Monday, March 17, 2014

Going On Indefinite Hiatus

Due to lack of reader interest, Pat Robertson's Vault is going on indefinite hiatus.

My thanks to everyone who's been reading, and especially to everyone who's used social media to apprise others of my work.

I will be glancing over at my Twitter notifications (@robertsonsvault) periodically, but for now it would be better to direct any further inquiries to my personal Twitter account, @astutepanther.

Friday, March 14, 2014

"The Princeton Review Says My Bible Law School Faculty Is In the Nation's Top Ten!" Mostly False.

Pat Robertson may have gone all ADD on Wednesday's broadcast of The 700 Club, but he was able to keep it together long enough to give us this whopper:

“I want to give a plug to Regent University. According to The Princeton Review, we have the top 10 law faculty in the nation.“ 
“Wow!“ – co-host Wendy Griffith
Just one little quibbling detail though:

Student questionnaires. Not academic credentials or peer reputation or legal-community assessment or any other metric used by legitimate law school rankings. Regent University School of Law came in 10th in the "Students Like Our Professors Best!" competition. Which might not be too surprising when you consider we're talking about 300 evangelical Christian students in an evangelical Christian school with evangelical Christian professors. Everyone's already drunk the Kool-Aid.

The best thing about all this? The 2015 U.S. News Best Law Schools list—a REAL ranking—also came out this week, and guess where Regent finished? Come on, guess. Actually, you can't: U.S. News stopped ranking the schools after the top 147 (out of 194) and Regent didn't make that cut. Then they just listed the rest alphabetically, as if to say, "These remaining 47 suck so hard it's not worth our time or yours to differentiate between them."

But my favorite part has to be the peer reputation rankings, as posted by TaxProfBlog:

That's the bottom of the list. Regent is tied for next-to-last. Liberty University School of Law? That's the late Jerry Falwell's outfit. You just know it chapped Pat Robertson's ass that no one thinks his law school is any better than Falwell's.

So no wonder Pat talked up the bullshi Princeton Review list. He's got to buck up his troops, who just got kicked in the teeth in a nationwide ranking.

"Everyone else says we suck, but our students like us more than most everyone else's students like them! Yay!"

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Pat Robertson Spent the Entire Show Acting Like a Distracted Child (March 12, 2014)

Just yesterday morning I wrote how Pat Robertson forgot that he himself performed the exorcism he said he had "heard about" someone else performing. Then I dismissed the possibility of Alzheimer's Disease because you'd imagine that sort of occasional mind-wipe would be obvious on live-to-tape television.*

But after yesterday's broadcast, I'm not so sure. Okay, it might not be Alzheimer's, but clearly there's something not right with Pat's brain—I mean beyond the usual things not right with his brain (like his worldview and his ideology and his extremism)—because Pat was losing focus more often than a non-union film projectionist.

Here's the rundown:
  • Did Someone Use a Satellite to Take Control of the Missing Malaysian Airliner Like a Bond Villain? Eh, Let's Talk About Something Else.
  • The Republicans Won a Special-Election That Was a Referendum on Obamacare! Oh Wait, No It Wasn't.
  • And Now for No Immediate Reason, Here's Some Chocolate
  • Yea, Christian Movies! Awww, I Miss Mel Gibson, Can't We Get Him Back?
  • People Just Don't Want to Believe Because Evolution and the Scientific Method

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pat Robertson Was the Exorcist on That Demon-Possessed Girl He Mentioned Yesterday

Once again, a viewer question to Pat Robertson yesterday gave the world another opportunity to point and laugh at him and/or shake our heads in disgust at him. This time, a woman asked Pat if the horror movie she saw one night caused demons to crash her car the next day at church. And of course Pat said that could be the case because don't you know demons are real?

The beginning of Pat's reply isn't the meat of his answer, but I need to highlight it for my purposes here:
“A few years ago, I heard about a teenage girl who was demon-possessed. And people began to deal with the demon and try to cast it out. And you know what the demon said?  ‘I had permission.‘ And the permission was granted when this child had gone to some XX-rated movie, or whatever it was, and had allowed this thing to come into her.”
A few years ago, I HEARD ABOUT a teenage girl.

I think Pat's being modest, because here he is in 1997 (a few years ago?) telling pretty much the same story, except HE WAS THE EXORCIST on that poor demon-possessed girl:

“I personally have been involved in casting those things out of people. One young girl in particular. And I had the thing talk to me and say, ‘You can't have her, she's mine.’ And I said, ‘Oh no, you don't understand—Jesus is going to have her and you're going to let her go!’ But the little girl—tiny little girl; I mean, she was 17 but just tiny—said, ‘You can't have her, she's mine.’ Well, that's Satan talking.” 
Okay, so the 1997 version doesn't have the dirty-movie part, and You can't have her, she's mine isn't quite the same as I had permission. But I can pretty much guarantee you that Pat Robertson has told versions of this exorcism story many, many times over the years, and people often tend to embellish certain details in repeating their stories. And I had permission definitely sounds more badass, which is what you want for something coming from, y'know, SATAN. Besides, why would anyone swap out their very own bona fide exorcism story with one they "heard" someone else did?

