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02 September 2005

The Sin of Blasphemy

Pat Robertson gives Christianity a bad name. I used to watch his 700 Club television show decades ago when I couldn't sleep and there was nothing else on TV (pre-cable or -satellite era). Watching it made me lose faith in all of humanity. How could so many million people watch that propagandist drivel week after week and even send this anti-Christ their hard-earned dollars? If the average American (or even a hefty percentage of average Americans) is a supporter of Pat Robertson, then this country is really in a world of hurt.

The Sin of Blasphemy
Pat Robertson’s latest remarks have our columnist wondering: What does it really mean to be Christian?

By Patti Davis
Newsweek; Updated: 3:27 p.m. ET Aug. 23, 2005

Aug. 23, 2005 - Pat Robertson considers himself a man of God, a Christian, a preacher of the Gospel. To all of these aspects of his self-delusion, the only appropriate response is: Huh? His latest suggestion, as this self-proclaimed man of God, is that Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, should be assassinated. On his “700 Club” TV show, Robertson said Chavez could turn Venezuela into a safe haven for Communist and Muslim extremists. "You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," said Robertson, who founded the Christian Coalition. "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war ... and I don't think any oil shipments will stop."

True men of God, of course, do not entertain such notions. They certainly don’t preach them. Men of blasphemy do.

Did Robertson lose his Bible? Or has he simply rewritten it in his own language? What happened to “Thou Shalt Not Kill?” This is not the first time Robertson has expressed a fondness for assassination. In October 2003 he suggested that nuclear weapons be dropped on the State Department.

Have any authorities checked his basement?

Here’s what I’m curious about. How does someone who has wrapped himself in the cloak of Christianity for decades come up with such ideas and express them with such ease? Does he pray first? Does he get on his knees, close his eyes and say, “God, I really want to take a few people out here. I know we’re all supposed to be your children, but there are some bad ones in the bunch and I’m figuring they probably got through by mistake. So how about culling the herd?” And then does he actually imagine God answering him and saying, “Go forth, my child with whatever weapons you can find. If you can’t scrounge up any yourself, spread the word. Preach to the masses. Someone will pick up the sword, pull the trigger or drop the bomb.”

At the risk of sounding quaint, this is just not the God I was raised with, and it certainly isn’t the God who answers me. I close my eyes sometimes and say, “God, I gave someone the finger today when I was driving. I know I shouldn’t have.” And what I hear back is something like, “I saw that. And I’ve told you before, that was a child of mine too. A tailgating one, but my child nonetheless.”

I’m actually feeling a lot better now about my temper flares in traffic. At least I’ve never considered using weaponry.

I’m sure the members of the Christian Coalition won’t take my suggestions, but they might want to consider making a rule that anyone who calls himself a Christian has to have some passing acquaintance with the teachings of Jesus. I’m no Biblical scholar but I am absolutely sure that Jesus never suggested assassinating anyone.

When I lived in New York City, I used to give money to a homeless man who stood on the same corner of Columbus Avenue every day, rain or shine. He was never pushy, he was always polite, and I just felt like giving him money. One day, I saw a man in a business suit getting right in this man’s face, waving a Bible at him and telling him he was a sinner and he had to accept Jesus and ask forgiveness for his sins. I walked up, gave the homeless man a five and said to the sidewalk preacher, “You know, Jesus would never do what you’re doing.” I walked away quickly before he could hit me with his Bible. And I walked away feeling very sorry for Jesus. People keep doing things in his name that are so un-Christianlike.

Well, if I felt sorry for Jesus then, I feel like weeping for him now. Shouldn’t people like Pat Robertson just go start their own religion and leave Jesus out of it?

I found another quote of Robertson’s from several years ago. He said that feminism encourages women “to kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”

I would respond to this but I have to go boil some eye of newt, lizard tails and pig blood. And I am so behind on my schedule to bring down the bastions of capitalism. I got delayed because I was flirting with this cute girl down the street.

Davis, the daughter of Nancy and Ronald Reagan, is a writer based in Los Angeles.

© 2005 Newsweek, Inc.
© 2005

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