Today the 700 Club featured a news report on mental health and suicide, highlighting the tragic story of the suicide of the daughter of Southern Baptist leader Frank Page. Bizarrely, host Pat Robertson tried to link suicide to “demonic games” like Dungeons and Dragons, which he put on par with bulimia and anorexia.
A new report released by the College Republican National Committee has been making waves this week for its stern warning that the GOP’s appeal is foundering among young voters. Chris Moody notes that the group explicitly mentioned the party’s opposition to gay rights as a reason why young voters are repelled by the party:
"[T]he conventional wisdom is right," the study's authors write in a section on how Republicans should approach marriage policy for gay and lesbian couples. "Young people are unlikely to view homosexuality as morally wrong, and they lean toward legal recognition of same-sex relationships."
With the culture shifting away from the party's policies, here's what they recommend:
The best course of action for the party may be to promote the diversity of opinion on the issue within its ranks. (After all, for quite some time, former vice president Dick Cheney was to the left of President Obama on same-sex marriage) and to focus on acceptance and support for gay people as separate from the definition of marriage. Where the Republican Party will run into the most trouble over this issue is when it is not winning on any of the more prominent issues, either – the economy and spending. If a candidate is compelling enough on economic opportunity and spending, they may well be able to overcome a difference of opinion with young voters on same-sex marriage.
The authors conclude: "On the 'open-minded' issue, yes, we will face serious difficulty so long as the issue of gay marriage remains on the table. In the short term, the party ought to promote the diversity of thought within its ranks and make clear that we welcome healthy debate on the policy topic at hand. We should also strongly oppose the use of anti-gay rhetoric."
But it turns out the College Republican National Committee is sponsoring the “Road to the Majority Conference,” hosted by Ralph Reed’s far-right Faith & Freedom Coalition, along with other anti-gay groups like Concerned Women for America, the Manhattan Declaration, the American Civil Rights Union and televangelist Pat Robertson’s Regent University.
After a week-long break from hosting the 700 Club, Pat Robertson returned to the show today bearing a special message…for us! Robertson introduced the question-and-answer portion of the show with a tirade against a group that he declined to name that monitors his show and posts clips online.
“There are organizations, there is one in particular, which I will not name, but it is set out for one purpose: to embarrass those who are conservative on television. So they take my words and they twist them and distort them,” he said.
We have a pretty good idea of who he might be talking about. Robertson specifically referred to our recent post on his response to a question from a woman struggling to preserve her marriage after her husband had an affair. At the time, Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network released a statement saying that the televangelist’s “intent was not to condone infidelity or to cast blame. We regret any misunderstanding.”
According to Robertson, by posting his entire answer and quoting him verbatim we were actually misrepresenting his words to make him look bad, but somehow at the same time we were also helping him because he received a letter endorsing his “advice.”
After co-host Terry Meeuwsen read the encouraging letter, Robertson boasted about his counseling skills and added, “I am not politically correct, in case you haven’t learned; I tell it like it is.”
“This organization misconstrues deliberately, they want to do everything they can to make my words and they twist them,” Robertson said. “I will not identify the organization but one day we may have a full-scale exposé because it’s a nasty group.”
Seeing that Robertson already blamed us for 9/11, we are eagerly waiting to see what more he reveals in his “full-scale exposé.”
Glenn Beck featured a round-table of Religious Right pastors last night talking about abortion and America's "spiritual darkness."
Finally, CBN issued a statement in response to Pat Robertson's advice to a wife to get over her husband's infidelity by accepting the fact that men just cheat by claiming that was not what he meant and "we regret any misunderstanding."
Pat Robertson has advice for women who are struggling to forgive their cheating husbands: “Well, he’s a man.”
On today’s 700 Club, Robertson told a woman whose husband was cheating on her that she should stop focusing on the adultery and instead ponder, “Does he provide a home for you to live in, does he provide food for you to eat, does he provide clothes for you to wear, is he nice to the children…is he handsome?”
After encouraging the woman to focus on the positives rather than her husband’s adultery, which Robertson imagined to be a one night stand with a stripper in a hotel room, he said she should “give him honor instead of trying to worry about it.”
He also suggested the woman could have done more to prevent her husband from cheating: “But recognize also, like it or not, males have a tendency to wander a little bit and what you want to do is make a home so wonderful that he doesn’t want to wander.”
