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After 55 years of peddling wacky conspiracy theories, notorious anti-LGBT+ televangelist Pat Robertson is leaving TV for good.
The right-wing homophobe became a household name in America as the host of the Christian Broadcasting Network’s daily show The 700 Club.
He has appeared daily on the show since 1966, but on the network’s 60th anniversary, the 91-year-old announced that he would be finally stepping down.
He said: “Today’s show will be my final as host of The 700 Club.
“My replacement will be my very capable son, Gordon, who will take over as full-time host of the program.”
Robertson has spent decades making offensive and bizarre comments about the LGBT+ community.
He has said homosexuality is driven by “demonic possession”, claimed that the US will face a nuclear attack if it passes the Equality Act, insisted that gay people are willing to destroy society to protect “their weird way of doing sex”, said America must forsake same-sex marriage to cure coronavirus, and predicted that the Black Lives Matter movement would launch a “lesbian, anti-family, anti-capitalist Marxist revolution”.
Robertson also seems to think that everything, from horoscopes, to feng shui, to martial arts, to Twilight, is “demonic”.
Earlier this year, a 2013 clip resurfaced in which Robertson claimed that gay men have a “secret ring” that transmits HIV.
“I think people in the gay community, they want to get people,” he said. “They’ll have a ring, and you shake hands, and the ring has a little thing where you cut your finger.”
His co-host Terry Meeuwsen questioned this bizarre claim, asking: “Really?”
“Really,” Robertson assured him. “It is that kind of vicious stuff, which would be the equivalent of murder.”
The segment was so outlandish that even the Christian Broadcasting Network had it removed from video-sharing platforms at the time, including YouTube and Vimeo.
The internet celebrated the retirement of ‘apostle of hate’ Pat Robertson
While the Christian Broadcasting Network said Pat Robertson’s time as host of The 700 Club had been “60 years of history-making TV ministry”, others described it very differently.
United Church of Christ minister Chuck Currie wrote on Twitter: “Few people in modern American history have done more damage to Christianity and the common good than Pat Robertson. He’s an apostle of hate, not a follower of Jesus.”
Few people in modern American history have done more damage to Christianity and the common good than Pat Robertson. He's an apostle of hate, not a follower of Jesus. https://t.co/Hq5YPWFoOn
— Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie (@RevChuckCurrie) October 1, 2021
Political strategist Atima Omara tweeted: “Pat Robertson contributed 55 years of damage to society at large with racism, misogyny, and xenophobia weaved into Christianity.”
So much of the modern conspiracy theory movement was built off Pat Robertson's incoherent scaremongering, relentless pushing of culture war tropes, New World Order hysteria, and demonizing of progressivism. A legend of the paranoid style. https://t.co/Z3WruqNclR
— Mike Rothschild (@rothschildmd) October 1, 2021
Journalist and QAnon expert Mike Rothschild added: “So much of the modern conspiracy theory movement was built off Pat Robertson’s incoherent scaremongering, relentless pushing of culture war tropes, New World Order hysteria, and demonizing of progressivism. A legend of the paranoid style.”