“Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.”
Some bearded hippie said that, and while it’s generally not a good thing to quote bearded hippies, it’s applicable at this point in time.
WWJDW: Profiles in Courage hadn’t planned on opening with Pat Robertson… but then he went and had a stroke.
What would happen if we lost him? Yes, we could always wait until after he passes to praise him, but it’s probably best to get all compliments in on the living. Right?
So here we go: Pat. Freaking. Robertson.
The man is a legend; a champion of the Christian faith. So much so, it’s near-impossible to know where to begin. Probably at the beginning. That makes sense, right?
Like so many faith peddlers, being a minister wasn’t Pat’s original purpose in life. Pat was dead set ready to be a lawyer. He went to Yale Law School and graduated near the top of his class. But, he failed the bar exam and couldn’t get a job. Was Pat disappointed? Was Pat bitter? Of course not! Jesus wanted him to fail so that he could convert to Christianity and focus on giving God’s message to the world.
Because that’s how God works: You prepared your whole life to do one thing? That’s silly. You need to talk about me.
(Also: that’s absolutely the sign of a well-adjusted adult mind; someone who is able to look at Christianity through the eyes of a grown man and say, “This makes sense.”)
Knowing that Jesus wouldn’t want an ordinary man spreading the word, Pat used the power of fabrication to enhance his military career. Pat claimed that as a Marine during the Korean War, he saw much in the way of combat duty and that he was eventually awarded three battle stars for his services.
When a fellow Marine who served with him pointed out this was all nonsense, and that in fact Pat was a liquor monkey in Japan during while the war raged, Pat sued for libel. Because why should the truth ever get in the way of a good story?
Unfortunately, the truth is such a pesky, annoying mosquito that Pat eventually dropped his lawsuit and paid the legal fees of the other party, admitting he had never seen combat duty.
Thankfully, that was probably the only moment Pat let reality get in his way; never again would such troublesome nonsense stop his mouth from yapping. Pat knew that in order to really win people to Jesus, he had to tell them whatever was in his head.
And what was inside his head?
- Adultery: “Males have a tendency to wander a little bit. And what you want to do [ladies] is make a home so wonderful he doesn’t want to wander.”
- Your wife has Alzheimer’s: “I know it sounds cruel, but if he’s going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again.”
- Men VS Women: “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.”
- 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.”
- Homosexuality: “Many of those people involved in Adolf Hitler were Satanists. Many were homosexuals. The two things seem to go together.”
- Homosexuality on Facebook: “A couple of same-sex guys kissing, you like that? Well that makes me want to throw up… To me, I would punch ‘Vomit,’ not ‘Like.’… But they don’t give you that option on Facebook.”
- Tornadoes: “If enough people were praying, (God) would’ve intervened. You could pray. Jesus stilled the storm. You can still storms.”
The list could go on and on and on, because there are Jewish Conspiracies, the Illuminati, his business dealings with dictators in Africa (Pat loves both gold and diamonds, and if that means working with Liberian president Charles Taylor, a dictator who harbored Al Qaeda operatives after 9/11 and helped Al Qaeda raise money through illegal diamond trading, so be it), and much, much more (like blaming 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina on homosexuality and abortion, saying Hinduism is demonic, Islam is Satanic, and that certain Protestant denominations have the Antichrist in them. He also said Planned Parenthood teaches kids to “fornicate,” and that it promotes adultery, bestiality, homosexuality, and lesbianism. Basically, “everything that the Bible condemns.”).
After reading all that, you might begin to confuse Pat with Christ himself, so keep this in mind: Pat Robertson is not perfect.
Both stances are shocking, and disappointing.
But don’t worry, Pat is a still courageous man. One who has prophesied both many a natural disaster and Armageddon multiple times. From saying the world will end in 1982 to oil hitting $300 a barrel in 2009, and from saying 2007 will see a massive terror attack to believing Mitt Romney would destroy Barack Obama in the 2012 election, Pat says what he feels non-stop.
He hasn’t gotten a single prediction correct, but that doesn’t stop him from continually spewing his truth without shame, irony, or humility.
And that, as they say, takes courage.
Comedian and author Nathan Timmel writes WWJDW (What Would Jesus Do Wednesdays) here on Laughing in Disbelief. His books include Are You There, Xenu? It’s Me, Nathan and Hey Buddy…: Dubious Advice From Dad.
You can find Nathan on his site and @NathanTimmel on Twitter.