This week, Christian evangelist Pat Robertson died—but not his brand of Christian nationalism.

Indeed, many extremists are still living in Pat Robertson’s alternative reality—and they’ve hijacked our country.

Last year, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and this year we are witnessing a deluge of anti-LGBTQ, anti-atheist, and Christian-supremacist bills across our country.

Like so many Christian nationalists, Robertson blamed all of society’s woes on rising secularism, abortion, and homosexuality. He even went so far as to blame the 9/11 terrorist attack on the ACLU, “paganists,” “gay and lesbians,” and “abortionists.”

This kind of conspiratorial thinking was typical of Robertson. In 1991, he published The New World Order, in which he accused “liberal elites” of forming a Satanic cabal to attack America. Today, QAnon conspiracy theorists and January 6 insurrections have trod out many of the same arguments.

Robertson even created a parallel media universe—his Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN)—for his conspiracy theories to fester and spread. While CBN has ebbed in popularity since the 1970s, it provided the model for Fox News, Newsmax, Infowars, and many of the other favorite echo chambers of today’s Christian nationalists.

According to historian Rick Perlstein, Robertson’s influence is even more far-reaching. “Every time a riot breaks out at a school board meeting because the board wants to recognize that gay people exist, that’s Pat Robertson’s shadow. Every time a crusade against teaching the history of race in America leads to a school limiting access to Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem, that’s Pat Robertson’s shadow,” he told The Washington Post.

While many have cheered Pat Robertson’s death, what’s more important is his legacy—and it’s here to stay unless we act. It’s up to us to create the sort of world where Pat Robertson, and people like him, can’t gain power in the first place.

Thankfully, there has been progress. White evangelical Protestants like Pat Robertson have declined from 23% to 14% since 2006. They aren’t the political juggernaut they once were.

That’s why—from attacking the Capitol on January 6 to destroying Pride merchandise at Target—they’re resorting to violence. “In a perverse way, this is a good sign,” writes Adam Lee. “It’s a herald of the religious right’s dwindling cultural power.”

“In the past, the religious right would have arranged boycotts, pickets, fire-and-brimstone denunciations from the pulpit,” he explained. “These tactics used to be enough to intimidate corporations into bowing to their demands. However, they don’t have the numbers or the influence to do that anymore. That’s why they resort to these aggressive harassment tactics, because that’s all they’re capable of.”

Unfortunately, at least in the short term, Christian nationalists are perhaps more dangerous than ever before.

We must weather the storm. From Christian nationalist lawmaker Jason Rapert to Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves to prison officials in West Virginia, we’ve been taking on the next Pat Robertsons, and we’re winning, both in courtrooms and in the court of public opinion.

Support this important work to defend our rights. Make a tax-deductible donation of $15, $50, or even $500. We refuse to let these anti-American, anti-equality extremists enshrine their supremacy into law.

In solidarity,

Nick Fish

Image from The 700 Club YouTube

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