jesus would kick you in the head.

Haiti has been hit by a major earthquake. Port-au-Prince is destroyed.  The local government estimates a possible 100,000 casualties. The dead are still buried under the rubble, and the dust hasn’t even cleared yet, but Pat Robertson already knows that the Haitians “have been cursed”, and that God got his smite on because Haiti “swore a pact to the Devil”.

Gah.  I swear, when I think of a good and admirable Christian who lives up to the professed ideals of their faith, I picture Pat Robertson…and then imagine his polar opposite.

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114 thoughts on “jesus would kick you in the head.

  1. Kristopher says:

    I’d pay to watch a Haitian punch his lights out.

    And then contribute to the man’s legal defense fund.

  2. Tam says:

    Pat’s pretty entertaining in his dotage, actually, in a “zomg did he really just say that out loud?” sort of way.

  3. MarkHB says:

    I do find it increasingly difficult to be understanding of any organised religion when this kind of crap Just. Doesn’t. Stop. “Oh, it’s only one or two people” – yeah, well bad apples spoil the barrel, and one guy with a microphone and a camera on him has one hell of a force-multiplier at hand.

    Baby to Bathwater Ratio for organised religions passed breakeven years ago in my mind, but I’m about done even being polite about it.

    • alath says:

      Cool. Wouldn’t it be great if something bad – like, I don’t know, a big natural disaster or something – happened to a whole bunch of organized religion types? Then we could gloat and say they deserved it. ‘Cause, you know, of their evil tendency to lump a big group of people all together and pass judgement on them.

  4. Lissa says:

    I think of that Phelps jerk, and think of HIS polar opposite.

    • Michael says:

      Who Michael Phelps? Your a jerk if you are “refer”ring (ha get it?) to him he is a nice guy who everyone should have some respect for.

  5. LabRat says:

    When you think about it he IS being logical. If you credit unlikely good events to God’s grace or mercy, crediting unlikely bad ones to God’s wrath is only the sensible other side of the coin.

    • Rick R. says:

      Well, I wouldn’t call an earthquake along a known, and long active fault zone. If I recall correctly, the valley Port au prince sits in IS the fault line.

      Those pretty green mountains didn’t just grow themselves — and Haiti (and Hispanolia generally) gets hit by large earthquakes every few decades on average.

      Having gone over forty years without significant slippage, that sucker was letting loose for a big one any time now.

      • Rick R. says:

        Edit:

        “Well, I wouldn’t call an earthquake along a known, and long active fault zone” unlikely.

  6. Louise Townsend says:

    Pat Robertson should head to Haiti and help those poor people! THAT would be the “christian” thing to do.

    Either that or send some of his scads ‘o cash?

    Gotta run, feeling kinda queasy just talking about him………….

  7. Heath J says:

    Robertson and Jimmuh Cahtuh oughta have their own talk show.. The lolz potential is epic.

    Or a PPV cage match, with Fred Phelps and Calypso Louie thrown in for good measure…

  8. Fred2 says:

    Well, even when it’s not subject to massive earthquakes Haiti is a hell hole kept propped up to avoid even worse problems, and it’s definitely the fault of the locals.

    Frankly no one else gives a flying fig about Haiti, other to make sure the Haitians don’t come closer in large numbers (9 Million people! Are you kidding me? )

    I feel bad for them and would be an enthusiatic supporter of birth control programs that might allow enough resources to freed up so they could rise up to a be a badly managed, crime ridden tropical island.

  9. Al Terego says:

    “I swear, when I think of a good and admirable Christian who lives up to the professed ideals of their faith, I picture Pat Robertson…and then imagine his polar opposite.”

    Agreed on your opinion of Robertson, and you can toss in pretty much all of the self-promoting “reverends” with their names in the news.

    But I’m interested to know, Marko…when you imagine those opposites, what good and admirable Christians have you identified?

    Al

  10. og says:

    Robertson is no more a Christian than he is a Knackwurst. Christianity by definition precludes that sort of behavior.

  11. dave says:

    “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” -Matthew 5:45, KJV

    Pat needs to do more reading and less talking.

  12. Well, though I appear to be in the minority here, I am a Christian. Like any belief system, including atheism, there is a spectrum of acticism and speech that depends on the character of the individual.

    I do not agree with Robertson’s views. I condemn that viewpoint. There’s a lot of good that can still be done in the name of God. Sometimes, that starts with just keeping quiet and doing something to help instead.

  13. Rusty P. Bucket says:

    Hi all~as a christian I don’t expect any mercy from this lot. Today it is fashionable to attack the church and stuff like this sells copy for the ignernt masses of hobble heads that are determined to throw out morals and ethics at any cost.

    For every fella like Pat, there are a dozen christians with their feet already on the ground saving lives right now – while you smug, morally superior youngsters scramble your relief efforts and organize your charity rock concerts. Will those christians get any press or consideration in your haste to nail us all to our cross?

    When you young libertarians develop a sense of charity, let me know.

    • Heath J says:

      [quote]while you smug, morally superior youngsters[/quote]

      Project much? Or do you go around looking to pick a fight for your imaginary friend in the sky?

      Robertson’s a douche, that’s what the post is about. end of story.

    • Rick R. says:

      And since you’re posting HERE, I think we can safely assume that YOU are not in Haiti right now yourself.

      So, what have YOU planned to do for the Haitians?

      As for charity events and such, well, logistics just doesn’t grow on trees, does it? Or do you think that God just magics the relief supplies (clothes, temp shelter, Purina Refugee Chow, WORKERS, the workers’ clothes, shelter, and vittles, etc.) into place and pays the support staff?

      Ooo! I know! Your hypothetical, revenue-free Christians just print their OWN money to pay for all this stuff!

      Get a bloody grip, dude — even devout Christians have to pay for transportation, and SOMEONE has to provide teh necessities of life for simple survivial, beofre you even start to add up the costs of actual RELIEF efforts.

      As silly as many leftist-organized fundraisers may seem, the money to do ANYTHING has to come from somewhere. Good old volunteerism and sweat won’t get a single kilo of supplies to Haiti — you’ve got to have some of that icky green folding stuff.

      • Rusty P. Bucket says:

        Well pardon me all to hell if I misunderstood your post Munchkin. I m just gun shy because every time some knuckle head like this beaks off like that, the atheists, the homosexuals and the flakey vegitarians start howling for the blood of christians.

        As for you Rick, my church is already looking for donations and I will pony up what I can. Suffice it to say most of my charity work was and is concentrated closer to home with my church, the knuckle heads at the rotory clubs and a few community groups. I give what I can and feel no reason to justify my self to you beyond that.

        If you want to talk hypocrasy though, libertarians make a big deal about how everyone has the right to be an idiot – whether it is with drugs, the way they raise their children and whatnot – so why the outrage when this bird does it? He’s older and stupider than I am from the sounds of it, yet the howler monkeys are all over it like flies on chit. And in case ya hadn’t noticed, christians have been helping out in Haiti and other places for a good long while. We pony up with that icky green folding stuff (we call it money) even when there is no high profile disaster. We’ll be doing that when you have gone home frm your rock concert with nothing left to show but the garbage you leave behind. We’ll be doing it when you forget all about this quake sometime next week.

        Spare me the sanctimonious lecture fella, I have been involved with stuff like this longer than you have been alive.

        • Rick R. says:

          Having the right to be an idiot is NOT synonymous with the right to have yoru idiotic ravings treated as the Wise Advice of the Elders.

