Thursday, January 14, 2010

You’ve been Punked by Pat Robertson

O.K., we all now know whatPat Robertson claims the reason for the 2010 Haitian earthquake—because 100’s of years ago the Haitians made a deal with the devil to be politically autonomous.

As expected, many other Christians immediately follow up with how Rev. Robertson is wrong, and he doesn’t speak for their particular flavor of Christianity.

But is anyone really surprised by this anymore?

It is not as if Christianity has a checks-and-balance system. No Snopes. No method to weed out the “true prophets” from the “false prophets.” Or “true Christians” from “false.” There is one, and only one, requirement for determination of truth—obtain a following.

What if I told you I grabbed a woman from her wheelchair and repeatedly threw her to the ground? That I kicked a woman in the face? That I choked a person; I hit a guy so hard he fell to the ground and lost a tooth? You would consider me a menace, and danger to society.

Remember Todd Bentley? He does it, and because he has a following--his audience laughs! This is the moral thing to do! And yes, many Christians spoke out against Todd Bentley, too.

Yet how many other items have we encountered, where the claim is passed from follower to follower, each assuming it is true? Because so many other have believed it?

How many Christians who criticize Robertson have passed on an e-mail about how the world is secretly persecuting Christians? An e-mail thoroughly debunked by snopes? How many saw this video about Albert Einstein and believed it to be true?

How many times have we been discussing with Christians and heard, “All the disciples died horrible martyr deaths. They wouldn’t have done that for a lie.” And we know the person hasn’t ever checked out the facts of the claim. We’ve heard Christians tell us how Pharisees were, using only the Bible as their source and no other. We’ve heard Christians tell us how the Canaanites were so evil—without any realization as to how we would know this.

So why is anyone surprised at Pat Robertson? The entire system is infused with “I think…” and “I believe….” And “To me…” and nothing to stop the insidious perpetuation of instilled falsehoods except one thing—if no one follows you, the concept dies.

Pat Robertson has a following. There are people who watch him and believe what he says. (Why would he lie?) To those people, the Haitians did make a deal with the devil—that fact is as historical as Abraham Lincoln being shot. To those people, God is punishing them for that deal—an absolute, certified, 100% fact.

As long as people will listen and support Pat Robertson, he will continue to make outrageous claims. Who will call him out on it? What followers will leave him?

We shouldn’t be surprised. The only thing left is cynical ridicule.


  1. "It is not as if Christianity has a checks-and-balance system. No Snopes."

    I like the idea of a snopes for Christian ideas! Someone should start one. Wait, maybe that's all the "discernment ministry" web sites out there. Oh well... :^)

    FWIW, this is my favorite Christian response to Robertson so far:

  2. Yes, he has followers, lots of them.

    And the other wackos that are saying that he is wrong, also have followers. And the stuff they say is also crazy.

    They all say unacceptable stuff and have people that follow them and seems to legitimize the madness.

    The others aren't any better than Robertson, even though they pretend to be when so self-righteously try to distance themselves from him.

    ** Lorena **

  3. When do we reach the point we finally see that Robertson is the RULE and those not like him are the EXCEPTION.

    Every time someone questions one of these talking heads/pastors/prophets/evangelists/bishops we are told "Oh they don't speak for me."

    It gets old after awhile. The Christian Church has way too many crazy uncles.

  4. The thing about Robertson is that he doesn't just have a following, this megalomaniac owns a broadcast empire! There's no way to cut it; that's just damn scary.

  5. Why is that we're always told that the definition of Christian involves some sort of belief structure, like the Trinity, Jesus died in punishment for our sins, virgin birth, resurrection ... and then as soon as something like Haiti happens and someone like this comments, the dividing line has nothing to do with any of that and comes down to behavior?

    Christians can say Robertson doesn't speak for them, but doesn't he hold the same basic beliefs? Aren't those same basic beliefs what separates Christians from non-Christians?