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Pat Robertson: Murder In GTA As Sinful As In Real Life

Pat Robertson, host of The 700 Club on the Christian Broadcasting Network, has never pulled any punches in his religiously based criticism of popular media.

So with Grand Theft Auto V on the horizon it shouldn't come as any surprise that the evangelical host had something over the top to say about video games. As reported by Media Matters, Robertson recently responded to a question about whether or not doing something in a game was the same as committing the actual sin it portrayed. In reference to games like Grand Theft Auto, he remarked:

"If you're murdering somebody in cyberspace in a sense you're performing the act, you like it or not."

This reminds me of a story Ben reported on here about baptism in Bioshock Infinite. It seems some people still can't draw the line between doing something in reality and effecting scenes on a video screen. We've still got a ways to go to advance rational thinking pertaining to video games.

Related Game(s): Grand Theft Auto V

Tags: Grand Theft Auto V, Religion, Pat Robertson

8/2/2013 11:08:19 PM David D. Nelson

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Comments (53 posts)

JDC80
Friday, August 02, 2013 @ 11:35:35 PM
Reply

If that's true I would spend 2,000 years in prison for the stuff I did in GTA San Andreas.

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Cho_Quin
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 12:47:23 PM

I kill'd prostitutes with a dildo in that game... soooo i'm going to hell right?

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Zemus101
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 7:05:38 PM

If you think of it on a larger scale, including every game where you can kill people in existence, than that's something like the Earth's entire population several times over. Especially with all the online shooters out there.

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Underdog15
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 12:20:25 AM
Reply

This guy is an embarrassment to everyone else he pretends to represent. Fanaticism gets more air time than sensibility, I suppose.

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Beamboom
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 3:56:19 AM

It always has. :(
Media thrives on the extremes, it's the exceptions that makes a story worth telling.


Last edited by Beamboom on 8/3/2013 3:56:59 AM

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Lord carlos
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 12:44:09 AM
Reply

'dum dum dum'

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 12:57:58 AM
Reply

I have no problem with religion but that's just a really...stupid thing to say.

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Underdog15
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 9:04:23 PM

The sad thing is lots of people actually think this guy represents most of the people he claims to represent.

That couldn't be further from the truth.

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cLoudou
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 1:03:48 AM
Reply

well, sh!t, I'm going to hell, couldn't count how many times I have murdered someone...virtually of course.

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Hand_of_Sorrow
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 1:16:43 AM
Reply

Thankyou!!

now i know why i've felt so guilty (not really)when ever i killed someone
in a game :p

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 11:25:49 AM

lol

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maxpontiac
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 1:38:39 AM
Reply

If any of you have me on your PSN friends list, you may have noticed my faith based comments in my profile bubble. I do this because Christ and my beliefs are very important to me and I want to let others know who I am.

With that said, I am very disappointed over what has been said on the 700 Club. First and foremost, it goes against the basic principle that Jesus represented because it instantly puts the person who doesn't know Christ on the defensive. With walls up and ears closed, how is someone going to see the salvation that Jesus offers?

I am saddened over this display of ignorance and the comments that have been made. I would like to apologise to this community on behalf of those who call Jesus our Lord and Saviour. Not all of us believe like this nor do we put ourselves in a place of judgement of others.

So I ask all of PSXE not to be too harsh on Christians and remember that most of us (who are gamers) don't feel this way at all.

God Bless,

Tom

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Apocrita
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 7:27:45 AM

I'm right there with ya'!

Ironically, that would/should/could (if he were to be believed and taken literally) mean that if I had a “Present the Gospel” option in a dialogue tree and the NPC accepted the message, I would, according to his illogical tripe be, “in a sense you're performing the act, you like it or not”

Just imagine the eternal potentiality when/if a game maker latches on to the concept! Building the eternal kingdom through game-play options...huzzah! I played my way through Fable and Oblivion multiple times, once in both, only ever doing good deeds. Does that count? Did that make me a better person? Did I store riches in heaven? Can I have it both ways?

Would he then credit gamers and game programers for expanding that, or is it not sensational enough for him to comment on? Just think of the possibilities.

He's found a means to extract wealth from trusting people with his program, it's sad and pathetic.

On the brighter side, however, his badly misunderstood, misinterpreted and absolutely incorrectly applied theology comes from Mathew 5. Go read it for yourself, it's a great passage. It has a lot to offer that this egocentric buffoon seems to overlook in his grasping attempt to expand his pathetic money grubbing empire.

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Clamedeus
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 7:42:02 AM

No need to apologize Max, I know not all Christians think like him.

