I'm definitely pointing some of my friends in the direction of this entry, simply because it puts it rather eloquently and gets to the point: rationalization. *sigh*
Thanks. As always, referring is allowed and even encouraged.
What scares me is that I think he DOES believe exactly what he's saying.
What scares me more are the OTHER people that believe what he's saying.
Of course he believes it. He has no choice. And yes, it is sad. And there will be people who swallow his crap. But under the right of free speech, I will defend his right to his ignorant, offensive, wrong-headed opinion. The crazier he sounds, though, the more likely that others will recognize how crazy he sounds. That is my hope.
I've always thought something like Catharism made much more sense as an explanation for the problem of evil, myself. If the Devil's as powerful as God, then it's possible to blame tragedies on him.
Yeah, not a worldview that Pat's gonna endorse.
The problem of hoping that the opposition becomes totally isolated in their absurdity is that this isolation tends to make the ones who do stick around much harder deal with. As his memes become more and more absurd, his followers become more and more invested in his infallibility. They become more isolated from mainstream America and have an easier time dehumanizing everyone outside of their own limited memespace. They also hone the persecution complex that is latent in most American Christian groups to a point that it becomes a great deal more dangerous than their more rational counterparts. I would far rather have him be a little more reasonable and rational and thus bend his followers toward the same. I'd rather him have more followers who can be countered and challenged without a real risk of them turning violent in the face of their Satanic oppressors.
I disagree. There will always be the entrenched, but the fewer of them there are, the less impact. Ref: KKK.
Now if we can get him to go one step further to ponder why God would allow this pact to occur in the first place...
Worst case? He comes up with a way to explain that away that is entertaining in it's absurdity, that I'd enjoy in the same way I consider Jack Chick to be one of the most brilliant comedians of all time.
Jack Chick is brilliant that way.
I had some of the more devout Christians on my Facebook saying this morning that Pat Robertson had gone too far and should apologize. So perhaps your last paragraph is a real possibility.
I was referred to this post and this is pure awesome. I really wish more people would understand that what he is saying is no of God. Well stated.
He cannot look at the camera, shake his head, and say that this is a tragic natural disaster and that all the money donated to the 700 Club in the next week will be sent directly to Haiti.
No, he can't, but I would like to point out that his comment came in the middle of a guest appearance on CBN that was specifically a fundraiser for Haiti. He does believe, so far as I can tell, that Haitians are "cursed" because of something their ancestors did, but he also believes that it is his place as a Christian to help them when tragedy strikes.
So far as I can tell, both those beliefs are very Christian.
The necessary justification, and the notion that God would be so unforgiving as to curse the children many generations out, are NOT Christian. They are decidedly Old Testament.
I am a reader of your husbands lj and would like permission to post a link or this entry on my lj.
Permission always granted; all I ask is notification just because I'm always curious as to where incoming referrals are from!
All I have to say on this topic is a direct quote from dear Ol' Pat himself:
Of course I'm hearing it in Neil Patrick Harris' voice, which makes it even funnier.
It should be pointed out that, by saying that this is the Devil's doing, he's claiming Satan is co-equal with God, which is the Dualist heresy, and counts as both heresy and blasphemy.
No, Satan is not doing this. God is doing it because of a pact with Satan. It's punishment visited on the descendants of disobedient, devil-dealing people. A later statement from his organizations pointed out that "theologians and scholars agree" that Haiti has been an impoverished country because of their curse. God just got a hair up his butt, apparently, and dealt out a big one.
You are 100% right. Pat had no option but to dump this on the feet of the people of Haiti. And it is also correct to say that this makes Pat Robertson the lowest sort of scum I can think of.
Actually, that's not true. There was another reason and it's an easy one. Pat could have said "I have no idea why this happened, but we should do what we can to help the people of Haiti because they need us."
See, that would have done 2 things. 1) it doesn't presume to know the mind of God (who in Pat's case is an all knowing, all powerful being of infinite age who made and knows everything ... a task that Pat Robertson is just not up to on his best day). 2) it doesn't lay the blame at the feet of those who are suffering.
rather than admitting that he, a mortal man, doesn't understand everything about infinity, Pat Robertson decided to blame the victims. And for that he should be left to slowly impale on a pike.
But even if you accept that Pat was just following his heart, there is no excise for not declaring plainly that his heart is wrong. Pat is entitled to believe whatever he wants. it's a free country. but that doesn't make what he says correct. It doesn't mean that anyone is under any obligation to listen to him or even entertain the possibility that he *might* be right. And it certainly doesn't make him immune to the expectation that he behave like a decent person.
Also, I am finally remembering to ask if you mind me friending you. I always like reading the stuff Ferrett links to and I just rarely remember to say anything.
I've always wanted to tell Pat Robertson the following:
"If the wrathful, unforgiving 'Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God' Old Testament means more to you than anything Jesus Christ actually said or did ... how are you a Christian again?"
'Cos seriously, I thought the New Covenant was all about peace, love and understanding. The 'Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God' thing was all Old Testament, and Christ doesn't really feature there, on the grounds of not being born yet. So ... Christian without the Christ is ... what, exactly?
In fairness, the Catholic doctrine of original sin is highly petty-fire-and-vengeance.
Glad people are understanding it.