From the Arizona State University State Press, Monday, February 17, 1988, vol. 70, no. 90.

Fanatical and dishonest


Bob Heiler's attempt to brush away Pat Robertson's craziness as simply media hype ("Evangelist's candidacy prevails against media malice," Feb. 10) is apparently out of ignorance. Heiler seems to think that Robertson is a rational candidate who takes sensible stands on the issues. Such an impression cannot be held by anyone familiar with proposals Robertson has made on the "700 Club."

In September of last year, Robertson was questioned by reporters about his alleged claim that only Christians and Jews should be allowed to hold office. Robertson replied by denying that he had made such a statement. However, a tape of the January 11, 1985 broadcast of the "700 Club" was provided to reporters by Edmund Cohen and Gerard Straub. Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network refuses to make tapes available.

Cohen, who began systematic monitoring and taping of Robertson's broadcasts in October of 1984, began publishing some of Robertson's claims with an article titled "Re-broadcasting the True Pat Robertson" in the Winter 1987-1988 issue of Free Inquiry magazine. Among Robertson's frightening statements are the following:

  1. A recommendation that special "Christian courts" rule on the validity of claims by Christians that instructions from God induced them to break the law. If the Christian judges ruled that the message from God was authentic, the accused would become immune from prosecution for illegal acts committed in obedience to that message.
  2. A proposal that prophetic Christian police be authorized to arrest those whom God says will commit crimes in the future.
  3. A belief that sometimes God, through a prophet, instructs his chosen people to exterminate a group of unrepentant humans in order to stop them from procreating additional generations. Robertson considers himself a prophet.

Gerard Straub, a former "700 Club" producer and author of "Salvation for Sale: An Insider's View of Pat Robertson's Organization," reports in his book that Robertson in the late 1970s was obsessed with the Apocalypse. He believed that the battle of Armageddon, consisting of Russia invading Israel but being defeated, would take place in 1982. Robertson began plans for CBN to televise the Second Coming of Christ.

Robertson is not only fanatical, he is dishonest. In addition to his denial of making the claim about who is qualified to hold office, mentioned above, he has misrepresented his past. He claimed to have been a graduate student at the University of London, when in fact he took only one introductory course on British art for which he received no graduate credit. He claimed to be a member of the board of directors of the United Virginia Bank, but was only one of 400 people asked to serve on an advisory board that has no authority over bank management. His official biography describes him as a "Yale-educated tax lawyer," but he has never practiced any form of law because he failed his bar exam.

Pat Robertson would not make a good president. Mr. Heiler should do his homework.

Jim Lippard
Senior, Philosophy