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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Pat Robertson's Procrustean Bed

In the "Better Late than Never" department, here are some thoughts about Pat Robertson, the transparently slick, multi-millionaire televangelist, who has again exposed himself for the hypocrite he is.

A few months ago, when the Dover, PA state's voters nixed teaching "Intelligent Design" side by side with evolution (a wise decision, since "Intelligent Design," a thinly disguised version of Creationism, is based on faith, not science, and thus has no place in the science classroom), Robertson went into a typical Fundamentalist right wing snit and said: (I paraphrase) "When a disaster strikes, these voters no longer have the right to ask God for help (since they rejected Intelligent Design) and so now they should ask Darwin for help."

This guy is so transparent--he is masquerading as a Christian but he is anything but. He is not accepting or forgiving of anyone who does not agree with him. Like most fundamentalists, he has no capacity to live with grey. He needs a black and white world and any ideas or beliefs that are "relative" frighten him to death.

Imagine the power and magnitude of the insecurity that drives his need to have only simplistic, "right-wrong" answers to life's unansweraable questions. He is like Procrustes, the innkeeper in Greek mythology, who bragged that he had a bed that fit anyone regardless of his size; but the way he achieved this was to either stretch the sleeper on the rack or chop the sleepers legs off to make him fit. Robertson, Procrustes-like, chops away or stretches any facts that do not fit his beliefs.

He does not accept science's demand that one needs to experiment with an open mind and that the findings of experiments give us a basic but still incomplete truth until new experiments extend and refine that truth. He approaches each of life's questions with a pre-conceived, biblical literalist driven answer and then confirms his belief by using a Procrustean approach and chopping away and ignoring all the data that indicates otherwise.

Examples? He needs to believe that the earth is only 5,000 years old because the bible says so, thus he ignores carbon dating. He needs to believe that everything in the bible is the literal truth and so he ignores the fact that the bible has been a political instrument that has been arbitrarily revised many times over the centuries to suit the politics and beliefs of whomever was ruling at the time.

It is a sad thing to see a supposed man of god acting in such a petulant and mean spirited way. The true Christian values of love, mercy, forgiveness and open-mindedness are lost on him. He is a chest thumping, holier than thou, judgmental, empire building little man. One only has to watch his TV show and observe him doing his sham "prayers" and making up stuff about literally hearing the prayers of "a woman out there with a bad heart who needs money" and then making his shameless pitch for bucks to accurately assess his act. He's really no more than a TV huckster with a slick line. It was predictable then, that when the smart folks in PA rejected the pseudo-Christian, pseudo-scientific line touted by him and his ilk, he would tantrum and give himself away. The inability to live with grey is his bete noir.


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