Pat Robertson and Adoptee Rights

By now you’ve probably all heard Pat Robertson’s hideous remarks about the earthquake in Haiti. A deal with the devil? And, he can’t even get history right. Napoleon III! I think not! Perhaps the devil was whispering disinformation in his ear to make him look stupid. No wait! He doesn’t need the devil to do that. CBN published a clarification “statement” later, that if anything, makes Robertson looks more stupid now then he did before.

Here is a video of Pat broadcasting his dementia to the world. It includes commentary from the Young Turks.

I’ve been an avid viewer of 700 Club for 30 years, and have watched Pat edge from pure malevolent crazydom to Altzhmierism before my very eyes. To make Robertson’s looniness relevant to adoption this afternoon, here’s a dialogue between Pat and Jay Sekulow, director of Robertson’s theocentric legal arm, the The American Center for Law and Justice. The ACLJ represented Promise Doe, Jane Doe, Kimberly C, Russ C, and NCFA agency member Small World Adoptions in Doe v Sundquist, the unsuccessful attempt to overturn a Tennessee law that opened records for some adoptees in the state. The ACLJ was backed by amici briefs issued from NCFA, the Tennessee Eagle Forum, the Family Research Council, the American Life League, Hear My Voice (website disappeared), and a gaggle of other die hard adoptee-hating misfits. References to involvement in Sundquist have been scrubbed from their websites, but I have hard copies of all documents as well as other documents referenced here.

The following is taken from a paper I presented at Bastard Nation and AAC conferences between 1997 and 2002. (I’ve re-written my own comments to fix some awkward phrasing):

On the July 2, 1996 edition of The 700 Club, Jay Sekulow, playing to Robertson’s bumpkin straight man, contended that the abortion rate would rise in relation to the rate of adoption records made available to adoptees. He even espoused a modified version of the American Life League’s abortion conspiracy theory–that, is pro-abortion organizations were going stealth or setting up front groups to push their agendas. Thus, adoptee rights activists and organizations were simply ungrateful bastards with no legitimate beefs and were either knowing agents of abortion or dupes.

The following conversation is taken from the official transcript of that show published at the time on the 700 Club’s home page, since erased. Sekulow certainly knew the difference between open records and open adoption, but I have no idea if he made a slip of the tongue, intended to smear openness in adoption in general–or if, in fact if he was implying weirdly that open adoption causes abortion. There is no doubt, though that he was referring to records access.

SEKULOW: …The significance is that we expect that those who are in favor of abortion, those in the legislature that are pro-abortion, those that are trying to get this whole abortion agenda through, were looking at the Tennessee case and say “Gee, we should do this everywhere because they picked a great name, open adoption, but…

ROBERTSON: Do you really think that they had in view more abortions and less adoption Do you really feel that?

SEKULOW: Pat, they have had to. Can I give you tangible evidence? No, but I can give you the legal evidence. We looked at cases in the Untied States where judges from a Court of Appeals all over the country said, “this type of legislation opening up these records like this is pro-abortion.” Those were the words a court said. There’s a North Carolina Court of Appeals, Louisiana Court of Appeals, Texas Court of Appeals. These same types of bills were being put forward and the courts said, “The legislation is not pro-life. They said the opposite. They said, “This is pro-abortion This will encourage abortions and discourage adoptions.” So they had to know that.

Yet nine months later on April 2, 1997 edition of MSNBC’s The Site (no longer online), ACLJ’s Chief lawyer Larry Crane conceded that the ACLJ did not intend to use evidence they had gathered from a New South Wales study which showed that although abortion rates went up the first year open records were in effect, they declined steady after.

Were not relying on statistical evidence for our case,and we are not required to do to.

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16 Replies to “Pat Robertson and Adoptee Rights”

  1. I forgot to mention the Christian Anti-Defamation League’s Gary Cass’ bizarre defense of Roberton’s remarks. Go here

    First he retold a very familiar story about the history of Haiti about a pact that was made by its revolutionary leaders. In exchange for help in throwing out the French Haiti would serve satan. Some have disputed this ever happened. But what is indisputable is Haiti’s history ever since then has been one of incredible suffering.

    To use Pat’s words, Haiti’s history was, “cursed, desperately poor.” Then Pat went on to describe the incredible economic disparity between Haiti, which sits on one side of the Island of Hispaniola, and the Dominican Republic on the other side. So was Pat using “cursed” literally or metaphorically?

  2. “Church, immigrant groups plan to airlift Haitian orphans to South Florida”


    In a move mirroring Operation Pedro Pan in the 1960s, Catholic Charities and other South Florida immigrant rights organizations are planning an ambitious effort to airlift possibly thousands of Haitian children left orphaned in the aftermath of Tuesday’s horrific earthquake.

    “We will use the model we used 40 years ago with Pedro Pan to bring these orphans to the United States to give them a lifeline, a bright and hopeful future,” Catholic Charities Legal Services executive director Randolph McGrorty said at a news conference in the offices of Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart.

