Pat Robertson

The Gay AIDS Ring Video Pat Robertson Doesn't Want You To See

The Christian Broadcasting Network has embarked on a total and frankly embarrassing cover-up of Pat Robertson’s statement yesterday that gay people in San Francisco try to cut people’s fingers with special rings in order to infect them with AIDS. After editing Robertson’s comments out of their online broadcast of the 700 Club and taking down their own YouTube video featuring the claims, CBN has now filed with a flimsy copyright complaint against Right Wing Watch’s copy of the video on YouTube, causing it to be temporarily removed.

That’s right, CBN is going out of its way to get rid of all evidence of comments made by CBN’s own founder, who even released a statement defending his assertions and insisted that he was once a target of a malicious gay AIDS ring plot. We have uploaded the video to Vimeo which you can watch here, unless CBN tries to take it down (UPDATE: Vimeo pulled the video, but you can now watch it on DailyMotion. UPDATE II: A third party [we wonder who!] complained to DailyMotion and pulled the video, which you can find, for now, at Flickr.com):

This isn’t the first time that CBN has manipulated comments Robertson has made on the channel’s flagship show, The 700 Club. Last year, the network unsuccessfully attempted to edit out Robertson’s call for a man to move to Saudi Arabia in order to beat his wife.

It’s ironic that Robertson believes that gay people are trying to censor him with hate speech laws, when it appears that the only people trying to censor Robertson are his own staff at CBN.

As Steve Benen notes, “Robertson really shouldn’t say things on national television if he doesn’t want people to see them.”

While Robertson’s gay AIDS ring conspiracy theory is outrageous and absurd, it is also ridiculous that the television network Robertson leads is now on a mission to suppress comments that Robertson himself believes are accurate and truthful.

Flashback: When Pat Robertson Opposed AIDS Research To Help Those With 'Aberrant Lifestyle'

Brian’s post today about Pat Robertson’s absurd theory of AIDS transmission – that gay men wear sharp rings in order to cut people they shake hands with and deliberately infect them with HIV – seems like something out of another era.

In fact, it seems like something out of Robertson’s own past.

The early days of the AIDS epidemic coincided with the high point of Robertson’s career, as he ran for the Republican nomination for the presidency. In the late 1980s and into the early 1990s, Robertson was an outspoken opponent of the federal funding of AIDS research, which he claimed was unnecessary because if gay men simply ceased their “aberrant lifestyle” then “there wouldn’t be any more AIDS epidemic.”

In a 1987 interview with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Robertson, who had just won the Republican presidential straw polls in Iowa and Michigan and was preparing for the one in Florida, claimed that the answer to the AIDS epidemic was “the self-restraint of the people” rather than research into a cure for AIDS. "The homosexuals are saying, 'Spend more government money, find a cure so we can continue our aberrant lifestyle.' And I don`t think that is a proper request," he said.

The candidate, affably parrying questions and occasionally leaning back to roar with laughter, turned serious and offered his toughest comments when asked about the subject of AIDS.

"The answer is the self-restraint of the people," Robertson said. "The homosexuals are saying, 'Spend more government money, find a cure so we can continue our aberrant lifestyle.' And I don't think that is a proper request."

About 92 percent of AIDS victims are male homosexuals or intravenous drug users, he said. "If those two groups would stop that type of conduct there wouldn't be any more AIDs epidemic."

Spending more than the half-billion dollars devoted to research would be a futile way of throwing money at a medical problem, he said.

"And to tell people there's safe sex if they use this kind of device and that kind of device to continue this kind of conduct, that's an illusion, because there is no such thing as safe sex."

"I would focus my attention on the blood supply,"  he said, to try to prevent the spread of AIDS through transfusions.

In a 1993 speech, Robertson expanded on this claim, urging President Clinton to drop federal funding for AIDS research:

And now a new plague is stalking our land, because the people have cast aside the sexual morals of The Holy Bible

Instead of compelling the Armed Forces to accept homosexuals into their ranks, I would like to call on the President to take a stand against the ungodly lifestyle that destroys all it touches. Instead of seeking billions of dollars for AIDS research, let him demand that we treat AIDS as any other communicable disease -- not as a virus with civil rights.

