Pat Robertson is taking heat over a claim he made about gay men. TheWeek reports that the host of "The 700 Club" said on the show that gay men with the AIDS virus wear special rings that cut victims and infect them with HIV. The claim prompted criticism from CNN’s Anderson Cooper and others.
Even Robertson’s own Christian Broadcasting Network, which was founded by Robertson in 1961, apparently thought he had gone too far and edited out the section of the show’s online broadcast. It also removed versions of the clip from YouTube, according to Right Wing Watch.
Cooper singled out the claim on his "Ridiculist" segment on Wednesday, TheWeek notes. Cooper compared Robertson to the crazy uncle you only see at Thanksgiving, and said he was surprised at the "baffling" claim because usually "Robertson’s thoughts on gay issues are well-thought-out and very well-articulated." (He went on to air a clip of Robertson’s statements on a variety of topics including demonic possession, the story says.)
The Huffington Post quotes Robertson saying during the discussion of AIDS and HIV on "The 700 Club": “There are laws now … I think the homosexual community has put these draconian laws on the books that prohibit people from discussing this particular affliction. You can tell somebody you had a heart attack, you can tell them they’ve got high blood pressure, but you can’t tell anybody you’ve got AIDS.
“You know what they do in San Francisco? Some in the gay community there, they want to get people. So if they got the stuff they’ll have a ring, you shake hands and the ring’s got a little thing where you cut your finger. Really. It’s that kind of vicious stuff, which would be the equivalent of murder.”