Strapped Christian Coalition Facing Major Shake-Ups
A Scottish Bank Chief Flies to USA for "Showdown"
Compiled By GayToday
The far-right political empire of televangelist Pat Robertson is facing a stunning blow as, under pressure from Scottish citizens and corporations and from an international campaign by Equality Scotland, a Scottish gay rights organization, and Log Cabin Republicans, a U.S.-based gay organization, a lucrative multi-million dollar deal Robertson forged with the Bank of Scotland has reportedly unraveled as a result of Robertson's bizarre TV attack on the moral character of the Scottish people .
"We have been working with Equality Scotland for months to inform the public and the Bank of Scotland about who this man really is, but hand it to Pat Robertson to finish the job for us," said Kevin Ivers, director of public affairs for Log Cabin Republicans.
But bank officials stood by Robertson for months as millions of pounds and over 500 corporate and personal accounts were cancelled. But when word spread that a May 18 broadcast of Robertson's "700Club" television program attacked the moral character of Scotland, with Robertson calling Scotland a "rather dark land," the deal began to unravel quickly.
The Scotsman reported Thursday that Peter Burt, Bank of Scotland chief executive officer, flew urgently to the United States to meet with Robertson tomorrow for what the paper called a "showdown."
On the "700 Club" broadcast, Robertson said European attitudes of tolerance had encouraged homosexuality, particularly "in Scotland, where you can't believe how strong the homosexuals are." Robertson painted a picture of Scotland as a nation in decline which "could go right back to the darkness very easily".
After the publicizing of Robertson's television remarks, Bank of Scotland shares fell 4% on the London FTSE Wednesday. Political leaders in the Scottish National Parliament jumped into the issue immediately.
Several SNP members announced work on a measure to close Parliament's £55 million account with Bank of Scotland, while the leaders of the Labour, Liberal Democrat and Tory parties all condemned Robertson's comments.
David McLetchie, the Scottish Tory leader, told The Scotsman that the Bank "should tell Mr. Robertson to reflect on the damage this has done to the reputation of his business partner back home. This affair has been damaging to the Bank of Scotland's reputation in Scotland."
The financial turmoil followed on the heels of the announcement that Robertson had eliminated the position of Christian Coalition Executive Director Randy Tate, and moved Tate out of the political organization's Chesapeake, Virginia headquarters to the group's lobbying office in Washington, D.C., another in a series of shake-ups at the financially struggling organization.
Tate's departure from headquarters capped off the flight of the organization's entire senior leadership under Robertson, some of whom, like field director Chuck Cunningham, cited the group's lack of resources.