By Daniel Reynolds
Originally published on Advocate.com July 12 2013 1:24 PM ET
Pat Robertson, a televangelist who is often criticized for his comments on the LGBT community, told viewers of his conservative Christian news show 700 Club this week that he is not “antigay.”
The 84-year-old former minister clarified that he is very pleased with his “thousands” of gay fans that “want to have a better way.”
“I am very pleased that we have many, many, many homosexuals watching this program, and many of them are looking for love and acceptance and help,” said Robertson, implying that the conversion of gay men and women to heterosexuality is one of the show’s goals.
“And I’m glad to report that we have thousands of these people who are saying, ‘Yes, we want to follow Jesus, we’re not happy with the lifestyle we’re in, and we want to have a better way.’ So I think it’s wonderful that that’s happening. And I just think we’re not antigay or anti anything.”
To provide viewers with historical context, the former minister cited to the presence of same-sex attraction in Biblical scripture, stating that “homosexuality is nothing new. It was certainly going on in first-century Rome.” He then attributed its cause to child abuse and “chromosomal damage.”
“There are a lot of people who are into this homosexual thing because they’ve been abused by a parent, abused by a coach, abused by a sibling, abused by a friend, and, they’re little boys, they’re little girls. They don’t know any better,” Robertson said. “They somehow think, well, I must be gay. They’re not. They’re heterosexual. They just need to come out of that.”
Robertson also bemoaned the decision of Exodus International, the nation's most prominent "ex-gay" group, to close and reopen as a new ministry, but expressed confidence that "some other organization will rise up to help people who want out.”
The controversial speaker made headlines earlier this week when he remaked that seeing a picture of two men kissing on Facebook makes him physically ill, prompting him to wish that the social media platform had a "Vomit" button rather than a "Like" button.
Watch his remarks below.