Televangelist Pat Robertson today told a parent who asked him how to talk to her gay son “to be understanding,” but also to ask her son if he was molested by his coach. “Is there a biological thing going on or has he been influenced, has a coach molested him?” Robertson asked, a comment based on the anti-gay myth that children are “recruited” into homosexuality.
“They don’t know what they’re doing, they’re teenagers,” Robertson said of gay youth.
Congratulations to Pat Robertson on being named "Bigot Of The Year."
Gary Bauer is mad that the GOP keeps losing elections: "The Obama Democrats are socialist to the core. They are expanding dependency on government rather than bringing people into the economic mainstream. They are cultural radicals declaring war on the family and unborn children. They have a foreign policy that reaches out to our enemies and alienates our allies. Yet GOP elites, the professional consultants and the ad men can't seem to figure out that this is a huge opportunity to define them as such and call them out for their extremism."
Gary Cass is mad about ENDA: "ENDA opens the door to bizarre behavior. Will you send your elementary age kids to a class with a cross-dressing teacher? This bill would stop schools from barring this behavior. Why are political leaders giving in to selfish adults with emotional issues, and not thinking about the innocent children? Children shouldn’t be the victims of these misguided adults’ desire to live publicly a queer lifestyle?"
Speaking of ENDA, it is nice to see that NOM's facade of just trying to protect "traditional marriage" has all but disappeared.
"Coach" Dave Daubenmire says young adults shouldn't be shackled with college loan debt so that they can afford to have babies.
Finally, the AFA may be losing the war against marriage equality, but the organization can take solace that they are winning isolated victories in the War on Christmas.
Back in 1997, E.W. Jackson was working for Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition as the director of the Samaritan Project, a short-lived campaign designed to reach out to minority voters by passing off the Coalition’s political agenda as a “bold and compassionate agenda to combat poverty and restore hope.”
According to the New York Times, Jackson took part in a blessing over Robertson: “With Mr. Robertson kneeling, a half-dozen black pastors blessed him, touching his shoulder. The Rev. Earl Jackson, an African-American preacher from Boston who heads the Samaritan Project, pronounced the scene ‘not just an event but an epiphany.’”
People For the American Way had criticized the Samaritan Project with a campaign called “Don’t be Fooled by the ‘Christian’ Coalition.”
In a 1997 interview on the 700 Club, Robertson and Jackson, who is now the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in Virginia, discussed the Christian Coalition’s outreach to the black community and criticized PFAW. “People For the American Way needs to try to do a little bit more of the American way, and the American way is a way of faith and that’s something that they just don’t seem to understand,” Jackson said.
Pat Robertson says you must be doing something wrong if you can’t “heal” your son of deafness. After all, Robertson himself has healed deafness before, he said on the 700 Club today. Responding to a question from a mother who asked why her hearing impaired son hasn’t been healed despite her prayers, Robertson said that her son may be hindered by a “spirit of deafness.”
“I have dealt with people who are deaf and you rebuke the spirit of deafness and they get healed,” Robertson said. “I don’t know what you’re doing wrong.”
“Why don’t you try that and if it doesn’t work, try something else,” he said.
Pat Robertson said today on the 700 Club that liberal policies inevitably lead to mass deaths, arguing that modern Europe is little different from the Nazi era or the French Revolution. The televangelist was commenting on a story about a bill in Belgium’s parliament that would broaden the country’s euthanasia law to include minors, as long as they have the consent of their parents, a psychologist and two doctors.
He said that liberals have “moved away from God” and “as a result of humanity and rejecting God, you have the orgy of the French Revolution, you have the guillotine cutting off the heads of thousands of people, you have the same thing going on now in Europe, you had it under the Nazis.”
You know the liberals, the so called socialists, the progressives, they’ve moved away from God and when you move away from God then you say, ‘were humanists.’ Then as a result of humanity and rejecting God, you have the orgy of the French Revolution, you have the guillotine cutting off the heads of thousands of people, you have the same thing going on now in Europe, you had it under the Nazis. Why can’t we come back to the fact that God loves people?
When Pat Robertson thinks you’ve moved too far to the right, you know you’re in trouble.
Today, for the second time this week, the televangelist criticized Republicans for staking out such an extreme position that they forced a government shutdown and threatening the country with a default. Robertson said that while he loves the Tea Party, he thinks the movement’s leaders need to “grow up and work to make the system successful.”
