Pat Robertson has made some eyebrow-raising remarks in recent years.
In 2010, the chairman of Christian Broadcast Network, the co-host of “The 700 Club,” told viewers that the island of Haiti had been devastated by an earthquake because, two centuries earlier, its people “swore a pact to the devil” to free themselves of French colonial rule.
According to Robertson, the devil said, “Okay, it’s a deal.” So with the evil one’s supernatural assistance, the Haitian people liberated themselves from their French overseers. “But, ever since,” Robertson added, the Haitians “have been cursed by one thing after another.”
Then there was last year, when Robertson responded to a viewer who called in to “The 700 Club,” who related that “a friend” whose wife has Alzheimer’s was “bitter at God” and had started an adulterous relationship with another woman.
“I certainly wouldn’t put a guilt trip on you,” Robertson told the viewer, “if you decided that you had to have companionship. “You’re lonely.” The former pastor advised the caller that his “friend” – wink, wink – “should divorce and start over.”
Now, there’s Robertson’s latest remark, published yesterday in the New York Times, in which the octogenarian advocates legalization of marijuana.
“I really believe,” he told the Times, “we should treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol. If people can go into a liquor store and buy a bottle of alcohol and drink it at home legally, then why do we say that the use of this other substance is somehow criminal?”
Robertson’s remarks suggest to me that he has lost the anointing God once gave him. Like Sampson when Delilah beguiled him into disclosing the secret of his superhuman strength. Like Saul whose kingship was taken away from him after he failed to obey the Almighty.
Robertson was wrong to suggest that the merciful God who “causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous” singled outHaition which to unleash His holy wrath, killing some 316,000 men, women and children.
He was wrong to tell the husband whose wife is afflicted with Alzheimer’s to kick her to the curb. To betray the vow he made before God to stand by his once-beloved wife in sickness or health, until death do them part.
And Robertson is wrong to advocate legalization of marijuana, which is a “gateway drug.” In fact, a study by the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University showed that adolescents who used marijuana were 85 times more likely to use cocaine than adolescents who abstained.
So, if marijuana is legalized, it almost certainly will lead to more hard core drug use. And no one in his right mind wants that.