Good riddance to Pat Robertson: Preacher of bigotry came from the ruling class

Does anyone care that hate preacher Pat Robertson croaked on June 8? Those inheriting his $100 million fortune must have been waiting for the 93-year-old to die. 

The loot came from Robertson’s broadcasting empire, African diamond mines, and other capitalist enterprises. One venture that didn’t pan out was an oil refinery in Santa Fe Springs, California, near Los Angeles. 

It wasn’t allowed to spew benzene and other cancer-causing chemicals over South Central LA in the name of sweet Jesus and Robertson’s bank account.

First and foremost, Pat Robertson was a worshiper of the slave owners’ confederacy. He made sure that he was buried in the same Lexington City, Virginia, cemetery where Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson decomposed. 

Much of his revenue came from those in pain and/or suffering from incurable diseases. Like other alleged faith healers, Robertson claimed to be able to intervene with god – in exchange for some blessed dollars, of course.

Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network helped elect scores of union-busting, women-hating, homophobic, and transphobic politicians. War criminal George W. Bush welcomed Robertson’s support. 

One of Robertson’s last outbursts attacked the teaching of Black history. 

Here are more of Robertson’s repulsive statements:

  • He claimed that Haitian people made a pact with the devil when they overthrew the French slave masters. World capitalism – which was born with the African Holocaust – has never forgiven Haitians for their revolution.
  • He predicted that hurricanes might strike Orlando, Florida, because of LGBTQ+ Pride activities. All the more reason to mobilize in Orlando in defense of trangender youth on Oct. 7.
  • Robertson spread hate against Muslims. He labeled those in the government who were not his type of Christians as “termites.”  
  • He called the women’s movement a “socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”
  • Robertson called for the assassination of the elected Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Frías.

Hugo Chávez, who died in 2013, believed in a Jesus who helped the poor and stopped a woman from being stoned to death. Pat Robertson would have given rocks to the lynch mob. 

Pat Robertson walked in the footsteps of the Byrd political machine, which engineered the 1951 legal lynching of the Martinsville 7. These innocent Black men were posthumously pardoned in 2021.

Electrocuting seven Black men for revenge

Robertson wasn’t known for his fiery sermons. He never built a megachurch with thousands of members.

Yet Robertson had the biggest business empire of all the right-wing preachers. CBN—the Christian Broadcasting Network—spread lies and hate in 70 languages. Robertson’s flagship show, “The 700 Club,” still airs daily on basic cable network Freeform, owned by the Walt Disney Company. 

Robertson also ran for president in the Republican primaries in 1988.

Liberty University, founded by Jerry Falwell, Sr., has a larger enrollment than Robertson’s Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. But Regent Law School has placed 38 judges on the bench

The key is that Pat Robertson came right from the ruling class. His daddy, Absalom Willis Robertson, was for 20 years a U.S senator from Virginia. He also spent 13 years in the U.S. House of Representatives.

A. Willis Robertson was the junior partner of Senator Harry Byrd Sr. in running one of the most racist political machines in U.S. history. Literacy “tests” and poll taxes kept Black people from voting.

In response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous 1954 ruling against school segregation, the Byrd machine shut down Black schools without any replacement.

Schools in Prince Edward County were closed for five years. Byrd called this “massive resistance.”

To terrorize Black people everywhere, the Byrd machine arranged the frame-up and execution of the Martinsville 7. These were seven young Black men, aged between 18 and 23, who were wrongfully convicted of raping a white woman in Martinsville, Virginia.

They were Francis DeSales Grayson, Frank Hairston Jr., Howard Hairston, James Luther Hairston, Joe Henry Hampton, Booker T. Millner, and John Clabon Taylor.

They were sent to the electric chair despite a defense campaign led by the Civil Rights Congress. Four were electrocuted on Feb. 2, 1951, and the remaining three were electrocuted on Feb. 5, 1951.

Seventy years later, in 2021, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued a pardon to these martyrs.

The Martinsville 7 were murdered in revenge for the successful defense of the Scottsboro, Alabama, defendants during the 1930s. These nine young Black men were falsely accused of raping two white women.

A worldwide campaign led by Black churches, Black fraternal organizations, and the Communist Party saved their lives. But in 1951, during the anti-communist witch hunt, the Byrd machine was able to murder the Martinsville defendants.

‘That pack of God damn fools’

Pat Robertson was 20 years old at the time of these executions, while his father was a U.S. senator. If Pat Robertson had said anything in defense of the Martinsville defendants it might have saved their lives.

The Byrd machine was also a player in the military-industrial complex. Norfolk, Virginia, is the world’s largest naval base.

Harry Byrd’s brother was Admiral Richard Byrd, a famous navy aviator who flew over Antarctica. 

Admiral Byrd named a mountain range there after their cousin, David Harold Byrd. D.H. Byrd was a Texas oil man who co-founded the Civil Air Patrol, whose members included the young Lee Harvey Oswald. 

D.H. Byrd also owned the building that housed the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas. The Warren Commission claimed that Oswald fired the shots from there that killed President John F. Kennedy, although many people believe that Oswald wasn’t the shooter. 

Regent University will probably erect a statue of Pat Robertson, but few will remember the bigot. Robertson is one of many who have served the wealthy and powerful in the name of religion.

He had nothing in common with Malcolm X or the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Pat Robertson was like those satirized in John F. Kendrick’s poem “Christians At War,” whose last stanza follows:

“Onward, Christian soldiers! Blight all that you meet;
Trample human freedom under pious feet.
Praise the Lord whose dollar sign dupes his favored race!
Make the foreign trash respect your bullion brand of grace.
Trust in mock salvation, serve as tyrant’s tools;
History will say of you: ‘That pack of God damn fools.'”

Join the Struggle-La Lucha Telegram channel