“Unfortunately, the Tea Party is not going along and if they don’t go along in another few hours our government defaults and that is a catastrophic thing for the finances for this great nation,” Robertson said. “So what’s happened is, instead of John Boehner being a hero and leading a vast army, he is now demoralized, unable to lead his troops and the game has gone back to the Senate.”
Boehner will now need to “let the Democrats come in and save his bacon” to prevent a default, the 700 Club host continued. “It’s not a pleasant day for the Republicans.”
Republicans are too extreme and need to put a stop to their dogmatic anti-Obamacare campaign, according to televangelist Pat Robertson — that’s right, Pat Robertson. In remarks made today on the 700 Club, Robertson said that if the GOP continues its crusade to derail Obamacare, it would lead to a default that “would be devastating economically to every human being.”
The Republicans have got to wave the white flag and say, ‘We fought a good fight and now it’s over. They cannot shut the government down and then bring about a default. We can’t do it. I mean, it would be devastating economically to every human being and the Republicans just can’t get tarred with that. So they tried and if they go to the electorate and say, ‘We tried, Obamacare was awful, we tried to get it underway and we weren’t successful, the Democrats wanted it, they fought for it and they wouldn’t let go so it’s their bill, their program.’
Amazingly enough, this isn’t the first time that Robertson has called out the GOP for being too extreme.
“I think the World Health Organization was doing some experiment in the Congo on a monkey virus, a monkey injection to fight polio and it wasn’t an injection, they put it in sugar cubes and they gave it to these Africans, a couple hundred thousand in the test,” Robertson said.
“This is the first time when monkey diseases crossed into the human condition and out of that has come this terrible thing. It seems to be transmitted so often through sexual contact and it was rife in the homosexual community but has then jumped into the heterosexual community.”
The charge that humans acquired HIV from these [polio] trials remains, for most experts, an empty accusation, made more improbably by recent studies that found no detectable traces of chimpanzee DNA in frozen stocks of [Hilary] Koprowski’s vaccine. The results, said one group of researchers, “should finally lay the OPV/AIDS theory to rest.”
Edward Hooper, a British journalist, argued in his 1999 book, The River, that Dr. Hilary Koprowski of the Wistar Research Institute unintentionally caused the AIDS epidemic by using chimp kidneys to produce an oral polio vaccine. The chimps, says Hooper, were infected with SIV (the simian precursor to AIDS). Then, via an experimental mass-vaccination program in the Belgian Congo, SIV made the jump from monkey to man.
Hooper's contaminated polio vaccine thesis sounds less wacky than most conspiracy theories and has attracted support from a few notable academics—including late Oxford professor W.D. Hamilton. But it's definitely wrong. Hooper says Koprowski got his kidney samples from chimps in the Congo. The problem is that the SIV strain endemic to chimps from that region is phylogenetically distinct from HIV. The offending chimps probably came from Cameroon.
Thomas Maugh II of the Los Angeles Times wrote back in 2001 that four separate research groups found no evidence to back up the conspiracy theory:
The controversial idea that a contaminated polio vaccine was responsible for the spread of AIDS in Africa has been discredited by new research released today.
"The new data may not convince the hardened conspiracy theorist who thinks that contamination of [the vaccine] was subsequently and deliberately covered up," he said. "But those of us who were formerly willing to give some credence to the . . . hypothesis will now consider that the matter has been laid to rest." Dr. Hilary Koprowski, who conducted the tests on behalf of the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, said he was very happy with the findings.
"I never believed one word of the accusations because there were no facts," he said. "What bothered me was that somehow this may have created a difficulty in eradicating polio" because some people would refuse to be immunized for fear of contracting AIDS.
"With these articles putting an end to any possibility that vaccination had anything to do with AIDS, I hope that the [polio] eradication campaign will be [successfully completed] in two to three years."
Koprowski and others have said all along that the vaccines were prepared using only the cells of monkeys, which do not carry HIV, and that chimpanzee cells were not used. The new findings, appearing in today's Nature and Friday's Science, confirm their claim.
The new studies show that "all the viruses were grown on monkey cells, which is what was claimed initially," said Clayton Buck, chief executive and acting director of Wistar. "As far as I am concerned, the issue is really put to rest for all practical purposes."
