Thursday, January 12, 2006

The silence afterward is more telling than the storm (AND UPDATE).

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?


Lily said...

Well no doubt the potential profits of a god-a-rama theme park will be enough to turn him around.
They always claim to be 'taken out of context". Which speaks to your point: why not clarify the context then?
I don't know how you can suffer through his show. I watched it for a few days to catch his reporting on the 'new pro-life feminists' which I posted on but did not see covered much in the blogosphere in the typical venues. I found him to be so irritating, and his constant pushing of health pamphlets...ugh. No, I just can't take it.

Eli Blake said...

Well, you were right (see the update). His God is Money.

I don't watch his show. Apparently PFAW does, so they can release it to the media when he says something outrageous like this (which he's been averaging about once a month lately, having made this one, the remark about black people voting for Democrats named, 'Bubba,' the remark about how the people in Dover, PA shouldn't pray if there is a natural disaster because 'you just rejected God out of your city,' and the Hugo Chavez assassination remark.) I figure for the poor PFAW members who have the duty of sitting there ane monitoring Pat's show waiting for him to say something stupid, it's probably like playing slot machines. You waste a lot of time, but every now and then one of them hits the jackpot.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if these outrageous statements are intentional? He sure gets alot of press out of them....When will he retire???:)

Eli Blake said...


No I don't think they are planned. They are too stupid to be planned. I think it is much more that Pat should be on medication, but he isn't.

Have you ever met some doddering, paranoid, 'old going on senile' codger who still thinks in Cold War terms and is full of bigotry (not of the 'I hate' variety so much as the sanctimonious, 'I know better' variety)? You know, the guy who is full of conspiracy theories and believes that Liberals are out there working for enemy nations, trying to undermine America and enslave every decent, God fearing American? Who spews venom at gays, racial minorities and immigrants in one breath and talks about 'protecting values' in the next?

Generally, that guy is a lone loon who people who've heard his ravings once, cross the street to avoid when they see him coming a second time. I believe that Reverend Pat is one of those-- except he has a million followers who actually think that what he saying is the product of revelation from God instead of a diseased mind.

Anonymous said...

You guys sure do not have many comments on this site that disagree with your own.

I happen to be one of the large group of believers who thinks the Bible should be read literally. With that in mind, I thought the comments Mr. Robertson made were interesting. When I went to Job and read them for myself, they made sense.

In this case maybe you could try looking past the messenger ("Reverend Pat") and look at the message. It is entirely plausible.

Eli Blake said...


You and Rev. Pat have every right to read the Bible however you want. But don't try to extrapolate it to try and explain (especially in the tasteless manner that Pat Robertson did) everything that happens as being due to God causing it.

Frankly, Ariel Sharon was more responsible than anyone else for his stroke, because he was fat, a big eater, knew he had a heart problem but didn't change his diet, and he didn't exercise. If you want to blame God, then you have that right, but very few people are going to buy into that.

And by the way, I happen to believe the Bible myself. I also know that both the Palestinians (through Ishmael) and the Israelis (through Isaac) believe that they were promised the land when the Lord promised it to Abraham. I blogged on that a couple of weeks ago.

But as a believer in the Bible, I don't consider it to be the cause of everything that happens in the world. People cause things to happen by the choices they make (be it to vote a certain way, or Mr. Sharon's choice to keep eating all that cholesterol.) God isn't going to interfere in people's right to make choices, and sometimes to screw things up by making the wrong choice.

Anonymous said...


I cannot disagree with anything you said. It is all reasonable and religiously relevant.

However, I believe that sometimes God does intervene in our lives. Sometimes he performs a miracle and answers prayer. And sometimes he uses discipline or correction when his followers get out of line.