I've been waiting a week to see if Pat Robertson was going to say anything to address the idiotic comment he made one week ago today about Ariel Sharon.
From Reverend Pat: silence.
I could almost understand if he came out and said that he misspoke, or some other problem, on television. After all, most of us have at some point in our lives said something on the spur of the moment that we regretted later, and maybe even in a public setting. And Pat said it on a television show with an audience of millions.
But, he did not retract any of what he said, or claim that he misspoke, or anything. I even looked all over the Christian Broadcasting Service website, as well as Pat Robertson's official website, and the closest thing I could find was this:
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA., January 5, 2006—Pat Robertson expresses his deep sadness over Ariel Sharon’s life threatening stroke and concern for Israel’s future security.
On The 700 Club broadcast this morning Robertson said he has met with Sharon at significant times and considers him a friend. Robertson, an ordained minister and bible teacher, has been a life long supporter of Israel and has continually expressed grave concern over dividing the land of Israel. Robertson pointed to the book of Joel in the Old Testament to show a biblical perspective of God’s view of Israel and efforts made from people who try to divide God’s land:
“In the book of Joel, the prophet Joel makes it very clear that God has ‘enmity against those who divide My land.’ God considers this land to be His. When you read the Bible, He said this is my land. For any Prime Minister of Israel who decides he will carve it up and give it away, God said, “No, this is Mine.”
According to his spokesperson, Angell Watts, Robertson is simply reminding his viewers what the Bible has to say about efforts made to divide the land of Israel.
She also expressed Dr. Robertson’s outrage at People for the American Way, who have a clear left-wing political agenda and who, on an ongoing basis, lift his comments out of context and widely circulate them in an attempt to discredit him.
And I've quoted the press release, which is not even from Robertson, but from his public relations department (that must be one of the most challenging jobs in the world) in its entirety.
In the press release, Robertson's P.R. department reiterates pretty much verbatim what he said, and then attacks People for the American Way for 'quoting him out of context.' Out of context how? Can you think of any context that what he said is excusable? I quoted what he said extensively when I posted on it the other day, and it is pretty clear that he is blaming God for Mr. Sharon's stroke. I guess he considers that anyone who isn't one of his robotic followers that watches his show (that must be another of the most challenging jobs in the world) is automatically 'taking him out of context.' And, if they took him out of context, then why hasn't he even said anything about that this week on his show? Maybe he should follow Howard Stern and get on Sirius-- at least then PFAW would have to pay him a fee each month to tune in.
Now, I do expect him to apologize publically in the near future. Yesterday, the Israeli Tourism Ministry, after patiently waiting for six days to see if Mr. Robertson would apologize for, retract or at least clarify his earlier comments, announced that they are suspending a contract they had signed with Robertson and a group of other evangelists to build a Biblical theme park by the Sea of Galilee (that sounds like fun-- maybe you go out on a boat ride, and they throw you in the water and tell you to walk to the shore). The Tourism Ministry left the door open for the other evangelists to still build the park, but they will refuse to allow it to go forward as long as Robertson has anything to do with it.
So we will see what Robertson is made of in the coming days. If he continues to obstinately refuse to apologize or otherwise address his comments, at least he will get some points for being sincere, albeit wacky. But my guess is that he will now become contrite to the point of being obsequious. Because he didn't get where he is now, hoarding at least a sizable chunk of the cash donations he's raked in while claiming to do God's work, without at least choosing to serve Mammon over God some of the time.
UPDATE: Well, what do you know? Robertson did apologize, by means of a letter sent yesterday after the Israeli Tourism Ministry made their announcement.
When it starts to hurt in the pocketbook, Pat changes his tune, doesn't he?