HEARTS | "moral leaders"

PAT ROBERTSON :jack of hearts
(CS, L, B, CH, $) (what do these signs mean?)

Pat Robertson is spectacular proof of Abe Lincoln's observation that you can fool some of the people all of the time. Claiming to be a religious leader, he invests millions with bloody handed dictators. He says Christians should rule America - but also says millions of Americans who think of themselves as Christians are agents of Satan. He praises the corrupt big city machine politics of Tammany Hall as the best model for Christian political influence, and even blamed America for 9-11, while wrapping himself in our flag while doing it. We could go much farther, but we don't want to write a book.

Pat and dictators
Charles Taylor was the Liberian president indicted for war crimes and responsible for much of the bloodshed and suffering that has afflicted Liberian and its neighbors for years. For Robertson he is also a Christian, a Baptist, and therefore in need of American support. According to Robertson, Taylor is a freely elected president. He did not mention Taylor cam to power violently in 1996, and "won" a suspect election only a year later, by threatening further violence if he lost. An exhausted electorate figured things couldn't get worse. Things got worse.

Robertson neglected to tell his listeners that he had invested $8 million in a gold mining venture with Taylor's government, which receives 10% of profits. Defending himself, Roberston said "Freedom Gold [his company] has found freedom of religion, freedom of movement, freedom of expression, and what appears to be a judiciary dedicated to the rule of law." Even the US Government disagrees. A State Dept. representative said the US "has not encouraged either trade or investment in Liberia due to the absence of the rule of law and President Taylor's support for armed insurgencies."

The Washington Post

Here is the Rule of Law, Pat Robertson style: Abraham Williams observed "Under... the Liberian constitution . . . 'The Legislature shall have the power: to approve treaties, conventions and such international agreements negotiated or signed on behalf of the Republic.'" The Legislature refused to ratify the agreement signed by President Taylor and Pat Robertson. "So on Oct. 30,2000, a second contract, which is virtually identical to the first, except for one significant passage, was drawn up. Section 2 of the document was modified . . . to read that the contract will go in effect 'when approved by the president of Republic of Liberia.' Gone is the language that reads that the contract is to become valid only "in accordance with the constitution and laws of the Republic."


Such appears to be Robertson's concern for the rule of law when it stands between himself and money.

Christians and America
Robertson says he wants America to return to her Christian roots - but his definition of Christianity would make most Christians uneasy. Consider the following quotes together:

  • "The Constitution of the United States, for instance, is a marvelous document for self-government by the Christian people. But the minute you turn the document into the hands of non-Christian people and atheistic people they can use it to destroy the very foundation of our society. And that's what's been happening." (700 Club, 12/30/81)
  • "You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterian and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense. I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist." (700 Club, 1/14/91)
  • "The people who have come into [our] institutions [today] are primarily termites. They are into destroying institutions that have been built by Christians, whether it is universities, governments, our own traditions, that we have.... The termites are in charge now, and that is not the way it ought to be, and the time has arrived for a godly fumigation." (New York Magazine, 8/18/86)
  • In a closed door session of Christian Coalition leaders, Robertson observed he was seeking to create "the power of every machine that has ever been in politics. You know, the Tammany halls and Hague and the Chicago machine and . . . all the rest of them. . . . this is what we've got to do." (Church and State, October, 1997, pp. 4-5.)

His appreciation of dictatorship becomes much more clear now.

So also does the wisdom of our Founders in separating religion and politics, church and state. A wisdom Robertson denies. For example, the advertisement for his "Regents University" in U.S, News and World Report, centers on a supposed statement by James Madison: "We have staked the whole of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."

Robertson's claim is about as true as saying the Constitution is based on the Analyects of Confucius. Americans United demonstrates far more understanding of history when they observed that Madison "opposed tax funding of religion, publicly funded chaplains in the Congress and the military and even expressed regret for issuing proclamations declaring official days of prayer during his presidency."


If we claim to be a "Christian Nation" rather than simply a nation where the majority are Christians, people like Robertson would argue (as he does now) that Christians different from himself aren't really Christians and are subverting our heritage. They are termites" as he so kindly characterizes millions of us. A few hundred years ago Europe fought a 30 Year war over who was and wasn't a "Christian" in a "Christian nation." Millions died. Roberston's reasoning takes us back to those fun times.

Blaming America
Immediately after 9-11, Jerry Falwell said: "what we saw on Tuesday, as terrible as it is, could be miniscule if, in fact God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve.... I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way all of them who have tried to secularize America - I point the finger in their face and say "you helped this happen."

Robertson replied: "Well, I totally concur, and the problem is we have adopted that agenda at the highest levels of our government. And so we're responsible as a free society for what the top people do. . . ." (700 Club, 9/13/01)

Such is how truth, Christianity, and patriotism fare in the hands of Pat Robertson. Significantly, he takes credit for the Republicans' political victories and the success of the radical Republican Right. There is much truth to his boasts. And much reason for good Americans to worry.

TAKE A QUIZ! Can you separate the words of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell from those of Osama bin Laden? Think you can? Go ahead!


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