Thursday, January 05, 2006

Nutty Pat strikes again

Today, a prominent religious leader has declared that Israeli Prime Minster Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine retribution.

Was it some fanatical jihadist mullah?

Nope.

Here's a hint: his initials are Pat Robertson.

"God considers this land to be his," Robertson said on his TV program "The 700 Club." "You read the Bible and he says `This is my land,' and for any prime minister of Israel who decides he is going to carve it up and give it away, God says, `No, this is mine.'"

Sharon, who ordered Israel's withdrawal from Gaza last year, suffered a severe stroke on Wednesday.

In Robertson's broadcast from his Christian Broadcasting Network in Virginia Beach, the evangelist said he had personally prayed about a year ago with Sharon, whom he called "a very tender-hearted man and a good friend." He said he was sad to see Sharon in this condition.

He also said, however, that in the Bible, the prophet Joel "makes it very clear that God has enmity against those who 'divide my land.'"

Sharon "was dividing God's land and I would say woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the EU (European Union), the United Nations, or the United States of America," Robertson said.

In discussing what he said was God's insistence that Israel not be divided, Robertson also referred to the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who had sought to achieve peace by giving land to the Palestinians. "It was a terrible thing that happened, but nevertheless he was dead," he said.


This is a guy who has been a fairly regular guest on Fox News' Hannity & Colmes as a spokesman for religious conservatives.

Recently, Pat Robertson has called for the assassination of Venezuela president Hugo Chavez and threatened the citizens of Dover, Pennsylvania with God's wrath for voting out anti-Darwin school board members. And now, this.

Can we all finally agree that Pat Robertson is beyond the pale?


25 comments:

Y said...

I some how doubt Pat Robertson takes the words in the bible regarding the fate of false prophets very seriously.

It is amazing there is a significant number who actually believe him and (I assume) consider Mr. Robertson honest.

Rainsborough said...

Y and Cathy, it's obvious to me you just haven't read your Joel, and hence remain ignorant of what God is up to. Better watch what He's got in store for you!

Revenant said...

It is amazing there is a significant number who actually believe him and (I assume) consider Mr. Robertson honest

Do a significant number of people pay attention to Robertson? The 700 Club has abyssmally low ratings. It stays on ABC Family because the network is contractually obligated to air it until CBN askes it to stop, and it stays on CBN because Pat controls the company. Basically, Pat's influence seems larger than it is because he's filthy rich and can pay for a big soapbox to shout from. It doesn't mean people actually listen to him anymore.

I suspect that most of what little appeal Robertson has is similar to that which Ann Coulter and Michael Moore have -- people like to hear invective levelled against their enemies, even if the invective frequently crosses the line. Does the average Michael Moore fan really think the Iraqi insurgents are heroes, for example?

Steven said...

Look, if claiming (in his book, The New World order) that there is a Satan-directed Mason-CFR-Illuminati-UN-Communist conspiracy that includes both George Herbert Walker Bush and George Lucas wasn't outrageous enough to get him dismissed as a loony, why would this?

jw said...

I think Pat Robertson is ... nuts? A false prophet? A political theorist pretending to be a preacher?

I think prophets exist: They are rare, but real. I do not think Pat Robertson is a prophet. I think he is wrong.

Cathy Young said...

I think Pat Robertson is ... nuts? A false prophet? A political theorist pretending to be a preacher?

All of the above? (as well as a hatemonger pretending to be a Christian?)

Lori Heine said...

Many people are afraid of the Good Reverend Robertson. I think they are wasting their time. As was once said (in that case, wrongly) of Barry Goldwater, "in your guts, you know he's nuts."

I think we should do nothing to shush mad hatters like him. Just wind 'em up and let 'em go. Before Robertson really started ranting, there were actually a lot of people who took him seriously. The more they say, the more completely they reveal just who they really are.

Anonymous said...

Revenant: Do a significant number of people pay attention to Robertson? The 700 Club has abyssmally low ratings.

According to Nielsen Media Research, The 700 Club, aired each weekday, has averaged 863,000 viewers in the last year. Compare with CNN last month — 713,000 viewers — or MSNBC, which averaged 280,000 viewers in prime time.

Revenant said...

The 700 Club, aired each weekday, has averaged 863,000 viewers in the last year. Compare with CNN last month — 713,000 viewers — or MSNBC, which averaged 280,000 viewers in prime time.

Those are all abyssmal ratings, though -- 863,000, for example, is 1/12th what 60 Minutes gets and substantially less even than cable fare like "Real Time with Bill Maher" and "The Daily Show". Granted, a few hapless souls do take Jon Stewart seriously, but when's the last time you heard of someone giving serious though to Bill Maher's or Andy Rooney's opinions on anything?

