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Good Riddance, Pat Robertson! — Poster of the Week

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

Lesbian Witchcraft

Digital print, 2020

Columbia, SC

Pat Robertson, television evangelist and founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) died on June 8th, at the age of 93. He hosted the long-running 700 Club daily show from 1966- 2021. The CBN platformed extremist, bigoted views and conspiracy theories that vilified those deemed sinful by Christian conservatives including feminists, liberals, the LGBTQ+ community, the Black Lives Matter movement, Palestinians, Jews, and Muslims.

Robertson founded CBN in 1961. Through The 700 Club, he tapped into the conservative anxieties du jour against the landscape of the changing times–the ‘60s counterculture, the Civil Rights movement, feminism, etc. As his influence grew, CBN began to include political news in its programming, preceding the FOX News network by half a century. Robertson mobilized viewers into voting for policies that aligned with Christian values and to denounce the perceived ills of progressive programs such as welfare and birth control. His oratorical and organizing skills helped his fan base grow, enabling CBN to go from a fledgling network to a million-dollar media company that is still popular to this day.

Despite his extremist views, Republican politicians pursued Robertson’s endorsement and financial support for their campaigns. While there were other popular television evangelists on the airwaves, Robertson was the most powerful. He was a major player in helping to elect Ronald Reagan and giving Republicans control of the Senate— the first time they had control of either congressional chamber since 1953.

By bridging the gap between politics and religion, Robertson helped make Christian conservatism central to the Republican Party. He inspired politicians such as U.S Representative Lauren Boebert, former governor Sarah Palin and Governor Ron DeSantis, and endorsed presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump, referring to the latter as a man ordained by God (...shudder).

In 1989, after a failed presidential run, Robertson founded the Christian Coalition to advocate for a “pro-family” agenda. In 1992, Robertson wrote a fundraising letter to supporters of the Christian Coalition to oppose the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the Iowa constitution that would have extended protections to women. According to The New York Times, Robertson’s letter described the E.R.A. as part of the “feminist agenda” which he described as "… a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."

CSPG’s Poster of the Week, made by an artist called Unlovely Frankenstein, places Robertson’s words against the backdrop of campy occult pulp art. By parodying the fire-and-brimstone nature of Robertson’s outrageous words and reducing them to lame pearl-clutching, it removes their power.

The irony of Robertson’s death during Pride month is a fitting exit for someone who promoted hateful propaganda against queer people for monetary and political gains throughout his career. In a year that has been marked by backlashes against the LGBTQ+ community through hate crimes, anti-trans bills and rights being taken away, Robertson’s passing is a small consolation as his influence unfortunately continues today. The nicest send-off we can pass along to him would be: Good riddance!

And let’s finally pass the ERA!



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