Robertson: Quit Your Job or You’ll Catch The Buddhist

It’s a day ending in Y, so Pat Robertson must have given a staggeringly stupid answer to a viewer email. This time it’s a woman who works with a bunch of Buddhists. Pat told her that she needs to quit her job or she might catch the dreaded disease of Buddhism.

“I work in an environment where all of my coworkers are Buddhists,” a viewer named Tina explained in an email to Robertson. “They talk about Buddhism all day long and try to preach to me. It didn’t matter much to be before, but since I recommitted myself to Jesus a year ago, it has started to bother me a lot.”

Robertson replied by noting that “healthy” people might not contract a “mild contagion.”

“But if you put yourself in the middle of a hospital ward where everybody has the disease except you, sooner or later, you will be infected by it,” the TV preacher warned. “If you’re in the middle of hundreds and hundreds of people who believe that way, you’ve got an uphill fight.”

“And I think your best thing at that point is to withdraw with dignity,” Robertson said. “Get out of that environment because they’re going to get to you before you get to them.”

What if one of them bites you on the neck? You’d have to spend eternity walking the paths of the netherworld infecting people yourself!

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  • wreck

    He’s right. I once worked with some fundamentalist christians and got a bad case of clenched sphincter.

  • theguy

    Would Robertson have any sympathy for a student or employee who’s being proselytized at or harassed by Christians? No; Robertson would probably accuse them of “silencing the Christian voice” or some nonsense.

  • Kamaka

    They talk about Buddhism all day long and try to preach to me.

    Play the victim much? I call bullshit. This is not how Buddhists act.

    The only way this quote is true, she works at a Buddhist bookstore, center or temple. Or her place of employment is harboring a cult and she should indeed run for the hills.

  • Marcus Ranum

    “preaching” buddhists. LOL. Liar, liar, liar! Someone’s gonna get reincarnated as a lawyer.

  • D. C. Sessions

    So according to Robertson, Buddhists do such a good job of the “light unto the nations” thing that exposure to them impresses Christians so much that they convert?

  • peterh

    #’s 3&4 beat me to it. This sounds like so many of he Dear Abby or Dr. Phil scenarios that are patently contrived to give launch to a spew of woo.

  • blf

    I had a case of Buddhism once. Er, no, sorry, it was Voodooism. No, no, it was Nudism. (it’s hard to keep all these Ismisms straight.) Didn’t last long, it was winter so was quickly replaced by a runny nose, sneezing, and Hotchocolateism.

  • John Pieret

    Marcus Ranum:

    Liar, liar, liar! Someone’s gonna get reincarnated as a lawyer.

    Hey! Hey!

    It takes much greater sins to get reincarnated as a lawyer … believe me, I know!

  • Modusoperandi

    This time it’s a woman who works with a bunch of Buddhists.

    Ed, multiple Buddhists isn’t “a bunch”. It’s “a wheel of Buddhists”.


    Kamaka ”Play the victim much? I call bullshit. This is not how Buddhists act.”

    Oh, sure. Play the No True Buddhist card. I worked with one, once, and before I knew it I was smothered in orange robes and choking on enlightenment!

  • matty1

    To be fair if there’s anyone who knows about religion as a sickness it’s Pat Robertson.

  • A Masked Avenger

    Play the victim much? I call bullshit. This is not how Buddhists act.

    Seriously. Even in a temple, you’re unlikely to get proselytized. (In a temple, they’ll treat Buddhism as the default, which can be perceived as pressure, but that’s because it’s their space. They pretty much don’t give a shit what you do.)

    “Dear Abby letter” is a good analogy. I was looking for “whatever’s the opposite of a Penthouse Forum letter.” When Christians tell about how they converted someone else, it’s structured as a Penthouse Forum letter.

    “I never thought this would happen to me, but I caught a coworker checking out my big cross the other day. She said she had never Christianed before, and seemed pretty nervous. I told her we could go easy at first, and I started in with some John 3:16. Before you know it, her friends and family were shocked to overhear her singing hosannas! Now she’s totally committed, and can’t get enough Christianity. Thank you so much for giving me the courage to take the plunge!”

