by JewsOnFirst, May 18, 2006
Televangelist Pat Robertson has again made shockingly offensive statements on his widely viewed 700 Club television show. On May 11th he stated that Planned Parenthood tried to use Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to carry out a genocidal birth control campaign against the black community. Robertson also said that the American Civil Liberties Union and the "Communist Internationale" had taken over Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and that the head of the latter was so "extreme" on the issue of church-state separation that he would not send a fire truck to a burning church.
The genocide remarks followed a "news report" about a black pastor who opposes abortion. The announcer called abortion the leading cause of death in the black community. Robertson said:
Planned Parenthood has gotten $100 million, $50 million each, from the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. Why do these wealthy, so-called Republican organizations pay for it? Because they were alarmed by the growth of the black community and they didn't want to support a bunch of indigent black babies. I mean, that's the dirty little secret in there. And the government itself has been funding Planned Parenthood to the tune -- much in excess of $100 million a year.
Robertson said that Planned Parenthood was looking for a black minister to "sell" the plan in the black community.
Media Matters, which transcribed and annotated the Robertson remarks, has helpfully provided a link to Planned Parenthood's page debunking this and other calumnies that have been repeated over the years..
Robertson's diatribe against the ACLU and Americans United came after a segment about a government-funded "faith-based" Christian prison program. Americans United is suing to stop its operation in an Iowa prison Robertson said that Americans United used to be a "Baptist organization" called "Protestants and Others United for the Separation of Church and State." But, he said, the ACLU, three of whose board members were members of "the Communist International," "pulled a secret takeover" of the group and installed ACLU litigator Barry Lynn to run it.
Robertson's remark about Lynn being too extreme to send a fire truck to a burning church was tossed off at the end of the piece. Americans United refuted it in a news release:
“Americans United does not want to remove religion from the public square,” said Lynn, who is a United Church of Christ minister. “All we want is for the government to stay out of religion and let Americans make their own decisions about matters of faith. We defend the religious liberty rights of all people, including Robertson.
“Robertson has to conjure up imaginary villains in order to keep his followers and donors worked into a frenzy of fear and anger,” Lynn continued. “That may be good for Robertson’s bank account, but it’s bad for American democracy. For a Christian leader to behave this way is pathetic.
“And don’t worry, Pat, if your studio catches on fire, I’ll expect the Virginia Beach fire department to come and put it out,” Lynn concluded. “If they don’t, give me a call and we’ll sue them.”
Robertson's bizarre pronouncements have become frequent enough for the media to justify ignoring them. But we would have thought that at least one leader on the religious right would take public exception to the black genocide remarks. We have not found any such statement, leaving us to wonder if, among themselves, away from the cameras, they also say and believe such things.
We are also waiting to hear Robertson's response to a letter sent him by a group of gay men from New York who happened on the televangelist in a restaurant and got him to pose with them for a photo. The letter, taking Robertson to task for his selective use of religion, is published on Advocate.com.