I can't believe it!! Pat is at it again. On second thought, of course I can believe it. We're talking about Pat Robertson, so this is just the latest in a long string of... of... well, I can't come up with a suitably strong PG word to use here and I'm going to refrain from using the R and X rated words that I REALLY want to use.
What has Pat done this time? He's calling the earthquake in Haiti a "blessing in disguise" and explaining that God caused the earthquake in Haiti because the Haitian people made a pact with the devil back in 1804. Really. Here he is saying it:
A pact with the devil??? Can you believe it??? How would Pat know this? Are we to believe that he has some secret Haitian documents that detail this pact, or that God has personally told him this??? This is the same man who blamed the 9/11 attacks on the ACLU, feminists and gays, who said that Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment for America's immorality, who praised Liberia's Charles Taylor (indicted on charges of war crimes for the atrocities in Liberia and Sierra Leone) as "a fellow Baptist," explained that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was God's judgment for pursuing peace talks with the Palestinians, and who called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
Pat Robertson is deluded, sick, dangerous, and evil. With the possible exception of fanatics who murder doctors at OBGYN clinics, Robertson's insane "theology" represents the very worst face of "Christianity" -- and I can't even write that without using the quotation marks.
Robertson's religious perversion is precisely what God was addressing in the Third Commandment. The King James Version of the Bible, which I grew up with, rendered Exodus 20:7 as "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain." When I was growing up, the kids in my church were always told that this commandment meant that we should never say "God damn" in a fit of pique, or say "Jesus Christ" when we were exasperated. Sadly, this simplified lesson for children missed the real point of the commandment, which is better expressed in the New International Version, which reads, "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold guiltless anyone who misuses his name."
Again and again and again, Robertson has misused the name of God. He hasn't done it by using rude and socially inappropriate phrases that might make church ladies blush, but he has done it by committing the very real sin of misrepresenting God, of creating a monster-god who lashes out with hurricanes, earthquakes and hijacked airplanes to bring "judgment" upon people that Robertson hates. Robertson has misused the name of God by seeking his own notoriety, by appealing for people to financially support his "ministry," by allying himself with brutal "Christian" warlords for his own financial gain, by blaming the victims of natural disasters and terrorist actions, and by profiting upon the misery of others. The only things that separate Robertson from the Taliban are the name of the religion that he misuses and the fact that our political system has prevented him from gaining the political power that his 1988 presidential bid shows that he craves.
I'm going to stop for now, but when Robertson says something else like this next time -- and we all know that is a question of "when" and not "if" -- I'm going to stop holding back and say what I REALLY feel.
Here's what the folks at theyoungturks.com have to say about Pat and his latest pronouncement.