Pat Robertson Alzheimer’s Comments Latest in String of Controversial Statements
Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson has been criticized for suggesting Tuesday that divorcing a spouse with Alzheimer's disease is acceptable. However, this is not the first controversial comment Robertson has made in his career as the host of "The 700 Club."
"I hate Alzheimer's. It is one of the most awful things because, here is a loved one-this is the woman or man that you have loved for 20, 30, 40 years, and suddenly, that person is gone. They're gone. They are gone. So, what he says, basically, is correct,” Robertson said.
Robertson, owner of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), made the comments after co-host Terry Meeuwsen read a letter from a viewer concerned that a friend, a married man, was dating another woman due to his wife's struggle with Alzheimer's disease.
"I know it sounds cruel, but if he's going to do something he should divorce her and start all over again,” Robertson said, his comments drawing immediate backlash from Christians, health care professionals, and the general public.
As the firestorm ensued over Robertson's latest controversial remarks, some people were recalling the Christian broadcaster's previous fiery statements regarding Haiti, Hugo Chavez, the feminist movement, and more.
Here is a look at some of Robertson's past controversial statements.
Haitia Earthquake a 'Blesssing'
In Januaury 2010, Robertson said during a broadcast of "The 700 Club" that the 7.0-magnitude earthquake the struck the impoverished Caribbean nation of Haiti was a "blessing in disguise."
"Something happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about it," Robertson said Jan. 13, 2010, on the CBN program.
He continued, relating Haiti's purported history, "They were under the heel of the French, you know Napoleon the third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said 'We will serve you if you will get us free from the prince.' True story. And so the devil said, 'Ok it's a deal.' And they kicked the French out. The Haitians revolted and got something themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after another."
CBN released a statement the same day saying, "Dr. Robertson never stated that the earthquake was God’s wrath."
"On today's 'The 700 Club'…Dr. Robertson also spoke about Haiti's history. His comments were based on the widely-discussed 1791 slave rebellion led by Boukman Dutty at Bois Caiman, where the slaves allegedly made a famous pact with the devil in exchange for victory over the French. This history, combined with the horrible state of the country, has led countless scholars and religious figures over the centuries to believe the country is cursed," said Chris Roslan, spokesman for CBN at the time.
Assassinating Hugo Chavez 'Cheaper' Than All-Out War
In 2005, Robertson suggested that American operatives should assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
"You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," Robertson said Aug. 22, 2005, on “The 700 Club."
"It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war…and I don't think any oil shipments will stop. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability," he said, as seen in a YouTube video of his remarks.
"We don't need another $200 billion-war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator," he continued. "It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with," Robertson added.
Robertson released a statement the following day clarifying his remarks.
"Is it right to call for assassination? No, and I apologize for that statement. I spoke in frustration that we should accommodate the man who thinks the U.S. is out to kill him," Robertson said.
Feminists and Homosexuals at Fault in 9/11 Attacks
Many criticized Robertson in 2001 for agreeing with Rev. Jerry Falwell, who said feminists and homosexuals were to blame for the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Robertson interviewed Falwell Sept. 13 on "The 700 Club" and discussed the attacks.
"I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen,'" Falwell said.
“Well, I totally concur, and the problem is we have adopted that agenda at the highest levels of our government," Robertson said, as seen in a video of the exchange published on YouTube.
Feminist Agenda Promotes 'Witchcraft'
According to The New York Times, Robertson wrote a fundraising letter in July 1992 in response to a proposed equal rights amendment to the Iowa Constitution.
In his letter to supporters, Robertson linked the proposed measure to a feminist agenda, which he described as "a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."
Robertson is the founder and chairman of (CBN) and founder of International Family Entertainment Inc., Regent University, Operation Blessing International Relief and Development Corporation, American Center for Law and Justice, The Flying Hospital, Inc. and several other organizations and broadcast entities, according to his "700 Club" biography.