Pat Robertson wants to know why Jewish people are so rich

The televangelist brings on a right-wing rabbi to spout racial stereotypes and decry Marxism

Published March 31, 2014 5:40PM (EDT)

Pat Robertson                                        (Reuters/Brian Snyder)
Pat Robertson (Reuters/Brian Snyder)

Longtime televangelist and former GOP presidential candidate Pat Robertson devoted a portion of his "The 700 Club" show on Monday to answering a question that, for all his experience and heavenly wisdom, the octogenarian leader of the religious right has yet to figure out: Why are Jews so rich, anyway?

Joined by conservative activist Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Robertson hoped to share with his audience some of the habits of highly successful Jews. "What is it about Jewish people that make them prosper financially?" Robertson asked. "You almost never find Jews tinkering with their cars on the weekends or mowing their lawns, that's what Daniel Lapin says."

After Lapin enthusiastically explained why Jewish people don't spend their weekends underneath their cars and mowing their lawns — because they opt instead to pay someone else to do these things — Robertson joked that Jews were "polishing diamonds" on their weekends instead of doing handiwork.

"Exactly! I'm taking care of what I can do best," Lapin agreed. He then went on to describe the process of paying someone money to perform menial labor as a way to "serve" one's fellow human and thus please god.

But you know who doesn't please god, according to Lapin and Robertson? Karl Marx! According to Lapin, Marxists want to "turn people into slaves" by increasing the size of government and the level of taxation. "The Marxist vision is slavery," Lapin said, "'you work for us, you give everything to us, and we take care of everything.'" Lapin argued that, in many respects, the U.S. government had already become a Marxist enterprise.

You can watch Robertson's "diamonds" remark as well as Lapin's definition of Marxism below, both via Right Wing Watch:

By Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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