Showbiz legend has it that upon hearing the news of Joan Crawford’s death, rival Bette Davis had a tart retort: “You should never say bad things about the dead, only good. Joan Crawford is dead. Good!”
If you ask Wikipedia who renowned televangelist Pat Robertson was, it will report that he was “an American media mogul, religious broadcaster, political commentator, presidential candidate, and Southern Baptist minister. Robertson advocated a conservative Christian ideology and was known for his involvement in Republican Party politics.”
That’s a mighty sterile way of saying Pat Robertson was one of the most extreme proponents of the United States’ nationwide move toward radical, toxic, and deadly homophobia.
Pat Robertson founded the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) in 1961, providing a steady stream of religious programming with a fire-and-brimstone backbeat. The network estimates its annual viewership to be 360 million people, worldwide. By comparison, the population of the United States in 2021 was not quite 332 million people.
CBN’s anchor program was — and still is — Robertson’s The 700 Club. The almost-daily broadcast follows a talk show format featuring its host interviewing a predictable parade of converts who share their before-and-after life stories. The basic outline is this: The guest reveals how harrowing their lives were before they accepted Christ as their personal savior, Pat Robertson gapes at their transformation, somebody sings something and then they pass the electronic hat.
Pat Robertson made no apologies for his abhorrence of the concept of the separation of church and state. In fact, he was very specific in his prayers about the Supreme Court of the United States.
“Lord, give us righteous judges who will not try to legislate and dominate this society,” he prayed and brayed. “Take control, Lord! We ask for additional vacancies on the court.” At least he didn’t use the word “smite.”
Pat Robertson found his anti-woman rants to be especially lucrative: Remember this one?: “(T)he feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.”
For being such a devout Christian, Pat Robertson seems to have missed all the stuff in The Beatitudes about the meek, mercy, mourning, and making peace.
Pat Robertson died on June 8, 2023. The cause of his death was not announced, but some believe he choked to death of his hypocrisy.
Pat Robertson is dead. Good.
The InternationalBusinessTimes.com estimates Pat Robertson’s net worth at the time of his death to be in the neighborhood of $100 million. That’s a mighty rich neighborhood — a Pearly Gated community if you will. CBN itself is tax-exempt, in case you were wondering.
Pat Robertson may be gone, but fear not: there are plenty of false prophets still pounding their Bibles, raking in that consecrated cash. People like Bishop Eddie Long, Voddie Baucham, Trump-whisperer Paula White-Cain, and — albeit to a lesser degree — Joel Osteen.
Right here in Texas, Pastor Dillon Awes of Steadfast Baptist Church, a Robertson wanna-be, recently shared this message with his congregation: “Every single homosexual in our country should be charged with a crime. The abomination of homosexuality that they have, they should be convicted in a lawful trial. They should be sentenced to death. They should be lined up against the wall and shot in the back of the head.”
Jesus wept, indeed.
Make no mistake: I am a Christian. Prayer and faith in God have wazed me through countless perilous, shadowy valleys of death. But Pat Robertson and his successors don’t care about any of that. As far as he and his minions were and are concerned, heaven is closed to me and my kind.
After I’ve drawn my last breath, I look forward to seeing my beloved parents and grandparents in a merciful, peaceful realm some call heaven. Yes, despite some divergence along my spiritual path (ahhh, the ’90s…), as an adult I have come to believe all the creeds I was forced to memorize as a child in Sunday School and Vacation Bible School.
I also believe that if heaven truly is heavenly, I will be greeted not only by angels singing (hopefully led by Aretha) but also by the unmistakable aroma of my Baba’s made-from-scratch buttermilk pancakes. I can’t wait to rejoice with the dozens and dozens of dear friends who caught a merciless virus that sucked the life out of their young bodies. I can’t wait to laugh with all the beautiful souls whom Pat Robertson told could not be children of god because of who they loved.
And after the pancakes, there will be dancing. But not with Pat Robertson.