I'm not religious myself, I can respect that. :)

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 11:23:15 AM

Yeah, don't worry about it, Max. I think intelligent people understand that not all Christians or people of faith believe what this guy said. In fact, I'm not surprised that they're flat-out disappointed in what he said.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 11:29:40 AM

Atheists tend to see us all this way, which is really sad.

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PoopsMcGee
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 1:53:21 PM

Just the loud-mouthed-blustering-moron atheists, really. Just like everything else they're the ones that get through the loudest...

I think of myself as more of an Agnostic, but that's a bit of a cop out (it's more complicated than that)...

I see the good and bad that comes of organized religion in society and I know it has been the catalyst for great changes (civil rights movement, etc.) but it is also, often times, a breeding ground for fearful people justifying their personal hatreds of other groups.

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Underdog15
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 9:10:03 PM

@poops

I actually respect people who call themselves agnostics.

Ever hear the phrase "God doesn't believe in the atheist"? lol It's funny but it makes a great point at the core. None can prove God exists using the scientific method. But you can't prove he doesn't, either. Agnostics are the most realistic non-religious folks because they recognize there just isn't enough proof either way and have a hard time concluding anything thus far. Atheists and people with religious beliefs take a stance based on faith (believing in something that can't be proven on paper, anyways)... and it's somewhat hypocritical to say, "I'm an atheist"... deciding to believe in not believing in anything. lol

It also shows you're truly more open minded than most of us. :p

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Temjin001
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 11:11:39 PM

Christians fought, died for, and 'murdered' for the very country many of us here have today. We;re all sinners so saying that something is a sin only describes the human condition. Our own damnation is for God to judge.
People seem to forget sometimes that most of video games killing stems from motives of defending what's right. And that is something held very valuable to those who believe in truth and God.

Also, thinking and acting are two entirely different things. As one is temptation and the other is resolving a CHOICE to act in a specific way. Knowledge is what can govern our impulses, and or, temptations.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 8/3/2013 11:12:26 PM

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PlatformGamerNZ
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 2:59:20 AM
Reply

well i wudn't agree on the level of video games generally as my uncle talked to my brother about this kinda of stuff awhile ago about christian values with respect to video games he was playing left 4 dead. and i wudn't say i agree as i don't believe just because you're a christian doesn't mean you can't enjoy playing games that involve killing. it's like everything with moderation. cos i play any number or games that involve killing people and zombies and things and well i don't see a problem cos wat goes on in the game(the stuff you do) stay's there for me. I don't have a huge problem but in saying that i'm not much of a fan of the series. but thats just me.

i'm sure that GTA gets you to do stuff that isn't the best but it is a game so it isn't reality. idk where ppl want to draw the line it's a bit of a toughy. urgh maybe another day.

happy gaming =)

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Beamboom
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 3:55:07 AM
Reply

This guy clearly never plays any games in his life. Like... Chess. Or Risk.

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Broady
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 6:45:12 AM

Or battleship - "oh no, I just blew up hundreds of innocent soul's on a plastic destroyer"

Some people have a very blinkered view of the world

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Underdog15
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 9:11:42 PM

Or monopoly... that's kinda immoral too, if you think about it... Not just taking money from paying customers, but taking everything everyone else owns, including their homes! lol

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tes37
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 4:13:35 AM
Reply

Pat Robertson doesn't like GTA, but he's okay with making satanic hand gestures. Anybody who calls themselves a christian knows Pat's left hand is showing where his true allegiance lies.

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Ludicrous_Liam
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 8:16:25 AM

Haha, good catch.

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Underdog15
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 9:12:10 PM

lol!

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fatelementality
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 7:23:32 AM
Reply

This coming from a man who claims he can sense brain tumors and cancer in people from thousands of miles away and heal them. He can also predict destructive weather and send the poop in his ass to a random toilet via telekinesis. Ok, I made one of those up. Kinda hard to tell which though.

Last edited by fatelementality on 8/3/2013 7:24:21 AM

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Draguss
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 7:33:46 AM

Um...is it the weather one?

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Ludicrous_Liam
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 8:18:59 AM

lol!...you guys are being pretty comical today. I guess with his sort of comments all you can do is laugh..

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fatelementality
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 9:22:38 AM

If you look at the picture of him it kinda looks like he's doing the poop thing.

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Darwin1967
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 9:48:57 AM
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From the point of view from an agnostic, I would say that Mr. Robertson is committing the greater sin...he is using his pulpit to evangelize in the name of god for benjamins and to use the name of God, the bible, and religion for his own greed (which, if I'm not mistaken, is one of the deadly sins). but alas, that seems to be the rule rather than the exception with televangelists. I wonder if this person, who likes to vomit, has ever heard about the Ballad of Gay Tony...no doubt his pseudo christian head would explode into a mist of vomit for having the word "gay" in it.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 11:28:18 AM
Reply

I am also a person of faith and can tell you Pat Robertson has just gotten more and more extreme with age, it's a shame really but apparently that's how you get attention.

