Pat Robertson: God Doesn’t Perform Miracles in U.S. Because We’re Too Skeptical

Oh, Pat Robertson, you delightfully misogynistic old coot. You are always good for a chuckle. (Unless you say something that is actually deeply terrifying. In which case, you’re always good for a shudder.)

On Monday, Robertson was hosting The 700 Club as usual when he got the following email:

Why do amazing miracles (people raised from the dead, blind eyes open, lame people walking) happen with great frequency in places like Africa, and not here in the USA? What can we do to encourage those things to happen here? Is America too gone for miracles like this?

– Ken

It’s remarkable how a letter can be at once naive and simultaneously so close to being reasonable.

Now, if I were to answer this question, I would do so in one simple sentence:

Pix or it didn’t happen.

Surprisingly, Robertson had a different reaction:

People overseas didn’t go to Ivy League schools. We’re so sophisticated, we think we’ve got everything figured out. We know about evolution, we know about Darwin, we know about all these things that says God isn’t real.

We have been inundated with skepticism and secularism.  And overseas, they’re simple, humble. You tell ‘em God loves ‘em and they say, “Okay, he loves me.” You say God will do miracles and they say, “Okay, we believe him.” And that’s what God’s looking for. That’s why they have miracles.

Yeah! God doesn’t perform miracles in the U.S. because we all went to Ivy League schools… says the man who went to an Ivy League school.

And, what’s that Bible verse that everyone loves quoting? “For God so loved the Africans, that he gave 70 million of them AIDS, but also supposedly allowed a blind guy to regain his sight that one time. Seriously, it happened to a friend of a friend, I swear!”

I’m pretty sure that’s how it goes. Must be in the New Testament.

About Jessica Bluemke

Jessica Bluemke grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from Ball State University in 2008 with a BA in Literature. She currently works as a writer and resides on the North side of Chicago.

  • C Peterson

    Miracles don’t happen in places where the people are skeptical. Infectious diseases don’t happen in places where the people are vaccinated.

  • Rain

    It’s funny how miracles are always just out of everyone’s reach. Just thiiiiiis close to miracles all over the place. (Except for birdie poop that looks like Jesus of course.)

  • MyScienceCanBeatUpYourGod

    In other words “I can’t con you into believing in miracles because you’re too smart!”

  • aoscott

    The serpent’s tongue is sharp indeed

  • Gus Snarp

    Gosh, when people think critically, we don’t see miracles. Must be that critical thinking drives God away. That makes sense. Where people have constant access to cameras, we see no evidence of miracles. Must be that cell phone cameras drive God away too.

    I’m glad I have my Skeptic Shield™. Guaranteed to keep ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and gods away. Also prevents curses, hexes, and jinxes. Side effects include loss of effectiveness of lucky charms, miracles, blessings, homeopathy, and hologram bracelets. Not for use by dowsers.

  • fdgdfghdfgh

    Robertson prefers people to be ignorant and uneducated because its easier into fooling them info believing nonsense. So apparently according to him – to be truly religious, you have to be truly ignorant. I’m happy to concede that point.

  • CultOfReason

    From Letter:

    Assumption 1: Miracles happen.
    Assumption 2: Miracles happen with greater frequency in Africa

    From Pat:

    Assumption 3: Americans know about and believe Evolution more so than in than other countries
    Assumption 4: Evolution says that god isn’t real
    Assumption 5: Africans are more simple and humble (in other words, more gullible)

    Not a single assumption is correct.

  • sdfg45

    Ah but they win (cough) with assumption 6: People that are ignorant are more likely to believe in miracles.

  • Wtchgawd

    the uneducated simpletons overseas eh? Makes sense.

  • Guillaume Bérubé

    Miracles don’t happen in places where ignorance isn’t a reasonable answer.

  • fentwin

    Reminds me of a quote form the Dover, Pa. trials;

    “”We’ve been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture,”

    (wish I could remember who said it)

  • icecreamassassin

    You know what my favorite miracle in places like Africa is? All the death and suffering. GREAT F**KING MIRACLES THERE PAT.

  • A3Kr0n

    Shouldn’t God be producing MORE miracles in the skeptical countries since they need more convincing? That would be more reasonable to me.

  • Regina Carol Moore

    Love. This.

  • dan davis

    But xmas sure was much more fun WITH santa, damn brain!

  • WallofSleep

    So let me get this straight. In a nation that is nearly 80% christian, where 46% of the population denies the evidence for evolution and embraces creationism, miracles do not happen because we just don’t believe hard enough?

    You need to work on your sales pitch, Pat, ‘cuz I just ain’t buying it.

  • WallofSleep

    Wait, what about fuckin’ magnets?

  • dan davis

    Of course, the real question is, does the miracle frequency increase as one goes south? And does this represent a geographical cline?

  • Gus Snarp

    Thanks for the link to his bio on Wikipedia. That was some interesting reading. Especially this:

    However, former Republican Congressman Paul “Pete” McCloskey, Jr., who served with Robertson in Korea, wrote a public letter which said that Robertson was actually spared combat duty when his powerful father, a U.S. Senator, intervened on his behalf, and that Robertson spent most of his time in an office in Japan. According to McCloskey, his time in the service was not in combat but as the “liquor officer” responsible for keeping the officers’ clubs supplied with liquor. Robertson filed a $35 million libel suit against McCloskey in 1986. He dropped the case in 1988, before it came to trial and paid McCloskey’s court costs.

    and this:

    He then went on to receive a Law degree from Yale Law School in 1955. However, he didn’t pass the New York bar exam, shortly thereafter underwent a religious conversion, and decided against pursuing a career in law.

    Draw your own conclusions.