Four separate groups in England, France, Germany and Sweden have now examined vaccine samples removed from freezers at Wistar, looking at the DNA of the viruses and the cells in which they were grown. In all cases, the cells were found to be only from rhesus or macaque monkeys and the only virus present was the polio virus.
Wistar no longer had samples of one vaccine preparation, called CHAT 10A-11 that Hooper thought to be the most suspect. But an original vial of the batch was found at Britain's National Institute for Biological Standards and Control. It too was found to contain only monkey cells and polio virus.
Earlier this year, Pat Robertson told 700 Club viewers that it wasn’t a bad idea to pray over clothes, and even rings, just in case they have a demon attached to them. When a viewer asked him today how she could manage to pray over everything in her house every day, Robertson said not to worry too much… unless God is telling you that there are in fact demons in your house.
“What is important is: were these objects actually used in some kind of Satanic ritual? Some occult practice? If that’s the case, then there might be some demonic force that attaches to that which was used in pagan worship,” Robertson said. “In terms of going around and saying this is cursed and that’s cursed, you can drive yourself crazy doing that.”
Co-host Wendy Griffith claimed that she knew of cases where God told a preacher to remove certain paintings from his house “because they have something attached to them,” and Robertson agreed: “I’ve heard of people who had headaches, they get something from overseas and it looks so beautiful yet it’s actually a deity, a demonic force has attached itself to that.”
Today on the 700 Club, Pat Robertson reacted to a David Brody report on a new California law protecting transgender students by blasting the law as “insane.”
“I may be an old fuddy-duddy, what is transgender?” Robertson asked co-host Wendy Griffith.
Despite Robertson’s admission that he doesn’t know what it means to be transgender, that didn’t stop him from criticizing the law. Robertson said that while he is “not opposed” to gender reassignment surgery, “but this whole business about transgenders, you’re saying they’ve got boy parts but they want to go to the girls’ restroom, that’s absurd.”
Robertson said he is sticking up for “the normal people” against the “insane” LGBT rights movement:
Why are we exposed to this stuff? They are driving the agenda, driving everybody crazy, all this sexual identity, sexual politics, ‘Mommy Has Two Mommies’ [sic] and all that stuff, it’s a tiny fringe but they seem to have control of the levers of power in the media and especially in Hollywood. But it’s insane. I just cannot believe that the normal people in America, the people who want to just live their lives can’t be allowed to do it without having this stuff imposed on them constantly. You’ve explained to me, I’m not sure we know yet.
Later in the broadcast, Robertson said: “now, we talk about transgender, I have a former stallion who is now a gelding.”
Pat Robertson got a bit defensive in answering a question from a viewer today about why he does not “ever pray for God to replace limbs” during the show’s prayer segment. In the segment, Robertson and his co-host announce various medical healings and financial gifts that they claim God is giving out “like Santa Claus.”
Robertson told the viewer that he knows stories of people who have had an eyeball “recreated,” grown new teeth and regenerated a leg, but he insisted that he does not pray on the show for limbs to grow back because “these are all creative miracles and what we’re praying for is healing,” whatever that means.
“It’s a different level of faith,” Robertson said, “Don’t sit on your couch and give us grief because we’re not praying for legs to grow for Heaven’s sakes. If we can ask God to heal your cancer, thank Him for that, please.”
Religious Right leaders are lining up to endorse Rod Parsley’s new book, The Cross, which is about how American culture and even Christian churches have “degraded the significance of the cross.” Parsley, who has also authored works such as Silent No More, Culturally Incorrect and Living On Our Heads, is best known for his Prosperity Gospel preaching, opulent living and right-wing politics.
Today’s edition of the 700 Club began with a story about the beneficial effects of a low-carb, high-fat diet. But host Pat Robertson explained that he didn’t believe the positive coverage, arguing that such a diet is not only bad for your health but also “violates the principles that God set down.”
But that wasn’t the only food-related issue that required Robertson’s wisdom today.
The televangelist later in the program advised against eating halal food, warning that proceeds from such foods go to funding terrorist groups like Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Today on the 700 Club, Pat Robertson told an elderly viewer who has been tithing since childhood that she wouldn’t have health issues, and therefore medical expenses, if she was tithing properly. The viewer said that she and her husband are “retired and living on a small pension and Social Security income” and “barely have any money” because of her husband’s medical expenses.
She asked Robertson if it would be “wrong to use [tithe] money towards medical expenses instead?”
