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An Open Letter to Pat Robertson from Dr. Mel White

(faxed to Robertson on 1/25/96)

Dear Pat,

There is a growing spirit of intolerance in our land. Since the 1600s, when fundamentalist Christians chased Roger Williams to Rhode Island and burned 'witches' at the stake in Salem, similar cycles of intolerance have littered the nation with broken bodies and ruined dreams. Now, it's happening again. And that's why we're writing you.

We are convinced that your relentless campaign against homosexuality is a primary cause of the growing spirit of intolerance towards lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans. We have monitored every 700 Club broadcast since you came to visit me in the Virginia Beach City Jail in March, 1995. And though you condemn violence, we are also convinced that your false and inflammatory anti-homosexual rhetoric leads indirectly to the very violence you condemn.

On February 5, in Virginia Beach, we will present to the media and to the general public a sixty minute video tape of blatantly intolerant statements made by you and your guests on recent broadcasts of the 700 Club. Since you have not responded to our invitations to meet with you to discuss this matter privately, we are asking thoughtful Americans to look at this video tape and decide for themselves. However, you, too, are invited to view and discuss the videos with us. You or your representative will have the opportunity to defend your case in the midst of a frank and open discussion of this question: Is Pat Robertson's anti-homosexual campaign a primary source of the intolerance being experienced by gays, lesbians, and bisexuals in America; and how should we respond to his anti-homosexual campaign? Following our February 5 discussion, we will be sending the video tape of your anti-homosexual remarks, a transcript of the tape's contents, and an official petition of complaint to the F.C.C. asking commissioners to decide if you should be censured for your intolerance.

In all fifty states, the TV stations and cable systems that carry the 700 Club will receive the video, the transcript, and similar petitions of complaint from local clergy and lay leaders. Again, we will ask those managers to decide if you should be censored for your intolerance. We are also sending video and transcript copies to the national media, to editorial writers and publishers, to the President, to leaders of the Senate and the House, to the Chairs of the National Governor's and the National Mayor's Conferences, to the US Council of Catholic Bishops, the National Council of Churches, the National Association of Evangelicals and to other clergy and lay leaders across America.

We are asking that each person or organization who receives the tape look at it carefully and decide for themselves: Should Pat Robertson be censured for his intolerance? At this moment, you are threatening lawsuits against any local station that airs the P-FLAG ads that demonstrate your intolerant anti-homosexual campaign. Parents, Friends, and Families of Lesbians and Gays produced those two public service spots because they were alarmed by the growing hate crimes against their own children. They don't blame you for those hate crimes. But they do blame your anti-gay rhetoric for helping to create the hostile climate in which those hate crimes are committed.

On that P-FLAG spot you say: "Homosexuality is an abomination. Many of those people involved with Adolf Hitler were Satanists, many of them were homosexuals. The two things seem to go together." You said those words, Pat, on the 700 Club. You didn't show pictures of the Christian churches in Germany goose-stepping with the Third Reich. You didn't talk about the innocent European gays and lesbians who died in Hitler's concentration camps. You didn't tell of the brave homosexuals who fought and died to protect your freedom during that bloody world war against the Axis Powers. You were so caught up in half-truth and hyperbole that you missed the truth completely. And on February 5, we will show that you continue to miss the truth in your relentless, irresponsible, and intolerant campaign against us. If you knew that a factory was pouring toxic pollution into your beloved Chesapeake Bay, you would send a TV crew to investigate and report immediately. We are convinced that a toxic stream of anti-homosexual intolerance is flowing out of your CBN/700 Club studios in Virginia Beach, helping to pollute the nation's moral environment. Again, we appeal to you. Hear our case. Reason with us. Help us stem that flow.

You are sincere, Pat, but you are sincerely wrong about homosexuality. Your intolerant words and actions are harming God's gay and lesbian children. Again, I must quote Jesus's warning: "Whoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea."

Sincerely,

Mel White


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