    “Given the enormity of what happened in Haiti, a priority is to bring these orphaned children to the United States,” he said.

    Archdiocese of Miami officials and other local organizations have already identified a temporary shelter in Broward County to house the children, McGrorty said.

    He also said they had been in contact with the Obama administration to assist in bringing the children from Haiti with humanitarian visas.

    Operation Pedro Pan was launced on Dec. 26, 1960, as part of a successful clandestine effort to spirit children out of Fidel Castro’s new Cuba as communist indoctrination was spreading into Catholic and private schools.

    By the time it ended 22 months later, the unique exodus of children — ages 5 to 17 — had brought 14,048 unaccompanied Cuban minors to America, with the secret help of the U.S. government, which funded the effort and supplied the visa waivers, and the Catholic church, which promised to care for the children.

    The late Monsignor Bryan O. Walsh, a Miami priest, was considered the father of the effort.

    As the children filtered into Miami and their numbers swelled, many went to live with relatives and family friends, but others were sent to Miami-Dade group homes and camps called Florida City, Kendall and Matecumbe. They were then relocated across the country to archdioceses in places like Nebraska, Washington and Indiana.

    There, they went to live in orphanages, foster homes and schools until their parents could find a way out of Cuba. Sometimes the separation was brief; sometimes it lasted years.

  3. This is a disgrace! Thanks for sending this along. I am going to post this in a separate entry in a few minutes. I don’t know anything about Pedro Pan, but the implications are apparent. And how do they know these kids are orphans? What about family members? Oh,never mind. This isn’t about filling the coffers of Catholic Charities or the homes of the desperate and childless, is it?

  4. Yes, it’s frightening, isn’t it? They can’t even tell if American aid workers are alive or dead, never mind Haitians, so like you said, how will they even know who is an orphan? Sounds like a child-snatching operation. Very disturbing.

  5. Marley, I don’t know much about Pedro Pan either, but here’s some more info:

    The origins and purpose of Operation Peter Pan have been hotly contested by both the Cuban revolutionary government and the Cuban exile community in the United States.[4] According to some reports, Cuban radio fostered–or even invented–fears that the revolutionary government would abduct children from their parents to indoctrinate them; one such broadcast in 1960 is remembered as proclaiming, “Cuban mothers, don’t let them take your children away! The Revolutionary Government will take them away from you when they turn five and will keep them until they are 18.”[5] One “Peter Pan child”, Maria de los Angeles Torres, now a professor of Latin American and Latino Studies, believes that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) initiated the visa waiver program and deliberately spread the rumors that Cuban children would be taken from their parents by the Cuban government. She has repeatedly requested that 1,500 relevant documents be declassified, but even some 50 years later the U.S. government refuses to do so.

    “The Lost Apple: Operation Pedro Pan, Cuban Children in the U.S., and the Promise of a Better Future”
    Author: Maria de los Angeles Torres

  6. “Child Trafficking Major Concern After Quake”

    By Mike Paluska, CBS Atlanta Reporter

    ATLANTA — UNICEF and international adoption agencies said getting children into safe zones is a top priority after the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

    The massive magnitude 7.0 earthquake that hit the island of Hispaniola has left thousands of children without parents.

    Before the quake even hit UNICEF statistics from 2007 show there were 380,000 orphans already in Haiti.

    [I wonder if this is correct.]

    “UNICEF is tracing family members and caring for children orphaned by the disaster to protect them from harm or exploitation.”

    “My first concern is who is with the kids how many of our nannies our ok and who is watching the kids and then all the kids on the streets,” said Chareyl Moyes, the program manager for Wasatch International Adoption. Moyes works with a number of different agencies and orphanages in Haiti. She said early reports about how much damage they suffered are good.

    “But, there is going to be a concern about child trafficking so both Haitian and the United States governments are going to be careful about forging ahead with new adoptions. The need is going to be great,” Moyes said.

    A lot of families in the U.S. according to a number of international adoption agencies across the country said some people were at the very end of the process to adopt a child from Haiti. “Now, it will set everyone back,” Moyes said.

    Even though child trafficking is a major concern for Moyes she worries about the immediate help children need trapped in the rubble from a country in ruins. “How long will that child survive without somebody rescuing them,” Moyes said.

  7. Thanks for the info, anon and Marley. Pedro Pan is new to me, but not surprising.

    I am really astounded that anyone with any kind of cognitive ability would accept Robertson’s manic ramblings. Cass is just as big a nutbar as Robertson. If there is a God (as a Theist, I think one exists), I am seeing Her holding Her sides in robust laughter everytime either of these inept pundits opens his yap.

  8. Pat Robertson “sucks green monkey dicks!” A fine insult from a Rita Mae Brown novel:-) Whatever happened to “blessed are the poor….”? Someone should drop a building on him, and leave him there.

  9. If the US had recognized Haiti after the slave rebellion that was inspired by the French Revolution, the country wouldn’t have been in anything like such dire straits.
    But they didn’t, because they were afraid it would undermine slavery back home.

    Little Snowdrop

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