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Speaking Ill of the Dead, or, Words on Pat Robertson’s Passing | Righting America

by William Trollinger 

An unfavorable photo of televangelist Pat Robertson with his eyes scrunched and his browed furrowed and both pointer fingers held up near his face.
Televangelist Pat Robertson on The 700 Club. Image via The Pink News.

While speaking ill of the dead is generally frowned upon, there are those whose passing should not blind us to the hate they spread and the harm they did. In this regard, see below for three articles in response to Pat Robertson’s death last Thursday.

  1. Jeet Heer, “Pat Robertson’s Genocidal God Has Called Him Home,” The Nation
  • “Pat Robertson was a ‘man of God,’ so it’s worth asking what sort of God he worshiped. In 2010, an earthquake struck Haiti and killed between 100,000 and 160,000 people. Robertson took to The 700 Club to blame the earthquake on a ‘pact to the Devil’ that Haitians allegedly made when they overthrew French imperial rule in 1804. According to Robertson, Haitians ‘got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.’ True story. And so, the devil said, ‘OK, it’s a deal.’”
  1. Rick Perlstein interviewed by Greg Sargent, “How Pat Robertson created today’s Christian nationalist GOP”, The Washington Post.
  • “Every time a riot breaks out at a school board meeting because the board wants to recognize that gay people exist, that’s Pat Robertson’s shadow. Every time a crusade against teaching the history of race in America leads to a school limiting access to Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem, that’s Pat Robertson’s shadow.”
  1. Mikey Weinstein, “’One Little Jewish Guy,’ as Pat Robertson Called Me, Says Good Riddance to ‘One Little Dead Guy’”, Daily Kos
  • “On several occasions over the years, the rabidly antisemitic, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, and misogynistic Pat Robertson publicly and hatefully attacked both myself personally and my civil rights organization, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) on his CBN show ‘The 700 Club,’ [calling me] ‘one little Jewish radical’, . . . ‘one little Jewish guy’ . . . ‘one little atheist Jewish man.’”