To mark TV evangelist Pat Robertson’s 80th birthday, the Virginia legislature passed a resolution lauding him as a great American and visionary leader “committed to protecting religious and constitutional freedom.”
The resolution praises Robertson for creating the Christian Broadcasting Network, Regent University, the American Center for Law and Justice and the Christian Coalition. It also refers to him as a “compelling and compassionate spiritual leader” and expresses the legislature’s “gratitude for his steadfast service to his fellow citizens.” It ends by wishing him a “joyful birthday celebration.”
Rob Boston, AU’s assistant director of communications, responded to the resolution on AU’s blog, “The Wall of Separation.” Boston authored a book about Robertson in 1996, The Most Dangerous Man in America?: Pat Robertson and the Rise of the Christian Coalition. He provided some inconvenient facts the Virginia legislators left out of the resolution.
In 1998, for example, Robertson said, “I want to state very clearly, ladies and gentlemen, there’s no such thing in the Constitution as, quote, separation of church and state. That term does not exist in the United States Constitution. It existed in the former Soviet Union’s constitution but not America.”
More recently, Robertson’s network attacked Halloween candy as being “dedicated and prayed over by witches,” and he claimed the devastating earthquake in Haiti was a result of the country’s sworn “pact to the devil.”
AU’s Boston concluded that instead of lauding Robertson, the Virginia legislature should have “condemned him as an intolerant, bigoted and dangerous extremist and called for all right-thinking Americans to reject his views.”