          Freedom of Speech doesn’t equal a Right to be Respected.

          But my comments were directed at your assertion that fundraisoing isn’t actually helping — it IS. Not as much as the trained and healthy relief worker going down and working his ass off while living in (to US standards) squalor, merely for room & board. But that relief worker ain’t going ANYWHERE without some dough (either in his pocket, or in his organization’s coffers). And a lot of that cash is going to come from donations — even hippy-dippy, “feel good” concerts, where participants get to go to see performers they’d have paid to see anyway, and feel all self righeous about themselves.

          End result — relief efforts get operating funds. It’s a win, even if the Birkenstock wearing crowd that’s going to be breaking their arms patting themselves on the back for their “sacrifice” in attending doesn’t deserve the credit.

          If someone like Bono manages to whip up a frenzy, and funnels a large chunk of the profits into relief efforts, that’s a Good Thing, regardless of how much hubristic self-righeousness comes from the fans who merely attended a cool show.

          As for Christians, TRUE Christians, yes I am sure that they were in the front wave of relief workers, and that they will likely constitute the overwhelming majority of the relief efforts. That’s both a religious culture thing, AND simply population numbers. There will be plenty of non-Christian relief workers as well. Many of the Christian relief workers will even be going as part of secular (i.e., not Christian organized) groups.

          All of this has absolutely NOTHING to do with whether or not Pat Robertson is a self-aggrandizing tool who HABITUALLY says stupid things at times like this.

        • Rusty P. Bucket says:

          Ha ha ha! Rick, if I were bent on being respected this is the last place I would come. Why, if I don’t get told to eff off at least three times by three different people here – my feelings get hurt and I complain to the Munchkin.

          Son, you are hearing what you want to hear so you can say what you want to say – which seems to be ‘I hate christians’.

          Somebody was talking about how great the polar opposite of Pat w ould be and what he would be like. Well, I’ll tell ya: the polar opposite of Pat is a pasty faced gen X kid with a nose ring, greasy hair and chit for brains that goes around pushing atheism the way pat thumps his bible. He is probably the product of the great single parent famly where mom is a hairy chested fishwife feminist, and dad is on his second or third spouse and wants nothing to do with her or her kid.

          You go save the world with your rock concert kid, if that’s the best you can do.

        • Rick R. says:

          “Son, you are hearing what you want to hear so you can say what you want to say – which seems to be ‘I hate christians’.”

          Project much, Rusty?

          I don’t recall ANYONE here saying anything negative about Christians as a group. There have been negative comments made about particular individuals who proclaim themselves to be Christians — many of those negative comments coming FROM Christians.

          “You go save the world with your rock concert kid, if that’s the best you can do.”

          All you are planning on doing is sending money. If you write a check for your collection plate that ends up giving $20 (there is ALWAYS some skimmed off the top for administrative expences — accountants have to eat, too) to actual Haitian relief, and someone else goes to a concert and blows a bunch of cash that results in $20 going to Haitian relief, which person eneded up funding more relief?

          That’s right, NEITHER ONE. Because $20 is $20.

          SO WHAT, if the “pasty faced gen X kid” got to see a cool concert? $20 worth of food got delivered.

          I don;t give a DAMN about “motives” when talking about emergency relief aid. What matters is the end result. If Hugo Chavez wants to send a freighter full of food and fuel, and every single container is marked with his ugly mug and a hammer and sickle, it still keeps people alive.

          Doesn’t mean I’ll contribute a dime to any relief effort that will use the aid to promote antiAmericanism — I’ll send the dollars to a US aid program, so the containers are clearly from America.

          But, that doesn’t mean that Venezuelan food should be refused.

          Or dollars that came via a rock concert.

          Or passing the plate in the local Baptist church.

          Or contributed by the local Wicca group.

          Becuase $20 is still $20.

  14. Jay G. says:

    Heh. I had pretty much the same take you did.

    WTF, Pat?

    And Rusty? I don’t see Marko digging on any Christians other than the reported-Christian Robertson here.

  15. Phil says:

    Pat is a douchebag. Period.

    This kind of thing came up before Jesus, who himself pointed out that tragedy is not a reliable indicator of someone being righteous or sinful (see Luke 13, or heck, the entire book of Job).

    Pat speaks as though he knows the mind and motives of God, despite his statement being against the Bible which he would profess to be the word of that same God. He may know the form of looking like a Christian, but he doesn’t know a thing about the substance of Christianity- grace, love, and redemption.

  16. og says:

    Ditto to what Jay says: I don’t see anyone knocking Christians, just asshats spouting off in the “name” of Christianity. Real Christians are some of the best people on earth. Pity there are but a few of them.

  17. mike w. says:

    heh, love the title of this post Marko!

  18. Sarah says:

    I’m a Christian – looks to me like the rocks are being thrown at Robertson, Phelps, and their ilk, not Christians in general or me in particular. I’ve been known to chuck a few stones at those drivel-spewing, hate-filled folks myself. If they WERE accurate representations of Jesus, I wouldn’t want anything to do with Christianity.

  19. Eric says:

    I loved it back in ’88 when Pat ran for President and Al Franken did him on SNL – “But I’m not a televangelist!”

  20. Dr. Feelgood says:

    Robertson founded Operation Blessing International, which has been conducting humanitarian missions in Haiti for some time. They’ve had an ongoing presence in the region, working to provide sanitary drinking water near Port au Prince (very close to the earthquake, the project manager lost his house) and assisting the poor. The director of international disaster relief is already on the ground preparing to help with recovery.

    From a Christian perspective voodoo is contracting with evil spirits. Recognizing that a group of people are beholden to specific sin, and calling it as such, doesn’t preclude us from extending the love of Christ and rendering aid. This is demonstrated not just by Robertson and his organization, but by the thousands of believers who have been in Haiti ministering to the poor for many years.

    I don’t always like Robertson, and I’ve frequently taken issue with his statements; but I respect his work as a Christian. He’s far from the polar opposite.

    • Rick R. says:

      Yes, from a Christian perspective, voodoo is definately a big no-no.

      Trying to minister and prosthelyze to people with different beliefs DOES NOT entail claiming that God is mad at them for their ancestors making a pact with Satan to get free of slavery.

      A modern, venacular, grunt interpretation of Matthew 5:45 could be given as:

      “Shit happens. Doesn’t mean God’s got it in for you.”

      Even IF some Haitians, 200 years ago, tried to make a deal with the Devil to get the slavers out, under the standards of Deuteronomy and Exodus, the statute of limitations (4 generations) has LONG passed. . . and of course those multigenerational punishments were only detailed for the decendants of those of the Covenant who sinned — which no Haitian would have been 200 years ago, as Judaism really wasn’t an option amongst French enslaved African Animists, forcibly indoctrinated into a veneer of Roman Catholicism.

      In other words, even by fundamentalist Christians of the literalist stripe standards, Pat Robertson is talking out his ass. Again.

      Frankly, from a more orthodox Christian point of view, old Pat’s speeches on ANYTHING involving natural disasters can be safely assumed to be both heretical and blasphemous.

      • Dr. Feelgood says:

        Yet proselytizing would require that a Christian repudiate the ongoing embrace of voodoo–though I wasn’t making that argument, either. I was saying that Robertson can serve and soap-box (that’s right, I verbed it) at the same time, and still align with traditional Christianity. I might also have made the latent point that his words could be better understood in the context of his actions.