Seeing that Robertson insisted that even people about to fall into bankruptcy must continue to tithe, we were not surprised that Robertson told the viewer no. In fact, Robertson went as far as to say that as long as she tithes she will stay healthy and as a result not even encounter medical bills.
Citing Malachi, Robertson said: “Your husband has all these medical problems because the ‘devour’ has not been rebuked. You need to rebuke him. You give your tithes faithfully and God said, ‘I will rebuke the devour,’ the person that is eating up your money and eating up your health. So you want to be healthy? That’s a promise in the Word.”
Ron Paul appeared on the 700 Club today to promote his new curriculum for homeschoolers, of which televangelist Pat Robertson is a big fan. Robertson said that Paul’s curriculum, which includes instructions on “the Biblical principles of self-government” and “a thorough understanding of Austrian school economics,” is necessary to stop “indoctrination” in public education.
“Don’t the so-called progressives and whatever, don’t they really want education to indoctrinate children. It’s not just a question of educating they want to indoctrinate them in their philosophy, don’t they?” Robertson inquired.
“I think that’s the whole purpose, it’s indoctrination; it’s compulsory; it’s conformity; destroy creativity; destroy individuality,” Paul maintained. “They don’t want kids to be curious, they have to conform and mold it and then they are obedient to the state.”
Paul said that the NSA surveillance program, government spending and militarism are all the consequences of the public schools’ efforts to “condition” children “to say the government knows best, they’ll take care of it.”
Pat Robertson and his Christian Broadcasting Network filed a report today that falsely claimed that having a “biblical view” on sexuality has been “criminalized” in San Antonio, Texas. Robertson said San Antonio “has gone off the rails” by adopting a non-discrimination ordinance [PDF] which includes protections for sexual orientation and gender identity, and claimed that the new law would lead to Christians being thrown in prison: “This means that if you speak out about your deeply held religious beliefs they will put you in jail or brand you some kind of a class 3 felon.”
“This whole thing is outrageous and that city council should be replaced,” Robertson charged.
The segment quoted Christian Right activists arguing that gay people are seeking “special rights” while taking away the rights to religious freedom and speech of Christians. CBN reporter Heather Sells even said the new policy “criminalizes those with a biblical view of sexuality.”
The 700 Club regularly features a segment where Pat Robertson and his co-host read prayer request letters they have received and then pray for their authors and call out visions of God healing certain ailments (or shelling out a cool million). All viewers have to do is “claim” their particular healing and their maladies will be gone. During today’s broadcast, a viewer named Clark asked Robertson to defend the practice, which is common among Word-Faith preachers and faith healers:
I watched your son [Gordon] and a woman on TV telling people that God was healing a certain condition that people in the audience were suffering from. Then they discussed cases where viewers had written in to say that they had been healed, thus apparently proving that they have the ability to get God to heal people during the show. Is that power only available to them during the show? If not, are they spending every waking moment healing people? If not, that is just plain wrong.
Robertson tried to laugh off the question and explained that when the 700 Club hosts are praying together they receive a “Word of knowledge” and “the Lord just shows us what he is doing at some point of time, not what we are doing, it is his do.”
He insisted that he is not a healer: “I do not believe in a resident gift to heal” — just in “gifts of healing.”
Then, the televangelist likened the whole shtick to Santa Claus passing out gifts.
“It’s plural ‘gifts of healing.’” Robertson said. “It’s like Santa Claus. He has a pack on his back and he has gifts and he’s passing these gifts out but they come from God.”
“The word of knowledge says we are merely reciting what God himself is doing, okay?”
This isn’t the first time Robertson has defended the practice. Last year, Robertson said that failed healings are not the result of the pastors (like Robertson) who conduct them but due to a lack of faith among people asking for a healing.
Two days following 9/11 terrorist attacks, televangelists Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell blamed the attacks on “the pagans, the abortions, the feminists and the gays and lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way.”
Today, Robertson remembered 9/11 by attacking former president George W. Bush for calling Islam a “religion of peace.”
“They believe that anybody who doesn’t submit is at war with them and they are prime targets, and for the Western nations to welcome this fifth column into their midst is just committing suicide,” Robertson claimed.
“The reason is they have lost their faith in God, they have lost their faith in Jesus Christ, they don’t believe in what the Bible says and the core values of our society have gone away,” Robertson continued. “We’ve done it here in America, we’ve abolished prayer in the schools, we’ve taken out Bible-reading in the schools and little by little by little we’ve eroded the rights—we keep talking about separation and this that and the other.”
