“Could It Be…SATAN?!”

Personal issues have kept me from blogging much, but I had to share this:

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson warned residents of a rural Pennsylvania town Thursday that disaster may strike there because they “voted God out of your city” by ousting school board members who favored teaching intelligent design.

All eight Dover, Pa., school board members up for re-election were defeated Tuesday after trying to introduce “intelligent design” โ€” the belief that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by a higher power โ€” as an alternative to the theory of evolution.

“I’d like to say to the good citizens of Dover: If there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God. You just rejected him from your city,” Robertson said on the Christian Broadcasting Network’s “700 Club.”…

…Later Thursday, Robertson issued a statement saying he was simply trying to point out that “our spiritual actions have consequences.”

“God is tolerant and loving, but we can’t keep sticking our finger in his eye forever,” Robertson said. “If they have future problems in Dover, I recommend they call on Charles Darwin. Maybe he can help them.”

Robertson made headlines this summer when he called on his daily show for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

In October 2003, he suggested that the State Department be blown up with a nuclear device. He has also said that feminism encourages women to “kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”

While fundamentalist Christianity encourages its followers to become violent, delusional lunatics, apparently…

Will someone please explain to me why this clown is considered a legitimate religious figure while one of the largest Episcopal churches in Southern California is in danger of losing its tax-exempt status because of a sermon in which the rector suggested that an unprovoked war is perhaps not what Jesus would consider a truly Christian activity?

The Discussion: 14 Comments

Richard, a few citations off the top of my head (although I admit I need to look up the exact words):

1. “The last time Jesus showed up in a house of worship, they killed him.” (Modern American aphorism.)

2. Old Testament: “(God) hath showed thee, oh Man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of thee, except to do Justice, and to love Mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8, emphasis on the word “humbly”)

3. VERY Old Testament, Genesis 18:32, about how God promised not to destroy Sodom if even only ten good people lived there:
“And (Lot, Abraham’s nephew) said, ‘….if only ten (good people) shall be found (in the city), will you spare the city?’ And God said:
“I will NOT destroy the City, for the sake of (only) ten good people.”

4. New Testament. Jesus said: “Which of these three people, do you think was a ‘neighbour’ to the sick, wounded Samaratin?” And they said, “The one who showed mercy.” And Jesus said, “then go and do the same.” Luke 10:36-37

5. “Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithes and have omitted the weightier matters of the Law, judgement, mercy, and faith: THESE things you ought to have done, and not to leave the others undone. You blind guides, who strain at a fly but swallow a camel!…..You (Pat Robertson) are like white sephulcres, which appear beautiful outward, but inward are full of dead bones and filth.” (Matthew 23:23-27)

6. “Then shall (God) say to the Unrighteous (at the Last Judgement):
‘Depart from me, ye cursed! For I was hungry, and you gave me no meat! I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink! I was a stranger, and you did not take me in! I was naked and you did not clothe me. I was in prison (in Guantamomo, in Gitmo) and you did not visit me or try to help me. (Paraphrasing about Gitmo here…..)”…..
…Then the Unjust will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry? When did we ever see you as a prisoner in Guantanamo?”….
…Then God will answer: ‘Surely, whenever you failed to do these things for the least of Humans, you failed to do these things for Me.”
(Matthew Chapter 25, passim….)

November 11, 2005 @ 6:32 am | Comment

You totally crack me up.

November 11, 2005 @ 6:39 am | Comment

PS, from “Jesus Christ Superstar”
(from memory):

Simon the Zealot sings:

“Christ you know I love you!
Did you see I waved!
I believe in you and God,
So tell me that I’m saved!
….add a touch of Hate, at Rome,
And we will rise to a greater power!
We will find ourselves a home!
We’ll have the power and the glory!
…(Jesus replies, singing): “Neither you, Simon, nor the 50,000, nor the Romans nor the Jews, understand what power is, understand what glory is….”
Answer, from the ancient Greek hymn which opens the Gospel of John (circa 90 AD, written by a disciple of the Apostle John – originally it was a song, set to music):
“In the beginning was the Word (in Greek, “logos”, “word”, implies “scientific-humanist Truth”)
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…..
…and the Light shines in darkness, a darkness which cannot overwhelm the Light.”
Suck on THAT, Pat Robertson!

November 11, 2005 @ 6:43 am | Comment

Thanks for the compliment, Richard my friend. And you know I’m more serious than I often pretend to be.

By the way, as you know (if you remember some of my comments on religion over the last year or so), I’m not a conventional “Christian” but it’s precisely BECAUSE I know so much about Jesus etc. (My minor undergrad course of study was Theology, and I had some Rabbis in my family too, on my mother’s Russian-Jewish side. Also some Templar ancestors but that’s another long story ๐Ÿ™‚ Thus I know how Jesus’ teachings have become so corrupted by “Christians”. But on the other hand, that’s also why I can never dismiss the mystery of Jesus.

