Brutally Honest Special: "Poor Pat"
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Good evening, and welcome to this weeks Brutally Honest Rant. I'm David Matthews 2, writer of the weekly online column Brutally Honest.
"Poor POOR Pat Robertson"
Thats the tone that conservatives and neo-conservatives are taking when it comes to the Reverend Pat Robertson.
You see... this "poor old man" has this NASTY little problem. You might even call it a handicap. He apparently has this unending compulsion to stick his foot in his mouth.
He can't help himself either! His mouth just keeps on getting him in trouble.
First he claimed that feminism turned women into baby-killing devil-worshiping lesbians. Then he claimed that he has this POWER to change the weather... by turning hurricanes either towards or away from certain parts of the country, depending on their faith. Oh, and of course there's that time when "Poor Pat" openly advocated for the MURDER of a foreign leader!
And quite recently he WARNED the people in a little town in Pennsylvania that GOD doesn't like them anymore because they exercised their constitutional right and voted OUT people that "Poor Pat Robertson" wanted to stay in power! They defied the will of Robertson, and according to him, they essentially voted GOD out of their little town.
"Poor Pat"... he just can't seem to shut the hell up!
And you can tell that the conservatives and neo-conservatives are getting sick and tired of having to defend him! Jim Wooten, in his regular column over at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, wanted to know why people just cant leave "Poor Pat Robertson" alone! Don't they know that its not HIS fault that hes sounding like a loon? He's OLD! He's SENILE! He's getting his bed made for when GOD calls him home! Besides, he doesn't "represent" the GOP or the conservatives. He's just an individual voicing his mind!
Well, you know, I'D LOVE to dismiss "Poor Pat Robertson" as being just a crazy old man! I'd love to do that. Seriously. I really WISH that he was just some old man who is spending the rest of his last years on Earth as a blithering idiot! But you know what? I've got not one or two but THREE reasons why that just isn't the case.
First... Pat Robertson isn't just some media personality like Howard Stern or Rush Limbaugh. Howard Stern could talk about killing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and people will NOT take him seriously. They'd be waiting for him to pull out the punchline... you know, like sending High Pitch Erik over there to talk Chavez to death with his voice.
Stern is an entertainer. He'd be the first one to tell you that! And just about EVERYTHING on his program is about ENTERTAINMENT. Everything, no matter how rude, how crude, and how vulgar it may be, is done in the name of ENTERTAINMENT. That's what the Howard Stern Show is really all about.
Pat Robertson, on the other hand, is SUPPOSED to be a MAN OF GOD! He is a religious leader first and foremost! Granted, he doesnt act like it sometimes... such as when he openly called for the assassination of Chavez... but take away his TV shows and his books and he's still a minister. He STILL claims to speak on behalf of GOD. And in fact, his programming is designed to advance his religious beliefs. It's not to "entertain" the masses... it's to preach to them and to sell his wares.
And thats the part that separates him from other media personalities like Howard Stern. When Stern speaks, you know that it's just Howard Stern. In character or not, it's still JUST Howard Stern. But when Pat Robertson speaks, he's not just speaking on behalf of himself... but AS a religious leader, hes also speaking on behalf of GOD! People actually believe that when he speaks, he is speaking FOR GOD! You just can't turn that off. You can't differentiate between when he's speaking for GOD and when he's just speaking for himself.
So when Robertson said that Chavez should be assassinated, he's still operating under the presumption that he's speaking for GOD, and that GOD thinks that Chavez should be assassinated. That's what makes Robertsons fatwas dangerous.
Here's the second reason why we need to focus on "Poor Pat"... Pat Robertson is not only a religious leader, but he still wields political influence in America. This reason alone is why freedom-lovers like yours truly need to keep an eye on him.
Pat Robertson is the founder and owner of the Christian Coalition, one of several key groups that have influenced the conservatives and neo-conservatives in the Republican Party. And in case you've been hiding in the woods for the past five years waiting for Eric Robert Rudolph to come back with supplies, the Republicans sort of kind of RUN things in Washington... as well as several states and plenty more local governments.
