The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

Pat Robertson is an Asshole

Posted by mattusmaximus on January 14, 2010

I’m taking a bit of a departure from my usual routine to state something which should be patently obvious to anyone with even a shred of common, human decency: Pat Robertson is an asshole. Actually, to say as much would be an insult to assholes, but I cannot think of any other way to put it.

Of course, I’m referring to his recent comments regarding how the people of Haiti somehow deserved the earthquake which has killed & maimed so many because it is a punishment from God for Haitian slaves practicing voodoo (and swearing “a pact with the devil”) hundreds of years ago when they revolted against the French.  But don’t take it from me, take it from the Big Asshole himself…

Wow… I… am… speechless… well, not quite.  But these comments are truly shocking in their insensitivity, immorality, and intellectual vacuity.  They are insensitive for obvious reasons.  I contend that they are immoral because Robertson is using this tragedy to push his own narrow, fundamentalist version of Christianity – while neglecting the fact that roughly 85% of the population of Haiti is Catholic!  Of course, some jerks like Robertson will rationalize the argument by saying something like “Catholics aren’t real Christians” (which is a version of the No True Scotsman logical fallacy) while conveniently ignoring the fact that Catholics (with the exception of Eastern Orthodox Christians) were the only Christians for about 1500 years of history!  Arrgh!

**Aside: not that it should matter what the victims’ religious, or lack thereof, beliefs are; basic human decency should sway us to help them in their hour of need.

The comments are intellectually vacuous because they display the logical extension of a worldview rooted in superstition instead of science, reason, and rationality.  In Robertson’s worldview, there is absolute good and absolute evil (personified in his versions of God and Satan), and he creates a false dichotomy of a pure black-and-white world where those who share his beliefs are on the side of good (God) while those who disagree with him are on the side of evil (Satan) – recall how he made similar comments right after 9/11 about how the U.S. “deserved” to be attacked. Of course, his ignores the reality of how the world is rarely so simplistic, and there are complexities & shades of gray that pop up in many aspects of life.

Another aspect of Robertson’s commentary is disturbing: it views the world through the lens of supernatural forces beyond the understanding of humanity.  There isn’t a natural world which can be examined and understood through a reasoned analysis of natural causes (i.e. the scientific method); rather, the world is governed by good and evil spirits.  It’s all about God & angels versus Satan & demons – a view which, more than anything, propagates fear, ignorance, division, and humanity’s most negative tribal tendencies.

Alas, now that I’ve vented my spleen about Robertson’s stupidity, I shall cease cursing the darkness by lighting a candle (to use Carl Sagan’s analogy)… perhaps the best way to deal with assholes like Pat Robertson is to stay rooted in the real, natural world and actually deal with problems using reason & rationality as opposed to moaning about ghosts, goblins, fairies, and other vestiges of superstitious nonsense.  In other words, we are empowered and can actually do something because we realize that we live in the real world and can change it for the better – we are not slaves to supernatural powers beyond our control and/or comprehension.

If you want to help the people of Haiti (and I sincerely hope you do), a good start is to consider making an immediate cash donation to a reputable international relief agency, such as the Red Cross.

Go forth and light candles.

19 Responses to “Pat Robertson is an Asshole”

  1. Indeed.
    TOG

  2. Tyler said

    Im the first to say that nobody knows what God does and why, but God did destroy Sodom and Gomorrah in ancient times because of their sins and sinful activities, so I don’t think we should be so quick to call this guy an “asshole” for what he said. If I’m not wrong and the last time I checked this is a free country and we do have freedom of speech so if this guy wants to say that, then fine go ahead. We should look at our lives and be more concerned about our own faults before we cast any blame on others.

    • mattusmaximus said

      Yes, we do have freedom of speech in the U.S. – which gives me the freedom to call Pat Robertson an asshole. The notion that people who make such idiotic comments should somehow be shielded from criticism because they’re “religious” borders upon pure narcissism and stupidity. If Robertson (or you, for that matter) cannot handle criticism – which is part of free speech – then I suggest that you either move someplace where there is no freedom of speech or forgo making moronic comments altogether.

      Btw, why is it that some fundamentalist nuts say things like “nobody knows the mind of God” and then they go on to contradict themselves by professing to know exactly what their God is doing and why? I think they worship their own egos more than anything else…

    • Bill said

      “We should look at our lives and be more concerned about our own faults before we cast any blame on others.”

      I couldn’t have said it better myself! If Pat Robertson lived by those words, this blog entry would not exist.

    • Lucretius Epicurus said

      So, it’s OK, for Pat to say that Haitians deserved this for their hubris in throwing off the shackles of slavery, because God works against Sodomites in mysterious ways, (and I guess, because God approves of racially based slavery), but to call him an asshole is somehow wrong?

      Sauce for the goose gets ladled on the gander as well. It is sheer hypocrisy to say that Pat can have his say, but mattusmaximus should STFU.

      BTW, a loving god or gods wouldn’t punish the innocent for the sins of the guilty. But Xtians have a particular ability to confuse hate with love, peace with war, compassion with torture.

      And Missy, if you are reading this, try looking at Luke 14:26. If you have a Bible, that is.

  3. missy said

    I am with Tyler. What Pat R said was not right (or the way he said it) but maybe Pat is right. The first thing I thought was “I wonder what religion they are?”
    As Christians we are under God’s covering, when we walk away from his covering…. things could happen. Just like when you keep telling a child not to run out in the street and they do it anyway and get run over. That child has disobeyed and gotten hurt because he is not listening to his parents.

