News and Happenings From the
Have any news
dealing with Pat Robertson or the Christian Coalition? Email
Robertson Gets Into Banking
Several readers have brought to my attention the
news that Pat has entered into a deal with the Bank of Scotland to bring
direct banking to the U.S. There are several articles
about it on the net. I would encourage any customers of the Bank of Scotland
to protest this to the bank. This is the second recent British involvement
for Pat, as he was recently appointed non-executive director of British
retailer Laura Ashley. More on this as it develops. By the way, if anybody
knows of any Bible passages discussing banking (I believe there are some,
though I could be wrong), please send them to me.
A Big Update
I know it has been a while since the last update
(nearly six months, in fact). There are various reasons for this, which
I won't go into right now. As of now, I am recommitted to updating this
page on a regular basis. As always, if you come across anything interesting,
send me some mail. On
a humorous note, I'm watching the 700 club right now; they're doing one
of their "news" segments. Its about the possibility of biological terrorism
in the US; most of the segment consists of clips from the Don Johnson/Cheech
Marin TV show "Nash Bridges," while the CBN correspondant does a dramatic
voice-over. Funny stuff. On with the news:
First on the list has to be the failure of the so-called
Religious Freedom Amendment. Thanks to all who wrote their members of Congress
to urge opposition to this bill. The bill would have required a 2/3 majority
of the House before moving on to the Senate and State legislatures. It
did not achieve this margin, although it did gain a simple majority, which
is more than similar bills in the past have managed.
Pat Warns Orlando of Divine Retribution
In a bizarre (but not surprising) statement,
Pat warned the city of Orlando, Florida, that it is likely to be hit by
hurricanes, terrorist bombs, or "possibly a meteor" because it allowed
a gay pride month. This was a widely covered story, due to its sheer weirdness;
Pat proceeded to issue a press
release stating that he never said that Orlando was going to get hit
by hurricanes or meteors. Here are his words, judge for yourself: "I would
warn Orlando that you're right in the way of some serious hurricanes, and
I don't think I'd be waving those flags in God's face if I were you."
Pat Invests in Offshore Oil Refinery
First diamond mining, now this. Pat Robertson has
formed a company called CENCO to purchase a defunct offshore oil refinery
near Huntington Beach, CA. City government officials and residents of the
city are trying to stop him, as this very same refinery was the cause of
a massive oil spill in 1990. According to a September 14, 1998 LA Times
416,000 gallons of crude oil was spilled, coating 15 miles of coastline.
There are also worries about poor air quality, already a problem in Southern
California. CENCO is arguing that an environmental impact study for the
project is unnecessary. Here are the words of a resident of the area (who
prefers to remain anonymous) who remembers the 1990 spill:
We live in Newport Beach and it was not
just Huntington Beach that got It. It was terrible to see the birds. The
cops wouldn't let anyone on the beach as witnesses after a couple of days
because of the bad PR for the oil company. The whole thing is sickening
and I feel so helpless in the face of this new threat.
Like the infamous Zaire diamond mining operation and
the multi-level marketing scheme, this venture is all personal for Robertson;
it is not some sort of investment by CBN ultimately intended to help poor
people or anything like that. What's next for Pat? Buying a tobacco company?
CBN Must Pay IRS For Violations During Robertson's 1988 Presidential
CBN has been forced to pay an undisclosed fine for illegally funding
Pat Robertson's 1988 presidential campaign. The Washington Post has the
As a non-profit organization, CBN cannot fund political campaigns, yet
it gave an estimated 8.5 million dollars to the Freedom Council (the name
for Robertson's campaign). As part of the settlement, CBN's tax-exempt
status for 1986 and 1987 was revoked. Note that this does not have anything
to do with the FEC's lawsuit against the Christian Coalition for alleged
contributions to the Republican Party in recent years. However, it is possible
that this may signal that a hard-line approach against the CC is forthcoming.
Overall, excellent news.