  • Art_Vandelay

    Evolution doesn’t say god isn’t real (it doesn’t really say anything) but it sure doesn’t lend the hypotheses a whole lot of credence.

  • blasphemous_kansan

    So Pat is saying that events which no one can explain (miracles) happen more often in places where a relatively high proportion of people lack the education and training that one needs to explain things.

    Fascinating. Or not.
    Pat says “They believe in miracles because they’re humble”
    But all i hear is “They believe in miracles because they have never learned how to disbelieve (thank Christ!)”

  • garthhh

    What about Europe? They’re overseas and are arguably more skeptical than the states…

  • blasphemous_kansan

    Also inherant in Pat’s comments is the interesting claim that God can seemingly conquer all (death, blindness, disability, etc.), but if there’s a sufficient number of people around who don’t believe in him, then he loses all this power?

    Following Pat’s chain of reasoning, my questions to him would be: Does god become incapable of performing miracles in such a hedonistic hellhole as the modern USA, or does he just throw a temper tantrum and decide to not perform any miracles for those assholes over there until they wise up?

    The first possibility implies that the ultimate, miracle-performing, god is basically powerless as soon as his will crosses that of an atheist. The second possibility implies that god is something of a petulant shit.

    The fact that Pat “ivy league” Robertson fails to see the traits that his narrow worldview places on his supposedly universe-encompassing god is not surprising.

  • Greg G.

    It’s the cars we drive. God thinks they are chariots made of iron.

  • Thackerie

    Absolutely! That’s why Mississippi has the highest standard of living with the best health, highest rate of literacy, and zero poverty.

    But I could be wrong ;-}

  • chicago dyke

    “willfully ignorant” or “able to compartmentalize” would be better. plenty of intelligent people choose to believe, setting aside what they know about science and history and logic, and make a “special” place in the minds, with its own special rules, for religion. nothing else can get in, and religion isn’t exposed to anything outside of that place.

    but they can still be intelligent people when it comes to fixing your car, or designing a building, or diagnosing your dog, etc.

  • observer

    “By the power of God, I can turn myself invisible, and make all your gold and jewelry vanish! I just need you all to close your eyes for a few minutes…”

  • Rich Wilson

    According to the googles:

    “We’ve been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture.” -Pastor Ray Mummert, creationist/intelligent design proponent, March 2005.

  • A Christian

    “Also inherant in Pat’s comments is the interesting claim that God can
    seemingly conquer all (death, blindness, disability, etc.), but if
    there’s a sufficient number of people around who don’t believe in him,
    then he loses all this power?”


  • Vic

    What would belief, intelligence, education or lack thereof have to do with miracles. Are miracles dependent upon certain conditions? I think the whole premise is skewed. Now, if you’re saying that people don’t believe in miracles when they are more educated, then that is more to the point.

  • SeniorSkeptik

    Poor ole Pat. He keeps getting his words mixed up, when he said the people were simple and humble, he meant simple and GULLIBLE!

  • Baby_Raptor

    Miracles, possible actual proof that god actually exists, don’t happen where a bunch of people don’t believe in him and would require said proof to be saved.

    lI thought god loved everyone and wanted everyone to believe in him? So why would he willingly choose to not show himself?

  • The Other Weirdo

    I swear, it’s just people writing in under pseudonyms, trolling Pat Robertson, trying to see what kind of new nonsense they can get him to say. It’s not nice to make fun of the mentally ill.

  • McAtheist

    It all sounded blatantly racist to me

  • Michael Harrison

    I am amused that he’s trotting out the old psychic escape clause that skeptics block the magic powers with their disbelief.

  • Claude

    Huh? The US is the most Jesus-loving country on the planet. Dead men rising and blind women seeing should be happening all over the republic. There’s no justice!

  • JohnnieCanuck

    Blame it on God and His mysterious ways schtick.

  • blasphemous_kansan

    Nice writing, good story.
    1) what does it have to do with what I wrote?
    2) kind of loses me toward the end with all the god talk and apologetics. Sorry, but the arguments just seem so generic after seeing them over and over. I dont suppose you have proof that your graceful interpretations of scripture and the nature of the divine are correct, and everyone else’s is wrong, do you? That would be neat.

  • Mike Ahern

    “For first, there is not to be found, in all history, any miracle attested by a sufficient number of men, of such unquestioned goodsense, education, and learning, as to secure us against all delusion in themselves; of such undoubted integrity, as to place them beyond all suspicion of any design to deceive others; of such credit and reputation in the eyes of mankind, as to have a great deal to lose in case of their being detected in any falsehood; and at the same time, attesting facts performed in such a public manner and in so celebrated a part of the world, as to render the detection unavoidable: all which circumstances are requisite to give us a full assurance in the testimony of men.”
    David Hume

  • trj

    God used to be all up in our faces, with giant dust pillars, booming voice, burning bushes, even the occasional wrestling match. He was never afraid to put on a good show.

    Now? Bird poop and burned toast.

    He should definitely talk to some marketing guys. But I suppose none of them have made it into heaven.

  • Mark W.

    I think Pat forgot about the miracle that happens twice a day…THE TIDES. No one knows how that shit happens, ask Bill O’Rielly. Bill’s a straight shooter he wouldn’t lie about that. PROOF bitches, now all the damn Communazi IslamoSatanist Atheists can shut the hell up and get back to planning how to destroy ‘Merika.

  • OneTrueKinsman

    “God used to be all up in our faces, with giant dust pillars, booming voice, burning bushes, even the occasional wrestling match. He was never afraid to put on a good show.” – schizophrenia gone rampant

    “Now? Bird poop and burned toast.” – medication to calm the schizophrenia

    I don’t trust marketing…