Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson fielded a question from an unemployed Christian Broadcasting Network contributor who wondered what he should do while facing limited job prospects and piling bills.
“You can do telephone marketing from home,” Robertson suggested. “Think about raking leaves, mowing lawns, trimming bushes, there are a thousand things you can do on your own, don’t always wait for somebody else to hire you.”
Robertson added that a donation to CBN may improve his chances of finding a new job: “Ask the Lord, when you send that $20 or $40 off, you say, ‘God I am putting a request along with this, I am investing it with power.’”
“It makes you sick at your stomach that the president whose name is, what is it, uh, Barack Hussein Obama, who studied in Indonesia and had a Muslim stepfather for a while, has embraced this terrorist organization,” he said, while wondering if Hillary Clinton also “embraced this stuff.”
After inaccurately asserting that the Muslim Brotherhood started the Palestine Liberation Organization and Hezbollah, Robertson said that “ISIS is following the Muslim Brotherhood playbook and for the president of the United States to say there is no credible evidence that they have renounced their peaceful intentions, that is pure baloney and it just makes you sick at your stomach.”
“The 700 Club” today ran a story about the religious faith of the pilgrims, which prompted Pat Robertson to warn that everything that the pilgrims and the founding fathers worked to build would be destroyed by the success of gay rights — or “aberrant lifestyles” — in the courts.
“Ladies and gentlemen, our warning should be today, we can’t lose that,” he said. “And when you have courts that are taking away the very essence of our democracy, the ground from which this great country came, when courts are saying that is unconstitutional, when they’re exulting aberrant lifestyles and saying that’s constitutional, when they’re defying the very essence of this nation, they are sowing the seeds, not of a new, prosperous nation but the destruction of the one that’s already here.”
On “The 700 Club” today, Pat Robertson addressed the protests that have been breaking out all over the nation in response to a grand jury’s decision not to indict a white police officer for the shooting death of unarmed Missouri teenager Michael Brown.
Robertson said that while “there’s no question” that “African Americans in this society for decades have been subject to discrimination” and that “there has been police brutality in various cities,” that’s all over now and “we live in what amounts to a pretty much even-tempered type of society.”
“Police are very careful in dealing with people, they’re trained to be careful with minorities, and the abuses of the past are pretty much a thing of the past,” Robertson said.
Robertson attacked “the Al Sharptons of the world and other racial agitators” for talking about social justice in the case when “this isn’t a case dealing with social justice.”
“I’m all for social justice, and I think most of us are, but this case is somebody who may have been mentally disturbed, we don’t know that, he may have been high on something, we don’t know that, but whatever it was, the police officer had to defend himself and he was attacked in his police car. So why don’t they just cool it?”
The televangelist said that President Obama, in his remarks on the verdict, should have blamed Brown for his own death because he had broken the law: “What he should have said is what I just finished saying: The young man was breaking the law and he should have been restrained and he did things that were not in keeping with law and order. If he’d said that, it would have been a whole lot better.”
One of the featured stories on today’s “700 Club” was that of a viewer who suffered complications after undergoing Lasik surgery, but says she was healed after watching Pat Robertson’s show. This was followed by a number of letters from viewers who reported being cured of ailments after watching “The 700 Club,” including a mother who wrote in to say that her son had been cured of a neck injury after she watched the program and texted her son about it. “He read the text and claimed the word,” the viewer reported. “Immediately, he was healed!”
Robertson was not surprised. God, he said, “can heal cancer, He can heal leukemia, He can heal arthritis, He can heal any condition you’ve got in your body. He made, you He can fix you.”
Robertson proceeded to conduct a faith healing on a viewer with a tumor and his cohost Wendy Griffith assured a woman with a lump in her breast that “the Lord is healing you right now” and it’s “not serious.”
On “The 700 Club” today, Pat Robertson argued that President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who he called “a snaky sort of individual,” will push for temporary deportation relief for some immigrants as a “set-up to trap the Republicans into making some extreme move” such as shutting down the government.