        I would concur with your OT interpretation if not for the fact that voodoo is a current, pervasive, and systemic part of the Haitian culture, particularly in and around Port au Prince. They have a local saying that Haiti is 90% Catholic and 100% Voodoo. Also, your vernacular expression of Matthew 5 is mitigated somewhat by a vernacular rendering of Luke 13; “Repent or perish.”

        As to Robertson’s statements, I always assume everything is wrong until I study it. I don’t care for the tone or timing, but I can’t refute his current take on Haiti from a Scriptural or historical standpoint, except perhaps for his “artistic” rendering of the “exchange” between the devil and Boukman. At most, he’s insensitive, and even that is mollified by his active work in bringing physical relief. But Marko’s assessment of Robertson as the antithesis of Christian is unsubstantiated, even by standards of hyperbole.

        • Rick R. says:

          “Repudiate the ongoing embrace of voodoo” is a far cry from claiming that God killed untold number of babies becuase two centuries ago, someone (who may or may not have been their ancestor, and who was NOT likely a participant in the Mosaic Covenant) supposedly asked the Devil to free them from slavery.

          That ain’t “prosthelyzing” — that’s crazy talk that is in DIRECT opposition to the Bible Robertson so fervently claims is literal.

          You know, in teh Old Testament, when God went around and offed the entire planet (Noah) or just a pair of cities (Sodom and Gomorroah) for being full of iniquity, the text indicates that He allowed the good people to avoid destruction. And (according to the text), He did so in a pretty obvious fashion that it wasn;t just “another common disaster”.

          Now, apparantly, God smashes cities and nations with natural disasters that are historiacally common to the area, with no way to determine whether it was God or just Bad Luck. . . leaving only Pat Robertson, and Pat Robertson ALONE, to be able to tell us the difference between Chance and Divine Wrath.

        • Rick R. says:

          As for my OT interpretation — the prohibition ONLY exists for those Covenanted who then REJECT the Covenant by worshipping other deities, etc.

          It does not apply by ANY stretch of the imagination to those who are pagans from birth, with a light veneer of an APPEARANCE of Christianity overtop.

          Even from a strictly literalist fundamentalist intrepretation, the current population of Haiti would not be “rejecting” a Covenant they entered into — they never got INTO the Hebrew Covenant in the first place, anymore than some rock-worshipping Amazonian tribe that has never had contact with Westerners or Christians.

  21. SemperGumby says:

    I can’t stand how hypocrites like Pat Robertson will take credit for terrible events such as Katrina or Haiti as a way to justify what they do, their general existence.

    Seems a little too much like how several terrorist organizations will claim credit for the same attack in an attempt to justify themselves…

    • Rick R. says:

      Oh, Old Pat is better than that. I grew up in Hampton Roads, so his pseudo-Christian spewings were always a topic of discussion as local news as well as the national coverage.

      This is the guy who “prayed away” hurricanse so they didn’t directly hit SE Virginia. Because, you know, God is so malevolent (or uncaring) that he’ll send beaucoup destruction against innocent people, unless PAT ROBERTSON personally interceded. . .

      The guy is a joke. Oh, many of his followers are good, upstanding, kind, helpful people — but I’ve long suspected Pat has a mild to moderate organic brain dysfunction. Teh Crazy, it just keeps pouring out. Like Joe Biden making gaffes, or George Bush coming up with new and unique words when speaking off the cuff, Pat opens his mouth and all too often, nuttery flows forth. . .

  22. Tam says:

    If God’s so big on destroying evil and corruption, how come he flooded New Orleans and flattened Port-au-Prince, but hasn’t ever done bupkis to Washington, DC?

    • Dr. Feelgood says:

      Or Hollywood, or Las Vegas, or Dubai, or Branson, MO…

      The Bible says that it’s coming for all of us, unless we repent. Haiti (and like disasters) is just foreshadowing. There’s a reason God is waiting: II Peter 3:9

      • Rick R. says:

        But that’s not what Robertson said — either here, OR in Katrina or the Indian Ocean Tsunami.

        According to Prophet Robertson, God singled these places out for special punishment.

        In this latest case, supposedly for entering a covenant with the Devil 200 years ago. As if that covenant (if it existed) would have ANY effect on the souls or salvation of the people in Haiti TODAY.

        • Dr. Feelgood says:

          You’re reading that in. His current statement only invoked God as the solution to Haiti’s problems, not the cause. Pat is saying that Haiti is under a curse because of it’s pact with the devil. That’s a legitimate Christian position. Even if they didn’t practice voodoo today they would still have been freed because of that pact and would therefore be subject to whatever terms is might contain. Granting (for the sake of argument) that the pact actually took place, that’s a legitimate legal position. Robertson is saying, from a Biblical perspective, that actions have consequences–specifically that Haiti has for a long time suffered the negative effects of its spiritual rebellion. None of that requires God’s direct action in any way.

          I can’t say whether he’s right or wrong. I don’t know what actually happened during the voodoo ceremony that anchored the Haitian Revolution. I’m only saying that Robertson’s statement is consistent with the faith. You seem to take issue with his apparent hubris. I won’t argue with that, either. But I will continue to point at OBI as evidence of the man’s genuine compassion for the Haitian people.

        • Rick R. says:

          Roberston is claiming that an ENTIRE NATION is under a curse (well beyond the 4 generations Exodus and Deuteronomy specified would apply for Hebrews who similarly screwed up) because a FEW PEOPLE did a voodoo ritual in 1791.

          Yes, the 100,000 or more people dead today, are supposedly a direct result of that.

          Beaucse, in Robertson’s Manichaen world view, God neither forgives, nor has any target discrimination. The Devil wins, becuase by seducing a few people, he managed to either FORCE God to grease 100K people 2019 years later, or merely PREVENT God from not smashing them.

          Haiti is under a “curse” because it’s a shitty little tropical zone, with no good infrastructure, stuck in the middle of Hurrican Central, and has historically been run in typical Third World fashion from the beginning. Deforested tropical islands with no infrastructure, run by thieving thugs, regularly attacked by superior opponants, and smack dab in the middle of the path of just about every storm in the Caribbean are “cursed” — but not by God or the Devil. They’ve got the trifecta curses of never having been strong enough to defend themselves or build a solid middle class (see most Third World nations), tribalistic kleptocracy (see Zimbabwe — and remember, Haiti’s kleptocracy is an IMPROVEMENT over their colonial masters) and a piss-poor draw out of the Georgraphy hat (see Greenland).

          The combination of those three factors explains why Haiti is so damned poor — which is the reason disasters like this are so devastating to them.

        • Rick R. says:

          That should read “219 years”, not “2019” years. . .

        • Tam says:

          Dr. Feelgood,

          If your god killed a kid in Haiti the other day because some guy 200 years ago made a pact with the debbil, I wouldn’t piss in his mouth if his teeth were on fire, let alone “worship” him.

        • Dr. Feelgood says:

          Well, Rick, I’ll approach your statement on Haiti the same way I approached Robertson’s. What you say could well be true, but I don’t like your tone. Rationally, it makes sense from within a naturalistic framework (one in which supernatural forces are not at work).

          Now if Marko were to write a post saying you were the antithesis of a secular humanist, I’d probably argue with him on that, too–especially if I could indicate by your actions and/or affiliations that your life is consistent with the principles of the Humanist Manifesto II.

        • Dr. Feelgood says:

          Tam, that’s a whole ‘nother discussion, one I’d be happy to have with you in a different forum.