Maybe he legitimately forgot that that was his own story and instead remembers it as happening to someone else. I know that sounds a little like Alzheimer's, but I know that's not the case with Pat—when he's hosting a TV show for an hour, that level of dementia would be patently obvious, especially if he's answering viewer questions completely off the cuff, oftentimes supplying the same answer that he has for years and years. But the man is 83, and he's definitely not as sharp as he once was.

The only conclusion that makes any sense is that the exorcism story is all one big invention. I don't believe for one second that some girl was actually possessed by Satan and went all Regan MacNeil on anyone, and I'm guessing if you're reading this, neither do you. Pat Robertson lied in 1997 about actually performing a real-live exorcism on someone, and he forgot about that part when he re-told the story yesterday—because when you lie, you sometimes forget the lies you told when you came up with the lie. Remember where I wrote two paragraphs back that people tend to add embellishments to their stories the more they tell them? That's especially the case when the story isn't true to begin with. Any police detective will tell you that criminals under interrogation get caught in their lies when they contradict themselves on the details, because you can never keep track of the elaborations of the lie you're concocting better than remember the truth that really happened.

So maybe Pat wasn't any kind of exorcist on any demon-possessed girl. But you'll still have to pry that "Pat Robertson Was the Exorcist" headline of mine from my cold, dead hand.


By the way, that video I posted of "Pat Robertson, Exorcist" has so much more after the portion I focused on: an earlier iteration of "miracles don't happen in America because we're too sophisticated," a brief disquisition on heavy metal lyrics, the demon Abaddon the Destroyer (who is, remember, totally real and not something out of Ghostbusters)—even a Bob Dylan quote! (Granted, from one of the Christian albums.) All leading up to his prayer with the audience to cast Satan out, a piece of work that tracks like it's a version in miniature of his supposed exorcism. Enjoy. Or facepalm or headdesk or vomit, your choice.

Friday, February 28, 2014

If Your Grandparent Was a Fortune-Teller, You're Probably Cursed (And Other Pat Robertson Tales)

Pat Robertson has said something noteworthily extremist every day of his four-day workweek—I was right to want Hugo Chávez assassinated! It's un-American to force a business to serve gay people if they don't want to! Impeach Eric Holder!—but the more influential Robertson monitors, Right Wing Watch and The Raw Story, must have gotten tired of covering his shenanigans because they left all of Thursday's ridiculousness on the table.  So allow me to fill in for them.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 Doesn't Exist, Apparently

Thursday's top story was Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's veto of Senate Bill 1062, which would have allowed business owners to deny services to whomever their religion tells them they shouldn't have to serve.  But really we're just talking about gays and lesbians and gay/lesbian marriages, because that's still "acceptable" discrimination in some quarters.  So here's how Pat Robertson kicked off the show:
“If you're in New York and you're a homosexual and you're a bartender, you can refuse service to a Republican or a born-again Christian, or somebody you don't like, with impunity!  No problem.  If you happen to live in California, and you run a bakery, and you happen to be a born-again Christian, and you say, 'I don't want to bake a cake for a homosexual wedding,' you can go to jail.”
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.  You know, the law that says,
All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services…and accommodations of any place of public accommodation…without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.
So, no, that gay bartender in gay New York can not refuse service to a born-again Christian with impunity.  (Republicans? They're fair game, I guess.)  Also, no one goes to jail for discrimination.  It's a civil violation.  That's Pat Robertson, Yale Law School graduate, everybody!

This tale also includes the Fall of America:

“Well…what's happening in America is we have changed the fundamental way we view morality.  We've gone away from a Biblically based standard to a standard based on what Hollywood has to say or Madison Avenue or whoever.  And it looks like there was overwhelming opposition to gay marriage, and that has now shifted, so probably a majority of Americans say, ‘It's okay if gays want to get married, that's their business.’ ”

If Your Grandparent Was a Witch or Fortune-Teller, You're Probably Cursed

A viewer asks Pat if he believes in generational curses, like how families have histories of cancer and diabetes.  Well, Pat responds, cancer and diabetes, that's probably more genetic than spiritual. (Probably.)  But spiritual generational curses are real:
“I do believe that there are such things as generational curses.  If some grandparent was a witch or a fortune-teller, or engaged in the black arts, the chances are that curse will come down the family.  And it needs to be broken by specific prayer.”

God Can Grow Back a Limb—A Preacher I Knew Said It Happened!

In response to another viewer born without a right hand, Pat says That's okay, you're already spiritually whole, and people can live fulfilling lives with disabilities like yours.  But if you want a new hand, God can give you one:
“Can God grow you a hand?  That's a creative miracle, and it happens.  I remember T. L. Osborn was talking about a meeting he had in Ghana.  A man at the edge of the meeting didn't have a whole leg, the leg was cut off at the knee: whole leg grew out, foot grew out, toes grew out, toenails grew, the whole thing.  Right there, while he was preaching about Jesus.”
(Why do these "miracles" only happen in faraway places like Ghana and not here in the good ol' U.S. of A.?  Because only simple people are open to miracles.  Westerners are too educated and sophisticated to accept them.)

