Archive for Pat Robertson

Heaven’s Insensitive Ambassador

Posted in Atheist, belief, Christianity, culture, history, humanity, politics, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2010 by chouck017894

January 2010:   As the horrendous devastation of the Haitian earthquake flashed upon a shocked world, Pat Robertson seized upon the phenomenon of indifferent nature to display the true depth of his Christian compassion for human tragedy.  As usual it was all about what his ego chose to twist  into what he considered relative.  This self-proclaimed ambassador of God thus used his Christian Broadcasting Network to spread the news that the reason for the horrendous suffering of the Haitians was due to the abused slaves having revolted against the French slaveholders there over two centuries ago!  Robertson’s claim is that they had “made a pact with the devil” back then to gain their basic human rights!  Well, of course he is backed by the fact that the Bible nowhere ever condemned slavery.

We should remember that this is the same self-proclaimed representative of Christ who once claimed that he could stop a hurricane through prayer.  He apparently never felt obliged to offer any prayer for New Orléans when Katrina roared out of the southeast—or afterward for that matter.  Instead he said nature’s fury was all because the Master of Ceremonies for the Oscar presentation was by a lesbian who happened to have been born there.  Sure; it made perfect sense to a mind that would also advocate assassination of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

Like all religious pretenders, Robertson has no hesitation about fracturing the truth to serve his purpose.  In his presidential bid in 1988, for example, Robertson’s campaign literature stated that he had been a combat Marine in the Korean War.  Genuine Korean War Marine veterans objected to his implied “combat” status, saying that Robertson’s real service record was the responsibility to serve alcoholic beverages to his officers. 

There are so many “divine” Robertson quotes to inspire the irrational that it would take too much space for this blog.  A half-dozen must suffice.  1) On why Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a massive stroke on the fourth of January 2006, Robertson said that Sharon was felled because he  “…was dividing God’s land.”  After all, the (priest-written) Old Testament stated that God had claimed Israel as his own.  2) About equal rights for women, Robertson actually said that the “…feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women.  It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.  3) Robertson’s low regard for women was again revealed in his statement, “…if you get married, you have accepted the headship of a man, your husband. Christ is the head of the household, and the husband is the head of the wife, and that’s the way it is, period.”  4) Robertson advocated nuking the State Department, saying, “Maybe we need a very small nuke thrown off on Foggy Bottom to shake things up.”  5) On America being too liberal and his propaganda that evangelical Christians were being persecuted, he avowed that it was no different from what Nazi Germany had done to the Jews.  He elaborated and embellished, of course.  “It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-based media and the homosexuals who want to destroy the Christians.  Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America todayMore terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history.”  (Italics added by this author.)  6) Robertson’s dream of a theocracy replacing democracy was revealed in this humble prayer: “Lord, give us righteous judges who will not try to legislate and dominate this society.  Take control, Lord!  We ask for additional vacancies on the court.”  (In other words, Kill ’em off, Lord, so we Christians can dominate society.)

Apparently the Lord heard his prayer, and America was blessed with Bush-Cheney who attained office not by democratic vote, but by the “none-interferring” action of righteous judges.

Faith-Ba$ed $cams

Posted in Atheist, Bible, Christianity, life, religion with tags , , , on June 22, 2009 by chouck017894

Con artists like to set up their investment fraud operations amid groups of  persons that are inclined to avoid rational inquiry and analysis.  It should not be surprising, therefore, that through the last few decades, as religious fanaticism has garnered considerable public attention in the United States, there was a virtual plague of such operations targeting those of faith.

Oil hustling and “biblical prophecy” may sound  to be improbable bedfellows, but they made for a hot and tainted love match for at least a generation.  In the last few decades multimillions of dollars were poured into penny-stock oil schemes lured by hustlers utilizing biblical passages that supposedly prophesized that great wealth lay hidden beneath the sands of Israel.  In addition a passage from the book of Ezekiel was cunningly interpreted that Armageddon will be triggered when a confederacy of nations attack Israel to “take a great spoil”—implying it meant oil—and spiritual craving and greed for material riches mated in frenzied fornication in the hearts of true believers.