        • Rick R. says:

          Go ahead and accuse me of being a secualr humanist, or a free mason, or a purple dinosaur — I don’t care. For one, you don’t have all that much information about me or my beliefs, nor am I really that concerned with your opinion of me.

          I DO feel I have plenty of information on Pat Robertson, having casually observed him through the news over the last few decades. Marko has (via the internet) access to that same info. (For the record, I don’t think Pat cares what we think of him either.)

          As for Roberston being in accordance with teh faith. . . the only problem is that he’s falling into traps of heresy that the early Church fathers had identified before Chrsitianity was even legal. . .

          God doesn’t kill hundreds of thousands of people for things over which THEY personally had no control.

          Nor is he incapable of preventing harm to them if he desires.

          So the idea of a “curse” laid upon everyone who will ever live in Haiti, based on the ALLEGED single act of a few over two centuries ago, is ludicrous from a Christian viewpoint.

          The fact that Haiti is a tectonically active region is not a “curse” brought about by supposed Devil worshippers — it’s been tectonically active since long before people got there in the first place.

          The fact that Haiti suffered an earthquake a little more severe than the Northridge quake (another tectonically active area), and unlike Northridge, Haiti got devastated with severe loss of life is not due to a “curse”. It’s due to the fact that Haitians are so poor THEY EAT DIRT. (No, I’m not exagerating.)

        • Dr. Feelgood says:

          Rick, I’m not saying you’re a secular humanist. I’m saying your statement on Haiti is consistent with naturalism, therefore it would be an error to argue that you are the opposite of a naturalist.

          You keep arguing with things I’m not saying. That makes it very hard to have a rational discussion. Robertson did not say that God is punishing Haiti for their pact with the devil. He did not say that God was unable to protect Haiti. You’re making unfounded inferences.

          “…the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since then, they have been cursed by one thing after the other.” Cursed by whom? Cursed to suffer what? There’s no reason to read that and understand that Robertson means “cursed by God to suffer a catastrophic earthquake” when in fact it implies that it can’t be God (He is not “one thing after another”). He said that the pact resulted in a curse on the country that has impacted all of Haiti’s history, leading right up to the devastation in the earthquake, magnified by the conditions you’ve already described.

          He’s not saying that God had anything to do with it at all. I cannot be clearer on this point.

        • Tam says:

          He’s not saying that God had anything to do with it at all.

          So you’re saying JHVH is not omnipotent?

          Or he is, and either allowed it to happen or caused it to happen.

          Those are your only three possible choices. Which one are you claiming?

        • Dr. Feelgood says:

          God is omnipotent, and He allowed and/or caused the earthquake.

          Robertson’s statement, however, draws a line of causation from the events of the voodoo ceremony that preceded the Haitian revolution (historical fact, though the ceremony contents are unknown to us) down through the many miseries of their history to arrive at today’s devastation, all with no mention of God until the end where he recommends turning to God as a solution to the fundamental problem of voodoo in Haiti. The statement is entirely consistent with Christian teaching–the specific principle being that of reaping what you sow.

          Even if it were possible to remove God’s direct influence then the cultural embrace of voodoo would still ultimately lead to suffering (Robertson’s “curse”). It is the natural (so to speak) and inevitable consequence of unrighteousness, in a world where God makes the rules. This, incidentally, is also why bad things happen to “good” people–because sin is systemic. And if God did cause it, if He dipped His mighty finger into the fault and shook the earth, then it is His prerogative to do with His creation as He pleases. He’s already established His case that we all deserve death because we’ve all transgressed His law.

          Look, I’m for God, in a big way; and I don’t expect you or anyone else to see things my way. However, I’ve approached this from the perspective of defending rational criticism. Very few of my comments should be taken as a pointed defense of God in general, let alone of Robertson in particular. My interest in this whole topic was only aroused by Marko’s claim that Robertson is a kind of anti-Christ. That’s not supportable from the man’s words or his deeds.

          And as I said before, if you want me to construct a defense for God, that’s a different discussion that I’m happy to have.

        • Tam says:

          And if God did cause it, if He dipped His mighty finger into the fault and shook the earth, then it is His prerogative to do with His creation as He pleases. He’s already established His case that we all deserve death because we’ve all transgressed His law.

          So, if I’m reading you right, what you’re saying is that your god is like the angry guy in the bank with a shotgun, and since he’s got the gun, he makes the rules, and maybe a bit of Stockholm Syndrome will make the whole thing more bearable?

        • Rick R. says:

          Dr. Feelgood:

          Accoridng to Christian belief, any curse is going to have to come from one of two sources:

          1. God

          2. The Devil

          There is no third option.

          So, either God cursed these people (aboslutely inconsistant with a literalist interpretation of the Bible), or the Devil cursed these people, and God let innocents die becuase he is either UNWILLING to help (blasphemous and heretical Deism) or he is UNABLE to help (blasphemous and heretical Manicheism).

          To attribute Haiti’s status as a failed nation OR the various natural disasters is absolutely in opposition to either Chirstian theology OR a literal, fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible.

          I’m not saying Pat Robertson is offbase here (as he so often is, while blood dancing during disasters) becuase I am a “naturalist” or a “humanist”, or an “athiest”, or whatever term you want to apply to claim I’m not a “Christian”.

          I base my opinion on the fact that I AM a Christian, with several years of formal eductaion (indoctrination) in the Faith, along with a life-long study of the Faith, it’s histories, and the various heresies that keep cropping up over and over again.

          I not a Chirstian despite having struggled with my faith since childhood, nor am I one despite having studied secular histories concerning the Christian faith — I am a Christian BECAUSE of all these.

        • Dr. Feelgood says:

          Tam, God is a righteous judge who must correctly rule that all people are guilty of breaking His law. Your (mis)characterization only applies if we are equals with God. He’s not a petty bully. He’s the internally-consistent, morally-perfect Constitution of the Universe. And yes, it’s because He said so. God is the absolute Owner of everything (by definition) therefore He is within His rights to act accordingly. And as God, being the supreme uncaused first-cause of all things (again, by definition), He is accountable only to Himself. It’s not Stockholm syndrome, it’s my conscious and determined decision to steadfastly follow Him, no matter how hard it gets, because He alone is worthy. He is both my mission and my prize.

          Rick, God can and does curse people (Num 22:6). He also curses things. Gen 4:17 says the very ground is cursed for our sake. That curse hasn’t yet been lifted. Second, the devil cannot curse, he is himself accursed. He brings that curse to bear in all of his dealings (call it the anti-Midas touch). Third there is a metaphysical order in nature that parallels the physical order we observe and rely on. That metaphysical order is what some people wrongly call “karma”, better known as the principle of what-goes-around-comes-around. Those who live unrighteously suffer consequences that are said to be curses. Prov 3:33 indicates that even those “natural” curses come from God. Fourth, God always remains open to restore people who humble themselves, pray, seek his face, and turn from their wicked ways. He promises to “heal their land” (II Chron 7:14).

          As far as killing of innocents goes: I reject your premise. The Bible clearly says, “There is none righteous, no not one” (Rom 3:10). On top of this, the Bible seems to indicate (I have not made my mind up on this yet) that the very young, who are sinful but not yet sufficiently self-aware to be accountable, are spared from eternal judgment. Even if they’re not, as Abraham said, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen 18:25)

          I haven’t been accusing you of naturalism. I took you at your word when you said you were a Christian. I was drawing comparisons between your reasoning (which was naturalistic) and Robertson’s to make the point that Marko’s statement was unfounded. And I can tell you how glad I am to have you for a brother.