“It’s just incredible because it’s a political grab and you wonder what are they playing for,” he said. “I said yesterday and the day before that it’s no question it’s a set-up on this immigration thing, it’s a set-up to trap the Republicans into making some extreme move or to build a constitutional crisis where it looked like they have shut the government down.
“We can’t have that happen, so they’ve got to take a very cautious approach to how they stop the president. But they can shut him down in a number of other ways, and they have got to do it.”
Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson and his co-host Terry Meeuwsen talked about children born with cleft palate and Down syndrome, the latter of whom Robertson referred to as “mongoloid” children.
“So you see these little children that we call mongoloid, you know, Down syndrome, sweet little children but the back part [of the head] hasn’t formed,” he said. “It’s a deformity, if you have a little girl, can you imagine having a big hole in the mouth?”
Pat Robertson, who is nofan of Halloween, today urged viewers to mark the occasion by punching the Devil in the face.
“Just say, ‘I am free. On this Halloween I gave a black eye to Satan,’” he told viewers while promoting a booklet he wrote called “Angels, Demons and the End Times.” (Robertson had also just responded to a CBN story about an abusive Satanist household.)
Robertson told viewers that Satan is behind not only Halloween, but also abortion rights: “The Devil has tried to destroy people, he wants to kill babies. Why do you think we’ve got such an incredible culture of death in our country? Why do you think that we’ve killed over 50 million unborn babies? Who do you think is behind all that? This isn’t just human, it is demonic. Satan wants to destroy our babies. He wants to destroy our babies just like Pharaoh sent the word to destroy the Hebrew babies, and it’s the same thing all the way through.”
Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson denounced the use of Ouija boards after a viewer asked him about the new horror movie, “Ouija.”
“The spirit is causing that little needle — it goes around to letters and spells out words and so you feel like [it’s] some dead person, but actually it is communicating with demonic spirits,” he said. “It is a dangerous thing and I strongly urge people not to get involved in it.”
Previously, Robertson said that “Ouija boards aren’t harmless. Ouija boards are often time-directed by demonic spirits. There are various types of chants. The so-called TM Mantras are actually prayers in Sanskrit to various Hindu Gods who are in turn demons, and you are saying something you don’t understand when in essence you are praying to a devil to come to you.”
Last week, Pat Robertson reacted to a case in Houston in which a group of pastors were subpoenaed as part of the discovery process in a lawsuit over the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance by calling gay rights advocates “terrorists.”
The subpoenas have since been withdrawn, but that has done nothing to rein in Robertson, who warned today on “The 700 Club” that Houston could be punished just like the biblical city of Gibeah was when it defended what he calls a group of “militant homosexuals”…who raped a woman.
Robertson said Judges 19 was a story of “militant homosexuals” who wanted to rape a Levite traveler in Gibeah but ended up raping his female concubine, who ultimately died.
“These homosexuals abused her all night long,” Robertson said.
In the Bible’s telling of the story, a “depraved lot” of Benjaminites demanded that a man who took in the Levite traveler turn him over to the group so they could rape him. Instead, the host offered them his virgin daughter and the Levite’s concubine — “Ravish them and do whatever you want to them” — and “seized his concubine, and put her out to them. They wantonly raped her, and abused her all through the night until the morning.”
After the concubine died, the Levite cut her “into twelve pieces, limb by limb, and sent her throughout all the territory of Israel.” In the next chapter, the Israelites routed the Tribe of Benjamin and “put them to the sword — the city, the people, the animals, and all that remained. Also the remaining towns they set on fire.”
Robertson suggested that Houston might face fate similar to that of the Benjaminites of Gibeah: “Benjamin had been annihilated. They had killed all the women, they had killed a good portion of the fighting men, they burned a number of their cities, it was a complete mess. Why? Because they had defended these rapist homosexuals. Is that a message for Houston? For someplace else in America?”
Today, “The 700 Club” aired a story about Brittany Maynard, a terminally ill woman who has decided to end her own life in Oregon, where doctor-assisted suicide is legal in certain cases.