House Judiciary Committee Passes Religious Coercion Amendment
Well, the amendment (see below) was approved by the Judiciary Committee,
so it will now go before a vote before the complete House, as Gingrich
as promised a floor vote. I'll keep you updated as to when the vote is
coming, so you can email your representative and tell them to vote no.
House Judiciary Committee to Vote on School Prayer
The Christian Coalition backed Constitutional amendment
should be voted on next week before the House Judiciary Committee; a majority
vote here would mean that the so-called "Religious Freedom Amendment" would
advance to the entire House of Representatives. This vaguely worded amendment
would be disastrous for church-state separation, and would result in the
trampling of the rights of religious minorities. The ACLU has made it possible
for you to send a free FAX to the members of the committee; please go
to their site and do so now. The People For the American Way have the
text of the amendment, as well as talking points on it. You can also
check out the agenda
page for the wording of the amendment and my thoughts on it.
Robertson Rails Against Tucker Execution
Karla Faye Tucker, who murdered two people with a
pick axe, was recently executed in Texas. While in prison, she became a
born-again Christian. Pat Robertson, who has always been a staunch supporter
of the death penalty (on the grounds that the Bible clearly favors it),
came out against her execution. While I personally am against the death
penalty, I find it amazing that Robertson seems to favor selective application
of the death penalty; apparently, Pat feels that everyone but born-again
Christians should be subject to it. He claims this is different because
this is a "vengeance" execution, which really doesn't make it any different
from any other execution as far as I can tell. In a particularly ugly moment,
Robertson ranted against the husband of one of the victims. The following
is from the Feb. 4 episode of "The 700 Club.":
"I want to comment about this Mr. Thornton.
I faced him in the "Larry King Live" show on CNN. He has become a public
figure condemning Karla [Faye Tucker] Brown. But I want to ask Mr. Thornton,
publicly on this national television program, number one, sir, why was
your wife in bed with another man in a motel room in Texas on the night
of the killing. And number two, rumors have come to us -- these are unconfirmed
but have some validity -- that you were not only estranged from her, you,
quote, threw her out of the house and when she called back and talked to
her son and said 'I want to come home,' you refused to let her do it. Now
before you condemn Karla Faye anymore on national television, I think you
owe the American people a full disclosure of your activity on the day of
your wife's killing. And could it be possible, that if you had not been
so unyielding and harsh toward her that day, your wife would not have been
in harm's way and would not have been murdered? And are you really angry
at Karla Faye Tucker, or are you angry at yourself? Now these are questions
I think the American people need to ask of Mr. Thornton, who's become so
public in his denunciation of Karla Faye Tucker."
Truly sick. Even knowing what I do about Robertson,
I am amazed that he has the audacity to try to shift blame from the killer
(Tucker admits to the murder) to the victim's husband, who clearly played
no role in her death.
CC Possibly in Financial Trouble
The heads of the Christian Coalition have held a
meeting to discuss their future as fundraising has taken a dive, down to
17 million in 1997 from a high of 26 million in 1996. It is important to
note that donations to such groups usually go down after presidential elections
Related link: Reuters
on CC meeting.
Robertson Insults Islam
On the October 27, 1997 edition of "The 700 Club"
Pat launched into an attack on Islam, calling it the "religion of slavers."
His exact words are the following:
To see Americans become followers of,
quote, Islam, is nothing short of insanity. Terry, you know, I've been
in Africa many, many, many, many times, and you see people over here learning
Swahili, for example. Swahili was the language of the slave traders. The
Islamic people, the Arabs, were the ones who captured Africans, put them
in slavery, and sent them to America as slaves. Why would people in America
want to embrace the religion of the slavers, and the language of the slavers?
All too typical of Pat, nothing really unexpected in
this hate-filled attack. I like the way that he fails to note that the
people in America buying the slaves were Christians just like himself.
It seems to me, that by Pat's logic, we should reject English as the language
of slavers as well.
