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Citizens of Character Must Get Involved

Synopsis: In this speech, Pat chronicles the undermining of integrity and of confidence in absolutes in America and urges people of faith to get involved. He concludes that Evangelical Christians have a "date with destiny."

National Religious Broadcasters, Feb. 5, 1986

The Bible says despise not the day of small things (Zechariah 4:9-10). How could we have imagined that tiny voice which barely reached around the community we lived in would one day be a signal that would one day take us all around the world by satellite and we would have all these millions of people on cable? How could we have dreamed 25 years ago that it would grow into what we see now?

Small Beginnings

Some of you right now in this organization are just starting out. We had initial capital of 70 dollars. Our first year's operating expenses for our TV station was $8,000 for the year. The second year we added the radio we had $20,000 total income. In the old days you made due with what you had, and you believed God, and it just seemed that there would never be anything else.

While we were growing, you were growing. We were all adding a voice around this nation. It was a quiet voice. It wasn't taken very seriously. But back then, they didn't have organizations like People for the American Way saying what a danger we were to America. The fact is, nobody could hear us so they didn't think we were a danger to anybody.

While we were growing we were just like children, and this nation was going through some growth of its own. It wasn't very healthy growth. It was in the early '60s that the Supreme Court determined that prayer couldn't be dictated. A year later they said you couldn't read the Bible anymore in schools. Not too long after that I learned of the horrifying news that our President had been shot in Dallas, and I began to broadcast that across our radio station to tell the shocked audience that there had been an assassination.

Then I sat by and watched, as you did, as we saw this nation plunge into a terrible war that drained our energies and our finances: $150 billion spent and 45- 50,000 of our men died in a no-win war. It didn't just take the lives and the treasures of this nation, it took the will and the resolve of this nation away and let us go into a battle that left scars that we are still having to deal with.

War Undermined Unity

Suddenly, the young were pitted against the old and the husbands against the wives; the women against the men. The authority of the educators was pitted against the students. The blacks were pitted against the whites. There was rioting, revolution, revolts, anarchy in our streets, as people were protesting what seemed to be a foolish war. I want to tell you something about war, ladies and gentlemen, war is hell. There is one thing you don't do with war -- if you are going to get into war, get in to win, and if you are not going to win, don't play with the lives of American boys.

I watched, as you watched, as Watergate unfolded -- the terrible scandal that brought down a president that was elected by almost the largest landslide in history. We watched at the same time the Supreme Court begin to run wild with the liberties of our people. When the American Civil Liberties Union linked up with liberal judges, they decided they would usurp the role of the legislature to the fifty states and would do for the people what the people refused to do for themselves.

Along with that, they began to legitimatize the sexual revolution we had and said, "Well, you are free, sexually, now of the bondage of Christianity and the bondage of the strictures of religious beliefs." Now, if you are going to do that, what you will have is the product of conception. It's not a baby, it's a fetus. It's a blob of tissue and it can be done away with. Despite reason, despite law, despite common sense, and despite the legislative acts of all 50 states, the Supreme Court determined that the slaughter of the innocent in America was now law and there could be no voice against it in the land.

Family Assaulted

Over the decade of the '70s, we saw a breakdown of the family like we have never seen in this century. You might be interested to know that divorces have gone up 700 percent in our century and the majority of that divorce rate went up during the 1970s. Before it was over it was said that this country was ungovernable.

It was said that we could not hold on because we did not have the will and the resolve any longer because of Vietnam. Then we surrendered to Communists in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Angola, and Nicaragua. Everywhere we looked the enemies of the United States and those who claimed to be atheists were on the attack.

It seemed as if this nation was being fragmented by indecision, lack of resolve and moral decay. Suddenly those of us who had been broadcasting began to do something. We said "Enough!" Some of the other Evangelicals, some of our Catholic friends, and those from every walk of life from all 50 states came to Washington in 1985 -- 100,000 people. We fasted and we prayed and we said, "God Almighty, we must have revival in America lest we perish."

