This has been another tough week for non-believers to watch Christians in order to find a good example. There was the 54-year-old guy in Crossville, Tenn., who after watching a lady swim naked for 20 minutes, helped her dry off and then brazenly claimed he invited her to church. Then there was the dentist in Iowa, egged on by his wife, who fired his assistant because she was “too irresistible” but – wait! -- made sure his pastor was present when he issued the shocked woman her pink slip.
But maybe the worst of all was Pat Robertson, the 83-year-old TV evangelist who is renowned for his controversial remarks on his show, “The 700 Club.” This week – in what might have been a planted question -- Robertson was asked by a viewer how he might address images of same-sex couples on social media sites, such as Facebook, and Robertson retorted, “You've got a couple of same-sex guys kissing, do you like that? Well, that makes me want to throw up," he said. "To me I would punch 'Vomit;' not 'Like,'" he added. "But they don't give you that option on Facebook."
While I am sure many watching the program silently agreed with him, I am left wondering how was God’s kingdom glorified by such an unkind remark? I lean more towards the saintly Mother Teresa, who famously once said, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
As hard as I try to “love” the elderly Robertson, who attended Chattanooga’s McCallie School (back when my father taught there,) I find myself judging him far too often. Pat later graduated from Washington & Lee, Yale Law, and New York Theological Seminary so obviously he’s a bright guy He’s made millions in various businesses and with his entertainment empire so maybe he says outlandish things to keep his persona hot.
But I don’t think a true follower of Jesus Christ would have said Hurricane Katrina, which killed 1,836 people on the Gulf Coast, was because of America’s abortion policy and that 9/11 "could... be connected in some way." Nor do I think a Godly person would attack gays or lesbians or Muslims or whatever, instead trying show them love and respect through kindness and prayer.
When Robertson pressed his “vomit button” this week, CNN researchers quickly compiled a list of some of the silly and hurtful things that this self-purported “servant of the God” has said on his network. I don’t believe anybody can convince me that any of these statements truly reflect a Christian life:
ON ‘PLANNED PARENTHOOD’ – “Planned Parenthood is teaching kids to fornicate, teaching people to have adultery, every kind of bestiality, homosexuality, lesbianism — everything that the Bible condemns.”
ON ADULTERY -- "Males have a tendency to wander a little bit. And what you want to do is make a home so wonderful he doesn't want to wander."
ON A MAN WHOSE WIFE HAS ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE -- "I know it sounds cruel, but if he's going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again, but to make sure she has custodial care and somebody (is) looking after her." (Asked what about the "Till death do us part" part of the marriage vow, he said Alzheimer's is "a kind of death.")
ON WALT DISNEY’S ‘GAY DAYS’ -- "I would warn Orlando that you're right in the way of some serious hurricanes, and I don't think I'd be waving those flags in God's face if I were you ... It'll bring about terrorist bombs; it'll bring earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor."
ON THE ROLE OF HUSBAND AND WIFE -- “I know this is painful for the ladies to hear, but 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."
ON FEMINISM -- "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."
ON THE 2010 EARTHQUAKE IN HAITI -- "They were under the heel of the French, you know, Napoleon the third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, 'We will serve you if you will get us free from the prince.' True story. And so the devil said, 'OK, it's a deal.' And they kicked the French out. The Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after another."
ON HOMOSEXUALITY -- "Many of those people involved in Adolf Hitler were Satanists. Many were homosexuals. The two things seem to go together."
ON ASSASSINATING HUGO CHAVEZ -- "You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it."
ON THE TORNADOES THAT HIT THE MIDWEST IN 2012 -- "If enough people were praying, (God) would've intervened. You could pray. Jesus stilled the storm. You can still storms."
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Again, I try hard to like Pat Robertson but the Bible reads plainly, “Judge ye not lest ye be judged.” It is pretty obvious that Mother Teresa’s life was a far better compass in directing our paths.