Word is just in that noted “televangelist” Pat Robertson has died at the age of 93.
Robertson will no doubt at this moment be maligned by the secular Left, which he would expect and literally laugh off with his characteristic grin. But he will also take some posthumous shots from people on the conservative side, too. A lifetime of appearing on television every day — most notably on his 700 Club, carried by the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), which he founded — provided plenty of fodder. (One of the most infamous Robertson statements for me was on a man’s right to divorce his wife if she comes down with Alzheimer’s, which Pat judged “a kind of death” that would equate to “’til death do us part.”) (READ MORE on the Religion: Don’t Just Blame the Dodgers: Blame the Collapse of Catholic Fidelity)
But as for this conservative, a Catholic one, I must extend some appreciation to Robertson at this time. If I may offer a few quick thoughts:
Robertson began his very political life as a Democrat, the son of a prominent Democratic Party politician. Like President Ronald Reagan and so many other erstwhile Democrats, Robertson would say that he didn’t leave the Democratic Party; the Democratic Party left him. The bolt started with the Democrats’ love of “abortion rights.” Of course, the bolt eventually became a furious dash thanks to the steady onslaught of unhinged cultural-sexual madness embraced by the lunatic Left, which has now reached a peak of insanity that might have surprised even Robertson. (RELATED: Yes, Furries Are Gay)
The nasty, angry, uncharitable Left will try to find a way right now to somehow link Robertson’s Democratic Party bolt to civil rights, I imagine. After all, that’s what today’s vicious Left does, though at the time of my writing (surely to change in the next 24 hours), there’s not a word about civil rights or black people at Robertson’s Wikipedia page. And that’s as it should be. The man was certainly not racially prejudiced. And anyone who spends even a few hours on the beautiful campus that he founded at Regent University in Virginia Beach, which I’ve visited and where I’ve spoken many times (including last October), will be struck by the lovely harmony among the races — black and white Christians working and praying and living in peace together, united above all by their common faith.
Most certainly, Robertson-founded groups like Operation Blessing have done more to help people suffering and in need of food and shelter in ethnic communities and around the world than any of Robertson’s liberal detractors — self-proclaimers of great compassion — will ever even think of doing.
Robertson’s Strong Faith
That Christian faith was Robertson’s great commission. He founded at Regent the excellent American Center for Law & Justice as well as an impressive law school that is training young Christians to go defend religious liberty unlike any other law school in the country. We need law programs committed to stopping the pagan New Left in its relentless persecution of the rights of religious believers. Regent Law is one of few.
If I may conclude with a personal point: Robertson interviewed me several times on The 700 Club. In most cases, we discussed books I had written on matters of faith and politics, such as God and Ronald Reagan and God and George W. Bush. Those topics were not a surprise. But I recall being especially struck by his strong interest in an Ignatius Press biography that I did on William P. Clark, the closest adviser to Reagan and a devout Catholic. Robertson’s 700 Club did a terrific report on the book. Likewise, Robertson, a southern evangelical, was intensely interested in my book on Ronald Reagan and Pope St. John Paul II, the latter of whom he admired. (READ MORE: More Trial Balloons for Biden)
I imagine a lot of people will assume that Robertson was not very ecumenical, and some will condescendingly assume he was not very intellectual. That was certainly not so. And beyond being ecumenical and intellectual, he was a cheerful person, a smart entrepreneur who founded a number of significant groups dedicated to making a better country and world.
Pat Robertson was, indeed, a man who loved the Lord and sought to live out that call. He certainly didn’t do it perfectly, but, then again, none of us do.
Read More: Pat Robertson, RIP – The American Spectator