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Some People Just Need to Stuff a Sock In It

15 January 2010

It’s fair to say that two of them are Danny Glover and Pat Robertson.  Good grief.

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Glover I can understand; he doesn’t presume to give me any reasons to listen to much that he has to say.  But Robertson is another matter entirely.  Some Christians are rushing to defend him in an odd sort of way, by giving the righteous tut-tut to other Christians who dare to repudiate Robertson’s words.  Here’s how qb responded to one such challenge:

…Nobody ought to get any extra credit at all for suggesting publicly that we all pitch in to help Haiti. That is massively self-evident.

But this isn’t an isolated incident or innocent “slip of the tongue.” It is merely the latest of a long string of preposterous associations that Robertson apparently loves to make in his self-appionted role as America’s prophet of doom. Here are just a few that you may recall:

“I would warn Orlando that you’re right in the way of some serious hurricanes, and I don’t think I’d be waving those flags in God’s face if I were you, This is not a message of hate — this is a message of redemption. But a condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. It’ll bring about terrorist bombs; it’ll bring earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor.” (speaking on “gay days” at Disney World, 1998)

“I’d like to say to the good citizens of Dover: If there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God, you just rejected him from your city. And don’t wonder why he hasn’t helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I’m not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that’s the case, don’t ask for his help because he might not be there.” (responding to the city of Dover’s rejection of Intelligent Design in schools, 2005)

There are many other examples of Robertson’s trigger-happy rhetoric, which always seems to piont in the direction of a ruthless and petulant form of Calvinism, which brings not just reproach but also shame and derision upon the community of faith, the bride of Christ.

BTW, we have several examples in Scripture of public figures being denounced in public without going through the prescription of behind-the-scenes discipline in Matthew 18 and elsewhere. We are not called to follow a formula; we are called to be discerning. In this case, the weight of the ACCRETING evidence demands that Robertson’s repeated nonsense be called what it is, and publicly.

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On the brighter side, at long last the pseudoconservative David Brooks has written a worthy piece not overly influenced by his infatuation with the president’s persona and faux eloquence.  The tragedy in Haiti, he says, has little to do with natural disaster per se and everything to do with cultural forces, notably including a religious culture without the Christian’s inaugurated eschatology, which gives purpose and meaning to human life in general and virtue in particular.

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Check out the graphic (Figure 22) at the bottom of p. 15 of this report.  Incidentally, Haiti comes in with the third BEST – meaning LOWEST – per capita ecological footprint.

qb

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