          And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the range.

        • Rick R. says:

          Enjoy your range time.

          BTW, you seem to have missed a pertinent point.

          The BIBLICAL problem with claiming this is a curse of God is that said curses FOR THE OFFENCE ALLEGED are carefully defined and delimited in the Old Testament.

          And the time limit (4 generations) has passed. Period.

          If you are using a literalist fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible (as Pat robertson does), the only way for this to be a curse of God’s is if God lied to us.

          Which is a patently antiBiblical position.

          The only way to resolve the paradox is if the initial hypothesis (“Haitians AS A COLLECTIVE GROUP are specifically cursed because of a voodoo ritual done over 200 years ago”) is false.

          Never mind teh fact that, as a purveyor of historical facts, Robertson blew it on this very claim.

          You see, Napoleon III wasn;t even born until 1808, didn’t become president until 1848, and didn’t assume the crown (and thus, the name Napoleon III) ontil December 1852.

          Heck, Napoleon Bonaparte was still an unknown junior officer when the Haitians kicked off their revolution!

          In other words, Robertson’s accuracy as a history teacher is called into question by his allegation that the Haitians rebelled from under Napoleon III 17 years before Napoleon was even born, and had completed their revolution by 1 January 1804 (four years before Napoleon III was born).

          Given Robertson’s massive inaccuracy with the UNCHALLENGED historical facts, why would anyone even believe him when he claims a specific voodoo ceremony was conducted, wherein a pact was made with the Devil that cursed the ENTIRE HAITIAN NATION?!?

          Robertson’s allegations are not historically accurate, Biblically accurate, or theologically supportable. Defending him in this incident does no one credit — he was talking out his butt.

          My issue with him is that he does that A LOT, tanking the same glee in pulling this kind of crap that antigunners do whenerve someone commits a crime with a gun. Which is why I call him a Blood Dancer.

        • Dr. Feelgood says:

          Rick, I thought I addressed your point by showing that voodoo is a major part of the current culture. If immorality is ongoing then present consequences (or “curses”) are justifiable. Even if a specific curse from God was removed within your four-generation time limit the devastation suffered in this quake is directly affected by the consequences of that curse and is therefore a consequence in it’s own right.

          I’m not taking issue with your assessment of Robertson and I’m certainly not defending him. I tend to agree with you. He does frequently speak from ignorance, and all too often we end up with a black eye. He doesn’t seem to relish the intellectual rigor required to establish or maintain any credibility in the public eye. His life and statements, even with the (very) rough spots, are not anything like the opposite of a Christian, though.

        • Rick R. says:

          Whether or not teh Haitian people are doing voodoo NOW is irrelevant, especially in regards to Robertson’s statement.

          The penalty in the Old Testament is NOT for unrepentant pagans.

          It is for apostate Jews. Not “a little sinful”. Not “a little kooky in their practices”. But full on apostate rejection of the Hebrew God.

          In order to BREAK the Covenant, one must first be PART of the Covenant in question — and modern Haitians, if their current practice of voodoo is bad enough to warrant the punishment, then it is so divergent from Christianinty that practitioners don;t qualify as “Christian” — and haven;t for centuries.

          If they are not now, and never have been in their lives “Christians”, they CANNOT be apostate Christians, can they?

          Otherwise, we’d still be classifed as “Jews” ourselves.

          Plus, Robertson’s SPECIFIC claim is that this curse is due to a SINGULAR event that occurred in 1791; NOT that the current practice of voodoo is bad, but that over 200 years ago some voodoo practitioners made a deal with the Devil.

        • Adam says:

          Tam, are you with me here in staring at this conversation and shaking my head at the continuation of general brain damage?

        • Dr. Feelgood says:

          Adam, it’s okay to disagree with me without hurling insults. If you can demonstrate a flaw in my reasoning, I’ll be happy to accomodate.

          But please go slow and use small words.

        • Adam says:

          “Adam, it’s okay to disagree with me without hurling insults.”

          In this particular instance, my comment *isn’t* personal, nor does it take place within any context in which agreement might be an inherent characteristic. If I offended, I honestly didn’t mean to.

          My comment is at the general shitfest that is the conversation *as a whole*. That my actual stance here is somewhat closer to MarkHB’s (ergo, to taking an actual “side” on this religious/non-religious dichotomy), but that’s actually tangential. I’m shaking my head at the play of words and argument back and forth.

          From reasonable people, I might expect “what a nut” from the non-religious folks here (and not at all the “all of you religious people are nuts, this is an example” show), “what a nut, we apologize that people like this exist in our group” from the religious (well, the particular religion in question). While I certainly see the “all religious people are nuts” camp in display here, I’m horrified that the overwhelming Christian response here has been in regards to religion itself or actually defending this fuckwad and fuckwad-iness in general.

        • Dr. Feelgood says:

          Adam, I’ll accept that. Thanks for clarifying. You nested your comment in the discussion Rick and I were having, and I naturally assumed it was aimed there.

    • Even The Almighty knows when he has to pool his resources to get the job done effectively.

      The Horsemen haven’t ridden together in awhile; give ‘em time;)

      tweaker

  23. Al Terego says:

    This was first addressed to Marko, but in light of the interesting discussion thread between Dr. Feelgood and Rick R., and you too, Rusty…

    What individuals on the current/recent national scene do you deem to personify “a good and admirable Christian who lives up to the professed ideals of their faith…”?

    AT

  24. ASM826 says:

    Your post is the best one on the topic I have seen.

    Tam’s comment : “If your god killed a kid in Haiti the other day because some guy 200 years ago made a pact with the debbil, I wouldn’t piss in his mouth if his teeth were on fire, let alone “worship” him.” is the winning reply

    Kudos to you both, now I can post on something else, this one is done.

  25. planetcaveman says:

    Why is it that you always hear about Haiti having all these problems yet you don’t hear about the same problems with the Dominican Republic even though they’re on the same island? Why is it that the DR’s standard of living is WAY higher?

    There are some root causes to Haiti’s troubles and it would do everyone a bit of good to actually talk about them.

    • Rick R. says:

      Honestly?

      The American occupation after WWI had a lot to do with it, as did the 1965 US invasion. The basic geography is also WAY more useful.

      The Dominican Republic went from going down Haiti’s path towards, FIRST, a functional banana republic, then after 1965, they moved towards representative democracy.

      After WWI, the US built up their infrastructure (something that really hasn’t happened in Haiti since the Frogs left), and trained a functional bureaucracy.

      After 1965, the banana republic strongman (Joaquín Balaguer, who was elected after the US left) ran the place like any other Latin American strong man. . . but he undertook an ambitious infrastructure program. After Balaquer left office in 1978, the new presidents brought about basic human rights improvements, turning the DR from a banana republic to a functional representative democracy.

      Some of the worst times for the Dominican Republic since they first kicked out teh Spanish was the brief period when Haiti conwuered them. Haiti was so bad at running the country and so aggressive in trying to re-invade after the Dominicans chucked them out, that the Dominicans actually invited Spain to come back as a colonial master!

      That’s the people part of the equation. Haiti went straight from slavery to trying to make a functional modern nation with little or no assistance — and so has been stuck in the typical cycle of crappy strongmen in charge like most nations freed from colonial power, and then cut loose with no assistance, no middle class to speak of, and no education.

      As for geography, the DR has way more land, and way better land. Haiti is the shitty 1/3 of the island.