Following the story, host Pat Robertson lashed out that “the so-called liberals are a culture of death, they want to kill babies, they want to kill the terminally ill, they don’t seem to honor life.”
Robertson said that terminally ill people like Maynard face “pressure” to die and that instead of seeking options for ending their own lives, they should ask for faith healings from people like Robertson.
Pat Robertson may be a stalwart denierofclimatechange, but today on “The 700 Club” the televangelist conceded that climate change did occur in biblical times, and that’s why humans no longer live to be 950 years old like Noah, or make it to 969 like Noah’s grandfather Methuselah.
“Apparently, after the Flood there wasn’t as much moisture in the air, there weren’t as many bacteria, microbes and things like that and maybe the climate was such that salts on our bodies weren’t as severe,” he said. “But after the Flood, God said the years of a man is going to be 120 years.”
The Associated Press reports that “Kenyans on social media are demanding that Robertson apologizes personally” for the comment.
Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network told AP that it had edited the remark out of the version of the show archived online, saying that the televangelist “misspoke.” Robertson, however, has not yet issued an on-air retraction of his comments.
Kenyans are expressing anger and shock on social media and radio stations over comments made by popular American evangelist Pat Robertson in a recent TV broadcast in which he warned that towels in Kenya could transmit AIDS.
Robertson's show is popular in Kenya, where the majority of residents are Christian.
HIV, which can lead to AIDS, is commonly spread through sex and drug users who share needles.
AIDS cannot be transmitted through towels, said Dr. Fredrick Sanford Kinama from the Center of HIV Prevention and Research at the University of Nairobi.
"You need a portal of entry and the medium to transmit the virus like blood or semen," Kinama said.
The Christian Broadcast Network, which airs "The 700 Club," said "Dr. Robertson misspoke about the possibility of getting AIDs through towels. CBN Quickly recognized the error and quickly removed the statement from the online archive. CBN recognizes the error and apologizes for any confusion."
Mumbi Seraki, who hosts a popular radio show in Nairobi, said Robertson should apologize personally on the show.
"Pat Robertson 'misspoke' about contracting AIDS from towels while in Kenya. But is he really sorry?" asked former legislator and human rights lawyer Gitobu Imanyara.
RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
With the election less than two weeks away, conservative commentators are making some pretty terrifying predictions about how President Obama will serve out the remainder of his term. But last-minute Obama-bashing won’t distract them from their other, equally important, job: attacking gays and lesbians.
5. Ernst Goes There
Since securing the GOP nomination for her state’s open U.S. Senate seat, Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst has been trying to downplay her extremist record.
In the latest example of Ernst’s record catching up to her, a video surfaced this week of the candidate telling an audience at a 2012 NRA event that the reason she takes her gun “virtually everywhere” is because she is afraid of not only violent assailants but also the government: “I believe in the right to defend myself and my family — whether it’s from an intruder, or whether it’s from the government, should they decide that my rights are no longer important.”
Ed Kilgore explains the thinking behind Ernst’s claim: “The idea here is to intimidate liberals, and ‘looters’ and secular socialists, and those people, that there are limits to what the good virtuous folk of the country will put up with in the way of interference with their property rights and their religious convictions and their sense of how the world ought to work. If push comes to shove, they’re heavily armed, and bullets outweigh ballots.”
4. Obama Will Kill Us All!
If you wonder where Joni Ernst gets her ideas about an imminent government crackdown that may require a violent response, look no further than Fox News, where just this week Sean Hannity hosted conservative pundit Mark Levin to discuss President Obama’s nefarious agenda.
Levin told Hannity that Obama is imposing “quintessential statism” on America that “is a disaster,” Media Matters reports.
“The country has gone to Hell under this president and under the Democrat [sic] Party,” Levin said, warning that after the election, “with Obama it’s going to get worse, you’re going to see his full Mussolini coming out.”
Wayne Allyn Root, another conservative commentator, managed to top Levin’s remarks in an interview on the “Point of View” radio show, where he claimed that Obama “was sent here to destroy this country,” possibly by the “communist forces” of the Soviet Union or the Bilderbergs, and is “taking down the entire America.” Root added: “We’ve got to remove him from office and fast before he kills all of us.”
