The Great Senile Spirit Has Spoken. Pat Robertson has taken an ex-gay/born-again odyssey and crafted a story of demonic possession. Over two years ago, Pat Robertson's mental capacity was questioned when he posited that disaster-stricken Haiti had signed a pact with the devil. He has, of course, come out with similar pronouncements leading both sides of the culture to dismiss him as senile.* So it should come as no surprise that his latest revelation - that homosexuality is really the result of demonic possession - has been met with a certain amount of amusement.
But some people aren't laughing.
Of course, Robertson has his die-hard fans, that group of elderly living in nursing homes, touching their screens when Pat is on, hoping he'll cure them of their hemorrhoids. His demonizing of gays to this group is almost meaningless since most of them don't have the strength or wherewithal to wield a baseball bat or pull a trigger. But it's the rest of his outer circle, the ones who enable bullying in schools, the ones who need to believe in a "homosexual agenda", the ones who actively follow the likes of Bryan Fischer and Lou Engle - they are the ones from whom we must suffer silence in fear of lives.
Demonizing in America has become a sport at which certain people have become incredibly adept and truly bold: the ones who eschew the machinations of Fred Phelps support and embellish the homophobia of Rick Santorum and Rick Perry. Tony Perkins remonstrates against dreaded "homosexual activists" almost weekly on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews. The American Family Association calls for boycotts against any retailers supporting gay rights (the latest, being Starbucks and JC Penney) because homosexuals are "destroying" the American family.**
"Spirit of Death"
Perhaps the most harmful thing about Robertson's latest ruminations is that he uses a black "ex-gay" man to tell his story about how his "addiction" brought out misery for his family and how he was saved by "faith." The man's testimony seems harmless enough until he comes to equate his faith to the "Spirit of Life" and homosexuality to the "Spirit of Death." Yes, he actually uses those words, and in doing so becomes a fully adept demonizer on Robertson's program, enabling black ministers ala Eddie Long to preach against the "demon-possessed" gay lifestyle. The man also depicts his own life as simply one filled with deceit and online sexual hook-ups, a mass of guilt and devoid of any real affection to any of the men he experienced. In other words, homosexuality is just one mass of demonic lust.***
Enabler Of The Worst Sort
Of course, besides demonizing (literally) an entire community in one fell swoop, Robertson also became an exorcist-enabler. Horror stories abound concerning gay youth and even older men and lesbians being put through hell - often against their will - in order to "cast out" the demons driving their sexual urges and their orientation (see one below). He has became a staunch supporter of those people who for the sake of their own perversions of righteousness, torture to the point of irreparable psychological damage. He has become an enabler of Hell Houses and their "demonic" portrayal of same-sex weddings. He has even become an enabler of bullying, since most gay teens are taunted with "you're going to hell."
It is unfortunate that throughout his barely lucid ramblings, Robertson keeps harping at what is "wrong" without stopping to think that what he is doing might be wrong.
Such is the bliss of senility.
* He has reversed his previous stance on marijuana, calling for its legalization, and setting off a chorus of WTF!?s across the nation's Bible Belt and beyond. ** As if it needed any impetus. ***Certainly sounds like partner material to me!
Rev. Dan Vojir is has been writing/blogging on religion and politics for the better part of ten years. A former radio talk show host (Strictly Books " Talk America Radio Network) and book publisher, Dan has connected with some of the most (more...)