Dear Pat Robertson,

I have scrolled through your bio on Wikipedia and I am too young to remember the bulk of your personal achievements- your accomplishments are many and impressive. A presidential bid, the founding of several respected Christian organizations, your funding of

writing a letterhigher education, The 700 Club. (I have never actually seen this show myself but I have it on good authority it does indeed exist.)  What I do know about you, without the advantage of the internet, is what most Americans know because the media makes sure to report every juicy inflammatory statement you make. We are all privy to the outrageous statements about judgment on America through natural disasters and your unfulfilled prophesies. And how you have singled out several groups of people for special judgment.  And you claim to be a Christian.

You have obviously done many great things for our Lord (loved the idea of a “flying hospital”), but we Christians need more from you now.  We have a holy calling, one of simultaneously speaking truth while personifying mercy and love.  We are to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves.  We need to hold out the word of life amidst a crooked and perverse generation in one hand, while engaging that same generation with the other hand.  Unfortunately, Mr. Robertson, there are very few big name Christians who are modeling how to live this life of grace and truth.

You are a strong example of unashamed following; please do continue to preach the gospel of Christ and the power of salvation.  I am not asking you to pull a Rob Bell-style doctrinal capitulation for the sake of tickling the ears of our culture.  I am, however, asking that your methodology bend in order to “win the more.”  How have you become “a Jew to the Jew” and a “Greek to the Greek” recently?  If you are going to say that you would like to have a “vomit” button on Facebook in the event a gay couple’s picture comes across your news feed, can you also share with us a time when you have made a great sacrifice for someone in your life who is gay?  Perhaps a humble recognition that there are behaviors and ideas that we all have, yourself included, that would make God want to vomit?  Better yet, the recognition that if our words are to be “seasoned with salt,” using descriptors such as “vomit” will make it much harder to be successful fishers of men.

Instead of callously writing off homosexual tendencies as some kind of “chromosomal damage” and helping to make a mockery of Christians striving to be a royal priesthood to our same-sex attracted brothers and sisters, could you instead be an example for a church in desperate need of a non-simplistic and biblically consistent explanation of sexuality and sexual brokenness? Could you do so with humility? Because truly, Mr. Robertson, there is a shortage of church leaders who are holding fast to biblical teaching AND showing us how to be relevant to a skeptical world.  Maybe you could give Chick-fil-A’s Dan Cathy a call?  I’m sure he would be happy to give you some pointers.

I know that you have hours of air time to fill on your show and, likely, most of what you say is great.  But because you are just about as “big name” as it gets in Christianity, please “watch your life and your doctrine (and your mouth) closely.”  The church has enough to apologize for, and trying to explain to my unbelieving friends an outpouring of hurtful and out-of-touch statements by a Christian icon is not how I want to spend my time.

So what do you say Mr. Robertson? Could you help a Bigot out?

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38 thoughts on “Dear Pat Robertson,

  1. Really? Dan Cathy? Clogging people’s arteries with fat? However, he has done one Christian thing: he has apparently stopped funding hate groups.

    I don’t mind if Robertson vomits. He could clearly do with losing some weight.

    • Hi Clare. Nice to see you again. Hope all is well. If you click on the link about Dan, you will see a vary inspiring story of Mr Cathy reaching out to a gay activist. He initiated a relationship that eventually turned into a genuine friendship. A rare example of loving those who disagree with you.

      • Mmm. Thank you for the link.

        I am glad Cathy has stopped funding hate groups. That, to me, is what matters. The rest could be mere personal charm, without that.

        Is every person who campaigns against gay marriage an unfeeling monster? Well, no, they love their children as best they can, they may give money to charitable as well as hate-filled causes, and they may enjoy Schubert. I pick on the last because I heard Rabbi Hugo Gryn on the humanity of the concentration camp commandant, mention it. Homophobia is an abomination. “Christian” beliefs that gay marriage is wrong are a serious sin, and I hope they will fade away with time. I can accept the person but I abhor that sin.

          • So, are you saying that those of us who are oppose enshrining into law a family structure that necessitates loss for a child (of a full relationship with one or both natural parents) do so because we are afraid of gay people?

          • If you believe that child welfare requires banning gay marriage, yes: an irrational fear or disgust for gay people.

            The other possibility was religious sensibility. Real godfearers can take their neighbours as we find them, and not get obsessed about them, gasp, having sex.

