Recently, I wrote a few words in defense of Pat Robertson. It was not much of a defense, just a note that his goofy but entertaining advice regarding marital infidelity offered during his "700 Club" broadcast in May of 2013 was not nearly so bad as his pathetic standard of customary advice giving. Yet, judging from the ensuing gasps of horror from friends and colleagues, one might think I declared Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor of the 15th Century Spanish Inquisition, a true pioneer of REAL wellness, second only to Robert Green Ingersoll.
I can "feel the pain" of my allies who seemed shocked that I would, even with truly faint praise, defend crazy old Pat, the same mean-spirited preacher known for unparalleled modern lunacy, including but not limited to pronouncements such as the following:
" That some Protestant denominations "harbor the spirit of the Antichrist." (Note: This assumes that there is "a spirit," not to mention whether there is or ever was an antichrist or a Christ even remotely akin to the character by this name around whom the whole business of Christianity is constructed.) "-
" That his prayers have deflected hurricanes and the insufficiency of prayers a year ago was response FOR tornadoes in the Midwest. (The prayer issue brings to mind all the prayers being sent by commentators on the Oklahoma disaster this year. As comedian Ricky Gervais observed, "praying for something but not doing anything to make it happen has the same effect as writing to Santa and not letting mummy read the letter.""-
" That "Hinduism" is demonic, Islam is Satanic and atheism is ... well, I don't know what Pat thinks of non-believers but I'm sure it ain't nice."-
" That America's worst enemies are feminist activists and liberal college professors who support homosexuality and abortion."-
" That Planned Parenthood teaches kids to fornicate and adults to engage in bestiality, homosexuality and lesbianism."-
" That a lot of the blame for 911 should go to the ACLU, pagans, abortionists, the feminists, gays and lesbians who helped the terror attacks happen.
Did I mention that Pat predicted the end of the world for October or November 1982?
My Defense of Pat
You might have read the news accounts last month when, during the "700 Club" show, a woman caller named Ivy said:
"I've been trying to forgive my husband for cheating on me. We have gone to counseling, but I just can't seem to forgive, nor can I trust. How do you let go of the anger? How do you trust again? God says to forgive, but it's been so hard to do. I want to forgive, so we can get on with our lives."
I expected Preacher Pat to call down hellfire and perdition on the philandering husband. I thought he would urge the aggrieved lady to leave the rascal, hire the meanest lawyer in town and pray that God should smite the brigand with pestilence unbounded. I thought he would blame Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, gays, lesbians, abortionists and/or pagans for corrupting the husband.
In any event, I waited for him to call upon the husband to fall on his knees, repent, say a thousand "Hail Marys" (or a "700 Club" equivalent) and prepare to burn in hell anyway.
Pat, you must know, is not one "by whom the finer emotions have been touched with great delicacy and sympathetic exquisiteness." (Lafcadio Hearn)