RFA Passes Through House Subcommittee
The House subcommittee on the Constitution passed
the so-called Religious Freedom Amendment, and it will be sent along to
the entire House at some point. The ACLU has made it possible to send a
FAX or email to the members of the subcommittee to register your opposition
to this misguided bill. Please go
to their site, read their talking points on the amendment, and ask
the subcommittee to vote down this bill immediately.
Randy Tate Appears on "Crossfire"
Randy Tate, the new executive director of the Christian
Coalition was on CNN's Crossfire last night (10/20) discussing the fact
that Al Gore complemented the TV show "Ellen" for having the open mind
to feature a lesbian main character. Needless to say, Tate was very upset
over the Vice-President's remark. The good news is that Tate is no Ralph
Reed-he was most unimpressive debating the issue against a media advisor
from the Democratic Party (I cannot remember the guy's name). All Tate
really did was repeat a tired, ineffectual argument, and he came off looking
like an idiot. The two left-wingers on the panel ripped him to shreds,
and the fact that Tate, with his deathly pale, pasty, hairless, bug-eyed
appearance looked like some kind of space alien didn't help either. Pat
Buchanan did better for the conservative side in the debate, as one would
School Prayer Vote Coming Up
The House Subcommittee on the Constitution is scheduled
to vote on the Christian Coalition supported, Ernest Istook sponsored constitutional
amendment that would bring state-sponsored prayer to public schools. The
ACLU has made it possible to send a free
FAX or email to the members of the subcommittee to register your opposition
to this misguided bill. Please go
to their site, read their talking points on the amendment, and ask
the subcommittee to vote down this bill immediately. I have the entire
text of this poorly written amendment here,
as well as my comments on it.
GOP Endorsements at Virginia CC Meeting
in the Washington Post gives details on a recent meeting of the Fairfax
County, VA CC chapter in which a speaker gave specific endorsements of
the Republican gubernatorial candidate. This is an incredible disregard
for the law by the CC, especially while they are being investigated by
RTV Conference Ends, Robertson Discusses Plans
to Control Republican Nomination
The Coalition's annual Road to Victory Conference
is over, and amidst the speeches and rhetoric has emerged a truly interesting
nugget of information. In a closed-door meeting with top Coalition leaders,
Robertson presented them with a plan to influence the Republican presidential
nomination-something, as a tax-free non-profit, non-partisan organization,
it is not allowed to do. Americans United for the Separation of Church
and State obtained a tape of this speech, and made it the subject of a
release. The People for the American Way had a reporter at the conference,
and he has written a comprehensive report.
Christian Coalition Names New Leaders
The Christian Coalition named two new leaders to
replace the departing Ralph Reed. One is Randy Tate. He was a delegate
for Pat Robertson during Pat's failed 1988 presidential bid, and was a
Congressman from Washington for two years before losing his reelection
bid (according to the People for the American Way, he was too
extreme for voters to handle). While in office, he received a 100%
score in the Christian Coalition voter guide. He voted for the ridiculous
flag-burning amendment, as well as English-only legislation and the so-called
Defense of Marriage Act.. He began his political career at age 22, when
(while a college student) he was elected to the Washington state legislature-apparently,
the night before the election, he circulated fliers to voters (untruthfully)
implying that his opponent was a child molester. Tate, as executive director,
will be subordinate in power to Donald Hodel, named president and CEO.
Hodel was Energy Secretary and Interior Secretary under Reagan. More on
these two as I find out more; email
me if you have information.
Robertson Adds to Fortune Through IFE Sale
Today also marked the sale of International Family
Entertainment (Family Channel) to Rupert Murdoch, head of News Corp (Fox).
IFE was a publicly traded company, although all of the voting Class A shares
were owned by Pat Robertson, his son, the American Center for Law and Justice
(his response to the ACLU), and Regent University (again, Pat's university).
