Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Robertson goes off deep end again

There exist several truths that we as Americans need to come to grips with. NASA did not fake the moon landing. Pop Rocks and warm soda will not turn a gastrointestinal tract into a modern-day Pompeii. Someday, everyone will die.

And Pat Robertson has gone completely insane.

We're not talking about a little insane. We're talking about a man whose sheer lunacy rivals alien prophet "Rael," whose Raelians claim extraterrestrials populated the Earth and have perfected cloning. Sadly, the largest difference between Robertson and Rael is that the latter merely commands a small legion of brainwashed cultists, while the former influences millions of Americans and proved instrumental in President Bush's reelection campaign.


As Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon lay in a hospital bed after suffering his second stroke in less than a month, Americans far and wide hoped and prayed for his well-being.

With one glaring exception.

In a move that left the civilized world's collective jaw floundering on the ground, Rev. Robertson took it upon himself to claim a vengeful God smote Sharon and, with righteous fury, caused his massive hemorrhagic stroke.

Mr. Robertson told viewers of "The 700 Club" that Sharon's stroke was divine retribution for the prime minister's decision to withdraw Israeli troops from Gaza. Apparently, Mr. Robertson's God wants the bloody conflict in the Middle East to continue unabated, as he preached, "[Sharon] was dividing God's land … God says, 'This land belongs to me, and you'd better leave it alone.'"

A rational explanation for Rev. Robertson's claims seems completely implausible. Sharon pulled troops out of disputed territories in the name of peace, and now he lies on what could very possibly be his deathbed. But never mind that. Mr. Sharon divided God's land, as Mr. Robertson says, and for that he should be punished.

Mr. Robertson's remarks have widely been dismissed as incendiary and ludicrous — and, to its credit, the White House has condemned the comments.

Had this ill-advised rant been a unique faux pas, one could forgive the preacher. After all, everyone makes mistakes. However, Pat Robertson has a long and fabled track record that consistently causes millions of moderates to join Keanu Reeves in taking a step back and saying, "Woah."

Perhaps the most notable example of Rev. Robertson's slow descent into madness came last fall, when he conveniently forgot that pesky Sixth Commandment and actually advocated assassinating Hugo Chavez, the democratically elected Venezuelan president.

On "The 700 Club," Mr. Robertson said, "We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator."

His comments obviously caused a worldwide firestorm of controversy, yet when confronted, Mr. Robertson later denied he actually called for Mr. Chavez's murder, saying "take him out" does not necessarily mean kill.

One true dictator Mr. Robertson actually loved, on the other hand, was Charles Taylor, the now deposed ruler of Liberia. In 2003, Mr. Taylor was removed from power after he was indicted for crimes against humanity. Rev. Robertson, however, rushed to the leader's defense, arguing on "The 700 Club" that the United States shouldn't criticize a "Christian, Baptist president" and that the bloodbath was hardly Mr. Taylor's fault, instead placing the blame on the U.S. State Department.

On the surface, these appear to be misguided comments emanating from the mouth of a fundamentalist preacher. However, Mr. Robertson's true motives for supporting Mr. Taylor were much more sinister at heart, for he had invested $8 million to mine for gold in association with none other than Charlie Taylor himself.

Apart from his sudden interest in international politics, Mr. Robertson most recently made headlines just two weeks ago when he claimed God had spoken to him. And, no, God did not tell him to help the poor, show compassion to his fellow man or even to pray for peace. Rather, Republican political success was on the Almighty's mind, and God apparently told Rev. Robertson that 2006 will be a good year for President Bush, Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito and congressional Republicans.

But the televangelist has inserted the word of God into the political realm many times prior to 2006. Last fall, the citizens of Dover, Penn., responded to the intelligent-design movement by voting out all school board members advocating teaching creationism in the classroom. Mr. Robertson compassionately responded to the town that God had forsaken them.

"If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God. You just rejected Him from your city. And don't wonder why He hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin … don't ask for His help because he might not be there."

So, according to Rev. Robertson, Jesus loves you … only if you support intelligent design. But God's iron fist does not stop there, if you listen to Mr. Robertson.

Last fall, an earthquake resulted in the deaths of thousands in Pakistan. And, rather than appear on television and express sympathy for the countless victims of the horrible tragedy, Mr. Robertson hinted the apocalypse was upon us. But as the four horsemen have yet to come galloping down State Street, his prediction appears to have been premature.

This list could literally go on for pages. Among the more notorious complaints not previously mentioned are Mr. Robertson's May 2005 remarks that activist judges pose a greater threat to America than terrorism, Nazis and the Civil War. Or possibly when he became so enraged with U.S. foreign policy that, in 2003, he hypothesized someone needs to nuke the State Department. Or when Mr. Robertson's charity allegedly spent tax-exempt money on his mining business in Zaire.

Pat Robertson has hijacked the Christian political movement and hides under a crucifix and a fiery sword to further his own personal agenda. And while, in all reality, his views alienate more Americans than they convert, he leads a sizeable community of devoted followers. His rhetoric puts to shame the likes of Jerry Falwell, Billy Graham and even John Ashcroft. And his speeches as of late could only be the result of either a slow descent into madness or a newfound taste for wild fungi. Only time will tell.

Rob Hunger ([email protected]) is a senior majoring in political science and journalism and is an at-large member of The Badger Herald Editorial Board.

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