Pat Robertson has said a lot of shocking things, but his latest comment about the transgender community might be the most surprising yet.
The 83-year-old televangelist sat down on Sunday for the "Bring It Online" advice portion of his Christian Broadcasting Network show, "The 700 Club." A viewer named David wrote in asking how he should refer to two transgender females who work in his office and have legally changed their genders. Instead of criticizing the trans individuals, Robertson approached the situation in a seemingly level-headed manner.
"I think there are men who are in a woman's body," he said. "It's very rare. But it's true -- or women that are in men's bodies -- and that they want a sex change. That is a very permanent thing, believe me, when you have certain body parts amputated and when you have shot up with various kinds of hormones. It's a radical procedure. I don't think there's any sin associated with that. I don't condemn somebody for doing that."
He went on to say he would "question the validity" of someone who just says, "Well I'm really a woman" because you "don't count somebody as female unless they really are, or male unless they really are."
When his co-host said the viewer doesn't know the intentions or medical history of his co-workers, Robertson rebutted, "It's not for you to decide or to judge."
The remarks from Robertson -- who has ranted about gays, Muslims and demons in Goodwill sweaters -- were applauded by various blogs.
ThinkProgress called his statement a "refreshing change of pace." Back 2 Stonewall joked that the comments might push anti-gay American Family Association host Bryan Fischer even "deeper into the end of the insanity pool." America Blog called it a "huge deal."
"Robertson’s statement is, at its core, sympathetic," wrote America Blog's John Aravosis. "And regardless of how flawed the rest of his quote is ... these are the kind of positive statements that help a movement move forward, especially one that is less known to the public than, for example, being gay. Say what you will about Robertson, but this quote is very helpful."