The Antichrist Might Be a Jew—But He Could Be a Muslim!  Or Even European!

Dear Pat, I've been looking into End Times prophecy and it seems to me that the antichrist is going to be a Jew… Do you think that makes sense?
“I think it may make some sense… I think there are antichrist figures, there's an antichrist spirit, and it's a spirit of rebellion against God, and who knows.  I certainly think the modern-day Islamic people, the people from Islam of the early days at least, had an antichrist spirit—they speak against Christ!  And there are others who do the same thing.  So: is he Jewish, is he Arab, is he North African, is he from Europe?  Where is he?  I don't think we know.  But what you said can make plenty of sense.  But I wouldn't spend a lot of time meditating on it.”
Yeah, it's probably a Jew that will bring about the End Times.  But don't worry about it.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Maybe the Bible Is Why People Still Think the Sun Revolves Around the Earth, Pat Robertson? Naahhh, Can't Be.

On Tuesday, I posted a blow-by-blow account of all the wingnut asshattery in that day's 700 Club.  Turns out I probably could have done the same with Monday's broadcast had I not slept in—hey, it was a holiday!—because there was a load of stuff being shoveled that day, too.  You probably heard about a couple of the juicier items:
  • Because this winter has been a little harsh (climate change means severer weather at all of the extremes), Pat Robertson went on a semi-focused rant about global warming that touched on "Obama's third term" (???), John Kerry, SUVs on Mars (not Jupiter this time)—ultimately landing on a kinda comprehensible although still lunatic argument that global warming is a hoax perpetrated by socialists who are making up "climate change" so they can take control of the energy industry (just like Obama wants to take over the healthcare industry!).  If you're keeping score, "socialist hoax" is now at least Pat's fourth attempt at discrediting global warming, after "it's actually global cooling," "it's a scam by money-hungry scientists," and "it's a myth by occultist environmentalists who worship the Earth."  (Curiously, he's completely forgotten the time when he filmed a commercial for Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection in 2008.)
  • During the "Bring It On" segment (i.e., "Ask Pat"), Robertson said in response to a viewer email that a Wiccan parent was the equivalent of a mother who makes her child deal drugs, or who sells her into prostitution, and the viewer was free to ignore the Fifth Commandment and not honor her mother.
  • Also during the "Bring It On" segment (this part of the program is so frequently a source of our ire/entertainment, because it catches Pat at his unscripted best), a viewer asked if he should tell his wife about an old girlfriend who revealed to him that she was a transsexual, and Pat's initial response was "Keep your mouth shut."  Actually, if you look at the full transcript of Pat's reply, it seems like he's only saying, "There's no reason to complicate your marriage by talking about whatever potentially awkward relationships you had before you met your wife," which perhaps isn't such an unreasonable outlook.  However, the rest of the Internet wants to believe he said it like, "Don't ever, ever talk about your shameful, sinful deed," so I'll play along.
But let me not bury my lede any further.  In the middle of his latest global-warming conniption, and lost in the shuffle of all the coverage given it, Pat brought up this seemingly irrelevant news story—the National Science Foundation conducted a survey finding that a quarter of Americans didn't know the Earth revolves around the Sun.
“One-third of the American people do not realize that the Earth revolves around the Sun.  They think the Sun revolves around the Earth, 'cause they see the Sun come up in the morning and go down at night… It's kind of like the Middle Ages.  You got excommunicated if you suggested that the Earth was round, and you suggested that the Earth revolves around the Sun.  That was heresy.”  [Pat later corrected the part where it was actually one-quarter of respondents.]

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The 700 Club Celebrated Black History Month By Recognizing the Inventor of the Mop (Feb. 18, 1997)

We're two-thirds of the way into Black History Month ("The Man gives us February because it's the shortest month of the year!" – Nat X), and so far the only recognition The 700 Club has given it was to re-run a year-old story this morning on Arthur Davis Shores, a relatively unsung civil rights attorney during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s.  (They never specifically mentioned Black History Month, but I can't imagine any other reason for re-running a year-old segment that was apparently produced specifically for Black History Month last year.)

As a white man, it's probably not my place to complain about whatever coverage The 700 Club gives Black History Month.  But at least there used to be a time when they were more explicit about it.  Like the time in 1997 when they highlighted some of the inventions African-Americans have given us over the years.  Especially the mop:

Special props to co-host Lee Webb for pointing out that despite the plethora of 19th-century devices laid out on that table, African-Americans have given us many modern-day inventions, too.  Amazing—black people are still inventing things!  Give them a hand!