As early as 1985, Robertson was painting AIDS as a threat to the “rights” of straight people, in rhetoric that echoes today’s Religious Right line that Christians are being persecuted by gay rights:

It is one of the most horrible things that is sweeping through our society. The blood supply is being polluted with this awful virus. And we're saying it's a civil rights matter. Those of us who do not engage in certain practices, such as intravenous drug use, etc., don't we have any rights? Don't we have any rights in America?

Of course you have compassion for those who are sick. One of our staff sent me a memo just yesterday which said, in San Francisco, the victims of AIDS in the hospital who happen to be homosexual are given visiting rights in the hospital for their "lovers" to come into the hospital. They don't even let the heterosexuals do that.

But Robertson did have a plan to cure AIDS, at least for some people. James Randi, in his 1987 book The Faith Healers, describes Robertson’s attempt to cure a man with AIDS through faith healing:

In 1986, soon after the full importance of the AIDS epidemic began to become evident, Robertson was attempting to cure it. Viewers of his program saw him pray over a man who had the dreaded disease. He invoked God’s power: We rebuke this virus and we command your immune system to function in the name of Jesus.

One of the most remarkable things about Robertson’s comments today is that even in 2013 he doesn’t seem to have a clear idea of how HIV/AIDS is transmitted, saying that he “used to think it was transmitted by saliva and other things, now they say it may be sexual contact” and fretting that someone who drives in a car with a person with AIDS may get into an accident in which they would exchange large amounts of blood.

Robertson’s weird fear of gay men in San Francisco sabotaging handshakes with sharp, infected jewelry comes right out of this mindset of ignorance and fearmongering, all too common in the early days of AIDS, which decades later Robertson doesn’t seem to have shaken.
 

Robertson: Gay People Deliberately Spread HIV/AIDS By Cutting People With Special Rings

UPDATE: Robertson's CBN yanked our video off YouTube, but you can still watch it here on Daily Motion. It was also taken down by Vimeo:

UPDATE II: A third party (we wonder who!) flagged the Dailymotion video for "infringing upon [their] intellectual property rights." It is now available on Flickr.com.

UPDATE III: YouTube has restored the video in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Today on the 700 Club, Pat Robertson told co-host Terry Meeuwsen that gay men in cities like San Francisco attempt to spread HIV/AIDS to others by cutting them with a special ring when shaking hands. However, one could not hear Robertson make the remarks on the episode his Christian Broadcasting Network posted online, as the company once again appears to have edited Robertson’s comments after they aired.

While responding to a question from a woman who wondered if it was wrong for the church not to inform her that a man she was driving to worship services is “dying of AIDS,” Robertson admitted that he “used to think it was transmitted by saliva and other things, now they say it may be sexual contact.”

“What to say if you’re driving an elderly man whose got AIDS? Don’t have sex with them,” Robertson said, “unless there’s a cut or some bodily fluid transmission, I think you’re not going to catch it.”

But Robertson didn’t stop there.

“There are laws now, I think the homosexual community has put these draconian laws on the books that prohibit people from discussing this particular affliction, you can tell somebody you had a heart attack, you can tell them they’ve got high blood pressure, but you can’t tell anybody you’ve got AIDS,” he continued.

Despite Meeuwsen’s best attempts to steer the conversation away from Robertson’s anti-gay paranoia, Robertson insisted that gay people use special rings to transmit the virus.

“You know what they do in San Francisco, some in the gay community there they want to get people so if they got the stuff they’ll have a ring, you shake hands, and the ring’s got a little thing where you cut your finger,” Robertson said. “Really. It’s that kind of vicious stuff, which would be the equivalent of murder.”

Watch:

At the 39:00 mark, you can see that CBN clearly edited out Robertson’s comments.