Among the biblical references used by the oil hustlers have been verses from Deuteronomy 33 where Moses allegedly viewed the Holy Land from Mount Nebo and foretold the blessings that awaited Jacob’s  twelve sons.  The blessings alluded to “precious things” (verse 16) locked beneath the earth and “treasures hid in the sand” (verse 19); and in verse 24 it says “…let him (Asher, second son of Jacob and Zilpah, Leah’s maid) dip his foot in oil.”   This was just too good for con men to ignore, and here are a few who built upon these biblical gems.

In the 1960s a wealthy man in California, Wesly Hancock, confided to wide-eyed believers that he had dreamed that Jesus advised him that he would find black gold in the Holy Land.  Even the divinely inspired Pat Robertson praised Hancock saying that Hancock would tap into the “… largest oil field ever discovered.”  Uh-huh.  Those who answered the call to drill with Hancock lost all their investment.

In the 1990s a man named St. Clair, a deacon of an Illinois church, lured around sixty individuals to invest in oil wells.  The deacon falsely told them that two oil wells had been drilled and were already producing oil.  In truth no well had been ever been drilled.  The deacon raked in over a cool $8 million before he was exposed and sentenced to fifty-one months in jail. 

Between 1993 and 1999 a Florida-based church, Greater Ministries, had nearly 28,000 investors worldwide, all having been promised that their divinely inspired investments would double.  By the year 2000 Greater Ministries had taken in $578 million while the trusting church goers mortgaged their homes, maxed out their credit cards, or cashed in their retirement funds to invest—only to discover that they had been swindled by the church leaders. 

A number of the religiously inspired oil hustlers operated out of the state of Texas.  (Surprise!)  Among them was Harold Stephens, who drove up stock prices in his oil company, Ness, and collected $3.5 million by associating his Holy Land Oil venture with apocryphal prophecies.  The two companies that he recommended to believers in holy prophecy just happened to be owned by him, and the agreement that the believers signed stated, probably in smallest print, that only his companies would receive any profits if oil was ever found.  The investors, of course, never received a cent from Holy Land oil.

Is it sinful to question how fanatic believers in “holy word” can chase material riches and still believe that they represent a creditable balance with integrity or spiritual value?

Hijacking Christianity

Posted in Atheist, Christianity, culture, history, random, religion, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2009 by chouck017894

Back in the days before television, religion in the United States was pretty much regarded as strictly a personal thing—not a motive for national political grandstanding, not a reason for attempting mass brainwashing, not cause for exaggerated claims of godly interest in government, and not an excuse for trying to steal public money for some self-serving belief system.  Such reprehensible behavior was understood as associated with the low ethics of theocracy, not conduct worthy of the principles of democracy, personal integrity and religious freedom.

As noted  in an earlier blog (God’s Political Addiction, May 9, 2009), the appearance of the technological wonder of television upon the scene in the early 1950s was quickly embraced by pulpit profiteers who would soon  become known as televangelists.  As noted in another earlier blog (God’s Henchment, April 22, 2009), the profits could be enormous by hijacking Christianity and pretending to save souls by trimming down the seekers’ wallets while also skimming off money the government collected for public good under the dodge as tax free organization.

The religious insanity that had once dominated Europe for centuries, and which is referred to as the Dark Ages (c. 476 – c. 1453), was being resuscitated in the United States and the hybrid energized by electronic impulse was lustful and ravenous.  The gates of exploitation had been flung open and the hijackers of Christianity surged through like a tsunami.  Unheeded were the warnings in the New Testament that motivations and excesses and accumulation of riches create danger for personal and social salvation.  Ignored were the parables attributed to Jesus about pursuing power and a slavish accumulation of riches, property and worldly structures.