Take a recent incident in Arizona, where a GOP official and conservative media outlets fumed that an activist with a progressive group dropped off a box of absentee ballots at a polling center, which is completely legal. Immediately, conservatives accused the activist — a Latino man — of committing voter fraud through “ballot stuffing” and wondered if he was a violent “illegal alien.”
Of course, not only is delivering ballots on behalf of voters legal in Arizona, but Wonkette notes that Republicans brought in Mitt Romney to host a ballot drop-off campaign event this very week.
Thursday night, Mitt Romney made an appearance in Mesa, Arizona, to campaign for Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Ducey. A graphic on a couple of conservative blogs, reproduced up top, urged attendees to “Bring your Early Ballots!” so GOP get-out-the-vote volunteers could collect them and get them to the county elections office.
Just remember, it’s only okay if Republicans do it, otherwise it’s voter fraud.
“Gaydeology,” the dogma that “sexual liberation” is the highest moral value, presses forward aggressively on all fronts. Christians are to be punished by the state if they refuse to knuckle under. But the militant “gays” are only the street muscle for a “progressive” project to beat down church, family, and anything else that competes with the secular, God-denying state for the loyalty of every citizen. This vision for America, and for all the other countries of the Western world, has roots in the 19th century that sprouted into man-eating plants in the 20th, to become a worldwide plague in the 21st.
It is reminiscent of “The Day of the Triffids,” a classic horror movie about plants from outer space that infest the earth and strike blind anyone who gets too close.
Well, we have been blind, haven’t we? Blind to threats to our freedom, blind to the vast incompetence of government, and blind to its insatiable lust for power. Worst of all, we have been both blind and deaf to God our maker and our Father, whose blessings have been the lifeblood of America.
Maybe that should be the rallying cry of the anti-gay movement: Beware the triffids!
1. Gay ‘Terrorists’ Out To Get Us
Pat Robertson, who once warned viewers that they could become the victims of a gay ‘AIDS ring’ attack, lashed out at gay rights advocates on “The 700 Club” this week and accused them of trying to throw their opponents in jail.
Robertson didn’t hold back, warning that gay “terrorists” are launching their own Spanish Inquisition: “These people are terrorists, they’re radicals and they’re extremists. No Christian in his right mind would ever try to enforce somebody against their belief or else suffer jail. They did that during the Inquisition, it was horrible, it was a black mark on our history, but it isn’t being done now.”
Of course, Robertson’s argument relied on a twisted reading of a legal case in Houston, Texas, but that didn’t stop him from attacking the “monstrous” gay rights movement.
Similar dire warnings about the federal hate crimes law that was passed five years ago today have proven to be utterly false.
The apocalyptic rhetoric is a reaction to the advances in LGBT rights, including the legalization of same-sex marriage in dozens of states and the passage of non-discrimination ordinances in municipalities across the country. Along with categories such as race, gender, religion, age and ability, more localities are recognizing sexual orientation and gender identity as traits warranting protection from discrimination in the public domain.
As anti-gay politicians lose in the courts, Congress, state houses, town halls, and perhaps most importantly, at the ballot box, many have taken to conflating political defeat with a loss of rights and liberty. Only by depriving other people of their rights, so they claim, can conservatives and people of faith in this nation truly be free.
This month, many Republicans latched onto a complicated legal case in Houston to justify their hyperbolic warnings about impending doom for Christians in America. After Houston passed an equal rights ordinance this year, a pastor-led group tried — and failed — to collect enough valid petition signatures to force a referendum on repealing the ordinance. When a group of conservative activists and pastors filed a lawsuit demanding that officials accept the invalid petitions, pro-bono attorneys working for the city subpoenaed several pastors’ communications, including sermons, on petition collecting and related issues like homosexuality as part of the discovery process.
While many groups from the left and right alike called out the subpoenas as overly broad and intrusive, the Religious Right cited the legal move as proof that pastors will be, as the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody put it, “hauled off to jail for a hate crimes because they are speaking for traditional marriage.”
