One of the problems with public perceptions about crazed TV preacher Pat Robertson is that most perceive him as just a crazed TV preacher. He’ll go on his crazed daily television show (The 700 Club), offer crazed commentary just about everything, and then make crazed rationalizations for his lunacy. The media marvels at his madness, but generally overlooks the bigger problem: Robertson laid out an ambitious agenda years ago, and he’s succeeding.
Thanks to the prosecutor purge scandal, and former Alberto Gonzales aide Monica Goodling’s role in it, the public is learning about Robertson’s Regent University, which, as Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick noted, is doing exactly what it set out to do.
Goodling is only one of 150 graduates of Regent University currently serving in this administration, as Regent’s Web site proclaims proudly, a huge number for a 29-year-old school. Regent estimates that “approximately one out of every six Regent alumni is employed in some form of government work.” And that’s precisely what its founder desired. The school’s motto is “Christian Leadership To Change the World,” and the world seems to be changing apace. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft teaches at Regent, and graduates have achieved senior positions in the Bush administration. The express goal is not only to tear down the wall between church and state in America (a “lie of the left,” according to Robertson) but also to enmesh the two.
A recently released Pew Research Center Report on Trends in Political Values and Core Attitudes: 1987-2007 (122 page .pdf) proclaims in full caps “POLITICAL LANDSCAPE MORE FAVORABLE TO DEMOCRATS” and Salon Magazine is running a story about “How Bush helped the GOP commit suicide“.
Meanwhile, Pat Robertson is raising the specter of a religious takeover of the U.S. government, Rick Scarborough is organizing “Patriot Pastors,” and a former Navy Seal with deep ties to the Dominionist Right has used his half-billion dollar inheritance to build “the world’s most powerful mercenary army.”
Dark clouds are gathering over the political landscape of this country.