It's groups like the Christian Coalition that influence what laws the government imposes on us. You want to know who's pushing for the government regulation of ALL forms of communication? These are the groups who are pushing for it. You want to know who is keeping all of those old and repressive blue laws on the books? These are the people behind it. They tell their parishioners which politicians to vote for, they write the laws for the politicians to pass, and then they tell the politicians which judges to put in place to make sure THEIR laws stay on the books.
And if Robertson and his fellow Southern Baptists were simply limiting their scope to those WITHIN their organization, then I wouldn't give a care. Have at it, have fun, and well find out in the afterlife if you were right. The Roman Catholics just came out with their own rules about who should be in their seminaries. No skin off my teeth. I have no problems with any religious organization telling their own followers what to do. My problem begins when these same organizations feel that they can tell ME what to do... or to FORCE me to obey THEIR rules through the GOVERNMENT.
Let's get brutally honest here... when you have people like Pat Robertson wielding significant influence in government, WE SHOULD be concerned when that influence starts talking crazy. These are the people who feel that they have not just the right but the OBLIGATION through the government to tell ALL of us believers and non-believers alike how to live our lives! THAT is wrong and THAT is what people like yours truly are opposed to.
The third reason why we need to keep an eye on "Poor Pat" has to do with something that we have a hard time learning... history.
You see, about thirty years ago there was another so-called "Man of God" who was considered to be too abrasive for his own good. He said some things that he shouldn't have, and, well, he was exiled for them. Like Robertson, he believed that society should be remade to match his understanding of religion. He believed that all laws, and even all governments, should reflect his understanding of religion.
The "mainstream society" thought of him as a kook. But then this "crazy person" had built up a significant following that continued to grow and grow and grow... until one day, he came back into the country, and in the following year, he became that country's supreme leader.
You may have heard of this man... his name was Ayatollah Seyyed Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran. But most of us simply knew him as Ayatollah Khomeini. The mainstream Iranians underestimated his influence. The Shah of Iran certainly underestimated this mans influence. And America definitely underestimated his influence... and we are STILL paying the price for it.
And I know that conservatives and neo-conservatives are readying their keyboards to refute the comparison! Theyre getting ready to say "But David, Pat Robertson is NOTHING like the late Ayatollah Khomeini! Khomeini ordered people to DEATH! He encouraged and exported terrorism all around the world!" True, but then again, Robertson just called for the death of Hugh Chavez, so how much longer will it take before the cons and neo-cons can declare the comparison "valid"? The answer to that, my friends, is never. Robertson is a Christian, and Christians can do no wrong as far as cons and neo-cons go.
The truth of the matter is this... the cons and neo-cons NEED Pat Robertson on their side, because he brings PLENTY of active voters to the table. So they'll placate him and minimize his little "social handicap" and try to make him appear to be as harmless as possible... but that doesnt mean that they aren't aware of the risks. They just dont want us to be concerned about it... because it also threatens their power base.
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You know folks, I WISH that we could forget about people like Pat Robertson. I really do.
We have so much more stuff to worry about in this country. We have blatant power-grabs going on in Washington DC that have to be stopped. We have an economy that got kicked in the nuts and is still trying to get over it. We have a federal agency that is almost in as bad of a shape as the areas hit by Hurricane Katrina. We have a special White House committee planning on revising the tax code by screwing over middle-class Americans! We really can't afford to be concerned about some self-centered blowhard who got his Jesus Underoos in a bunch over the local elections of a small town that he's never been to in his life.
And yet... we've seen what happens when we stick our heads in the sand over people like Pat Robertson. We snooze, and the next thing you know, the stars-and-stripes become the cross-and-stripes.
Can't happen, you say? It's funny... we said something similar about Iran thirty years ago, and look where we are with them now!
Brutally Honest is a Get Brutal production, all opinions expressed are those of the commentator, and may or may not be shared by the online provider. This is David Matthews 2 saying good night, and Ill speak with you soon!
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