It’s interesting. Religious right leader, and former GOP presidential candidate, Pat Robertson starts off giving an actually quite decent answer in response to someone who’s concerned that their church had them give multiple rides to an elderly man, without telling the driver that the man had AIDS. The driver is upset because, he says, what if they had an accident and the man’s blood infected him.
Robertson, surprisingly, gives a quite decent answer in which he tells the person to chill out.
Then things get a bit hinky. Keep in mind that these comments are happening in the middle of a conversation about people infected with HIV/AIDS.
PAT ROBERTSON: You know what they do in San Francisco, some in the gay community, they want to get people, so if they got the stuff, they’ll have a ring, you shake hands, the ring’s got a little thing where you cut your finger.
DITZY SIDEKICK: Really?
PAT ROBERTSON: Yeah, really. I mean, it’s that kind of vicious stuff that should be the equivalent of murder.
DITZY SIDEKICK (breathlessly): Yeah.
Robertson then clarified later in the day that his remarks had been “misunderstood,” and that people taking his comments out of context “often happens.”
Here’s Robertson’s “clarification,” then the video:
I was asked by a viewer whether she had a right to leave her church because she had been asked to transport an elderly man who had AIDS and about whose condition she had not been informed. My advice was that the risk of contagion in those circumstances was quite low and that she should continue to attend the church and not worry about the incident.
In my own experience, our organization sponsored a meeting years ago in San Francisco where trained security officers warned me about shaking hands because, in those days, certain AIDS-infected activists were deliberately trying to infect people like me by virtue of rings which would cut fingers and transfer blood.
I regret that my remarks had been misunderstood, but this often happens because people do not listen to the context of remarks which are being said. In no wise [sic] were my remarks meant as an indictment of the homosexual community or, for that fact, to those infected with this dreadful disease.
As a friend wrote on Facebook in response:
I’m too busy causing tornadoes and destroying the institution of marriage to have time to go jewelry shopping.