Pat Robertson, Who Once Claimed Gays Spread AIDS Using ‘Secret Rings’, Dies At 93
Notorious anti-LGBTQ+ TV preacher Pat Robertson has died. He was 93.
The son of a U.S. senator, Robertson initially made his name in broadcasting as the host of “The 700 Club,” which became the flagship of his Christian Broadcasting Network.
Robertson, who ran for president in 1988, spent decades peddling dangerous lies attacking the LGBTQ+ community.
He would often attribute natural disasters to the supposed moral failings of those who suffered them. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, Robertson said he agreed with Rev. Jerry Falwell blaming the attacks on “the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians.”
In 1998, Robertson warned Disney World and the city of Orlando, Fla., that flying rainbow flags could lead to “earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor.”
In 2013, the televangelist claimed on air that gay people in San Francisco use rigged rings to try and give people AIDS when they shake hands.
The host, was responding to a question from a viewer who was concerned about an HIV-positive church member.
“I think people in the gay community, they want to get people,” Robertson ranted to his co-host Terry Meeuwsen. “They’ll have a ring, and you shake hands, and the ring has a little thing where you cut your finger.”
Meeuwsen questioned this bizarre claim. “Really?” she asked.
“Really,” Pat Robertson assured her. “It is that kind of vicious stuff, which would be the equivalent of murder.”
Robertson later attempted to explain his comment by claiming his words had been “misunderstood”.
“In my own experience, our organization sponsored a meeting years ago in San Francisco where trained security officers warned me about shaking hands because, in those days, certain AIDS-infected activists were deliberately trying to infect people like me by virtue of rings which would cut fingers and transfer blood,” he told The Atlantic at the time.
“I regret that my remarks had been misunderstood, but this often happens because people do not listen to the context of remarks which are being said. In no ways were my remarks meant as an indictment of the homosexual community or, for that fact, to those infected with this dreadful disease,” he said.
Few people in modern American history have done more damage to Christianity and the common good than Pat Robertson. He's an apostle of hate, not a follower of Jesus. https://t.co/Hq5YPWFoOn
— Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie (@RevChuckCurrie) October 1, 2021
Robertson once claimed that homosexuality is driven by “demonic possession” and that gay people are willing to destroy society to protect “their weird way of doing sex.” He also warned America must forsake same-sex marriage to cure coronavirus and predicted that the Black Lives Matter movement would launch a “lesbian, anti-family, anti-capitalist Marxist revolution”.