Christian TV Giant Dies at 93

( – Pat Robertson, the legendary Christian broadcaster who was credited with making the subject of religion a key part of Republican politics, died earlier this month at the age of 93.

He ran for the office of President in 1988, finishing ahead of George H. W. Bush in the Iowa caucuses, and developed what was largely seen as a pioneering strategy for gaining support from evangelical churches in Iowa. Thirty-five years later, Republicans still make a point of trying to win over Iowa’s evangelical churches as part of their campaign strategy.

He also insisted that millions of followers across the US should sign petitions before he ran for President, which contributed to an enormous database of support from which he was able to draw during his run for the Presidency. He created the Christian Coalition following his experience and later endorsed George H. W. Bush, who eventually won the presidential race.

He founded the Christian Broadcasting Network, which became a global phenomenon following its humble beginnings as part of a local TV station in Virginia. His “700 Club” television show captured the imagination of millions of Americans and brought religion back to the mainstream of American politics. He also founded an evangelical Christian school called Regent University, located in Virginia Beach, and helped to defend the First Amendment rights of religious people through his American Centre for Law and Justice.

He frequently generated controversy with his comments, both as a commentator and as a minister. He asserted that some Protestant denominations “harbored the spirit of the Anti-Christ” and denounced Islam as “Satanic” and Hinduism as “demonic.” He strongly condemned left-wing views on abortion, homosexuality, and feminism, called for the assassination of Venezuela’s dictator Hugo Chavez, and described the Israeli PM Ariel Sharon’s ill-health as “an act of God.”

He reserved most of his ire for liberal college professors, whom he regarded as “the root of all evil.”

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