Pat Robertson harms image of Christians

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called the staggering destruction in Haiti “Biblical.” Pat Robertson saw the catastrophe in Old Testament terms, too, but he had a different take, blaming the epic tragedy on a “pact with the devil” by Haitians in the 1700s.

Robertson should retire from public life. Can’t any of his friends on the Christian right prevail upon him to give the 700 Club to a younger and saner host? Robertson’s foolish utterances do immense harm to the image of Christianity — especially among those who didn’t grow up going to a Christian church every Sunday, as I did. Those not familiar with the vast range of Christian beliefs think Robertson represents all Christians — and that’s just not so!

If the New Testament is any guide, Christians are supposed to be non-judgemental and compassionate. Robertson is anything but. He’s also a dunce. The legend about a “pact with the devil” is myth, not fact. How insensitive it is to associate a people’s yearning to throw off the yoke of oppression with a pact with the devil?

296 comments Add your comment

JCR

January 14th, 2010
11:28 am

Many “love” and “forgiving God” Christians fail to read the OT!

Seriously

January 14th, 2010
11:28 am

This is the TRUE Pat Robertson:

According to a 2 June 1999, article in The Virginian-Pilot, Robertson had extensive business dealings with Liberian president Charles Taylor. According to the article, Taylor gave Robertson the rights to mine for diamonds in Liberia’s mineral-rich countryside. According to two Operation Blessing pilots who reported this incident to the state of Virginia for investigation in 1994, Robertson used his Operation Blessing planes to haul diamond-mining equipment to Robertson’s mines in Liberia, despite the fact that Robertson was telling his 700 Club viewers that the planes were sending relief supplies to the victims of the genocide in Rwanda. In response to Taylor’s alleged crimes against humanity the United States Congress passed a bill In November 2003 that offered two million dollars for his capture. Robertson accused President Bush of “undermining a Christian, Baptist president to bring in Muslim rebels to take over the country.” At the time Taylor was harboring Al Qaeda operatives who were funding their operations through the illegal diamond trade.

Bland

January 14th, 2010
11:29 am

Re: “non-judgemental and compassionate.” “Humble” would be a better word than “compassionate.” It is impossible not to judge, but those who enjoy it should judge themselves.

mmm, mmm, mmm, Barack the LIAR Obama

January 14th, 2010
11:31 am

I’m no fan of Pat’s…but he’s done MORE for Jesus than you have!

Karen Elliott

January 14th, 2010
11:33 am

To Pat Robertson:

If only you would be altogether silent!
For you, that would be wisdom.
Job 13:5

cbear

January 14th, 2010
11:33 am

wwjd – hmmm. People take up certain unconventional/questionable actions and life paths as a reaction to the treatment they have received or receive by their family, friends, associates over a long period of time – wether it is from being chastised, judged or envied by these same people. They end up being withdrawn and feel great defeat and guilt from these peers so they go off and “grow up” and mature in their own way around similar people – where they can feel wanted, in control and a lot happier and far away (psycologically) from their previous self-tainted contacts. It is a horrid cycle of life that has no good endings. People will always push their beliefs on others and if they get snubbed, watch out for the extreme vengence to follow. Everyone just needs to show respect of each others individuality and unique characteristics and move on with their own life – quit trying to be God themselves….

JCR

January 14th, 2010
11:35 am

Pat no more harms Christians than those who preach other blasphemy and prosperity gospels. In fact, he may be right. You all probably know deep in your hearts that he probably is and that angers you!

The Judge

January 14th, 2010
11:42 am

My people, my people, my people… if Christians “CANNOT” judge, that means “Christians” cannot be: judges, politicians, policemen, supervisors, managers, business owners, jurists, coaches or any type of position that requires a person to make a “Judgment!” Here are two common examples…

(1). John Doe applies for a warehouse job and while being interviewed, the interviewer asks JD the question, “Can you work together as a team with men and women?” And JD answers by saying, “As long as they don’t get in my effin way…” The interviewer makes a JUDGMENT call not to hire him. Based on the theology of many Christians, the interviewer just “SINNED!”