      There’s no curse here. No more so than the Congo in the 1960’s was “cursed” when the Begians pulled out and took EVERYONE with a college education or experience actually running things with them. No more so than the Inuit are “cursed” because their land is suitable for marginal substinence survival at best.

      It’s only supernatural if there is no natural cause.

      • Al Terego says:

        And the French connection? Is there blame/credit there?

        • Rick R. says:

          No more so than any other European colonial power.

          Yes, the French were brutal, but the real problems contributing to the state of Haiti are the geography and the culture (what Ringo would call “amoral familism” and “low societal trust”, with a serious case of fatalism thrown in for good measure).

          Haiti could probably have overcome most of these, at least to the extent any other former colonial possession (places like Canada, the US, and Australia — where the European colonists effectively replaced the indiginous population are the exception) has achieved, especially in teh Americas where they’ve been free a wee bit longer than most, say, African colonies.

          But having to deal with ALL of them, to such a great extent, pretty much overwhelmed any real chance of success.

          Still cannot call it a “curse” — as the ONLY factor not human created (and therefor under human control) is one that was in existance before the first human being ever walked on Hispanolia.

  26. nothuffington says:

    Love the headline and entry. Robertson really needs to be put out of his misery, fast.
    Thanks! :-)

  27. Fred2 says:

    You know, I just read there are 9,000 UN “Peacekeepers” in Haiti.

    Are they visibly helping, establishing safe areas, organizing locals to bury bodies and search rubble, restore what can be done, visibly trying to maintain order?

    That’d be a “no” according to reports.

    Sigh.

    Hopefully the arrival of US troups and supply chain will buck them up and hearten them.

    • Rick R. says:

      fred,

      As I understand it, the UN guys who were there ARE working as hard as they can.

      The problems are twofold —

      1. They weren’t organized or equipped for major disaster relief.

      2. They got hit, too. Now they are PART of the problem. Which is why FEMA resources are marcshalled hundreds of miles form an anticipated hurricane landfall.

      Last report I saw indicated that NONE of Haiti’s entry ports (airports or ports) are operating, and the Argentines are flying in stuff under “austere field” conditions.

  28. Sometimes saying less is more. The best response to Pat Robertson I’ve seen is repeated here: http://preview.tinyurl.com/ye565wn

  29. Tim says:

    It is sad. There are a lot of missionaries that are down there trying to help, and this is what we in America see.

  30. MarkHB says:

    And once again, a threat about a douchebag being a douchebag in the name of religion turns into a lot of self-righteous wankery about how MY religion ain’t all that bad and DON’T YOU OPPRESS ME!

    *pushes specs back up his nose*

    Y’know what? Fuck your religion. Fuck everyone’s religion. Religion, religious wars, religious opposition to science and religious opposition to modern medicine has killed more people since the Dawnatime since cancer. This little comment thread burned out whatever residual respect I might have had for your tax-haven intolerance bureaux, and I’m done being polite about it.

    • planetcaveman says:

      Mark, there is a line between not being polite and being and asshole, and you’ve crossed it. The problem isn’t religion but rather people who impose their will on others, be they religious zealots or atheist Communists.

      Also, you seem to be rather one sided in your condemnation of religion, mentioning only the negative effects but you don’t mention any of the good that may have come from it, if a church group helps the needy you’d say it was simply ‘good people helping others’ but if a different church group does or says something bad you blame the religion, not the people.

      Robertson, for all his douchebaggery, is just uttering an opinion, an idiotic one no doubt, but merely an opinion, which doesn’t make the people in Haiti one bit worse off then they are now.

      • Rick R. says:

        Especially since the problem is that Robertson’s comments are in opposition to 2000 years of the teachings of the religions he claims to be promoting.

        Using him (or a thread concerning him) to bash “organized religion” or religion in general is like using the Thermodynamics Deniers (AKA Anthropogenic Global Warming supporters) to bash science in general.

        (Hint — the AGW crowd is in utter opposition to the CONCEPT of science, no matter how much they prattle on about it being True Science. they are, in actuality, about as scientific as Christian Science, only they get cool computer presentations. . . )

      • MarkHB says:

        planetcaveman (I don’t know how to truncate that so I’m calling you by your first name), I’m past caring. You think I’m an asshole. That’s fine.

        I’m utterly fine with you prejudging me to the point of declaring me an asshole because of my position on religion.

        You know why? YOU’RE PROVING MY POINT.

        • MarkHB says:

          You know what might make me change my stance? Person One saying “Hey, I’m a religious type, and I’m really fucking embarassed by this guy. He’s a shameful example of stupid bigotry, and I refute him.” Instead we’ve had “Oh you young punks and your hate for religion!” and “Don’t you throw my religion away because of one guy!” and “Don’t condemn me because of him!”

          In other words, we’ve had a slew of defensiveness, vastly outweighing any possible virtues. Vituperation vastly outweighs acceptance of culpability in this thread. And while ANY religion continues to strike out against it’s naysayers more than it will just Man Up, regect it’s fuckups and make good it’s offences…

          Fuck your religion, and fuck EVERYONE’s religion. Because you’re all liabilities on this Spaceship Earth, and I’m having none of you.

        • Christian says:

          I just read back over this thread, MarkHB, and the only vitriole I found was from you.

          “Fuck your religion, and fuck EVERYONE’s religion. Because you’re all liabilities on this Spaceship Earth, and I’m having none of you.”

          You’ve made it quite obvious who exactly is the liability, Sir. A puffy, gassy, vile, hateful, miserable n’er-do-well and drunkard, that’s you.

          Why don’t you do yourself (and everyone else) a favor, and eat your gun? Maybe things will be more to your liking in the Hereafter.

        • Adam says:

          Really, Christian? Your entire response is what MarkHB just OUTLINED. I find myself drifting into mutual tolerance and something like social kindred with the religious folks here when we’re discussing politics or something, because so many of you seem so damn *close* to my own views…

          …and then I read something like this thread, where anytime the *word* “religion” shows up I find myself digging through batshit lunacy.

          MarkHB’s “Instead we’ve had..” bit was dead-on.

          My god, if I operated on a sliding scale of dogmatic-atheist-versus-dogmatic-religious, watching you people would start shifting me into Dawkin’s camp.

        • Rick R. says:

          MarkHB,

          I guess you didn’t read my comments above, where I have plainly stated both my disapproval of Robvertson’s remarks (as well as his past remarks on similar disasters), and attempted to point out that he isn’t even in accordance with teh religion he claims to be promulgating?

          I guess I’m not a person, huh?

          Or is it that your vitriol and hatred are so strong it affects your ability to read?

        • planetcaveman says:

          Prejudging, what, exactly, am I PRE-judging? I’m judging you based on your actions, saying “fuck everyone’s religion” is a flat out rude and disrespectful thing to say, I would hope growing up in England would have taught you manners but apparently not.

          Would you have a problem with religion if no assholery resulted from it? If that’s the case I would think being an asshole is the real problem, yet you see no contradiction being one yourself.

          It’s interesting that you think I’m declaring you as asshole based upon your position on religion, religion actually has nothing to do with it, if you said “fuck Tennis fans” I’d think of you in the same light, and I don’t even like Tennis. It’s ok, you can put down your cross.

          Finally, how, exactly, am I proving your point?

