Skip to comments.Pat Robertson Accused of Damaging Movement
Posted on 02/18/2006 3:11:39 PM PST by NormsRevenge
NORFOLK, Va. - Fellow conservative religious leaders have expressed concern and even open criticism over Pat Robertson's habit of shooting from the hip on his daily religious news-and-talk television program, "The 700 Club."
The Christian Coalition founder and former GOP presidential candidate has said American agents should assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and suggested that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine retribution for pulling Israel out of the Gaza Strip.
Some observers say Robertson, who'll turn 76 next month, courts controversy as a strategy to stay recognizable and keep his followers mobilized. Others say he remains important to the evangelical movement that he helped create when he established the Virginia Beach-based Christian Broadcasting Network in 1960 but he needs to stop damaging it with his words.
He canceled a speech planned for this coming Tuesday at the closing banquet of the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Dallas after NRB leaders said they were concerned that his appearance could detract from the event.
"He is in a very visible leadership position and comments such as recent ones related to Mr. Sharon and so many others are misinformed and presumptuous and border on arrogance," said David Dockery, president of Union University, a private college affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention.
Dockery suggested Robertson might want to consult other theologians "before making these pronouncements so quickly."
"It puts the evangelical movement in a bad light when that happens because people make broad generalizations, rightly or wrongly, all the time," said Dockery, who also is chairman of the board for the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.
Robertson, through a spokesman, declined to be interviewed by The Associated Press.
He recently said on ABC's "Good Morning America" that he ad-libs his comments after watching news segments.
He later told the Christian magazine "World" that he's being more careful and reviewing news stories before going on the air because "I have seen an intensity of attack against me that is unparalleled in the 40-some years of the broadcast."
He apologized after facing swift condemnation for his Jan. 5 statement that Sharon was punished for "dividing God's land."
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's ethics and religious liberty commission, has said he was "stunned and appalled that Pat Robertson would claim to know the mind of God concerning whether particular tragic events ... were the judgments of God."
Robertson cited other demands on his time when he canceled his speech to the National Religious Broadcasters convention. NRB President Frank Wright told Associated Press Radio that Robertson was not asked to cancel, but he said NRB leaders did worry that the firestorm over his Sharon comments would detract media attention from the convention's focus. Robertson is on the group's board of directors.
Robertson started out as a Southern Baptist, but today he is a charismatic evangelical and believes that God is involved in guiding world events, said Barry Hankins, professor of history and church-state studies at Baylor University. He tries to interpret contemporary events as "being part of the drama of God's activity in the world."
"He puts the most fantastic spin on things to have a gripping quality about them to keep the ground troops alert," Hankins said.
On the other hand, Brian Britt, director of the Religious Studies Program at Virginia Tech, said Robertson's remarks aren't just "off-the-wall, crazy uncle stuff" but part of a strategy that earns him headlines.
When people attack Robertson, he wins sympathy for appearing to be an underdog, Britt said.
"It reinforces an image of Christianity as a persecuted religion, a religion that is being hounded by the secularists out of the public square, rather than a dominant and hegemonic force," Britt said.
Eds: Associated Press Radio reporter Steve Coleman contributed to this report from Washington, D.C.
On the Net:
Christian Broadcasting Network: http://www.cbn.com/
Pat Robertson: http://www.patrobertson.com/
He's senile. That can happen to the best of us. The reason it's hurting his movement, though, is that the media pretends that he's not senile, and that his senile ramblings represent the views of Christians generally.
It's a shame to watch , he started with nothing and built a vast enterprise for good.
He probably would have served all of us well by just moving on after his political run..
I am thankful for Pat Robertson because he says things that others are afraid to say. I believe he truly is trying to interpret current events through a Biblical perspective.
That doesn't mean he is necessarily always right.
Really. the guy is getting senile.
You are absolutely right on!
I used to watch the 700 Club years ago, finding it an inspiring show, but ever since Pat ran for president, it really changed.
People ought to cut Pat Robertson some slack and stop confusing him with the Pope. Pat's done a lot of good for poor people in the US and starving third-world people around the globe. Pat follows the words of the Bible verbatim. He is a Christian believer. His comments about Sharon were badly timed, but that's what he believes. His remarks about crazy Hugo Chavez were right on the money. No excuses here. When you get into your 70s, you have good days and bad days. My observations of Pat has me wondering whether he has Parkinson's, Alzheimer's some other degenerative mental affliction.
" "It reinforces an image of Christianity as a persecuted religion, a religion that is being hounded by the secularists out of the public square, rather than a dominant and hegemonic force," Britt said.
Sheep in wolves clothing. Yes, Christianity is "hedgemonic". Lefty.
Frankly, he's right about Chavez. And handing over the West Bank and Gaza completely seems to have been a bad move.
A little diplomacy goes a long way.
I wonder if Mr. Dockery went to his brother, Pat Robertson, with his concerns before making this statement?
If not, then Mr. Docery is in biblical sin and needs to repent and ask forgiveness.
Biblical sin ? Last time I checked Pat Robertson wasn't God whatever you think. Pat Robertson is a self important fool with two screws loose who embarasses American Christianity by making arrogant, stupid statements.
When leaders are treated with your level of fawning deference they become self important and arrogant and imagining themselves indispensible to God. Moses did. It was the point where Jim Jones and David Koresh went off the rails into evil.
People talk about Kerry faking his war record. What about "Korean War combat vet Pat Robertson" who actually had his father Senator Robertson, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, get him transferred from the front lines to 'regimental liquour officer' ?
Shouldn't that be, "habit of shooting from the lip"?
I've seen him on tv embarrassing himself. I have no sound idea as to just what's ailing him.
No, I won't cut him any slack!!!
He traded blood diamonds with his buddy Charlie Taylor of Liberian infamy.
He's no Christian, in my book.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.