Evangelical leader Pat Robertson said on Friday, more than 50 years after he led a program that led Christian conservatism to millions of American homes and renamed him a common name. He said he had resigned as the organizer of the 700 Club.
“It was a great run,” Robertson said at the show, adding that his son Gordon Robertson would take over the host.
Robertson, 91, announced at the end of Friday, the 60th anniversary of the Christian broadcast network that Robertson started at a small train station in Portsmouth, Virginia, in 1961.
The “700 Club” was born out of a series of telethons that Robertson began hosting in 1963 to save the network from financial problems. At the time, Robertson said he couldn’t afford the set of offices that the network added to the station.
“I was kneeling down and praying with the staff,” Robertson said on Friday. “I needed $ 200,000, and I was praying for money.”
At that time, Mr Robertson said that Jesus appeared to him with a “vision for the world.”
“Our job was not just to pay the invoice, but to reach the world,” he said.
The network has launched a telethon and has asked 700 viewers to promise the station $ 10 a month. That effort influenced the name of “The 700 Club”.
The show transformed evangelization, moving away from script preaching and tent resurrection records, and turning it into a cozy talk show format where Robertson discusses topics such as nutrition, relationships, marriage, and politics. Said. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Akron.
Evangelical Christians have long used the stories of selfish people saved by the teachings of Jesus as a way to spread the gospel and gain believers. According to Dr. Green, Robertson’s show featured “a very vivid presentation of these testimonies” and captivated the audience.
“It was through the success of the 700 Club that he was able to have a real impact on politics,” he said.
Robertson interviewed President Ronald Reagan, Shimon Peres, the former Prime Minister of Israel, and other world leaders. In 1988, he ran for Republican presidential candidate and finished a strong second place in a premiere performance that emphasized the potential for organizing evangelical Christians.
Throughout the show, Mr Robertson “helped to solidify the alliance between conservative Christians and Republicans,” Dr. Green said.
The show also provided Robertson with a regular platform for blaming gay people and Muslims. He often quoted passages in the Bible in a soft and gentle voice to justify the statements that infuriated Arab-American and gay rights groups.
In 2002, he described Islam as a violent religion that wanted to “dominate and destroy it if necessary.”
In 2013, viewers sent a letter to the show asking what Facebook users should do when they see a photo of two men kissing. “I would hit” vomiting “instead of” like “,” Robertson said.
He dismissed feminism as “a socialist and anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.”
He once told the story of a “terrible-looking” woman who complained to the minister that her husband had begun to drink in large quantities. Mr Robertson said the minister had told her that it was likely because she gained weight and ignored her hair.
“We need to foster romance, loved ones,” said Robertson. He blamed natural disasters and terrorism on moral and spiritual failure. In 2012, after a deadly tornado struck the South and Midwest, Robertson said God would have intervened “if enough people were praying.”
He also made comments that surprised both his followers and critics.
In 2011, Robertson said a man whose wife had Alzheimer’s disease should be able to divorce her and find a new partner. The following year, he called for the legalization of marijuana, stating that “the war on drugs was unsuccessful.”
“I believe in moving people and not trapping them,” he said.
During Friday’s broadcast, the show avoided Robertson’s splitting comments.
Instead, I saw a clip of Robertson embracing diversity. The program appointed Rev. Benkinchirov, a black minister, as co-host of Mr. Robertson in 1975, when there were few black television presenters. Another clip shows Mr Robertson asking President Donald J. Trump if a woman in his cabinet earns the same income as a man.
Robertson said he told his son to expect him to return to the show from time to time.
“If I receive a revelation from the Lord, I will call you,” he said. “I sometimes participate as a commentator and as a senior commentator.”