Friday, August 24, 2012

Pat Robertson Hates Mormons

In the late 1980's Pat Robertson's cable network, The Family Channel, purchased the 'Bonanza: Lost Episodes' package.

Robertson felt that five of the 170 shows were not suitable for 'family' viewing. One had a character with occult powers, another had a picture of a nude woman hanging in a barroom.

Another one, a two-parter titled 'The Pursued', concerned a Mormon rancher and his two wives who arrive in a new community. The locals don't take kindly to them and their ways, and make their lives a misery. It's a good show and a great cast including Eric Fleming (of 'Rawhide' fame), Dina Merrill and one of my all-time favorites, Lois Nettleton.

The Cartwrights, of course, have a more tolerant view, as they apparently believe in the Mormons right to worship as they see fit.

It's obvious that Robertson felt the show had to be pulled because it showed Mormons (and polygamy) in a favorable light. The only other possible explanation is that it shows a Protestant minister as a fanatic who is responsible for riling up the town.

However, at the end of the show, another Protestant minister is portrayed as a good guy. And besides, crazy ministers is a dramatic staple. There's even another 'Bonanza' episode with Edward Andrews as an insane preacher. While not one of the 'Lost Episodes' that Robertson was able to censor, I have to wonder if he would have pulled that one as well. I doubt it.


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