Reuters Thinks Pat Robertson Is Catholic, Possibly Thinks He Speaks for American Catholics

Last week, Belgium's parliament passed a bill extending its 2002 euthanasia law, allowing terminally ill adults the right to have their lives ended mercifully, to cover terminally ill children as well.  Under the law, the child must request the decision herself—repeatedly—and must be in great pain for which there is no available palliative treatment; her parents must consent to the procedure; and a team of doctors and psychiatrists must give their approval.  An "extremely small number" of children, mostly in their teens, is expected to take advantage of the new law.

As you might expect, most of the native opposition came from the Catholic Church, and although Belgium is predominantly Roman Catholic, polls show that two-thirds of Belgians support this extension, and the bill passed in Parliament by about the same proportion: 86 to 44.

When Reuters was moved to print an article about the "international euthanasia backlash," Pat Robertson was quoted as an example of American conservative critics.  Robertson had commented on the euthanasia measure following an October 21, 2013 700 Club news segment on the matter.  It's possible that Reuters chose Robertson because he's been one of the few American public figures to make any statements on Belgium's euthanasia law, and Belgium's flattered by the attention from a country that's notoriously ill-attentive to world affairs.

Or maybe they have a fundamental misunderstanding of Robertson's religion:

from Reuters, "Belgium Surprised at International Euthanasia Backlash"

Yyyyeeeeaaaahhh.  Um.  "Catholic Broadcast Network."

Okay, if anyone from Belgium and/or Reuters is reading this, let me lay a few things down for you:

Pat Robertson is not Catholic.  Robertson is an evangelical Protestant—specifically, a Southern Baptist with charismatic tendencies.  ("Charismatic tendencies" means he believes in "signs and wonders" like faith healing and speaking in tongues.  "Southern Baptist" means he belongs to a denomination that was formed in the 19th century to defend American slavery.  Yup.)  Robertson and his ministry, the Christian Broadcasting Network, have a checkered history with the Catholic Church, ranging from intolerant antipathy to grudging acceptance of the Catholic Church as a political ally, at least when it comes to issues like euthanasia, abortion, contraception, and homosexuality.  (When it comes to issues like the death penalty, the excesses of capitalism, and government assistance to the poor, not so much.)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Pat Robertson Had Quite a Show Today

There was so much Pat Robertson crazy on today's broadcast of The 700 Club, I don't even know where to begin.  At the start of the show, I guess.

1. The opening news story: the United Nations Human Rights Council is considering referring Kim Jong-un and other North Korean officials to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. Robertson follows up the story:
“Why do we have this?  Keep in mind the policy decisions of the United States have enormous consequences and they last for decades.  We had the opportunity—and I was in the Marine Corps in Korea, I know whereof I speak—we had the opportunity in that peninsula to close it off and win a military victory.  General MacArthur was going on the way to the Yalu River, he was going to set up a defense line across that boundary, and then he was going to mop up what was there, and we would have installed a democratic government in Korea.  Instead of that, the politicians were scared of what the Russians might think or the Chinese might think, and they took MacArthur home in seeming disgrace, he was cashiered by Truman. 
“And we made a line on the 38th Parallel, and we allowed Kim's grandfather…to set up a dictatorship, and have had that country on the watch list.  Now they have developed nuclear weapons, who knows if they have chemical weapons, and they have tormented their people.  And at the same time we send delegations over there to make peace with them—there's no peace with a group like that.  They should be arrested and executed…”
In actuality, Gen. Douglas MacArthur was relieved of his command after his efforts to push the war up to the Yalu River resulted in China's joining the war on the North Korean side and flooding the Korean peninsula with 180,000 troops—despite having assured President Truman that China would not do so, and severely underestimating how many Chinese troops could cross the Yalu into North Korea if they did.  The unexpected Chinese offensive severely drove back United Nations forces; for two months, Seoul was under North Korean control.  Pat Robertson's "scared politicians"were the Truman Administration with their order to establish a cease-fire, an order which MacArthur directly contravened—a clear act of insubordination warranting his removal.

At least that's what the history books say. But Pat knows whereof he speaks, as he was in Korea—in the rear echelon, to be exact, where his father, a U.S. Senator, secured him a cushy position as a "liquor officer" responsible for maintaining the soldiers' supplies of alcohol. (Actually, Pat's father wanted him kept in Japan and out of Korea entirely.)  Pat calls himself a combat Marine, but he never saw combat or came anywhere near it.

2.  A former Planned Parenthood nurse (who admits she wasn't really pro-choice to begin with) is calling the organization "a money-grubbing, evil" place because some staffers liked to chant "Abortion all the time!" (Also, receptionists got yelled at if they let the phone ring more than three times.  Evil!)  Well, Pat Robertson needs only the barest of excuses to go off on Planned Parenthood, and here it is:

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Pat Robertson's CBN Is Still Promoting Ken Ham's Young Earth Creationism

In the wake of the Creationism vs. Evolution debate on Tuesday night between Creation Museum founder Ken Ham and Bill Nye the Science Guy, Pat Robertson made news (well, Internet news) by slapping down Ham and Young Earth creationism in general:
“To say that [the Earth] all came about in 6,000 years is just nonsense and I think it's time we came off of that stuff and say this isn't possible… Let's be real, let's not make a joke of ourselves.”
As I've posted before, it's not news that Pat Robertson acknowledges that the Earth is billions of years old, but I get that most people assume otherwise, because it's not worth their time to differentiate between the gradations of absurdity that populate the Christian Right.