Why would Pat sell off his family oriented television entertainment company
to a man known for stretching the bounds of good taste with raunchy shows
like "Married With Children" and "Melrose Place?" Maybe money speaks louder
than principles for Pat; he's making millions off of the deal. The story
behind Pat's ownership of the Family Channel is also quite interesting.
Zaire Humanitarian Flights Were Used to Transport
Diamond Mining Equipment
Pilots who flew Pat Robertson to Zaire for supposedly
non-profit charitable humanitarian efforts ("Operation Blessing") say that
the vast majority of those trips were used to transport diamond mining
equipment for Pat's lucrative diamond mining operations in that country,
according to an AP report (below) and a Virginia Pilot report.
The pilot's log of these flights has stuff like "replenished miners" in
it. His business venture in Zaire has the full backing of his friend Mobuto
Sese Seko, the brutal dictator of Zaire. According to a Time magazine article,
Robertson has very close ties to Mobuto, having dined in his palace several
times. Mobuto has a huge list of human rights abuses to his name, causing
the State Department to revoke his visa, which Robertson has been trying
to get reinstated.
VIRGINIA BEACH, April 27 -- Airplanes
sent to Zaire by religious broadcaster Pat Robertson's tax-exempt humanitarian
organization were used almost exclusively for his diamond mining business,
according to two pilots who flew them.
Let's follow this: You give money to the 700 Club, thinking
it will be used to fund Operation Blessing. Indeed, the money is used to
purchase planes that are emblazoned with the Operation Blessing logo, and
these planes are flown to Zaire by pilots who are paid with Operation Blessing
money-your money. But this plane is not carrying hospital supplies. It
is carrying diamond mining equipment designed not to help the oppressed
people of Zaire, but to further the economic frontiers of that great pioneer
of fraud, the always righteous Marion "Pat" Robertson.
Three airplanes were flown to Zaire in September
1994 by Operation Blessing. However, chief pilot Robert Hinkle said only
one or two of the roughly 40 flights during his six months in the country
could be considered humanitarian.
All the rest of the flights were mining-related,
he told the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot. Robertson refused to be interviewed
directly, the newspaper said in today's editions. Calls to his office were
Ralph Reed Resigns As Christian Coalition Director
Looks like the self-described "guerrilla" warrior
of the Religious Right, upon being discovered, has elected to take his
war completely public and legal. Ralph Reed leaves the Coalition at a time
when it is still under investigation by the Federal Election Commission
for claiming non-partisan status in order to fraudulently maintain a tax-exempt
status. Reed is leaving in order to start a new political organization
so he can do legally what he did illegally for years. Other than the pending
lawsuit from the FEC, the US attorney in Norfolk, VA is investigating the
local CC chapter there for financial irregularities, as well as a possible
Senate investigation into questionable campaign contributions during the
1996 races (from an Associated Press report).
The new organization will be a political consulting firm called Century
Strategies. I'll start getting more info on Reed's new undertaking as son
as it is available. Email
me if you have more information.
Robertson Mocks Bob Dole's War Injury
According to the Los Angeles Times, Pat Robertson
mocked Bob Dole's war injury during a meeting of GOP presidential hopefuls
for 2000. Here is the relevant paragraph:
There was notably little mention of the
party's most recent standard-bearer, former Senate Majority Leader Bob
Dole. Robertson, in one of the few references, dismissed him Saturday night
as "a laconic Kansan with a bad arm" and mimicked Dole's debilitating World
War II injury.
Just another example of why Robertson needs the diplomatic
Reed to front for his own abrasive personality. Dole, permanently injured
while trying to save the life of another American soldier in WWII, is being
mocked by a man who used his Senator father's influence to keep himself
out of battle in Korea (despite this, he attempted to claim that he saw
action in Korea during his failed presidential bid). According to another
soldier who knew Robertson during Korea, the only place Pat saw action
was in Japanese whorehouses. Scum like Robertson mocking a war hero like
Dole is an outrage.