Also -- did you cut and paste those statistics? Because those were cited as the CNN and MSNBC ratings from "last month" in Byron York's NRO article back in August of 2005.

L. Ron Halfelven said...

At this point Robertson is squarely in the "famous for being famous" category. I'm a little surprised they haven't made him a regular on the Hollywood Squares yet.

Y said...

rainsborough, I didn't know the Book of Billy Joel was considered sacred text, however, I wouldn't mind going to his concerts. Just as long as I don't suffer the fate of Job in doing so.

Revenant, I would like to think Mr. Robertson's supposed influence to be out of proportion to what in fact it is. However, my own experience with some of those who watch "The 700 Club" and the following quote from a BBC article, leads me to think Pat does still have Power:

From: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4589270.stm

"But Mr Robertson is too big a figure in American politics to be ignored.

Mr Robertson, who once stood for the Republican presidential nomination, has many friends in high places.

President Bush's former attorney-general teaches at his university and Mr Robertson has an evening television programme with a million viewers."

Considering the number of people who actually do vote in the US, a million is still a signifigant block.

Revenant said...

Considering the number of people who actually do vote in the US, a million is still a signifigant block

I think the BBC is playing to its home audience's preconceived notion that America is controlled by fundamentalist loonies. Note that the best example they can come up with of Robertson's "powerful friends" is that retired AG John Ashcroft teaches at Pat Robertson university now.

Anyway, "a million viewers" is what the 700 Club claims to have, but that is significantly inflated from the actual Nielsen figures. But even if it were true, a million viewers does not add up to a significant force in American politics -- that's a third of a percent of the population. A third of a percent of the vote is even less than the Libertarian Party typically gets, and I don't think anybody considers *them* a significant force in American politics. Finally, inasmuch as Robertson's TV presence gives him influence, it would appear to be significantly less influence than the likes of Jon Stewart, Bill O'Reilly, Bill Maher, Jay Leno, etc, and far less influence than people like Mike Wallace.

William R. Barker said...

Hey Cath...

Since YOU brought this thread into being...

Why not dig up the actual biblical passages/quotes that Robertson was referring to. I for one would certainly like to know if Robertson was "spinning" the bible... but somehow I doubt it.

I read the New Testament once, back when I was in middle school I think. And of course during my life I've read passages/quotes/stories from the Old Testament. Correct me if I'm wrong, but... isn't it fair to say that there's all sorts of nutty stuff in both the Old and New Testament - and by nutty I mean stuff that if Pat Robertson or anyone else quoted Cathy Young would say, "there goes nutty Pat again?"

ANYWAY... for what it's worth I do think Pat Robertson is a couple bricks short of a full load, but whether you're an Old Testament fan, New Testament fan, Koran fan, whatever... all these books supposedly revealing God's will have nutty (to a 2006 western sensibility) stories and "instructions."

William R. Barker said...

Hmm... two days later... still waiting for Cathy to dig up the actual biblical text Robertson was quoting.

Cath... obviously the subject interests you... YOU'VE started two separate threads dedicated to "nutty Pat." Am I really expecting too much here???

BILL

Revenant said...

Hmm... two days later... still waiting for Cathy to dig up the actual biblical text Robertson was quoting.

Could you be more pretentious? You could have found the answer yourself in about fifteen seconds of Googling.

Robertson wasn't quoting anything. He was referring to chapter 3 of the Book of Joel, which is one of those "you conquered Israel and sold the Israelites into slavery, but now I'm going to conquer YOU and the Israelites will sell YOU into slavery prophecies the Bible is so fond of. There's nothing in there about striking Jewish leaders dead -- it is all about how foreign nations will be treated when Israel's power returns.

Am I really expecting too much here???

Since whether or not Pat's quote was in or out of context is unrelated to the question of whether or not he's a fanatic, the answer to your question is probably "yes". Accurate Bible quotation doesn't turn insane men sane.

William R. Barker said...

Revenant chides me by writing, "Could you be more pretentious?"

Well... actually... yes I could if I put my mind to it, Revenant. (*SMIRK*) No need though.

(*SCRATCHING MY HEAD*) Since when is calling for factual back-up, for actual quotes or citations a problem? Seriously, Revenant, I don't think my request was unreasonable or particularly "pretentious," but you have a right to react any way you see fit.

Here... let me put it another way... what I was trying to get across was that if people (anyone, not just Cathy) feel Pat Robertson is somehow "spinning" the bible they should back up the accusation (or tone of accusation - that's how I read it) with specifics. Since I doubt Pat Robertson is gonna join us here on The Y Files I guess what I'm doing is playing devil's advocate for the underdog.