UPDATE: CBN has also removed the YouTube video of the exchange.

UPDATE II: Robertson issued a non-apology to The Atlantic, saying that he "regret[s] that my remarks had been misunderstood, but this often happens because people do not listen to the context of remarks which are being said."

Of course, unlike CBN, we provided the entire exchange:

I was asked by a viewer whether she had a right to leave her church because she had been asked to transport an elderly man who had AIDS and about whose condition she had not been informed. My advice was that the risk of contagion in those circumstances was quite low and that she should continue to attend the church and not worry about the incident.

In my own experience, our organization sponsored a meeting years ago in San Francisco where trained security officers warned me about shaking hands because, in those days, certain AIDS-infected activists were deliberately trying to infect people like me by virtue of rings which would cut fingers and transfer blood.

I regret that my remarks had been misunderstood, but this often happens because people do not listen to the context of remarks which are being said. In no wise [sic] were my remarks meant as an indictment of the homosexual community or, for that fact, to those infected with this dreadful disease.

Robertson: Obama Inciting 'Black-On-White Violence'

Pat Robertson today, while discussing the shooting of an Australian baseball player in Oklahoma by three teenagers, two of them black and one white, accused President Obama of inciting anti-white violence. The 700 Club host said, “We are having a tremendous amount of this black-on-white violence and I have a feeling that instead of bringing racial harmony, having an African-American president has exacerbated the problem.”

“He seems to be wanting to bring division among people instead of bringing them together; he is one of the most divisive leaders this country has ever had,” Robertson continued. “It just seems he wants to rub the edges raw every chance he gets.” Robertson argued that Obama is trying to divide people by race and class: “There’s always something there to stir up controversy.”

Watch:

Pat Robertson's 700 Club Can't Decide If Mormons Are Christian Or Not

Last year, Pat Robertson not only claimed that God revealed to him that Mitt Romney would win the 2012 election and be a successful two-term president, but also hailed the high-profile Mormon as an “outstanding Christian.”

Even though Robertson, who also appeared at a rally with the failed presidential candidate, called Romney a Christian, his own Christian Broadcasting Network lists Mormonism as a non-Christian cult.

In fact, today on the 700 Club, Robertson’s co-host Terry Meeuwsen interviewed an ex-Mormon about the differences between her former faith and Christianity.

Robertson, of course, wouldn’t be the only Religious Right figure to equivocate on Mormonism in the service of larger political goals.

For example, many Religious Right activists who have denounced Mormonism also claim that Glenn Beck is a Christian who really isn’t really a Mormon.

Kirk Cameron even began his movie about God’s role in American history by interviewing Beck, even though Cameron once made an entire documentary attacking Mormons, warning that they will “end up in Hell forever.”

Robertson Warns Obama 'May Have Made A Deal With The Muslim Brotherhood'

Pat Robertson kicked off today’s edition of the 700 Club by interviewing Christian Broadcasting Network contributor Raymond Ibrahim, who spent most of the time rehashing a claim he said he heard from the Egyptian press that “Obama is in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood.”

“Everyone is convinced this is a conspiracy,” Ibrahim told Robertson, “you can’t help but wonder, of course it is, because why is the Obama administration so adamant about helping this organization?”

At one point in the interview, Ibrahim even suggested that the Muslim Brotherhood was behind the attack on the US compound in Benghazi and alleged that the US is trying to cover up its supposed knowledge of the group’s involvement by pushing for the release of Muslim Brotherhood officials from prison.

Later, Robertson said that it’s “appalling” and “shocking to think Obama may have made a deal with the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Robertson, who has previously warned that Obama has a Muslim “inclination” and might be a “crypto-Muslim,” lamented that “we’ve got a president, you wonder about where he is coming from.” He also warned the Obama administration is trying to aid the Muslim Brotherhood’s drive “to establish an Islamic super-state.”