So where do the pulpit power brokers today stand in the Jesus method of judgment?  The parables of the rich farmer and the one of the rich young ruler being judged wanting should give pause for thought to such Bible thumpers as Pat Robertson and his $460 million a year religious-front operation, all tax free.  And there is the influential evangelical leader James Dobson and his operation Focus on the Family, easily siphoning in $140 million a year tax free, a system that would be more aptly designated as Focus on Himself.   After all, he did declare that he would bring down the GOP if it failed him: he lusted for theocracy.  Forget the has-beens Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, Ralph Reed, Gary Bauer, Jeramiah White, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Leroy Kopp, Aubrey Lee, etc. etc. etc…

After George W. Bush, a GOP faith-distracted president, dutifully packed the federal courts with ultraconservative judges the Religious Right, dreaming that theocracy was near, surged forth in shameless attempts to bring down the wall  of separation of church and state with their self-serving cases in the federal courts.  What the Religious Right have their eyes set upon is not upon public good, however, but temporal power and the tempting profits to be had in “faith-based” scams, which are better described as embezzlement of public money.

God’s Henchmen

Posted in Atheist, Christianity, culture, history, random, religion, secularism, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 22, 2009 by chouck017894

In the last quarter of the twentieth century, May 1985 to be exact, Pat Robertson, the televagelical mogul, was featured in a magazine called On Cable. Robertson, filled as usual with eternal boundless self-righteousness (ego), declared that he sought to remake America into a “biblically based nation.” His fiery right-wing politics was characterized by him as the “conservative, religious, and biblical point of view.” That “point of view” had been so slickly packaged by the time of his 1985 interview that his organization was siphoning in more than seventy million dollars a year.

The long held ideals and the values placed on diversity and plurality by the American people were regarded by Robertson to be “extreme dangers” of a secular state. The rights of minorities were being threatened in his “conservative” view drawn from biblical inspiration (that just happened to see nothing wrong with slavery). In public schools, he insisted, the children were being taught “a collective philosophy” that would lead citizens toward Marxism, socialism, or a communisitic type of ideology. In his humble (egocentric) opinion it was logical to denounce the Department of Education as unconstitutional!

Never shy about telling the nation what God wanted, Robertson asserted that the U.S. Supreme Court of the time had departed from history and the constitution. He worried publicly about “encroachment” of the judiciary. Thus Robertson charted a course to “engage” in what he termed “advocacy journalism,” and his Christian Broadcast Network (CBN) “news teams” began grinding out propagandist mini-documentaries with heavy “conservative” messages. Perhaps the heavily tilted Catholic (5 of 9) Supreme Court of today is more to his approval.

The CBN “news team” at that time was headed by a man once the editor of  The Washington Times, which just happened to be owned by the “Reverend” Sun Myung with all his questionable North Korean connections. The “born again” population, Robertson averred, was seriously under-represented in government. The evangelical then tried to ease the minds of skeptics declaring,  “The basic thing people do not understand is that evangelicals in America are not plotting to take away the rights of everybody else.”

Robertson, the modern age version of the biblical prophets, then announced that “God is going to thrust his people into positions they never dreamed they were capable of taking on.” (Bush, Cheney and others that schemed their way into federal government positions did seem to fill the requirements as set down by most biblical stars.) If the heavy tilt of religiously obsessed persons in government positions in recent years has been any indication, and if their corruption of true democratic principles is an example of a “biblically based” nation, can we truthfully say the sly takeover that Robertson advocated was “fairly benign”? 

His prophecy was on the button though; the U.S. got a born againer thrust into a government position that he was incapable of taking on.  With the blessings of eight years of bible-based leadership and conduct now behind us,  is there any doubt that a “biblical point of view” raised the nation’s standards in corruption, spying, waging war, wealth dispersion, imprisonment, torture and similar biblical niceties? 

The rise of televangelism in America from the 1950s is assessed in Time Frames and Taboo Data: A History of Mankind’s Misdirected Beliefs.