  • Gregory in Seattle

    There are such things as evangelical Buddhists. One of the distinguishing ideas of Mahayana Buddhism is that enlightenment is a group project; the Vajrayana school, an off-shoot of Mahayana found mainly in northern India and the Himalayas, holds that groups tend to reincarnate together so that you can help them break from samsara and they can help you. Because of these doctrines, people who follow Vajrayana can be rather evangelical with people they see regularly: you would not be in their lives unless you were working the same path of enlightenment.

    There is a Nepalese restaurant near where I live that has Buddhist tracts along side the rack with the newspapers. They are much more polite than equivalent Christian tracts, with neither hellfire nor brimstone, but just as earnest. They are rather amusing to read, actually.

  • Marcus Ranum

    “Dear Abby letter” is a good analogy

    It’s more like the old “Letters from the editors” column in National Lampoon

  • Modusoperandi

    Gregory in Seattle “groups tend to reincarnate together”

    I once caught my parents and my neighbors reincarnating together. Granted, it was the 1970s. Apparently getting a piece comes from within. Do not seek it without.

  • anubisprime

    I am fairly sure that a significant percentage of spiritual ‘problems’ sent in for Pat’s considered response are in fact atheists poking the intellectual sloth with a big pointy stick to see what is the ‘best’ laugh they can extract from the doofus!

    I really cannot entertain the possibility that some folks are really that dim…well actually yes I can seeing as they purport to xtian…but why do they all seem to congregate at Pat’s house of fun…seems suspiciously like a set up and Pat being a somewhat unaware bunny plays right into the expectations…maybe bets are being taken on responses?…but the game is rigged really cos everyone knows how Patty bhabi’ is gonna jump!

  • daved


    So according to Robertson, Buddhists do such a good job of the “light unto the nations” thing that exposure to them impresses Christians so much that they convert?

    It’s a lot like the ghey that way. As we all know, being homosexual is so tremendously attractive that Good Christians ™ must drive all the evil gays away lest all their family and friends be raptured away upon a cloud of fabulousness.

  • whheydt

    Why do I get the feeling that someone is preparing to quote the story and switch Buddhism with Christianity…? (It would certainly be much more plausible for a lone Buddhist being proselytized by a bunch of fundie Christians…)

  • Larry

    So jesus is such a weak sister that some fat, bald guy in a towel whispers a few nothings in your ear and you immediately go off with him?

  • Kamaka

    anubisprime, which atheists are going to listen to the Crypt Keeper© for that kind of time?

    It’s christers coming up with what they think are good questions.

  • Alverant

    “They talk about Buddhism all day long and try to preach to me.”

    I’d like some evidence. I find it hard to believe it’s a day-long topic of conversation. I really think this person is exaggerating. If this was true, it would have appeared on Fox News and similar outlets to show how christians were being “persecuted”. In the extremely off chance that it’s true it’s a clear case of harassment and there are other resources apart from running away. In any case, I doubt Robertson would have a problem if it was christians doing the same thing to a Buddhist.

  • moarscienceplz


    Ed, multiple Buddhists isn’t “a bunch”. It’s “a wheel of Buddhists”.

    If the wheel lands on Bankrupt, do they take your Nirvana away?

  • caseloweraz

    A masked avenger wins today’s Internet with #11 — and maybe tomorrow’s as well.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Couldn’t “Tina” just protect herself by putting condoms over her ears?

  • dugglebogey

    I’m surrounded by christians all day but it seems like more of them are catching what I have…

  • Gregory in Seattle

    @Pierce R. Butler #23 – Good Christians ™ do not use condoms.

  • ehmm

    I also find it extremely hard to believe Tina’s version of the story. My anecdotal experience is that Buddhists are really not into prosletizing.

    So what is Pat Robertson’s advice? “When confronted by a situation that might challenge your faith, stick your fingers in your ears and run away singing ‘la, la, la, la’.”

    If one could be a fly on the wall at CBN, I’m sure you’d find plenty of whispered talk speculating on when ol’ Pat is going to call it quits.

