Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Quotable | Pat Robertson's Meaningless Affairs

Open quotation markThe less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause. A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business. --Eric Hoffer, philosopher and author (1902-1983) Hoffer's quote seems more than apt during a week in which everyone's "favorite" Christo-charlatan is in the news for advocating the assassination of a foreign leader (read here and here). Maybe Robertson is different than most folks and deserves special treatment ... a little leeway. I mean, come on, his god talks directly to him, as shown in his 2005 predictions:

  • The Re-Election of George W. Bush: "I think George Bush is going to win in a walk. I really believe I'm hearing from the Lord it's going to be like a blowout election in 2004. It's shaping up that way." [USAtoday.com]
  • The economy: "Again, 2005 is going to be a year of extraordinary prosperity for this nation and for CBN [Christian Broadcasting Network]. And I think the American stock market is going to surge upward, if I heard from the Lord. Again, ladies and gentlemen, don't go and buy stock on my recommendation, but that's what I feel in my heart. The Lord was saying it's going to be a super good year."
  • George W. Bush: "Well, the Lord has some very encouraging news for George Bush ... What I heard is that Bush is now positioned to have victory after victory and that his second term is going to be one of triumph, which is pretty strong stuff. ... He'll have Social Security reform passed. He'll have tax reform passed. He'll have conservative judges on the courts. And that basically he is positioned for a series of dramatic victories which I hope will hearten him and his advisers. They don't have to be timid in this matter because the wind is blowing at his back, and he can move forward boldly and get results."
  • Muslims and others turning to Jesus Christ: "In America, again if I'm hearing God right, we will see a tremendous incident of miracles in the year 2005. ... God's spirit is going to be moving in dramatic power around the world. And his spirit is going to be touching the hearts of many in the Muslim world and they will be turning to the gospel, to Jesus Christ. I think many of them already are, but this is going to be an acceleration that will really amaze the world. ... 'Revival will break out throughout the Muslim world, my [God's] truth will penetrate their hearts. The hold of that falsehood that has gripped them will be broken.'"
  • Terrorism and global security: "2005 will be another good year for the world. The terrorist threat will diminish. Nations will walk in peace, but it will be an illusion. The peril to Israel is greater now than it has ever been for she will be seduced into a false peace that will leave her vulnerable."
  • The Supreme Court: "The vendetta against religion in America is about to end. ... 'I [God] will remove judges from the Supreme Court quickly and their successors will refuse to sanction the attacks on religious faith.'"
Now, if that's not enough to convince that this man is dangerous, consider the fact that his loose tongue is not a recent phenomenon. Back in 1986, he said:
It is interesting, that termites don't build things, and the great builders of our nation almost to a man have been Christians, because Christians have the desire to build something. He is motivated by love of man and God, so he builds. The people who have come into (our) institutions (today) are primarily termites. They are into destroying institutions that have been built by Christians, whether it is universities, governments, our own traditions, that we have.... The termites are in charge now, and that is not the way it ought to be, and the time has arrived for a godly fumigation. -- New York Magazine, August 18, 1986
This was in the same year that he announced a bid to capture the Republican nomination for the upcoming Presidential election. Luckily, he didn't get the nom, let alone win the election. But the wake of that campaign paved the way for his future political activism as head of the Christian Coalition. From this well-financed group, he launched prayer initiatives that called on his Judeo-Christian god to "put it in the minds of these three judges that the time has come to retire" [July 2003]. Those 'three judges' were John Paul Stephens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O'Connor -- often considered the, uh, most liberal judges on the court. Robertson wanted them replaced with more conservative appointees. Was this a divine death threat? Some thought as much. More likely, it was crazy talk from an old crank. Albeit a crank that still has considerable money and devotees at his disposal. ::: Sigh ::: For a good summary of Pat Robertson's controversial statements, check out A Controversial Figure on Wikipedia. Or just Google his name.

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