What is Pat Robertson Up To? And Is Anyone Still Listening?
Pat Robertson may be able to leg press 2000 pounds
, and may live to be 135 thanks to his diet shakes (or is it that he can leg press 135 and will live to be 2000?) but there's one thing the religious broadcasting superhero can't handle, the kryptonite to his powers: religious diversity. In fact he considers it "the curse of God." In Pat's world, not only is there a religious test for public office, there is an electoral test for Christianity: vote your kind.
On a recent CBN show, Robertson warned that if Americans keep electing Muslim Americans they will "take over the government" and turn the country into a theocracy (surely nothing Mr. Robertson has ever contemplated). His solution? Churches should engage in civil disobedience--flagrantly violate IRS regulations and work to get Christians elected. Atrocities documented (including a transcript of his remarks) below.
And before you dismiss that Robertson doesn't have the sway he once did, consider this
, from PFAW's Right Wing Watch:
According to its web site, Robertson's "700 Club" is available "in 95 percent of the television markets across the United States, the program is carried on ABC Family Channel cable network, FamilyNet, Trinity Broadcasting Network, and numerous U.S. television stations and is seen daily by approximately one million viewers." His Christian Broadcasting Network garnered $166 million in donations from March 2005 to March 2006, and he is the second most well known religious figure in America.
If one needs more evidence of Robertson's continued influence, especially on U.S. politics, just look at the Republican presidential candidates lining up to curry his favor. Sam Brownback and now John McCain have taken to the CBN airwaves to convince Robertson's viewers of their conservative credentials. And both Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney are scheduled to speak at Robertson's Regent University.
On a side note, one of the most striking things about his statement (my transcription below) - and perhaps telling about his own view of religion - is his obvious disbelief that anyone could honestly profess faith in a religion without being an aggressive fundamentalist about it.
You can see the video here. My transcription below:
There's no doctrine of faith that I know in any Protestant denomination that calls for the takeover of the government and making other people second-class citizens. I don't know of one denomination, Protestant or Catholic, that has that agenda, but yet Islam has just that agenda: that they want to take over the government and that everybody else is a second-class citizen. That is the primary doctrine of Islam and when Islamic people take over before long they want to institute Sharia, or the law according to the Qu'ran, which has to do with cutting off the hands of thieves and stoning adulteress women to death and all the rest of it.
The people you're seeing, it's a moderate face of Islam - now, do they really believe in what the Qu'ran says or not? I'll tell you, there were a couple of books written about England, "While England Slept" and so forth, that both Churchill and JFK weighed in on this issue and warned what happens when you go to sleep in the presence of a threat. And if the Christians don't get involved - we've been harassed by People for the American Way; we have been harassed by Americans United for Separation of Church and State; we have been harassed by the federal court system. But if the Christians won't stand up and not worry about the IRS, not worry about if you're gonna lose your tax exemption, not worry about whatever, because you're gonna lose your country if Christians don't mobilize and vote. Christians are in the majority but they're giving up the majority, and a dedicated minority has the ability to take over power in this country. They can take over the cauacuse of parties. They can take over the party conventions, and they can nominate the people of their choice and then they can raise the money to put that person in.
It's one of those things, and the people you see, they're lovely people, they're handsome-looking people, they sound so moderate, but are they Muslims or are they not? If they're really dedicated Muslims, they believe in takeover and they believe that everybody else is a second-class citizen. You look in Saudi Arabia now - a Christian can't even build a house higher than a Muslim, i mean, the discrimination is unbelievable. And much of the Muslim activity in America is being financed by the extreme Wahabi sect in Saudi Arabia. It's a fact of life; it's the way it is. I'm not being discriminatory; it's just the way it is. That's what they believe. Now these moderates, do they say "we don't believe that"? They haven't said it.
The curse of God is to bring in people who don't share your point of view and then ultimately destroy your civilization. Well, that's what we're facing for our children and grandchildren.
Religious diversity is a good thing for religion - not a threat. As far as I'm concerned, the opportunity to commune with people of other faiths is a blessing of God, not a "curse." Americans should vote based on the policies, plans, record and leadership qualities of candidates, not based on candidates' personal religious beliefs. And churches should recognize that the IRS tax-exempt regulations offer a campaign-free buffer that protects religious integrity. Following Robertson's admonition would leave a church little more than a electoral tool, beholden to political ideology.
from the Baptist Joint Committee Blog