  • Kamaka

    He will be mummified and operated as a puppet as long as the cash flows. Perhaps that is already the case.

  • fifthdentist

    @ 26 “My anecdotal experience is that Buddhists are really not into prosletizing.”

    I worked in a Japanese steakhouse in college. This one assistant manager had been a Buddhist monk before coming to the U.S.-America. He wasn’t much into proselytizing; he was into “brack girrrs.”

  • ehmm

    tsk. tsk. Flaunting his buddhistical-ness all over the place. Good heavens.

    He should find jesus and listen to this guy*:

    * Apologies to what I’m sure are many racially cool Christians out there, but you should be screaming at this guy, not me.

  • Emptyell

    When I was practicing long ago at the San Francisco Zen Center the rule was that that you had to come regularly (for at least a month) before you could officially join and start paying dues. This was in place of the traditional rule of turning people away twice before they would be allowed to join.

    Later I was practicing at a zendo in Boston which was in an old church. One of the members thought it strange to have huge stained glass windows of Christ and the apostles(?) at a Buddhist temple. The master said “Why not? They are beautiful windows.”, and made it clear that as far as he was concerned you could be Christian or whatever and still practice Buddhism.

    So yeah, at least in my experience, pretty much the opposite of evangelical.

  • lorn

    After working for a very Christian construction contractor for a few months I had to get a mouth guard because I had started to grind my teeth. I had tooth, jaw, and neck pain. Sharp shooting pain going up the sides of my head so bad I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I almost got a root canals on three teeth. I was sitting in the chair with the long bits arrayed before me. Luckily the dentist checked the X-rays and noted that the roots looked healthy and suggested that that wasn’t the issue. She is a good, and quite honest, dentist.

  • anubisprime

    Kamaka @ 19

    It’s christers coming up with what they think are good questions.

    More like christers conjuring up a confirmation bias I suspect.

    To prance and primp and pose in the congregation as the one that asks a question that gets the answer they all feel comfortable with.

    I admit that atheists do have better things to do then poke the doofus with leading nonsense…it is a task best left to the sycophants.

    In Pat’s case it really is ignorance preaching to ignorance, and a classic example of the intellectual vacuum that seems to be the defining trait of the majority of the jeebus legions.

    Those that can shout down, bully, cajole, and threaten with spiritual damnation by claiming they are touched by god always float to the top like a turd, some do it better then others.

    They get away with it because the majority do not hear the voice they are told they must hear, and they feel beholden to make it up, to preserve their status in the herd, almost a self fulfilling meme, fear of being different from the herd makes Christians tow the ark, not the truth, simply because the truth does not help the delusion!

    They are Christian by birth and circumstance, they have absolutely no idea what their guru’s ‘teachings’ actually means. and even less idea about what Christianity actually is, its roots, its development. historical context and its actual reason.

    Likewise the bible remains their holy document but they have no idea what it contains really, they rely on others to tell them, and that is a major source of the misery and angst in society today.

    These folk do not think deeply. and that is fine for the most part, but they vote for flashy smiles and false promises based on bias, bigotry and lies, and they are encouraged to follow these dimlights cos that is recommended by other brain light morons.

    So it is, so it shall be for the foreseeable future, but the generations are stretching the meme, inta’tubes and books and knowledge are trickling in to the subconscious and the brightest will spark and the meme will die a little more each day, just a matter of time…what at one time was taken as tradition is now hard pressed to maintain the wizard behind the curtain….

  • U Frood

    Shouldn’t Tina look on this as an excellent opportunity to spread the Good News that they’re all going to hell?

  • Nick Gotts

    Just tell them nirvana is neither here nor there.

  • iangould

    What are the odds this message and most of the supposed e-mails Pat reads on air are simply fake?

  • sunsangnim

    I’ve lived in Korea and Vietnam for 5 years, and visited numerous Buddhist temples in both countries. Not once has a Buddhist tried to preach to me or convert me. It’s jut not what they do. On the other hand, the Christians in Korea are quite aggressive when it comes to proselytizing.