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who in 2012 warned that America was “at the edge of a precipice” and would soon see non-existent “hate speech” laws used “against Christian pastors who decline to perform gay marriages [or] who speak out and preach biblical truths on marriage,” agreed with Brody’s assessment.
(In a similar episode this month, the owners of a for-profit wedding chapel business filed a lawsuit against their hometown over a nondiscrimination ordinance, arguing that city officials have threatened them with prosecution and jail time for denying service to same-sex couples — even though officials haven’t pursued any legal action against the couple.)
We’ve seen this movie before. In 2007, members of a group called Repent America were charged after disrupting a gay pride event and refusing to abide by police orders. The way conservatives tell the story, godly missionaries were punished by law enforcement for exercising their First Amendment rights and “sharing the gospel,” but as court records show, the group tried to disturb the peace and protest inside an event without a permit.
In fact, if Religious Right were correct in their warnings, America should have experienced a wave of arrests targeting pastors, church-goers and Republicans following the passage of the 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Predictions about the criminalization of the Bible, pastors locked in jail cells and concentration camps for Christians never came true, mainly because these prophecies had no basis in reality.
The Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Law was passed by Congress five years ago today, and so far, the far-right’s twisted and baseless claims about the law have all been proven false. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t stopped making the exact same discredited arguments five years after the bill’s passage:
End of Free Speech
Despite the hate crimes law’s provision making clear that it is applicable only to cases of violent crime and nothing “shall be construed to allow prosecution based solely upon an individual’s expression of racial, religious, political, or other beliefs or solely upon an individual’s membership in a group advocating or espousing such beliefs,” Religious Right activists and their allies in the GOP nonetheless predicted that the 2009 law would bring free speech to an end.
“Gay activists will use it against preachers who present the Biblical view of homosexuality,” Rick Scarborough said at the time. “The federal hate crimes law doesn’t target crime, but free speech.” He also warned that the law’s passage would “criminalize pastors and ordinary citizens who speak out biblically against homosexuality,” telling members of his group, Vision America, that he may face arrest for “speaking out against sexual deviancy.”
Scarborough, a Texas anti-gay pastor and political organizer close to Ted Cruz, hasn’t backed down from his claims even years after the law has gone into effect. At the 2013 Values Voter Summit, Scarborough declared that the “infidels” in the Obama administration are “hell-bent on silencing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Christians wouldn’t rise up against the attacks, he feared, “until a bunch of us are thrown into concentration camps.”
The Traditional Values Coalition went as far as to claim that the hate crimes law would imprison Jesus Christ.
“I believe that ‘hate crimes’ is the most dangerous bill in America, it is precisely what they are using to silence Christians around the world,” Janet Porter, a Religious Right activist with the group Faith 2 Action, said in an interview the year before the bill was passed. “How much of a stretch is it, really, to say that because I would say to you homosexuality is a sin or it’s dangerous behavior, before that speech alone is worthy of jail time? And that’s what we’re facing.” Porter told a Washington, D.C., rally shortly after the law was passed that it “criminalizes Christianity” and “sends pastors to prison for biblical positions and speech.”
In an 2009 email message with the subject line, “The Senate Will Vote To Silence You!,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins claimed that “what ‘hate crimes’ legislation does is lay the legal foundation and framework for investigating, prosecuting and persecuting pastors, business owners, and anyone else whose actions reflect their faith.”
He also alleged that the law would “gag people of faith and conviction who disagree with the homosexual agenda” and that it “punishes a person’s beliefs — part of the Left's intolerant agenda to silence the voice of Christians and Conservatives in America and eliminate moral restraint.”
“If federal thought crimes laws are passed, your right to share politically incorrect parts of your Christian faith could become a federal crime,” Perkins warned. At another conservative event, Perkins said hate crimes laws will curtail freedom and breed “chaos in America.”
Rusty Lee Thomas of Operation Save America even encouraged opposition to the law by alleging that “there is a direct connection between the sins and crimes of abortion and the sodomite agenda and the Islamic terrorism that threatens our nation.”
