Televangelist Pat Robertson, known for his influential role in making religion a central component of GOP politics, has passed away at the age of 93. The announcement of Robertson’s demise was made by his broadcasting network, without providing any specific details about the cause of death.
Robertson, a prominent leader in the Evangelical Christian community and former Republican presidential candidate, played a significant role in bolstering the influence of the religious right within American politics. In 1960, he established the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), which he transformed into a formidable cable media empire.
For many years, Robertson hosted a talk show on CBN known as the 700 Club, where he blended religious news, political commentary, and light entertainment.
In addition to founding CBN, Robertson was instrumental in establishing the Christian Coalition, an organization that emerged as a pivotal player in Republican politics during the 1980s. The Christian Coalition provided endorsements, financial backing, and organizational support to candidates who aligned with their stance on contentious social issues such as abortion, religious liberty, and conservative values.
In 1988, Robertson campaigned for the Republican presidential nomination. Garnering substantial support from Iowa’s evangelical community, he secured a second-place finish in the state’s caucuses, trailing behind Kansas Senator Bob Dole. However, Robertson’s bid for the White House faltered when George H.W. Bush, the eventual nominee and president, triumphed in the New Hampshire primary.
Nevertheless, Robertson’s campaign, which achieved victories in four state-nominating contests, served as a testament to the growing influence of evangelical Christians within the Republican Party. As a result, he became a significant figure in Republican politics, wielding considerable influence for many decades.
Robertson’s approach to merging religious beliefs and money with political matters often sparked controversy. He faced severe criticism for seemingly attributing the 11 September 2001 attacks in the United States to American cultural liberalism, including the gay rights movement and abortion.
In 2010, he made headlines by suggesting that a devastating earthquake in Haiti occurred due to a “pact with the devil” made by the Haitian people during their fight for independence from France.
Following the election of Donald Trump as president, Robertson asserted that those who opposed him were acting against the divine plan for America.