Pat Robertson’s long-running talk programme, The 700 Club, served as a reliable source of information about local and foreign issues for generations of conservative Christians.

The contentious televangelist was best known for his work as a religious right architect who frequently made anti-gay remarks, a pioneer in the Christian broadcasting sector who helped Republican politicians rise to power, and for a brief period, as a politician with presidential aspirations.

The Christian Broadcasting Network stated in a statement on Thursday that Robertson passed away at home on June 8 while surrounded by family.

Robertson, who was an ordained preacher and the son of a senior U.S. senator, had his origins in the white evangelical Christian church. He established the Christian Broadcasting Network, or CBN, in Virginia in 1960 while using telethons to cover expenses. In time, the network and its programmes would become widely known.

Due to the popularity of CBN, Robertson decided to create a Christian university in Virginia Beach in the late 1970s. This institution is now known as Regent University. Ten years later, he raised the bar and ran as a social and economic conservative for the 1988 Republican presidential nomination.

Despite failing, Robertson’s effort raised his prominence among politically active white evangelicals. Robertson established the Christian Coalition the next year in an effort to get these people out to the polls.

Another organisation with a comparable aim was disintegrating at the time. Jerry Falwell, a Virginia-based political conservative pastor, created The Moral Majority in the 1970s. The president of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, is his son, Jerry Falwell Jr. In a 2017 interview with NPR, Falwell Jr. said that Robertson had a significant impact in bringing the Christian right’s political clout together.

They had a significant influence, he claimed. “I guess their main contribution to politics was uniting Christians as a political force,” said the author.

Terry Heaton is one of Robertson’s detractors, and he has remarked on how well-liked he is. In the 1980s, Heaton worked as a TV producer for Robertson, eventually moving up to become the show’s executive producer.

People don’t realise Pat Robertson’s true brilliance at the time, according to Heaton.

The Gospel of Self: How Jesus Joined the GOP, a book that criticises the Christian right, was written by Heaton. Robertson established the strategy that many other conservative media figures would subsequently adopt, according to Heaton, who spoke to NPR in 2017.

Because Pat Robertson was a politician who also happened to be a televangelist, Heaton claimed, “We helped people into Republican Party politics.”

Ronald Reagan was one of the presidents Robertson spoke with while in the White House. Years later, Robertson joined the ranks of other influential members of the Christian right in endorsing Donald Trump. During the 2016 election, Trump described Robertson as a “great gentleman” and said, “the job he’s done is incredible” when visiting Regent University.

Robertson continued to host The 700 Club into his latter years, when he continued to stir up controversy with remarks that were frequently viewed as homophobic and racially inappropriate.

His son Gordon Robertson said in a 2017 interview with NPR that his father’s detractors were motivated by politics and left-leaning websites.

The younger Robertson claimed, “That drumbeat… I think has really shaped the public perception of him in a way that I, frankly, think is unfair.” “It doesn’t consider everything he’s done,” someone said. And he has accomplished some remarkable things by any standard.

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