I have nothing against religion. Since the dawn of time, humans have found solace and strength by acknowledging the existence of beings beyond their kind; the sun god, the moon goddess, Zeus, Yahweh, Jesus. I, myself, was raised in the Catholic faith. And, basically, religion is all about faith. Faith in things we cannot comprehend.
It does strike me as odd, however, that Christians seem to have a lock on communicating with the Supreme Being. Very seldom is Buddha’s face found on a taco. Statues of Krishna don’t cry in public. (As a child, I was told that a relative had actually seen Saint Theresa’s face in a bowl of Jell-O. My first reaction? What flavor? My second? Where do you put the Reddi-Wip?)
Which, somehow, brings us to televangelist Pat Robertson, one of the few folks who, apparently, has God on his speed-dial and doesn’t care about food.
Every year, Pat goes on a retreat and chats with God: a knack perfected by the prophets of the Old Testament. Pat, who takes notes (I’m not kidding.), then reveals what God has predicted for the coming year.
Apparently Pat always reaches God when God is in his Lazy-Boy watching re-runs of “Seinfeld,” because God seems pretty cranky when talking with Pat.
Known and very popular cialis coupon which gives all the chance to receive a discount for a preparation which has to be available and exactly cialis coupons has been found in the distant room of this big house about which wood-grouses in the houses tell.
This year, for instance, God stated that the United States would witness a “mass killing” late in 2007.
“Evil people will come after this country and there’s a possibility that — not a possibility, a definite certainty — that chaos is going to rule and the Lord said the politicians will not have any solutions for it. There’s just going to be chaos…
“But it’s going to happen, and I’m not saying necessarily nuclear — the Lord didn’t say nuclear — but I do believe it’ll be something like that — they’ll be a mass killing, possibly millions of people — major cities injured. I hope I’m wrong, and I hope people will pray, and that won’t happen but, nevertheless, that seems to be what’s coming up. And then the Lord said He will restrain the evil people, but He will not restrain them necessarily initially. And, you know, He doesn’t’ have to restrain people. You know, they’re evil people and they do evil things and they desire evil.”
So, okay. What Pat describes above is either a nuclear or terrorist attack or, perhaps, a violent reaction to the Fall 2007 TV season.
It should be noted that God has never ever said something to Pat along the lines of: “Laugh more. Hug your pets. Kiss your spouse. Plant a flower.” (That’s why I’m thinking Pat is nagging Yahweh and not Jesus.)
Now, Pat always relies on fine print when predicting the future. He always tosses in a line: “If I’m hearing the Lord right.”
Since most of Pat’s predictions have tanked, one can only assume that either the Lord has been yanking Pat’s crank or He’s been talking with a mouthful of Saltines. Or, maybe, Pat has the hearing ability of The Who’s “Tommy.”
Last year, f’rinstance, Pat translated:
“If I heard the Lord right about 2006, the coasts of America will be lashed by storms. There well may be something as bad as a tsunami in the Pacific Northwest.”
When called on that gem this year, Robertson said the bad rains in the New England states kinda, sorta, made that a good prediction. On the plus side? God did not warn him of any natural disaster for 2007 (kinda the way Katrina didn’t get a mention two years ago). God probably wanted to hang-up and go onto the “Everybody Loves Raymond” marathon, so He skipped it.
Pat’s track record on translating God’s words has been something less spectacular than, let’s say, Moses’ or Noah’s.
On January 2, 2004, Robertson stated:
“I think George Bush is going to win in a walk. I really believe I’m hearing from the Lord it’s going to be like a blowout election in 2004. It’s shaping up that way.”
Bush garnered 51% of the vote. As “Media Matters for America” noted, Bush’s margin of victory was the smallest for a reelected incumbent president since Woodrow Wilson back in 1916. Oopsie.
Also, Pat predicted for 2005:
“Well, the Lord has some very encouraging news for George Bush … What I heard is that Bush is now positioned to have victory after victory and that his second term is going to be one of triumph, which is pretty strong stuff. … He’ll have Social Security reform passed. He’ll have tax reform passed. He’ll have conservative judges on the courts. And that basically he is positioned for a series of dramatic victories, which I hope, will hearten him and his advisers. They don’t have to be timid in this matter because the wind is blowing at his back, and he can move forward boldly and get results.”