God Almighty heard and God Almighty answered. He sent a change in government. He sent a change in perception. He sent a change in attitude. But I want you to know something; it isn't finished yet. We still have crime. We still have a million babies a year slaughtered since Roe vs. Wade. By the end of this century, we will have 40 million children slaughtered. And we talk about the butchery of the Communists, the Nazis, Genghis Khan, and other savages in history. We've exceeded them all here in a civilized Christian country.

Not only are we turning on the unborn, we are turning on the born. I served on the President's Commission on Victim's Rights. According to the Attorney General, one out of every four children in America is a victim of sexual abuse before he or she reaches 10 or 12 years old.

Schools Are Jungles

In this country, the educational level is so appalling that our schools have become jungles. The Attorney General says there are 250,000 violent crimes in our schools every single month. Our schools are the most dangerous place to be, besides perhaps the mother's womb, which is now the most dangerous of all. Beyond that, school, which is a place of learning and moral teaching, has become an absolute zoo. Now the crimes are assault with a deadly weapon, narcotic possession, and narcotic distribution. About 50 percent of all our young people have tried marijuana. Twenty to thirty percent have tried cocaine. There are about 23 million cocaine users in the country. The price of cocaine every year in America is $90 billion. The total handle for all drugs is $110 billion. The price of alcohol in America, where there is increasing incidence of teenage alcoholism, is up to probably $37 billion.

The family is broken up so badly that there are now 13 million children who are living with only one of their parents because the divorce rate is such that one out of every two new marriages formed breaks up. You'll be shocked to learn, as I was, that in the black community, 55 percent of all the births are to single women.

I was reading in the Journal of Family and Culture an article by Armond Nicoli, who is a distinguished professor of psychology from Harvard University. What he had to say was so astounding that I thought I would share a few of those words with you because it will tell us all something. According to Professor Nicoli, he said three decades ago the World Health Organization made this statement: "What is believed to be essential for mental health is that the infant and young child should experience a warm, intimate and continuous relation with his mother." And he said the studies taken as a whole paint an unmistakably clear picture of the adverse effects of parental absence.

Parental Love Essential

He mentions one particular study of a number of cases from 1943 to 1946 which shows that the absence of a mother and an inadequate mother substitute cause profound physical and psychological retardation. That lead to these infants having an extremely high incidence of physical and psychological morbidity. Of the 90 infants studied by this particular researcher, 37 percent died within two years because they had been deprived of mother or father.

And beyond the mother, he said, when a child is separated from its parents permanently, and not provided adequate substitute care, the infant becomes visibly distressed and is subject to high risk for both physical and psychological disturbances in development.

When a child is separated from its mother unwillingly, even for brief periods, the child shows distress and when placed of a strange environment and cared for by a succession of strange people, the distress becomes intense.

He then goes on to say, and this is extremely interesting, that when a father is not present in the home, the following happens: Low motivation for achievement, inability to defer immediate gratification for later rewards, low self-esteem, susceptibility to group influence and to juvenile delinquency. The absent father tends to have passive, effeminate, dependent sons, lacking in achievement, motivation, and independence. Dr. Nicoli says that all of these studies are well known, but he said, and I quote, "apparently as a society we refuse to accept findings that demand a radical change in our lifestyle."

The Bible is Accurate

Ladies and gentlemen, I want to tell you that the Bible is accurate. Educationally, psychologically, sociologically, in every way. The doctrine that has been foisted on us by the humanists, by those who have no knowledge of God, is flawed and is wrong and it's sinful. And make no mistake about it, fornication is wrong and the begetting of children out of wedlock with a father who does not care for them will not only destroy the father who does such a thing, but will permanently condemn an entire generation to second class citizenship.

And that's what we're having in our society now. There are alarming incidences of young people with no motivation whatsoever, with no hope, no desire. They just wander around. They hang out on the street corners. Why? There is no proper figure. There oftentimes is an overworked, harried mother who is trying to look after them, or, in many cases, the mother is forced to work, and she can't be at home with the children at all. No father figure, and the breakup of the home is having permanent damage in our society.

