A Family Crime – An Intercerebellar Blind Item
It looks like this family-owned studio might finally be toast.
Back in the ‘80s, they were essentially the original Netflix, though catering to a very specific audience.
Their business practices have gotten them into serious trouble over the years, but they somehow kept functioning. How exactly?
Their CEO and patriarch operates the company on behalf of a very large and very wealthy religious institution.
When you commit the same federal crime almost 100 million times, however, and face one of the most astronomical fines in the history of the United States justice system, the religious institution is not likely to keep their umbrella of protection over you for much longer.
Christian Broadcasting Network
Pat Robertson controversies
Criticism of Robertson’s faith healing
In the 1970s and 1980s Robertson was a faith healer. James Randi devoted a chapter of his book The Faith Healers to criticizing Robertson’s faith healing Randi commented that “in 1986, soon after the full importance of the AIDS epidemic began to become evident, Robertson was attempting to cure it by proclaiming people cured after prayer.”Randi also noted, “Gerry Straub, a former associate of Pat Robertson and his television producer, pointed out in his book Salvation for Sale the astonishing fact that God seemed to time miracles to conform with standard television format,” and “God would stop speaking to Pat and stop healing exactly in time with the theme music.” Randi explained that “in 1979, it appeared to Robertson’s staff that their boss had been taking lessons from Oral Roberts” and “proposed to film the Second Coming!”.The project was eventually publicly dropped, but “budget allocations [CBN] are made for their development.”
Efficacy of Robertson’s prayers
Robertson prayed to God to steer hurricanes away from his company’s Virginia Beach, Virginia headquarters. He credited his prayers for steering the course of Hurricane Gloria in 1985. The storm instead hit the Mid-Atlantic states and New England, causing $900 million in damage and eight deaths.
Calling non-Christians “termites”
In an August 1986 New York magazine article Robertson is quoted saying, “It is interesting, that termites don’t build things, and the great builders of our nation almost to a man have been Christians, because Christians have the desire to build something. He is motivated by love of man and God, so he builds. The people who have come into [our] institutions [today] are primarily termites. They are into destroying institutions that have been built by Christians, whether it is universities, governments, our own traditions, that we have … The termites are in charge now, and that is not the way it ought to be, and the time has arrived for a godly fumigation.”
First child conceived out of wedlock
During Robertson’s unsuccessful presidential bid in 1987, Robertson told a Wall Street Journal reporter that his wedding date was actually five months after the date he had always maintained. Reporters said that the actual wedding date meant that his first son was conceived out of wedlock and that Robertson had lied about the date of his marriage in an attempt to cover the truth up. While conceding the reports were accurate, Robertson said that begetting his son out of wedlock occurred before Jesus Christ had entered his life. Robertson denounced the media choosing to report on the issue as “outrageous” and “reprehensible.”
Comments on other Christian denominations
On January 14, 1991, on The 700 Club, Pat Robertson attacked a number of Protestant denominations when he declared: “You say you’re supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense. I don’t have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist.”
Comments on Islam
Robertson frequently denounces the religion of Islam and Muslim people. During a 1995 taping of The 700 Club, he called the religion a “Christian heresy”. During a September 19, 2002 episode of Fox News Channel’s Hannity & Colmes, Robertson claimed that the Muslim prophet Muhammad was “an absolute wild-eyed fanatic … a robber and a brigand.” On the July 14, 2005 broadcast of The 700 Club, he claimed that “Islam, at its core, teaches violence.”
On the March 13, 2006 broadcast of The 700 Club Robertson stated that Muslims want global domination and that the outpouring of rage elicited by cartoon drawings of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad “just shows the kind of people we’re dealing with. These people are crazed fanatics, and I want to say it now: I believe it’s motivated by demonic power. It is Satanic and it’s time we recognize what we’re dealing with.” He finished by stating “by the way, Islam is not a religion of peace.” The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, slammed Robertson’s comments as “grossly irresponsible”. Lynn went on to say, “At a time when inter-religious tensions around the world are at an all-time high, Robertson seems determined to throw gasoline on the fire.”
Comments on Hinduism
On March 23, 1995, Pat Robertson led a television program in which he attacked Hinduism, calling it “demonic”. He said that they worship “idols” and “hundreds of millions of deities,” which “has put a nation in bondage to spiritual forces that have deceived many for thousands of years.” He spoke against the doctrines of karma and reincarnation.
These and other remarks have been repudiated by some Hindus. Dr. Kusumita Pedersen, Director for the Project on Human Rights and Religion, commented that Robertson has employed “almost every negative image and cliché that has been used about Hinduism since the 18th century.”
In his book The New World Order, Robertson wrote: “When I said during my presidential bid that I would bring only Christians and Jews into the government, I hit a firestorm. ‘What do you mean?’ the media challenged me. ‘You’re not going to bring atheists into the government? How dare you maintain that those who believe in Christian values are better qualified to govern America than Hindus and Muslims?’ My simple answer is, ‘Yes, they are.'”
David Cantor, Senior Research Analyst of the Anti-Defamation League, points out that such “religious tests for office are unconstitutional. It’s not just a purely a religious statement. It’s a political statement.”
Feminism, homosexuality, abortion and liberalism
Robertson is opposed to abortion and same-sex marriage. He has described feminism as a “socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”
Many of Robertson’s views mirror those of fellow evangelical activist pastor Jerry Falwell, who made frequent appearances on The 700 Club. He agreed with Falwell when Falwell stated that the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks were caused by “pagans, abortionists, feminists, gays, lesbians, the American Civil Liberties Union and the People For the American Way.”
The June 8, 1998 edition of his show, where Robertson denounced Orlando, Florida and Disney World for allowing a privately sponsored “Gay Days” weekend, also drew criticism from Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Robertson stated that the acceptance of homosexuality could result in hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist bombings and “possibly a meteor,” prompting Americans United to criticize Robertson, saying it was “deplorable that Robertson is using the tragedy of these fires to promote his religious and political agenda.” The resulting outcry prompted Robertson to return to the topic on June 24, where he quoted the Book of Revelation to support his claims. The first hurricane of the 1998 Atlantic hurricane season, Hurricane Bonnie, actually turned away from Florida and instead damaged the rest of the East Coast. The area hardest hit by the hurricane was the Hampton Roads region, which includes Virginia Beach, the place of origin of Robertson’s The 700 Club. While other hurricanes did hit Florida, none of them hit Disney World.
While discussing the Mark Foley scandal on the October 5, 2006 broadcast of the show, Robertson condemned Foley, saying he “does what gay people do” and claiming that it would not hurt Republican chances in the elections, as “the church people understand forgiveness, they understand sin.”
Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges that legalized same-sex marriage in the United States, Robertson stated, on the June 29, 2015 episode of The 700 Club, in response to the ruling that, “You’re gonna say that you like anal sex, you like oral sex, you like bestiality.” He went on to say, “Sooner or later, you’re going to have to conform your religious beliefs to the group of some abhorrent thing. It won’t stop at homosexuality.”