Homicide detective interrogates the husband of a wife whose body was eventually found to have been dumped in the San Francisco Bay. Prior to her body being found there was no physical evidence tying him to the crime; only circumstantial clues. But the detectives working the case made a JUDGMENT call based on those clues and declared him the perpetrator. The wife’s body was eventually found because of the JUDGMENT call made by those bulldog detectives. The victims in the case were Laci Peterson and her unborn son; the perp was Scott Peterson. Had the detectives been Christians who believe, “Christians are forbidden from judging anyone, Scott Peterson would probably be on his second or third murder by now.

Only an unlearned Christian goes around spouting out at the mouth that “Christians” cannot judge. As for Pat, my judgment is… he is one of the many narcissistic Christians who believe that their interpretation of the Bible, life, politics, economics and world events is God’s. With these Christians leaders and their followers; it’s like the blind leading the blind. Yes, Pat should go away, but he won’t because he has enough followers who started PRAISING God for blessing them with such a spiritual prophet and deep man of God to be able to see that the earthquake as well as all other earthquakes, typhoons, Tsunamis, storms, cold weather, floods high winds take place because somewhere down the line SOMEBODY made a pact with the devil???

Brother Strks

January 14th, 2010
11:43 am

It’s Christians like PAT who has the WORLD in the state it is!! George Bush!!! Who else???

You think Hitler was a Muslim!!!

Pat’s and his crowd is a crazy lot. No wonder the youths ain’t got time with their sily religion!!

URAIdiot

January 14th, 2010
11:44 am

If I can make a pact with the devil to end slavery does that mean if I make a pact with Jesus will he bring slavery back?

Brother Strks

January 14th, 2010
11:44 am

It’s Christians like PAT who has the WORLD in the state it is!! George Bush!!! Who else???

You think Hitler was a Muslim!!!

Pat’s and his crowd is a crazy lot. No wonder the youths ain’t got time with their silly religion!!

Joan

January 14th, 2010
11:44 am

Pat Robertson does as much harm to Christians as you do to common sense. You should both give it up.

Kar

January 14th, 2010
11:48 am

I think this guy is the spiritual forefather to squawkers like Anne Coulter. Say something outrageous every now and then just so people remember that you’re around.

Whacks Eloquent

January 14th, 2010
11:49 am

Hitler was an atheist who despised his own Jewish heritage and was obsessed with the occult…

ncgreybr

January 14th, 2010
11:50 am

Picture this: a Muslim cleric calls the disaster is Haiti a ” blessing in Disguise”. Can you imagine the outpouring of denunciation that the person would get from the “Christian” ministers in this nation? Where’s the outrage?

Geologistsrock

January 14th, 2010
11:50 am

It’s fellows like him that make people hate religion. This earthquake has had significant scientific basis and is the reason people like that Cuban geologist could write a paper on it years before it actually happened. He’s just seeking attention in a time when others clearly need it. Pat should go home and think of how he can bring relief and recovery to the Haitians and stop showing his idiocy!

Big Wally Bicks

January 14th, 2010
11:54 am

Have you sent your check to help your brothers & sisters the Haitians yet, Cynthia?
Or will you just discuss it over lunch? BTW, what is your tipping policy Cynthia?

JCR

January 14th, 2010
11:54 am

It saddens me to see all the people here who question God.

JCR

January 14th, 2010
11:58 am

Turn away from you sin and turn to Christ.

Brother Starks

January 14th, 2010
12:02 pm

@ The Judge.
That is really kindergarden!!

You know exactly what is been said.
Play aound with your skisms and isms,
You know that you So Called Christians go around the world and pass Judgement on others.
But again, its a Christian thing.
Thank GOD I am not one!!!

Paulo977

January 14th, 2010
12:02 pm

‘GOD HAS A PLAN’? WHAT BS

Brother Starks

January 14th, 2010
12:04 pm

This is some funny stuff!!

No wonder the WORLD IS IN A STATE!!

