PAT ROBERTSON’S HELPFUL TIPS FOR 2009…. If you’ve never seen TV preacher Pat Robertson’s television show, you may not realize that the one-time Republican presidential candidate insists he has a special divine gift. Untold millions may try to communicate with God through prayer, but Robertson believes God communicates with him through “words of knowledge.”

Robertson then tells his viewing audience about all of the “messages” he’s received from above, including annual predictions for the new year, which he believes are inspired directly by the Big Guy. (If the prediction proves to be right, it’s proof of Robertson’s connection with God; if the prediction proves false, it means Robertson simply misinterpreted God’s message. Either way, rest assured, the TV preacher really is regularly engaged in divine communication.)

This year, Robertson had all kinds of interesting predictions to share, including word from God that Americans will embrace socialism in large numbers in response to the economic crisis, Obama will help fix the economy, the value of the dollar will fall, Islam will “weaken,” and widespread poverty will give Christian evangelism a boost.

Of course, as my friend Kyle noted, Robertson’s track record on divine predictions is a little shaky, so “700 Club” viewers should plan accordingly.

Remember, as easy as it is to scoff at Robertson’s nonsense, he has a large audience that regularly writes him generous checks, and he’s still considered an influential figure in conservative politics.

No, I don’t understand it either.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.