“What you have to do is say, ‘My husband was captured and I want to get him free,’” Robertson said, concluding that the woman should still be grateful that she lives in America: “Begin to thank God that you have a marriage that is together and that you live in America and good things are happening.”
On today’s episode of the 700 Club, Pat Robertson urged viewers to avoid false prophets and televangelists caught up in scandal. “By your fruits you shall know them, what’s their track record?” Robertson told cohost Terry Meeuwsen, “You can dominate somebody that way: I’ve heard from the Lord, I have a message for you, do this.”
Funny he should mention this, because just today we stumbled across an interview between Pat Robertson and televangelist Benny Hinn the week before the presidential election where Robertson bluntly informed Hinn that “the Lord told me” that Mitt Romney would defeat President Obama.
Not only did God inform Robertson that “Romney will win” but that he will be a two-term president who presides over a huge economic boom.
Robertson even told Romney to save him a ticket for the inauguration: “I told Mitt a long time ago, I called him and said listen, I’ve been in prayer and number one you’re going to win the nomination and number two you’re going to win the general election, he said ‘well what can I do for you,’ I said give me a seat on the platform during your inauguration, give me a ticket to your inauguration.”
“The Lord said he’s going to have a second term, I told him there will be to be trillions of dollars coming into the economy when you’re elected,” Robertson continued, “the stock market ought to boom, everything ought to boom.”
This all deeply reassured Hinn who said that Robertson was conveying “God’s voice.”
Pat Robertson took issue with plans to expand the use of surveillance cameras, which were credited with identifying the Boston Marathon bombers, by arguing that they are setting the stage for the End Times.
He warned that we are now quickly approaching the time when “there is no freedom” as “Big Brother monitored everything.” “We are coming to that now, it’s not a pleasant situation,” Robertson said.
“But this is what the Bible talks about when you can’t buy or sell without the Mark of the Beast, you have to be part of that world system and a very, very few can escape because right now they can go down into the bush in the darkest Africa and hunt you down.”
After Robertson criticized “big government” for attempting to chip away at personal freedoms, the very next story on the 700 Club was a report on the arrest of an anti-government militia member in Minnesota who was allegedly planning to bomb his city’s police department.
Today on the 700 Club, Pat Robertson insisted that gays and lesbians can “change their sexual preference” just like murders, rapists and thieves can change themselves. He later warned that the U.S. is on the verge of adopting hate speech laws.
Robertson, who has repeatedlypromoted ex-gay therapy, said that just as gay people can change their orientation, “a murderer can change, a rapist can change, a thief can change.” Robertson was reacting to a case in Ecuador, where a politician was found to have violated his country’s electoral code’s prohibition on discrimination by making anti-gay remarks.
Today on the 700 Club, Pat Robertson said that Margaret Sanger “was the one who set the stage for Adolf Hitler, she didn’t copy him, he copied her.” After running a story about how President Obama postponed his speech at Planned Parenthood in order to attend a memorial service in Texas for victims of the fertilizer plant explosion, Roberston said that the group founded by Sanger is “evil” and targets black people.
“What they said was, they said ‘what we’ve got to do in order to get the black people in America to have abortions, we have to have some noted black leader who will come out for Planned Parenthood and we’ll give him the Margaret Sanger award and therefore he will be our poster boy showing the black people they should have abortions,” Robertson maintained, “it was strictly genocide.”
While Sanger was tied to the eugenics movement, the claim that she intended to exterminate black people and use black leaders to hide such a plan is based on a quote taken badly out of context.
As PolitiFact reports, the eugenics movement was widely popular at the time of Sanger’s work, but there is “no evidence that Sanger advocated - privately or publicly - for anything even resembling the ‘genocide’ of blacks, or that she thought blacks are genetically inferior”:
"I have never run into any serious academic reference of Sanger or others wanting to ‘kill black babies,’" Indiana University professor Ruth Engs, a eugenics movement expert, told PolitiFact Georgia in an e-mail.
The Washington Post also “found nothing to confirm these allegations” that Sanger targeted the black community for genocide and noted that even Martin Luther King, Jr. had praised her work.
