I’m Gonna Pop Some Tags… and Then Pray Over Them

The best part of any 700 Club is the part where Pat Robertson dispenses advice to people who are even more deluded than himself.

Case in point: the lady who recently asked him about praying over secondhand clothing:

I buy a lot of clothes and other items at Goodwill and other secondhand shops. Recently my mom told me that I need to pray over the items, bind familiar spirits, and bless the items before I bring them into the house.

Is my mother correct? Can demons attach themselves to material items?

Just to be clear, the viewer is essentially asking Robertson to describe the colors of a unicorn’s horn. The only acceptable answers are 1) No, and 2) That question doesn’t make any sense to begin with.

Which is why Robertson went with option 3:

Can demonic spirits attach themselves to inanimate objects? The answer is yes. But I don’t think every sweater you get from Goodwill has demons in it. [Laughs]

It isn’t going to hurt you to rebuke any spirits that happen to have attached themselves to those clothes.

Don’t you love how Robertson laughs there, as if the viewer is the crazy one for asking a question like that? Only to follow his own laughter with a response that confirms her paranoid ideas.

(Side note: I wonder if clothing from the Salvation Army has demons… or do those two things contradict each other?)

Anyway, if Robertson wanted to take the more sensible route — which he rarely does — he could have just advised the viewer to wash the clothes before wearing them. That usually does the trick.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Timothy Mitzel

    Wow…? It’s a very scary sweater kind of day…. Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” Mark Twain

  • busterggi

    Biblically speaking, demons only infest clothing made from mixed fibers or are bacon stained.

  • http://twitter.com/amandajhelling Amanda Helling

    Not sure how I’d make it through my day without your posts on this goofy stuff.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

      Is Helling your true surname?

  • Kengi

    Let’s tell them about all the daemons required to keep a modern operating system running. Once they purge them, we won’t hear from them online ever again!

    • The Other Weirdo

      Our OS,
      Linux be they name,
      Thy programs run,
      Thy daemons done,
      In Kernel,
      As it is in User.

    • CelticWhisper

      Make sure you mention how you sometimes need them to periodically flush dead children down pipes.

      Gair-onn-TEED to make them go apoplectic.

      • Kengi

        The child processes that get flushed have already spawned, so I doubt they care about those. But what about the daemons which prevent, or limit, child processes from coming into existence?

  • http://twitter.com/luciferadi Adi Rule

    This gem is being widely circulated, and yes, it’s hilarious, so thanks for posting. And who among us hasn’t suspected our thrift store finds of harboring demons? But it’s interesting that *this* is what the internet has decided is crazy about Pat Robertson.

    • Baby_Raptor

      This isn’t the first time the internet has collectively taken the piss out of something Robertson has said. It’s just the latest manifestation.

  • ortcutt

    I wear your granddad’s clothes. I look incredible. I got your granddad’s demons.

    • Jennifer

      I was waiting to see the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis references, and if I found none, I would have made one. Alas, you have filled the bill!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chengis-Khan/100003317165064 Chengis Khan

    “Just to be clear, the viewer is essentially asking Robertson to describe the colors of a unicorn’s horn.” – Hi Hemant, You did not have to do that. In fact the situation in the story is worse than that. Unicorn delusion only goes as far as N. Korea.

  • WallofSleep

    That demon in your undies? It’s called “Puberty”. It’ll pass.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=123400843 Stu Minnis

    I think this is really a religious manifestation of a basic essentialism most people are susceptible to on some level. Would you want to walk around in a shirt someone committed suicide in? How about eating with a fork once owned by John Wayne Gacey? This isn’t, of course, either to excuse either the woman’s fear or Robinson’s response. As usual, religion seems to have taken an irrational tendency of the human brain and make it much much worse.

    • Jennifer

      I own a truck a person committed suicide in. I have no problem whatsoever with it.

      • CelticWhisper

        You should name it Christine. DO EET!