Then again, it's hard to make those distinctions when Robertson's own Christian Broadcasting Network still promotes Ham favorably on its website:
  • An undated article entitled "Evolution – The Ultimate Compromise," reprinted from the now-defunct, promotes Young Earth creationism and directs readers to Ken Ham's The Great Dinosaur Mystery Solved (as screencapped above).
  • Another undated article, "'Big Bang' A Big Deal?" by a guest columnist, scoffs at the Big Bang Theory that even Robertson accepts (although he maintains God initiated it), and cites "Dr. Ken Ham" as the primary "resource [to] promote the truth of Creation."  (Note: Ken Ham's doctorates are all honorary.)
  • ShopCBN sells Ken Ham's 2011 creationist DVD Foundations: In Six Days.
CBN News and The 700 Club have also positively featured Ken Ham's Creation Museum on several occasions, including this favorable interview with Ham himself in May 2007:

I uploaded that video, but it's also available on CBN's website (Windows Media Player plug-in required to watch the video), with an accompanying article that devotes 18 paragraphs to promoting the Creation Museum, while giving an anthropologist a two-sentence rebuttal to say dinosaurs and man did not co-exist.

You can also watch CBN News reporter Paul Strand's return to the Creation Museum in 2009 (sorry, CBN's video-embed code does not work on Blogger; I don't know who to blame), where he pumped the Young Earth gospel at length—and without any rebuttal by an evolutionary scientist—in a segment titled "Creation Museum Bolsters Kids' Faith":
“For evolution to be true, the Earth must be billions of years old, with life forms on it evolving slowly over hundreds of millions of years.  That seems to contradict the biblical version of creation, with God making the earth an its many life-forms rapidly—and probably not all that long ago.”
And summing up (after a stopover to Mount St. Helens "proves" that fossilized layers can be laid down in a matter of minutes by a volcano explosion):
“With resources like the Creation Museum in Kentucky available, Christian kids can head back into the public schools with their heads held high, knowing that what's in their Bible and what science says don't have to contradict each other.”
The very same day this aired (May 22, 2009), CBN ran an additional piece on a German fossil being touted as the missing link.  The expert CBN brought aboard to debunk that fossil?  Ken Ham.

You can find more examples of favorable if cursory CBN coverage of the Creation Museum here and here.

Pat Robertson may not have started this "joke" that started the whole world laughing—but oh, if he'd only see, that the joke was on him, too.

♪♫  I-I-I-I looked at the skies, running my hands over my eyes…  ♪♫

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Pat Robertson Doesn't Really Want to Pray for the President, Even Though the Bible Commands Him To

One of the mainstays of Christianity is that adherents should pray for their nation's leaders, especially the President (or Queen or whoever).  No matter who he is (or she, right? this will extend to female presidents, right guys?), no matter what his policies are, we're supposed to pray for the President. Because it's in the Bible:
I urge that supplications, prayers,  intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and for all who are in high positions… (1 Timothy 2:1-2) 
Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities.  For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. (Romans 13:1)
But Pat Robertson must not care what the Bible says anymore, because he's not going to pray for this president.  Pat's been peddling the standard conservative Republican line that President Obama's a socialist and a dictator and all that jazz, but he must honestly believe all that because here he is after last week's State of the Union scoffing at co-host Wendy Griffith's reminder to pray for him (I included Pat's whole post-SOTU rant, but you can skip to Wendy's reminder at 1:36 into the video):

WENDY GRIFFITH: "But he's our President, and we're praying for him and we wish him well, and we pray God's wisdom for him." 
PAT ROBERTSON: [audible hissing sigh of exasperation] "Wendy, that is a beautiful sentiment."

You know who used to remind us that we're supposed to pray for our leaders, even when we don't endorse what our leaders stand for? Pat Robertson.  Here he is the day after Bill Clinton's election, reminding viewers that we're commanded to pray for our president.  BILL CLINTON.  Whitewatering, wannabe healthcare-mandating, Travelgating, draft-dodging, dope-smoking, Chinese money-taking, Gennifer Flowers-diddling, Paula Jones-harassing, Vince Foster-killing (yup, Pat was on that bandwagon) Bill Clinton was not as bad as Barack Obama:

TERRY MEEUWSEN: This is the conclusion of [the 1996] election, and there are those who do not endorse, uh, some of the leaders who were elected.  How do we interpret and obey this commandment in Romans 13:1? 
PAT ROBERTSON: I think what we do is to pray for them, because God wants us to live a quiet and peaceful life, that we might have peace.  And that was said under the despotic emperors of Rome, who were corrupt, venal—you couldn't get much worse than Nero!  Whatever is bad in Washington can't hold a candle to the debauched despots of the Roman Empire!  And yet Paul said, you obey these authorities, you pray for them so we can live a peaceful, godly life so that the Gospel can go forth…

You couldn't get much worse than Nero!  Except for Obama, apparently.  That's the only logical conclusion you can draw from this now: OBAMA IS WORSE THAN NERO.  And we're talking about a guy who literally had his own mother killed.  (Nero, I mean.  Not Obama.)