One group of GOP and Religious Right figures claimed the law would be “a savage and perhaps fatal blow to First Amendment freedom of expression.”
E.W. Jackson, a Virginia pastor and GOP politician, told a conservative rally that the law “represents a virulent strain of anti-Christian bigotry and hatred” that is “another step in the process of robbing all Americans of the very freedoms the founding fathers pledged their lives for and the civil rights martyrs gave their lives for.”
Ohio-based televangelist Rod Parsley, best known for his work supporting George W. Bush’s re-election campaign and the passage of his state’s gay marriage ban, said that the hate crimes law would force him out of the pulpit.
“This deceptive ploy of liberal, homosexual agenda begins to lose its allure once you pull the mask back and take a closer look,” Parsley said. “The legislation that’s before our United States senators right now extends to speech and can punish people not for their actions but for their culturally incorrect thoughts. This legislation could become law, and you and I could find ourselves forbidden to speak from God’s word right here in America. I could no longer share my heart with you on critical issues, such as this, through the medium of television, or even in the pulpit of my own church.”
We can report that despite Parsley’s grim predictions, he is still very much “sharing his heart” as a preacher.
Outlawing the Bible
One group of Michigan pastors, joined by local Republican politician and American Family Association state chairman Gary Glenn, filed an unsuccessful legal challenge against the hate crimes law soon after it was enacted. The group’s legal representative, the conservative Thomas More Law Center, contended that “the sole purpose” of the law was “to criminalize the Bible and use the threat of federal prosecutions and long jail sentences to silence Christians from expressing their Biblically-based religious belief that homosexual conduct is a sin.”
Pastor Paul Blair of Reclaiming America for Christ also offered an ominous warning: “If preaching the Bible is now against the law, then let us be arrested.” One WorldNetDaily commentator said the law would “crack down” on Christians for “reading the Bible.”
“Christianity Is Now Outlawed,” declared the Christian Seniors Association, a front group of the Traditional Values Coalition, in a fundraising letter following the law’s passage. “Did you know that the new Hate Crimes Act that President Obama signed into law makes the Bible illegal ‘Hate Literature?’” the letter continued.
“Most Christians might as well rip the pages which condemn homosexuality right out of their Bibles because this bill will make it illegal to publicly express the dictates of their religious beliefs,” said Andrea Lafferty of the TVC. “The ultimate objective of this legislation is to claim that ‘hate speech’ — criticism of homosexuality — incites individuals to violence and must be suppressed and punished. This will violate the First Amendment rights of any person or group that opposes the normalization of homosexuality in our culture.”
In the paranoid conservative alternate reality, pedophilia has been legal for five years now thanks to the updated federal hate crimes law.
“The main purpose of this ‘hate crimes’ legislation is to add the categories of ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity,’ ‘either actual or perceived,’ as new classes of individuals receiving special protection by federal law. Sexual orientation includes heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality on an ever-expanding continuum. Will Congress also protect these sexual orientations: zoophiles, pedophiles or polygamists?” asked televangelist Pat Robertson.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, similarly charged: “We have a record roll call vote that shows every Democrat on the Judiciary Committee voting to have pedophiles protected.”
King’s colleague Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, went one step further and said that as a result of the hate crimes law, courts would “have to strike any laws against bestiality” along with laws targeting “pedophiles or necrophiliacs.” Gohmert went on to warn that the law would effectively turn the U.S. into Nazi Germany.
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, for his part, predicted that the law would extend legal protections to “bisexuality, exhibitionism, fetishism, incest, necrophilia, pedophilia, prostitution, sexual masochism, urophilia, voyeurism, and bestiality.”
Richard Thompson of the Thomas More Law Center claimed the law “elevates those persons who engage in deviant sexual behaviors, including pedophiles, to a special protected class of persons as a matter of federal law and policy.”
