Pat Robertson says Africans can raise the dead

Pat Robertson, our favorite Republican former presidential candidate and religious right leader, seemed to suggest on his TV show this week that Africans have the power to “raise the dead.”

Talk about your opportunities for medical tourism.

Robertson was responding to a letter from 700 Club viewer “Ken” who wanted to know why Africans had the power to raise the dead, and Americans don’t.


Robertson told Ken that the reason that Africans can raise the dead is because they didn’t go to Ivy League schools, so they’re “simple” and able to believe in miracles:

” Those people overseas didn’t go to Ivy League schools. Well, we’re so sophisticated, we think we’ve got everything figured out, we know about evolution, we know about Darwin, we know about all these things that says God isn’t real, we know about all this stuff.  And if we’d be in many schools, the more advanced schools, we have been inundated with skepticism and secularism.  Overseas they’re simple, humble. You tell them God loves them, and they say ‘ok, he loves me’. You say ‘God will do miracles’ and they say ‘okay, we believe him.’ And that’s what God’s looking for, that’s why they have miracles.”

I don’t know how that woman is able to sit on the set with him with a straight face.

Among other things, this is part of the larger GOP war on science and education, and intellect. Remember during the last presidential campaign when GOP presidential candidate, and religious right leader, Rick Santorum criticized President Obama for saying kids should go to college?

“I understand why Barack Obama wants to send every kid to college, because of their indoctrination mills, absolutely,” said Santorum. “The indoctrination that is going on at the university level is a harm to our country.”

At the Americans for Prosperity rally in Michigan, Santorum took up the theme again, saying: ”President Obama wants everybody to go to college. What a snob.”

Well, now we know – Santorum was probably concerned that American kids would lose their ability to raise the dead, which can come in quite handy when you can’t afford health care.

On a lark, I googled “Africa raise dead,” and what do you know, Robertson isn’t kidding.  There’s a whole meme out there on the religious far right that Africans can raise the dead, and have.  Here’s Robertson’s discussion of an African man supposedly raised from the dead after being embalmed:

ROBERTSON: I want you to tell us about him. He was in one of your meetings. He was hit by a car. I understand he was stiff and rigormortis had set in. I don’t know if they had embalmed him or not.

BONNKE: They did.

ROBERTSON: He had been embalmed?

BONNKE: He was embalmed, but not the way it is done in America with the removal of organs. They injected chemicals into the body to slow down decay, since there was no refrigeration.

ROBERTSON: So what happened?

BONNKE: His wife was one with a promise from God that woman have received back the dead by resurrection. She said, ‘My husband will come back, and I have heard Reinhard Bonnke is in Onitsha this Sunday I will bring him there. She brought him there. I was preaching and I knew nothing about it. Suddenly, the man started to breathe. His story is awesome and what he was shown while he was in eternity.

ROBERTSON: Tell me, what did he see?

BONNKE: An angel took him to show him Paradise. He showed him the mansions that are waiting for the saints. And he showed him hell. He saw the people in hell. He said one shouted to him, ‘I was a pastor and I stole money. Help me to return the money.’ He said it was so frightening to him that the angel turned to him and said, ‘The prayer of the rich man in Luke 16 will now be fulfilled, and you will be sent back to earth as a last warning to this generation.’….

Oh, and apparently we now know what hell looks like.  People cannibalize themselves, kind of like the Republican party is doing after their huge 2012 election loss in party due to their embrace of people like Robertson:

ROBERTSON: You say he saw hell. Were there fires? Torment?

BONNKE: He said he saw no fire but he said he saw these people cannibalizing themselves. Every time they had done it, the flesh seemed to jump back to the same places and then the torment started again. He said it was so horrible. He came back and said, ‘Heaven is real. Hell is real. Become serious with God. You need to be saved by the blood of Jesus Christ and live a holy life.’

Uh huh.

This is the video “Raised from the Dead” that they refer to.  It happens to take place in Nigeria, the country that raised Internet scams to an art form.

Not surprisingly, there have been problems before in Africa with people declaring other people dead, who weren’t.  ABC shares a story about a “dead” man put in a morgue freezer, only to wake up hours later and start screaming – the staff ran out, thinking he was a ghost:

As amusing as the story is, Kupelo says the underlying issue is very serious. The government has gone public with this case to warn people that only trained health officials should declare people dead.

“This is why we’re saying as a health department that people should call health services to have their relatives declared and certified dead and not these private mortuaries,” he said. “Those guys are aren’t trained paramedics. They’re about business.”

Keep in mind, Pat Robertson ran for president as a Republican.  And he represents a huge voting bloc in the base of the Republican party.  So we can laugh at all of this – and we should – but these people run the Republican party, and that’s no laughing matter.

