October 23, 2017

A Letter to Pat Robertson

I recently solicited pieces on Pat Robertson’s “Chavez Assassination Plot” from my audience. I’ll be reprinting a couple of them here.

This is by BHT lurker Isaac Bradshaw

Dear Pat,

It’s been an interesting couple of years for you. You, and your organization, are largely credited for the Republican victory in the Presidential election in 2004. It’s what you’ve always wanted, isn’t it? It’s Hyman Roth to Michael Corleone in Godfather II. It’s what we’ve always dreamed of; a completely sympathetic government! Heady days, Pat. Heady days.

I’m a young’n, but I remember you running for President back in ’88, even going so far as winning the Iowa caucus. You didn’t go much further than that, because, on national TV, you declared that you talked to God.

I understood what you were saying. As far back as my Episcopalian mind can go, that’s how I always understood prayer: simply talking to God. It was no big deal to me, on one account because I was 7 years old, and on another because I knew what you were really trying to say; that you depended on God to give you direction in your daily life. I thought (and still think) that is commendable. The problem, though, is that no one else but other evangelicals knew what you were talking about. Everyone else thought you were a crank, a theocrat, that your cheese had slipped off your cracker, and when you finished behind Pierre DuPont in New Hampshire, it seemed to gig was up.

I don’t recall what you did when George Bush I was elected. But certainly the election of yet another blue-blood, pro-choice Republican with swishy wrists probably didn’t do much for you. I can imagine you, Pat, retreating to Virginia Beach, surely thinking that all the hard work, from The 700 Club to the Christian Coalition was all for naught. But that didn’t stop you. Nope, you might of gone deep during Bush I, but you certainly didn’t go silent. Then, like the perverbial head on a silver platter, you were given Bill Clinton for eight years. It was the nadir of your movement, when the country elected a fat, lecherous hillbilly from Arkansas to run things.

You hit your stride here, saying some of the most wildly absurd things ever said in the American media, saying things like feminists want to kill children and practice witchcraft. Or that Orlando’s Gay Pride Fest was going to cause a meteor to hit it. Or that after years of apartheid in South Africa, upon finally getting the right to vote, black’s votes should count less than the whites, because whites in South Africa are in a minority. That Christians under Clinton had it worse than Jews in pre-war Nazi Germany. That taking back institutions from liberals would be “physically bloody”. Then there was that whole thing with using tax-exempt donations to dredge for diamonds in the Congo, and wining and dining with former dictator Mobuto Sese Seko after his troops fired on Protestant and Catholic demonstrators demanding human rights reform.

Then it happened. The country finally came to it’s senses and elected a godly, Christian man to lead the country. But Bush II didn’t stop you. I thought you had hit the pinnacle when you and the ever-cuddly Jerry Falwell laid the blame for Sept. 11 squarely at the feet of atheists, homosexuals, liberals and the ACLU. But that was just a warm-up. You suggested blowing up the State Department with a nuclear weapon. You supported China’s one-child policy, a policy that has lead to the abortion and outright infanticide of Chinese girls. You said God told you George Bush was going to win re-election. Then, on Monday, you suggested the U.S. assassinate Hugo Chavez, the democratically elected President of Venezuela.

It’s not the first time you suggested it, but, Pat, I don’t know if you know this, but you have a chronic case of foot-in-mouth disease. And it’s making the rest of us look bad. Even people who support your politics are running for cover.

More importantly, though, is that as a Christian, and a minister of the Gospel, you have a pretty big responsibility to keep your mouth in check (let’s go read the Letter of St. James, shall we?). St. James calls it a “burning flame, set on fire by hell”. We all sin, Pat, and some of the things you’ve said in done in the name of the church are downright sin-full.

I’ve done and said some pretty dumb things in my life. I once intimated to the elderly 8 a.m. service at the parish I work at and depend on for my salary that they were all 900 years old. I once used slang terms for female anatomy in an Arby’s in front of the Chairman of the School Board (in my own defense, I didn’t know what they meant). In college, I made a penis size joke with a friend of mine whilst standing at a urinal, two stalls down from the Bishop.

The difference between my verbal slip-ups and yours is that I recognize when I did wrong. That I over-stepped the bounds of good taste and the responsibility that comes along with being a Christian and “holding every thought captive” to the Gospel and to the ethical boundaries that go along with the Gospel. Gospel Ethics like “love your neighbor as yourself” and, most dangerously for people in positions of power, “Love one another as I have loved you (that’s Jesus speaking, Pat; remember Him?)”.

Have we lost our first love, Pat? Are we so consumed with assuming the power of the sword that we forgot the power of the Cross? Are we loving America more than we are loving Christ and following his commandments?

Let’s repent, Pat. Me and you and every Christian that thought salvation comes through a ballot box. Let’s repent for the stupid things we say that bring disgrace to the body of Christ. Let’s turn away from our politics and our bad jokes and our inopportune turns of phrase and bring glory to Christ in our humbleness before Him. Whaddya say, Pat?

In Christ,

Isaac Bradshaw

Comments

  1. “I’ll be repenting a couple here”

    Is that a Freudian slip, or a subtle joke?