        • MarkHB says:

          If I’ve offended you personally, I am regretful of that. Not that “offending agnostics and atheists” appears to have rated high on anyone’s scale in this thread either, to be honest – but personal affront is not really what I’m after, and I’m sorry you’re taking it personally. I’m not saying “Fuck you”. I’m saying “Fuck organised religion and it’s automatic defense of outrageous behaviour”. I’m saying fuck the acceptance of a system which will – even through omission – prop up wankers like this Robertson type. I’m saying fuck the system which will shuffle paedophile priests where they can’t be shot through the face. I’m saying fuck the tax-breaks on centres of hatred that shit on everyone who doesn’t follow their book. I’m saying fuck the Vatican for trying to influence elections in what should be a Constitutional Republic with separation of Church and State. I’m saying Fuck the Institution and the minset.

          I’m not saying “Fuck you”.

          I’m not even getting angry at you calling me an asshole. *tired smile* You’re proving my point by calling me, personally, an asshole for me saying of the structure of intolerance and hate that is organised religion: “Fuck you”.

  31. MarkHB says:

    Than cancer, not since cancer. Should not type when the screen’s all red and there’s that thumping noise in my ears.

  32. SemperGumby says:

    Thank you, Mark HB, for outlining EXACTLY most of my objections to organized religion. I imagine I could think of a few more but, DAMN you hit it on the head for the topic of this thread.

  33. Shootin' Buddy says:

    Pfft, everyone knows that the earthquake was caused by Global Warming. Danny Glover, a leading scientiest, just told me so.

    Besides, if Haiti made a pact with the Devil, why is Haiti such a cesspool?

    I mean if you are the attorney for Haiti wouldn’t you have a hot chick clause, a streets paved with gold clause, a springs of free booze section?

    Instead Haiti got grinding poverty, socialism (but I repeat myself), environmental ruin and AIDS.

    Wow, what a deal!

    The lawyer that wrote that pact with the Devil will never make partner with work like that.

  34. Marko Kloos says:

    Every time I talk about religion on this blog–even if it’s only in passing–it generates the longest and most contentious comment threads.

    There’s a lesson in there somewhere, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

    • MarkHB says:

      Nah, when you dissed everyone’s carry calibre you did just as well – though generally people were funnier and better-natured about it.

    • Dr. Feelgood says:

      They’re clearly my favorite. Thanks for broaching the subject and tolerating my commentary.

      I thought I was being respectful, and I profusely apologize if I crossed the line anywhere. I know why these discussions get so heated, but it always surprises me when they turn nasty.

  35. planetcaveman says:

    MarkHB,

    Please don’t put words in my mouth, I never said your comments were the equivalent of “fuck you”, you inserted that, not me. Simply saying “fuck everyone’s religion” was plenty rude and ignorant.

    It seems you also didn’t take in anything I was saying regarding your utter bashing of religion due to negative actions that stem from it and not give the slightest bit of credit if a religious group does something positive, making such an obviously biased and inaccurate judgment is something I could see you bashing a religious group for, kind of like Pat Robertson blaming an entire nation for the actions of a few, yet you go on your merry way pointing the finger at everyone else.

    If it’s various injustices associated with religious institutions you have a problem with then you should say so, you didn’t, you said “Fuck your religion. Fuck everyone’s religion”. In truth, you’re not arguing fair, you made a foolish comment and then when called on it you’re trying to retroactively alter what you said as well as impose a meaning you want me to take from your comment to legitimize it.

    Your comments, were based off of emotion, which we’re all susceptible to. No problem, but please man up and accept them for what they were and stop trying to Democrat your way out of them by pretending they were something other than what they were, a “poor choice of words” I’m sure.

  36. og says:

    “I’m saying Fuck the Institution and the minset”

    Sure. Fuck all those people out there, living their lives, doing what they can to make it through their days, and getting theirselves to the religious institution of their choice to worship on a regular basis.

    The mass of Chrisitanity consists of people trying to do their best, often failing, sometimes horribly, and rarely, spectacularly. And for the most part, pretty decent people. With a few real assholes thrown in on the balance. Sort of like bloggers. Because a few idiots mouth off and say stupid shit, some of them even believing that shit, because a few of them are real pieces of work, yeah. Fuck them all. Fuck everyone who is involved in any organized religion, because you’ve known a few bad ones. Or maybe even known of a few bad ones. Let’s ignore the two thousand years of the good things that nobody ever hears about, let’s ignore the hundreds of millions that don’t do nasty evil shit, to hell with them; fuck them too. Yep, that’s the ticket.

    • MarkHB says:

      Yes. When you take up microphones, when you preach to millions, when you take up arms and march, when you scream for attention and claim tax-exemption for your cause so we can pay for you…. FUCK YOUR RELIGION. And FUCK EVEYONE ELSES!

      Science flew us to the moon, people

      Religion flew people into buildings.

      I don’t care that you say “NOT MY RELIGION!” because your religion will fly people into buildings under the right impetus. I do NOT respect your religion. Religion kills people. Science saves lives. It’s come to the point where we must pick a side: Will you kill for your allegiance? Or will you save a life for humanity?

      Your Christan zealot is saying “They did this! Leave them do DIE!” Your Chirstian moderate is saying “Let us send aid, to save them for God!”

      Your agnostic here would be there himself if he could. He’d staunch bleeding,and set bones the way he was trained to. But they don’t send agnostics. We’re not permitted on the relief flights.

      Fuck Your Religion.

      • Tam says:

        But they don’t send agnostics. We’re not permitted on the relief flights.

        I’m pretty sure that they’re letting the 82nd take its agnostics.

      • Tam says:

        PS: Get down off the cross.

      • planetcaveman says:

        Mark,

        I’ve just got one last thing to say and then I’ll bid this thread farewell.

        A while back I read a fascinating study that compared the functional MRIs of hardcore religious zealots to those of foaming at the mouth atheists, the amazing thing was that the exact same parts of the brain were lighting up on the two different groups. This, I think, is why some people refer to “Atheism” as a belief system: because those “Atheists” are generally assholes who have a persecution complex and think themselves superior to anyone who doesn’t agree with them based upon an inflexible “with me or against me” paradigm.

        Yeah, they’re really the same people as the nauseating dickhead Christians which triggered my initial departure from the Church, they only differ as to their opinion about whether there’s a Big Guy in the sky that has their back.

        You would criticize the Christian for blindly quoting scripture when they start to get owned in a debate as opposed to providing reasoned arguments yet you failed to counter the points I brought up, you just went further quoting your own version of scripture by dividing everyone into a science v. religion paradigm and that if someone is one the religion side then they’re automatically to blame for all of the worst deeds ever committed in the name of religion, the retirees in my neighborhood who collect old clothes and canned goods for the poor are no different than Jihadis who cut off non-believer’s heads with a rusty knife.

        With your last tirade you actually are saying “fuck you” to any religious person by blaming them for all those ills regardless of their personal behavior, that being the case you either don’t have the brains to see it or you don’t have the balls to say it.

        Is there some Richard Dawkins Church of Atheism out there that requires it’s members to be dicks in order to get into Atheist heaven that I don’t know about? I’d think people so obviously intelligent and reasonable that they reject religion as foolish mysticism would learn from the mistakes of the arrogant proselytizing Pat Robertson types that disgust your average person on the street. Take a hint: YOU CATCH MORE FLIES WITH HONEY! If you sincerely want to make the world a better place by converting more people to Atheism it would be in your interest to chill the fuck out, actually think about what you want to say before you say it, and have some fucking manners.

        Good night everyone, peace.

      • Adam says:

        This is where I deviate from agreeing. Categorization of individuals into collectives based on common attributes is disgusting. On the other hand, I do question the *collective* behavior exhibited here.