Source: The 700 Club

Victoria Jackson Used to Shill for The 700 Club in "Comedy" Bits (1996-97)

Yesterday, celebrity Tea Partier and former Saturday Night Live comedian Victoria Jackson filed to run for county commission in Tennessee.  This morning, The 700 Club interviewed celebrity Tea Partier and former star of Cheers John Ratzenberger, ostensibly to discuss how faith has influenced his career, although he ended up talking more about being a carpenter who helped build the stage at Woodstock, and how much he loves The Godfather.  (Yeah, the whole interview was just shy of a train wreck.  I can't even link to the interview because The 700 Club is so ashamed of it, they haven't uploaded it yet. UPDATE: Link added. They finally posted it at 12: 45 pm.)

So this is as good a time as any for me to upload some of the times Victoria Jackson made recurring appearances on The 700 Club in the mid-1990s.  It's pretty harmless—and dumb—but it's good to remember that before she was the whackadoo celebrity queen of the Tea Party, she was a whackadoo hawker for Pat Robertson.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

PETA, Maybe Look Into This? Pat Robertson's Swans Are Freezing (UPDATED)

Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network campus in Virginia Beach has a pair of swans on its lake because swans mate for life, making them an enduring and inspiring symbol of the Christian values of monogamy and fidelity.

Okay, I just made that up.  I'm pretty sure they're there because somebody at CBN thought swans are fancy.

Anyway, it's so cold in Virginia that the lake is frozen over.  Won't anyone think of the poor swans?  Oh thank you, Wendy Griffith:

Swans sitting by a heating vent.  Nature!


UPDATE: PETA's response:

Um, I thought I just did?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Is Pat Robertson Softening on Pornography?

(Game of Thrones.  I just know it's Game of Thrones.)

It was a little over three years ago that Pat Robertson made headlines for suggesting that marijuana be decriminalized.  Even though a CBN spokesperson felt the need to walk Pat's comments back—"he was advocating that our government revisit the severity of the existing laws blah blah blah"—it was rightly considered a softening of a decades-long hard-line antidrug stance that Pat shared with pretty much everyone else on the Right.  (See, for example, this alarmist story The 700 Club ran when California and Arizona passed medical marijuana referenda in 1996, complete with Pat's unsupportive follow-up comments.)

So maybe Pat's mellowing with age, because today a viewer asked Pat if she should be concerned that her pastor watches a cable show with nudity in it, and instead of blasting the moral cesspool of popular culture and the easy availability of pornography, his answer was surprisingly reasonable:

“The human body is not essentially nasty.  I mean, God made us without clothes.  You look at that famous statue of David that's considered one of the masterpieces of the Renaissance, and…he doesn't have any clothes on at all.  The Venus de Milo and some of those others…the Sistine Chapel, Adam has got no clothes on… The body is not essentially pornographic.  I think to make it so is a mistake.  It's what's in your mind. 
“I don't know what your pastor's watching, what show it is.  Maybe it's got some redeeming qualities.  But I sure wouldn't turn him off because he's watching a few clips of nudity on TV. I don't know what show you're talking about, some of them are real nasty…
The human form per se isn't necessarily dirty.  It's what our minds make it.

Keep in mind that this is the same Pat Robertson who used to warn his audience that just a glimpse of pornography can send you spiraling into a full-blown addiction.

Well, you read it here first: Pat Robertson's okay with nudity on television now.  And apparently, drugs and violence, too: 20 minutes earlier, The 700 Club featured the story of a meth dealer who found God, and he introduced it with, "You probably saw the blockbuster cable series Breaking Bad."  Yup.  Pat expects the good Christians who tune into him every day to have also watched Breaking Bad.

