Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Pat Robertson predicts doom, gets publicity.

I hate seeing stuff like this in the news.

In what has become an annual tradition of prognostications, religious broadcaster Pat Robertson predicted Tuesday that a terrorist attack on the United States would result in “mass killing” late in 2007.

“I’m not necessarily saying it’s going to be nuclear,” he said during his news-and-talk television show “The 700 Club” on the Christian Broadcasting Network. “The Lord didn’t say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that.”

Robertson said God told him during a recent prayer retreat that major cities and possibly millions of people will be affected by the attack, which should take place sometime after September.

I hate this sort of stuff because it reflects poorly on Christians. And I sometimes think the media loves to report on the babblings of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and other embarassing evangelicalsbecause they know it reflects poorly on Christians. Honestly, I don't know a single Christian that pays any attention to Pat Robertson, but the media treats him like the Evangelical Pope, upon whose words all of Christendom hangs. Nothing could be further from the truth.

There's a particular subculture of Christianity that gives these people some power, but in my experience, most American evangelicals ignore them. Unfortunately, they have their own TeeVee shows and lots of media exposure from people willing to quote them.

But let's look at the dire prediction itself. There really are only three possibilities (and if this sounds a little like C.S. Lewis's famous trilemma, it's on purpose).

First is the possibility that God really did speak to Pat Robertson and tell him this prediction. If this is true, why did he only tell Pat Robertson? Is Pat the only Christian who God talks to about these things? And what would be the point of telling us at all, unless there was a way to avoid it? When God warned Abraham that Sodom and Gomorrah would be destroyed, at least Abraham pleaded with God to spare those cities, and God gave him five chances to find enough people to fill the "righteousnes quotient." Will Pat Robertson intercede for us? Or does this sound like he's a bit prideful of his predictions:

Robertson suggested in January 2006 that God punished then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with a stroke for ceding Israeli-controlled land to the Palestinians.

The broadcaster predicted in January 2004 that President Bush would easily win re-election. Bush won 51 percent of the vote that fall, beating Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts. He also predicted Bush’s victory for a second term in 2005.

“I have a relatively good track record,” he said. “Sometimes I miss.”

In May, Robertson said God told him that storms and possibly a tsunami were to crash into America’s coastline in 2006. Even though the U.S. was not hit with a tsunami, Robertson on Tuesday cited last spring’s heavy rains and flooding in New England as partly fulfilling the prediction.

Second is the possibility that Pat Robertson really didn't hear God tell him anything of the sort, and he's a big fat liar.

And third is the possibility that Pat Robertson only thinks he heard God give him this little piece of prophecy. And I think this is the most likely.

What Pat Robertson should find most troubling is the fact that some of his earlier predictions haven't come true. Does he recall what the Old Testament instructs about what should be done to false prophets? Hint: it involves rocks.



Post a Comment

<< Home