    • mark arrowpood said

      Missy,

      Are you related to the dolt Tyler, in the above message? I thought you were. “Gods Covering” give me a break, you as Christians have really forgotten what your Christ said “love one another”, don’t hate them because they did something you did not understand. How do you know there beliefs are any different than your or who is right. Your God said you must have faith, so did theirs, who is right if you both have this faith?

    • Lisanne said

      If I were a parent, and my children strayed away from my command or wish, and I then beat them to bloody death and starved them as punishment or shoved them out of the house in the cold without food, I think most Christians would want to see me either be sentenced to death or at least life in prison.

      If god thinks it is okay to committ mass murder on his/her children who have left his “cover” then, frankly, this is not a god I would ever choose to honor. If god simply decided to neglect his/her children because they strayed, and this turned back resulted in starvation and death, I would feel the same.

      I am also sure that if this god was capable of such vengeful punishment I would never want to be “under his/her cover.

      I believe this view that the people deserved this somehow is a way of sheilding yourself from the horror and trying to make yourself feel safe by saying “that wouldn’t happen to someone like me”, or “there must have been something really bad about those people.” But surely you have looked around your church and seen children born disfigured and diseased. Even completely innocent infants are afflicted. What is your justification then? Do you really believe that you an be more pure than a 3 week old who dies from sids or some other inborn genetic error?

      When a tornado comes and tears your house down or a hurricane blows your home away, will you say that it is because you were poor of faith? Or will you stand and say that you survived because god loved you? What if you make it and your 3 month old doesn’t. Will you say, god loved me, but not my baby? So if you have your life, and not the life if your child or your spouse, and your home was demolished, and you have no clean water, and your job no longer exists, will you say that god loved you because you were spared or that you must have strayed from god’s cover because so many tragedies befell you?

      It is all so twisty and you can twist it which ever way you want to make you always land on the good side and to provide you with security and comfort.

      Lisanne

      Lisanne

  4. endofatheism said

    add comment moderation to your blasphemy blog

    go shoot yourself in the head…

    THE DANCE OF DEATH ON THE WORLD TRADE CENTER

    THE END OF ATHEISM:

    http://groups.google.com/group/alt.atheism/browse_thread/thread/a6147f423c8631f7#

  5. polbel said

    PR is definite proof of what Richard Dawkins says about religion. It’s a virus that makes dumbasses utterly mad.🙂

    • missy said

      I really feel sorry for people who don’t believe in God/Christ/The Holy Spirit. We are only here for such a short time. Eternity is forever…ppl that are convinced God is not real should really try and prove that fact for themselves. You should read the bible and all the literature you can on the subject. To make sure this is what you believe. Eternity is a long time.
      It is not about a religion, it is about a relationship with Jesus Christ. He can change you. The bible says you have scales over your eyes to keep you from seeing the TRUTH. Pray for those scales to be removed. Ask God to show you the way. Please, we are truely in the last days.

      • mattusmaximus said

        My post doesn’t have to do with a theological debate concerning the existence of God/Jesus/Holy Spirit… it’s about how Pat Robertson is a douchebag and his crazy-ass interpretation of Christianity is divisive & mean-spirited. Thank you for missing the point.

  6. polbel said

    @ missy

    bible says anything and its opposite. racists even found proof in it that africans were not human beings with a soul. it is used by people like PR to justify their arrested mental development as demonstrated by their lack of historical perspective. PR would have had haitians remain sugar-producing slaves of the french till kingdom come instead of forcefully freeing themselves as force was the only way. nowadays even after having setup a republic for over 200 years, they remain quasi-slaves of dominican republic fat cats. PR is very likely on the side of the modern-day dominican slavers also. we can’t know for sure what PR would use to justify his racist comments if the bible didn’t exist but it’s pretty sure he would find something else to fuel his hatred.

    it’s a free country so you can depend on bible to think for you but your freedom stops where mine starts with not having it stuffed down my throat. and i can also refuse to accept it as a logical proof in an argument as nothing about the existence of god is provable. furthermore if you believe in god the burden of the proof lies with you, not with me disproving the existence of your delusions. last days of what? after the sixth extinction, earth will take care of cleaning up our mess and in 60 million years it will have stored oil and coal underground for the next bunch of bozos to abuse and fight for all over again. 🙂

  7. AndyD said

    From some of the comments here it appears that it’s actually God that’s an asshole.

  8. […] to understanding this purely natural event through the lens of science, there are those who – like Uber-Asshole Pat Robertson – will attempt to use such natural disasters as a way of pushing various paranormal, […]

  9. Joanaroo said

    Oh, Brother! For a religion that claims to be for the weak, downtrodden, abused, etc. and that you should do good deeds and be a good samaritan, there sure are alot of twisted people claiming to be Christians. Look no further than politicians claiming to be God’s friend after breaking commandments against stealing, coveting other’s goods, and the big one – coveting thy neighbor’s (wife’s) ass! But to them a little prayer, a little apology and all is well and they’re going to their heaven!

  10. Joanaroo said

    By the way, if the end days are coming and all the Christians are leaving, please don’t let any be Left Behind! It’s bad enough Kirk Cameron is here now spewing his crap. We don’t need him hanging around here with us wanton sinners!

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