He does raise a very important point though, the general public sees the line between real acts and acts in a game as blurry. The average gamer doesn't.

Robertson also admits he has never played a game.

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Beamboom
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 1:35:56 PM

Sorry but I don't buy that. The general public, on average, does *not* see this line as blurry.

Are there individuals who do? But of course. But just like this gentleman here do not represent the average religious man, I refuse to believe those individuals are representative for the general public.

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FatherSun
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 2:05:12 PM

If that line is blurry then most do not know the difference between reality and video games and my faith in humanity continues to diminish.

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Underdog15
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 9:24:07 PM

If my in-laws come over, I'm careful about which games are out. Just because I like to avoid conversations.

They once sat down with me with a "concern". I thought it was gonna be something serious like a relative got cancer or something. They ended up saying they were worried about my son growing up in a house that has video games. They were worried that he would think it's ok to play games all the time.

I was patient with them, of course. I mean, they're my wife's parents and my son's grandparents. I have to. I live in the same city as them. (My parents are a good 20 hour drive away, so I have no nearby allies. lol)

After trying to explain that I believe in boundaries... explaining I plan to enforce the ESRB ratings for the most part... and that those ratings are the most reliable ratings in the world... explaining my view on the importance of being physically active, reading books, and working hard...

... I eventually just said to them... you know, you had no issues with me marrying your daughter and I've never thought you the types to think poorly of me. I have proved my worth through my work, study, and I take extremely good care of my family. You -know- I have a great social life... Did you -also- know I've been playing video games since I was FOUR?! And I haven't stopped since?

Because my parents were great with boundaries, and I plan to set very similar ones with our son, and I plan to share this hobby with him... as well as sports and music... And I think that's something you're going to have to be ok with unless you think I'm not a good example of a man you would like our son to grow up to be. Then I think we have much more to discuss.

They then said ok and that they were just glad that I knew how they felt... *ugh* Fortunately, they never brought it up since so far. I later offered them the chance to come over and see some of the games I played, but they haven't yet. (I plan on showing Journey.)

I also started blogging on occasion about games as art, and I let them know when things like grammy nominations and the like happen.


But to answer Beammy's question... I can tell you that yes... otherwise well educated and intelligent people very much -DO- have a problem with the blurred lines. And they are respectable and wise people that I respect on almost every other discussion we have. Outside of gaming, we're actually quite like minded. It's just due to a lack of knowledge and understanding. But it's there. They genuinely know almost nothing about games. They think both that they are extremely violent... and only a kids hobby. (I haven't figured that one out yet either, so don't ask)

Last edited by Underdog15 on 8/3/2013 9:27:15 PM

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booze925
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 11:49:07 AM
Reply

So am I a sadistic psychopath because I had endless fun shooting innocent city intersections with RPG's in GTA4? Or purposefully going out of my way and taking my SUV on the sidewalk to hit a massive group of pedestrians?
Because I laughed when I did both

Last edited by booze925 on 8/3/2013 11:49:35 AM

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PC_Max
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 12:14:10 PM
Reply

Well, not a Pat Roberts fan. He may.... and I say may have a point but he is twisting it to suit his view and again, being confrontational, WHICH will definitely bring the bad mouth gamers out.

Well... and this is maybe a somewhat off the wall comparison.... is having virtual sex or relation with someone online in games like WoW or other social games... when you are married or with a girl/boy friend.... CHEATING?

Some say yes. But is it really cheating on your spouse or just all in fun? Its another hot debate that started years ago and is still around lingering behind the whole violent game issue.

Do gamers care? No, I would say most don't, but I have no numbers to prove it. Just from what I have seen and read on forums or have heard in some conversations between players in MP when I have ventured online, not that much. And I think most don't care until these issues happen to them.

The source, Pat Robertson, is not the best of sources. I think there are more credible people on , dare I say it, his side of the issue. It does make a bit of sense, but remove it from religious context and keep it in a social context, in a world that with each generation becomes more de-sensitized to violence and less empathetic. BUT he is taking it down an inflammatory road, but I am all for freedom of speech and opinion and his is as important as anyone else's. Whether we disagree or not to some degree. Just why did it have to be him. lol

Take care and keep playing!

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FatherSun
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 2:02:20 PM
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http://www.nndb.com/people/552/000022486/

He has demons just as any other human being. He has his right to his OPINION, but of course his influence will affect the gaming industry negatively. I wonder how many of his followers have forbidden video games after these comments.

