How do you open a story about the death of Pat Robertson, a right-wing Christian media mogul who used his platform to blame 9/11 on gay people? “Ding dong the witch is dead?” No, that’s rude to Elphaba, whose misplaced anger at Dorothy makes sense if you give it a minute. We could turn to the Book of Proverbs, but that only reminds us not to rejoice when our enemies are vanquished, which will not do in this moment. So we’ll have to go with a straight approach, which feels fitting for a man who openly hated queers of all stripes: Televangelist crank Pat Robertson is finally dead at 93.
Robertson got to live a long-ass life with financial security, something so frequently taken from LGBTQ+ people. He had his dream job, hosting the Christian talk show The 700 Club for more than 50 years. It was that massive platform that allowed him to counsel many people when they’d write in. One woman said her son was full of hatred and had mental issues after she brought a Ouija board into her home years ago. Was God punishing her? Well, maybe, according to Robertson: “You can open the door to demons,” he said. “There was one lady I heard about who was demon-possessed” because “she had gone to an X-rated movie and done all these sex things.” Wise counsel, indeed.
In another clip, Robertson asks a woman half his age if she finds porn interesting, before going on to say he thinks it’s “boring, really,” though absolutely no one asked him.
Beyond his own television show, Robertson, along with fellow evangelical crank Jerry Falwell, asserted that 9/11 happened because America had become too accepting of LGBTQ people. This was way back in 2001, mind you—a year in which there were barely any housing protections, no federal right to same sex marriage, and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was still the rule governing gays in the military, among other homophobic policies at all levels of government. This man was seen as a moral beacon for millions.
In his long 93 years, Robertson never backed down from hating queer people. In 2013, he said people can change their “sexual preferences,” much like rapists and murders can change their actions. And it wasn’t just the gays that he hated; Robertson had terrible things to say about Black people, too. When the 2010 earthquake devastated Haiti, Robertson told his viewers that it was so devastating because Haitians made a pact with the devil when they were fighting colonialists for freedom. “They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you if you’ll get us free from the French. True story,” Robertson said. “And so, the devil said, ‘Okay it’s a deal.’”
But Mr. Robertson’s letter, distributed late last month to supporters of the evangelical organization Christian Coalition, described the proposal as part of a “feminist agenda” that “is not about equal rights for women.” Claims of ‘Anti-Family’ [sic]
Instead, the letter said, “it is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”
As former Jezebel editor Erin Ryan eloquently said: Rot in power, you sick fuck. And I guess send up some prayers for the end of The 700 Club, which is currently hosted by Robertson’s son.