IFAS | Freedom Writer | July/August 1999 | pat.html

Pat Robertson update

Robertson denied funding

On July 30th 1999, a Richmond, Virginia judge denied Regent University a request for $55 million in tax-free bonds. Founded by Pat Rob-ertson, the school wanted the bond proceeds to pay for construction on its Virginia Beach campus and a satellite campus in Alexandria.

The judge denied the request on the grounds that Regent University is a "pervasively sectarian" institution "whose primary purpose is religious training."

"This is an important ruling that reaffirms the doctrine of the separation of church and state," stated Kent Willis, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (VA), which opposed the bond proposal on behalf of Virginia voters.

Robertson blessed

A two-year inquiry into Pat Robertson's Operation Blessing has concluded that the humanitarian organization is guilty of sloppy bookkeeping. However, the state of Virginia won't take any action against the group.

In 1997, The Virginian-Pilot revealed that Robertson had used two of his nonprofit group's planes to haul equipment for a diamond mine he owns in Africa. After the story came out, Robertson reimbursed Operation Blessing $400,000. As a result of the story, the Virginia Attorney General's office launched an investigation into Operation Blessing.

Virginia's Attorney General is Mark Earley. Pat Robertson was Earley's largest contributor in his 1997 campaign for Attorney General. Nevertheless, Earley claims that he played no role in the probe and its final decision.

Robertson supports hit men

On his August 10th "700 Club" television show, Pat Robertson said the US should kill world leaders it doesn't like. He called for a change in US foreign policy to include the assassination of foreign leaders.

"I know it sounds somewhat Machiavellian and evil, to think that you could send a squad in to take out somebody like Osama bin Laden, or to take out the head of North Korea," Robertson said. "But isn't it better to do something like that, to take out Milosevic, to take out Saddam Hussein, rather than to spend billions and billions of dollars on a war that harms innocent civilians and destroys the infrastructure of a country? It would just seem so much more practical to have that flexibility."

"As a Christian, Pat should ask himself, what would Jesus do?" said Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. "In my Bible, Jesus never said anything about assassinating heads of state. Forget schools and courthouses, maybe we should post the Ten Commandments in Robertson's office."

Robertson in a dark place

In June, Pat Robertson resigned as a company director for Laura Ashley, the British fashion retailer. His resignation came in the wake of the Bank of Scotland's cancellation of a multi-million dollar banking venture with Robertson. This happened after he called Scotland a "dark place" where "you can't believe how strong the homosexuals are." The remark was broadcast on his "700 Club" television program.

© 1999 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.