Minister James

January 14th, 2010
12:18 pm

Pat Robertson like so many others(ku klux klan e.t.c.) probably believe the picture of Jesus is real too; but wouldn’t those cone heads hate the real image as depicted in their bible(bronze skin and hair like lambs wool). After all; the holy books “are” from Africa.

The Dogfighter Returns

January 14th, 2010
12:19 pm

When are you folks going to wake up and stop believing in fairy tales.

It took a while to realize santa was a lie, when will you folks realize that religion is also a lie. Yes it is big lie all made up. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Say after me God is a lie, does not exist.

Why have there not been more women having an immaculate conception? :) :)

It is impossible except in la la land.

Whacks Eloquent

January 14th, 2010
12:20 pm

Starks,

Pot calling kettle black…come on. As if Christians are the only ones on earth who are judgmental. I think you are judging “The Judge” based on his post, and likely will with me too. So what. Human nature is to be judgmental. At least Christians have an ethical rule against it, and if they are honest they will try to suppress this part of human nature. We fail. So do non-Christians.
Funny, it always seemed to be that the most hateful judgmental language, at least from what I have seen on these blogs, are atheists. But then again, someone who thinks they are my intellectual superior will not listen to me anyway. How unfortunate for them, that they have no more rights and are no more of a human than myself. Tough noogies. We all still live, pay taxes, and die.
Sure I will cling to my religion, I don’t see it as a bad thing…

Rick Terr

January 14th, 2010
12:22 pm

Pat Robertson just said Tinky Winky is also a Voodoo Doll. He’s doing a special edition of his show. Live. Must see TV.

JCR

January 14th, 2010
12:24 pm

Naw. Jesus looks like a Jew.

The Thin Guy

January 14th, 2010
12:25 pm

Pat Robertson was certainly right about Venezuela’s tin pot dictator Hugo Chavez. We should waste him at the first opportunity. Don’t know anything about Haiti but feel for all those people who lost their lives, friends, health, and homes due to an earthquake. Have you noticed that when Americans die such as at Fort Hood, Texas, Øbungle appears to not even care but when foreigners need help his teleprompter starts rolling in no time at all. The Presidential Palace was totally destroyed which is where 99% of our aid money will go. Yes, what Pat said was stupid. But he’s an old man. What’s Cynthia’s excuse?

Davis

January 14th, 2010
12:33 pm

And just what type image do you project, Ms. Tucker? Think about it. What type image does one of today’s on line headlines about the SCLC project? I wonder if you will spin that as an approved and legitimate redirection of stimulus funds? The SCLC has the word Christian in it.

The Cynical White Boy

January 14th, 2010
12:34 pm

Your recent columns are very helpful – next time you call for the permanent shunning and immediate resignation/removal/whatever of a white republican who is caught making a racist comment, I will suggest that sane people in the media and policy positions do what YOU have done after Harry Reid was caught:

1. Label the white republican stupid, not racist, then quickly change the subject; and trot out tired subjects like:

2. TV Preachers

3. Terrorists on Planes

4. Taxing mean filthy stinking rich bankers

Nice try. You are not fooling me. Had Harry Reid been a republican, you would be fuming away column after column until he was dead white meat.

godless heathen

January 14th, 2010
12:36 pm

If the people of Haiti are not believers in the one true God, they are doomed to eternal damnation anyway. And this “benevolent” (and I might add egotistical) God feels that eternal damnation is insufficient punishment for their blasphemy, so he must get the suffering started before they leave the earth or get them on their way quicker.

Not one bit of religious dogma makes any sense whatsoever.

Thomas Dickensheets

January 14th, 2010
12:43 pm

I ask Pat Roberson what happen he’s house was destoyed by a earthquake.
Was that a curse from God?
What about Christians who went to this country to peach the gospel?
Are there Christains there?
We pray to Pat.

AuroraGuy

January 14th, 2010
12:46 pm

What Pat Robertson said is FAR worse than anything that Reverend Wright said. This is a travesty against human life! Let’s see how many true Christians and their leaders come out against this feeble man’s rant. Ghandi’s quote is very appropriate: ” I like your Christ, I don’t like your Christians, They are so unlike your Christ”.