  2. Most of my repentance is a subtle joke 🙂

  3. Good job Isaac. Also, let’s don’t forget about Robertson’s cozy relationship with Liberia’s Charles Taylor.

  4. Scott Hoagland says:

    Ooh, good one. When I heard Rev. Pat say this, I thought “Not again!”…it’s all we need as Christians, another wacked-out statement by someone with access to a public microphone. Thanks for your thoughtful words, Isaac!

  5. Walter floyd says:

    This guy has some serious age on him and lets don’t forget, it really is between him and his God.

  6. Walter,

    I understand your point, but if he has some serious age on him, then how about he gets off of television and stops acting as if he is a spokesman for Christians in America?

    Robertson is accountable to the larger Christian family, as well as to God.

    MSpencer

  7. “You, and your organization, are largely credited for the Republican victory in the Presidential election in 2004.”

    Is that true? I’ve never heard anyone credit Robertson or his organization with Bush’s victory.

  8. Robertson supported the one-child policy in China? Seriously? Wow. Could somebody provide a link to a source for that? Not that I doubt it, I’d just like to see that for myself.

  9. >>You, and your organization, are largely
    >>credited for the Republican victory in the
    >>Presidential election in 2004.”
    >
    >Is that true? I’ve never heard anyone credit
    >Robertson or his organization with Bush’s
    >victory.

    Not even from Pat himself?

    Given his pattern of shooting his mouth off, it’s very plausible that he claimed credit.

    I remember something similar in 1981, after Reagan was elected. A lot of Christian activists were cheering RR on until he announced he was President of the entire country, not any single group within it. About a week later I saw the first “Proof from Scripture!” that Reagan was really The Antichrist. Up until then, it was “One of Us! One of Us! Gooble! Gobble! One of Us!”

  10. Anonymous says:

    Okaaaaaayy! You’ve written it, now MAIL IT!

  11. Pat on One-Child China:
    I don’t agree with it … but … they’ve got 1.2 billion people, and they don’t know what to do. If every family over there was allowed to have three or four children, the population would be completely unsustainable…. They’re doing what they have to do.
    — quoted from Jeff Jacoby, “The Christian Right’s Double Shocker,” The Boston Globe (April 26, 2001)

    As to whether Robertson can be credited for 2004, I think the mobilization of the Religious Right is what most commentators would point to as being the decisive factor in the election. Pat, together with Jerry Falwell, was the driving force (IMO) in the creation of the RR as a constituency that is key to a GOP candidate winning a national election. Perhaps I overstated the case, but to deny Pat Robertson occupies a strong position of power within the GOP isn’t reflective of the party’s loyalists or machinery. Whether he continues in that position after this latest gaffe is pretty up in the air, I think.

  12. Jonathan Switzer says:

    Pat Robertson is an interesting one. However, there is no place in the New Testament that says that God has stopped judging nations and their leaders based directly on their rejection or acceptance of Him. Every communistic (read atheist) nation was bankrupt and unable to feed its own people within a generation of when they chose to “kick God out.” Further, Chavez is clearly both communistic and threatening to use his oil to shut out the United States. The martyrs in Revelation cry out for Christ to “avenge” their blood. Should christians cry out that same thing in lieu of bald-faced God-haters like Chavez? I pray that Chavez changes his heart. I also pray that he not get away with the immense horror that most every other communist leader of the last century did (i.e. Mao-Tse Tung, Lenin, Noriega, Pol Pot…). God’s justice is not separated from his love. He destroys cancers like a caring doctor in order to save the patient. If you have paid any attention to Chavez’ statements you would recognize Marx, Nietzche and Lenin all over again. I do pray that God would foil the works of wicked men. I pray that God change their hearts. If not, I pray God would have mercy on South America and remove the man. Forgive my concern for the believers (and unbelievers) who live in Chavez’ nation under his self-professed ungodly rule.

  13. “Pat Robertson is an interesting one. However, there is no place in the New Testament that says that God has stopped judging nations and their leaders based directly on their rejection or acceptance of Him. Every communistic (read atheist) nation was bankrupt and unable to feed its own people within a generation of when they chose to “kick God out.”

    God does judge nations however, the impression I got when I heard Robertson’s and Falwell’s comments about 9/11 was that they believe God revolves around America, that every action done by America God does a counteraction because America is the most important entity in the universe to God. Also, why is it that God gave the Muslim countries all the oil, they are wealthy beyond their former bedouin dreams and they have certainly “kicked God out.” Could it be that His judgement upon them is their wealth? Just my wacky thoughts.

    Robertson and Falwell need to shut up.
    OUT
    david

  14. Very good. I think your posts on the forums at christianguitar.org are a lot wittier, though.

  15. Very good letter, it puts into words what a lot us have been thinking. Even as a member of the so called religious right, I have never been a follower of Robertson. It will take months, or even years in some cases, for christians in this country to overcome the damage that Robertson does to the reputation of us all with comments like these.

    Maybe Robertson needs to go back and reread Proverbs. I believe there are a number of passages there he could learn from in regard to restraining his tongue.