On August 16, 2005, a news segment on the 700 Club, with renowned Christian leader Pat Robertson, aired a report, titled, "Polygamy: The Next 'Right' to be Legalized?" In addition to broadcasting it on CBN, TBN, and elsewhere, the show also aired at 10:00 am and 11:00 pm EST on the cable network "Family Channel."
The only parts of the report which actually addressed polygamy, specifically, were the title and the next-to-last quoted soundbites. However, a sentence early in the report very accurately explained that it was addressing, "a slippery slope to legalized polygamy and beyond - to 'polyamory,' or group marriage." Indeed, most of the report focused on the "beyond polygamy" subjects, dealing more specifically with the liberal, unbiblical concepts of polyamory and group marriage - neither of which are definitions of actual polygamy.
Near the end of the report, however, an accurate and quite proper segue was made to actual polygamy. After reporting about the liberal concepts of polyamory and group marriage, the 700 Club then segued to the converse of such things - conservative Christians.
The segment reported, "Polygamy has a range of defenders, including evangelical Christians. Mark Henkel is founder of the Christian polygamy organization, TruthBearer.org. He says Christian polygamists believe husbands are called to love their wives, as Christ loved the churches, according to Scripture.
"'We're talking about what consenting, un-coerced, non-abused adults choose to do, and the idea of what we call forced polygamy, that basically creates an obligation or enslaves woman,' Henkel said. 'That is just horrendous.'
"'For a Christian polygamist, for instance,' Henkel added, 'nobodies rights are being infringed, and government has no business in being involved in that... And certainly polygamy is not a sin according to the Bible. But it's illegal in the United States? It's illegal primarily because, first of all, individuals have thought it was a sin. That becomes a circular argument: Why is it a sin? Because it's against the law. Why is it against the law? Because it's a sin.'"
The very next line in that report then started with the opening clause, "Sin or no sin." For the report to follow the Christian Polygamy sound-bites with that particular segue-clause was a very positive example of further acknowledgment that there is legitimate doubt among evangelicals as to whether the Bible ever called polygamy a sin. (Indeed, back in the year 2001, Pat Robertson himself had correctly once temporarily declared online, "You won't find the Bible calling polygamy a sin.")
More importantly, the August 16, 2005, episode was the 700 Club's first report about the Christian Polygamy movement. As the 700 Club did that historic act for their news organization, the report quite clearly and accurately identified that the movement involves evangelical Christians.
As a testament to CBN's integrity, they simply could not have reported otherwise, based on what the 700 Club / CBN News learned from the actual interview with Mark Henkel.
Pat Robertson's comments after the news report aired was, therefore, no surprise. While his commentary focused specifically on homosexuals and their denial that polygamy is next, and then focused on liberal polyamory and group marriage, Robertson merely said that "something has to be done" while not saying exactly what that "something" should be. Specifically, he did not comment about polygamy itself - except to say that "polygamy is next."
It is further relevant that, as homosexuals deny polygamy activism (as the report clearly sought to disprove such denials), polygamists equally do not advocate "same sex marriage." As the 700 Club vividly learned from the interview with Christian polygamy advocate, Mark Henkel, another truly conservative Christian solution as to what "could be done" is to remove the idolatry of having big government's involvement in marriage.
In that original interview, when Henkel had been asked for his thoughts on the marriage amendment, he gave the following quote.
QUOTE: "I love my fellow Christians, and it is a [pause] disappointment... I know I make mistakes and in my own errors, and I see that my fellow Christians, in this particular situation, are also making a mistake. And, knowing, there but for the grace of God there go I. At the same time, I understand, just like we also need to preach about the truth that homosexual behavior is a sin according to the Word of God, the same thing is true is that idolatry is a sin according to the Word of God. And Revelation 21:8 says all idolators shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone..."
Explaining how so many Christian leaders could be making that unwitting mistake, Henkel then did what most evangelical Christians would do. He turned to the Bible. More than that, Henkel's explanations cited Biblical examples and responses about which only an obviously serious Bible student would even know or understand - proving his credibility and sincerity as a genuine Bible-believing Christian.