Gerald West

January 14th, 2010
12:46 pm

Robertson exaggerates a common error in reading the Bible: confusing the Israelite religion of the Old Testament with the Christian religion of the New Testament. The Israelite religion is open only to people born to an Israelite mother. It does not, and has never, applied to anyone else. It is a tribal religion that holds the entire tribe accountable for the conduct of the individuals. Hence there is justification trying to force everyone to behave righteously in order to avoid collective punishment, and to blame calamities on tribal misbehavior.

By contrast, Christianity is a personal religion open to all peoples. Christ denounced the Israelite religion and its most devout followers, the Pharisees. He pooh-poohed the strict observance of the Sabbath (which is Saturday), he drove the money-sellers from the temple even through they were serving a necessary function under Israelite law, and he stopped the stoning of an adulteress, even though stoning is required under Israelite law.

Paul stated the situation succinctly: “Christ is the end of the (Israelite) law!”

Putting the Old and New Testament is the same book (the Bible) causes confusion that is frequently exploited by preachers and demagogues. It would be better to include all the holy books of the God-based religions including the Koran and the Book of Mormon. That way the reader could see that he must choose which to follow.

George

January 14th, 2010
12:55 pm

Insulting to think Robertson could do any harm to Christianity. He and the rest of the “high powered evangelists” speak and represent only themselves. The far right and the far left live to judge others. 5 days and counting to the beginning of the end of the socialist manifesto as Scott Brown will be the new Senator. We then can back to a clogged (which is best) gov’t.

God bless the Haitians- I encourage all to dig and contribute what they can.

SouthernGal

January 14th, 2010
12:57 pm

Religion in the number one reason the world is in such turmoil! Ban them all!

Seriously

January 14th, 2010
1:01 pm

Pat Robertson sided with an evil African dictator who financially supported Al Queda. Why? Because this “man of God” is in the blood diamond business. Pat Robertson is all about Pat Robertson. And you “Christians” who support him are just enabling him to make millions off of poor children in Africa forced into labor in his diamond mines.

I wonder what your God thinks of that.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 14th, 2010
1:02 pm

I perceive most of the criticism of Rev. Robertson on the blog today is by non-Christians publicly misunderstanding the faith. As one who professes Christ, I have to confess their arguments are generally meaningless to me. The best arguments here are those that suggest Rev. Robertson would have been more persuasive if he used his unusual perspective to raise funds from his followers, to send missionaries to Haiti immediately. We believe the spirit of Christ is manifest in the works of his followers.

Big D

January 14th, 2010
1:15 pm

Duh, Jesus did not like religon..GW is right. For all you Christian haters ask Daniel Pearl if they think Islam was jugmental in their tretment of him. Get a grip on reality here and ask yourself ” do I really know anything about what I’m saying”.

Swede Atlanta

January 14th, 2010
1:23 pm

Salt and Light@ 11:24

You make these statements as if they were facts. They aren’t. They are simply what you personally believe.

I don’t disagree there is evil in this world. Much of that evil is rooted in the fundamentalist extreme wings of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Jesus often spoke in metaphors. Assuming that he actually said what you claim he said (just having in the Bible doesn’t mean it actually happened), at the time Jesus lived, Jewish culture looked at everything as being inherently good or evil. Satan was clearly a way to give evil and temptation a face and an explanation. Today some of that evil or temptation could be explained in terms of human psychology and behavior, a science that was not known during Jesus’ lifetime.