Maybe he meant the wind is blowing out of Bush’s backside?
Pat then wowed the world with:
“In America, again if I’m hearing God right, we will see a tremendous incident of miracles in the year 2005. … God’s spirit is going to be moving in dramatic power around the world. And his spirit is going to be touching the hearts of many in the Muslim world and they will be turning to the gospel, to Jesus Christ. I think many of them already are, but this is going to be an acceleration that will really amaze the world. … (Sez God) ‘Revival will break out throughout the Muslim world, My truth will penetrate their hearts. The hold of that falsehood that has gripped them will be broken.’”
Aww, Pat. Punk’d again.
“The fall elections will be inconclusive, but the outcome of the war and the success of the economy will leave the Republicans in charge.”
“The war in Iraq is going to come to a successful conclusion. We’ll begin withdrawing troops before the end of this year.”
Ummm, perhaps God could break Pat’s crystal ball and teach him a few card tricks, instead?
In 1998, Pat predicted that Florida would be slapped silly by the Almighty after Orlando city officials voted to fly rainbow flags from lampposts during the annual Gay Days event at Disney World.
Warned Pat: “I don’t think I’d be waving those flags in God’s face if I were you. … a condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. It’ll bring about terrorist bombs, it’ll bring earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor.”
Instead, God smote Robertson by hurling Hurricane Bonnie directly at Virginia Beach, where Robertson resides.
When, two years ago, the citizens of Dover, Pennsylvania voted to kick out its entire school board after it instituted an intelligent design policy, Pat declared:
“I’d like to say to the good citizens of Dover: If there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God. You just rejected him from your city. And don’t wonder why he hasn’t helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I’m not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that’s the case, don’t ask for his help because he might not be there.”
As of this writing, the citizens of Dover have not turned to salt.
Robertson’s been batting .000 in the peewee “prophet” league for years.
According to a February 15, 1988, Washington Post article, Robertson said,
“I heard the Lord saying ‘I have something else for you to do. I want you to run for president of the United States.’” Pat then said, “I assure you that I am going to be the next president of the United States.”
In his mind.
A February 2004 article in “Church & State” magazine (published by Americans United for Separation of Church and State) noted several other Robertson predictions that turned out to be bogus, including that Russia would invade Israel in 1982 and that there would be a worldwide economic collapse in 1985.
And God said: “Gotcha, again!”
Still Pat persists, warning the world of everything from killer earthquakes to strokes. People who don’t fall down laughing actually worry about these Biblical bulletins.
Researching this screed, it occurred to me that, surely, OTHER Christian leaders must get messages from God. So, I checked it out. I was right.
Father Louie Figorelli of “Our Lady of Perpetual Disappointments” parish admitted that God tries to contact him continuously but “He has real bad breath and He shorts out the satellite dish. And, when He appears as a burning bush? There go the roses!”
Pastor Theo Monk of “The Church of the Eternally Biased,” noted: “He called me on my cell just the other night. He was saying something about ‘more fiber.’ The connection was bad. It was either something about fiber or Armageddon. I have to get a new cell provider.”
Eighty-five-year-old Sister Mary Stigmata of “Holy Moley” Parish said. “I saw God on the TV. He said to me ‘HeadOn! It applies directly to the forehead!’ I’m still searching through scripture to find out what that means.” (A later inspection of TV scheduling in the area revealed it was a commercial interruption during an airing of “The Ten Commandments.”)
Layman Benjamin Braddock revealed that God had given him one word of advice: “Plastics.”
Joseph Lieberman, head genuflector at “The Save My Bacon Sanctuary,” confessed that he, too, had heard the voice of God. “He warned me that our nation might be subverted, perhaps destroyed, by an arrogant nitwit with messianic tendencies and a tenuous grasp on reality and by the sycophants who cow-tow to him.”
Continued Mr. Lieberman, “So I said: ‘What’s your point?’”
You see? Anyone can talk to God and make headlines.
Me? Right now I’m sticking some Jell-O in the fridge and hoping for the best. The worst thing that can happen is I’ll be given the silent treatment. Thank God for Reddi-Wip, right Pat?
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