Ten Ways You Can Respond with Truth to Pat Robertson's Rhetoric
Most Americans don't even know that the popular, G-rated Family Channel
was founded by televangelist Pat Robertson and is run by his son, Tim, as
a very profitable "outreach" of Pat's non-profit Christian Broadcasting
The Virginian-Pilot reported (Feb. 12) that Fox and other communication
giants would pay as much as $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion for Pat's media
empire that controls MTM Entertainment ("Hill Street Blues" to
"The Mary Tyler Moore Show"), the Ice Capades, a chain of live-music
theaters, TV programming in Asia, Latin America, and a British version of
the Family Channel.
Carried by cable into approximately 70 million U.S. homes, Family Channel
programming seems innocent enough with its steady diet of popular movies
and TV series reruns ("Three Stooges," "Waltons," "Highway
to Heaven"), but three times every day a full hour of toxic waste flows
into that polluted programming stream. Once in the morning and twice at
night, the Family Channel repeats Pat's daily "700 Club" with
its false and inflammatory attacks on lesbian and gay Americans.
On January 7, 1997, for example, Robertson claimed that the two biggest
problems in America are "homosexuality and abortion." He caricatured
people who support gay rights as a "malevolent force pushing this agenda
"that is perverse and evil."
For six years we have carefully monitored Robertson's anti-homosexual obsession.
For two years we tried to meet with Pat privately, to help him understand
how his campaign leads to discrimination, suffering and death for God's
lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered children. When he refused to see
us privately, we took our case against him to the public.
On Valentine's day, 1995, when we tried to visit Pat's office with flowers,
candy, and our written case against him, I was arrested and held in punitive
isolation in the Virginia Beach city jail for twenty-one days while I waited
for a meeting with Pat. After spending a few minutes with me in a surprise,
late night visit, he told his "700 Club" viewers "we abhor
violence against homosexuals," but in the next twelve months Pat continued
his anti-homosexual campaign that leads directly and indirectly to the very
violence he "abhors." That campaign continues today.
On February 14, 1996, when he refused to meet with us again, my partner,
Gary Nixon, and I rented a hotel conference room across from his headquarters
in Virginia Beach and invited the media to see a 30 minute tape we had prepared
showing outrageous examples of his rhetoric and our response. In the last
year, more than 2,000 copies of that video, "The Rhetoric of Intolerance,"
have been seen in individual homes, schools, libraries, churches, synagogues,
P-FLAG meetings and on public access television to help people sample Pat's
dangerous rhetoric and to prepare their own response.
Now, it's 1997, time again to present our annual Valentine to Pat. The "soul
force" principles of Jesus, Gandhi, and King are clear: We must continue
to present the truth in love relentlessly until Robertson, millions of his
TV followers, and the 1.7 million political activists in his Christian Coalition
see the light.
Here's how you can send a Valentine to Pat and help end his tragic, "700
Club" anti-gay/lesbian campaign.
1. Find the Family Channel (FAM) in your TV guide and decide for yourself
if you want to go on watching (and thus supporting) the channel that Pat
uses in his attempts to turn the country against us. Remember, Pat's words
were used against us on the floor of the U.S. House and Senate during the
DOMA debate and they trickle down to help create the hostile climate that
has found us among the primary victims of hate crimes all across America.
2. Warn families and friends (especially parents with children) that there
are "700 Club" wolves hiding among the Family Channel sheep. Viewing
Robertsonís Family Channel can be dangerous to the mental health
of children and adults alike. After listening to Pat and his staff caricature
and condemn us, it's no wonder so many young lesbians and gays (especially
those in religious homes) live in lonely closets of guilt and fear or even
take their own lives.
3. Call your local cable operator and share your concern. You'll be amazed
at how much impact one call can have on a local cable system. And if you
ask enough of your friends to call, you might see the Family Channel disappear
from your screen. If not, ask local cable management to view our "Rhetoric
of Intolerance" video* and then broadcast it on a public access channel
to give us an equal opportunity to respond to the false charges against
4. Watch the Family Channel just long enough to write down 2-3 of the regular
sponsors 800 numbers or home pages and call or e-mail your concern. Most
sponsors don't know that their dollars help keep Pat Robertson's anti-homosexual
campaign on the air. Tell Keebler, Lysol, Campbell's, Dr.Schoolís,
Hormel, Magnavox, Pillsbury, Jenny Craig, Jeep, Betty Crocker, Chrysler,
Disney, Columbia, Von's, Heath Bar, etc. They need to know.
5. Share your honest concern directly with Pat at his CBN
home page - or at his Family Channel
homepage - http://www.familychannel.com/
Then, tell them what you think in the spirit of Gandhi and King's soul
force, "truth in love relentlessly."
6. Contact the Federal Communication's
Commission with your concerns. The commissioners regulate public broadcasting
and need to know how you feel about Robertsonís anti-homosexual campaign.
7. If you know anyone, - producers, actors, directors, executives - at Fox,
Disney, Universal, Columbia-Tristar, or the other film and TV production
houses, remind them that doing business with Pat's Family Channel hurts
8. If you want to stay informed about the dangerous words and actions of
Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, and their Christian Coalition, e-mail Paula X
at Watch97@aol.com to get on her informative
and "undercover" CCWatch list.
9. Check regularly with our own JusticeNET
home page for new information about Pat Robertson's Family Channel and how
you can help silence the rhetoric.
10. Too many Americans have never seen the anti-homosexual extremists in
action. Our "Rhetoric of Intolerance" video* includes 35 of Pat's
most outrageous recent statements, (not just against lesbians and gays,
but against "militant feminists," Muslim Americans and others
on Pat's enemy list). Order a copy and use it with your friends and family,
to see for themselves what the extremists are saying and how we can respond
Remember, with all the gains we've made, our sisters and brothers are still
being discarded by their families, evicted from them homes, fired from their
jobs, excommunicated by their churches, hunted down and hounded out of the
military, harassed, beaten and murdered by bullies simply because they're
lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered.
Pat Robertson's Family Channel is a primary source of the false and
inflammatory misinformation that leads to all this hatred against us. We
can't sit by and refuse to confront the untruth when it leads to so much
suffering. We must respond with truth in love relentlessly.
*It ís OK to make copies of our "Rhetoric of Intolerance"
video and give them
away, but if you don't have access to a copy already in circulation, send
check for $5.55 (to cover our costs for duplicating, packaging, and mailing
the video and a Userís Guide) to VIDEO, P.O. Box 4467, Laguna Beach,
92652. This not-for-profit video has proven to be a powerful tool in shocking
people awake and in preparing them to respond more effectively to the
anti-homosexual misinformation when they are confronted by it.