            Any other sources, Askme? I feel a post coming on…

          • There are many of us who have personally experienced familial brokenness and who have a sober view of the pain that goes along with losing a relationship, for any reason, with a parent. As a result, we understand to a deep level the preciousness of mothers as mothers and fathers as fathers. Because many of us had “parents” who were not mother or father. And we get that that isn’t a substitute for the real thing. We can love the spouses/partners of our parents, but they do not replace the mother or father. This is true for child whose parent has died, a child conceived via artificial insemination, children of divorce, and even those who are adopted out of horrific conditions (who often undergo a time of grieving for their birthparents.) To say that those of us who recognize the right of a child to be known and loved by both of their parents and seek to have that reality reflected in civil code do so because they are afraid of gay people is quite a stretch. It would be convenient for your argument if those of us who promote natural marriage didn’t know or love any gay people (or were afraid of them). That is seldom the case.

            It’s not that I oppose gay marriage, it’s that I oppose the incentivizing and endorsement of any arrangement which separates children from their parents. But just because I disagree with someone’s living situation doesn’t mean that I fear them, withhold myself from them, or hate them.

      • Yes. Irrational fear, hatred or disgust.

        As you say, children are separated from their parent(s) in many circumstances, but you did not mention people brought up by unloving married parents: I have seen stunningly bad parenting, and people damaged by that.

        So, to make a unique example of gay people by stopping us marrying is not a rational response. It does not even stop us having children, just makes it more difficult- which can hardly accomplish your stated goal.

        • Being raised by unloving or abusive married heterosexual parents would (is) clearly horribly damaging for a child. But you have the same propensity for unloving or abuse with same-sex headed households. The difference is, that with a same-sex headed household there is *never* a possibility for a “intact” home for a child. They will be separated from something that is rightfully theirs- their mother or father (or both bio parents). So tell me, have you met someone who lost a relationship with a parent (through death, divorce, neglect, dead-beat-syndrome, abandonment, IVF) who did not wish to have had a loving relationship with that parent? Those that I know who have lost that relationship have grieved it. Often for much of their life.

          • Children are raised in less than ideal circumstances. The question is, how bad do those circs have to be before you ban parents from having children? For me, being in a gay LTR is not it.

            And- how does keeping marriage for the heteros advance this? You tax gay couples more, show them they are worth less than straights, but do not actually take away the children into State care.

            Yours is not a rational argument.

          • The US rightly permits adults to enter into consensual relationships. And while I believe that it’s wrong, this country also allows people to deprive a child of it natural parents via artificial means. My argument is not to criminalize those relationships, but to promote the only family arrangement that provides the structure for wholeness for a child- and historically that has been done via the institute of marriage.

            If you would, I’d like to hear your answer to my question above: “have you met someone who lost a relationship with a parent (through death, divorce, neglect, dead-beat-syndrome, abandonment, IVF) who did not wish to have had a loving relationship with that parent?”

          • Yes. My friend was born during the London Blitz, as a result of a brief relationship: she has no wish to know her father. Having a child out of wedlock ruined her mother’s life, and so I am chary of “promoting marriage”.

          • Clare. I have rolled your comment over and over in my mind in the last two days. I can see why your friend never wanted to know her father. He participated in “ruining” her mother’s life. And she was the product that brought about that “ruining.” Maybe she doesn’t want to know him. But you could never argue that his absence did not bring about tremendous loss for child and mother.

          • But ALL OF IT-

            oops, I know capitals means shouting, breathe-

            from the stigma of bastardy. A public spirited citizen told her in-laws to be, when she was going to be married, that she was “illegitimate”. They told him where to get off.

            Yes, I know that mothers and fathers interact differently with children, but have a look at the Mommy Man blog. On my blog, over the years, there has been a lot of whingeing about my relationships with my parents, who remained married until my mother’s death when I was 29.

            I sympathise with you, really, but opposing equal marriage will not do you any good, and will do no good to anyone else.

          • In this life, sometimes we make choices that lead to brokenness and sometimes it finds us. Either way, we are called to walk with those who need someone to bind up their wounds. And I can fulfill that biblical mandate while I speak and advocate for the rights of children to be known by their mother and father, and appeal to a national narrative which reflects that basic good. It’s not hate. It not phobia. It’s treasuring and valuing wholeness for kids who desperately need it in this imperfect world.

          • But you’re not, that is the thing. You do no children any good. It is as if you were advocating for children by banning round windows, because you fell out of one. Or you imagine your childhood could have been better if it had been different in a particular way, but that does not mean that it would have.