Now the Bible says it very clearly. God says, and I quote from Malachi, "I hate divorce." God says adultery is one of the things forbidden by the Ten Commandments. But we are laughed at these days as "blue noses" if we tell people that. "Oh, come on, you're old-fashioned. You're a fuddy-duddy." And we find in our schools an inculcation of values that is totally contrary to our Judeo-Christian tradition.

"Family" Redefined

I also read a study by a Professor Paul Vitz from NYU -- a rather extensive study of 40 textbooks representing 70 percent of all the texts that are currently in use in the public school systems of the United States of America, social studies, grades one through four. You will find this interesting definition of a family -- "...the people you live with." The word "marriage," the word "bride," the word "groom," the word "wedding" never appear one time in all of the social studies textbooks being studied by 70 percent of the children in the United States of America.

And on top of that, Professor Vitz said there is not one single, primary reference to contemporary religious experience in any of those textbooks. There is not one instance of a person praying or a family praying. There is not one instance of a family or a person taking Holy Communion or celebrating any rites of either the Christian or the Jewish faith. There is not one instance of someone receiving religious instruction.

Professor Vitz also said, "My only conclusion is that those who are in charge of educational systems are so terrified by the evangelical experience that they are expunging all religion from all the textbooks in the United States of America."

Fear a Good Thing?

I'm glad to know that we've got them scared, but nevertheless, I think what they're doing is wrong. Now, is it any wonder in an environment like this that we have in our society 27 million functional illiterates? I have been working in the ghettos across America. I have been working in Bedford Stuyvesant, in Watts, in Houston, in Detroit, the Chicago South Side, all these major cities. The dropout rate is absolutely alarming in the inner cities.

But there are 27 million people in America who cannot read; they cannot write; they cannot compute; they cannot function in an average supermarket or in any kind of a job. And the government is forced now to what they call "dumb down" the manuals so that these people can even get some degree of literacy.

Sixty to seventy percent of all the kids in the urban schools of America are reading below their grade level, and consequently they cannot function at the appropriate level. It's just as if they're being taught in Greek. He doesn't understand what he is doing.

In the United States, it is said, that if an enemy had done this to us, we would have gone to war with them. This has happened in the black community. For example, 50 percent of the young people are now functionally illiterate. In 1930, only 8-10 percent of urban blacks were illiterate. The rest, 90 percent, were totally literate, totally able to function.

Somebody has come along and decided that they were going to impose on us a type of reading which is unnatural and wrong. It is based on the Pavlovian reflex instincts that the Russians did with their dogs, and it does not accord with God's way of learning and of speech.

I heard the ultimate absurdity about a school in England which had adopted some of the more advanced mathematics. A teacher came in who was an instructor in the new math and asked one of the children in the school, "What is 9 times 9?" And a bright boy in the front row raised his hand and said, "81." And the man said "Oh, no, that's wrong." So he asked this guy who was a real dumbbell in the back of the room, he said, "You tell me what it is." "It's almost 76." He said, "That's right. We're trying to develop your reasoning powers."

You know why they are doing that? They do it because they despise absolutes and the multiplication table sticks in their throats because they don't believe in any absolutes. They're cultural, moral relativists. And they are destroying our education system because of it.

Focus Has Been on Salvation

While I was building CBN, I didn't think too much of some of these things. I'm sure you didn't either. I didn't want to get involved in the political processes particularly. I wanted to see people won to the Lord. And so do you. I would like to say that in these last five years, we have been relatively successful in that. We have 500,000 recorded decisions since 1980. So in a sense, we have done that.

But, ladies and gentlemen, I realize that I can't stand idly by and that you can't stand idly by and allow this country, which we love, to be destroyed by forces that are aimed against it who are so palpably confused and so palpably wrong and are destroying the chance of the unborn generation and destroying the chances of the children of this generation. Not only are they stripping religious values from our nation, but they are seeing that our grandchildren will be in debt to such an incredible burden that they will never be able to come out of it. You know the Bible says that there are those who profess themselves to be wise but they become fools.

Prayer Amendment Failed

Some of us, a couple of years ago, tried to address some of this and tried to get prayer back in the schools. I want you to know, I went for it. I used to box, and my boxing coach said when you swing from the floor and hit the other guy with everything that you've got, and he is still standing, you ought to consider getting out of the ring.