You know who else with African blood can raise the dead?

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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49 Responses to “Pat Robertson says Africans can raise the dead”

  1. UncleBucky says:

    Not believing in “Christ” which is Paulism. Rather, doing what Jesus said to do and not to back away from doing that. It’s hard, sweaty work to do what Jesus said to do. Belief? That’s easy stuff. You can say you believe in something but can do the exact opposite. But boy oh boy, your actions can be video’d and evaluated. The “Way” of Jesus is the original “Christian” way and it does not require any belief at all to do correctly. Paulism? Oh that’s just for religion junkies.

  2. confusion says:

    History channel will solve this mystery :-)

  3. hollywoodstein says:

    There are no liberal Christians. If you still believe in Christ, you believe in a scholastically discredited superstitious, magically thinking dusty Bible book written over centuries by goat herders, and an archeologically discredited fantastical story. Even Israel, a country which has spent tens of millions trying to prove the old testament has the cojones to admit that most of it is a fairy tale.

    Liberal Christians are fantasists, who enable the extremists.

    Sorry, but shed the scales from your eyes and join the rest of us naked apes who realize that all we have is each other.

    God forbid, that’s a sobering thought.

    Unless you like believing Jeebus floating corporally to heaven and is seated at the right hand of the father, and child Molester Mohammed flew a winged horse to heaven, and Thor… oh you get the picture…

    I hope.

  4. hollywoodstein says:

    God forbid.

  5. hollywoodstein says:

    I know, I think so too. I think a few children were taken. We are stuck with each other.

  6. hollywoodstein says:

    I’ve got my eye on a holy rollers house and few thumpers cars. The horsemen can’t come soon enough for me.

  7. hollywoodstein says:


  8. hollywoodstein says:

    Actually, by the time of this video procedures were well on their way to making him a plastic surgery addict/victim. If he had only been able to stop at this point the damage could have been limited, but he was so please with the results, he thought more might be even better.

  9. hollywoodstein says:

    He’s been replaced by animatronics and botox for the last seven years.

  10. hollywoodstein says:

    God does seem to shy away when video cameras are around.
    If he really wanted to save the mankind since we are all doomed to burn in hell forever, since adam bit an apple given to him to him by his wife, he would have saved his Only Son, ( as if he could have only one, and also too we all know sons are worth more than daughters), God Almighty could have just put a flaming cross billboard orbiting in the sky, so if anyone doubted the could just look up and see.
    Instead we get a non-sensical literally illogical story passed down from goat herders that billions use to organize their lives.
    And folks wonder why things are effed up.

  11. Naja pallida says:

    The Rapture has already happened. It is the only possible explanation.

  12. d3clark says:

    Pat called this a miracle because CHRISTIANS were involved. If this “resurrection” occurred at the hands of Muslims, pagans or gays, it would be Satan’s work and a terrible abomination. In either case, Pat would have asked for $20/month from everyone and gotten that, and more, from most. In the first case, the money would have been used to praise God. In the second case, to fight the devil.

    Also, amazingly, these people believe this story with no proof. No pictures, statements from witnesses, an MD stating that the man was dead, a video, etc. Just one man’s “account” of the tale. But because it fits so well with their beliefs, it becomes true by reflex. No one questions it. However, if the incident is discordant with their beliefs (like gay marriage will cause the end of the world) nothing will make them believe it: photos, scientific studies, history, witnesses, statistics, videos, etc.

  13. RepubAnon says:

    This reminds me of a comedy skit where the preacher was telling his congregation that he could forward their money to heaven for them so they’d have it in the afterlife… of course, once on deposit in heaven, the money couldn’t be transferred back to the Earth.

  14. nicho says:

    And we’re supposed to respect their opinions because it’s their “religious belief.” It’s just lunacy, fantasy, and superstition.

  15. Naja pallida says:

    He isn’t.

  16. samiinh says:

    I didn’t realize Pat Robertson was still alive.

  17. mwestport says:

    “Zombie Africa”? Hum, I smell a series in this.
    I wonder how many of Robertson’s crew must have to bit their lips to keep from screeching out in laughter at the crazy stuff that he says. I’m gonna miss him……..

  18. Moderator4 says:

    Yes, it certainly is. Gone now, thank you.

  19. In the words of J.R. “Bob” Dobbs, “Eternal Salvation or TRIPLE YOUR MONEY BACK! You come out ahead either way!”

  20. Randy Riddle says:

    If you ask me, it’s a miracle that Pat Robertson and his grifter crew still have their non-profit status and aren’t paying taxes on their commercial interests in Africa. His bigoted zenophobic rantings aren’t important – his abuse of the US tax code and Federal election law is the real story.