QUOTE: "And the problem is - really what we have is an example - is the leaders have gone the way of Jeroboam son of Nebat. And that is a perfect Bible Study to understand what has gone on with the leadership bringing us, because it is bringing God's people into idolatry to worship the false god of government as the 'savior' of marriage when God alone defined it, never needed government to define it, and we're not talking about Biblical marriage. We're talking about 'government marriage' which isn't Biblical. If you say marriage is not defined, a person's not married if it is not defined by the government, then you've just said every single person in the Bible wasn't married. God forbid. You've just called them all fornicators. God forbid..."
QUOTE: "The problem is turning to the false god of big socialist government to define it for us. And, the Revelation I read, the Book of Revelation I read doesn't say that, you know, the biggest threat to us Christians is the biological impossibility of 'same sex marriage.' It talks about the 'Beast' and having control over all. And THAT, the ability... to do that is through the continuing building up of precedents of socialist social engineering Marxist justifications for the false god of big socialist government to the point that has control over all the world, executes the 'war against the saints,' and ultimately, I can see the marriage amendment as being and having the blood of the killed saints in that war on its hands - having laid one of those Leftist, Marxist, Socialist engineering type of justification the government uses to justify social engineering."
Clearly, those kinds of quotes do not come - and could not come - from some liberal non-Christian who does not know or enjoy reading the Bible.
Further explaining why such social engineering is neither conservative nor Christian , Henkel further clarified. Using the same language and arguments as any Constitutionalist conservative would rightly use, he said the following.
QUOTE: "Individuals have rights. There's no such thing as 'society's rights.' 'Society's rights' is premised exclusively in Marxism. And anybody ever defining the idea, or using 'society has a right,' is using Marxist argumentation. And that's not conservative. That's not Christian. And that's not constitutional."
QUOTE: "The minute you justify using government for social engineering, you have embraced Liberalism."
With all that, Henkel explained the more-typical conservative solution to the "legalized same sex marriage" issue. In doing so, he repeated rhetoric that is familiar to most Christian conservatives when talking about most any other political issue: limited government as the Constitution requires.
QUOTE: "The real solution to prevent 'same sex marriage' is to remove government from being involved, and to remove the idolatry of the false god being involved in defining it. And whether people imagine... the biological impossibility of 'same sex marriage,' if they choose to imagine that, there is no legal basis, there's no 'slippery slope' at that point. So, the idea of establishing government authority, that's why anti-polygamy is the real 'slippery slope' that brought us to 'same sex marriage.'"
With those kind of arguments in the original interview, the 700 Club was clearly able to see that the movement of Christian Polygamy is truly coming from kind-hearted and Bible-based evangelical Christians. And so they rightly reported that fact in their first report about the movement. As facts and honesty required that they do nothing less, it is to their credit and is a reflection of the CBN network's integrity that they rightly did so.
As a final testimony of Henkel's Christian confidence, near the end of the interview, he offered himself to all of the Christian Churches, in a voice of gentle compassion.
QUOTE: "I have, basically, one thing I would like to say to every single conservative Christian, pastor, leader: Bring it on. Let's have an international television event. I'll take you all on, not because of me, but because the Word of God is so true. I'm nobody. I'm just a vessel... I'm nothing. The Word of God stands on Its own. And we can have this debate in front of everybody. I'll ask for a trial before all the churches. I'm glad to. But you know what? It's not likely to happen. Reason why? Because I'll win, because the truth really is the truth and the Spirit of God is the Spirit of God. Hallelujah!"
As anyone who is familiar with such conservative Christians knows, that kind of faithful confidence and rhetoric is clearly how evangelical Christians "talk and walk."
As such, the 700 Club's true integrity could only accurately report, "Polygamy has a range of defenders, including evangelical Christians." The 700 Club / CBN network, therefore, officially and honestly made its first historic report about the Christian Polygamy movement.
More QUOTES of the interview, and the tape itself