      • Wishing or perpetuating harm on a gay person for the fact that they ARE gay is homophobic….and very wrong. Acknowledging that a homosexual relationship is fundamentally flawed and/or is harmful for children is not necessarily homophobic, although it certainly may be believed by someone who is homophobic.
        The fact that, tragically, there are heterosexual couples that are terrible parents does not mean that heterosexual parenting is fundamentally flawed. It means that some heterosexual parents are flawed.
        I don’t see Askme as discriminating against gay parenting. I see her criticizing any parental structure which incurs, by choice, the loss of one or more biological parents.
        The world isn’t perfect and parents for sure aren’t perfect. The state works to protect children within the current parenting paradigms as best that it can…..which often isn’t very well at all. I don’t see how adding another parenting option, which involves the choice to deprive a child of either mother or father, is good for children.

      • So are you saying that you are also against adoption in that it separates children from their “natural” parents?

        • Thanks for the question, Jamie. Adoption is the best solution for an often awful situation. A situation that is born of great loss. But the separation of a child from his/her birth parents should not be approached casually or done so in the interest of the adopting parents. This in contrast to thousands of children who are being engineered with the intent that they will not know or be raised by one or both of their natural parents. Loss of parents is a tragic reality of this world. When it happens, may we draw those children in through adoption or just by supporting the existing parental structure in any way we can. That does not mean encouraging or endorsing the separation from natural parents.

  2. Oh, man! Could I “clearly do with losing …..” (insert any number of traits, characteristics or deeds here). But that’s true for all of us. We ALL could clearly do with losing something. I admire Dan Cathy significantly for doing exactly as Askme says: loving those he disagrees with without losing his way. The greatest crime in our culture today isn’t thievery or murder or even pedophilia. It’s disagreement. If you disagree with someone’s views, you must hate them. You must assume everything they do is wrong and personally directed for your destruction. You must hate the haters. Well, at least in this one thing, Dan Cathy DIDN’T do the easy thing…he didn’t hate. He didn’t strike back harder and louder, he didn’t use his knowledge or his words to hurt or de-humanize the “enemy” or to make ad hominem attacks….instead, he loved him, he respected him and he changed both lives. He made it clear that you can love someone else without having to give up truth. How much better a world it would be if we could all do this and do it consistently!

  3. Askme, I’m glad I stumbled upon your page a few weeks ago. As you know I’m not at all a Christian, and it’s sad that ones like the man who this post is about get the most airtime. They do make it so easy and give so many lovely, caring, reasonable, decent folks a bad name for those who don’t know any better. I wrote a snarky comment to you at first before I chatted with you and you responded with grace and pleasantness, while still sticking to your strong (although wrong 😜) point of view. And I’ve seen you do it several times now. You really walk the walk and disarm people ready for a fight. If more of your brothers and sisters acted like you, so much more understanding would be facilitated. You really are doing things in a Christian, loving way by responding calmly and politely and respectfully. And when I told you sarcastically that I would pray for you, you kindly an humbly said you would never turn down a prayer. For that I admire you. Good work. You remind me of several other bloggers who I have had good debates with who are also very kind- whoever writes Conversion Diary, Being Saint Joseph, and Rachel Held Evans. I actually agree with most of what the latter blogger says, and none of what the first two say, but I like them all. We should all strive to engage in this manner. And dogs are still better.

    • Dear Sarah, you *may* have just made my day. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard such touching words from a dog person in all my life.;) I too am grateful that you stopped by a couple weeks ago, and continue to check in every now and then. (I have been secretly blessing you and praying for you when I see your comments-shhhh) and I am delighted that you feel that this is a place for honest dialogue. There are so many “commoners” everywhere in Christianity who are doing the hard work of LIVING the truth, even when it’s costly. But you will never hear of them. If you are lucky, you will find one in a moment of need so you can have the arms, words, and heart of Christ in living flesh before you, meeting your needs. I am honored to be utterly surrounded by such believers. It makes for a rich and bountiful life, even in hard times.

      Again, love having your comments here. Feel free to make it a habit. But know that I engage you with the intention to convert you to Christianity- and the even greater challenge of converting you into a cat-lover. 😉

      • Very nice, Askme. As far as converting me to Christianity, stranger things have happened, but just barely. If I were ever to lean into a theist religion, and that’s a big if, it would be Judiasm which is the religion of my roots. I like a lot about reform Jews- they welcome gays, have gay rabbis, and don’t do a lot of the seemingly judgemental and holier than thou things that I detest. I celebrate Jewish holidays with my family and feel very spiritually connected to my Jewish brothers and sisters past and present. However, as far as my beliefs, I am a Buddhist through and through (sometimes we are known as JewBoos) and I’m very happy with that, thank you very much. Looking forward to more chatting and discourse. There are some things I have never understood about Christianity that are such a turn off and seem so silly- maybe you can answer some of my questions via the blog one of these days. I have some close Christian friends who are obsessed with Jesus as well, so we also can talk about things which is nice. Keep up the good work!