Over the years – now midway through life – I’ve come back again and again, to the temporally undefinable question of who Jesus was, and what he signified. All I can say – from an especially informed perspective – is that he was just different. Extremely, trancendentally different. He was extraordinary. And that’s why he was executed: Because, most humans cannot bear to hear too much truth.

AND, the execution of Jesus, and the mysteriously revealing pattern of all Truthful humans to get into trouble and to suffer and be martyred, altogether, continues to lead me to TEND to believe, that Jesus personified some kind of transcendent Truth about God and Man. But I think we can only perceive this “through a glass, darkly”, as the Jewish-Roman-Christian scholar Saint Paul said.

But then, an ancient Jewish AND Muslim (actually Sufi) maxim says:
“Counterfeits exist because there is real gold.” This means, all of the religious hypocrites have so much power and attraction, because they are imitating (and corrupting) a substantial, genuine, transcendent Truth.

And if Pat Robertson had been a Rabbi or a Priest in Jerusalem in year 33 AD, he would have been one of the creeps who brayed the loudest for the execution of Jesus. Pat Robertson is a Counterfeit Christian.
And Jesus exposed and humiliated all counterfeits whenever he encountered them. ๐Ÿ™‚

I still cannot say that Jesus was “THE God.” Because, as Saint Paul said, in this life we only see through a glass darkly, with imperfect vision.
But, if Jesus was not God, he was pretty close to God, as close as any human can ever get. ๐Ÿ™‚

And on that note, I could start talking about ANOTHER line of theology, which suggests that Jesus personified the Jews (and similarly, the Holocaust was a collective crucifixion, a second crucifixion of Christ, to REmind the world of what Jesus taught about Human Dignity and Law and Mercy) – and mutatis mutandis, Jesus proved that the Jews were God’s first chosen people.
(Among all others – ALL humans are God’s “Chosen Race”)
But that belongs to another thread….

November 11, 2005 @ 7:20 am | Comment

Pat Robertson scares the hell out of me.

Got Kool-aid?

November 11, 2005 @ 8:56 am | Comment


Got no Kool-Aid, but got beer. ๐Ÿ™‚

Interesting that you mention Kool-Aid. It reminds me of how Jesus turned water into Wine. (Wedding at Cana, Gospel of John.)

Jesus turned water into wine. Pat Robertson and his kind, make kool aid, full of poison.

By the way, my own take on the miracle of Jesus turning water into wine: I might be wrong, but I THINK maybe what happened was that he taught the guests to understand that water is a miracle, water is even better than wine, if you think about it.
I think, what Jesus did at the wedding at Cana, was to remind everyone of how miraculous all of creation is, including a simple cup of water.

If you can see God in a glass of water, like a miracle, then you are coming very close to the Truth of God.
And I think, it would have been a miracle, for Jesus to teach that.


November 11, 2005 @ 9:09 am | Comment

PS, another reason why I think Jesus turning “water into wine” was probably a lesson from him about seeing a glass of water as a miracle:

Consider how Jesus died the most shameful death – but then, as far as some witnesses have said, in some mysterious way he continued to live, and to be loved. Well, if we can see beauty and perfect Humanity in a man who was put to death in the most shameful way, then by analogy, we should also be able to see how a simple cup of water is a miracle.

And by this, I am NOT suggesting that Jesus was not close to God. Quite the contrary.

November 11, 2005 @ 9:14 am | Comment

More from Ivan, the Anglo-Irish-Russian-Jewish Yankee warrior poet and theologian:

1. Essentia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatum. (“Abstractions should not be multiplied beyond necessity”, that’s Occam’s razor, circa 1300, and yes I DID recite it from memory. ๐Ÿ™‚

1.a: I wish more commenters on this blog would take heed of Occam’s Razor. (And in SOME measure, I am directing this toward nausicaa, although only in limited measure.)

2. Sorry I forget the exact Latin for this one, but Nicholas of Cusa said (citing an earlier European book of the 13th century:

“God is an intelligible sphere, whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.” (Or something like that, in rough translation.)

