Pat Robertson, one of America’s most vocal homophobic Christians, died yesterday, aged 93. He will not be missed.
Robertson founded America’s Christian Broadcasting Network in 1960 and was one of America’s top televangelists, hosting The 700 Club from 1966 until his retirement from broadcasting in 2021.
Robertson made a failed bid to be the Republican presidential candidate in 1988, losing to George Bush Snr. But what he will probably most be remembered for is his track record of making extreme anti-gay statements during moments of national tragedy and grief, most notably the 911 attacks on the World Trade Center and the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in which 49 people were killed.
In 2001 Pat Robertson agreed with fellow televangelist Jerry Falwell during an appearance on The 700 Club to discuss 911 when Falwell said, “I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians … all of them who have tried to secularise America, I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen!’”
Robertson responded, “I totally concur, and the problem is we have adopted that agenda at the highest levels of our government.”
After gunman Omar Mateen shot up Orlando, Florida’s Pulse gay night club in 2016, killing dozens of people, Robertson expressed a wish that Muslims and gay people would wipe each other out.
“This Islamic gentleman opens fire in a gay nightclub and kills almost 50 homosexuals… The liberals are going to be scrambling to find some [other] rationale,” Robertson said.
“The left is having a dilemma of major proportions and I think for those of us who disagree with some of their policies, the best thing to do is to sit on the sidelines and let them kill themselves.”
In 1998 Pat Roberson warned Florida’s Disney World was inviting God’s wrath by hosting the LGBTIQ welcoming Gay Days event at the theme park, warning that the deity might send “a meteor” or some other disaster to smite the state.
“I would warn Orlando that you’re right in the way of some serious hurricanes, and I don’t think I’d be waving those [rainbow] flags in God’s face if I were you,” Robertson said.
In perhaps his most bizarre claim, in 2013 Robertson claimed that HIV positive gay men wore special rings so that they could cut other people and infect them when they shook their hands. This is not a way that the HIV virus can be transmitted.
The following year he spread more misinformation during an outbreak of the Ebola virus in Kenya when he claimed “AIDS” could be spread by sharing towels.
“The towels could have AIDS. There are things. There are diseases in Africa,” Pat Robertson said.
The exact cause of Robertson’s death has not been made public but he suffered an embolic stroke in 2018 and broke several ribs in a fall the following year.
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