        • I got me so serious love for the Jews, lemme just say. My husband’s step-father was Jewish and he grew up with many of those traditions. You can communicate elementary Christian truth by reading John 3:16. But if you want to truly understand the full breadth of who Jesus is (yes I’m obsessed), why He came, and what the church is supposed to be, then you must love and study the Jewish scriptures. You cannot separate Jesus from his Judaism and we teeter on the edge of several doctrinal errors if we try to.

          The converting comment was a bit of a rib, because I actually don’t believe that “converting” people is in my (or any Christian’s) job description. My job is to demonstrate what life in Christ looks like, speak truth with gentleness, and love and serve others. God’s job is to change hearts and minds. If there is change to be made, I will be grateful if I don’t get in the way.

          When it comes to questions, I may have covered them elsewhere on the blog. If so, I can direct you to that post. But if there is something that hasn’t been addressed, I would love to write on it! All you have to do is “Askme.”

  4. Ask Me,
    Great post! Keep up the good work. It is so awesome that so many people with an opposing viewpoint read your blog. That says you’re doing something right.
    Love your blog and can’t help reading it the minute it pops up in my inbox.:-)

    • Awww! That warms my heart! My husband, while supportive, wonders if all the time I give the “The Blog” is worth it. But comments like this certainly make me feel like it is. Thank you, friend.

  5. Askme, you may not be aware that Pat Robertson and his 700 Club gang preach a false gospel. Have done for as long as I can remember. Just a heads up so you don’t expect from him what you might from a Christian. As you have probably worked out by now, fame and influence as a religious leader doesn’t say much about a person’s true spiritual state. Sometimes it says a lot. Look for the fruit of the Spirit, and not the fruit of the world, and you may find Pat Robertson lacking (as I think your letter indicates you already have). Another way of putting it is if it doesn’t look, walk AND quack…it can call itself a duck, but it doesn’t mean it is. If you get my drift. 😉

    I would love your thoughts on the testimony of Rosario Butterfield. It quite took me by surprise. She also has an article on DOMA (http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/doma-and-the-rock?) you might be interested in. I have several gay friends some of whom are also parents, but they are not Christian. I really want to engage with other thoughtful Christians about how I can witness to them (loving them is easy!). I look forward to reading your posts. Blessings in Christ.

    • I have read Mrs. Butterfield’s testimony and of course LOVE it! Her article above is exceptional for the perspective of God’s sovereignty. Thank you for sharing it here.

      Good job on the “loving your gay friends” thing! I love hearing that! I have been thinking about your question of “witnessing” and may do a post about it. (Though it’s not gonna be any kind of formula, good heavens I’m still figuring it all out!) But it’s been good to noodle over.

      Meantime, this is the post I recommend on how to love those in our life who are gay without compromising God’s truth. Would love to hear any additional suggestions in that vein.

      https://askthebigot.com/2012/09/03/why-do-you-hate-gays/

      Thanks for reading and commenting! Looking forward to seeing you more often!

  6. Pingback: Homophobia | Clare Flourish

  7. Askme,
    Just checking up to see if all is well in your world? It’s been a month and I’m all for you having time off and family time. 🙂 I just pray it’s all good with you and yours. Miss you though. 🙂 🙂
    ,

    • Hey girl. Thanks for checking in. It has been an all-hands-on-deck summer. A friend of ours offered to help us redo our basement bathroom so I spent most of July on Craigslist looking for vanities and faucets, lighting and flooring (can you say “$60 Marmoleum”?!?). August has been demolition (fun!) and helping with plumbing. On top of that, my man had back surgery on Wednesday and is doing GREAT. And we just had a Women’s Ministry event at church today for which the preparation took up any spare writing time that may have been left after the nursing-back-to-health, second-hand-shopping, and sawing-out-drywall. Oh. And sometimes I make food and wash clothes.

      *whew*

      All that to say, perhaps blogging will make a comeback after school starts in September. 😉 But I do miss everyone. I think I still have some open-ended conversations dangling out there that will need some attention whenever life permits a return to the blogospere. Hope your summer is going well!

  8. Summer is going great. Thank you!
    I totally understand the busy. I have one little son and a garden , and there’s no way I would manage a blog. 🙂
    I just didn’t want you to disappear and think we could care less. Glad you and yours are well. Pray your husband will come back as good as ever, or better.
    Have a wonderful rest of the summer! Love and prayers….

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