Watch highlights here:

At Iowa Summit, Religious Right Activists Hope to 'Change the Direction of the Wind' Against the 'Gay Agenda'

We have been posting videos and reports from the recent Religious Right gathering in Iowa as they become available – so far we’ve seen Rand Paul warning of the country’s collapse and Ted Cruz repeatedly attacking gay rights.

Today, the 700 Club finally featured a segment with additional footage from the summit. CBN’s David Brody interviewed chief organizer David Lane, who has predicted divine punishment on America in the form of car bombings, along with billionaire brothers Dan and Farris Wilks, the latter of whom told Brody that he is upset about the rise of the “gay agenda.”

Brody also showed footage of right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton praying over Cruz and conservative pastor Laurence White telling activists that they can sway politicians if they “change the direction of the wind.”

Watch highlights here:

Robertson: Exorcism Required for Demon-Infested Haunted House

It was just another day on the 700 Club, as a viewer asked Pat Robertson what to do about his seemingly haunted house: “My house is haunted. There is moaning coming from the walls, lights turn on and off, the TV changes channels on its own, the beds move, stuff floats off tables, mirrors break, and there is sometimes a creepy fog. The ghosts look like people, but have dark blue light around their feet and hands. What do I do?”

Robertson joked that “if it was me I’d burn the house down and move on,” but “assuming you can’t afford that,” he advised the viewer to get an exorcism.

After explaining that he doesn’t believe in ghosts, Robertson said that the house is likely haunted by “demonic forces and you need to get people to come and do an exorcism over that property and command those demons to leave, that’s what you do…. If you can’t do that, move.”

Watch:

Right Wing Round-Up - 7/29/13

Robertson Fears Christians Will Go to Jail for Saving Gays from Hell, Stopping them from Destroying Country

Following CBN reporter Paul Strand’s heavily slanted report where he claimed that gay rights may be “biggest threat to religious liberty in all of America’s history,” Pat Robertson went on to argue that the gay community is on a mission to “destroy the church if need be, then to destroy the military if need be, then to destroy marriage if need be, then to destroy businesses if they need be.” He said that the gay rights advocates won’t stop until “the way they perform sex acts is acceptable” in society and turn America into Ancient Rome, “where sexual morality had gone out the window.”

Robertson quoted from Romans 1, which the televangelist has cited previously as proof that the Bible condemns homosexuality .

He asked: “If there are 100 million Christians in America, maximum two percent of the population are homosexual and one percent are lesbian, is that minority going to destroy all of the foundations of the morality of the majority?”

Robertson said that Christians may soon be imprisoned over their “loving” anti-gay stance.

“If you see somebody who is not going to go to Heaven and you really love him you want to do what it takes to get him into Heaven, if you don’t care about him you let him go to Hell,” Robertson continued. “We are a people who love and yet now your love is going to put you in jail because the people who are going to Hell feel their lifestyle—think, ‘well, we want to be affirmed.’”

Watch:

700 Club: Climate Change Helps Environment and Civilization, SUV Owners Treated Like Witches

On the 700 Club today, Pat Robertson followed a segment mocking “climatism” with an interview with Steve Goreham of the climate change denying Heartland Institute. Goreham is not a climate scientist (his degree is in electrical engineering) and the Heartland Institute regularly pushes misinformation about climate change.

Richard Littlemore points out that internal Heartland documents reveal that “Heartland advocates against responsible climate mitigation and then uses that advocacy to raise money from oil companies and ‘other corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies.’” The group is behind an effort to promote climate change denialism in schools and a billboard campaign likening climate scientists to mass murderers.

Robertson, a climate change denier who has without a hint of irony criticized climate scientists as “nutty” and “fanatics,” unsurprisingly ate up Goreham’s claims that humans play no role in climate change and that higher CO2 levels help the environment.

“Warmer periods have actually been better for civilizations,” Goreham argued. “We have less extreme weather, we have longer growing seasons and we have more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now, which is actually greening the planet.” “That’s good!” Robertson replied.

