THE NEW YORK TIMES – Pat Robertson, a Baptist minister with a passion for politics who marshaled Christian conservatives into a powerful constituency that helped Republicans capture both houses of Congress in 1994, died on Thursday at his home in Virginia Beach, Va. He was 93.
His death was announced by the Christian Broadcasting Network, which Mr. Robertson founded in 1960.
Mr. Robertson built an entrepreneurial empire based on his Christian faith, encompassing a university, a law school, a cable channel with broad reach, and more.
A product of a family with politics in its veins, he also waged a serious though unsuccessful campaign for the 1988 Republican presidential nomination, resigning as a Baptist minister as he began the run in the face of criticism about mixing church and state.
The loss did not dampen his political fervor; he went on to found the Christian Coalition, which stoked the conservative faith-based political resurgence of the 1990s and beyond.
Whether in the pulpit, on the stump or in front of a television camera, Mr. Robertson could exhibit the mild manner of a friendly local minister, chuckling softly and displaying an almost perpetual twinkle in his eye.
But he was also given to statements that his detractors saw as outlandishly wrongheaded and dangerously incendiary.
He suggested, for example, that Americans’ sinfulness had brought on the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States, and that the earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010 was divine retribution for a promise that Haitians had made to serve the Devil in return for his help in securing the country’s independence from France in 1804 …