Pat Robertson, the outspoken and controversial host of The 700 Club, has quite a reputation for bucking convention and sticking his foot in his mouth.
He’s the guy who told a woman caller on his show that if her husband was unfaithful, she was to blame—that men had a “tendency to wander”, and it was the woman’s responsibility to entice him by providing a warm and happy home.
In 1991, he focused his criticism on other Protestant denominations, saying, “You say you’re supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense. I don’t have to be nice to the spirit of the Anti-Christ.”
He has called non-Christians “termites” and warned that it’s time for some “godly fumigation.”
In 2011, Robertson advised a caller whose wife was suffering from Alzheimer’s to walk away from the marriage. “I know it sounds cruel,” he said, “but if he’s going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again, but make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her.”
Now, it seems he’s after the Catholics, particularly their views on contraception. According to Robertson, birth control is “absolutely an important thing for people to use because you want to be able to look after children.” When a viewer emailed the show, asking whether Christians who use contraception are committing a sin, Robertson opined, “I think the idea of being able to determine when and how is a very important part of humanity.”
He went on to explain how large families are harmful to society. “That’s the big problem, especially in Appalachia,” he said. “They don’t know about birth control. They just keep having babies and you see a string of all these little ragamuffins and not enough food to eat and so forth. It’s desperate poverty.”
God, though, seems to have a different idea about the value of children. Psalm 127 assures:
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the sons of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has
his quiver full of them.
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
Watch the most recent controversy unfold, if you have the patience for it. (The controversial remarks are contained within the first two minutes of this video.)