The Annenberg Public Policy Center’s FactCheck.org debunked the claim when Herman Cain made the same argument as Robertson:
Cain isn’t the first to believe that birth control advocate Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) wanted to stop the birth of black babies. Just do an Internet search and see what happens. Sanger made more than her share of controversial comments. But the quote many point to as evidence that Sanger favored something akin to “genocide” of African Americans has been turned on its head.
Sanger, who was arrested several times in her efforts to bring birth control to women in the United States, set up her first clinic in Brooklyn in 1916. In the late 1930s, she sought to bring clinics to black women in the South, in an effort that was called the “Negro Project.” Sanger wrote in 1939 letters to colleague Clarence James Gamble that she believed the project needed a black physician and black minister to gain the trust of the community:
Sanger, 1939: The minister’s work is also important and he should be trained, perhaps by the Federation as to our ideals and the goal that we hope to reach. We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.
Sanger says that a minister could debunk the notion, if it arose, that the clinics aimed to “exterminate the Negro population.” She didn’t say that she wanted to “exterminate” the black population. The Margaret Sanger Papers Project at New York University says that this quote has “gone viral on the Internet,” normally out of context, and it “doesn’t reflect the fact that Sanger recognized elements within the black community might mistakenly associate the Negro Project with racist sterilization campaigns in the Jim Crow south, unless clergy and other community leaders spread the word that the Project had a humanitarian aim.”
It goes on to characterize beliefs such as Cain’s as “extremist.” The project says: “No serious scholar and none of the dozens of black leaders who supported Sanger’s work have ever suggested that she tried to reduce the black population or set up black abortion mills, the implication in much of the extremist anti-choice material.”
Pat Robertson once again compared Islam to Nazism while speaking on the 700 Club today, arguing that the U.S. should view Muslims as we viewed Nazis during World War II.
“Sure this Islam is a religion,” Robertson said — which is actually new for Robertson as he previously claimed that “Islam is not a religion” — “at the same time it is a system of world government.”
He said that the government “refuses to acknowledge the problem of Islam” even though “during the Second World War we didn’t have any problems saying that Hitler was bad, no problem at all saying the Nazis were monsters, no problem, we were fighting the Nazis and our job was to defeat the Nazis and everybody in America was mobilized to defeat the Nazis…. Now we’re fighting a war but we refuse to identify our enemy even though it is in plain sight.”
Later in the program, Robertson called Islam “an evil system that is bringing death and destruction throughout the globe.”
Pat Robertson knows that demonic spirits are behind everything from homosexuality and Halloween to karate and secondhand sweaters, and so it came as no surprise today when he warned 700 Club viewers that Dungeons & Dragons is a “demonic” game.
In response to a question regarding whether it is ok to “enjoy video games that have magic in them,” Robertson warned that such games are part of the “occult” and urged the questioner to “flee from evil.” He said that is especially the case when it comes to Dungeons & Dragons, which has “literally destroyed people’s lives.”
Introducing a story on the 700 Club yesterday about the debate over legalizing same-sex marriage in France, Pat Robertson claimed that marriage equality supporters are following in the footsteps of the Illuminati.
Robertson told viewers that the French Revolution was “spurred by the writings of a group called the Illuminati,” which meant “to destroy the family, to destroy the state, to destroy capitalism and to destroy the church.” The gay community, he claimed, has similarly broad goals. “We have here a debate over same-sex marriage,” Robertson said.
“But is it really just about marriage or does it go far beyond that: to destroying the traditional family and building a country without God?”
Televangelist Pat Robertson is not happy about Secretary of State John Kerry’s push for a peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians. In fact, the 700 Club host warned that Kerry is “asking for the wrath of Almighty God to fall on this nation.”
He claimed that any deal that includes territorial concessions to the Palestinians, including Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem, will lead to divine retribution and “catastrophic” consequences.
“I think this is headed for disaster for the United States,” Robertson said, “We should do everything we can to restrain our leaders from this course of folly and it is a course of folly and it will result in terrible suffering for people in the United States.”
Previously, Robertson asserted that Ariel Sharon’s debilitating stroke and the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin were signs of divine punishment for their attempts to put together a peace deal.