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JROD0823
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 2:37:14 PM
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I hope Rockstar adds a mockery of Pat Robertson in one of the inevitable expansions to GTA V, so that I may enjoy being able to sin as I kill his digital likeness as many times as I please. :)

I have much respect for religious people, but his (and others like him) outrageous views on things due to such warped beliefs makes the whole lot of religious folks look bad, which certainly isn't the case, and it's a shame that people like him do the rest such a disservice.

Last edited by JROD0823 on 8/3/2013 3:34:44 PM

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broox9
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 8:27:17 PM
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I come to this site because I am a gamer and i know i can get thoughtful and intelligent commentary, reviews, and opinions. As a Christian (an associate Pastor at that), when something like this happens we usually take it on the chin. Thanks for proving my reasons for coming here. :)

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maxpontiac
Monday, August 05, 2013 @ 1:43:48 PM

Indeed. I am once again very impressed by the maturity of this website, although I shouldn't be because it's been this way since I have been here.

PSXE = Classy.

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Twistedfloyd
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 9:02:40 PM
Reply

Man. I have sure run over a lot of people then in GTA IV, GTA III, San Andreas and Vice City. Sure have shot a lot of people in those games. Yet I am terrified of guns in real life, and have never run over a single person in real life.

There must be some connection here?

Oh wait. It's a freaking game! Gah, I am tired of these ignorant people and their statements that are so absolutely silly and unjustified.

You're performing the act, but it's fake. It's a game, it has no connection to real life in any respect.

You have a controller in your hand, not a gun. There's a massive difference.

Guess the justice system better charge about 100 million people for murder then, Pat Robertson. That is if we're going on your way of thinking.

Last edited by Twistedfloyd on 8/3/2013 9:04:48 PM

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Bigimpactpooch
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 9:48:35 PM
Reply

Wait what? "If you're murdering somebody in cyberspace in a sense you're performing the act" I've killed countless of zombies/infected or people trying to harm me in the gamespace...and he's telling me that it's like doing it in real life. I should be called a Hero for all the great deeds I have done to save this world!

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JDC80
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 9:56:51 PM
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I think between Christmas of 2004 to fall of 2007 the body count for me in GTA San Andreas was 10,204. A lot of chain explosions and random acts of street violence.

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Amnesiac
Sunday, August 04, 2013 @ 4:34:27 AM
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What a fool

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ricksterj
Sunday, August 04, 2013 @ 12:10:44 PM
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& so it goes; lather rinse & repeat.

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richfiles
Sunday, August 04, 2013 @ 2:03:05 PM
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Murder is ending a life before the time God knows that life is destined to end. No spirits or souls or bodies of any kind exist in these variations of media, and thus no life has been terminated. I myself am a Christian... but boy does this guy makes me utterly facepalm!

/)_-

By the Christian rules, if you were thinking of that one annoying coworker, or your ex every time you pulled the trigger button, that could be considered a sin of thought, but if all you are doing is just blowing some steam and having some fun with a simple game...

PPPTTTHHHHT!!! :P

No problemo!

Last edited by richfiles on 8/4/2013 2:06:07 PM

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EagerGamer
Sunday, August 04, 2013 @ 2:59:37 PM
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Oh yeah i made some pixels behave differently because of an input command through my games console controller which is depicted as killing a fictional rendered character.
Having designed things in Blender I find it tough to take seriously the "killing" or "murder" of mesh files or whatever else may be used to render characters on screen. Going far too over the top and dramatic in trying to be a goody two shoes as an evangelist. How about if all characters can just respawn at a later point? Whether they affect the game or not afterwards?
Such a fool and so unqualified to comment.

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Ather
Sunday, August 04, 2013 @ 5:09:59 PM
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I take it he's never killed a bug or spider? What about killing time? He's going to Hell too.

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sinisterurge
Sunday, August 04, 2013 @ 6:57:19 PM
Reply

So, is it murder if it's not a real living thing but a real character in cyberspace? like a goomba for example.

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Limbo
Monday, August 05, 2013 @ 6:15:52 AM
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Pat Robertson is a dinosaur and knows that his kind is almost extinct. These are just the last desperate attempts to get some attention.

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eatatjoes
Monday, August 05, 2013 @ 11:24:01 AM
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if this was true, god help me for the kills i have made in cs and css and cs:go in my lifetime, i am well over the million mark... but then again so is my death count... so that's something right?

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kmurder
Monday, August 05, 2013 @ 5:24:01 PM
Reply

It's sad that anyone even cares what this old piece of shit has to say anyway...I'm mean really who is this guy?

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