I remember thinking that I might need to soak my brain in bleach to get the image of Pat Robertson and oral sex from my mind. But as the awful image faded, another appeared–one where an elder televangelical was once again manipulating the political landscape. This wasn’t just a simple sex question; this was a query put in to place well ahead of the televised question and answer with intended consequences involving the upcoming presidential election and the old man, his pulpit and his followers.
Pat Robertson isn’t exactly a “Pat.” In fact, he was born Marion Gordon Robertson, but adopted the name “Pat” (a nickname given to him by his brother repeatedly “pat, pat, patting” his head as a child) because he thought “Marion” sounded too effeminate and “Gordon” wasn’t to his liking either. Makes one wonder if this was the start of his war on homosexuals. But I digress.
Many find Pat Robertson too much to take. An evangelical–and not just any evangelical–but perhaps the most recognizable and influential of the lot. He plays the role of preacher without the scary fire and brimstone and can be quite engaging. To me, he embodies everything unbalanced and wacky about the Tea Party movement wrapped up and delivered with a neat little bow–with one glorious exception: He cleverly crosses the political lines occasionally, knowing the power he wields, dropping little juicy morsels which would be defined mostly conservative until they move to just right of liberal and finally take a turn to just south of Tea Party crazy.
This past week he openly answered an obviously practiced response to what was purportedly a spontaneous question posed to him on the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) about oral sex and he set about answering it by patiently framing it around marriage and between a man and a woman, the Bible, sin and what is in one’s heart. When he was finished, the young lady questioning him looked more at ease with his response and was joining with him discussing the ins and outs (pun intended) of oral sex. This staged interaction solidifies my belief that Pat Robertson is a genius at what he does–gathering and then indoctrinating his flock. Furthermore, his answer deflects his crazy rantings about homosexuals and same-sex marriages and allows the world to believe he is genuinely in tune with his sexual being, unlike Santorum who has become the national deviant and relentless badger on all social sexual issues.
As a devout advocate of Christian dominionism (a belief that Christians have the right to rule), how does he go about bringing down Mormons without appearing to attack Romney? He comes out for legalizing marijuana. Brilliant. Where Romney supports the tenants of Mormonism and stands personally against drinking and publicly against the legalization of marijuana, Robertson comes off as the even keeled wise man as he does an aside about Jesus in a New York Times interview: “I don’t think he was a teetotaler” and announces that he is in favor of legalizing marijuana. A political shot that hit the bulls-eye? You be the judge. I am shouting hallelujah–not for Pat, per se, but for legalizing weed. And that is what Pat Robertson is betting on.
It isn’t as if this octogenarian hasn’t had his problems. Historically, his claims of faith healing, doomsday predictions, attacks on feminism and the endless list of bat-shit crazy, off the wall ideas and quotes have made him infamous as well as famous. But never underestimate the power of Pat. Who could speak of legalizing marijuana on a Friday and chat about oral sex on a Sunday while presidential candidates seek his endorsement?
And who is Pat Robertson endorsing? In 2007, he came out for Rudy Giuliani. In October of last year, he indicated that he wouldn’t be endorsing any candidate in the November 2012 election. But as recently as January 2012, Pat told his audience on the 700 Club broadcast.
“I think He showed me about the next president, but I’m not supposed to talk about that so I’ll leave you in the dark – probably just as well – but I think I know who it’s going to be.”
Pat has confided in all of us that President Obama is not his choice. If he reveals anymore about his talk with the Big Guy, I’ll be getting back to you when I find out.
And before I go, lest anyone be confused, I am not a Pat Robertson cheerleader. He is a divider, not a uniter. He spews hate and I find his positions on just about every topic to be polar opposite to my own, including but not limited to, his opinions on women, gay marriage, homosexuals, immigrants, religion, life, death and everything in between. And yet, he did a commercial with Reverend Al Sharpton on global warming, is speaking candidly about legalizing pot (although he does blame the liberals for their overly zealous laws against the poor pot growers) and now is openly speaking about oral sex albeit qualifying it repeatedly as between a man and a woman. Calculating or crazy? A bit of both perhaps.