Please, There’s Better People To Criticize Than Him
Yeah, last night this happened:
And people are rightly horrified and angered. My thoughts:
1. Even in his demented (and I mean that as medically as possible) mind, I don’t think Pat Robertson would’ve said these things today. Last night, there were only early reports of casualties, not the reported possibility of 100,000 dead. He’s a sick old man, but he’s too PR-savvy (read: greedy about his money) to say something so strong. I might be wrong on this one, or I might be putting more cynicism into Robertson’s entire media presence than is deserving, but I just think this was from-the-hip Standard Natural Disaster Assessment, not Jerry Falwell b.s.. I also bet Robertson has to backpedal like Falwell did.
2. I think we’d all be more effectively angry if we just ignored this fool: giving him attention only pads his pockets and gives him the illusion of importance. I think we’re much better off taking this now well-known video (“Pat Robertson” is the #1 Trending Topic on Twitter at this moment) and showing it to the fundamentalist and evangelical Christians in our lives. Ask “do you believe this to be true, that God allowed 100,000 people to die because their ancestors asked Satan to get them out of slavery? Do you believe that real world events are directly tied to spiritual pacts?”
Knowing many fundies and evangelicals, they’ll roll their eyes and say “naaah. Besides, I don’t even know anyone who listens to Pat Robertson any more.” But press on: ask “well do you believe any form of spiritual act, be it prayer or curse, can have an effect on this world?” Many will respond that yes, they do.
Ask them to define where the effectiveness kicks in– no solid answer.
3. The reason I ask us to ignore idiots of the like of Pat Robertson is this: he really is inconsequential to the majority of the Religious Right. People like Rick Warren, Max Lucado, and Joyce Meyer wield far greater influence, and when “outsiders” crash on Robertson, the RR thinks “they still don’t understand what we stand for”, and everything else we say is moot.
Criticism of the community (and there’s quite a bit to make) will only work if it rings true to a large swath of the Religious Right. That’s why crushing an Ignorant Old Ass like Pat Robertson is not effective.