Well, we swung from the floor with everything that we had. We barraged the senators with more mail than they've gotten on any other issue, or maybe one issue, in their lifetime. We had polls in congressional districts indicating that 80 to 82 percent of all Americans wanted to see little children praying again. We gave it everything we had and we thought we had the 66 votes necessary, the 2/3's majority we needed for a constitutional amendment.

But I didn't know there was a particular republican senator who got together with 18 of his friends and he said to them, "The evangelicals are coming up on this one, and if we let them win on this one, we won't be able to stop them, and so we've got to beat back this prayer amendment and this prayer initiative."

Christians Brokenhearted

I'm telling you, there were brokenhearted people all across America, but we didn't know that in the back room this was going on. And I might add, there was another senator from a western state who was talking to his colleague, and the colleague said, "I'm voting against this amendment on conscience. I don't believe in this. I'm for prayer, but I don't believe in this amendment that is coming down."

His associate, who now is the chairman of one of the most powerful committees in the Senate said, "Don't worry about the evangelicals. They have the shortest memory of any group in America." Well, Senator, I want you to know I just grew the longest memory you ever heard about and I'm not going to forget.

A long time ago, my father who was a United States senator had a very dear friend whose name was Nathan Twining. He was a four-star general and he was the chief of staff of the Air Force. He was a good friend of my father, and he is a good friend of mine. He was a very distinguished general. And he said, about the Soviets in those days, he said, "We may not realize our strength, but the Soviets know our strength."

Ladies and gentlemen, in the last few years while you've been working and you've been broadcasting, and I've been working and I've been broadcasting, and men of God have been proclaiming the Gospel from off the housetops and from pulpits all across this land, something is happening like what the Bible says when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will raise a standard against him.

Revival in the Air

We are seeing juxtaposed with these problems and with these evils, the greatest spiritual revival in the entire history of the world. There are at least 60-70 million evangelicals in America, and the numbers are rolling like a great flood and a great tide. We are moving on a flood-tide of revival here in America, and we've all been a part of it. We realize that homosexuality, for example, is an abomination before the Lord. We realize that things are being done to the families of our nation that are wrong: We realize that the Constitution never intended for five old men in black robes who never got elected to dominate our entire political system. Never!

Suddenly, many of us who never thought too much of "politics," we were more concerned about the Kingdom of Heaven, we are realizing that the Kingdom of Heaven also encompasses the secular system we live in and that it's an intolerable thing to have our cherished values trampled on and millions and billions of tax dollars going to fight the things we believe are destroying our families. It isn't coincidental.

I don't mean this to be political, that from 1980 to 1984, there were 6 million evangelicals who switched party allegiance because of the activity that took place, what Pat Buchanan calls "Sodom by the bay" in 1984. And there were two million more registered evangelicals --and you'd be interested to know that at this point in time there are between 20 and 22 million evangelicals in the Republican Party now.

In the South, there was a dramatic switch in allegiance, almost overnight, because the people said, "We can't tolerate anti-biblical values any longer." And we're going to be organized. We're going to get involved because we are citizens just like everybody else is. This was not ignored by those who write letters.

An Astonishing Letter

I have a letter from a gentleman named Paul G. Kirk, Jr. You say: "Who is Paul Kirk?" He's the Chairman of the Democratic Party. He started his letter the same way. He said, "Who is Pat Robertson?" When you see a letter with your name starting it out, it gives you some pause.

He said that Pat Robertson has the most powerful political organization in America, by far. He has more contributors, broader public outreach, and a larger field organization than any potential candidate of either party does. You read things like that and you wonder why John Mitchell bothered to break into Watergate. What were they going to find out when people are writing letters like this? But I want to go on to show you a little something else. This is the chairman of a major party. He quotes from Robert Teeter who says if you have a candidate who could mobilize the evangelical Christian vote, he would be significant. And then he goes on to say that the Christian fundamentalist vote, 22 million Americans, shifted from a pro-democratic, 56-43 edge in 1976 to a 81-19 Republican sweep in 1984.