Porter dubbed the law the “Pedophile Protection Act,” “summarizing” the law by completely making things up: “Pushing away an unwelcome advance of a homosexual, transgendered [sic], cross-dresser or exhibitionist could make you a felon under this law. Speaking out against the homosexual agenda could also make you a felon if you are said to influence someone who pushes away that unwelcome advance. And pedophiles and other sexual deviants would enjoy an elevated level of protection, while children, seniors, veterans and churches would not.”
Pedophilia, bestiality and necrophilia are still against the law and such laws have not been affected by the Hate Crimes Act, while declining “an unwelcome advance of a homosexual” is still very much legal. However, we are still waiting with bated breath for Porter’s lawsuit detailing how she was forced and legally bound to succumb to the charms of a homosexual enticer.
Can the Religious Right Be Trusted?
The many frantic, unfounded warnings about the perils the 2009 Hate Crimes Act are just one example of anti-gay activists’ penchant for manufacturing myths and brazenly distorting cases of supposed persecution.
Apocalyptic warnings and blatantly dishonest remarks have always been characteristic of the Religious Right's crusade against LGBT rights and we can expect such activists to continue to engage in such shameless fear mongering and misinformation before the 2014 election.
But, like the Religious Right’s warnings about the effects of the 2009 Hate Crimes Act, these dire predictions should be taken with a heavy dose of salt.
In a diatribe today about the legal dispute in Houston involving a group of pastors and right-wing activists who sued the city in an effort to repeal its nondiscrimination ordinance, Pat Robertson said that gay rights advocates are hell-bent on forcing Christians to officiate same-sex marriages and are essentially acting like terrorists.
It’s one thing to want to persuade somebody to believe like you do, that’s what Christianity is about, to bring the Gospel message and say this is good news and we’d like you to accept it. It’s something else to take the arm of the government to force somebody to do something that is against, contrary to their religion, and that’s what these homosexuals are trying to do. They are trying to force people who are Christians to marry them or else face jail, to make cakes honoring them or else go to jail and give their sermons over and divulge their innermost thoughts or go to jail, that’s the kind of thing we’re dealing with.
These people are terrorists, they’re radicals and they’re extremists. No Christian in his right mind would ever try to enforce somebody against their belief or else suffer jail. They did that during the Inquisition, it was horrible, it was a black mark on our history, but it isn’t being done now. There’s no Christian group I know of anywhere in the world that would force somebody to do something contrary to their deep-held religious beliefs or else face criminal penalties, but that’s what the homosexuals are trying to do here in America and I think it’s time pastors stand up and fight this monstrous thing.
If the gays want to go out and do their gay sex, that’s one thing, but if they want you to force you to accept it and solemnify it by marriage then that’s a different matter and it’s an infringement on people’s religious belief. What’s being done in Houston is a gay—the woman they elected is a homosexual, she’s a lesbian, and she’s trying to force pastors to conform to her beliefs. It’s wrong.
Pat Robertson went on another anti-gay diatribe on “The 700 Club” today, telling viewers that “this onslaught of homosexual behavior that is being forced on us by the Supreme Court of the United States is having deadly consequences.”
He was discussing a case out of Idaho where ministers working for a for-profit business and represented by the Religious Right group Alliance Defending Freedom are challenging a non-discrimination ordinance in the city of Coeur d’Alene.
The Hitching Post Wedding Chapel until recently said that it offered services to marry couples “using a traditional or civil ceremony,” and said that while its staff are Christian ministers, the business could “also perform wedding ceremonies of other faiths as well as civil weddings.” As blogger Jeremy Hooper noted, the chapel recently edited its website and “changed the text so that all the mentions of civil weddings no longer appear.”
Robertson called on the business to “leave Idaho” and “get out of that state and if need be close that chapel down,” predicting that soon churches will be “forced to perform a gay marriage.” He also told a story in which he claimed that Cardinal O’Connor, the late archbishop of New York, once threatened to shut down Georgetown University, which is in Washington, D.C., over government pressure to “provide money, resources to support a gay club in the student body.”
“I would close the school down,” Robertson recalled O’Connor saying. “I think those guys in Idaho had better get out and dodge now before it gets any worse.”