I think this is headed for disaster for the United States. God says, they divided my land, there is something about dividing God’s land, he said this is my land, I gave it to Abraham and his descendants and I don’t want it taken away from them and Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel. For the United States to get into a deal where they’re trying to split Jerusalem and take it away from the Israelis and split up their capital, huge mistake. You are asking for the wrath of Almighty God to fall on this nation and when it falls it won’t be fun, it won’t be fun. We should do everything we can to restrain our leaders from this course of folly and it is and it is a course of folly and it will result in terrible suffering for people in the United States.
In response to a question from a 700 Club viewer who wonders if his unnamed chronic illness is part of “‘the plan’ God has for my life,” Pat Robertson explained that the viewer was really to blame because of his negativity
Based solely on the short question, Robertson told the viewer that “many of the problems that you have come about from your attitude, your own reaction to things, your own abilities, your own work.”
“Chronic illness can often come about from psychosomatic problems, I don’t want to make a broad statement,” Robertson continued, “It just sounds like that you’ve got a negative attitude.”
Robertson finished with a Word-Faith teaching about how the viewer can simply speak happiness and health, rather than negativity, into existence: “You literally can speak into the world around you and the results begin to change and if you speak negatively you will have negative, so don’t say it’s ‘God’s plan’ I think that’s a misnomer.”
Today on the 700 Club, a viewer asked host Pat Robertson why miracles such as “people raised from the dead, blind eyes open, lame people walking” seem to “happen with great frequency in Africa, and not here in the USA?” Robertson first responded by joking it is “because those people overseas didn’t go to Ivy League schools.”
But Robertson was actually serious.
“Well, we are so sophisticated, we think we’ve got everything figured out, we know about evolution, we know about Darwin, we know about all these things that says God isn’t real, we know about all this stuff,” Robertson lamented, “in many schools, in the most advanced schools, we have been inundated with skepticism and secularism.”
Unlike these too-educated Americans, “overseas they are simple and humble” and are more ready to accept miracles.
Televangelist Pat Robertson is joining the ranks of right-wing commentators who claim that the Department of Homeland Security is stockpiling vehicles and ammunition to use against Americans.
“Long trains full of armored vehicles, personnel carriers with armor, what are they for, the army going into battle against the enemy? They're used by Homeland Security against us,” Robertson ominously warned. “Imagine what Homeland Security is doing is just awful and we’re going to talk about how much ammunition they’re stockpiling: who are they going to shoot, us?”
The conspiracy about secretive ammo stockpiling is completely unfounded.
According to the Associated Press, the ammunition is used in trainings for “tens of thousands of federal law enforcement officers” and for the use of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
As Media Matters pointed out, DHS does own light armored vehicles for emergencies and raids on drug cartels, and the recent purchases of such vehicles were actually for the U.S. Marine Corps.
In fact, the conspiracy theory is so baseless that even the NRA has debunked it.
The 700 Club today covered the marriage equality cases and dueling rallies at the Supreme Court. Host Pat Robertson and pastor Jim Garlow used the same tired talking points about how gays and lesbians don’t really want marriage.
Garlow, the Proposition 8 activist who addressed NOM’s anti-gay rally yesterday, told Christian Broadcasting Network reporter John Jessup that “there isn’t that much interest in marriage, there isn’t that much interest in commitment and monogamy, it isn’t there; it’s attempting to force us to affirm a lifestyle, that’s what’s at stake here.”
Robertson concurred and said that “the foundation of our society since the founding of our great Republic is under attack” by “a few people [who] want to have their way doing of sex affirmed by everyone else.”
“They say it’s homophobia to believe that a marriage between a man and a woman is sanctioned by God,” Robertson said, “God is not a homophobe, God is almighty, He’s in charge of the world and this is the way he made it. “Two men do not have children, two women do not have children,” he concluded.
Pat Robertson has been on the attack againstenvironmentalists as of late, and yesterday the 700 Club host warned that environmentalist policies may cause billions of people to die.
Robertson maintained that the “out of control” Environmental Protection Agency “has been run by doctrinaire leftists” who are attacking “American industry, especially fossil fuels.”
After he went on a rant about new rules impacting coal power plants, Robertson said that the ultimate “goal” of the environmental movement is to create “a more pastoral, rural kind of existence and if a couple billion people around the globe die from starvation because of it that’s just tough luck.”