  21. Tor says:

    Looks like Ken is a few cards shy of a full deck, himself.

  22. Joneses says:

    OMG, LOL, I spit out my water reading the headline. I think Pat has finally crossed to the other side of insanity, lock, stock and barrel. Yep, he’s a gonner. And no, no human can bring back the dead.

  23. zorbear says:

    Only dead above the neck and below the waist — his stomach still works just fine!

  24. Drew2u says:

    Took a nibble from the vine of knowledge, now, didn’t he. ;)

  25. zorbear says:

    Lol! Whenever I see one of those ads, I automatically triple the amount shown to cover the “exta” fees. If I still think it sounds like a good deal, I go to bed, because I know my brain has collapsed in on itself from lack of sleep…

  26. jomicur says:

    It’s simple,really. Christians claim miracles happen in Africa because it’s far away and there’s no easy way to verify their claims one way or the other. If you don’t have to prove what you allege, you can allege anything.

  27. SkippyFlipjack says:

    Great point. Could explain a lot, too, if he died stateside and nobody cared to reanimate him, but when his body somehow ended up in Nigeria the simple people there brought him back to life.

  28. karmanot says:

    They are waiting for the Rapture to do the heavy duty lifting and collect on the salvage rights to precious metals.

  29. karmanot says:

    First Lady of Nigeria Spam Alert!!!!!

  30. karmanot says:

    “the reminder that Michael Jackson was smoking hot back in the day, back
    before he went from androgynous beauty to being a freak of plastic
    surgery.” That’s what bending spoons gets ya.

  31. karmanot says:

    True, there are millions of Obots out there, who still believe in hope and change.

  32. karmanot says:

    True, there is an unlimited market for the, “Only $19.99 and if you hurry and buy within the next 30 minutes you get an extra free,” Of course the S&H is an additional $30.00″, but what the hell—what a deal.

  33. karmanot says:

    But Skippy, Robertson is a miracle! He’s been dead for years and still walks.

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  35. FatRat says:

    “Talk about your opportunities for medical tourism.” LMFAO!
    Far Side
    For crying out loud, I was hibernating!…Don’t you guys ever take a pulse?

  36. BeccaM says:

    Stupid, uneducated people are much easier to scam and to control.

  37. Indigo says:

    That’s . . . stupid!

  38. Indigo says:

    They think they’re being “tolerant.”

  39. Someone in America must be able to raise the dead because Pat keeps coming back…

  40. When are liberal Christians going to rise up and take these people out?

  41. SkippyFlipjack says:

    Doesn’t it sound like KEN is just trolling Robertson? Wow what a lot of nonsense all around — the idea of Africans as “simple”, the idea that people are rising from the dead there, the idea that the miracles are the work of his Christian God, the over-education thing here, etc etc..

    Among the many questions raised, here’s one: We have a nation of 300+ million people, and millions of them agree with Robertson about evolution etc — are those tens of millions of believers not enough to convince God to give us even a smattering of miracles? Does he think that everyone in the country has to agree with him before we get even one stinking miracle? Obviously that won’t happen, so what’s the point? God is supposedly vengeful but just; that doesn’t sound like a just thing to do. What’s up with God’s over-sensitive nature, anyway?

  42. karmanot says:

    A major miracle did happen in Africa for Robertson: his blood diamond and minerals mine which produced his wealth based on slave labor.

  43. karmanot says:

    God only knows how long Robertson has been dead.

  44. What sort of half-track miracle worker can’t work miracles in the face of mere scepticism? Surely, in the face of disbelief, the working of miracles would be an even more valuable weapon?

    I know that Pat Robertson probably doesn’t believe a word that’s coming out of his own mouth so in a way I’m just falling for a troll by even engaging with this nonsense. But, c’mon. It’s poor salesmanship to put God’s miracles in the same category as Uri Geller’s spoon-bending, something that can’t happen if the vibes are bad.

    By the way, thanks for the reminder that Michael Jackson was smoking hot back in the day, back before he went from androgynous beauty to being a freak of plastic surgery.

  45. darklight_413 says:

    I’d say it’s more from the lack of any sort of technological advancement like knowing about science based evidence. They tend to believe things that have no basis in fact just because they don’t know any better. Once you start collecting evidence and look at all those “miracles” you find out that there is no difference between there and here. More miracles happen in Africa only because they don’t really understand how reality works. And that fits quite well with Pat Robertson’s ministry.

  46. devlzadvocate says:

    He should also know that envy is one of the seven deadly sins.

  47. karmanot says:

    “I don’t know how that woman is able to sit on the set with him with a straight face.”—drugs and blood diamonds.

  48. Dave of the Jungle says:

    So THAT’S why Pat Robertson can’t really do miracles: he went to Yale.

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