Robertson made the remarks following a report by Dale Hurd which linked radical Islamic groups to liberals. “Muslims and the European left continue their strange political partnership; while they’re polar opposites when it comes to women’s rights, abortions and homosexuality, Muslims vote for the left while the left grows its constituency by encouraging Muslim immigration and the spread of Islamic values,” Hurd claimed. “America too has been knowingly trying to advance the cause of Muslim radicals in Syria and Egypt.”
Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network is already weighing legal action against two filmmakers over their documentary depicting the televangelist’s egregious misrepresentations of the activities of his charity, Operation Blessing.
An Operation Blessing spokesman toldThe Virginian-Pilot that they are “considering legal action” against Lara Zizic and David Turner, whose film “Mission Congo” will hold its premier at the Toronto International Film Festival, over the film’s supposed “false and defamatory” content.
CBN has a history of going after Robertson’s critics; for example, they recently embarked on an unsuccessful push to cover up a video of Robertson — first posted here on Right Wing Watch —arguing that gay men wear special rings that they use to infect random people they meet with HIV/AIDS.
Chris McGreal of The Guardianreports that the film depicts how Robertson diverted charitable activities to help mining projects that he owned and grossly exaggerated the work of Operation Blessing among Rwandan refugees.
The bulk of the thousands of doctors and nurses struggling to save lives – as about 40,000 people died of cholera – were volunteers for the international medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). The Bible readers were hired by the American televangelist and former religious right presidential candidate, Pat Robertson, and his aid organisation, Operation Blessing International.
But on Robertson's US television station, the Christian Broadcasting Network, that reality was reversed, as he raised millions of dollars from loyal followers by claiming Operation Blessing was at the forefront of the international response to the biggest refugee crisis of the decade. It's a claim he continues to make, even though an official investigation into Robertson's operation in Virginia accused him of "fraudulent and deceptive" claims when he was running an almost non-existent aid operation.
Mission Congo, by David Turner and Lara Zizic, opens at the Toronto film festival on Friday. It describes how claims about the scale of aid to Rwandan refugees were among a number of exaggerated or false assertions about the activities of Operation Blessing which pulls in hundreds of millions of dollars a year in donations, much of it through Robertson's televangelism. They include characterising a failed large-scale farming project as a huge success, and claims about providing schools and other infrastructure.
But some of the most damaging criticism of Robertson comes from former aid workers at Operation Blessing, who describe how mercy flights to save refugees were diverted hundreds of miles from the crisis to deliver equipment to a diamond mining concession run by the televangelist.
The documentary describes how dredges, used to suck up diamonds from river beds, were delivered hundreds of miles from the crisis in Goma to a private commercial firm, African Development Company, registered in Bermuda and wholly owned by Robertson. ADC held a mining concession near the town of Kamonia on the far side of the country.
The pilot said he joined Operation Blessing to help people. Of the 40 flights he flew into Congo, just two delivered aid. The others were associated with the diamond mining. "We're not doing anything for those people," he said. "After several months I was embarrassed to have Operation Blessing on the airplane's tail." He had the lettering removed.
Robertson's activities in Congo were initially exposed by a Virginia newspaper, the Virginian Pilot, in the 1990s. The investigation by Bill Sizemore prompted the attorney general in Virginia, where Operation Blessing is registered, to order a probe by the state's office of consumer affairs.
Its report concluded that Robertson made "fraudulent and deceptive" statements with claims to be ferrying doctors and medical aid to Goma when he was delivering diamond-mining equipment. It accused Operation Blessing of "misrepresenting" what its flights were doing, and of saying that the airstrip at Kamonia was part of the aid operation when it was "for the benefit of ADC's mining operation".
It also said Robertson had falsely portrayed the Dumi farm as hugely successful when it had already failed.
"Pat Robertson made material claims, via television appeals, regarding the relief efforts. These statements are refuted by the evidence in this case," the report said.
Robertson has been embroiled in mining controversies elsewhere in Africa. He supported the then president of Liberia, Charles Taylor, during that country's civil war without revealing at the time that he had an $8m investment in a Liberian gold mine. Taylor was already indicted by a UN war crimes tribunal at the time and was later convicted of crimes against humanity.
Full disclosure: The filmmakers conducted research in People For the American Way's archives.