So…after more than 50 years of inveighing against the depravity of our popular culture and telling his audience to tune it out, Pat Robertson's pretty much acknowledging that even the people who watch him aren't really listening to him.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pat Robertson Says His Protégé, Now-Indicted Former Governor Bob McDonnell, Is Innocent

Yesterday, former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen were indicted for soliciting and accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans and gifts from the chief executive officer of the Star Scientific dietary-supplement company, in return for having McDonnell promote Star's products.  According to the indictment and various other news sources (primarily the Washington Post):

  • Gov. McDonnell set up meetings with state officials for Star Scientific CEO Jonnie R. Williams to promote his products.
  • Gov. McDonnell personally promoted Star Scientific's Anatabloc, a purported anti-inflammatory supplement, with state officials during meetings to discuss the state employee health plan (under which Star wanted Anatabloc and other products listed as covered medications).
  • Gov. McDonnell tried to persuade state university researchers to design studies into the health benefits of Star's products, and sought to have those studies paid for by the State Tobacco Commission.  (Anatabloc uses an alkaloid found in tobacco.)
  • At Star Scientific's expense, Mrs. McDonnell flew to a Florida seminar for scientists and investors where she promoted Anatabloc and specifically touted its potential to lower health-care costs in Virginia.  (The McDonnells' public support for Anatabloc would be cited by financial analysts boosting Star Scientific stock.)
  • Mrs. McDonnell hosted the launch party for Anatabloc at an Executive Mansion luncheon where Star gave out start-up research grants to two state universities.  A Star Scientific press release promoting the Anatabloc launch specifically cited interest by Virginia state medical institutions in researching the product's potentials.  It was at the Florida seminar where Mrs. McDonnell first offered, publicly, to host the luncheon at the mansion; that same day, she bought $30,000 in Star Scientific stock—from $50,000 Williams had given her a week earlier.
  • The McDonnells endeavored to hide the extent of the gifts and loans by channeling them through family members or shell corporations to avoid state disclosure requirements.
  • The McDonnells omitted mention of Williams' private loans on applications with two separate lending institutions.
  • Mrs. McDonnell lied to government investigators who questioned her about their relationship with Williams.
  • The gifts (or loans) included: a total of $135,000 in cash, $7,500 in golf rounds for the McDonnell family and staff, a $6,500 silver Rolex watch specially engraved for the governor (which Mrs. McDonnell specifically asked Williams to buy for him), a $20,000 New York City shopping spree at such tony outfits as Bergdorf Goodman and Louis Vuitton, and $15,000 in catering for daughter Cailin McDonnell's wedding reception.
  • Last summer, McDonnell said he was returning all "tangible" gifts and repaying the loans, although the indictment lists property for potential forfeiture that suggests otherwise.  (Can't return the rounds of golf or the catering, though.)

Pat Robertson and Bob McDonnell go back at least 15 years, when McDonnell began serving on the Board of Trustees of Robertson's Regent University; and really, almost 30 years, when McDonnell enrolled in the inaugural class of Regent's School of Law in 1986 after matriculating at the university's Robertson School of Government in the previous year.  (According to the Washington Post, McDonnell claims that "he and Robertson did not become well acquainted until years after he was first elected to office" in 1991.)

So what does Pat have to say about his friend's indictment?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Pat Robertson Now Says Three-Strikes Laws Are Bad for Society, and It's All Bill Clinton's Fault

Yesterday, Pat Robertson railed against the "growing criminalization of people in America" and the "tough-on-crime politicians" who passed the Three Strikes, You're Out laws in the 1990s. Which was refreshing, but also curious: back in those days, Robertson gave the remarkable impression that he was on the crime! crime! crime! bandwagon, too:

Anyway, is it your recollection that it was Republican politicians, like California governor Pete Wilson (1991-1999), who led the drive to enact Three Strikes?  Mine too!  You know who else's?  This Three Strikes timeline's, which lists Pete Wilson as the first governor to sign a Three Strikes bill into law.

Yet look who Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) places the blame on:

(This is an image, not a video.  If you want to see the YouTube video, click on the link directly above this image.)

Of course.  It happened in the '90s, so it must be Clinton's fault!  That's how it works!  Just like everything going on today is entirely Obama's fault!  Oh, but the years in between Clinton and Obama? That was 9/11.  9/11 was our president for those eight years.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

God Is Working on People's Intestines and Colons

Pat Robertson has been claiming to heal people over the television airwaves for 40 years or so with something he invented called the "Word of Knowledge."  See, God sends him a "word" that someone watching him on the TV is—oh screw it, it's faith healing.  We're talking about faith healing.  Pat Robertson has the power to hear God telling him who in his audience is suffering—and miraculously, everyone who has ever co-hosted The 700 Club with Pat has been imbued with the same power.

Apparently, someone over at The Raw Story only just discovered this, because he thought this video of Pat supposedly healing a man's infected jaw was something new and hilarious enough to highlight.

Well, shit.  Practically every day Pat Robertson and The 700 Club claim that they've healed someone in their viewing audience.  And I was reluctant to say "shit" back there, but it's actually kind of literal:

“A bowel obstruction is being healed right now, that is being taken care of.  Somebody else with colitis is being healed, and somebody else with diverticulitis.  God is working on people's intestines and colons.  There are a number of people with ulcerated colitis and various nervousness… God is giving you peace, just deep settled peace, it'll come all over you…”
And other stuff.