Here, Revenant, let me further nail down where I'm coming from:

Check out Cathy's original post. In her first big paragraph Cathy writes "In discussing what he said was God's insistence that Israel not be divided..." Now I don't know if by "what he said" Cathy meant to give only a descriptive statement of fact, but even if that's all she meant, one could take the "what he said" as indicating that perhaps Cathy believes that's NOT what's said in the biblical passages Robertson was referring to. All I'm trying to do is clarify and make sure I correctly understand Cathy's position and intent. Is that really so wrong???

As I've said time and time again (NOT that I need to defend my views) I'm not a big Pat Robertson fan. That said... take Robertson's Hugo Chavez comment. According to Cathy that was something of a defining moment allowing one to label Robertson "beyond the pale."

Now Rev... (*SMIRK*)... need I harken back to JFK re: Castro and LBJ re: Diem? (*SMILE*) JFK is an American icon, warts and all. If considering (and perhaps approving!) assasination plans against foreign leaders and terrorist leaders automatically puts one "beyond the pale," then we'd better either sanitize American history or else rename a whole bunch of public buildings, awards, scholarships, streets, etc.

Jeez, Rev... if you think I'm pretentious I just hope to God you're not tuning in to the Alito hearings - those Senators will give you a stroke! (*GRIN*)

Cordially... (*SMILE*)

Revenant said...

Since when is calling for factual back-up, for actual quotes or citations a problem?

It is a problem whenever the person calling for the information is fully aware, as you were, of where and how to find it himself. It is fairly obvious that a person who spends two days waiting for the answer to a question he could have answered for himself in less than a minute doesn't actually care about the answer.

William R. Barker said...

Revenant wrote...

It is a problem whenever the person calling for the information is fully aware, as you were, of where and how to find it himself. It is fairly obvious that a person who spends two days waiting for the answer to a question he could have answered for himself in less than a minute doesn't actually care about the answer.

===========================

I totally disagree with your analysis and furthermore reject your accusation.

That said... think what you will. (*SMILE*)

Hey... is Cathy doesn't want to address the point herself so be it.

BILL

Robert Eastman said...

There is an old saying, "If your so smart, how come your not RICH?"
(Obviously, the implication is, if your not rich, your not too smart).
The reverse is also true.
If your RICH, you must be SMART! Obviously this only applies to people who started with nothing and earned and built their own fortunes. (Lottery Winners and Trust Fund Babies need not apply).
One of the comments stated that the only reason that Pat Robertson has a "Soapbox" is because he is so RICH! DDDdddaaaaaa....!!!
Some of the most powerful and richest people in the "Media and Entertainment Business" have called
Pat Robertson, "One of the Smartest Businessmen in Broadcasting!"
How much FREE publicity do you think Pat gets every time he gets "criticized" in the MSM?
No one could buy and pay for this much coverage. It would cost Millions $ for the newspaper space and air time that Robertson gets for free, everytime he makes a "seemingly" off the wall comment.
As the old Hollywood adage goes,
"Say anything about me that you want, just spell my name right!"
Only the "not too bright" think that Pat Robertson is stupid. Those who know, understand that
Pat is "dumb like a fox" (or is it, "sly like a fox?"). Pat doesn't need to please everyone, just a small percentage (of the population) are needed to be "loyal supporters" in order to have a "prosperous enterprise."
Oh, and by the way, it's beginning to look like Pat was right. We most likely will regret that HUGO was not taken out, as he "buddys up to" and supports Iran's leader(s), whose stated goal is to "Wipe Israel and America off the face of the Earth" (obviously with Iran's "in the works" uranium enriched weapons systems). "Can't wait till HUGO gets the Bomb." (He's already spent $4 Billion this year{?} getting new jets and weapons systems. Oh, I almost forgot. HUGO plans on "embezzling" from American Companies' as he "nationalizes" (steals) their investments in his country, that they made "in good faith."
Before we criticize those who suggest that "there are better and smarter ways to deal with enemies,"
than to "go to war with them," I would suggest that you talk to the families of the 3,200+ dead servicemen/women and the 25,000+ wounded for life Veterans from our present war effort. I'm sure that in HINDSIGHT, they would "LOVE" the idea of sending in a hit-squad to take out Saddam Hussein and the few others that needed to be dealt with. I'm sure that all the innocent Iraqis that have suffered would also agree. My pocketbook wouldn't mind a break either! (How many Hundreds of Billions of Dollars is all this Stupidity costing us U.S. Taxpayers?)
When someone, who is obviously brilliant, says some serious things; it would be good to look for the "deeper meaning/message!"
Those Who Can, DO; Those Who Can't, CRITICIZE!"
Robert Eastman
ps: Like Pat, don't believe for a moment that "I care what you think." I'm only doing this exercise to work on my writing skills, though I do "subscribe to and defend," everything I've written!

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