He quotes from James Reichley from the Brookings Institute: "If anything approaching this level of support is maintained in future elections and if it eventually is translated into voting for republicans for state and local offices, the Republican Party will be well on the way to regaining the majority status it lost in the 1930s." It says "that the new Republican Party will be a right-wing Republican Party." As a matter of fact, it said "that if we could get together and mobilize millions of our primary voters that the evangelicals could take over the political processes in America." That's what he said.

Critic "Right about" Pat

Now he doesn't like what we want to do. Here's what he dislikes. He says Pat Robertson doesn't think educators should take religion out of the schools. He is absolutely right on the money. He thinks that Pat Robertson would like to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment. He's right there too. He thinks that he would like to outlaw abortions. Right on the money, Paul. He says, and this is the most shocking charge he makes against me, he wants to get more Christians involved in government.

Isn't that awful? The last thing he wants to see is a military buildup to make us strong against the Soviets. Isn't that a dreadful thing to do? And the last thing, I'll close his remarks with this, he puts a P.S. on his letter. It's an amazing P.S. --"The price of failure is now too high. Don't let 1985 become a year like 1979 when we all said Ronald Reagan can't possibly win. Because when Pat Robertson finishes his Scripture reading and begins his televised State of the Union address, it will be too late." Whatever happens in 1988, I hope it's too late for guys like that, because the time has come.

Now with this, I close. In Genesis 11:6, and this is in the Living Bible, there is this amazing statement. This is God talking. "If they are able to accomplish all this when they have just begun to exploit their linguistic and political unity, just think of what they will do later. Nothing will be unattainable for them." I want to read that to you again. "Look, if they are able to accomplish all this when they have just begun to exploit their linguistic and political unity, just think of what they will do later. Nothing will be unattainable for them."

A Challenge Issued

Ladies and gentlemen, I want to challenge you tonight. We can reverse the tide of secularism. We can bring a reformation to America. We can see little children praying in schools. We can stop the slaughter of abortion. We can eliminate this plague of pornography and the organized crime that goes with it. We can eliminate the drug addiction. We can make the government responsible to the citizens. We can stop the incredible waste in this government.

But it's only going to happen if people like you and like me get involved. Because the one thing that we've got going for us is we're not trying to get some kind of advantage. We're not looking for something from the federal government. I have a university, and we don't take a dime of federal money, and I don't want any of it. The only things we care about are our children, and our grandchildren, and the future of this land and the glory of the Lord. And that puts us in sort of a different perspective on things. But we've thought for so many years as I did when I was seeing CBN built, "Well, we'll leave it to them. That's dirty, that's secular, we don't want to get involved in it." Well the Bible says that the public servants are ministers of God. Read Romans 13. They are ministers of God. We are told to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's.

Who is Caesar in our society? We are Caesar. We have a republic, and we are Caesar. There is no hereditary monarch in America. We are the people. It's time for us to say we can do a better job.

I've traveled with many of the congressional people when I was growing up as a youngster. I've seen distinguished senators at receptions so drunken that they could hardly stand up. I watched the newspapers and the television as the head of the tax writing Ways and Means Committee was having an affair with a stripper in Washington and was an acknowledged alcoholic.

Others stood by when the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee of the house would fall drunk on a table because he too was an alcoholic. There are many under the pressure of the life that they are engaged in that are using drugs.

I respect and honor the leaders, but there are some leaders that I think would be better off in private life. And I believe that in this body and in your audiences around the nation, there are men and women of character, of leadership, of integrity, of intelligence, who are far better and will see things more clearly.

The Bible says that when the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice. And I think we should dedicate ourselves in this nation that we are not any longer going to sit idly by and see this great land that was given us by our forefathers destroyed by those who are out for selfish gains and who are motivated by outmoded concepts and ideas which are proven false and failures.

I believe as we leave this place, we do have, as President Reagan said, a date with destiny. We are going to see a change in this nation, and you're going to be a part of it. And who knows, that God has called you to the Kingdom for such a time as this.

Thank you, and God bless you.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
—Philippians 4:13

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