Saturday, February 18, 2006

The New And Improved Marion

After 45 years of polluting American airwaves with his feckless nonsense, Crazy Marion has decided that maybe it's time to change tack a bit. One of his fellow loons from Human Events Online (whose byline claims is "a professor at the University of Texas" -- of what, I shudder to think) has the coveted exclusive interview, with one of the clunkiest headlines in recent memory. Is this thing edited by sixth-graders or something?

Virginia Beach, Va. -- These should be diamond days for Pat Robertson. He'll be 76 next month. The 45th anniversary of the first Christian Broadcasting Network telecast is coming on Oct. 1. Next week, he was supposed to be the main speaker at the closing banquet of the National Religious Broadcasters convention.

But instead of basking in the renown that could be his as the founder of five major Christian institutions, he has received enormous criticism for statements such as his recent contention that Ariel Sharon's stroke was God's punishment.


For example, when I read him what Southern Baptist Convention leader Richard Land said of his statement about Prime Minister Sharon -- "I am both stunned and appalled that Pat Robertson would claim to know the mind of God concerning whether particular tragic events, such as ... Sharon's stroke, were the judgments of God. Pat Robertson should know better." -- Robertson replied that Sharon was "doing something that violates God's will. ... All I'm doing as a faithful Bible teacher is teaching the Bible. And if Dr. Land doesn't believe the Bible, I'm sorry. That's his problem."

Uh-huh. And what, pray tell, does the Bible also have to say about slavery, the subjugation of women, the sacrificing of one's children to the demands of the voices in one's head, and the eating of shellfish? These Biblical literalists are not all that unlike the Scalia-type strict constructionists, who think they can extrapolate original intent to cover things like the constitutionality of covert domestic electronic surveillance.

But at least Marion gets bonus points for refusing to budge on his disgusting outburst re Sharon. That is, after all, exactly what the morons who keep him in business expect from him. Never give an inch; never admit you're wrong. Everything is divinely inspired and sanctioned, which provides excellent cover for the willfully blind.

Robertson did say that he was taking precautions to avoid more eruptions: Before broadcasts, "I didn't use to review the news. Now prior to the air we go over the news stories. ... I now have a former news producer from 'Good Morning America.' I'm going to have an earpiece in my ear. ... He's going to be whispering in my ear. ... He's going to be in the control room. As the news comes up, (he'll say), 'Why don't you say this, why don't you suggest this, let's discuss this.'" [emphasis mine]

Res ipsa loquitur, no? This explains a whole hell of a lot right here. Marion hasn't bothered to even marginally educate himself on the world events he sees fit to spout off about. Intellectually, there is no difference between this clown and some dirty, stringy-haired loon wearing a sandwich board saying, "The End Is Near". And now some GMA reject is going to help him polish his electronic turd every morning. Sweet. What, you get tired of rounding up sock puppets for Diane Sawyer to interview, pal?

Concerning many other controversial statements, Robertson noted the impact he has had: "They say when a big ship goes through the water it makes waves, and I'm sure I've made waves. I've said stupid things."

Jeez. Delusions of grandeur much, Marion? Let's get something straight -- you don't "make waves" because of your self-supposed endowment of being a "big ship", you just fuck up publicly. We hear about it the way we hear about, say, Martin Lawrence waving a gun in an intersection, or O.J. Simpson murdering his wife, or Larry King getting married again.

If anything, Marion's gotten off quite easy over the ridiculous things he's said and done over the years. He has now admitted to commenting about current events that he is ignorant of. He has been a friend to murderers and tyrants, an investor in blood diamonds, a grifter with friends in high places. And no one ever held him accountable for any of it. Inexplicably, he is still allowed to be something of a behind-the-scenes political player; amazingly, morons still give him their money.

At the heart of some of Robertson's disputes with other Christians is a theological difference. All evangelicals believe that God answers prayer (although often not as we might choose) and speaks to us through the Bible. Robertson, like some other charismatics, believes that God speaks to him directly "all the time."

He explains it this way: "It's not conceited. We ask for leading. ... God did speak to me directly concerning (Regent) University, and it was real simple. He said, 'I want you to buy the land and build a school for My glory.' ... You read Jeremiah. He said, 'The word of the Lord came to me.' ... You read the Torah, 'The word of the Lord came to Moses,' 'The Lord said to Moses, tell the people.' The Lord spoke to Joshua. The Lord spoke to David."

The Lord's speaking to me right now. He says you're a douchebag, Marion. Prove me wrong on either or both assertions. I double-dog dare you. "Charismatics". They're the looniest of the lot to begin with, with the twitching and the babbling in "tongues". Faith healing, shit like that. Fucking carnies in suits, is all they are. If it weren't for their Jesus grift, they'd be running the Tilt-A-Whirl at the county fair, selling dime bags of stomped-on crank on the side.

Many Christians see Robertson's position as arrogant, but Robertson also sees himself as emulating the 16th president: "If Abraham Lincoln wouldn't give impromptu (speeches), maybe Pat Robertson shouldn't be impromptu." At the least, he said, "I will study more and be more reserved."

I don't think Lincoln ever referred to himself in the third person, but if Marion's willing to emulate him right to his ultimate fate, then maybe we have something to look forward to.


Joshua said...

What I don't understand is why Pat Robertson apologized to Isreal for his Sharon comments. I mean, doesn't being a Christian biblical literalist automatically mean you think all Jews are heretics destined to burn in hell? Yet he wants to keep in their good graces... Is it sympathy for other theocrats, or does he actually have a deep secret political correctness center in his brain? Oy, how strange it is that the more asinine people become, the harder it is to understand them...

Heywood J. said...

Joshua, he apologized to the Israelis because he had a deal going to set up a $50 million Holy Land theme park there, and his big mouth got the deal squashed. To their credit, the Israelis kept their ground after the apology, and essentially told Marion to piss up a rope.

To me, the fact that Robertson backpedaled even an inch there simply reinforced the obvious fact that it's all about the benjamins. See, there's no upside for him to apologize for his interference in US foreign affairs (endorsing a hit on Hugo Chavez), and there's no downside for him to give interviews like the one I excerpted, where he continues to insist that he's God's chosen one, that God speaks to and through him, etc.

But there was a very clear and immediate financial downside to him running his mouth about Israeli affairs. Now, if someone had let Robertson's followers know way back in the '70s and '80s that their boy was tight with animals like Mobutu Sese Seko, they might actually have been shamed into halting their "donations".

But these guys are good. Most con men are by definition.

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