Want more?  Here's a heretofore infertile woman who Pat impregnated over the air with his healing.  Or something like that:

Even Pat's own people know this whole thing is a scam.  As former CBN producer Gerald Straub wrote in his behind-the-scenes tell-all Salvation for Sale:
“I used to muse that if this healing and 'word of knowledge' was really happening, why was it relegated to the last few minutes of the show?… Beyond that, if this activity was legitimate, I would think we'd want to fill the entire show with it, but instead we chattered about politics, the economy, or the Supreme Court for most of the show and let God do his healing during the last few minutes.… I just assumed that someday I would understand.  I was wrong. 
“There was nothing 'mystical' to understand; it was simply 'statistical.'  Robertson's little faith-healing procedure is a charade—he simply 'calls out' an illness and predicts its cure, and with millions of viewers the statistical probabilities are that someone will have the disease named and that they will naturally recover.”

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Unemployment Insurance Is Just Obama's Socialism, Get Rid of It and the Poor Will Find Jobs

Submitted for your disapproval:
“[Unemployment benefits] don't create jobs, they just prolong joblessness for those who are on the dole.  But the president seems to think that if people sign up for some government program, that they have therefore gotten off the rolls and into a good place.  But the good place isn't government subsidy, and that's what he wants, he wants people under the control of government.  And therefore, the more people under the control of government, the better the socialist agenda turns out. 
But statistics seem to show that when you cut unemployment benefits, and people really, honest-to-goodness are faced with the stark reality of getting a job, that they find ways of getting employment in the private sector. 
It isn't being cold-hearted to say the government cannot afford to continue, month after month, year after year, keeping people on the dole of unemployment.  You can't do that.  Sooner or later, you have to say we rely on the private sector.  Then we have to create a climate in this country where people can be employed, where business is booming, where regulations are cut down, and taxes are cut and people can go to work.  That's what we need to do, but the president doesn't see it that way.”
Remember—this is coming from a man whose best advice he could muster for an unemployed viewer was, "Ask God, or consider telemarketing."

As for that last part, where we need to get the economy moving again?  Turns out extending unemployment benefits is the second-best way to stimulate the economy, right behind increasing food stamps, according to Moody's:

But then again, that Moody's is just another socialist outfit on Wall Street, what do they know.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

CBN News Reverse-Engineers an Attack on a Climate-Change Scientist to Smear Global-Warming Proponents

Today's broadcast of The 700 Club featured a segment by Pat Robertson's own CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) News on "global cooling," an extreme-minority belief (of course) that not only is global warming false, but that the Earth is actually getting colder.  I'm not going to pretend to have the scientific bona fides to thoroughly debunk this theory, so I'll just direct you to and their collection of articles on global cooling instead.

But it wasn't enough for Robertson's band of merry right-wing Christian journalists reporters to flog the latest line of b.s. from the anti-warming crowd.  CBN actually took a right-wing slur against a climate-change scientist, flipped it, and claimed it was global-warming proponents making the accusation.
“Climate-change skeptics have been…compared to Holocaust deniers, and even child molesters.
I've heard the first charge before, and yes, a couple of newspaper columnists made that comparison to drive home the point that the anti-warming crowd is denying the truth in the face of clear and overwhelming evidence.  (Let me say that as a Jew, I take no offense at this comparison.)

But child molester?  Apparently, someone said that too, about Professor Michael E. Mann of Pennsylvania State University:
”Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science.”
EXCEPT: Michael Mann is a global-warming advocate.  The child-molester comparison was not made against a climate-change skeptic, but BY a climate-change skeptic—Rand Simberg of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian think-tank that refutes global warming.  The ultraconservative National Review liked the child-molester comparison so much that they devoted an article to it on their blog.  (Simberg has since wiped the quote cited above from the post on CEI's blog, but the National Review article retains the citation. Dr. Mann is currently suing both CEI and National Review for defamation.)

Did CBN deliberately flip the attack on a global-warming advocate into persecution against climate-change deniers, or just misread it?  Who knows.  Maybe a CBN reporter saw someone say something beyond the pale—and assumed it had to come from the left.  They're the ones who make such comments.  Not us on the right! We don't say such things! WE'RE THE ONES WHO ARE PERSECUTED.

Or maybe they just lied in the hopes that no one would notice.  (There's not much critical analysis of CBN, Pat Robertson, and The 700 Club that doesn't originate from Right Wing Watch or this blog no one's reading yet.)

I did also like the part of the "global cooling" story that suggested the Earth was in fact warming up through 1998, implying that global warming used to be valid.  Which was the position CBN took back then, right?  Of course not:

(Note that the person interviewed in that segment right after "science seems to indicate otherwise" is Fred L. Smith, another Competitive Enterprise Institute figure—the founder, in fact—who holds degrees in theoretical mathematics and political science.  Curious how they couldn't find, you know, an actual climate scientist to make those points.)

Finally, I like how CBN still calls them "climate-change skeptics" even though they believe the Earth is getting colder now.  Keeping that terminology just proves that they're grabbing hold of any anti-warming theory that comes down the pike.

See Also—Robertson: Climate Change Is a Myth Created by Money-Hungry Scientists (Right Wing Watch)

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