    • Chris B

      I sleep in the same bedroom the previous owner died in. Never really give it much thought. Of course, I don’t believe in the supernatural, which makes me a poor test subject.

  • Fargofan

    Couldn’t there also be angels in clothes, then? I mean, as long as we’re making stuff up…

    • Baby_Raptor

      I was once told that Angels “cannot touch material objects anymore,” so they tend to “hover over” things like cars on the freeway or houses or whatever.

      My immediate thought was “Damn. Don’t their wings get tired?”

      • CelticWhisper

        Angels do a LOT of meth.

        • 3lemenope

          Well, of course. Cocaine is a helluva drug, and hence, off-limits to angels. Let’s not talk about PCP…

        • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

          I thought it was just Red Bull.

  • Gus Snarp

    Well, to be fair, I donate my clothes to Goodwill whenever they get too many demons in them.

    • The Other Weirdo

      Those are skid marks. :-O

  • Matt Smith

    The letter writer’s name is Carrie. She better pray over her prom dress!

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

      dirty pillows!

  • Baby_Raptor

    I used to give old clothes to Good Will all the time…I had no idea I was indirectly infecting poor, innocent people with demons. I am SO horrible…

  • TiltedHorizon

    Demons clinging to your clothes? I see a business opportunity here: “God’s Love” brand detergent & fabric softener. An exorcism and baptism in every load.

    • Question Everything

      That makes me think of taking one of those bulk communion wafer boxes and dissolving them in Tide, maybe adding in some Holy Water to thin the mixture back down.

      … Can we make this a thing?

      • http://twitter.com/tardis_blue Tardis_blue

        So the idea is to wash clothes with wafers in the water? That is a nightmare on wheels for me. My son is allergic to wheat–even touching those clothes would break him out in a rash. It’s bad enough they’re making clothes out of egg and milk protein. Let’s not start this nonsense!
        And yes, I know you’re joking, and I’m being too serious. Pitfall of living with allergies.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Zahar/545635178 Chris Zahar

      You stole my idea! I hate you!

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    My heathen daughter has donated a lot of clothes to Goodwill over the years. I wonder how many demons she has passed along.

  • Donatello

    Maybe cloth you get from the salvation army is preprayed?

  • anniewhoo

    I’m assuming the witch in Thailand from Pat’s little anecdote is not Christian. His story supports that there are beings other than his god that have the power of woo. I doubt Robertson meant to sound like a polytheist, but…

  • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

    Oh wow. This has brought back a long lost memory. I used to “share” links to online tracts with people in chat rooms. One of the tracts is designed to be similar to laundry detergent, called, “Jesus: Get Tough Sins Out.” http://thegoodnews.org/CD/tide/tide.html

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    As a (lazy) practising Pagan, I’m laughing at “I need to pray over the items, bind familiar spirits, and bless the items” because that, right there, is fucking witchcraft, and IIRC, the Bible had a little somethin’-somethin’ to say about that…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Zahar/545635178 Chris Zahar

    Are you stupid, Hemant??? Get demons out of your clothes simply by washing them??? What a bunch of superstitious, mumbo-jumbo!

    You have to wash them AND dry them! Sheesh! Don’t you know anything?

  • Aspieguy

    A unicorn’s horn has white and red stripes. That’s where barber shop poles originated.

    • polomint38

      Unicorn horns are Invisible and pink. Like the IPU (blessed be her holy hooves)

  • ORAXX

    In a rational world, Robertson would be under court ordered supervision. In America, people send him money.

  • Noelle

    Are you supposed to pre-soak demon-stained clothing in hot or cold water?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sandy-Kokch/100000074576649 Sandy Kokch

    Ever suspect that poor old Pat and his filter crew cant tell when they have been spoofed by some wise cracker? Really? Carrie? Demonic posession in your woolies?
    C’mon….

  • kaydenpat

    “It isn’t going to hurt you to rebuke any spirits that happen to have attached themselves to those clothes.”

    How would one know which clothes have spirits attached to them? He should have been more detailed in his response.


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