(This aired on the April 15, 1997 broadcast of The 700 Club, but it's the kind of promotional spot that could have been produced months or years before and brought out every so often.)
The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) operates a bank of prayer counselors who are available 24/7 for adherents and 700 Club viewers who are seeking support and guidance in times of crisis…and great, I'm already writing a press release for them. (CBN is Pat Robertson's media operation, of which The 700 Club is its flagship program.) Anyway, you get the idea: anyone can call in to talk to a CBN prayer counselor about whatever, and I understand that they usually take the opportunity to ask for your name and address so they can add you to their mailing list and start sending you fundraising letters. Win-win!
But this video spot was produced not so much to inform viewers that there are prayer counselors who are just waiting for your call, but to remind viewers of the kind of thing The 700 Club does with the money you give them, and if you're not a member of The 700 Club, won't you join today? Because ultimately, all of these promotional spots are about getting people to give them money.
Of course, not all of them mention Planned Parenthood in the same breath as Satanism:
“What if the CBN counseling center wasn't here? What are the alternatives for those desperately seeking answers? Psychic hotlines…New Age gurus…crystal balls and tarot cards…Planned Parenthood…meditation…even Satanism. People are searching now more than ever, and they risk falling into the clutches of the occult.”There is actually a not-inconsiderable strain of "Planned Parenthood is occultist" thinking running through Christian fundamentalism that is little more than a Google search away. Accusations that Margaret Sanger believed in the occult (and of course if Sanger believed something, then it necessarily infests all of Planned Parenthood, decades after her death); the purported historical roots of abortion in witchcraft and paganism; "this abortion clinic I know is totally occultist, you guys!" It's like they think Citizen Ruth was a documentary, and all us pro-choicers are lesbians who pray to the moon.
Now, for all I've seen of Pat Robertson, I've never heard him say anything about Planned Parenthood being occultist, and you'd think that if he did believe that, he'd trot that out every chance he got. (Instead, he usually pushes the tired "Margaret Sanger favored eugenics just like the Nazis" argument, which is an oversimplification of the facts.) So I won't say that Pat believes this "Planned Parenthood is occultist" jazz. But it looks like someone at CBN did.