      • Rick R. says:

        Not permitted on teh relief flights?

        Or not permitted on teh relief flights already blocked out and filled up with members of the organization that arranged teh flight in question?

        Wow, I didn;t know the UN was imposing a religious qualification, considering that since it’s inception, the Big Five (permanent Security Council members) have included nations that practice religious freedom (including teh freedom to have no religion) and nations where religion of any sort was illegal, it’s somewhat amazing that the UN would permit a religious test for arriving relief workers.

        Given teh fact that the relief teams are having enough problem trying to keep THEMSELVES supplied, what they need more than anything else is:

        1. Security (provided by relief military forces)

        2. Heavy construction crews and equipment, designed for ready transport to austere landing facilities and to operate in austere conditions (in other words, military combat engineers)

        3. Money (so teh relief organizations can buy pallets and CONEXs of identical stuff, in teh proportions THIS emergency calls for)

        Which of those three needs can YOU, MarkHB, provide personally?

        Are YOU prohibited from providing any of those three items, by the nature of your agnosticism?

  37. robnrun says:

    Wow. Didn’t expect the trainwreck to show up, should have I suppose.
    Pat Robertson is not, in my humble opinion, a Christian. He certainly has broken the second of the two great commandments (love thy neighbour as thyself), and I doubt his sincerity to the first. I think the title of Marko’s original post is an excellent one.

  38. MarkHB says:

    Gnnf. I lost my rag a bit on that one, but you know… you keep bottling up your angry for too long and you keep trying to play nice and respect people’s beliefs and sooner or later you’re gonna pop.

    Like I did last last night.

    I own my words, even if the geniune rage that got me all shouty was out of line. Also, I missed a close-italics tag.

    But there we go. How do you make an agnostic atheist religiously intolerant? Keep giving microphones and cameras to people like Robertson, and then have religious folks fail to say “what a douche – he’s nothing to do with us”.

    So, yeah.

    • Rick R. says:

      MarkHB,

      Christians DID call out Robertson as an idiot.

      YOU chose to ignore it.

      Which tells more about you than about Robertson, or Christians in general.

      • MarkHB says:

        Maybe so. Maybe so. I don’t like what my rage levels are leading me to, to be honest. Meeting hatred with hatred is a losers’ game. This requires further reflection.

        • MarkHB says:

          Also I’m well aware that the *vast* majority of people with religion in their lives are decent, honourable people. I have a quandary, it’s true, but I did let anger get the better of me.

          But that said, there’s a whole fresh outcry against America because of one twat with a microphone.

          It is a very difficult line to walk, sometimes, and I’m a passionate bloke. Sometimes, I just get really goddamned angry about the way of the world. I reiterate – once more – I do not wish to *personally* offend anyone, but there is a terrible imbalance in the world because of the rights and unearned respect automatically granted to organised religions, and these are organisations of people. If there is a gh0d, he she or it is very much an absentee landlord and the tennants are being quite horrible.

          *sighs*

          Well. There we go.

        • Rick R. says:

          Well,

          I’ll give you the standard Judeo-Christian explanation about who a loving God can allow such twits to continue making things shitty.

          Free will.

          Without the gift of free will, people could not actually choose good — that choice would be made for them.

          However, with the ability to choose good, comes the ability to choose evil.

          Which is where the libertarian concept of “Freedom includes the freedom to make dumb choices,” comes from.

          Which is a concept that stems from religious philosophy.

          Sort of like how many medieval astronomers were Catholic priests, and how many Renaissance and early modern astronomers and mathemeticians were either Christian clergy or very religious people themselves, but modern antireligious bigots forget that.

          Kepler was a theology student whose dissertaion was a defence of heliocentrism, who had planned to be a Lutheran minister before being offered a much more lucrative professor’s billet in mathematics.

          Kepler’s mentor, Maestlin, was a Lutheran deacon.

          Pierre Gassendi, who confirmed some of Kepler’s theories by observing and reporting a transit of Mercury, was a Doctory of Theology, mathematician, and a Catholic priest.

          Marin Mersenne, who encouraged Gassendi, was a Jesuit-trained mendicant friar , priest, theolgian, philosopher, mathematician, and is often regarded as the “father of acoustics”.

          The Jesuits were prolific astronomers — prolific in all teh sciences, as part of their doctrine of “Finding God in all things,” which is one reason the Jesuits crop up in scientific history over and over.

          Copernicus was a Catholic priest — and his theory was not opposed by the Catholic Church for six decades, and in fact was received sympathetically by the Church. (It was not until Galileo defended Copernican theory by using a “stupid” character to throw up Ptolmaic strawmen for the other character to knock down, that the Church took offence. Given that Galileo had agreed with his friend the Pope to write the book as a side by side fair comparison of the pros and cons of the two theories, and that the stupid strawman character was widely identifed by readers AS the Pope, it looks more like Galileo’s true offence was bieng an asshole. If you examine the details of the Galileo case, the problem was more in that HE was perceived as having launched an attack on the Church PRIOR to having conclusive proof. Oh, and he plagarized the works of a Jesuit astronomer who liekly would have been a defense advocate. . . more assholery attacking people who would have supported him. The prohibition was for him to NOT treat Copernican theory as “fact” until he had conclusive proof — but it could be taught as a hypothesius. Wow. . . demanding that someone making what was considered a contrarian and extrodinary claim provide solid proof before demanding it replacing long-existing theories. . . how horrible of the Catholic Church. . . especially then to convict him to stay in his country estate. . .

          René Descartes was a self-described extremely devout Roman Catholic who created analytic geometry and provided teh framework upon which Newton would build calculus. He maintained his faith, even in the face of religious prejudice (when he died as a Ctaholic in a Protestant nation, he was legally required to be buried with the unbaptized), and his faith was apparantly so strong and apparant to confidants he triggered the abdication of the queen of Sweden. She had to abdicate to convert to Catholicism, yet Descartes (her late tutor) was the only Catholic she had ever known well.

          Newton was highly religious, infact between his occult writings and his religious writings, wrote more on the supernatural than on the natural sciences. Pretty much the same for Pascal.

          While some religious people have stood in teh way of scientific progress, so have some scientists, desperately holding on to older ideas.

          But our Western mindset that resulted in our learning to fly, even to the Moon, COMES from philospohy formed by religion.

          So the broad brush paints both ways, MarkHB.

  39. Isaiah Kellogg says:

    Pat Robertson always seemed to me like one of those caricatures, like the Saturday Night Live “church lady” except it’s not funny, and gullible people on both sides of belief think he’s a real christian. Like a living strawman, who got out of control and got rich doing it.

  40. Isaiah Kellogg says:

    Also, Jesus couldn’t stand religious people.

  41. ASM826 says:

    I am a Christian. Pat Roberson is a giant douche and has nothing to do with me. If you want to do the Christian thing in Haiti, you go there and save one person’s life. Then you save another. When the immediate crisis is over, you stay. You spend your time making the place better. Which is what we as Americans are doing. Our tax dollars are sending the Marines and the Army to Haiti in our name.

    Did I mention that Pat Robertson’s comments about Haiti make him a giant douche? That any god that would kill his followers for any reason, let alone for living on a specific piece of dirt that someone else ruled two hundred years ago isn’t worth pissing on, let alone worshiping (thanks Tam).

    I am a lousy Christian. Still, my understanding of the core teaching is that God =Love. To the extent that I love and care for the least of my brothers, I have kept the faith. When I fail in that task, I am not being a Christian. I fail all the time.

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