Which suggests:

A. Jesus on the cross, truly WAS the centre of all the universe, when he was crucified – and so are all Humans whenever we suffer in transcendent ways – many Humans have been the Centre of the Universe – and

B. For the last 500 years or so, we have been thinking about the “Centre” of the Universe in the wrong way. We still tend to think like Carl Sagan, about this Earth as an obscure, marginal planet on the edge of one galaxy. However: There are many other planets, far closer to the geometric “centre” of our galaxy – but as far as we know, most probably, most other planets are not inhabited….
…and so, being close to any geometric, material “Centre” of any frame of reference, does NOT mean being at the centre of God’s gaze.
Geometric, or material, “centres”, do not indicate any centre of consciousness, or of spirit.
Thus, IF, perhaps (as seems probable, based on what we know), this Earth, at the edge of one galaxy, happens to be the ONLY planet with life forms like ours – and to date, this is the ONLY planet we know of, with such life – then, well, even if it is at the “geometric” edge of some abstract centre, then stilll…
…still, what matters most is that THIS Earth is where Life is. The only life we know of. And in that sense, this Earth IS the Centre of the Universe.
(Just like New York City, on the edge of America, is far more important than anything in the middle of Kansas. So, maybe our Planet is not at the mathematical centre of the Universe – SO WHAT?
The REAL centre of the universe, is the place where there is consciousness, to think about where the centre is. And, scientifically, all the evidence we have, says that Planet Earth is the ONLY place which can claim to be such a centre of Consciousness.)
And so, if you think about it, it is NOT so unbelievable, to think that this Planet Earth is the centre of the Universe, as far as God is concerned.
And WHY SHOULD the centre of the universe be a geometric, abstract, mathematical one? Is London the most important city of Britain because of it’s geometric centrality?
No. No. Consciousness does NOT centre in geometric ways.
And so, it is NOT so unbelievable, to think that this Earth is the Centre of the Universe of Consciousness.
And so, if you accept THAT premise, that this Earth’s material situation among billions of galaxies does NOT determine how important this Earth is, then you can begin to consider, that perhaps Saint John was correct, when he wrote, in the Gospel of John:

“And God so loved the World, that He gave to the World, his only begotten Son.”

Or, at any rate, if you really think about it, it is NOT unscientific to consider that this Earth, and Humanity, might be the most important place in the universe.


November 11, 2005 @ 11:00 am | Comment

Okay, but Pat Robertson is still bat-shit crazy, right?

November 11, 2005 @ 11:38 am | Comment

Ivan, if you can see God in a glass of water, I want whatever it is you’re smokin’ ๐Ÿ˜›

Yes Lisa, Pat Robertson is a freaking lunatic.

November 11, 2005 @ 2:30 pm | Comment

“For the last 500 years or so, we have been thinking about the “Centre” of the Universe in the wrong way”


Thanks Ivan, I genuinely love a good theory. Especially one that is based on an enigma, posed in riddles and finally wrapped in a bible reference.

November 13, 2005 @ 1:55 am | Comment

Ivan, you really are a smart guy. What are you doing in China? (Not that you can’t be smart and be in China at the same time, but it does seem an unusual place for you to have ended up.) I fully concur with your analysis of the Jesus mystique, which even i, as a Jew, am inexplicably drawn to. I have considered converting many times, and I have to admit, I’m fiercely jealous of my ultra-religious RC friends – the ones who shut their eyes and pray and genuflect in the restaurant in front of everybody before they eat – becuase they tell me once you find Jesus life is just immensely wonderful and fun and enjoyable, and so much love permeates your being. Would I like to partake in that? Damned right. But then, my cynical side takes over when these very same people tell me that if I don’t surrender to JC, I’ll burn in hell forever. I’m totally serious. When I said to my friend, “How can you have such faith in a God that would send you to hell forever for not believing in him.” And my friend answered matter-of-factly, “But Richard, Jesus isn’t sending you to hell. You are. You know about Jesus. it’s your choice. If you reject him, you will have to go to hell.” And I decided that I could never be comfortable “surrendering” myself to such an unjust and uncaring God. Though in all fairness, I can’t believe the Jesus Christ I’ve read about in the Bible would ever, ever send a caring, good, loving person to hell for all time simply because he was taught to believe in a different God.

November 15, 2005 @ 2:39 am | Comment

`rejecting’ is something quite dramatic. I doubt many people go around doing that. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is very clear about this. To quote para 1260 “”Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery.”63 Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.” Basically … no-one can ever assume any particular person (even Mr Robertson) is going to Hell. But of course, we will still know one day, after the final judgment (or in our own case, after our particular judgment).

November 21, 2005 @ 3:57 pm | Comment

Catholic’s don’t “genuflect” in restaurants! … They only do that in Catholic (or Orthodox) Churches. A simple genuflection requires you to go down on one knee. Perhaps you mean that the `bless themselves’ (i.e. make the sign of the cross before saying grace before (and/or after) meals). Some of the alleged phaseology of your “ultra-religious RC friends” seem strangely evangelical protestant, which can run the risk of sometimes skewering things with a distorted understanding of the nature of humankind and of salvation. Catholics tend to have a different jargon for these things. `surrender to JC’ is an expression almost always used by Protestant Christians. Catholic Christians emphasise more being open to Grace. Faith and Reason go together, and `surrender’ (which sound a bit like `blind Faith’) can blur the fact that we are still rational beings, and Reason doesn’t contradict Faith.

November 21, 2005 @ 4:16 pm | Comment

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