Fugitives from Fundamentalism

The Musings of Adult Missionary Kids (MKs) & Former Born-Again Believers

Pat Robertson’s Christian Truth

Posted by Clamence/The Chaplain on January 14, 2010

I would be seriously remiss if I did not post something about Pat Robertson’s recent comments that have gotten everyone talking. To summarize, after the earthquake in Haiti that has so far killed between 45-50,000 people, Pat Robertson went on the air to offer his compassion, love and support…

Not quite; that would occur in an alternative reality, where Pat exists as a non-racist, non-ignoramus. Unfortunately, in this world, Pat is a self-righteous prophet of condemnation. Here is a video clip from The Young Turks whose commentary on the clip is worth listening to. I like the anchor’s incredulous attitude:

My Christian and non-Christian friends alike have been talking about Pat’s comments on Facebook. One of my Christian friends even posted a link to a story, written from a Christian perspective, that essentially condemns Robertson’s comments. I like what the author, Donald Miller, had to say in the article, but there is still something missing from the Christian debate that I would like to comment on. Miller basically accuses Robertson of having poor timing. Miller writes, “it was sadly irresponsible for [Pat Robertson] to make such a devastatingly shocking statement in the context of great hurt. Can you imagine giving the eulogy at a funeral and starting out by saying “before I tell you about God’s grace, let me make it clear that little Johnny deserved to die because he stole candy from a store.” There is something wrong with a person who would do this.” Miller’s point is right on, Robertson does have poor timing, but this masks a much deeper and more disturbing issue: the belief system that causes someone to think that people hundreds of years ago could have made a pact with a supernatural, evil entity who extracts payment in the form of geological phenomena from the descendants of those who made the pact. The flaw in Robertson is ultimately rooted in his belief in ridiculous ideas like the existence of deities and spirits. It is the underlying assertion of the Christian faith — that an invisible realm of entities exists — that is directly responsible for Robertson’s insensitivity.

Note that there is no Christian on earth who can, with a straight face, claim that Robertson’s assertion (that Haiti is suffering because of a pact with the Devil) does not fit within the cosmology of Christianity. All that Christians who disagree with Pat can do is disagree with his technique and bad timing. After all, the truth of the matter is, given a Christian framework for viewing the world, it IS ENTIRELY POSSIBLE THAT GOD IS PUNISHING HAITIANS FOR MAKING A PACT WITH THE DEVIL! Preposterous conclusions stem directly from preposterous presuppositions. If your framework for viewing the world allows that such a possibility could occur — that devils and angels and holy spirits and god in human form exists — well, what other evidence do you need to see that belief in invisible and supernatural realms is utterly beneath the average human’s capacity for independent thought? If your paradigm for viewing the world allows such possibilities to exist, then it is a pretty negative and preposterous paradigm. In my worldview, people don’t die or suffer due to invisible entities who dole out rewards and punishments based on rules in a book written by people who thought the world was flat. I think that makes my paradigm superior. Enough said.

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12 Responses to “Pat Robertson’s Christian Truth”

  1. Jerry said

    It seems like Pat Robertson’s timing is actually pretty good. He always times these insane comments to exploit his followers’ gullible nature to the max and to extract as much money from otherwise well-meaning people as possible. I honestly believe he is very mentally ill, probably delusional and psychotic, but he has protected himself in a suit of televangelism and lawyers long enough that the guys with white coats can’t pick him up and take him away. He just makes up this shit and, while the vast majority of us recognize it for what it is, there are still a lot of people out there who are taken in by it and drink the Kool-Aid.

  2. Heh, heh…yeah, from the perspective that Pat has a mental disorder and an extreme lust for money, unrelated to his general belief in ancient superstitions, then I guess his timing was spot on!

    As an aside, I just found this response to Robertson’s comments from the Haitian Ambassador:

  3. Jerry said

    I just love the blatant double standard — While demanding freedom from tyranny (unfair taxation and rule) is romanticized and glamorized in the collective memory of our own American Revolution, Robertson is implying that forced slavery isn’t a good enough reason for other groups or countries to get up and revolt.

  4. Ann said

    “…the belief system that causes someone to think that people hundreds of years ago could have made a pact with a supernatural, evil entity who extracts payment in the form of geological phenomena from the descendants of those who made the pact.”

    –Very funny. My parents believe this kind of stuff is a reality. For instance, they think if I make certain choices in this lifetime (as influenced by the devil), my children and grandchildren may suffer supernatural consequences such as supernaturally caused suffering. Seriously!

    Let’s be real. Pat loves his money. What’s sad is he gets a bunch of his money from other people who suffer from mental illness, or are homebound like senior adults, spending their days watching him on tv, donating their prescription medication or social security money to him so he can keep his upper class lifestyle.

  5. JN said

    Pat Robertson knows the Haitians signed a deal with the devil because he was there (he may have even composed the first draft). Seriously, how else could Haiti have won their freedom? Everybody knows the dice were loaded. Everybody knows the good guys lost. Everybody knows the fight was fixed. The poor stay poor stay poor, the rich stay rich. That’s how it goes. Everybody knows.

    (Partially plagiarized from Leonard Cohen)

    • Ann said

      Christian Slater was sweet in Pump Up the Volume. I think Concrete Blonde does a better version of the song.

      • JN said

        I don’t think I’ve seen Pump Up the Volume, but I’ve heard the Concrete Blonde cover. I don’t know if I like it better, but it’s a nice variation.

        Cohen is not a great singer or musician (his music sometimes sounds like overproduced folksy Euro-pop), but he’s a pretty killer lyricist. His poetry is OK, but I can’t bring myself to take much time to read it.

        • Ann said

          JN,

          Those lyrics are heartbreakingly beautiful. And,I kinda like his singing voice.

        • JN said

          His songs are powerful, sometimes disturbing. I think he’s probably better live than on some of his recordings, but I kind of like this video:

          This song brings to mind the prophetic visions of Blake and Yeats:

          If you haven’t heard much of Cohen’s music, check him out. Many of his songs are available online.

  6. stephy said

    I think Pat’s the one who made a pact.

  7. Ann said

    “In my worldview, people don’t die or suffer due to invisible entities who dole out rewards and punishments based on rules in a book written by people who thought the world was flat. I think that makes my paradigm superior.”

    Holding a worldview that believes death and suffering can be willfully doled out arbitrarily by a deity is quite frankly, extremely disturbing. Take that further–any worldview that believes a deity can decide the eternal fate of a soul it created using rules it created is quite frankly, extremely disturbing. Is it me or would these rewards and punishments have to be decided on by an entity who is mentally disturbed and committible considering their randomness; mental illness as defined by the vast majority of paradigms existing on the earth? I think God needs some long-term, intensive therapy. Apparently deity status excludes one from having any kind of moral compass whatsoever. Chaplain, your paradigm is superior to God’s.

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