Goreham lamented that SUV owners and power company officials may be treated like witches who were burnt at the stake in the Middle Ages: “There were many people in the Middle Ages that were blamed for causing the cold temperatures and the poor crops and they labeled them witches, they burned them. And so today we blame it on our neighbor’s SUV or a power plant, it’s a little bit of a medieval thing.”

“Let’s hope we don’t burn the officials of VEPCO,” Robertson joked, referring to the Virginia Electric and Power Company.

Later, Goreham said that people in New York, San Francisco and Bangladesh should be “rejoicing” about warming as “all the climate models are wrong.”

Watch:

Robertson: Expect Natural Disasters and Divine Wrath over Middle East Peace Talks

Pat Robertson has issued yet another warning against Middle East peace negotiations, this time predicting natural disasters in the US over the country’s role in mediating talks between the Israelis and Palestinians. The televangelist, who called former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s stroke divine retribution for “dividing God’s land,” told 700 Club viewers today that “from a prophetic stands point, every time the United States gets involved in some kind of a pressure on Israel to split their land there’s some natural disaster that happens here in America.”

“There was a very cogent book written about that, just traced one after the other, of traced disasters that come on America,” Robertson continued. “If the United States pressures Israel to try to give up half of Jerusalem, God himself is going to come against this nation. Watch it.”

Robertson: George Zimmerman Right to Follow Trayvon Martin Because Criminals Wear Hoodies

Pat Robertson yesterday berated the media for portraying Trayvon Martin as a “little boy” instead of a “fully-formed young African American male.” Robertson defended George Zimmerman after co-host Terry Meeuwsen pointed out that a 911 operator told Zimmerman not to follow Martin. “There’s been some crime in this area and the criminals were wearing these hoods so it’s one of those things,” Robertson said.

Watch:

Robertson Wonders If Obama Is A 'Crypto-Muslim'

On yesterday’s broadcast of the 700 Club, Pat Robertson once again suggested that President Obama is a secret Muslim. Robertson asked CBN terrorism “expert”/sports reporter Erick Stakelbeck, “Do you think Obama is a crypto-Muslim?” Stakelbeck replied that Obama is “revolutionary leftist” who, like the Occupy movement, is working with “hardcore Islamists” to bring down “Judeo-Christian western civilization” and “traditional America.”

Watch:

Robertson: 'We Are Not Anti-Gay' Since Gays Are Just Confused Straight People

Pat Robertson is disturbed that people, for whatever reason, might believe that he is somehow anti-gay. After all, how could blaming gays for 9/11, warning that gay rights will destroy Americausing anti-gay slurs, linking homosexuality to pedophilia and disease and saying that Facebook should create a ‘vomit’ button specifically for pictures of gay couples possibly make someone seem anti-gay?

Well, following a story on the Exodus International head Alan Chambers’ decision to shut down the ex-gay ministry, Robertson insisted that “we are not anti-gay.”

“I am very pleased that we have many, many, many homosexuals watching this program and many of them are looking for love and acceptance and help,” Robertson said, “and I’m glad to report that we have thousands of these people who are saying, ‘yes we want to follow Jesus, we’re not happy with the lifestyle we’re in and we want to have a better way,’ I think it’s wonderful that that’s happening.”

He claimed that people are gay “because they have forsaken God, it’s not something that is natural and when people reunite with the Lord, the Lord will get their priorities the way it is supposed to be…. You work through it and if you meet the Lord it should be, it can be instant.”

The televangelist has frequently endorsed ex-gay therapy, so Robertson’s criticism of Chambers’ apology came as no surprise.

He argued that many gay people are simply straight but are confused due to child abuse: “A lot of people are into this homosexual thing because they’ve been abused by a parent, abused by a coach, abused by a sibling, abused by a friend, they’re little boys and little girls and they don’t know any better and then they somehow think, ‘well I must be gay,’ they aren’t they are heterosexual and they just need to come out of that.”

Robertson maintained it may be possible the some gay people “maybe got some chromosomal damage that’s different from heterosexuals,” and concluded by calling for another ex-gay ministry to emerge “to help people who want out.”

