Nestled in a quaint city in Southeastern Virginia, you will find the headquarters of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), home of Pat Robertson’s television show, “The 700 Club”. Robertson has continually assaulted any group that does not follow the religious beliefs that he holds as absolute truth. The CBN website (cbn.org) states, “CBN is a global, nonprofit ministry preparing the nations of the world for the second coming of Jesus Christ through media, prayer partnering, and humanitarian aid.” (Emphasis mine) Admittedly, part of this statement is positive. Offering humanitarian aid, through Operation Blessing, is an honorable deed, but…Pat Robertson’s continual abusive and hate filled comments surrounding major tragedies is unacceptable.
Let’s take a journey back in time to the earthquake in Haiti. The entire world mobilized to provide relief and comfort to this country, devastated and mourning. What was Robertson’s response? Comfort? Chrisitan compassion? No! He said that earthquake-ravaged Haiti has been "cursed" by a "pact to the devil."
"Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it," he said on Christian Broadcasting Network's "The 700 Club." "They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III, or whatever, and they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you [Devil] if you'll get us free from the French. True story. And so, the devil said, okay it's a deal."
Robertson said "ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other" and he contrasted Haiti with its neighbor, the Dominican Republic.
"That island of Hispaniola is one island. It is cut down the middle; on the one side is Haiti on the other is the Dominican Republic," he said. "Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etc. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island. They need to have, and we need to pray for them a great turning to god, and out of this tragedy I'm optimistic something good may come. But right now we are helping the suffering people, and the suffering is unimaginable."
Did you catch that last part? “…Right now we are helping the suffering…” The statement he made before that seems to indicate that he is harming the people of Haiti. I wouldn’t want someone to come to me after my child died and say, “This is because you’ve been a bad person, and your ancestors were bad people.” That isn’t helping…it’s the worst type of abuse that can be inflicted upon someone who overcome by grief and suffering.
Let’s see, Robertson suggested Hurricane Katrina was God’s way of punishing America for the sin of abortion, and the sin of homosexuality or—worst of all—the sin of being a Democrat.
The earthquake in the D.C. area—which reportedly happened while the evangelist was in the middle of yet another “end times” broadcast—apparently cracked the Washington Monument.
Robertson stated in response to the earthquake, “It seems to me the Washington Monument is a symbol of America’s power. It has been the symbol of our great nation. We look at the symbol, and we say ‘this is one nation under God.’ Now there’s a crack in it… Is that sign from the Lord? … You judge. It seems to me symbolic.”
The Wisconsin shooting in a Sikh temple devastated our country as many families live in fear, and many grieve over the loss of loved ones. What does this Christian leader have to say? How does he comfort these families?
On his 700 Club program Monday morning, televangelist Pat Robertson concluded that Sunday morning’s Sikh temple massacre in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, was ultimately because “atheists hate God.”
“What is it?” Robertson wondered aloud. “Is it satanic? Is it some spiritual thing?”
“People who are atheists, they hate God, they hate the expression of God,” he continued. “And they are angry with the world, angry with themselves, angry with society and they take it out on innocent people who are worshipping God.”
Robertson blames this violent act by what is reported to be a white supremacist, on atheists! What’s more, he contradicts his beliefs by stating that these innocent people were worshipping god. Robertson’s faith dictates that the god of the Bible is the only true god, yet here, for his own personal gain, he declares Vahguru to be god. Does his television audience realize he’s changed his theology?
In the light of this tragedy in Wisconsin, it’s time for us to stand up to Pat Robertson, and all the others who abuse people in the name of religion during the most difficult times in their lives. At American Atheists, we are not afraid to call a ‘spade a spade’. The religious community should adopt this stance as well. Robertson is an embaressment to, not only his fellow Christians, but to all humanity.