Television evangelist Marion G. (Pat) Robertson wrote in his 1972 autobiography that God told him to stay out of politics. But that admonition was deleted from a version of the book issued last October, the month after Robertson's announcement that he might seek the 1988 Republican presidential nomination, The Virginian-Pilot and The Ledger-Star reported.
In "Shout It From the Housetops," Robertson wrote that in 1966 he did not campaign for his father, a Democratic U.S. senator from Virginia, because God told him not to. "I yearned to get into the fray and start swinging, but the Lord refused to give me the liberty," Robertson said on page 195 of the 1972 paperback edition. " 'I have called you to my ministry,' he spoke to my heart. 'You cannot tie my eternal purposes to the success of any political candidate . . . not even your own father.' "
When 90,000 glossy hardback copies of the book were issued to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network and to be given to CBN contributors, the same passage in the revised edition reads simply, "I yearned to get into the fray and start swinging."
Joe Gray, a CBN spokesman, said that Robertson did not know of the deletion until Gray asked him about it at the newspaper's request. "He didn't really edit the book . . . . he didn't stop to go page by page. Why it wasn't in there, I don't know," Gray said, adding that he planned to contact the book's publisher and Robertson's coauthor to "see what really may have happened."
Coauthor Jamie Buckingham could not be reached for comment. However, when asked during a telephone interview whether Buckingham normally would have cleared any revisions he made through Robertson, his secretary said, "Definitely."