Robertson: 'Rise Up' Against Obama Like Egyptians Revolted Against Morsi

Today on the 700 Club, Pat Robertson said Americans should “rise up” against President Obama over the “gobbledygook” health care reform law just like Egyptians took to the streets to oppose and ultimately topple Mohamed Morsi.

“You know they revolted in Egypt against the oppressive actions of the Muslim Brotherhood and this example of state socialism is something that Americans should rise up against,” Robertson said, referring to Obamacare. “They snuck that thing by us.”

Watch:

Robertson: Facebook Should Have 'Vomit' Button for Pictures of Gay Couples

After warning that the land will “vomit” out gays, Pat Robertson said that he vomits at the sight of gay couples. Responding to a viewer who wondered whether it was sinful to ‘Like’ Facebook photos of same-sex couples, Robertson said that Facebook needs a ‘Vomit’ button for such pictures: “You’ve got a couple of same-sex guys kissing, do you like that? Well that makes me want to throw up. To me I would punch ‘Vomit’ not ‘Like’ but they don’t give you that option on Facebook.”

Robertson Cites Levitical Death Penalty for Gays, Warns the Land Will 'Vomit You Out'

Today on the 700 Club, televangelist Pat Robertson reflected on a recent reading of the Old Testament and warned gays and lesbians that the land will “vomit you out.” Robertson said that Leviticus lists homosexuality as an “abomination” on par with incest and bestiality, “and those who do that in the Old Testament were stoned to death.”

He feared that the US is not heeding the Bible’s teaching that “the nations who were doing these things were vomited out of the land and the land vomited them out.”

“For some reason now the Supreme Court has said homosexuality is now a constitutional right and this decision that was handed down recently by the majority glorifies this activity and talks about the civil rights and all this, well the Bible didn’t talk about civil rights it talked about this was an offense against God and it was an offense against the land and the land would vomit you out.” Robertson continued. “Which is going to take precedence, the Supreme Court of the United States or the holy word of God?”

Of course, Robertson also believes that we should ignore what the Old Testament said about slavery.

Watch:

Right Wing Leftovers - 6/27/13

  • The Senate votes 68-32 to approve immigration reform legislation.
  • William Owens of the Coalition of African-American Pastors claims gay marriage leads to the end of society.
  • Kristan Hawkins blames gay marriage on legal abortion. 
  • Tea Party leader Karen Kenney says the Supreme Court’s ruling on Prop 8 is a “new kind of tyranny.” 
  • Michael Brown criticizes transgender youth: “What if the child was sure he or she was an alien? Or an animal? Or a black child in a white body?”
  • The New Jersey state Senate followed the Assembly in passing a bill limiting sexual orientation conversion therapy, a bill ex-gay activist Greg Quinlan argues “rapes faith” and bolsters “an anti-Christian movement to destroy the United States Constitution.”

Pat Robertson on Justice Kennedy: 'Does He Have Some Clerks Who Happen To Be Gays?'

Pat Robertson is wondering if Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion on the case striking down a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act, may have been influenced by his sneaky gay clerks. Robertson’s remarks followed a totally impartial 700 Club news segment where Christian Broadcasting Network reporter Paul Strand said that gay rights advocates have “bashed” Christians and the Supreme Court “denigrated” marriage equality opponents.

While speaking to acolyte Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice, which Robertson founded, the televangelist said: “let me ask you about Anthony Kennedy, does he have some clerks who happen to be gays?”

Following the wrongheaded talking points of other anti-gay activists, Robertson called into question the sexual orientation of district judge Vaughn Walker who was the first to rule on Prop. 8: “going into California, I understand the district court judge there either was an advocate of homosexual activity, or was a homosexual, or had a wife, some connection.” Sekulow agreed that the judge was biased and said that “there was a real controversy because the judge’s sexual orientation became, unfortunately, part of the case.”

Watch highlights here:

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