Televangelist Pat Robertson recently made headlines for suggesting that homosexuality may be driven by "demonic possession." In recent years, Robertson has labeled a wide (and frequently bizarre) range of things as demonic, including: feng shui, yoga, karate, horoscopes, Twilight, paintings of Buddha, television shows about ghosts, Halloween, psychics, young girls levitating their friends at sleepovers, and (sometimes) adopted children from other countries.
Paintings Of Buddha Can Be Infected With "Demon Prayers" And Give You Headaches
Last year, a man wrote to The 700 Club worried that his niece's painting of Buddha amounted to idolatry. Robertson said that it certainly did, and that you "don't know what kind of demonic power is attached to that." Explaining that he didn't want to get "super spiritual on this thing," Robertson nevertheless advised that he would "take that statue of Buddha or picture of Buddha and set it on fire." The conversation continued, with Robertson describing how people can attach "demon prayers" to things like paintings of Buddha, and they can give you headaches and lead to marital strife:
TERRY MEEUWSEN (CO-HOST): I watch Home & Garden Television and that's a very common thing for people to decorate with now. And I'm mystified by it. Because it is a false God.
ROBERTSON: Some of these things they actually - they have demon prayers. And people, they bring one of these things into their homes and all of a sudden they start getting headaches and they start having marital discord and they say, "what's the matter?" You've brought a demonic - the demon has attached itself to this piece of artwork. You just don't need these. (The 700 Club, 4/4/11)
Horoscopes Are "Demonic" And "Satanic"
Responding to a viewer question in 2009, Robertson, who has attacked horoscopes for their demonic influence several times over the years, warned of their "Satanic pull":
ROBERTSON: They are demonic. They come out of the Satanic type of activity. And you don't want to deal with horoscopes. They're basically phony, but what's left of them is, it has a Satanic pull to it. (The 700 Club, 6/16/09)
Feng Shui Is "At Best Demonic"
In April 2010, Robertson told viewers that he once invited a "feng shui expert" to arrange the office of an internet company he founded in China, but "the business went broke." He added: "You don't want to fool with that stuff. It is at best demonic, at worst it's just superstition." (The 700 Club, 4/15/10)
Some Martial Artists Gain Strength By "Inhaling Some Demon Spirits"
In November 2007, a viewer asked Robertson whether it was okay to accept a job teaching martial arts. Robertson posited that while some uses of martial arts can be helpful (as evidenced by Chuck Norris helping "ghetto" kids through martial arts), it can also be very dangerous. Why? Because, according to Robertson, some martial artists gain their strength from a "demonic source" by "inhaling some demon spirits." (The 700 Club, 11/26/07)
Yoga Is Probably Demonic, But Tai Chi Is Safe
Responding to a viewer question about whether it is permissible for a Christian to enroll in Tai Chi classes, Robertson explained:
ROBERTSON: I don't think it is of any demonic - I think it may be deist in origin. But in any event, that's the idea. Chi is the life force, and so you're stimulating the life force. Beyond that - there's some of these things - I mean, yoga, I think, and some of these mantras you say definitely have Buddhist and sometimes demonic origins. I don't think Tai Chi does. (The 700 Club, 4/19/06)
Psychics Get Their Power From Demons
In 2006, a viewer asked whether it was ok to listen to a TV psychic that claims to be a Christian. Robertson's response? Don't do it, because psychics get their power from demons: "I don't believe any of these so-called psychics have something that doesn't come from demons." (The 700 Club, 7/18/06)
Twilight Is "Demonic" And "Evil"
Robertson has little patience for films and shows about ghosts, vampires, and other supernatural subjects. Earlier this year, Robertson explained that the Twilight film series is "demonic" and "evil," and watching movies like that amounts to "opening the door to demonic power" and giving "permission" to demons. (The 700 Club, 2/9/12)
Adopted Children From Other Countries May Bring "Demonic Influences" With Them
In May 2010, The 700 Club ran a long segment highlighting a Christian family that had adopted two young children from Uganda. The segment discussed the growing trend of Christian families taking in orphans from around the world (including highlighting CBN's own organization dedicated to helping orphans). Though the story seemed heartwarming, Robertson followed it with a warning for viewers.
After explaining that people need to understand that adopting a child is a commitment for life and not "like you are having a dog and you can drop him off at the pound," Robertson had a second, much stranger warning about adopting children: "If they have demonic influences - if they have some, you know, per-practer of the dark arts in their background, you never can tell what's going to come out." (The 700 Club, 5/20/10)
Girls Levitating Friends At Sleepovers Are Entering A "Demonic Realm"
Responding to a viewer wondering if he made the right decision by not joining his friends at a palm reading at a local carnival, Robertson agreed it was a smart decision and ran down his usual list of occult practices, including (yet again) Ouija boards, tarot cards, and horoscopes. He proceeded to retell a common urban legend about levitation at a sleepover, which he said had happened "not too far from here." The girls in question, Robertson explained, had entered a "spiritual, demonic realm."
ROBERTSON: These little girls - I think a group out in town, not too far from here - they were having one of these sleepovers and they started doing this séance business and the next thing you know, one of them was levitating and it scared them to death. Because these things are real. This isn't -- It starts out as play, but they're moving into a spiritual, demonic realm. (The 700 Club, 10/31/06)
Shows About Ghost Hunters Are "Clearly Demonic"
Last year, Robertson told a viewer that, while it is not necessarily a sin to watch ghost hunting shows, "why would you be dealing with something that is clearly demonic - and it is demonic." Transitioning for no apparent reason into his personal history reading horoscopes, Robertson reiterated his belief that horoscopes are demonic. He continued, "You can feel almost a spiritual pull into these things, and I think they are activated by Satan himself." (The 700 Club, 3/8/11)
Halloween Is A "Celebration Of Demonic Forces"
A few days before Halloween in 2009, Pat Robertson labeled Halloween a "celebration of the devil" and a "celebration of demonic forces." Robertson dismissed people that think Halloween is "harmless" and compared it to dabbling with demons by using Ouija boards or "levitation."
ROBERSTON: Ouija boards aren't harmless. Séances aren't harmless. All the things that people do - and a lot of young people just get their kicks out of having a Ouija board little cursor that travels across the board and answers some questions. And they have levitation. Some kids prayed and they get levitated - and all kinds of stuff that happens. Is it real? Yes, it's real. But where does it come from? It comes from demons. It comes from demonic forces. (The 700 Club, 10/29/09)
- Pat Robertson