Twitter Explodes with Invective Comments After Pat Robertson's Death
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Just days after 9/11, the late televangelist Pat Robertson, who died on Thursday at the age of 93, invited Jerry Falwell on his CNN Show "The 700 Club" for some old-fashioned gay bashing. On the show, Falwell said: "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.'" Robertson replied, "I totally concur, and the problem is we have adopted that agenda at the highest levels of our government."
His homophobia goes way back. "In March 1990, Robertson referred to homosexuality as a 'pathology' that needed to be treated. 'Many of those people involved with Adolf Hitler were Satanists, many of them were homosexuals,' he said on The 700 Club. 'Those two things seem to go together," reported the New Republic.
In 1998, Distractify writes, the Christian pastor said the city of Orlando should be worried about hurricanes because they allowed an annual Gay Days event to continue.
GLAAD has catalogued instances of Robertson's anti-gay rhetoric. After the tragic shooting at Orlando gay club Pulse he said, "the best thing to do is to sit on the sidelines and let [LGBTQ rights advocates and Muslims] kill themselves."
In 2013 he claimed that gay people were spreading AIDS through a special ring when shaking hands. On his "700 Club" (which was later edited), he said: "You know what they do in San Francisco, some in the gay community there they want to get people so if they got the stuff they'll have a ring, you shake hands, and the ring's got a little thing where you cut your finger," Robertson said. "Really. It's that kind of vicious stuff, which would be the equivalent of murder."
In 2015 he predicted legalizing same-sex marriage was going to make Christians in America the "victims of vicious, vicious attacks," just like the angels who visited Sodom and were nearly raped by "virulent homosexuals."
Robertson said that America is now turning into Sodom: "I warned about this years and years ago that it was going to happen and it did, it has. What's next? What's next is what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah. It is just a question of how soon the wrath of God is going to come on this land."
On social media, many remembered Robertson's hateful comments, such as when he dismissed the notion of Christianity showing acceptance of LGBTQ+ people. "You want to be loving and warm and let them know that you love them, BUT you cannot accept it and you cannot be an enabler. If they're living together as a homosexual and you're a Christian you cannot say I accept this lifestyle. Right now there's an incredible barrage of activity forcing people to accept the homosexual lifestyle. Well, do we accept adultery? Do we accept fornication? Do we accept immorality? ... Well, the answer is no. I don't think we ought to be accepting of it."
And while some on Twitter said it wasn't Christian to be celebrating Robertson's death, user Jeffrey Campbell put it best: "Be disgusted if you wish, but Pat Robertson spent his entire career shitting on gay people like me. I'm glad he's dead and I hope it hurt."
Others weighed in.