Robertson welcomed 2007 with the declaration that God had told him terrorists would attack the U.S in the latter half of the year. “There’s a possibility that – not a possibility, definite certainty that chaos is going to rule,” he said on The 700 Club’s Jan. 2 broadcast.
It wouldn’t necessarily be a nuclear attack: “The Lord didn’t say nuclear,” Robertson noted, yet the “mass killing” could affect multiple cities, and millions of people might die. By year’s end, however, Armageddon failed to occur.
Islam Is Not Religion
He has said it time and time again – “Islam is not a religion” – and while the line has angered Muslims worldwide, repeating it still doesn’t make him right. In the wake of the Fort Hood shootings, Robertson declared on The 700 Club that Islam was actually “a political system bent on world domination.”
Sharon Asked For It
Robertson’s reaction to the 2006 stroke that debilitated Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon hurt him, both in the public eye and in his wallet. After he noted that Sharon’s sudden decline in health could be ascribed to his policy of “dividing God’s land” by ceding Gaza to the Palestinians, Israel announced it was ending negotiations with Robertson on the development of a $50 million Christian heritage tourist site. He then issued an open letter to Sharon’s son Omri, expressing his condolences and blaming his comments on “my zeal, my love of Israel, and my concern for the future.
Pat’s Hot Mic
When he terms the caller he’s just spoken to “a homo, sure as you’re alive,” Pat Robertson looks so freaked out you would think he’d just spoken to a ghost. Maybe that’s because he apparently forgot one of the cardinal rules of media appearances: if you happen to be wearing a microphone when you put your foot in your mouth, it’s virtually certain to be on.
Whatever else you might think of this clip – in which Robertson advises karate enthusiasts to avoid “inhaling some demon spirit” for extra strength, as he claims some martial artists do – you have to be impressed by one thing: he manages to talk about America’s favorite fighter for more than a minute without dropping a Chuck Norris fact. (For example, “There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.”)
Pointing Fingers over 9/11
Just two days after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001, Robertson welcomed the Rev. Jerry Falwell onto his show to discuss the cause of the tragedy. Falwell’s list of guilty parties included “the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle,” not to mention the ACLU and People for the American Way for good measure. Robertson's response to Falwell's venom? "I totally concur."
The Anti-Ladies Man
Iowa embraced the women’s-rights movement a little late – shooting down an equal-rights amendment that would ban sex discrimination in 1980 and waiting until 1992 to reintroduce the issue. However, TV evangelist Pat Robertson made it clear that he would do anything in his power to keep it off the table for good, joining forces with the organization Stop ERA to block the amendment.
In a now infamous letter, sent as a plea to supporters to donate money to the Stop ERA organization, Robertson claimed that the feminist movement was “a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”
Although the letter was dismissed as “ridiculous” by the head of the group of Iowa Equal Rights Amendment 1992, Robertson’s vituperative comments, along with a media blitz by anti-ERA activists, successfully prevented equal rights from being incorporated into the state’s constitution by a 51% margin. (It would ultimately pass in 1998.)
God’s Wrath Caused Katrina
When it comes to Pat Robertson, sometimes truth and fiction are hard to distinguish. On The 700 Club in 2005, Robertson blamed Hurricane Katrina on the issue of abortion in John Robert’s Supreme Court nomination. Around the same time, Dateline Hollywood published a satirical claiming Robertson said selecting New Orleans native Ellen DeGeneres, a lesbian, to host the Emmy Awards caused the hurricane. The joke became a widespread Internet rumor that, given Robertson’s track record, was perhaps too easy to take seriously.
The Haitian Curse
Pat Robertson’s comments in the aftermath of Jan. 12’s massive earthquake near the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince might be his most questionable yet. In a Jan. 13 appearance on The 700 Club, Roberson used a shaky bit of history to imply that the quake was divine retribution for Haitian voodoo doctors enlisting the help of Satan to free their country from the French some 200 years ago. A statement put out later by a Robertson rep attempted to clarify that the reverend had merely meant to speculate on why the impoverished country has a long been cursed - not that there was any particular impetus from above for this latest misfortune. Some consolation.
Some of Robertson’s harshest rhetoric was reserved for Venezuelan President (and frequent U.S. thorn) Hugo Chavez. Robertson used a 2005 episode of The 700 Club to seemingly urge a state-sponsored assassination. “You know, I don’t know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it … [The U.S. has] the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability.” Robertson later claimed that “take him out” could mean any number of things short of Chavez’s death.