This isn’t going to be a trenchant analysis of the teachings, magical powers or his televised *messages* from God that Mr. Robertson supposedly receives. Nor does he have a substantive or coherent enough theology for a critique, so there’ll be none of that either.
Rapists, thieves, murderers and homosexuals (calling them “gays” seems a bit too dehumanizing) are on the same ethical, behavioral plain, according to Pat Robertson. Let’s also keep in mind that this is the proclamation, albeit on that is not his alone, of a man who blamed Katrina and the calamities in Haiti on the wrathful punishment of God, already placing himself well beyond the pale of Protestant orthodoxy. So lets just get this out of the way early on, there is no direct and immediate causal and reciprocal relationship between acts of sin (see evil) and personal or catastrophic natural or national events. There is no biblical warrant for God judging nations or enforcing the theocratic penal legacy of the old testament during this present age between the first and second advent of Christ. There’s a little theology for you.
One of the main problems that I see with a statement like his, apart from disagreeing with it, is that it creates an association that is untenable, evil and unnecessary. The first three types of people whom he lists are those who perpetrate acts of violence upon others, who rob them of things that they would not part with of their own volition; their lives, their safety and their property. And then he includes homosexuals (though I am becoming much more reticent to adhere to merely two categories of orientation, they simply don’t seem to be sufficient enough to account for the diverse nature of human sexuality and attraction) as those who are guilty of similar acts.
To cut him a bit of a break, he is right in one thing, all four categories that he lists can have the capacity to choose to do other than they actually do. This does not, however, render sexual orientation into the same category as thievery, or rape or corporate espionage for that matter. It simply identifies a particular human trait, that we can, through acts of will, decide upon courses of action contrary to our natures or desires.
I am not one, though in my circles it makes me a minority and at times causes me no amount of trouble, who believes that gender orientation other than heterosexuality is a choice. That we are all born heterosexual and that something happens to us along the way to lead us from the path, that’s much too facile in the face of both scientific and evidentiary analysis. But I am also not convinced that it is mere genetics which wholly determines such things, I believe that, as I have read geneticists much more learned than I, that genetic predispositions are often like switches that must first be turned on in order for their programs to run, so to speak. In all, things are much more complicated and yet perhaps simpler than any wish them to actually be. But, in all, I believe that we are all born sexually or otherwise oriented and that through various means as we grow they are manifest, suppressed, celebrated and or (re)discovered.
My honest advice is to simply ignore men like Pat Robertson. He is a man who has made both a career and a living parading around as if he has a direct conduit to God that the rest of us lack. Sure, he speaks for a minority of people whom he can manipulate into sending him money and voting the way he wishes them to, but at the end of the day, he’s just a crackpot warlock who has thousands convinced that God tells him when he is going to bless them, often with specifics, yet never with a name. He’s a hedge wizard folks, just one with a televised audience.
I’ll leave you with this quote from wizard Robertson, lest anyone ever forgets and starts to take him seriously.
The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians. –Pat Robertson, fundraising letter, 1992