatment, what they want is to destroy everybody who disagrees with them.” He predicted that there will be “a vendetta” against “any organization that disagrees with homosexuality,” saying that “what was done to Bob Jones University, that’s just a warm-up of what’s going to happen unless there’s something dramatic that takes place.” (Bob Jones University lost its tax exempt status in the 1980s because of its rules barring interracial dating.)
Robertson told Strang that with rulings like Obergefell, the Supreme Court has broken down America’s defenses against “radical Islam and the other forces of secularism trying to destroy us”:
The Supreme Court, to think that we’ve got five men and women, five unelected people who are controlling of the moral destiny of this nation and they’re stripping us of the defenses that we have to have against radical Islam and the other forces of secularism trying to destroy us. The Supreme Court is making it more and more difficult to assert these foundational values.