Nancy

January 14th, 2010
1:24 pm

People, there isn’t a devil in Voudoun. And to throw your religious belief system on someone else is your SIN! Your Devil doesn’t screw others over, you do, by acting out and saying such stupid things. I would rather worship a DOG than to be forced to listen to any more of your nonsense. Out of all the religious books I have read in my life, The Koran has a passage, that applies here ( by the way, you Christians are suppose to be “People of the book”so you better take heed, or become Buddhists). It says, ” A rich man,a smart man and a beloved man came before Allah, and expected to be admitted into paradise. Allah ask the first one, the rich man why he thinks he should be allowed into paradise, and he says, I gave money to the poor, and didn’t sin. Allah replied,You gave away money to be important, you wanted everyone to know it was you, to feed your ego, you ain’t getting’ in. He turned to the next guy, the smart one, and ask the same question, and the second replied, I taught all’ with no attention for me and I did not sin. Allah said to him, You taught because you got off on the power over others minds, no paradise for you. Allah turns to the third one and ask the same, the third one says, I loved everyone equally, and I did not sin, Allah turns to him and says, You were beloved but…..not for the right reasons, you were an emotional leech, and had your way, with your influence, no paradise for you . Allah says at this point, You do what is needed, without earthly desires clouding what is the task set in front of you. You help the poor because they are in need, not for the Brownie points you think you will get in heaven. “People of the Book”, get your minds, right….or shut up and give the whole show to the Buddhists! At least. they make sense.

Whacks Eloquent

January 14th, 2010
1:33 pm

Nancy,

You show lack of understanding of the Christian faith. In past, yes, there have been groups who have attempted to say one can earn their way into heaven. But there is nobody smart enough, rich enough, or good enough, to even clean the sewers of heaven (if there were such a thing). Salvation and eternal life is a gift from God, and He paid a tremendous price for it. I am not going to force you to believe this, but this is what true Christians believe, as there is no way we can get into heaven on our own efforts. Believe in what you want to, but this is the basic truth of my faith…

Whacks Eloquent

January 14th, 2010
1:36 pm

It should be added that a true Christian, upon realizing the great and painful gift that God gave us, will go and do likewise for others, not for his/her own gain, but because of Jesus’ example. To sit back and not help others shows that someone does not believe in the magnitude of the gift God gave.
That’s it, enough preaching from me!

snoqualmiefalls

January 14th, 2010
1:38 pm

Nowhere in this story or the comments mentions the fact that old Uncle Pat runs a University and Law School.. so someone enlighten me, what is Pat teaching at these schools? It doesn’t look as if we are talking compassion with his brand of “conservatism”.

jhfd

January 14th, 2010
1:46 pm

like they say: everyone likes jesus, it’s christians that are the problem

Aquagirl

January 14th, 2010
1:47 pm

@ snoqwhaterver, I did comment on Pat’s Skool in a roundabout way. Shrub couldn’t get enough of those people in his administration. This is why people who voted for Bush should repair a few brain cells before approaching a voting booth again.

Seriously

January 14th, 2010
1:53 pm

“like they say: everyone likes jesus, it’s christians that are the problem”

Amen brother (or sister)

Whacks Eloquent

January 14th, 2010
1:58 pm

Hey, y’all may not remember, but when Jerry Falwell similarly suggested that 9/11 was punishment from God, PRESIDENT BUSH criticized him.

Yes, evil ignorant George W. Bush, who also happens to be a Christian. My question now – will President Obama criticize Pat Robertson for his remarks? So far, I have only heard of comments by a senior administration official.

casual observer

January 14th, 2010
1:58 pm

Having been to Haiti a couple of times. Once on a humanitarian project in 06 and another for helping to catch bad guys. I can tell you it is probably worse than anything we can imagine. People already rely on handouts from humanitarian groups to simply survive. If there was ever a place that is a total failed state Haiti is it. There is little to none as far as governmental control or stability. People are illiterate and poor beyond any Americans imagination. They refuse to do what it takes to fix their problems and run their country on handouts. Much like America’s inner cities. No leadership and generational welfare is the rule. I’m sure someone will be blamed and it will probably be the hand that feeds them. Like Katrina.

Swede Atlanta

January 14th, 2010
1:59 pm

I don’t follow Pat much but I suspect he is one of the prosperity Christians that believe that God wants them to be rich and powerful. As with many of the televangelists Pat’s focus is on raising money. He cherry picks things from the Bible to get people riled up – abortion, gays, Muslims, etc. but ignores things like health care, death penalty, bombing and killing innocent civilians, etc.

The last time I checked, Jesus taught us to be humble and meek and that it would be easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than it would be for a rich man to enter heaven. Given Pat’s wealth I guess that means he will be spending a long time with Satan.